Friday, September 16, 2011
Six years seems like an eternity
A lot can happen in six years. I don't know how many times I have asked the Lord, "Why? Why did all this happen?" He has answered some questions, but others I am trying to be still and wait. I am not even sure an answer would really ease the hurt my heart still feels.
For the last three months my husband has been working. Praise the Lord! After three years of being laid off that job the Lord had for him finally came. I feel so blessed to have insurance and a growing savings account once again. Today, I know that can be gone within a moment.
In the last six years I have been diagnosed with COPD and Fibromyalgia. Neither has been fun. My COPD is under control today, which I am thankful for. I still have those bad days where I find it hard to get up out of bed and energy just isn't what it used to be. Makes me look back to those five children we raised and think, "How in the world did we do that?" Today, I think I would be crawling and grabbing for that fifth cup of coffee if I was home schooling my children again. God's perfect timing. Just maybe He saw what was up ahead and gave me all those years filled with energy to make the most of each day.
Six years ago Satan attacked our family in the worst way. I wish I could fill you in on every detail, but that just wouldn't be fair. Our girls left home about six years ago. Gosh, it still hurts to even say that. I remember the day my baby girl left home. Barely seventeen years old, but home is not where she wanted to be any longer. She was in love. Love called her away. She is married to that young man now and expecting my first grandson any time now. With prayer and hope in the Lord, He has a way of working things out for His glory and honor. Our relationship is wonderful, but it isn't what it once was. That is something my heart longs for. She was the laughter that filled our home. Without her, you could feel the silence overcome you.
My oldest daughter left home just about six years ago. It's almost unbearable to think of what just one choice can lead to. One decision that will change forever. Some choices change us so greatly there is no going back. You can only pray that the grace of God will cover you and He will bring a peace you never knew possible. This daughter is my spitting image. Inside and out. I am not sure what it is about mothers and daughters. Why is there such a battle?
Just when I thought everything was perfect once again, Satan came in for the attack. It seems he just lies in wait. I haven't seen my grand daughter in almost six months. I wish I could tell you why. I don't even know why myself. I cry myself to sleep at night. It's like I am grieving the loss of my granddaughter. My heart aches to see her. My heart too is eager to sit with my daughter. I just wish I could put my arms around her and go back to yesterday.
Who is to blame in all this? I am sure each of us would like to think it is the other, but in reality, the blame lies on all of us. We are family. Family is love and forgiveness. It is truth and trust. It is hope and everlasting grace. I never pictured being a Nana like this. I never pictured my family so close but yet miles apart.
I found two quotes today I would like to share with you. When I read them, they seemed to bring such great comfort to me. Another reminder that God is at work behind the scenes in my heart and the hearts of those I love.
"God is more concerned with conforming me to the likeness of His Son than leaving me in my comfort zones. God is more interested in inward qualities than outward circumstances - things like refining my faith, humbling my heart, cleaning up my thought life and strengthening my character."
"We will stand amazed to see the topside of the tapestry and how God beautifully embroidered each circumstance into a pattern for our good and His glory." Joni Eareckson Tada
Through these six years He has brought me through some dark nights. Months were I thought I was going to lose my mother to illness. Years where I thought my husband was at the end of his rope. Today, where I see my son missing yesterday and only wanting it back.
The Lord has wrapped His arms around me and brought me comfort through His Word. I have felt His hand many nights where I didn't want to see the sun rise. He was there the night I wanted to end it all. By the grace of God He brought me through and set me on a new foundation. A foundation of hope. He is refining me. He is molding me into the woman He created me to be. I have been humbled in many ways and as for my character, I am not the same woman I was six years ago.
I have learned to surrender ALL to Him. I have learned I cannot bring change to others. I cannot control every situation. The decisions of others effect me greatly, but I cannot allow their choices to over power my life and bring me to a breaking point. I have learned I am weak and I gain strength through my faith in Christ. Without Him I would not be here today.
I love those perfect days where all seems right. It's being in that comfort zone that makes me feel so safe, but I have learned to appreciate those days where all isn't right. I am learning to grab hold of each moment and live. Christ is in everything in my life. Nothing touches me without first going through His hand. I still don't know why some things have happened, but I must trust that He does. I must have hope that through His plan I can be humble enough to see His hand upon everything and know there is a reason and purpose for everything.
Sometimes life is just hard, isn't it? There are so many things we simply just don't understand. Most we don't want to understand, we just want it made right. Well, in order for that to happen we must all surrender to God. We must all be searching for Him and find forgiveness and grace in our hearts for those around us. It can't be all about ME, but about those around us.
I am learning to take a step back and allow God the room He needs. Those very moments I miss, I know He is working on them. He may not be able to bring back yesterday, but in faith, He can make today even more sweeter in surrender.
Friends, we all go through such trial and heart ache. We could name hundreds of things that touch our lives each and every day. Although we don't understand the why's, we must trust that on the other side of today, God is weaving a tapestry together with every tear fallen today and every laugh line that carries of memory of yesterday.
Don't give up. Don't turn away from Christ because your comfort zone has been robbed. Take comfort in the life of Christ and know He too knows our pain. He knows sorrow and has seen death first hand. He wants the best for us. He wants us to have life abundant. Sometimes we must go through the fire to have all those impurities removed and have all that He has made glitter in a pureness that only speaks of hope renewed.
"You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver." Psalm 66:10
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." James 1:2-4
I speak of many trials that have touched our lives in the last six years. These hurts are still cutting deep today. What makes it worse is that gossip from others who think they know the truths, but in reality they know nothing. Why do we try to bring others down when trials come? Why don't we lift one another in prayer and reach out in comfort? We point our fingers and say, "I would never do such a thing." Well, you don't know the whole story and you have no idea what you would do if faced in the same situation. It's really easy to say what we would do, but maybe we need to walk in that pair of shoes for a bit before we bring judgement on a brother or sister in Christ.
So friends, hold on to your faith. Reach for Christ and allow Him to create in you a new joy and life. Enjoy the love around you and focus on Him. My marriage is better than ever before. I am reunited with my cousin who I had lost contact with and our friendship grows daily. My son is still at home and I am enjoying his days left at home where I must pick up his dirty clothes and hear him play his guitar. There is much life to be lived. We cannot focus on that pain. It will rob us of today. Focus on today and those loved ones around you who need you so very much. Prayer is mighty and a mighty faith brings with it all possibilites in Christ.