Circumstances! We all go through them! Some not so noticeable, others rip our hearts out! The sad truth that I have come to realize over and over in my life is what Kay Arthur summed up very well in her book, As Silver Refined..."Life is fraught not only with stress and tense relationships and everyday disappointments but also with acute, piercing pain. It's part of the trials and tribulations bred into our lives, like weeds in what would otherwise be a garden. Pain is here (and will be until Jesus comes) because of sin and sinful men, and essentially there's nothing we can do to change that."
That makes you want to spring out of bed in the mornings doesn't it!
NO! But this does...."For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Eph 2:10
God knew me before I was even conceived. He knew what He had planned for my life! He knows everything about my personality and knows everything about my life...beginning, middle and end! HE CAN BE TRUSTED with every moment of my future! HE IS SOVEREIGN!! He is Creator and Orchestrator of everything! He is the Great Story Teller!
I could feel overwhelmed by my circumstances and struggle with hopelessness, defeat, and discouragement but HE HAS NEVER ABANDONED ME! I have history with HIM! Sweet history! He has shown Himself faithful time and time again so why doubt his goodness now? (By the way, I have to remind myself of this daily...it doesn't come easy!)
Here is where I get real!...
There are times that I have thought that I was going to just die with pain. So many things that the little girl inside of me can look back at and become bitter and angry. It took years for me to reconcile in my heart the fact that I had an absent mother and an emotionally absent father. I grew up in a very poor neighborhood that I was ashamed of. I would always look at all my friends who seemed to have it all (nice house, car, family intact) and think, "what is wrong with me?"
But I see God's Sovereign hand in it all!
God placed sweet Godly people along my path. I don't even want to mention their names for fear that I would leave someone out! They know who they are! They are the ones that walked me through sorting out my past that was riddled with sin from others as well as my own sinful reactions to some deep wounds in my life. They are the ones that invited me into their homes and lavished me with great love that kept me coming back over and over again. They are the college roommates that encouraged me daily with their walk with the Lord and their hearts for honoring Him in their relationships with guys. They are the ones that invested heavily in my life to point me to Jesus. They are the ones that cheered me on when I graduated from college because they knew that I could do it and that even though I struggled through it...it didn't mean I was "less than." They are the ones that encouraged me that God had something special in store for me. They are the ones that walked through my dads death with me when I was 23 years old and reminded me daily that God would heal my wounds and use this as yet another stepping stone to becoming more like Him. They are the ones that encouraged me to stay faithful and not waver in my journey with the Lord and my pursuit for Holiness. They are the ones that mentored me in motherhood and being a godly wife. They are the ones that sat under my leadership (wow, humbling) as I mentored them and led them in Bible Study. They are the ones that walked through my moms death with me and reminded me that God had redeemed a sweet relationship that I didn't have when I was little and encouraged me that I did all that a loving daughter could do to end well with her. They are the ones that continue to pour wisdom, insight and love into my life as I walk along yet another tough road along my journey!
This is why I have such a passion for discipling young women. If God can take my life and make it beautiful through using the body of Christ, He can use me to turn another life around to pursue the Lord in ALL things!
GOD IS SOVEREIGN! He is not surprised!
In all the heartache and pain that I have gone through up to this point (and I only named a few) I am always reminded of God's character. I know that He is All-knowing, All-powerful and Ever-Present! I know that HE IS IN CONTROL! Therefore, I don't have to worry! I can just continue to pursue Him in His Word and allow His Truths to become the path that guides me!
It is HARD! It is PAINFUL! But one thing I know...I am confident of this...I shall see the goodness of the Lord!
To turn away from God only leads to more heartache and pain, but to press into Him brings sweet satisfaciton even in the midst of difficult circumstances!