Sunday, September 12, 2010

No Matter What

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. " - Jeremiah 29:11-13

God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." - Hebrews 13:

In the weeks after our accident, I received two Facebook messages that I read so many times I have them memorized.  They have been on my heart these last few weeks - as we have gotten into the routine of our new life, and see the joy and grace that surrounds us.

The first was from a friend of Chris' who lost her first husband while they were in college.  She sent me the two verses above, and this message:

We serve a God of preparation. He has certainly prepared you for this, although I know you probably feel so ill equipped. He has orchestrated so much to help you through. Take note of all the ways you see God's power in this. You'll be amazed! And one day you'll have an incredible story to tell of how God loves You so much and carried you. It will be an important testimony for your daughter and critical to keep you from doubting your faith.

I remember being in the hospital, and my sister read this message out loud to me.  As tears streamed down my face I vowed to do exactly as she said – and I have.

God’s work in my life has been incredible. He is everywhere.  In the hard moments, in the beautiful moments, the simple and the complex. Each day, I see Him more clearly.
Yesterday, Colleen and I enjoyed one of our first completely free days with nothing to do. We slept late,went to Target, ate lunch at Chick-Fil-A, swam at the pool, and eventually ended up at Half Price Books.  As we walked out, Colleen said, "Look!  Look at the blue sky!  God made the sky.  God made me. God made Momma.  And God loves me very much."  I whispered a little thanks right there in the parking lot.  Even with everything that has happened - she is healthy, happy, and thankful.  Our lives are made of little moments - and I am so blessed that my eyes are open to them like they  never have been before. 

The second message was from someone who has known me since I was a heavy, awkward, frizzy haired 4th grader, and who has been a blessing to me since then.  It said:

I believe in miracles. I believe that God’s love is beyond comprehension and beyond measure. I believe that God is intimately involved in the workings of our lives, all of our lives. What I don’t understand is the whys. Why things happen the way they do. If God wants the best for us, how do we reconcile the bad? Is God stingy with His miracles? Does He follow some mysterious selection process, rewarding the few, punishing the others? This idea contradicts all I know of God. While life, even life with God, is never without pain, I do not believe that God keeps some kind of ultimate score card, or that the truly horrible, unthinkable things that happen to us are caused by God.

As I have struggled though the darkest moments of my own life, and worried over these things, the only conclusion I have been able to draw is that it doesn’t matter. Even if we can know the heart of God (full of love), it is impossible to fully know or understand the WAY of God. And ultimately, it doesn’t matter if we get it or not. God does. The greatest freedom I have found as a person of faith is the freedom from figuring all of it out. To finally say, “I don’t know, I can’t ever really know, but God, I trust You anyway” was the thing that, in those darkest moments, made it possible to continue putting one foot in front of the other.

This message, and  the truth behind it, has been the cornerstone of my faith over the last eight months.  That the “whys” are not important – that it is not our job to understand because we will never understand – and what we have to do is just let go.  Let go and let God lead.  Open our hearts , and trust that whatever happens will happen in His perfect timing.  

Each day, I feel more peaceful .  If I know anything, it is that I can’t plan my life.  It is hard.  Extremely hard.  I want to plan.  I want to know what is next.  But every time I feel anxiety creeping in, I try make myself stop.  Breathe.  Put one foot in front of the other and let myself be led.

Even though I have no idea what is next for us,  I know that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.   That we are meant to be in this place in this time, and that God has beautiful plans for our lives. And that we will continue to trust his plan for us – no matter what.

I’m running back to Your promises one more time
Lord that’s all I can hold on to
I gotta say this has taken me by surprise, but nothing surprises You
Before a heartache can ever touch my life
It has to go through Your hands
And even though I keep asking why, I keep asking why

No matter what, I’m gonna love You
No matter what I’m gonna need You
I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain
But if not, if not, I’ll trust You no matter what, no matter what

When I’m stuck in this nothingness by myself
I’m just sitting in silence
There’s no way I can make it without Your help, I won’t even try it
I know You have Your reasons for everything so I will keep believing
Whatever I might be feeling, God You are my hope
And You’ll be my strength

Anything I don’t have You can give it to me, but it’s ok if You don’t
I’m not here for those things
The touch of Your love is enough on its own

No matter what I still love You and I’m gonna need You
No matter what I’m gonna love You, no matter what I’m gonna need You
I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain
But if not, if not, I’ll trust You

I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain
But if not, but if not, I’ll trust You

No matter what
No matter no matter what
No matter no matter what
No matter no matter what

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