"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day." ~ Abraham Lincoln
When things in my life fell apart several years ago, I remember desperately clinging to Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
That verse slammed into my brain just as things started to unravel and it stayed there from that point on. Any time I started to panic (and oh, there were many of those moments), it would flash across my brain like a neon sign in Times Square. Any time I felt like I was drowning under the weight of uncertainty, of doubt, of sadness, of frustration, of fear...it was there.
And even though I know, on an intellectual level, that God is working things for my good, I am constantly amazed - particularly lately, but also in retrospect - how God gives me exactly what I need, exactly when I need it.
I don't know why I ever doubt Him on this, but I do. Obviously I do because, if I didn't, I wouldn't be amazed each time He comes through for me. And yet He does. Every. Single. Time. These past few weeks and months have been one giant, constant reminder that He always does. And I'm reveling in how grateful I am. I am doing my best to commit this feeling to memory so that, if I ever doubt again (and I'm sure I will - I'm human), I can recall this feeling right now and reconnect with that faith.
My pastor just wrapped up a 3-week series on the storms in our lives - how we know they're going to come, how to survive them, and finally how to heal from them. He used 2Cor4:6-10 as the key scripture:
He talked about how the storms in life move on, but often leave us devastated and in the dark; how restarting our hearts is essential; that on our healing journey getting up and and heading toward wholeness is the goal; that we all need to step out of darkness and into the light of God's grace.
He also pointed out that healing = wholeness but none of that equals a cure, per se. God doesn't always cure us, but He definitely makes us whole. Being cured usually means that things have basically been restored to their former state of 'normal'. You and I both know that, when bad (or good) things happen, you never go back to the way it used to be. It's not possible. And, really, it's not desirable. You've changed. You've learned (hopefully).
There is no going back.
I have no desire to go back. Oh, sure, there are parts of my life that I miss - people that I miss. There was an innocence that I miss. But now that I am on the other side of it and I'm working toward whatever it is that God is going to have me do next, things are so much richer. I've shed so much of the chaff of my life. So much has been winnowed away and I'm finding that I'm left with the things that truly matter to me: my family, my close circle of friends, my faith, and this burning desire to live out God's top two commandments:
1. Love the Lord, your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind
2. Love your neighbor as yourself
There is a richness to my life now that was never there before. Not that my life was bland - not by any stretch. But my perspective is different.
I am different. My life is different. And I am grateful for that.