Thursday, June 23, 2011

Life or Something like it….

My son has officially graduated from High School and we have been on a graduation party blitz for sure.  I’ve run into so many people that I don’t normally see and it has been nice to catch up with them. They ask me what my sons’ plans are for the future.  I proudly tell them he is going to WSU (Washington State University) in the fall.  They then say…Wow that is wonderful good for him, etc….and then the next question out of their mouths always is…..What are you going to do with yourself when he is gone?  I kinda stumble on that one.  And then I say the truth….Ummm, I don’t know.   It’s funny to see their reactions…some look at me sadly, some laugh at my frankness, and some look at me confidently like….I know you will be Ok.  And that is how I truly feel.  I will be Ok.  But life will definitely be different.  Time will tell and I have no choice but to trust God and see where He leads me in my life. 

The last few days I have been asked two very hard questions by two dear friends.  One asked me…Why do bad things happen to good people?  And the other friend asked….Why does life have to be so hard?  Those are two doosies of a question aren’t they?   Life….it is hard.  Life… is so not perfect.  Life……it can bring you to your knees at times.  But I’ve learned that is not such a bad place to be.

Tonight at a graduation party I went to, I talked to a dear friend I haven’t seen in awhile.  She is amazing and it was so nice catching up with her.  She has a son with a severe form of Muscular Dystrophy.  She was telling me how it is getting harder and harder for him to walk and they had to put ramps at their home because he will probably need a wheelchair soon.  With tears in her eyes she told me she KNOWS God will use everything her son is going through for good somehow and God has given her peace even though his condition is deteriorating.  All I could do is hug her through my teary eyes and agree.

I have another friend who’s college aged son has turned away from God.  He has decided he is an atheist.  This fact torments my friend.  Her worst fear is that he will die not knowing Jesus as his Lord and Savior.  I have another friend who’s husband has decided he’s not in love with her anymore after 20 some years of marriage.   She doesn’t know what to do.   Life is SO hard!  I could go on and on with more stories about dear friends truly hurting.  

And then you ask…. Why?  What’s the point of all this hurt and heartache?  And truly the only thing that popped up in my head when asked these two very hard questions is…. Everything that happens in our lives good and bad is to make us more like Christ.  He wants us to seek out His help in our lives.   
Unfortunately, if life was perfect and easy all the time we probably would have no need to go to God. (Although I wouldn’t mind testing this theory out for awhile. ha!) 

It says in 1 Peter 1:7  These trials come so that your faith, of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may be proven genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  In the New Century Version it says in verse 7... These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure.  God wants us to cling to him in hard times.  God is refining us.  God wants our faith to be pure. 

I know personally my relationship with God has always strengthened and grown through my hardships.  Those are the times I have clung to my Bible and prayed the most diligently.  I have learned God’s promises are true. 

Through the years I have known some really bad things happen to really great people and at the time it has made no sense.  But as time has gone by I have been able to see how God has used it for good in them.  My prayer is that God is doing that in me and in you too. 

Romans 15:13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

I don’t know that anyone can entirely answer those two questions.  Like I said, They are doosies but I know when Bad things happen and life get’s REALLY hard, God will always be there for you.  God says…. He will never leave us nor forsake us.  Seek him.  Be real with your friends and family and let them pray  and bare the burden with you.  We all are in this together friends. 

Hebrews 10:23-25
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching. 

So I know I did not really answer those tough questions but I am so thankful to know that God is in control of my life and no matter the hardship I face He will always be by my side.  Which is a great comfort to me….because life IS hard!  And in the end I want to be proven faithful…and my faith made pure.  He is by your side too.  Don’t be afraid of Life…God never promised us it would be easy.  He only promises we won’t go it alone. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Epiphany

So as you know my son is getting ready to graduate from High school.  We have one week to go and I have to say I am keeping it together pretty good so far!  Last night was Prom and in true Gig harbor style(the town I live in)  He took a yacht from our little town of Gig Harbor to the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle.  And when I say Yacht I am not kidding.  This boat is WAY nicer than the apartment we live in.

In the beginning prom started as quite a fiasco for my son.  He was going ask a really good girl friend to prom…and the day he was going to ask her someone else asked her 1st.  He was going to try again with another good friend and it happened again!  I was praying…Lord please send him the perfect person and the perfect situation for Prom and of course the Lord answered in a big way.  Not only did he get to go with an amazing girl and group of friends but he got to ride on a yacht called “The Epiphany” to the Prom.  Not a bad way to go as you can see!  Yes we all are officially jealous!  Oh and I forgot to mention it was the most beautiful day of the year so far.  God is so good! 

As I drove home tonight from my son’s youth group that was honoring all the seniors I was just thinking and reminiscing about all that God has done in our lives.  It has NOT been easy but I have to say it has been so worth the journey.  God has taken us and restored us in so many ways.  I am SO proud of the young man my son has become(having said that, at times I am not happy with  every decision he makes)  but I see how God has used the hardships in his life for good.  I see God’s blessings in our lives.  And for the most part I am so proud of him and the young man he has become.  And then I had my own Epiphany.

I know I have stated before that this has been such a hard year for me. (probably going on a year and a half now)  I’ll give you the time line.  So in March of 2010(I think, it’s kind of a blur)  I ended my engagement.  I know it was not meant to be and I know God was telling me not to marry this person but I have to say…even with all that it was a really hard decision.  I loved this person and his children very much!  They were in my life for over 5 years and even though I knew with everything in me it was not right…it was hard to let them all go.  Like I said…I loved them very much.  Not an easy thing to do.  Then in April my beloved Grandmother died suddenly.  She had a very full and great life but I have never had anyone close to me die and it was very hard to say goodbye.  That summer was really hard.  I was battling depression and the devil was working over time to make me feel worthless and unlovable.  In Oct. my Grandpa died…  I was always Grandpa’s girl and once again so hard to say goodbye.  Then in January someone I loved dearly and was housemates with for 31/2 years ended his life.   My son and I were both devastated.  We still are having a hard time with it. My sister lives in Christchurch New Zealand and they have had unbelievable amounts of eathquakes where they live.  They truly have been tramatized and it has been very upsetting for my whole family to have her and her husband and son go through all they have gone through.  Their house at times has been unlivable.  It is hard to see your family members so upset and hurting.  And then..just a couple of months ago one of my sons friends killed himself.  My son, Chance was quite close to this young man and it was extra tragic as he had two older brothers who did the same thing.  They killed themselves their senior year of high school.  Hard to even fathom isn’t it???  So you see it has been an unbelievably hard year.  So much loss, so much hardship, so much pain. 

Last night my friend messages me and she wanted to fix me up with someone.  He sounded really good on paper.  Christian, nice, goes to church, handsome, a certain age, etc.  And at first I was tempted to say…Absolutely!  Sounds great..set me up.  But I KNOW…God has told me to wait.  I truly feel as though God has asked me to wait on His timing and purpose….that there is someone I am supposed to be with but it is not the right time yet.  I have asked God to release me from this(because it makes me feel insecure and crazy at times.)  But God has made it clear to me I need to wait, that He has the ultimate plan and purpose and it is in His timing. 

And then tonight my Epiphany hit…through all the hardships…through my son graduating…..through everything the past year has  brought me I have had only one person to lean on….and that is God.  I’ve had no shoulder to cry on.  I’ve had no one to make it better for me.  I took no pills or had anyone that I would depend upon except the Lord himself.  I have looked to His word and to Him only.  I have grown like I never have before.  In the past I would look to whom ever I was in a relationship in to make it all better.  The only relationship I am in right now is with the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is my salvation, He is my rock, He is my anchor, He is who I trust in.   What a blessing!  To know I can have the hardest year of my life hands down and God will see me through.  I have leaned on God’s word.  I have spent countless hours with him.  I have a life group from my church that I learn and grow with through God’s word.   So I have learned no matter what, even if I wait a lifetime for the person God has for me, I know God will always be there for me.  He will see me through. 

If you are going through a hard time or hardship I want you to know God is here for you.  Your spouse or friend or family member or boy friend can’t make it right.  But our heavenly Father can.  He loves you.  He want to be your everything.  People let us down…but God he is always faithful.  He is always there.  He will never let go.  Learn to depend on Him.  GO TO HIS WORD!  Just start reading.  God will bring you to where you need to be.  Keep the faith.

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 

Sometimes it is REALLY hard to see.  But faith and hope are what God asks of us…and what He gives to us when we come to him.  Give your concerns to God.  Let Him guide your life.  You won’t be sorry I promise.  Keep the faith!  Lean on God!