Tag Archives: decisions

Witness Protection Program

Close your eyes and think of the most unthinkable thing you’ve been through.  Remember it.  Feel it.  Got it?

Tell me why it happened.  Can you? You never saw it coming, right? Never in a million years would you have even conceived the thought that it may happen…but it did.

I know from experience God can use anything – ANYTHING for His good.  After all, if we’ve professed our loyalty to Him it’s ultimately His goodness and character that are at stake – not just our reputations, feelings or plans.  Ultimately it’s His love for His child that you and those around you will see.  It isn’t always pretty or comfortable and certainly it’s not what we expect as His beloved!  We expect wonderful, good things – we’ve somehow convinced ourselves bad things shouldn’t happen to us because we’re His!

What if we changed our focus to try to see through the pain in a godly perspective?  What if what we’ve been through or going through has very little to do with us?  What if God CHOSE you to suffer just so you can show the lost ones around you that no matter what He’s good? He’s faithful?  He won’t abandon us when we’ve messed up, fallen short or been devastated by events we had nothing to do with?  What if there’s someone in our lives who needs to see someone they love and admire handle things with faith in Him when everything else has been torn away?

We’re called to be witnesses – not just to the corners of the world but right in our neighborhoods!  That’s our Jerusalem; that’s as real as it gets.  When we dare to swallow our pride, to stop worrying how we’ll be thought of or talked about and live out our faith, God will bless us. He’s the ultimate witness protection program – you’re being used to show Him and share Him with someone else.  If He allowed it to happen, how can there not be good come from it?

Maybe we’ve been selected to suffer for His glory. If so, we can believe He will protect, comfort and heal us all the way through it.  Do we dare trust Him that much?

 

“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He.” Isaiah 43:10

The Corner of “Can” and “Will”.

I was walking our dog this morning and I kept looking back to see the sunrise. That’s one of my favorite things, to watch the sun rise. I was walking away from it but that didn’t change the fact that I knew it was coming. Even though I didn’t have to look at it to believe the sun was coming up, I wanted to see it. I knew it was happening because everything was becoming brighter and lighter. So at the moment of “peak” I stopped on the corner to watch it in hopes of capturing a perfect picture. I had a choice: I could keep walking and miss it or I could stop for a minute and catch it. Either way, the sun was DEFINITELY coming up. My decision either way wouldn’t stop it but my decision would determine whether I got to enjoy the blessing of seeing what I believed would happen, happen. 20141001_073148 I am SO glad I stopped.

That’s the way FAITH is with our lives. We find ourselves often in situations we can do absolutely nothing about. Things are definitely NOT easy. I mean at this age, did you plan for your life to be like it is? I sure didn’t! So we find ourselves at a crossroads…a “corner”, if you will. We can become depressed, despondent and disappointed and step into that dark place of believing we’ve been let down, forgotten, life isn’t fair…and survive it thinking it will never get better. That attitude may be justified but it grows anger, bitterness, resentfulness and distance from God. If He’s good and controls everything, and loves us, why does He allow such pain and despair? Here’s a real theological answer for you:  I DON’T know. I DO know this world is not heaven, He IS in control and He affords the opportunity through WHATEVER the circumstance to show us Himself.

So here we are. We know He CAN do whatever we need Him to do…but do we believe He WILL? Do you turn the corner in your heart to go closer to Him or in your time of great heartache choose to walk the other way?

This I do know: He wastes nothing, not even the horrible. Even then, I have found Him to be the One source of comfort, caring, mercy and love. I choose NO MATTER WHAT to turn to Him because of His track record! I look back sometimes to see what He has seen me through, and choose not to dwell on the bad things, the unfair things, but I choose to dwell on HIS faithfulness. He could have left me in the mud and mayhem but He didn’t. After calling to Him and depending on Him more times than I can count, He could have said “sorry little girl, you’ve exceeded the amount of grace I am willing to give” because believe me…I have needed a LOT. Not only that, I choose to believe what He says daily and believe His word applies to me personally!

If you find yourself standing on that corner of decision, I pray you’ll choose stepping in the CAN on your way to HE WILL. No matter what you see or feel choose to believe. That opens the door and allows Him the freedom to come in and show you what you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Only believe.

The Answer is STILL Yes.

Yesterday I was going through my son’s medical documentation gathering what we’ll need for an upcoming reassessment. I had a good but painful dose of reality remembering what it was like right after he was born and as he has grown up. Even though I live with him daily and have written our story the details of that very dark and scary time had escaped me. I read through several assessments done on him through the years and needless to say, it hurt. I got sad, mad, and astounded when I read on paper what the teachers, counselors, doctors and other specialists said was going to happen while contrasting their words to what I have seen the past 31 years.

For a moment, I was crushed. I bought into what I saw on paper. To say the documentation filled me with despair is an understatement. I started feeling like I had done nothing right pertaining to decisions regarding him. I felt I had pushed too hard and had unrealistic expectations. Regret and sadness rushed over me like standing beneath a waterfall. I felt like a failure as a mother.

As I mulled over the documentation in my mind I considered how well Matt has done all these years and the contradiction was huge. The documents were accurate. Each assessment although years apart done at three different facilities were almost identical so I’m sure they were right. The person, however, and his life didn’t match the paper! After I got my emotions in check, I remembered one very important thing not included in the mounds of paperwork: THE GOD FACTOR!

As we walk our paths in life, so many things happen, good and bad. There’s so much tragedy and pain. We spend so much time trying to figure out why it happens, what could have been done differently and if that weren’t time-consuming enough, we try to undue it or pretend it never happened! It is what it is and no amount of want to can change it.

I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened to him had we not given our lives to Christ. The picture painted by EVERY doctor and every evaluator was a dismal one (and I have the paperwork to prove it). God really, really has been good to us.

I was confronted by a very big reality. It was bad and bleak; depressing and sad. But then I remembered the wonderful things – the seemingly impossible things I have seen through Matt’s life that just don’t line up with what’s on paper. I have “double vision” in a very real way. I have to deal with reality while remembering what I have physically seen.
I remembered Jeremiah 33:3 – if I call to God He will show me great and mighty things. He’s surely done that! Romans 8:28-all things work together for the good (all means ALL); the whole of my son’s life thus far displays God’s goodness and compassion for both of us and thus far, I have seen lots of God through what he’s gone through. I could go on and on but you get where I’m going with this.

I realized that like all that medical and psychological paperwork, the Bible is just words on a page to some but reality and truth to me and in both instances, I have to choose to believe and live according to it and like I believe it. Reading it can alter your life but living it changes everything starting with our perspective.

After all that reality on paper yesterday, I’ve determined that God’s yes is still yes. It is a stark contrast to reality but His promises are still true and not only that, He is true to His promises. All of them, regardless of what reality looks like. Do we dare have the courage to believe them – that’s the life-changing question.

After all we’ve been through I must say YES. The answer, after all this…or maybe because of all this is STILL yes. Lord I believe. I trust. I still say yes.

The Occupation of Preoccupation

I’m having one of those days. I received my usual unconventional wake-up call (Baxter the cat scratching on my head to wake me up earlier than I intended) and rolled out and got my day started. With my first cup of coffee, I thought of everything that needs to be done today and that’s when the problem started. I was tired already. About 30 minutes into my stupor – the state of mind I find myself in when I try developing a plan and realize it will never work…that stuck place…then it hit me. I’ve started wrongly. The cat…the day’s stuff…the overwhelming feeling of knowing I can’t do this by myself. I was totally occupied by being preoccupied. I have so much to do today I don’t know where to start. So, I just sit there, thinking about it. Stuck. Preoccupied with what is to occupy this day.

I was reminded, once again, that none of this is doable (for me) without God’s strength, His grace and mercy. He provides what I need to get through the day. When left to myself to take care of it, none of it gets done. No wonder people (including me) at times) are in a turbulent desperate state when time with Him isn’t included…when we don’t turn to Him for help. Can you relate?

Life sometimes devours our joy if we let it. When I realized what was going on and where I went wrong, a decision had to be made. Do I continue on in this state of mind or, regardless of the load of responsibility, do I stop and go to Him?  You’d think after all these years and having been in this same preoccupied/over-occupied spot I would learn.

That’s the point of this blog this morning…realizing that my strength…even my want to, to be strong is in Him. He’s my source; my resource! All these diversions, I believe are designed to make me not give Him a thought, much less clear my mind and spend time with Him. I see clearly that even my will to fight the urge to give up today is totally in and on Him.

I think a do-over is in order. I think I’ll push the restart button and cast – chunk – purposefully THROW all my cares to Him because He cares. I’ll sit with Him and get into His word. I’ll look up all the verses about anxiety and see what He says. I can’t do today any other way. I think I’ll occupy myself with the One who knows me best and loves me most. I hope you will too!