December 22, 2009
This past year has been the most trying year of my life. I wrote this entry in my journal in August the night before my brother had brain surgery. I thought I might share it with someone, but never have until now. Maybe it is for someone out there who might need to read it. It's a bit long, but I couldn't make the point without giving the background first.
Things have not gone the way I planned this year. It started on New Year’s Day when Chris and I learned that we were going to be having a baby. We have always wanted to have more than one child, but we had not planned on our children being so close together. Coupled with the fact that we were unsure of where we would be 9 months later, it caught us off guard and left us grasping for how it would all work out. But, we settled in our hearts that God was aware of our needs and where we were in life and would take care of it all.
A few weeks later, we unexpectedly lost the baby. We were devastated. It has taken me months to come to a place where I can even talk about it openly. I felt like my heart was ripped out. So many questions, so few answers. It was a hurt deeper than anything I had ever experienced in my life, a hurt that only God could fix. Again I found myself looking to heaven and saying, “God, this is not what I had planned.”
A month later, the work we were doing in Budapest abruptly ended and that left us grasping at straws to try to discern where God wanted us to go and what He wanted us to do. Again, this was NOT what we had planned. "God what is going on?" I wondered.
Not long after, Chris’s grandmother was diagnosed with cancer for the third time and needed to begin chemotherapy. On top of all the other things we were dealing with it just seemed more than we could bear. This lady is a rock to our family, and it just didn’t seem right that she should have to struggle and fight so hard. This wasn’t in the plan either.
And finally, on August 5th, my birthday, my family learned that my brother James had a brain aneurysm and would need brain surgery to repair it. I did not plan to see my brother get sick. And even when he did, my plan was for him to have the surgery and get better; but, once again, things didn’t go the way I planned and it was his time to go.
Thank God I was able to have a great conversation with him about God’s forgiveness. I remember him saying to me that it didn’t seem right to turn to God now after all the things he had done wrong. I told him none of that mattered because God loved him and all he had was right now.
So the night after that conversation, but before my brother died, I went to my hotel room and wrote these words that I really felt God wanted me to share. I just haven’t been able to share them until now.
When things don’t go the way you plan, there are three things that are certain.
1. No matter what you’ve done…God forgives.
He doesn’t care when or how you turn to Him. He just wants you to give Him your heart.
2. No matter who you are…You're not promised tomorrow.
So how you live your life today matters because you don’t know how much time you
have. Don’t put important things off until later because later might not come.
3. No matter what you think…God is in control.
His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and his ways are higher than our ways. I may not understand His ways or why, but I know He is good and He is in control.
If you find yourself in need of forgiveness, find it today.
If you find yourself needing to change the way you’re living your life, change it today.
If you find yourself needing to trust His ways, trust Him today.
Hope someone might find this helpful in their journey or perhaps they can pass it along to someone who might find this encouraging. I know I sure needed to hear it again tonight.