Ok, so I was sitting in church a few hours ago and it occurred to me... that I didn't do God justice in thanking Him for the blessings of my life. I mean, yes, I have said "thank you" many times... but I don't know that I've ever TRULY explained my thoughts on His gifts to us.
When we moved here two years ago, Kimmie (my S-I-L) had cancer. She was pretty far along and we didn't know what would happen. I asked myself not too long after moving here, if she died... would my faith falter? Would I question Him and His ways? After some thought, some prayer and some positive comments from doctors... I KNEW He was God and that He would prevail. Whether or not Kimmie lived didn't change His authority in my life. But it didn't stop me from begging Him to spare her. He allowed her to live and now 3 kids still have their mom and we have a sister/daughter. Whew.
Last year when I got pregnant... one of my best friends had just lost a baby. I didn't live near her in Chicago anymore... I couldn't REALLY be there.. but man I prayed for her like a mad woman. Then...I was preggers. THEN, she was AGAIN. It was fun, it was scary... and then it occurred to me. What if she lost another baby? How would that effect her, would it cause her to stumble in her faith? I didn't think it would... I KNOW her and I KNOW her heart but stuff like this can kill you. BUT, what about ME? What if I lost the baby? Mind you, I hated being pregnant but I did NOT hate my little guy. I started wanting him, or I wanted the idea of him and knew that if I had a miscarriage I would be effected, I would be ruined...for a while. My step-sister lost 2 babies, twins... and it was the most painful moments of her life. Could I have survive? It's weird what your brain does in moments like these.. the bottom line was, if I lost Tristan, it didn't make God any less of the Provider of Life.. it didn't take any of His power away, it just made my life different. What if God took Tristan or Holt today... what if right now was the last breath that either of them took...what then?
Then, there was our house in Chicago... this has been a 2 year nightmare. It has been a burden financially, and it has put tremendous strain on my marriage at times. If my house didn't sell, would I still have faith? Could I still say God provides every NEED in our lives? A few times, I stumbled with this one. The day my perfect credit went down the tubes, the day our buyer walked away AGAIN... even the days that we lost our renters and couldn't find anyone else to rent our house... it was a HUGE burden and I had to question myself over and over. I found out we lost our buyer when I was in the hospital, the day before we were going home with Mr. T... and I remember holding onto Holt with all of my might and crying.. "NOT AGAIN!" and Holt saying to me... "WHATEVER comes of this... God has blessed us and sometimes you just have to live out the consequences of your actions. We will be ok, somehow..." After some MORE crying.... I agreed. I was sad, but I still knew that God loved me more than anything, He was still the Owner of all things but He gave us free will long ago... and the devil reigns over this earth and until He returns... this is how it goes.
So, why do I say all of this today? Because... because I think it is CRUCIAL in times of blessing to be VERY clear that if God didn't do ONE thing for us, not one.... He would be right. He would be fair, he would be just, He would be Holy and Righteous...
See, bad things happen to good people all the time. I was sick last year, I had some crazy stuff going on with my blood and all the doctors could say is "hmmmm, we have no idea what is wrong with your blood" (Gee, thanks!) My friends Lisa and Jenny can't get pregnant and they are SO sad because of it. My friend Joelle is sick EVERY DAY of her life.. and I mean SICK - in the hospital and feeling like she can't make it another day. My friend Abby-Jill died from cancer all over her body and she served God with all she had. One of my best friends is a heroin addict and has been clean but struggles DAILY with making the choice not to use. I have cancer in my family, my dad was robbed recently, and my mom has had to endured heartache that I would never wish on my worst enemy. Oh and did I mention that 4 of my family members have been or are about to be laid off from work? Yeah... THAT sucks.
So I am blessed, I have been blessed in ways too many to number. we are almost out of debt TOTALLY out of debt, I have a very healthy and happy son, I have a phenomenal marriage that I wouldn't trade for the world. I have a great job, great friends and great family. BUT, if all of that faded away...would I be like Job and just take it? Would I still praise God for who He is not what He has done? Would I? Would you? I hope so but I don't know. I don't take that question lightly and I challenge myself with it all the time.
So - my point in all of this is... I have had some VERY painful, VERY hard things in my life and I'm sure you have too. I have had a few things that almost killed me. Are you sad? Lonely? Broke? Scared? Tired? Physically ill? and so on and so on... are you? because I have been there and I may have had it worse or I may not have had it as bad...it's all relative... BUT would I still praise Him regardless. Most of the time YES...but some of the times, if I'm honest and I think back... I wondered where He was. I wondered if He saw me and if He heard my cries. He did... and I know more than I know anything else in my life that He feels our pain, He hates it and He NEVER, EVER leaves us... BUT He will allow it into our life. The Bible says so. Period.
Holt and I have a great responsibility going forward. He has trusted us with "much" now what will we do with it? Watch and see and shame on us if we don't do our life HIS way. Because we have the choice of saying "yes" to what He has called us to OR, He'll go find someone else that is willing and we will have wasted a huge blessing in our lives.
So, let me just be clear... whether He says "Yes", "No" OR "Not Yet" - He is always right, always fair, always just and ALWAYS on the throne! Lord thank you for all of the GREAT in my life and thank you for the pain, and the loneliness and the loss because without it I wouldn't know You the way I know You now. Amen.
It's Sunday... what did you expect? :O)