Crawling through the long, dense valley made me question not only my faith, but my God. I was striving to live by the Word of God and raise my children to do the same. I wasn’t a perfect follower of Christ, as none of us are. Yet, I was trying. Looking back prior to this valley, I lived life with “rose-colored glasses.”
But then sometimes life happens, doesn’t it? Somewhere in my mixed up theology, I thought good Christian = perfect life. After all, Jeremiah 29:11 says, His plans are “good and not evil, to give me a future and a hope.” So, when my future wasn’t all good and some days seemed flat out evil and hopeless…I questioned. (I heard some of you gasp.) In fact, there were weeks of time where I sat on my “pity-potty.” You know the one! That imaginary place you go to when you or those you love have been wronged. Where you feel sorry for yourself and could care less about other people. In that place, where your thoughts are all focused on “little old you.”
Starting in 2004, my family and I journeyed through a prolonged period of painful life experiences. It started with my father being diagnosed with lung cancer, six months later I had a hysterectomy, then two months after that my mother died unexpected. The stress and troublesome times didn’t let up, my father fought lung cancer, yet lost his battle a year after my Mom passed. Six months after my dad’s death, we flew our seventeen year old daughter 1108 miles from home to a 60 day treatment facility for an eating disorder.
If those times weren’t difficult enough, our daughter then journeyed through an unplanned pregnancy, my youngest son’s best friend was killed in an accident and our family had to fight a legal battle which totally rocked my faith.
I have already admitted to sitting on that pity potty. I am not talking about the grief stages one has to go through after a death. I am referring to beyond the normal grief process. Those “poor me” days where I thought no one had it as bad as I did. Believe me there were weeks I lived there! There were days, I screamed and cussed. (I heard another gasp!) I questioned God, times when I couldn’t pray. On other days, I simply wanted to run away. “Were all those years of faithfulness in vain? Had I done something which was so wrong, that some of these demanding times were because of my own sin?”
“This wasn’t how life is suppose to be?” Or so I thought. After deep sessions of soul searching, prayers to my Abba Father and getting in the word of God. I have drawn some conclusions. My life isn’t any different than most.
Your trials might be different than mine. But we all go through trials. God didn’t promise us a life free of heartache and pain. However, He does promise to walk beside us, show us the way and love us unconditionally. Life can be excruciatingly painful and beautiful at the same time.
As I look out over the landscape of those desolate years, I no longer see years where my faith was wasted. I recognize prior to the deep valley, He was preparing me for the days I would have to crawl through the ravine. He had already built in me what I would need during those times I couldn’t pray, when I questioned and quite frankly; when I considered walking away!
Today, I am on the other side of the gorge. Not yet on top of the mountain….but eagerly climbing towards it. Today, I am a stronger, more settled soul. I realize this life isn’t without pain and suffering. I acknowledge that our Abba Father carries us through during those difficult days. (Even when we can’t feel Him or won’t recognize Him.)
I suspect some of you reading this are in the middle of the valley. You are not only questioning your faith, but our God. Let me share some hope with you, which I received during a sermon given by Pastor Clint Sprague at Life Church in Olathe, Ks. Based off of John 10:10, Pastor Sprague stated that we need to have 10/10 Vision. When we go through difficult times we need to ask ourselves “what would Jesus see in this situation.” 10/10 Vision gives us the ability to see beyond what is…to what could be! “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy: I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) Whoot! Whoot!!
Today as each of you prepare for the Holidays ahead, whatever your situation in life is. My prayer is that you are able to have life and live it to the FULL! ~b
If you came here from the Greater Bible Study, today starts our Christmas Gift Giving..
be sure to get your name in the drawing for this Jeweled Mosaic Heart.
1st Day of Christmas Gift Giving
Today, my gift to one of you is this Jeweled Mosaic heart.
Mosaic hearts have become a symbol of what God has done in my heart.
This particular piece has charms which say wisdom, love, grace, faith and courage.
So, how do you get entered into the drawing? It is really simple.
For each of the following, you will get one chance:
•Enter your email address in the box on the right hand side of the website to receive updates for my website (Can only do this once)
•Share todays post and drawing information on Facebook
•Tweet todays blog post and drawing information and tag me @BridgitSmith
•Leave a comment in the section below
For two chances, at once:
•Introduce a friend, have her sign up to receive updates. Then in the comment section tell me which friend signed up because o