Psalm 139:23

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of the everlasting."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Out of the Ashes

I do not really even know how to start this blog. My faith has changed so dramatically in the last eight months of my life, but specifically in the last two months. Burying Lexis was the hardest thing I have ever faced in my life. I have questioned God more then I ever have before! Some days all I can see is the pain. I have been frustrated, angry, confused, and completely heartbroken. But as I look around at the ashes, the destruction, the broken remains of our lives, I realize more then ever before that God is at work even in the midst of an unbearable tragedy.

When we were told that Lexi would need a liver transplant I was convinced that we had hit rock bottom, but when she took her last breath the bottom gave way. Now we are in an unbearable pit! Finding myself in a pit I cannot even begin to climb out of on my own I have had to learn to cling to the Lord like never before and lean not on my own understanding. Because of this I have began to view God in a whole new way. About a week ago I was bawling my eyes out about how much I miss my precious baby girl and asking the Lord to comfort me. The story of Job came to mind and I began to view that story in a whole new way...

Growing up in the church, I have often clung to what a favorite teacher of mine calls "bumper sticker theology." When life would get hard I would try to hold onto little sayings like "When God takes something from your grasp He is not punishing you, but simply opening your hands to receive something better." I no longer buy into that line... not even a little. God uses all things for the good of those who love Him, but He does not always give you something better. All my life I have read the story of Job and thought "wow! Job is so faithful & because he is faithful God gives him everything he lost plus some." But that is not entirely true. Job lost his children & God does not return them. There is no greater pain then burying a child. Therefore Job didn't receive anything better, in face he was left with a lot less. Even so, he gets up & praises the Lord for His faithfulness. Maybe the lessons we are supposed to take from Job are not that God merely desires to bless us when we go through trials, but rather....
  1.) It's okay to question God. Just be prepared to fall on your face when He answers you.

  2.) The Faith Trials we face are NOT about us at all, but rather about God & what He can accomplish     through that trial.

Does that make God any less good or any less powerful? Absolutely not! But it does make Him in absolute control. As Christians we are selling each other the wrong answers to the problems & that is why it is so easy to blame God when bad things happen. I often convince myself that if I pray hard enough I am going to change God's mind, but my prayers will never change His mind; they will change mine. God is not a genie and prayer is not my way of rubbing the magic bottle and being granted my wish. Where did I get so messed up that I really believed the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow should change His mind based on my human mind? I do not understand His ways! Therefore I cannot make the decisions concerning the future.

I have been taught to be ok with going through the crap, because God is going to bless me for it. But that is where I screw it up. When did my relationship with Him become about me? My relationship with Him should not be about how He is going to bless me. He gives & takes away because He is God...He is in complete control. I cannot even take a breath without Him giving it to me & yet I wanta tell Him how to do it? That is insane! He allows us to face trials because it brings Him glory. He never promises to replace something He has taken away. He simply promises that I have an eternal home with Him where there is no more pain & no more loss. Until then, I will experience trials of many kinds for His glory....not so that He can reward me & replace what I lost. We were made to worship Him! His grand design is not to give me everything I want, but rather for me to glorify Him with my life until I get to be in my permanent home with my Father for an eternity.

Tonight once again I am going to choose to give Him my pain & heartache & allow Him to heal. I will choose to lean on His understanding rather then my own until I hold my precious baby girl again.

Where were you God? I know you had to be right there. I know you never left her side. Only you know everything that happened in that final moment. Only you know what you whispered to her heart. Only you know how thankful I will always be that you gave me Lexi, even if on this side of eternity it seems too short. Thank you for your faithfulness & holding  your child in the midst of an unbelievably painful storm! 

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