Life is a mixture of joy and sorrow. Sometimes they come at different times but so often we aren’t given the space to feel first one than the other–we’re grieving loss and enjoying beauty all at once. We’re rich; we’re impoverished.
I’ve felt this intertwining of deep emotions so much the last few years. There have been so many answered prayers, so many touches from God, so many times when His provision became unmistakable. We’ve also lived with financial insecurity like never before, wrestled the demons of distrust and depression and faced significant health problems. That is only a part of all that was hard, and there were days I didn’t know if I could keep living–or if I wanted to.
These trials have the power to crush and break us. They could turn us into dark, bitter people who grumble constantly about life. They can also push us in the most healing, redemptive ways when God’s grace is poured over the shattering of our hearts–when we recognize His goodness even in the middle of pain.
Yet, in a period of darkness, God has ministered to me in ways I can’t even describe with words. It is only His grace that gave me enough courage to keep walking because everything inside of me was done.
Little by little I’ve been learning that God is a safe place to run to. Of course I’ve been taught this my whole life. I’ve known that He is good. But learning to KNOW this truth from deep inside my heart has given me a deep peace to hold me during the hard times we face.
In our time here in Atlanta I’ve felt a desperate need to lean on Him like never before. It is because of this that I see God’s goodness in the pain. I look back and can list one thing after another that has made life so hard, but because of the incredible grace of God I could can see the beauty in those trials.
What has surprised me most is the way phrases I’ve heard so often [and passed off as somewhat cliche] turned into keen reality. Statements like,
We feel your prayers.
God is providing for us.
We appreciate your support.
He is enough.
I knew they were true, but I’ve never before felt them so clearly. Now instead of seeming glib or cliché they seem like a pathetic effort in expressing immense gratitude. Sometimes there simply are not enough words to describe the depths of our feelings. I find myself saying these phrases to people and wonder if they could have any idea how much I mean those words.
I want to tell you some of the stories because God has answered so many prayers of mine, and I want Him to receive more of the glory He deserves.
And, yes, I’m totally aware that I often start a series, but only write the first one or two parts. This life changing belief, though, can’t be kept to myself, and I do hope I can tell you some of the ways God has shown me that He sees and cares about me. That He is good. That He is safe. That He is not silent.
Mostly I really want Him to receive glory. He deserves praise and honor. I also hope the new life He’s bringing to me can encourage you to trust Him more, too.