Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tough times and trusting God

I have really been contemplating a couple of different Scripture passages lately.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 is one that has just been right in the front of my thoughts lately. The other night I was having a terrible time. I was feeling extremely overwhelmed with being a single parent, being alone to deal with these parenting issues that are cropping up, dealing with not having signed up to be a single parent, God's plan in all of this, etc., etc., etc. I was so overcome with all of these thoughts and different emotions that I honestly didn't know what to do.

I began to write in my journal. I read over what I had written. I had written a question. I will often do that when writing in my journal. I write the questions that are plaguing me and often these are the unanswerable questions. My question was, "Is it truly necessary to go through this dark and lonely place?" Almost immediately Psalm 23 came to mind. I opened my Bible to make certain I got the wording right. I wrote the Psalm out putting my name in the appropriate places and prayed the verses as a prayer. I moved onto the serenity prayer and did the same thing. Next came the Lord's Prayer, the Prayer of Jabez, and finally I ended with Jeremiah 29:11. As I was reading and writing, I went on reading through verse 13.

I claimed Jeremiah 29:11 when Keith was initially diagnosed with the colon cancer almost 6 1/2 years ago. I remember being so stunned that cancer was happening to my family again after everything we had been through with Nick. It just seemed to be impossible for that kind of devastation to wreck havoc on our family once again. A good friend of ours was talking with me one evening, checking on us, and he gave me that verse. Then through the years Jeremiah 29:11 has continued to find a place in my heart and my life. The verse has been my life line at times. I would cling to the promises from God that are in that verse. Those promises were sometimes the only thing that I felt I could cling to.

The other night, when I continued reading, verses 12 and 13 just captivated me. Verses 12-13: "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." When I wrote out all three verses and put my name in the appropriate places, I was so completely filled with a sense of peace. I feel like I am completely at a loss to put into words what I felt in my heart and my soul when I prayed these verses as well.

How amazing is our God! He is truly The Comforter. I have seen first hand how God can work within you if you let him. My heart has been so completely broken because of Keith's death. What good could possibly come from taking him when his teenage son, preteen daughter, and stressed out wife need him now more than ever? Did we not pray hard enough, sincerely enough? What was God thinking? That's just a sample of the thoughts that have plagued me for months. Finally, I don't care that the questions are largely going unanswered. I can accept that God does indeed have a plan for me. A plan that is to prosper me and not to harm me. I know he listens to me. I know that he is there for me when I seek him with all of my heart. I have found the answers to my questions. The questions are answered in God's time and in his way, because he knows what the bigger picture is. I don't. I can only see what is right here around me. I order for me to seek God with all of my heart, I had to give him the broken pieces. I had to trust him to take care of them. I had to trust God to heal my broken heart. I have been praying for so many months asking God to heal my heart. I finally began to feel that my heart was healing a few weeks ago. Now, I am beginning to truly see it.

My newly healing heart is still tender. I did not expect to experience more grief, although it is different than what I have dealt with since Keith's death. I am experiencing other emotions that I wish I didn't have to feel. These Scripture passages have helped me to release all of it to God. I can trust God to heal even the deepest, most painful parts of my heart.

Am I afraid of what the future holds? To be perfectly honest, yes, I am. I have experienced such an extended period of difficult times that fear of the future seems obvious. I am afraid that the next 14 years will be as bad or worse than the past 14 years. When I read and really dwell on Jeremiah 29:11-13 and the other Scriptures I mentioned, I don't have to be afraid. God has a plan for my life. I just have to trust him with it.

That's where I'm leaving it tonight. It's time for me to call it a night and try to get some sleep.

Until next time, I will remain...

In His Grip!


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