I wish I could find the snapshot. I can picture it vividly in my mind. My mom snapped it of me and my best girlfriends playing our favorite game of "dress up" which was not "school", or "house" (though those were fun), but the ultimate little girl's dream..."wedding".
After getting out the dress up clothes and bickering about who was going to get to be the "bride", we would go in search of the "lucky" (aka suckered) guy who got to be the groom. This day it would be my friend's little brother Timmy Towner. We would promise him a rousing game of tag afterward if he would simply play the part. This is the beginning of my learning that boys could be easily duped lol.
That photograph captured glowing smiles and high hopes for the future. Just like the silk multi-colored tulips I held in my hand as the bride, I had already started making my plans for the future. My future was in my hands, after all, wasn't it? Or so I thougt.
That notion stayed with me for a long time. Go to school. Get good grades. Go to college. Get a good job. Marry Prince Charming. Have children and live happily ever after. That was the plan...sound familiar?
Then life happened and I started to learn that it wasn't exactly the bowl of cherries I thought it was going to be. Oh there were great parts...good friends, good times, the gift of laughter, friendship, fellowship, and the beginning of my faith. These, I had written into "my" plan.
The parts I know I wouldn't have written in were experiencing infidelity, then reconciliation, then more infidelity in my marriage; followed by a long, drawn out, painful divorce. (Aren't divorce and painful synonymous?) My dream of growing old with my husband was shattered.
I know I wouldn't have written in the scare of the big "C". No, that wasn't planned. Nor was my visit to the emergency room of the psych hospital when I was so low and depressed I considered taking my own life. No, I hadn't written that in. The pre-diagnosis and treatment episodes with an anxiety disorder wouldn't have made the editing cut either. Watching my youngest go down a prodigal path would have been cropped film on the cutting room floor.
The glowing bride holding the dusty silk tulips would never have envisioned this.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 5b)
"Hear , O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help. You turn my wailing (mourning) into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever." (Psalm 30:10-12)
The first scripture, above, comes from the Beatitudes. Beatitudes means supreme blessedness. It also connotes grace, bliss, even ecstasy.
I have never felt as close to God as I have through His comfort in my mourning.
In the center of the flame of the crucible of pain, I admit wondering, at times, if God was even there. Yes, I've shaken my fist at Him.
Conversely, there was a bittersweet bliss...even ecstasy in the depth of His great comforting in my mourning. When I could not even lift my head, He lifted my body and carried it forward one step at a time. There was a closeness that is hard to put into words.
Even though I doubted many a time, God was faithful to stay with me as I wept through the night and, He was faithful to bring joy in the morning.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but when I look back at what God brought me through and how He removed my sackcloth and brought beauty from the ashes of my life, there are some undeniable truths that leap out...
* God is indeed Good! God is Love, and I can trust Love's heart!
* God's got this and His script is the perfect script for my life. His
may be less about my happiness and more about me becoming more
like his son Jesus!
* I know He has Me...will never leave me nor forsake me...no mater
Going forward, there is still this undeniable desire for me to KNOW the script. If I can't write it, I at least want to know what's coming.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to (acknowledge) him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
In the original Hebrew the verb for "make straight" is "yasar"
yasar = to do good, do right; to straighten out a crooked object. Hammer evenly until smooth.
Oh, I've felt the hammering alright, and boy have I wanted to have understanding of what exactly was going on.
But God, reassures me that, even though I may not understand, the hammering is straightening out and making my path straight and smooth.
I may not have written in these painful parts of my story, but I am seeing and learning that they are there for a very distinct purpose.
God has been teaching me obedience and trust in following him...even when I don't know the outcome.
But, THIS I KNOW...Jesus died for my sins and on the third day He rose from the grave - cancelling the debt of my sins forever. Because of this I can live in loving relationship with Jesus and with my Heavenly Father and I know the end of the story...
Jesus will come again and when He does...I know He's coming for me!
This gives me hope to live the life He's planned for me...not the one I scripted.
What do you "know" when you look at your life? Of what are you certain? Are you content with not knowing the script if God does?
Dear Heavenly Father, May my heart sing to you and not be silent. You have clothed me in joy. O, Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. Not only do you comfort me in my mourning, but you remove the sackcloth and ashes and bring rejoicing in the morning. You've given me glimpses of that kind of joy here on earth, but nothing will compare to the joy I will experience when you come again. You have promised that tears and trials will cease and I will live in perfect loving relationship with you forever. So very thankful that THIS....I KNOW...In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Be blessed and have a Joyous Easter...
ps. In portions of the Middle East, having and reading the Bible is considered blasphemy and is often severely punished. Look at these drawings by the children in Redeemer Christian School which is funded by Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc.
Praise they know what Christ has done!!!
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