I have this friend.
She is beautiful.
She is kind.
She is strong.
But today she hurts.
Today her world seems harsh.
Today she is overwhelmed.
Today she feels alone.
But she is not.
She is not because I will pray.
She is not because God gives grace to the humble.
She is not because feelings lie.
She is not because He loves her.
There is nothing she can do that will move her from His heart.
There is nothing that she feels that He has not felt.
There is no betrayal that is unknown to Him.
There is no pain that is foreign to His heart.
He is the God of all comfort.
He is close to the broken hearted.
He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Emotions are fleeting.
God is forever.
I had lunch with a very, very dear friend of mine the other day. She is one of those people who just knows how to ask the right questions and for years she has been my sounding board. She doesn’t give me answers, she asks those kind of questions that lead me to the answer for myself. This is an amazing gift. I have lived enough life with her that when I sit down to talk, the picture of where God has brought me from is so very, very evident. His faithfulness to me is overwhelming. And as I sit here writing this, I am reminded that without HIM I would not be alive, literally alive. I would have drowned in my depression and loneliness. I would have choked on the bitterness that consumed my heart. My choice not to forgive was truly like drinking poison and I would have perished.
Somewhere along the line, I cried out and He answered me. HE chose to show me Himself. I wish I could describe to you what that was like. He suddenly was made so real to me, as if He was standing in front of me and I could touch Him, look in His eyes, gaze upon His face. I know this may sound strange to some of you but God gave us an imagination for a reason. Did He not put it within us so we could experience Him? He tells us to Seek His Face right? So try it. I remember the first time I asked Him to show me what He looked like. I didn’t have to beg or plead or convince Him to do it. I asked and He showed me.
I am finding such great comfort in Him on this road I am walking. There have been times in my life where I have chosen to fight His comfort. I think that in those times I thought maybe I didn’t deserve it or didn’t know how to receive it, but that is not what His love is about. None of us deserves anything good, but He created me to love Him and have a relationship with Him. He loves me despite my darkness, so I choose to run to Him and let Him be strong for me when I cannot. I know this journey I am on has many more twists and turns, and I don’t know what it will all look like but I choose to look at the face of Jesus. I choose to let go of my own ideas and grab onto His. I have failed myself over and over again…He has NEVER failed me. This is who I choose.
It’s really funny how new circumstances in life make you think about things that have never entered your mind before. I am an emotional person and I tend to feel things on a really intense level. I also know that I can tend to be a bit dramatic, but I was sitting in church this morning listening to Jason speak about heaven and something struck me….and it has been confirmed even more as this day has progressed. Let me start with a memory of something he said many months ago. I don’t remember it exactly, but it was something like this. In the process of his wife dealing with cancer, God was asking him if he would choose anger or choose Jesus if the Lord chose to take her home…if she died. I remember feeling so affected by that…wondering if I could choose the path of life in the middle of such extraordinary pain. So while my situation is not even remotely the same, that challenge struck me this morning. And here is why. As I have already written, my son is now a Marine. He is in a very dangerous profession now. My friends and I have talked many times about how God has given us these kids to raise but ultimately they are HIS. Do I really believe what I have said? If it were me, would I be able to do what Jason did? Would I be able to let Tyler go and let God do with him as He chose before he was even in my womb? And not even in the case of death…can I let go of Tyler and rest in the fact that he is in the palm of God’s hand….in everything he does and everywhere he goes?
I know some of you may be thinking that I am getting way ahead of myself, and maybe I am, but sometimes God asks us to make choices about how we will do things long before we are ever faced with the need to make the decision. And sometimes He just wants to know if we mean what we say because He wants to take us to a deeper level with Him.
When I got home from church, I learned that a new marine from platoon 3207 lost his mother and sister in a tragic car crash just last night. He was set to graduate with Tyler…they are in the same company, but different platoons. There were many boys in that platoon that did not get one phone call home in all their time away. I pray that he was not one of them. I pray that he was able to talk to his mom and have the precious memory of her voice, her love, her excitement for his accomplishment. I desperately hope that his lost loved ones knew Jesus and are now experiencing the Heaven that we imagine, that Jeff has an intimate knowledge of who Jesus is so that he may know the comfort of His love in his deepest of pain. That he clings to the Truth…that Jesus loves him with everything He has and is with him all the way through this. He will be graduating early and coming home tomorrow to be with his family. Please pray for him and his family.
So while I may tend to move in the emotional and dramatic, I just feel that I feel that God is asking me to make a choice…and not just with Tyler, but with ALL of my family. No matter what circumstances arise, am I willing to let go of my hold on these precious people in my life so that the Glory of God may be seen? Do I choose life by choosing to fall into Him instead of growing angry and bitter over questions that may never be answered? I know I will never stop asking the questions, it’s just how I’m built, but will I choose to be okay if all is silent? Will I just be still and let God take me to a deeper level with Him. I’m making my choice now. Above all else, I want Jesus and I choose life.