Wednesday, July 20, 2016

But WHY God?

There was once a girl who dreamed of a big family.   A family where kids ran around with laughter and giggles and warmth filled the entire home. Love would radiate from the inside out. The husband would adore his wife with such adoration and life would be invincible.

This dream seemed so obtainable, so possible. This young and naive little girl lived in a world, where although she knew heartache existed, she believed that love could overcome anything.

The dream quickly faded when this girl too quickly grew up and realized that we are not as invincible as she had hoped.

Heartache gives no warning and too often no reason. Pain comes like a thief in the night to steal our joy and cripple our entire world.

You see, we want to be invincible. We want to believe it would never happen to us. The broken friendship, failing marriage, rebellious children or the life gone too soon.

The heartache happens and we are often left standing with the questions and brokenness and nothing seems to make sense.

We cling to the why. We need to know why. If we knew why something had happen or gone wrong then somehow and someway it would make us feel better, give us a reason to understand.

I can remember waiting for days, weeks after Bethany had died for her autopsy report. I needed and craved the answers to her death. I begged God to help me understand why my little girl had to die. The phone rang and my heart was not prepared to hear what I heard…

“The results where normal. Nothing was wrong. It was simply a sudden death.”

I was angry and mad. That was not good enough. I needed more. I could deal with a birth defect, I could understand that my daughter was sick, but to take her for no reason. This I did not understand.

For weeks I became bitter and even angrier with God. I had nothing to cling to anymore, no reason to heal or move on.

Over time God began to tug on my heart. Pulling me closer and closer. I soon began to see that my story was not over. I would never get the answer to why she had to go, but yet, I would see her again. This world is not my forever home.

God had to teach me that it is not always about why something has happened, but about what is going to happen. The heartache we go through can destroy us literally from the inside out. We have to make the choice to believe that it does not define us and our story is not over.

I still believe that love can overcome anything, and even more so when that love comes from a God who promises to turn our sorrows into joy. What will tomorrow hold? Bitterness and anger or hope for a better tomorrow. 

The Lord says, “Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don’t you see it? Isaiah 43:18-19
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The "Perfect" Church?!?!

            I find myself doubting so much today. My self-esteem, motherhood, being a wife, teacher; really everything.

I look at the world around me and my heart simply hurts. I hurt for my children and I hurt for what has become.

I wonder where love and kindness for one another has gone. Do any of us even care anymore? Are we so wrapped up in making things perfect or right for our cause that we are forgetting the most important cause of all…? To Love and bring others to Him.

1 Corinthians 13 says, 
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

I recently passed a church and the name simply struck me. It was called, “The Perfect Church.” 

Now, I know nothing about this specific church and their reason for its name; however, it made me think.

We are the “church”. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. The church is sooooooo much more than a building or the name plastered on the outside for others to see. The church resides in the heart of every person willing to be what we were called to be.

 I get it. I SO GET IT! 

Inside the walls of the church it can be easier to be what God has called us to be. We can love and have compassion and understanding because we are with likeminded people. So what happens when we leave that building? Or better yet, people leave the “church” because they still are not getting that all-encompassing love and forgiveness that we are called to give.

We lose our since of security. We forget how to love those who are different or need Jesus more than ever.  We lose track of those that are truly hurting and crying out for help. We become stagnant and complacent. And sadly, we forget how to be the hands of Jesus to our enemies; those who are often desperately seeking to fill a void. 

Matthew 5:44 says, But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

We are called to love our enemies. There is no exception or reading between the lines. We are called to PRAY and pray hard. We are called to love and love ALL!

…but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

I was not put here to judge others. Believe me, I disagree with SO much of what people do sometimes, but my job is still to LOVE. Love like it hurts. Love till they feel it.

Perfect is a word that has never sat well with me. I struggle with wanting perfection in an imperfect world. I make unrealistic expectations and then struggle to understand why things fall apart and where the perfection went.

The truth is, there is truly no greater gift than to love. Love can calm an aching heart and show forgiveness and kindness to the most unlikely souls.

My doubting heart finds rest in knowing that yes, I fail daily. I get it wrong more than I choose to admit. But the failures of this life lead us to love and encourage others. Lift others up and be the light this dark world is so desperately crying out for. 

I pray we can remember that perfect is so far from existence while on this Earth, but yet I hope I can teach my children to look past the walls of the building itself and be the church we are called to be. Be the hands and feet of Jesus without hesitation.

Love with no restrictions!
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