Tuesday, February 24, 2015
October 11, 2012; the day God gave us our granddaughter, Briley Faith. The delivery waiting room was filled with excitement and anticipation! There was no indication or any preparation for what the “room of waiting” would become; a place of daily wait for 61 days. We now wait for the day to see her again when God calls us all to our heavenly home where we wait no more.
Briley Faith, this precious angel on earth was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy/Type 0, the most severe. When we found out she would never come home, well home here, it was a devastating, heart hurting, hope grasping day. Loud excitement turned to silence in prayer. In that silence we gave it all to God; He heard us in that very dark hour. In an instant our heads were lifted, hearts healed and hope restored. Josh, my son and Briley’s daddy would remind us all, “God’s got this!” Faith strengthened through the pain, the dark hospital room became a tabernacle of praise, Briley Faith didn’t need her muscles to send His message, and lives were changed!
But, there were times I had wondered what if I had known I was carrying that SMA gene I might had passed on to Josh. What if I had been tested years ago, Josh tested… what if we had known. Then through many tears I had for Briley Faith, her mommy, daddy and big brother, I realized “what if” wasn’t in God’s plan.
God continues to remind me of His power plan of greatness, as He did today, as He did while we walked the Briley Faith journey and five years ago during one of my darkest hours…
Every now and then as part of my daily reading, along with God’s word, I have enjoyed reading the book, “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. A week ago today, a little note fell out from between the pages of this book I have read over the years and reminded me of God’s vast love for me… for you.
February 17, 2010. I remember that day and never want to revisit where I was, where my mind was ever again. I was not planning on going there, but I did. Others I knew had been there. But me? How did I get to that place when I love to smile, make others smile and my favorite word is “happy”?
Sitting in my car parked under some trees and away from the busyness of the building I worked in, like most days, I was having my lunch alone. I really enjoyed my time in the quiet talking to Jesus, reading His word. This particular day was a different “alone”. Although I knew God was always with me, by choice I allowed my mind to shut His light out. Life in my mind had become haunting and dark, a place of battle; I traveled it, my mind, alone on my own strengths, my way. For a little while, I basked in self-pity. To tell you the truth, it felt good to cry “Oh me.” Even though no one else heard, it didn’t matter. The self-pity was a temporary feel good. No one knew where my mind lived for a while because I didn’t tell them. My smile told a different story. Some found out later; long after my despair, darkness, and a dead-end road of understanding why someone would contemplate death. Yep, that was me. Perky, positive, pleasant me turned negative; negative within my own self, negative meeting up with more negative and dark becoming darker. Looking back, life really wasn’t that bad. I had a good marriage, good church, good friends, good job. But, I allowed life’s hurdles to take me to the edge. This 3x5 card tucked away in this book fell out five years later as a reminder for me or for you today.
The writing on the card dated 2-17-10 reads, “What if I didn’t do anything for anyone. I guess it would be as if I weren’t here to do anything for anyone.”
I remember my thoughts while writing those few words in that climatic moment, “If I stopped helping, encouraging and praying with and for others would I even be noticed? I was hurting and why couldn’t they hear me? I always heard them. Why?” Although I am geographically challenged, at that time in my state of self-mindedness I understood the way to loneliness, the way to emptiness, the way to darkness, the way to nothing. Crippling thoughts; these thoughts became my illness; unable to breathe, out of tears, and out of words to pray. My days consisted of a variety of “hits”; physical and financial blows, disappointment in others, loss of loved ones. It was as if I was in the boxing ring with Satan. Too tired to stand, down for the count…
I camped out at the edge engulfed by “what ifs” for 30 days holding on to these words from that little devotional page dated February 17. “Don’t try to force-fit today into yesterday’s mold. Instead, ask Me to open your eyes, so you can find all I have prepared for you in this precious day of your life.” For 30 days I held on to this verse… “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17; 30 days of hope.
Also written at the bottom right corner of this tattered and worn 3x5 card were the simple words, “But I’m gonna!” with the date 3-17-10. My “what ifs” were in control until I finally let go and let God show me “what’s His”; as His child, that’s me! Because I am His I could start new again! So, I changed my focus away from me and back to others as God intended. I was standing again! Standing on His promises and following His plan; a plan that does not include “what ifs” and healing began.
Many of you reading this have been to that dark place like me and determined to never return by taking every thought captive for Christ; think His thoughts. For some of you, part of your “what if” includes a “why”. Your unanswered “why” has become a weight of despair. Because you belong to God you can hang on to what you already know; His truth and faithfulness to His promises, your anchor of hope. Choose Christ and allow His Way to take care of your “whys”. Then, there are you who only know darkness because you have never experienced a relationship with Jesus Christ, The Light of the world; your only hope out of darkness. Hell is full of “what ifs”. Don’t be one who is saying, “What if I had said, “Yes, Jesus. I know I’m a sinner and Your blood covers it all. Please forgive me of all my sin and come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Savior and become forever Yours.” It’s time to let go and let God.
Let God have your “what ifs” and “whys”. Choose today to live as what’s His!