After the last intense blog, I feel like a need to put people at ease. (Trying to package it again:)) I do want to give an update:
Last year or so I picked up a book recommended to me by my friend, Melba. I did not read it then, but God reminded me of it as I got to the end of myself in pain the other day. The book is written by Larry Crabb and called Shattered Dreams. It is a very timely read for me. This is not a book to make me feel better, but it is a book that encouraged me to enter the pain instead of numb and run from it. The writer encourages us that God shatters our lesser dreams that we might know the greater dream of Him and live in true joy in Him–this is a time consuming process of trust in Him. I know that many in pain would go–“uh, that’s not cool. I just want to feel better,” and I get that–believe me. That is our instant gratification, god is there to serve me, sinful heart talking. It is a longer book than that sentence though as he traces Naomi’s journey in the book of Ruth.
Our lives and hearts are not a quick fix, and we are created for more than we see in front of us. I have been reading this book slowly throughout the last few weeks. I got the chance to go with my sister to her lake house to study and be quiet for a portion of last weekend. I am trying to take those times more instead of running from them as God calls me to be real with Him. My pain has not been erased, but I continue in the journey continually seeing God’s faithfulness in so many ways.
On this journey I am journeying with others who are in pain. My friend, Melba told me about a conference that a friend of hers attended that talked about leaving a legacy to your children of how to suffer well. Wow. I have never heard that topic passed on! I loved it, though. That is what I want to pass on to these young women I disciple–a Biblical understanding and experience of suffering well. Why do we think we are immune when in scripture it proclaims the opposite? We walk in Christ–who suffered for our sake. Through sufferings we so learn who HE is and commune with who He is. We are made into the image of Christ. Easy? Uh, no.
As I reflect back to the last five years, I have had the most intense suffering of my life. I have never grown so much or known Him so much through my Dad’s sickness and death, marriage, infertility. I have really seen God’s faithfulness and character and love. I WOULD not trade it for things that sometimes tempt me– a big house, two perfect kids, spa days every week, luxurious vacations and a husband who bends to my every whim for I would have missed the meaning in life–Christ. My reward is not here–repeat–not here.
One of my girls just sent me this scripture:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a LIVING HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious that gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Christ Jesus. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3-9