Recently, I had a glorious almost three hour lunch with a dear friend who moved away a few months ago. Her friendship was an unexpected surprise. She came into my life when it felt like most people were walking away. It was a hard season. By all accounts of the American dream, it should have been a sweet season of life, but it wasn’t. A lot of families fall prey to the deception of such dreams and end up sacrificing authenticity for the illusion of normalcy. But we were not following that pattern. Nope. We were crumbling. We were a mess and it was not a secret.
At that time, I felt very alone (you know people tend to avoid messy people with problems and I was a messy one). Overall, I was struggling as a human…the lies of the enemy were screaming at me that I was a failure, not only as a mom, but as a Jesus follower. And that broke my heart, for sure. Surely someone like me, imperfect and just so full of sin issues, didn’t deserve one more chance. I had for sure reached my grace limit and was done…condemned…hopeless of change.
Oh, how the enemy’s lies can scream at us louder than The Truth.
But by the grace of God, this friend reached out and loved me when I felt like the ultimate failure to both people and God. It was such a surprise to me, because we had not been close friends up to this point. And had my life not started to unravel, I don’t know that we would have become the friends we are today. Nor do I think I would be sitting here writing this post if God had not placed the right people around me during that time of questioning my faith and purpose. Oh! The lavish love God! When we least deserve it, He abundantly pours out His grace and love. He loves us extravagantly and lets us know that failure is not final.
Sometimes messes are what God uses to bring the best surprises in life… for HIS glory!
We get this idea in our head that life is supposed to be neat and predictable. It’s not. Nor should it be if we are truly living a life pursing Christ and the glory of God. Nowhere in the Bible are we promised life without problems. In fact, we’re promised that we will suffer and face trouble if we follow Jesus.
We make everything about us. Oh, I have to confess that I do. It’s so easy to slip into that mindset. But it’s not about us. It’s all about God being glorified here on Earth. That is what my friend reminded me at lunch that day .
I have so much to say about this…I don’t even know where to start. But to keep this brief, for today, let me just share how that (life giving) conversation with my friend did so much in my heart to draw me back to the purposes of God.
Everything in our lives comes through The Father filter. I believe this. The things that come into our lives have purpose. We don’t always understand the things that come. Many of those things are difficult and cause pain. This doesn’t line up with the perfect American dream. But we are not here to live the American dream. We are here to bring glory to God and to worship Him. It. Is. Not. About. Me.
It’s not about being comfortable, nor easy. Selfishly, yes….my flesh craves comfortable and easy. That would be my way, but that is not God’s way. I know that I can trust Him, even when I face circumstances I don’t understand and I wish had not happened. I know He is a good Father. I know His promises are true. I know He will never abandon me. And I want to see His glory and for Him to be glorified in my life. I really do desire that above comfort and ease.
So going back to my life giving three hour chat with my unexpected blessing of a friend – she reminded me in our talk that all of life here on earth is about God being glorified. ALL OF LIFE. The many good things, and bad things we live through. All of it is about Him. Not us.
Over the past year and half we, as a family, have walked some pretty difficult roads. Circumstances I would have never chosen. All I have ever desired and prayed for is that my children will love God and live for Him. That is what matters to me more than anything. It is my heart’s desire. It’s what led me to pray, “Lord, whatever it takes.” I can’t save my children. Only God can. And that requires me to get out of the way and release them to Him. What’s scary though, is that a good thing became an idol in my heart. I was building my hope on this desire. Yes, even good things become idols if we are putting our hope in them instead of God. I had to come to a point where God is enough for me, even if He is all I have.
See when we realize we can’t do anything apart from God, we learn to abide in Him and His word. When He allows circumstance in our lives that break us and make us completely dependent on Him, we learn to depend on Him for the help we need. When we can’t do anything but cry out for help from God…well, that’s a good place to be! We come to the end of ourselves and realize our only hope is for God to save us. God gets the glory in difficult circumstances as He works to save, deliver and provide. Sometimes He allows us to become desperate to draw us to Him. Other times He allows us to be in difficult circumstances so others can see His glory as He works to care for us through those times. It’s all about what will bring Glory to God.
Wherever you are today. Whatever you are facing in life. I pray you see the glory of God in your circumstances. I pray other people will see God’s glory as He cares for you. There is purpose in what you are going through. And I leave you with these words from “Christ Be Magnified” by Cody Carnes.
Oh! Christ be magnified
Let His praise arise
Christ be magnified in me
Oh! Christ be magnified
From the altar of my life
Christ be magnified in me
I won’t bow to idols, I’ll stand strong and worship You
And if it puts me in the fire, I’ll rejoice ’cause You’re there too
I won’t be formed by feelings, I hold fast to what is true
If the cross brings transformation then I’ll be crucified with You
‘Cause death is just the doorway into resurrection life
And if I join You in Your suffering then I’ll join You when You rise
And when You return in glory with all the angels and the saints
My heart will still be singing and my song will be the same
Monica and Chuck
You are a gifted writer! I always weep when I read your stories. God uses them to stir my heart and awaken His plans for my life. Not my will but His alone! Love you dear friend! You have found your calling……
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Mrs Linda…. you continue to speak life over me. And I’m so thankful you see things in me I rarely do…thank you for always setting the example for me!! You live it out for those who follow behind you.
I agree with every word you have spoken. I am going through the same thing. God is enough if He is all we have; if all else fails! God is so Good! He is for us. He is our encourager! He is the Best! Love you sister in Christ Jesus.
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We will keep reminding each other!!! And encouraging each other. Love you!