Saturday, May 18, 2013

Change of plan

I really hope this helps someone because there were numerous hoops I had to jump through to get this one posted. It has been typed, erased, typed again. Copied, pasted, deleted, at last typed again. Lets face it. I'm just not technical, but I would be glad to talk your ear off :) here we go.

1 Peter 5:9-10 NIV: Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

I think its safe to assume that it was not in God's plan for me to just "blend" or have any type of just normal soccer mom type of status in the local community. I suppose that had always been my plans, like lots of women. We just want that American dream, husband, kids, church. Just "normal". Little did I know there is no such thing as "normal". I think He began preparing me on my wedding day (or that's when I noticed there would be no "blending" in), because wanted or not our lives were going to be in the spot light. I recall walking down the isle and thinking "who are all these people?!" There was standing room only on josh's side of that church, and I'm not kidding when I say the majority of them I had never seen in my life. My husband, Josh, works for the local Sheriffs office, so he is known in our community. That has never bothered him, he is what you would call a people person. Me, not so much. Being married to Josh took a major adjustment on my part (I'm perfect so I'm sure he had like zero adjusting to do). I hated that everyone knew me as "oh, your josh's wife" . I kid you not, to this day (10 years later)I still cover up my last name on my work badge to avoid the typical " your husband arrested my _____" and yes that happens. So I think it's safe to say, that "blending in" the community was a no go for me.

So far my life has not been what I expected, but honestly , are most peoples? I wonder, is there more suffering out there than "blending" or "normal" lives? I have a friend who is very beautiful, has a precious husband who loves her,  great career, children who look like they should be in a magazine, and she has cancer. She is literally fighting for her life. When I was praying for her this week, I just got mad. I mean really mad, how is that fair?  Why should one woman get all that minus the cancer and another suffer pain we can't imagine just to walk around  while holding her baby. Why couldn't she get that normal life that I wanted, and just blend in with the other families? I don't know, but I know God has amazing plans, plans we can't comprehend with our small human brains. My friend may not have chose the spotlight but she is living in it, and she is shining like the brightest star in the darkest night. I can see Christ living in her and it makes me realize God is truly everywhere all the time. He is with me when I'm in the pit, he is with her when she's in the pit. He sustains us no matter what the cause of our sufferings.
My mom is another beautiful example of suffering in faith, she is my rock. She has suffered things even I can't comprehend. Have you ever had someone tell you " God never gives you more than you can handle" ? I hate that, I know people probably mean well when they say that, but its simply not true. There is more put on us than we can handle, but there is never to much for God to handle. We who suffer burdens that others cannot comprehend share our burden, if I had not shared mine I would not have survived and if I had survived I would not truly be living. So you see, that was "more than I could handle." 
My mom lost her own mother before she ever got to know her, her sister, her husband, her father, her step mother, her daughter and now her grandson. Most of these deaths were tragic, not timely.  I never really understood my mom's suffering when I was growing up, even though I saw it, I didn't SEE it. I think I just thought she was like super woman or something. Now I know she is just another human like you and me, except her faith is the kind that can move a mountain, and she allowed God to bear her burdens when she could not. I don't know why suffering seems to pick on some of us more than others, but it's obvious that some of us get way more than our share. When I read that verse, 1 Peter 9-10 where Christ HIMSELF will restore us I just get chills. I believe He will restore us, and he will make us make us stronger FOR our suffering.

When I pray for my friend, I'm reminded that there are times in my life I can barely stand on my own 2 feet from the exhaustion of my suffering. In those times I can not pray for myself. I was introduced to many prayer warriors at the time Jackson went to heaven who were willing to stand in that gap and pray FOR me when I could not, and they still do. Maybe you have not suffered in the way we do, but we all suffer to an point. It can be in the form of anxiety, death, physical pain, depression, or fear.  Maybe your life just didn't turn out the way you planned. Whatever it is, in my opinion if it harms you its suffering. I will continue to stand in the gap for my friend along with thousands of others until she can stand again. I was taught this by my mom who suffered before me, the warriors who stepped in, and friends and family who love and support us daily. We just have to be there for others, if we are not there when they need us, who will be? We have to stand for and with each other now more than ever until we are all restored. What's that old country song " you've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything" how true that is.

Galatians 6:2 Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

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