Monday, March 14, 2011

Ugly to Beautiful

Today ended, without a doubt, one of the toughest weeks of my life so far. All week I thought of blogging and didn't know where I would start or what I would write about. Finding one positive thing to blog about was far too hard of a task at a time so bleak. I hope you all can respect me not going into detail about my situation, because let me tell you, it would take far longer than one post to explain, and secondly, I think the Lord has been teaching me a very important lesson recently and that is to guard my heart. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." 

Without going into details, I think I can basically explain that my life as I knew it was hit with a major curve ball. Now that is something I think everyone can relate to. Curve balls... basically they come out of nowhere and usually you are not prepared to bat at them. Instead an emotional response is usually the first to come about and let me tell you, that's what happened.

Amidst this time of extreme trial, my husband reminded me of something absolutely vital. My husband explained to me that for Jesus, turning ugly things into beautiful things is's like breathing. When he sees something ugly He says, "how can I make that beautiful again?"  I've been holding on to this truth and trying to not get overly anxious, worried or defeated. But in my human nature it's a constant battle.

My husband's father passed away a little over a year ago. It was December 10th of 2009. I still remember the pain and despair like it was yesterday. We found out that my father-in-law had cancer on Tuesday morning, the 8th of December and literally two days later we were planning a funeral. It was the most mind boggling turn of events. We barely got to wrap our head around the fact that he had cancer and then two days later my husband got a call while at work and was told his father had 24-48 hours left to live. He died that evening. Talk about a major curve ball... to be honest I don't even like calling it a curve ball really because these types of situations are far too serious to be labeled with a term so casual.

Now it has been 15 months since the loss of my husband's father and we still have a broken heart, but the healing process has come a long way. The loss of someone close to you has to be one of the toughest situations a person can go through, yet the fact of the matter is that we are all going to experience it. It goes along with the fact that we all are living in a fallen world. Sin is all around us, pain and suffering is all around us. There is nothing we can do to escape it, but we do have a choice of how we respond to it.

In the last week I did not deal with a death, but the pain felt like it and still does. I turned to the word last Monday and fasted all day in hopes to try to ask God to reveal Himself and give me some wisdom. I learned a lot that day. Definitely not everything, that's for sure, but a small glimpse. The Lord kept directing me back to Proverbs and also to a verse in 2 Timothy. A few verses stood out and I will share them with you in hopes that maybe they may mean something to you as well.

"Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance." Proverbs 20:18.

"All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart." Proverbs 21:2.

"All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord." Proverbs 16:2.

"For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7. 

I was also reminded of the story of Moses. Moses, for those of you who don't know his story, well he was a man that reacted. My study bible explains that throughout his life, he was at his finest and at his worst in responding to the conflicts around him. At one point in his life he actually fled Egypt after killing an Egyptian in defense of a fellow Israelite. Fleeing after this murder was a selfish move to save his own life, but as I have learned, God even fits our mistakes into his plan. When Moses fled God used this opportunity to start training Moses up. Moses' character began to change and although he didn't stop reacting to situations around him, he started learning how to react correctly. Don't get me wrong, even as Moses' character was being changed he still made mistakes. Personal greatness does not make a person immune to error or its consequences. No one becomes perfect because of following the Lord. In fact, in most cases more trials come upon us because of doing so. But back to Moses... God ended up using Moses to go back to Egypt and rescue all his people from slavery. He ended up being one of the greatest prophets and even was the one to record the Ten Commandments.

I think Moses' story is so encouraging. It reminds me that we are all going to make mistakes and that God can still fit those into his plan. I'm sure that the Lord looks down and sees all of us screw up all the time and must think to Himself that gosh, if we only made the "right" decision he wouldn't have to push the remap on the GPS all the time. The funny thing is that He already knows we are going to blow it and he is ready to re chart our path if you will. He makes it work into his plan. And in regards to tragedy that is outside our own control, well the same principles apply. Jesus is waiting to turn the ugly into something beautiful again. We must not forget though that our time line and God's time line are two very different things. God's time line is life-sized. ♥

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