I've always said it is my "coping mechanism". Because, I know how painful it is to go in to something with high expectations, trusting for a happy outcome, believing it CAN happen...and then crashing oh so very hard when everything goes exactly the opposite.
I've branded myself as "cautiously optimistic".
Does cautiously optimistic really coincide with faith in God and His promises and word?
Where is the balance between niave optimism and reality?
And when things do turn out oh so opposite as one has prayed and believed...how do you recover from that?
These are lots of questions I am grappling with these days. No, not questioning my faith, not at all. Just genuine, real, honest questions.
And I can't seem to come up with answers.
I want to be a person who says "I will not worry because I know my God will provide".
Again, don't get me wrong! I DO believe my God will provide. But I also know that the answer to my prayers are not always how I had expected, prayed and begged.
I also realize this is not because God is out to "get me" or "put me in my place".
I realize that, although my human mind may never understand, God has it all under control. And that through grief, loss, pain...He isn't "doing" it "to me" just to prove He is bigger than I am. I don't know...is He "doing it" at all? I mean, I don't believe for one second that He makes bad things happen just to bring us to our knees. I don't believe that at all.
I know a lot of my questions will brew in my brain until the day I meet my Creator. And I know it is my responsibility to BELIEVE Him, and His amazing love for me and my life.
I KNOW the enemy LOVES when we question, doubt, fear, worry, struggle. He LOVES watching us squirm and blame God for every bad detail in our lives. He delights in the fact that the lies he and his dark side-kicks whisper around our ears are accepted.
I struggle with fear. With worry. With "what if". With "can I handle more pain?" I struggle with control. There are many days where I actually believe I am not worth amazing blessing in areas in my life. Like I deserved all the pain in my life.
I actually fall for those lies. And that is exactly what they are...LIES from the enemy, because he knows how strong I am when I am trusting God and leaning on Him and living out His word and commands. He knows I am a fighter. He knows I hate defeat. So he plays on those very fears to bring me to a trembling mess.
That is where I am today. I woke up with nothing but pure fear racing through my mind. Fear of some stuff we are facing soon. Fear that I am not worthy of a good outcome. Fear that I will break if things don't work out. Fear that I will not be able to succeed.
When I get in this mindset...I am paralyzed. Paralyzed to the point of sitting in a ball, just crying and shaking. Yes...that is NOT God. That is ALL the enemy!! And how foolish of me that I would allow myself to let that darkness wrap around my mind and how so NOT strong to believe the lies that float in my head.
I am going to be honest. I struggle with something. I know we are to come to God and let our requests and desires of our hearts and prayers be known to Him. I know we are to pray without ceasing, and to keep believing. I know we must do this to allow God to work through our prayers. I know many times people have prayed for me, and my struggle comes back to the days of losing Jack, Ethan and Whisper, and then all that happened with Zac and Evan, and then the loss of Zac.
I struggle because so many people would tell me the KNEW God would heal Zac, and that things would be ok.
I struggle because after Zac passed away...I began to doubt.
HOW did people "know"? I wanted to see the written telegram from God to that person so that I had proof that they were actually receiving the right message.
Zac passed away in my arms. How was that anything like what I had been encouraged to believe?
Then after our friend Jeff passed away...how does one come to terms with that?
I have never seen such faith and believing and trust for complete healing.
Yet, he passed from this earth.
He never doubted. Never got angry. He trusted God. He DID experience a full healing the first time...so why did the cancer come back? Why did things play out the way they did?
Are we wrong to have questions when we experience loss? No, I don't believe so. I believe that God expects that we will. He made us after all, right?!
I know it's all about HOW we cope with the questions. Do we use the questions to draw us closer to God, or do we allow the questions to start to cloud our faith and build walls?
I know how easy it is to be consumed by darkness and doubt. Oh boy, do I know.
I know how HARD it is to fight the way back to God.
It is just too easy to sit and question. And I just don't want to do that. I want to find strength to believe that I AM WORTH GOOD! That God loves me so very much that even if I don't understand the answer to some areas of our life...He still wants the very best for me, and will provide a way.
This realization doesn't mean I've miraculously had some epiphany right this very moment and "viola"...all good. It just means I know I need to fight. I know I need to trust. I know I need to believe that I AM WORTH GOOD THINGS happening to! I don't "deserve" nothing but disappoinment and loss.
Disappointment and loss are a part of life. But it's up to me...will I continue to believe God's goodness for my life, and trust that He will carry me through. Or do I give up and sit in my corner obsessing about the fears and "what ifs"?! I just don't want that for my life.
My job...searching God's word. Living His word. Trusting His word. Which means READING and studying His word. That is where I will find His word, His voice...the calm in my storms.
I read this devotional this morning from Joyce Meyers website, and I really loved this analogy. It made perfect sense to me today!
"This about it like this: If I have a headache, I take an Aspirin to get relief from it. I have to swallow the pill for it to work. If I put it on top of my head, it won't do anything for me. God's Word is medicine for our spirit, soul and body, and the way we experience its power is by speaking it out loud, praying it to God, meditating on it, and believing it. When you speak His Word over your life, it releases that power into your life. It won't work for us if we just have a Bible and leave it on the shelf. We have to use it. God wants to make you whole, and what He's asking you to do is believe what His Word says more than you blieve what you think of how you feel. Keep speaking His Word over your circumstances and in His timing He'll complete the good work He's begun in you!"
I love that quote. It's so true. How many times have I cried to God in the midst of a trauma in my life, expecting a literal voice of God to speak to me directly! When I do just what the above quote says NOT to do. I have my Bible, sitting there in plain view, closed. Untouched. Too stubborn to open it. Too...paralyzed to find the strength to open the pages and search what God would want to tell me.
In the next week, I have something going on in my life that has been marked with disappointment and negative in the past. I have been focusing on that. I have been allowing myself to believe that I will hear much of the same, not expecting that God can provide a better outcome. It's time that I stop living in the past of those results, and start believing God can find a way for me. And NO MATTER what the results...He will carry me/us through. That I am ok. I have been blessed, and I cherish that. That the hope of the future does not define who I am, and does not define my joy.
I have to search His word. Trust His word and His love. I have to submit my life to His plans and know that He is more than enough. That He will lead the way. That I am not alone, and am not meant to fight these fights alone.
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the whole of your care on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully." 1 Peter 5:7
God be with each of us, today and each day forward.