Last week, we talked about knowing God’s plan for us, seeking His will and following, even when it doesn’t necessarily “feel” right or match our own plans. It’s tough to do, isn’t it?!?! I hope you were able to take a little time, answer the three questions at the bottom, read your bible, and really reflect on how God is working in your own life.
This week, I’m shifting gears just a little bit. It’s Mothers Day. A joyous occasion, where we celebrate all of the Moms in our lives! There are flowers, brunches, pictures…spring is in the air, and Moms all over America are loved on and celebrated. But what about those of us who feel a little sting of pain on this day? When we talk about plans not going our way, it’s tough to ignore the biggies: Losing a child, infertility, broken relationships. Or in my case, losing your Mother. There are so many reasons why this holiday can be a less than joyous occasion, and I want to talk about that for just a minute.
I never planned on being a teen without a Mother. My Mom and I were very close, and I was one of those people who would say “I don’t know what I’d do without her!” And I meant it. So when cancer took her away from me when I was only 19 years old, it felt like my life came to a grinding halt. I remember standing in my house that night wondering “Now what?” I was so angry with God for taking her from me when I needed her so bad.
I got married without her.
I gave birth to two babies without her there. I desperately wanted her in those days when I held my colicky baby, wondering how I was ever going to be able to do this Mom thing when I had no one to help me? I’d learned from the best but had a million unanswered questions and no one to ask.
I started this business without her, even though she was the reason I knew how to sew at all.
While the initial sting of losing her has lessened, the raw nerves of the scar still hurt at the most unexpected times. 20 years later, I still often think to myself that this isn’t the way things were meant to be.
But…is that true?
Today I was reading the story of Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead. Here this mans 12 year old daughter had fallen sick and was dying. Stricken with grief, and out of desperation, he went to Jesus asking for help. I can imagine all of the commotion that day. I remember dozens of people flocking to our house when my Mom passed. There was crying, hugging, phone calls being made. In a blur of activity, I stood in the middle, probably much like Jairus did that day and cried out to Jesus for help. Certainly this had to have been a mistake, and only He could fix it!
Do you know what Jesus said to him? These words jumped off the page to me today…
“Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (Mark 6:36)
Believe God’s plan is always perfect (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Believe that God’s love is complete, never ending and can sustain us. (1 John 4:7-21)
Believe that while we can’t see the big picture, God can. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Believe that while things aren’t easy or as we planned, God will give us what we need. (Matthew 6:25-34)
And finally, believe that through God, even the unexpected and impossible is possible! (Philippians 4:13)
If you finish the story, Jesus raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead. And while we are unlikely to see this happen in our lives, we can boldly go before Him and ask Him to help us find peace in times of trouble, joy in times of pain, abundance in times of little.
Even when things around us aren’t going our way and even causing us great pain, God can take these dark corners of our lives and use them for something beautiful!
While the tragedies I’ve experienced in my life have piled up on top of me and even crippled me at times, when I look back over those dark days, it is ridiculously obvious to me that I got through it with the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. If you would have told 18 year old me what the next 20 years were going to look like, there is no way I would have been able to comprehend getting through it. But I did!
God is working this way in your life, too. And while some days may be so dark that it’s hard to see the light of tomorrow, please just seek solace through prayer. Don’t be afraid to tell God that you need Him!
(In fact, read Matthew 21:18-22, Jesus talked about this to His disciples.)
To dig a little deeper, I have a few questions for you to write and answer in your journal this week. Take a few minutes to look up the bible verses referenced above, and then ask yourself :
1: Is there any area of my life where the darkness is creeping out all of the joy? And if not right now, can you remember a time like this?
2: Have I tried to get real with God? As silly as it might feel to some people, have I cried out to Him and let Him know how I am feeling? (By the way, there is NOTHING silly about this. God wants to hear from you. Your prayers don’t need to be eloquent or thoughtful, they can be real and raw. He wants you to invite Him into the dark corners of your life!)
3: Do I believe that God is capable of loving me through these difficult times? Why or why not?
4: Can I take a real and raw look at my difficult circumstances and find 3 good things? (When you really take a step back from your emotions, sometimes it’s easy to overlook the moments of joy that are happening in the midst of the pain.)
I thank you for being brave. Going into the ugly corners can be difficult, but when we can learn to see Jesus Christ through them, we can begin to heal. And by the way… I promise next week will be a much happier devotional in your inbox. These last two weeks have been a little heavy, I know 🙂
Hang in there, you are loved!!
PS: I always love to hear from you. Feel free to share in the comments below, or if you are more comfortable, you can sent me an email. Let me know what you think of todays post, and if there is any way I can pray for you this week ❤