“How are you?”
This question is asked of me all the time. It’s a great question. I don’t mind being asked and even more, I LOVE giving my answer…
“I AM GOOD!”
There’s a certain look that follows this answer about ninety percent of the time. People often look at me dumbfounded, as if I’m an alien with three heads. I get it. It doesn’t make any sense how a widow of 8 months can be “good” at any real level.
- Maybe I’m not really in touch with my grief.
- Maybe I have set my feelings aside to survive the pain.
- Maybe I have been traveling to escape the difficulty of this season.
- Maybe I stuff everything down and mask the pain with a smile.
I wish I could sit down for coffee with every person who asks me this question. The answer, “I am good”, doesn’t give weight to the true power of God in this season.
Maybe, just maybe, my family is a MIRACLE.
“A miracle is a sign that God uses to point to Himself; the same way we follow signs to find a museum or an airport.” (Probe.org)
We have become a living, breathing, walking billboard for Him.
The Reason for My Goodness
When Jeff died on March 10th, I had no idea how God was going to use this incredible trial. My family had been demolished. We were no longer us and our nightmare had become our reality. I used to read these verses in James and Romans quickly agreeing with them both. My head would automatically nod “yes” without much thought. The gravity of my trials didn’t come to mind until I was face to face with this one. How can I say, “I am good” when facing this type of unbelievable suffering? Let’s look…
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
JOY. PERSEVERANCE. CHARACTER. HOPE.
There’s No Trial Too Big, Deep, or Scary
God has done a MIRACLE in my life!! He is producing joy, perseverance, character, and hope through my suffering. God calls us to consider it pure joy when we face trials and to glory in our sufferings. This is backwards of how our human nature wants to think and deal with pain. We want to escape it, run from it and numb it. We cannot fathom a life of suffering with joy and hope because these things don’t seem to go together. It doesn’t make sense. But that’s when God does His best work. He loves to shine His light in the darkness. He loves to pour hope into the hopeless situations. He loves to build our faith in the deepest of valleys. God never quits on us. There’s no trial too big or too deep or too scary where God walks away. He is always with us. He is always working. His glory shines out of us to the world when we are in a heartbreaking valley.
So why me? Why does my little family have to be the walking billboard of hope in the midst of suffering? I never raised my hand to volunteer. I never prayed and asked the Lord for this. I never thought I would be a widow. I never wanted my kids to be without a dad. So why??
God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). God is doing a work in eternity that I cannot see here on earth. He is pouring His glory and hope into our lives and it’s oozing out to those around us. When we wonder why God allows certain people to suffer greatly, we must always look at the suffering of Christ first. Christ went through tremendous suffering on our behalf. He suffered and died so that we could live! So that Jeff could live!! So that YOU could live!!
The billboard that my life is on right now is not to bring me glory. It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with Christ. It is HIS glory that shines and HIS plan that succeeds. My life is not my own but it is His. So I move forward in my suffering, doing good, having hope, trusting Him, and shouting from the rooftops the good news of Jesus Christ. He died so that we can live forever in eternity. I am GOOD because my hope is in CHRIST completely!
- If you are suffering and need hope…
- If you are confused about eternal life…
- If you doubt your salvation in Christ…
Please contact me so I can encourage you and share with you more of the hope I have.
“You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough.” —Psalm 30:11-12 MSG