I keep thinking of that saying people throw around-that God will never give you more than you can handle. I beg to differ. What we are living through-the loss of Olivia, Parrish's surgery, the loss of our hopes and dreams for her and for us as a complete family-those are all much more than we can handle. So I don't believe that He doesn't give us more than we can handle. I believe that in that moment He uses those things we can't handle to bring us to our knees in desperation and complete dependance on Him. When all of the worldly things we've put our trust in come crashing down around us we realize that He is the only constant. The only one worthy of our trust. The only one left when everything and everyone around you can't satisfy or give you the answers you so desperately need.
But at the same time I find myself completely dependent on Him I also find myself full of questions and doubts. Why us? Why Olivia? Why, why, why? Where were you when all of these things were put in motion? If you didn't will them to happen, why didn't you stop them? If it's the devil testing me, why are you letting him? So I have been doing one of the only things I know to do when I am plagued with doubt-read. Read the bible, read books, read blogs-read everything I can get my hands on that may shed some light on my otherwise very hopeless situation. In that quest for material my friend Nancy suggested I read the book, "Plan B" but Pete Wilson (who is a pastor of a church in Nashville). I found that this book spoke to my soul. Not everything was easy to digest, but I needed this author's frank and truthful examination of where God is in our "Plan B's" of life (I told Cannon-forget Plan B, we're now on Plan C)
Which brings me to the point of plans-even after my very frank realization that we are not ultimately in control of our lives and circumstances after Olivia's passing-I still have the urge to try to plan it all out. In my need to control something I end up depending on myself to do something to make things better. But every time I start trying to make a plan or one seems to be coming together, it is ripped out from underneath me. Is God trying to tell me to stop the madness? Is He telling me over and over again to, as-they-say, "Let go and Let God?" Surely He knows that I struggle with letting go of control. Mainly because I know now that we are not immune for disaster just because we love the Lord. I have lost that innocent belief.
But strangely, I am realizing that our crises are closely related to our faith and hope. Somehow through living through the unthinkable, God reveals the truth of His word in new ways. No longer are you worried about the "little stuff" that used to seem like such big problems. There is a depth to your soul that wasn't there before. You have less tolerance for listening to people complain about things that shouldn't really be complaints but are more minor annoyances in an otherwise very blessed life. You realize that only through crises are you stripped away of all the pretense and false reliances and have the chance for true transformation in Christ.
That is where I am now. I am at the place in my life where I have to make the decision to trust in God, even when I know He may not work things out the way I pray He will. I desperately need to see Him at work in my circumstances-I need to see him "working all things together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) I need to see His plan for my "hope and future." (Jeremiah 29:11) I need to be able to press fast forward and see how this is all going to turn out, just so I can survive the current, painful waiting. I know that won't happen “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7) But as Pete Wilson points out in his book-God is a God of miracles-a powerful God. "A God that can use the same power He used at the cross to raise His Son from the dead to deliver, transform and redeem us." And right now, at a time when I feel like all hope is gone and I feel impatient from all of the waiting and heart break, is the time that I have no choice put to place my hope in Him. He is our only hope. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). We have no choice but to keep our eyes focused on our eternal future. Tragedy in this life has a way of making you long for your eternal life and long to bring everyone you meet in this life with you to experience the way God intended life to be before the fall. Where "...there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:4) Despair makes you realize that we weren't really made for this world.
I pray that my experiences will bring more people to Christ because pain with a purpose is so much easier to bear. I hope that by examining my soul and my life out in the open like this will help you to realize what I've realized. That while everything in this life has the potential to disappoint you-He will not. "After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you!" (1 Thessalonians 2:19)