The past month I felt I experienced some hard things in my life, things out of my control that were affecting, my health. I felt so tired physically and emotionally. I had all the tools that God provided and I even knew how to access them, but I felt so overwhelmed that I didn’t feel strong enough to grab them. I felt alone, not because I was, but because my heart was really hurting.
There I was, controlled by my circumstances, which were affecting every area of my life. My husband was having a hard time comforting me, and my children probably wondered why I was downcast. My feelings had become so bold they were taking charge of my life. They were telling me what to do.
I decided to start praying, “God, please help me ride these storms, please give me what I need during this time.” Thanks be to Him who hears our cry and sees our struggle and with a whisper he puts us back where we need to be.
One night in the mist of my storm, I called one of my best friends to share the good news that my youngest son had decided to make Jesus Lord of his life, to which my friend replied, "My friend, this has been a good year for you."
I got off the phone and pondered on her statement. Immediately something inside me changed. God used my friend to deliver a message to me: you have some storms but remember that I have been good to you.
The truth is I’ve had a good year so far. By the grace of God, this year I have had breakthroughs in my personal life that were held hostage by pain from my past. I’ve traveled and spoke to many women about how much God wants to write a new story for their lives. I’ve shared with my sisters in Central America about how God transformed my heart so I no longer believe that I have to feel like a miserable Christian. I watched the transformation of my son, as he became a disciple of Jesus, I saw my second son off to college to start a new chapter in his life. My husband and I created a website that has helped many young married couples (an a few older ones!). I finally got the guts to pursue publishing a book.
It has been a good year, but if anyone had asked me a month ago how was my year; I would have said that it has been a very challenging year so far.
My friend/angel in disguise helped me to get out of the rut I was in. Now I can say that it has been a good year with challenges in between.
God used my friend to remind me of something I often forget when challenges are happening in my life: “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-24)
I think it is so cool how on the computer I can take a photo and crop any unwanted things from it in order to magnify what I want to be seen or highlighted. Sadly I can do that to my own life when I am dealing with very hard challenges. When I don't focus on God I can tend to crop and highlight the challenge because I as a kid, I thought that I should bury my pain, hurt or challenges; I highlight the challenges because I was afraid they wouldn’t get dealt with if I keep them small or crop them out.
By God’s grace I have come a long way in that area, I have learned that I don’t need to crop anything in my life, but accept the whole picture. I don’t need to magnify parts of my life, just take one step at a time and let God do the cropping and magnifying in my life.
Sometimes I forget how to live at peace and I begin to take control and start cropping and magnifying things in my life out of fear or hurt.
For me, magnifying the good is not good because it is a way to avoid dealing with the challenges and tempt me to become superficial, self sufficient and even prideful and boastful. Magnifying the bad is not good either because it steals my joy.
So that leaves me with the only thing that is good for me, enjoy life as it comes and let God do the cropping and magnifying as the day goes on, because He knows what I need when I need it.
Ultimately God will crop what's needed so I can focus on Jesus, which is what needs to be magnified in my life.
It's so good to be at peace knowing that God is the editor of my life and that He will create a perfect picture life.
Proverbs 3:5-12 (MSG)
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health; your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this.