Sunday, January 17, 2010

God is Bigger

This morning in the shower I was singing songs trying to bolster my faith. We got some bad news yesterday that puts our livelihood in some serious jeopardy. It's not really unexpected news, I have felt for months like I have been keeping a deathbed vigil waiting for the last breath. What I didn't expect was this news was more like someone came in and turned down the oxygen. It isn't a fatal blow (yet) but it is undoubtedly a potential acceleration of the death process.

When I woke up this morning, my old nemesis "Anxiety" was waiting for me. It's a horrible way to wake up. Someone told me once they think it's so common to struggle with it coming out of sleep because we are vulnerable. Our minds are not focused and the enemy of our souls uses the opportunity to slip in and grip our hearts and spirits. I know for me at least, that's what it feels like, a strangle hold on my heart. I can't catch my breath in those moments.

This morning when I woke to it I just began to pray. And then I began to move. Laying in bed seems to exacerbate it. I had to get up out of bed. When anxiety comes that place that typically represents peace and rest feels more like a jail cell. So I got up and went in and started a morning workout. With part prayer and part distraction, I began to try and face the day.

After my work out I hit the shower. That always seems to be a place where the Lord will meet me. I don't know if it's my vulnerability or focus, but I always spend my time in the shower as a place of worship and prayer. Maybe it's not exactly what is meant my "prayer closet," but it works for me. The Lord has at times spoken pretty profoundly to me there. Not so this morning, so as Anxiety tried to wrestle with me, I tried to focus my mind on the Lord.

I began to sing. First I sang, "The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear? Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the Stronghold of my life, whom shall I fear? Whom shall I fear?" Then I moved into a sing that was a constant companion for me in the years I battled infertility. "I will trust You Lord, when I don't know why, I will trust You Lord, till the day I die, I won't lose my faith in the One I love, I will trust You Lord...... Lord I'm keeping my eyes on You, following You, following You... My Lord I'm keeping my eyes on You..." I was trying to make the connection between my will and my words with the struggle in my heart. I sang "Blessed be Your name, in the land that is plentiful, where the streams of abundance flow, blessed be Your name. Blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering, though there's pain in the offering, blessed be Your name..."

I was grasping, for the words, for the faith, for the Lord. I would push against the fear, and it would rise up and push back. I thought about the song I sang through the years when we were battling for Ethan. "I will bless the Lord forever, I will trust Him at all times. I will not be moved, I say of the Lord, You are my shield, my strength, my portion, Deliverer, my shelter strong tower, my very present help in time of need...." That song was such a source of strength for me during such a difficult time. When I look back on it, it was the hardest time, and it was the greatest time, to see God move, to sense His power in my life.

Singing that song made me think of the verse that Victoria's name comes from. 1 John 5:4 says, "for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith." I had always thought of that verse as Victoria's verse, even though it was before there even was a Victoria. Then one really difficult day in the battle for Ethan when God spoke clearly and powerfully into my heart, and into our situation, I heard the Lord tell me that the verse wasn't just Victoria's verse, but it was a verse for our whole family. And this morning in the shower, I felt like He was reminding me of that truth again. I said out loud, "God is bigger." And then I had a whole different song in my head.

I remember singing this song to Jake when he was littler and he would be afraid at night in the dark. I would use it to encourage him and make him laugh when fear tried to enter his heart. I thought about the "boogie man" who wasn't even real, but had the power to frighten my child. He was relatively easy to overcome, the flip of a light switch, swinging open a closet door, and the source of the fear was brushed away. The boogie men of grown ups aren't always so easily dispelled.

I look into the future, and it has never seemed more uncertain. It seems like that just keeps becoming more and more accurate a way to describe the current state. I never really thought about it before, can something become more true? I don't know, but it surely seems as though it is. A year ago, I knew things were getting bad. A month ago, the sense was even stronger. A week ago it seemed really scary, and now today, it all seems even worse, even more true. The future seems really uncertain.

I've been here before, in different ways, over different things. But I have been in this spot before. I have asked the question, Will I ever have children? And I sit here now answering that question as the mother of three. And of one of those children, I had to ask the question, Will we lose our son? And I sit here with the answer to that question almost six years after final adoption papers were signed. Seemingly impossible questions, boogie men of sorts that at one time tried to overwhelm me. But God was bigger.

I had an message exchanged with a friend yesterday. I had expressed my fears that tried to overwhelm me yesterday and asked for prayer. In her reply she wrote the following to me: "We'll be praying for you and your lovely (and miraculous) family. I smile when I see your name on fb -- remembering wonderful moments over many years, when, together, we saw Jesus do the impossible."

Wow! What was I thinking? When I read her words yesterday it touched my heart, she helped me through some very deep hurts in the beginning of my walk with Christ. She has an interesting perspective on my life, and my walk, because there was a time when in the deepest trench she was my guide, and yet other times, a distant spectator. So when I read these words again today, it really hit me. My life, my family... because of the power of the Lord, is miraculous. God has never failed us. Not.once.ever.

My pastor gave a great message today (as always, it is God's word after all) and he shared this scripture, that I am choosing to hold onto today. "...God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27. Nothing is even remotely better right now than it was this morning when fear came in and tried to make itself at home in my heart. The fact of the matter is, there's a meeting tomorrow that will probably paint an even darker picture than what I was holding onto this morning, and honestly Anxiety is still standing just behind my shoulder trying to taunt me, but I cry "NO!" No, because God is bigger!! Whatever may come, my hope is in Christ.

It may be really bad, the road that lies ahead, but if it is, it's not a road I will have to walk alone. It could turn out to be much worse than I fear, or could be much better. I honestly have no way of knowing. I do not know what the future holds, however I do know Who holds the future, and that is quite simply, good enough.

I will grip tightly to my Daddy's hand, my heavenly Father. I will hold to Him and trust Him, knowing He will shine real Light into my darkness, and no boogie man will overcome me. Even if the fear turns out to be founded, and there is hurt and hard times ahead, I will hold on. I will remember the promise, "all things work together for the good to those that love God...

I will remember how time and again the Lord drove that proof home in my life, in my heart, and I will believe knowing, He is unchanging, and that that truth will stand again.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 6-7

YES LORD! I want that faith- again! I know what lies ahead may be the hardest of time, but it will be the best of time, if YOU are revealed in me. And Lord, I pray for the refilling of the strength to pray that prayer again as many times as is necessary.

Whatever we face, however dark or frightening it may seem, God is bigger. It is a truth we can hold to.

God is bigger than the boogie man
And He's watching out for you and me.

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