Romans 8:28 says, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (NIV). The past 2 months have shown me just how true this verse is. I struggled for quite some time to recognize it. For weeks I could feel my faith taking a literal beating. I was at the lowest point that I’d likely been in my life. I felt defeated, weak, and lost. I can’t say that I was angry with God this whole time, but there were certainly some periods of anger. Most of the time I was simply untrusting and skeptical of Him and His plans. I continued to tell myself, and others, that I knew He had a plan and I just needed to trust it. But to be honest, the words didn’t sink in to my soul. I said them, but I don’t think I believed them. I remember telling my husband, and asking my father-in-law, “How can people tell me that God didn’t do this? That he simply ‘allowed’ it because the world isn’t a perfect place.” That was so contradictory to the Bible saying that He was knitting our baby together in my womb. That He knows our baby in that secret space. I’ve come to believe, whether it is accurate or not, He did create our baby exactly as it is. He has a beautiful plan for our baby’s life. He is working for our good, because we love Him.
I’ll never forget the turning point for me; the day I went from “saying” to BELIEVING! From mistrust to trust. I met with our pastor’s wife to catch up, have a woman to talk about and seek spiritual counsel from. She is so incredible, she encouraged my honesty and didn’t judge me for anything that may not have been the perfect thought or feeling. She is yet another of my many, many blessings. We discussed a myriad of topics, but they primarily focused around our baby and my daddy. She listened, and asked questions. She gave me advise and stories of personal experience that I could draw wisdom from. I told her that I was struggling a great deal because I hadn’t felt God’s presence. I so desperately needed to feel Him there to believe that He truly was holding me in the palm of His hand. Before leaving she prayed for us. In her prayer she asked that God show Himself to me in a supernatural way that day, to show me that He was there and allow me to feel Him. I’d never really thought to ask for such a thing but as I listened to her, it made wonderful sense and I hoped he may listen to her prayer. We said goodbye and headed our separate ways.
When I got back to my car I had a text message from my mom. It was a YouTube link to the message her pastor had preached the previous day. If I’m being completely honest, I’m not one to sit and listen to messages outside of church on Sunday mornings. It’s a weakness of mine I believe. I get so busy and have so many other “important” things to do, I don’t make time for those sorts of things. I discounted her message and didn’t think much of it. Later that night I decided, on a whim, to open the link and listen to the message as I prepared dinner. I’m not sure of the best way to exaggerate what I’m about to say. As I listened to this message you guys, it went straight to the depths of my soul. I stood over the stove, and just wept. I felt like the pastor was speaking directly to me. The message was about God’s unending GRACE, even when we doubt Him! One piece that stood out to me the most (which is hard to say because the entire thing was so incredibly poignant) was towards the end as he told a story about his daughter. He described their bedtime routine and how difficult it can be to put her in her pajamas sometimes- or rather get her out of her clothes from the day. The most difficult part every night are the split seconds that she’s trying to get the shirt over her head and she can’t see; she starts to semi-panic. He said there are some awful shirts that have button in the back rather than the front. Of course, as a daddy, he doesn’t recognize this before he begins helping her get the shirt off. So she gets the shirt over her head and they literally can’t get it off, because the buttons are still buttoned- it won’t fit over her head. So she’s running around the room, flailing and screaming because she’s scared and disoriented, as he is trying to catch her by saying, “Baby, baby, it’s OK. Daddy’s here just let me help you.” He continued to explain that this is how our Father wants to care for us when we are in turmoil. He wants us to just slow down and let Him hold us, care for us, comfort us, and save us from our panic.
This permanently touched my heart. It reminded me that He was there, just waiting for me to slow down and let Him scoop me up. My counselor describes it as the scene in Hope Floats when little Bernice is screaming and screaming that she wants to go with her daddy as he drives off and leaves her standing alone. She’s absolutely devastated. Her mother had been sitting on the porch watching, allowing it to unfold. Once the father was gone and the little girl was left standing, crying in the street, the mother comes in and scoops her little girl into her arms and carries her inside. I think that’s such a beautiful image of what Christ does for us. He allows us to experience pain, hurt, and loss, but He is also right there, ready and waiting to be a daddy to us when we need Him.
As I stood there and soaked up the remainder of the message, it suddenly occurred to me that this was EXACTLY what Carey had prayed for after our time together. The divinity of this moment hit me like a brick wall. When I looked back at the time my mom sent this message to me, it was literally within 2 or 3 minutes of our prayer. I believe, with all my heart, that THIS was God’s way of showing up for me in a supernatural way. He put it all in to the time and place that I needed it the most. Everything changed for me that evening. My faith got the boost it had so desperately been needing. My spirit felt renewed and my burdens less heavy. I recognized that God’s grace was there, and no matter how much I doubted Him, He wasn’t giving up on me. Think about how incredible that is! Really think about it. His grace and love are never-ending and never-failing, they are always there waiting for us to accept them. And the joy and peace we will feel when we finally do… THAT is a peace that surpasses all understanding.