Have you ever struggled with God’s goodness, wondering where He is, WHY He “does what he does”? I think it’s safe to say that at one point or another, every Christian, and non-Christian for that matter, has. While I have fewer and fewer of those moments now, there were days and weeks at a time where I was too angry with God to even pray. How could I pray to Him, and ask things of Him, when THIS is where it had gotten me? How could a God who loved us so much allow such pain in our lives? Slowly my heart softened and, little by little, I allowed Him back in. I had grown significantly in so many ways since my dad passed away. I think it took realizing that he wasn’t there to take care of me anymore to realize that I finally had to grow up and start taking care of myself, in every way that I had always counted on him to do for me. Since Ethan left us, however, I’ve begun the REAL journey towards the woman I believe God has always intended for me to be.
Since I was a sophomore in high school my family and I have attended (and later became members of) The Cove Church. They’ve been like family to us for years; counseling, loving, supporting, and ministering to us. This past week I was approached by Carey, our pastor’s wife, to see how I would feel about sharing our testimony and story from the past year. There are a few words that play over and over in my mind… humbled, honored, and overjoyed. I am so humbled that
our story, and Ethan’s life, has touched hearts enough that they would want me to share it with our church community. I’m honored that 1- God chose us for this mission and 2- that our church family trusts us and values this year as much as we do. I am overjoyed that I get to share our precious son’s
life and in doing, God’s love and goodness to us!
I wrote a few bullet points to share about why I feel like God is so good. It’s a statement that I’ve made over and over this year… because regardless of the struggle, the pain, and the confusion… His love for us has shown through in every. single. moment. I wanted to share these bullet points with you because I’ve discovered that, although I do believe God has gifted me, as he has everyone, with certain talents… public speaking is not one of them. Although I was in a room with just a few people, I felt like I was speaking to a crowd… and I was nervous. I prayed over my words more times that I can count, and believe with all of my heart that God spoke, through me, exactly what he intended. But I also believe that He gifted me with the ability to speak my heart through words. Perhaps not spoken, but written. Words can flow from my heart and my mind like water through my fingers, and more like sludge through my mouth! 🙂 Below are the points that I so desperately WANTED to convey in my spoken words. I hope that they may bless your life, your journey, your struggles, and your heart the way the Lord has used them to bless me!
“I could write a book on the number of times this year that God has shown up in my life in BIG ways, and even smaller ones. Many times I wondered why things were happening the way they were, but I have been shown, over and over again, that when I put my faith and trust him Him- I’m going to be OK. Because God is GOOD!
He has shown us His goodness in so many ways…
*In what appears to be a shattered and broken puzzle in the pieces of our lives, he puts them together to make something beautiful.
*He carries us in our weakest moments, when it feels like the world is falling down around us.
*He puts the perfect people in the perfect places and moments of our lives to assure us that He is there; and to offer us the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual support that we need.
*He doesn’t turn away from us when we question His plan or when we are angry with Him.
*He LOVES us and will never give up. His grace is never ending and it is by that grace alone that I know I will see our son and my father again someday.
*When I don’t have words, He gives them to me. When I can’t speak them He helps me express them through writing, in hopes that our story can touch the lives of others.
*He gave our son LIFE. When the odds were stacked against him, when the doctors deemed him “incompatible with life”, He proved to us that He is the giver and taker of life. Ethan was perfect, perhaps not for this world, but for us. We felt God’s ultimate goodness in Ethan’s birth, life, and in time, even in his death.
*He gives me peace. Peace in knowing that I am saved, my soul will spend eternity in heaven, and Ethan and my dad are together at this moment. Peace in knowing that if He is for me, no one can be against me! What a blessing!
*He has blessed me with an amazingly supportive family, but most importantly with a husband who, despite his hurt and anger, is faithful. He loves our children and me the way that Christ loves His church.
*He will take my pain and use it for His good. It hurts, and I still wish more than anything that our story had turned out differently, that He had performed “our” miracle. But if my pain and our story could save just one life (whether physically or spiritually) I will know that I am fulfilling His purpose for me. What better reward is there? That could be His miracle!
*Joni Eareckson Tada said, “Sometimes God allows what He hates, to accomplish what He loves.”
None of this is to say that every day is easy. I have days that I struggle. Days where the spiritual warfare is REAL and the battle is tough. But I owe it to my father, to my son, and to my Jesus to fight with everything I have in me. Because I have been blessed so abundantly in this life. And all because God is Good!”
I have felt stronger in my faith, and my ability to be a witness for my precious Lord, than I ever have in my life. This song came over my speakers earlier and I turned it up so loud it almost hurt. I wanted to sing it from the highest mountain in the world, in hopes that everyone could hear. Our God is great, our God is good… and I am so grateful to be His servant!!!