So I’ve been sitting here with five posts in my drafts since January. Hi. If you don’t remember me or don’t subscribe to me anymore I don’t blame you. It’s been a while. It’s me Rachel, and I have done a lot of growing lately.
So grab some tea and let’s catch up.
Last time I was on here I was blogging about my sister Sarah and her time in the hospital. I can’t even describe to you the joy I have in telling you that she is completely okay now, and she has been since February. The Lord fulfilled His promise on that one. Big. Time. and I am so utterly grateful, but there is something funny about coming out of a huge storm like that one. For a few weeks I was just so thankful to God. I prayed with the confidence that He would give her back to me and He did. But it’s not quite the same now. She’s different. Like anybody would be if they were in such an overwhelming situation, but regardless of how hard I prayed and how many tears I cried. I did not almost die, and I will not understand what that is like.
So in the months that have followed I have gotten my sister back but not the one that got sick. The new one that came back to me. I don’t know how to describe it because she’s still my sister, but something is different now.
When I realized things were different I started saying to God, why did you let this happen in the first place. I know you didn’t cause it, but why did you do it! All we’re experiencing is pain! And if this pain is to get me to come to you, is there not some other way to do it!
And it only went down hill from there. I started questioning everything about my faith, and then the storms really came. One night about a month before my high school graduation my grandma called saying that my grandpa had had a heart attack, his third. They took him into the hospital where they decided that they needed to do open heart surgery, something that they didn’t think he was going to live through.
So it started again. The praying, the hospital visits, the wonder, the worship, the Bible studies to cling to what little faith I had left that God had the best in mind for me.
He goes through open surgery and it is really rough, but he makes it! Praise God he makes it! He starts recovery and physical therapy and is slowing finding a new normal. However he can’t make it to my graduation.
So I graduate with my mom, my dad and my friends watching. No extended family at all. That was rough.
About a month after graduation it’s time for camp. A couple days before we leave though grandpa goes back to the doctor because of shortness of breath. He has pneumonia, and a collapsed lung as a side effect of his open heart surgery, time for two more surgeries, and again they don’t know if he’ll make it.
By this point I didn’t know what to do. He was defying odds left and right but now he just seemed tired. I went to go see him the day before camp, and came to terms with the fact that this visit might be goodbye.
and then his nurse came in.
“This man is so brave. He’s a fighter.”
He’s a fighter.
4. 3. 2. 1.
4 – stage four cancer. He beat that.
3 – three heart attacks. He beat them.
2 – two surgeries back to back. He beat those.
1 – one God who wasn’t about to give up on Him.
If he’s not giving up then I’m not either. He had his next two surgeries and he made it through, and he’s back at home getting stronger every day. He’s a fighter.
So where does that leave my faith? Every struggle that my family has gone through has ended with God bringing the person through, but my question is why. Haven’t we learned enough? Haven’t we gotten it yet God?
I was telling all of this to my small group leader and she said this. “Sometimes it’s not a trial sometimes it’s just old age. Sometimes God has you in a season because he still has more to show you. If you are so conflicted about your faith it means there is something there. Study the “I AM” statements in John, Learn who God says that He is.”
So here I go into John.
- Jesus is the Bread of Life (John 6:35)
- Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12)
- Jesus is the Door (John 10:9)
- Jesus is the Good Shepard (John 10:11)
- Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25-26)
- Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6)
- Jesus is the Vine (John 15:5)
So where does that leave me? Well I’m not going to say that as soon as I started studying John I was so sure of my faith, and I never doubted God again, but that’s just not true.
So what did I learn?
1. God is STURDY.
Life is unexpected. God is not. None of those surgeries or sicknesses or college decisions are coming up as a surprise to God, and that is so comforting.
2. God is HOLY.
He is ruler over the earth. He created us and as He spoke us into being He spoke us into existence with a voice that can never lie. He created us with His voice of truth, so we never need to doubt ANYTHING that He tells us because He CANNOT lie to us.
3. If you are not facing struggles, you are DEAD.
I am realizing (finally) that struggles are just apart of life, and if we weren’t struggling we wouldn’t be on this earth and if we want to love our families and go to college and get married and enjoy life, we need to struggle on God’s behalf. God says that we “get” to struggle on His behalf. That’s the deal here on earth. But God has promised that He will pay it forward, if not on earth than in Heaven.
So while on earth we will struggle. But God is sturdy, and He will pay it forward when we trust Him.
So please brother or sister. Don’t give up on your struggle. Don’t give up on God.
Hope it helps a little I can’t fix a struggle, but I can fight with you.