Hello blog world! I've been out of touch for a year or so and I was amazed to come back to my blog to see that people are still reading my older posts and I've gotten several direct emails over the past year from readers encouraging me that what I write is effecting people around the globe. This has been a blessing to me as I've been traveling through a rough patch of life that left me in a place where I had to step away from the computer and blogging and focus on my health and my family. I'm not sure at this point how often I'll post, but I'm hoping that it will be weekly (Lord willing) Thank you to those of you who have hung in there and Welcome to those who are new and reading this!
Today I read a post that said "God is bigger than my last experience" and this got me thinking about the fact that our emotions and experiences often distract us and get us discouraged and off track. For me personally, I believe that at least for this season in my life, pain and illness is my experience...or like the Apostle Paul called it, his "thorn in the flesh". My experience or 'thorn' is difficult....it hurts, but I have a choice. I can focus on the pain, on the things that I can no longer do, on the people who have left my life because living around someone with a chronic disease isn't always 'fun', or..........I can force my brain to look outside of how I feel, whatever the last experience was that was difficult or disappointing, and focus on the fact that God is good, He loves me, He has helped me to get through days I never thought I'd make it through, He has given me the gift to love people in spite of their past or the things they have done to hurt me, He gave me the ability to have compassion for others who are hurting and to be able to communicate and reach out to others in need.
The following is hard at times for me to swallow, but the very fact that He has ultimately allowed every bad thing that I've experienced, He is using it for His glory and my good. You might wonder how and the answer is this; I have an understanding and compassion for those who hurt (both physically and emotionally) that only comes from walking through those deep valleys of pain. I can look someone walking a similar road in the eyes and tell them that I get it.....my experience may not be exactly the same but I understand the struggle, the fight, the fatigue, and the need for support, and they can see in my eyes that I understand something that most people don't ... only because I've been there. This is the beauty from the ashes (which for me is the death of my life as I dreamed it before illness and injury which included an adventurous life and many children), my gift is to be used by God to be His Hands and Feet on Earth...loving people, and it is a privileged and honor.
God IS bigger than my last circumstance! And my last circumstance is just that.....a circumstance. And yes, sometimes they are truly difficult and even at times life altering....but PRAISE GOD....circumstances can change! God's story for my life and yours is not yet over. Many of us are only part way through the story of our lives and beautiful things can still come from broken circumstances.
I'm amazed as there is a very large field of grass that contains Elk and many other wild animals that they put in a controlled burn each summer. They burn a large section of it and when I first see it (even though I've watched this process many times) I first look at the charred blackness covering the ground and feel sort of sad, but it only takes a few days and new life is growing from around those ashes. And right now I can drive to that same field that was burned about a month ago and see the lushest green grass that you can imagine, and all the wildlife is in it, around it, and over it.....enjoying its bounty.
So, it's good to remember that as believers, God has a hope for us, for our future and even if our circumstances look bad and pretty charred, God will bring beauty out of the ashes, he will put a song in our hearts and gift us with things we can't yet imagine. We must hold on and have faith in times when all we see is the scorched earth, for that is NOT the end of the story! New life is growing underneath our feet! Have hope, be at peace, and learn to trust in your Faith in the Lord above your circumstances! That is my goal!