Friday, November 20, 2009

True Thanksgiving

I am not a mother who has lost a child. I am not fighting my own battle with cancer wondering if I will get to watch my children grow up. I am not walking along side a spouse or family member fighting for their life against cancer or other sicknesses. I am not a wife whose husband is on the other side of the world fighting to keep our country safe. I am not a widow who is grieving the loss of her best friend all the while raising their 3 and 5 year old children. I have not been sexually abused as a child by a family member. I am not the product of divorced parents. I am not the wife of a man who would rather be elsewhere doing other things. I am not the wife of a man that God has called to labor in a place that is dangerous and our lives can be in danger at any moment. I am not a woman longing to conceive a child of my own, not understanding why God won't let me be a mother. I am not the mother of a sweet 18 month old baby who received a devastating phone call this very week telling her that her child suffers from a terrible syndrome that will completely change the life of that entire family. I am not any of these things. But I know someone who is or has walk through EVERY single one of these things. And in these lives I see AMAZING stories of God showing up. He becomes so real and so tangible in the lives of these people. They inspire me to want to know the God that walks them through these TERRIBLE times in their lives.

This morning on my way to the doctor I was listening to Laura Story's song Make Something Beautiful. Take a minute and read these lyrics:

When I'm at the point of breaking at the place where I resign,
And I'm at the stage of shaking my head as I look back on my life,
When I'm halfway through the grieving, but not quite through the ache,
When I cannot see the ending, Or which road I'm supposed to take,
All i know to do is lift my hands to you..

Take all of my life, all of my life,
All I know to do is lift my hands to You.
And make something beautiful.
I open my hand, trusting Your plan.
Make something beautiful so all will see
Your work in me, as You make something beautiful

Verse 2:
When I'm tired of pretending, and I cant recall my lines,
Do I say, I'm barely breathing., or just say, I'm doing fine.
I admit there is a yearning, for the hurting to subside,
But not at the risk of missing what Your doing with my life
All i know to do is lift my hands to you

I had never heard this song and it ministered to my heart tremendously. But as I thought about how appropriate this song is for my life right now I heard a voice whisper in my head "but your husband didn't fight brain cancer like hers." It was in that moment that this post was born in my head. Because I realized that I, like most of you reading this, have bought into the lie that I should be "thankful" for my life because it could be so much worse. That idea that we should be thankful is not the lie. The reasoning that brings us to the conclusion that we should be thankful is the lie. To look at another person's lot in life and concluded that our could be worse so we should "look on the bright side" is to say to God - "I will be thankful only because it could be worse." But my lot in life is exactly were God has me. And His promises are true to me as well. The circumstances in my life right now are very hard for me. We are all dealing with the consequences of sin - either with tragedy and sickness or weariness and depression. On this earth they are assigned values giving more weight to some over others. But in the eyes of our all knowing, all powerful God who is able to comfort all of the tragedies that I listed above all the while hold his very "sad and weepy" daughter in the palm of his hand there is no difference. Not that grief is more or less - because it is. But that what is going on in my measly lot here on this earth matters to my Daddy. It matters because He is my maker and my creator and He loves me. It matters because He hand selected this life for me and He is using my sin struggles and my heartache and my depression (there I said it) to teach me all these things. He has just as much time to hear my broken heart as He does to heal a child who is dying. And when I realized that today it made me want to RUN RUN RUN to His feet. Living in a world surrounded by people who don't have the time to do anything anymore I came face to face with my Father who has all the time in the world and wants me to sit at His feet or curl up in His lap.
Yes this was a very personal thing God did in my heart today but if you have been reading this for any time you know that I am ok with laying my heart on the table for the world to see. Yes, I have made stupid decisions in my life, I have regrets that I wish I could take back but I am here asking God to take all of my life - all of my life and make something beautiful. And I felt compelled to share this because I know that many of you are like me. Struggling in the midst of a "normal" life and you feel like God doesn't have time or that your struggles are not that important but they matter to your Father. So I am running to my Daddy and asking Him to take out my old and sinful heart and create in me a clean heart. And just as she says in the song
- "I admit there is a yearning for the hurting to subside but not at the risk of missing what you are doing in my life." So join with me and ask God to take your life and make something beautiful. With this mindset and heart I hope you can truly give thanks this week for the life you have.


alieta young casey said...

beautiful. love you, dear friend.

jaclark said...

I had the same exact word for your post as Alieta, "Beautiful".
Thank you for sharing!

Shelley said...

i prayed for you today with all the thanksgiving festivities that are heavily related to food! i hope you enjoyed the true thanksgiving