I am a big fan of Jo Dee Messina. I grew up watching her videos on CMT ever single morning when I got ready for school. She posted a video today of her cover of Plumb’s song Need You Now. In the opening of the video, she talks about her struggle with her mom getting sick. Then she said: “I am my mother’s daughter, but first I am a child of God.” but first I am a child of God. Yes. I am. Before my grief. Before my pain. Before all the darkness. I am a child of God.
I’ve spent this year reading the words of Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl over and over and trying to apply it to my life. Anyone who knows me knows I hate rereading books. This book is different. Every time I read Lysa’s words, I see something different and I want to carve an even deeper relationship with You, Lord.
She wrote: “But other times the hurt comes in the form of a loss that cuts into your heart so viciously it forever redefines who you are and how you think. It’s what I call deep grief. The kind that strains against everything you’ve ever believed.” Well it certainly changed my prayer life and my perspective. The more I wanted to pull away, the more You pulled me closer. She continued by saying: “I was asking the wrong question. I was asking why. Why did this happen? Why didn’t You stop this, God? Why were my prayers not answered? Why?” Lord, You and I both know, I asked these questions and some. I couldn’t understand why my grandma had to suffer or why Christopher had to leave us so early. I had never lost anyone and then I lost two very important people within three months of each other. I couldn’t even process one before another one was gone. Why, was a constant question in my life.
Lysa wrote: “And His reasons, from our limited perspective would always fall short. That’s because our flat human perceptions simply can’t process God’s multidimensional, external reasons. God describes it this way: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’ (Isaiah 55:8-9). We can’t see the full scope of the situation like God can; therefore we must acknowledge that His thoughts are more complete and that He is more capable of accurately discerning what is best in every circumstance. In the case of losing a loved one, love skews even the most rational parts of us. Our love for the person we lost would never allow God’s reasons to make us feel any better or to understand any more fully. We would still feel as though God had made a terrible mistake. So, if asking the why question doesn’t offer hope, what will? The what question. In other words: Now that this has happened, what am I supposed to do with it?”
That question is something I very much I want to answer. They weren’t perfect people. Those two knew just how to push my buttons and make me madder than a Hatter, but I want them to know I learned something from loving them. In more ways than one, they helped me pray over the past year and a half. They’ve been a daily reminder that I need You.
Further into the book, Lysa wrote: “I know that He is preparing me for what I will need throughout this day. He is already standing in every minute of my day and He sees what I will face. He’s equipping me to be able to handle what is ahead of me with His gentle boldness, quiet strength, and loving grace.” Later she adds: “Some things are fun and good; others are extremely difficult and painful. Somehow Jesus has used it all.” Then she continues by saying: “Jesus can take everything surrendered to Him and turn it around for good. Everything.”
So, that is my prayer today. Lord, I have thanked you for a lot of things over the past twenty-three years, but I have never thanked you for this. Thank you for preparing me. Thank you for giving me the courage I needed. Thank you for your gentle boldness, your quiet strength, and your loving grace. I pray that I continue to ask the what question. I pray that I continue to fall on my knees in need of you. I pray that I keep seeking you. Thank you for taking my grief and loss and using it for your good. Thank you for taking my pain and using it for your good. Thank you for teaching me and leading me. Thank you for your hand on my life. Thank you for loving me even through all the broken pieces and cracks. Lord, I am trying to follow you and listen to you. I am trying to actively seek you in my daily routine. Through everything that has happened, the more I realize how desperately I need you. I am so thankful you never left me, no matter how far I ran or pushed you away. Thank you for having open arms for me. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.