I went from being on a high in my faith while serving at a Freedom Conference to the lowest low I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. I prayed and BELIEVED God for a miracle. I’m talking about…on my knees, on my face…pleading with God. The kind of prayers you shout out to the Lord in your War Room. I was very familiar with this “place”, but this time it was different. I needed a miracle. I needed my Mother.
When she did not wake up, I was angry. How could God allow this to happen? And on Mother’s Day? How could He not bring this miracle to pass? I believed in my heart that He could heal her! Yes, I’m a flawed woman of faith, but were my prayers not good enough? Did I not say or do the right things to get God to hear my prayers? Was it something that I did or didn’t do for him to punish me like this? Did I not solicit enough prayer warriors to intercede on our behalf? In that moment, doubt instantly made me forget about all of the prayer warriors in my circle that can (and will) pray until the paint comes off the walls.
I realized that without a doubt the father of lies was filling my mind, my thoughts, and my heart with guilt and shame. I was overwhelmed by the heaviness of condemnation (and now grief) for something beyond my control. Shortly after, a friend of mine got me all the way together in the most life-giving way. I was quickly reminded that God DOES NOT judge us. He does not condemn us. He does not think like us, nor does He operate like us. I was condemning myself when all along, God had planned something better.
It’s important to express our upset emotions to the Lord. But we have to view our circumstances through the lens of God’s grace: everything He does is without fault and is always right. – Micca Campbell | Proverbs 31 Ministries
My beautiful Mother was resting in her eternal peace, and the miracle had already been performed. I didn’t even see it. For weeks, I walked around angry all while trying to plead my case as to why I knew that my way was BEST for her. I was selfishly ignoring the fact that she had already made peace with God.
A few Sundays ago at Church of the Highlands, I sat next to a sweet lady who was visiting her daughter in college for the weekend. She told me about a message that my Pastor, Chris Hodges, shared after the passing of her Mother. She also mentioned that the same message ushered in a place of freedom during her process of grieving and healing. She didn’t know me and she most certainly did not know that my Mother had passed away.
Do you see how God will align people to walk right into your path to give you an encouraging word?
She said she really needed me to hear the message, so we went online to find it before service started. That evening, I started listening to it and Pastor Chris was sharing a message on Lessons of Faith. I immediately got frustrated and turned off my tablet. I didn’t want to hear about faith when my Mother was already gone. What else was there for me to have hope in? I couldn’t bring her back! The next day I decided I would try it again. This time, I printed off the message notes—and there they were. The scriptures! Jumping off of the page were the same scriptures the lady shared with me.
On the car ride home, I replayed the message. When I tell you…in the last 10 minutes, God was talking directly to me. I cried and released everything on my heart—the good, the bad, AND the ugly. It was then, when I could feel my healing taking place.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:39-40
For weeks, I wrestled with God. I walked around with my faith ripped to shreds while being disappointed, angry, hurt, broken, and confused…with very little room for a smile and most certainly not any room for peace in my heart. I even bargained with God and tried to convince Him that I knew what was best. I went back and forth with different stages of grief week after week; and I’m even convinced that I have discovered a new stage that no one ever warned me about.
It’s a process. I’m still processing.
Eventually, I had to stop fighting it. It took me months, but I finally experienced a #HeartCheck. I came to terms with what Pastor Chris said… “God ALWAYS does the right thing”.
He was right.
This plan of Mine is not what you would work out, neither are My thoughts the same as yours! For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than yours, and My thoughts than yours.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
In that single bullet of the Lessons of Faith, things became clearer and many questions were answered. Even the ones found in the core of my heart. I know on this side we won’t always understand it…but I truly believe in my heart that one day we will. All of the worrying, all of the pain, and all of the tears will be purged from His bottle and anything associated with those tears will be remembered no more (Psalm 56:8).
Some people take days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years to ACCEPT their “reality”, and some just don’t. But from that moment on, I decided I was no longer going to allow the lies of the enemy doubt my God or who I am in God. I know it’s going to take time and every day may not be good to me—but I have to surrender my heart and thoughts to God daily to receive my reward of FAITH, which is PEACE. I will trust the process as I learn to accept this new normal that is so intricately woven into God’s will. I will continue to remind myself that God had planned something better.
…and one day I will REST in the fullness of BETTER.