However, I can testify to what God has done when our world has been broken and shattered.
God has walked beside me each step of the way. I realize more fully what Christ has done for me. The agony of the cross became real. Suffering because of sin brought me to my knees. And I am grateful not to be alone. I do not travel a path where he has not been.
God has shown me the way to find peace is through praising Him. In the dark of the night, when sleep would not come I would read in the Psalms and cry out to the Lord along with David. I noticed David often turned to praising God. When I did the same quietly singing praise songs to God, peace would come to my soul and rest would follow.
God has provided for all our needs at just the right time. He has been using his people to guide us, direct us, and financially sustain us.
- A school guidance counselor offered solid advice and prayed with me right there in the public school office.
- A law enforcement officer did his job but also offered compassion and support.
- A college friend returned a phone call and gave some advice and options when it seemed we had hit a dead end.
- A family friend who lives miles away sent us money because his wife told him to.
- Another gift check was given to us by our church family.
God has shown us what it means for God's people to "Bear one another's burdens."
- A friend brought over meals when my brain couldn't even think straight to be able to put something together.
- My husband's family took our younger children for a few days while we sorted things out.
- A friend dropped everything to come during a moment of crisis.
- A family friend happened to be here at the right time when things were out of control, and I was scared.
- Several friends offered to and have watched our younger children for us.
- My mom came over and helped with laundry, dishes, and children.
- Cards of encouragement came in the mail.
- Notes of encouragement came through texts, e-mails, and facebook messages.
- Flowers were delivered to my doorstep.
- Our church family surrounded us and continues to surround us with hugs, prayers, love and encouragement.
God has shown me the power of prayer. One day was particularly hard. I remember sobbing that morning and telling my husband, "I can't do this. I just can't do this." He wrapped his arms around me and just started praying. Somehow strength came when I had none to face the day. As we went through that day together, we cried off and on. We had asked our church family to surround us with prayers. At one point my husband said, "I feel like every time someone stops praying to breathe, I start crying again." His comment illustrates how we could feel the prayers of his saints sustaining us.
God has shown me what it means to truly grieve for the lost. I cannot sing a song about God's salvation or deliverance without it becoming a prayer for my boys. My heart aches. The pain comes out in tears. I cannot stop them. I long for the Lord to come back, yet my heart begs God for time. "Lord, give us time to reach those who are still lost."
God cares enough to tell me something more then one time when he is trying to get my attention. All our children have many needs right now. It can be overwhelming to a mother. They are hurting too. Some are confused. There is anger. There is sadness. Yet I find myself empty and having to withdraw. I hide out in my room at times because I can't give another hug or have another conversation. I need held too. I need time to process it all.
My loving husband sent me to talk to a Christian counselor last week. Her assignment for me was to take at least four consecutive hours a week for myself to start refilling my cup so I have something to give again. I heard her, but I guess I didn't take it too seriously because how does one do that anyway? It sounded like something else to add to my "to do" list. Right afterwards I met with a sweet friend who has encountered similar circumstances. She shared more of their story with me, and it further opened my eyes to the importance of resting and refilling. Then another friend shared an article with me that got to the heart of the matter. I need to have enough faith to rest. I need to rest knowing God can handle this without me. It all depends on him not me. It has been humbling and yet comforting to know God cares enough to tell me, "Get some rest. I can handle this."
God has given me hope. I do not feel despair. I will not give up. I believe in our God who can rescue and save. I think of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. God did not spare them from the fire. They had to go through it. However, he was right there in the midst of the fire with them. In the end God brought them through the fire unharmed. Only the ropes that had bound them were burned up. I am confident God will bring us through, and in the end he will be glorified. That is the way our God works.
God is faithful to us in our brokeness. He is worthy to be praised!