Praise You in the Storm.
Today's point of praise: "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed." (2 Corinthians 4:8-9) Day #6
This message - adversity - was well placed in my life again... something that I am very thankful for today.
Reading the passage in my devotional solidified my feelings that things happen for a reason - both good and bad things. It's easy to comprehend why great moments take place in our life and to see how we deserve all of our blessings. Though at times we may feel undeserving of our fortunes, it is usually not a topic we complain about. It is more difficult, however, to see why the worse moments of our life happen the way they do. We ask God in those awful moments - why? What did I do to deserve this? How could you allow this to happen in my life?
Eventually, I just realize there is no way God can interject in our lives to keep bad things from happening to us. Sometimes He does work in our hearts and the hearts of others in order to keep bad things from happening, but when we stray away from Him, how can He help us then? And maybe that is why the hurt ends up happening... So that we join Him once again once we hit the bottom.
"Every misfortune, every failure, every loss may be transformed. God has the power to transform all misfortunes into 'God-sends.'" -Mrs. Charles E.Cowman
I haven't had a relationship with God in a very long time. I'm not using ANY one or thing as an excuse - but I will explain my thoughts on the topic. I remember during my pregnancy with Presley in 2011, Tony and I were newlyweds and went to mass together often. (That is, after all, the first place I felt Presley kicking!) I also remember the standing, sitting, kneeling made me feel lightheaded and like I couldn't get a deep breath ever. So I stopped urging that we go to church. And then we had Presley and it felt so nice to go to church as a family! I felt so supported and loved by our church community each time we were there together. A pinicle of those early months as a new family of three was Presley's beautiful baptism. After that? It got difficult to attend regularly. It was easy to find a routine that left out mass for more downtime as a family, especially when Tony was working so many hours. (This is my current rationalization as well.) In reality? Mass is one hour a week. Not only that, but I feel better after being there and I don't remember a time I ever left mass thinking, "man. I really regret spending the last hour here rather than [insert place here]."
Another thing keeping me from church? Wondering if my social views align with the Catholic Church anymore. And if I find that they don't, where does that leave me? Am I accepted in the Church anymore? In which case, we would need to search out new churches and much uncharted territory for me.
Best way to get started: head to church. If it doesn't feel right, I think I will figure that out sooner or later. And then we will cross that bridge as we get to it.
I promise I am saying all of this to eventually make a point. As I said yesterday, sometimes bad shit happens. We can't keep it from happening. Sometimes the life we envision for ourself seems to fall apart. And that sucks. But once you can grab ahold and take a step back, the perspective will show you that it has somehow managed to bring something beautiful back into your life. In my case, it has reignited my desire to strengthen my faith life for myself and to share it with my family. I'm absolutely not to the point in my life where I can say absolutely, "thank you so much for giving me these things that hurt me so that they can bring me closer to you" ...I'm just not there yet nor am I sure that I will ever be.
But where I am on my journey? I can see my God-friends being such amazing influences for me and leading me down paths of healing and redemption. I can see it was God helping lead me to the right comfort in times of trouble and I can see that it is God lending them the words to guide. I'm so sad about things that have happened in my life recently that are out of my control, but it helps to stop and praise Him in the storm for the abundance bestowed on me in other areas. I know we all bear hardships and they really do suck the life right out of you. And I hope that after reading this, you can do the same - think of & call on your blessings - when the bad times come around.
"Gods faithfulness and grace make the impossible possible." -Shelia Walsh