Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On Turning 32...

So I wrote the first half of this blog post the week before my birthday, but I'm just getting around to publishing. I can't help but laugh as I reflect on what actually happened in the days that followed...

Jan. 16, 2012:

It's 6 days before my birthday. I'll be turning 32.

I know, I know, 32 is so young. It's not that I have anything against this age or any age I turn...I mean, I might as well embrace each year...there's no turning back.

Yet, 32, it's bothering me. I'm weepy. I feel unsettled. I'm dreading it a bit.

Life is not as it should be at 32. It's just not.

And I know there are countless others who can relate to that very statement, whatever age they are.

Life is just not as it should be. It's just not.

I often wonder if God looks over His earth, His people, His creation with that very same thought. Life is not as it should be. I mean, He created this beyond amazing earth for Him to commune with us, to walk intimately among us.

And it's all been tainted by generations and generations of sin. This was not His original plan.

He knew before He created the world that His Master Plan, His Plan A, would be thwarted.

So He created a redemptive, yet beautiful Plan B in sending His Son Jesus to make atonement for our sin at the cross.

At the cross.
Redemption. Restoration. Hope.

I am so incredibly grateful that God gave us all a second chance, a chance to start over, to be born again, clean, forgiven, a new creation.

My prayer as I enter into another year of life is that I will keep the cross ever present in my heart, in my mind. I pray that as I look at it as God's Perfect Plan B, I will see beauty in my own life, my own Plan B.

January 25, 2012:
On January 21, the night before my birthday, came a test of those very words. Just when I thought I had overcome my "32 pity party" by enjoying a fun birthday celebration with my closest friends, life was interrupted by a Plan B once again.

On our way to my annual Korean Karaoke tradition, I was in the front seat of my friend's car as we crashed into a dead-stopped car in the center lane of I-85. As we braced ourselves for the unavoidable, I thought in that instance, "well, here goes Plan B."

God protected us and the folks in the other car that night with the help of seat belts and air bags. Of course, I was sad that my birthday plans didn't turned out how I had hoped. But as scary as it was and as unfortunate for my friend totaling her car, I saw glimpses of beauty.

I saw all of my sweet friends, friends who were the first to arrive at the mountain the night Tony was missing, friends who have stuck close by my side in the aftermath of Tony's death and friends who God has so perfectly brought into my "new normal" life in the past year, now standing with me on the side of the interstate. I saw them huddled in a circle praying for everyone involved. I saw relief and hope in their eyes, as we acknowledged that this Plan B could have been so much worse, as we thanked our God for the ability to walk away from the crash and thanked Him for His precious gift of life.

And after a couple hours at the hospital, the 4 of us involved in the accident were even able to muster up a smile as we rang in my actual birthday waiting on our pain medicine prescriptions at the pharmacy. The rest of my birthday was most certainly a blur!

32. I never imaged it would begin with such an unexpected bang. Still, as I had originally written at the end of my post above: "I will choose to trust God; I will choose to not give up. I will choose to keep walking."

Dearly loved, at 32,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Feeding on Faithfulness

There are a couple of Psalms that I have kept on repeat in my Bible reading over last few months...Psalm 37 and 73.  I find those to be two of those all-encompassing, showing me Who God is, chapters especially on the hardest of days.

It says in Ps. 37:3, "Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture." I have written next to this very verse "feed on faithfulness." It came from Louie Giglio sharing that phrase during a series back several years ago at 7:22.

The Psalm goes on to talk about how the wicked, those who do not follow Christ, will perish, but for those who put their trust, their faith, those who stake their very life on the precious blood of Christ, the Psalmist writes, "Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun." (Psalm 37:5-6).

Feed on faithfulness.

Even when it does not make sense. Even when I don't feel like it. Even when my vision, my hope is so blurred by tears. Even when life doesn't turn out the way it's "supposed to," how I'd hoped it would. Even when I watch what seems like everyone around me getting to enjoy those things that now, without my husband, are my shattered dreams.

Feed on faithfulness. Feed on His Word. Find refuge and rest in Jesus. Let Him hold my hand. Do good. Trust God. Keep His commands. Find my delight, all my satisfaction in Him.

That's easier said than done. Because it's hard. Because there's days when I'd just rather Jesus come back than have to face another day on my own, alone...added on top of continuing to hear and witness heart-wrenching stories of others suffering too. It just overwhelms me.

Yet, if life was easy, and predictable, and always blissful and pain-free, then I really wonder if my faith in Christ would be EVERYTHING to me? Would I yearn to follow Him, to lean on Him, to desperately delight in Him and Him alone?

He's the only One who satisfies my soul.
There is no one, not one thing, other than Him.

As I was going to sleep a few months back, I couldn't help but notice and snap this very picture:

Here's my sweet puppy Ralphy chewing on the ribbon place-holder in my Bible. In her own puppy way, she was reminding me to feast on the Word of God.

To feed on faithfulness.

"Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" ~ Psalm 73: 25-26.

Dearly loved,