This month is the anniversary of my father’s death. He was killed at his workplace. A shelving unit fell on him and it broke his neck. I visited his grave a few weeks ago and I so wished I could tell him about things that I have learned over these past 14 years since he has been gone. I have walked through some major battles with eating, approval addiction, hatred and bitterness among some other not so kind struggles. I have also learned that God heals broken hearts, restores friendships and allows the brokenness of our lives to become beautiful stories to tell. I believe my dad would tear up and tell me he was proud. Last night while standing in line for Rachel’s dance recital I met a lady who had worked with my dad for over 25 years. She told me stories about how funny he was, and that he was always pulling practical jokes. She said he loved us and that she saw where he was killed. She also told me she heard my family received a million dollars I laughed and said I WISH! I thought about that this morning as I was driving back from Rachel’s school. The struggles that have surfaced in my life over this past 14 years and the restoration of my heart couldn’t have been fixed with any amount of money. I could have bought things, paid off debt, and allowed my kids to live a cushy lifestyle but really for what? (Now don’t get me wrong that would have been amazing). But I believe that God protects the hearts of his people. He knew that in 2012 He would call my husband out of student ministry and place him in the midst of our city to lead Revolution church. We are among poverty, prostitution, and complacency and I couldn’t imagine our lives any other way. God’s sovereignty trumps any desire for money or comfort in my life. I want to be used and I desperately want girls of all ages to walk in the confidence of how incredibly beautiful they truly are. This week I saw two verses that have rocked my world and they are below…
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it
Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I pulled a few things from both of these.. Last night that sweet lady went on and on about how my eyes looked like my dads. I thought about the first part of the Hebrews verse “Fixing our eyes on Jesus”. I have spent my whole life desperate for my father’s eyes to be on me and for his love and there were times I would give my heart to boy after boy as a way to fulfill the emptiness inside. Oh how I wish I would have fixed my eyes on Jesus. God’s love is so deep it filters out all the junk we horde up in our hearts. Our preferences for churches, our desires that we hide, our secrets, our complacency our negative attitudes all come from our eyes being fixed on something other than Jesus. The other part of those verses I pulled the word endure. He provides me way out from all those things I just listed so that I can endure it. That means it will be hard, I will struggle but I CAN OVERCOME IT. I said I use to struggle with approval addiction. I use to struggle with body image and I use to hate but now because of extreme endurance and God’s outpouring of love and grace I can walk in freedom. He endured the cross. That was hard, painful and I am sure broke his heart in a thousand pieces. The physical pain alone could break you. He endured and for what? THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM. We complain, give up, give in to sin, let go, curse God and walk away when things get so hard that we think we can’t stand any longer. God wants you to experience Him even in the midst of torrential down pours in your life. Today look at all the areas of your life that seem to be beating you down or where you feel defeated and know that JOY comes in the morning. Push through with endurance and know that God is sovereign and He hears your hearts cry. Rest in His presence and unfailing love and ENDURE!