I’ve put off writing this blog much longer than I intended…I think a lot of it has to do with feeling a little intimidated and a lot insufficient. I am an anxious person, so my first worry was: “If Erin doesn’t like it, I will be shunned from the church!” That was obviously a harsh generalization of the pastor’s wife, who ended up being so sweet and kind and selfless! I asked a friend, who I would probably call a mentor at this point, and she offered some suggestions and took so much [self-inflicted] pressure off my back. Like our fierce coordinator, Dana, I get my best ideas in the shower. (Sorry, Erin, for being in someone else’s shower thoughts!) I really heard the Lord tell me two things that Erin was trying to convey on Tuesday.
1) God is faithful – even in the strangest, worst, best, whatever circumstances, He. Is. Faithful. God can take your hurts, your happiness, your weird friendships-turn-relationships, your blah days and turn them into something for His glory. Even when you think you’re in the worst or even the best place, God’s not done with you! One of Erin’s life verses was “…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). How beautiful it is to know that God’s not done, even when we feel like we are! And honestly, I feel like I’m done much, much more than I’d ever like to admit! Which brings me to Erin’s second point…
2) Every testimony matters – I’m going to be blunt here, I rolled my eyes a bit when Erin described her “apple pie America” life. It was mostly out of jealousy, but also out of my inability to understand or see the bigger picture. I’ve only ever dreamed of an “apple pie America” life/testimony. I was talking with my table leader one night describing some disturbing difficulties I faced as a child and I said, “I seriously thought it was normal – that every family was like that!” So it came as no surprise to me when I took Erin’s ‘easy’ testimony like an unintended jab at my heart. When I get out of my own selfish world and really think about everything, that’s just me being unfair, AGAIN! No one’s testimony is easy, is it? We all have our own struggles and hurts. What matters is what you do with those struggles and hurts.
Finding and believing in God’s purpose for me has always been a difficult task. When you Google “what does the Bible say about purpose in life?” there are COUNTLESS verses! My personal favorite is the beginning of John 15:16, Jesus says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you!” My husband just shared something with me, “How cool is it that the same God that created mountains and oceans and galaxies and puppies looked at you and thought the world needed one of you, too.” It baffles me every day that God chose me; that He created me, that He sent His Son to die for ME, that I’m that loved by Him!
For those of you who don’t know and don’t follow my personal blog, I’m going through a rough season in my life. Sophia said it best on our MOPS Facebook page: “I needed all of what’s happened to have happened to bring me to my knees.” I’m still learning to let go of resentment and jealousy and pain. I’m still learning to live with my past. A lot of the support and help I’ve received has come to me via people’s testimonies of God’s faithfulness. What I have learned is that it’s equally important to hear about God’s faithfulness in EVERY circumstance, whether it be ‘apple pie’ or painfully broken, so that you know God is constant, even in our erratic, unpredictable world.