Monday, March 25, 2013

When Plans Change

I'll be blunt: Today, I got really, really mad.

Like, sitting in my dark dorm room crying, screaming at God in my head all the questions that have been rattling around in my brain since the time when I realized that this pain wasn't going to go away easily, mad.

I know You can heal me.  Why won't you?

What can possibly be better about me being in this much pain than the story I could tell of Your healing me?

What are You doing with this?

Why can't I just be a normal college student and go to class?

What's the point in this?

Mostly, though, I just wanted to feel Him.  I wanted to know where He is when I'm alone in my room in tears and feeling so incredibly alone that the walls feel like they're closing in on me.

I called my sweet friend Jess because I just wanted to hear someone's voice, and she said what a lot of people say: she doesn't understand how I deal with this.  And it's the fact that none of my friends, no matter how much they love me (and I know how deeply they love me), can really understand how exhausting this is that just adds to the loneliness.  But I just wanted to talk to someone who would let me tell them how angry I am and tell me that it's okay.

I think the thing that strikes the anger in me the most is the thought that all of this, this whole seemingly never-ending painful mess, is so far from what I planned on.  There I go again, thinking about my plans.  From the time I found out I had to have brain surgery just days before I was supposed to move to Campbell, I've been  stuck in this thought that my life isn't going the way I planned it to.  It feels like everything in the world is trying to get in the way of me and my college graduation.  I want to know why He keeps erasing the path to the dream I've fought for for so long and redrawing it straight through the center of valleys that, in the moment, I feel like I will never escape.

None of this makes sense to me.  It doesn't make sense to me that God sees it better that I suffer through this much pain instead of Him healing me.  And for the first time since all of this started, as I sat here crying alone, I felt my faith waver a little.  I felt myself really doubt if God was here and He was taking care of me.

But then I talked to Jess, and after I got off the phone with her, I thought about Pastor Sean's Palm Sunday sermon.  How he talked about in the span of six days, from Sunday to Friday, the people of Jerusalem went from shouting "Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!" which literally means "salvation is here" to screaming "Crucify him!".  Six days was all it took for them to want to kill the man they started out believing was there to save them.  I want to do everything I can to keep myself from turning into that.

I know that God is who He says He is.  I know that He is faithful, because He was faithful to save me even when I hated Him.  And I don't hate Him now; on the contrary, I love Him more now than I have in my entire life.  I can't hate Him just because He isn't doing exactly what I want Him to.  He didn't come here and lay down His life to save me from the physical pain that I live with; He sacrificed His life to save me from sin and Satan, who will do anything to drag my heart away from my faithful Father.

I just want this to make a little bit of sense, because right it makes about as much sense as if you set a book written in Chinese in front of me.  That doesn't sound like too much to ask, right?  But as I sit here, I feel like God is telling me that this doesn't have to make sense to me.  And it doesn't matter if He changes the plans I had for my life, because in their place He's going to write a story more beautiful than anything I could imagine.  Every time I fight and get mad and cry, I'm standing in the way of fulfilling the perfect plan that He has written in the Book of Life for me.  I just have to trust and I have to have faith, things that seem so easy in words but are so hard when the weight of my pain feels like it's about to beat me down.

Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  That's why it's so hard.  That's why it's so difficult for non-believers to understand why we believe in the power of Christ.  But Jesus gave us EVERYTHING and all He asks is that we give Him our hearts, that we surrender everything we feel is tying us to this world, lie it at His feet, and hold on to the hope that our real citizenship lies in heaven where none of the stuff that seems so mind-boggling and huge right now will mean anything.

I know how far God has taken me.  Just in case I ever forget, I am reminded of it every time one of my faithful friends comments on the transformation they have seen in me.  And I know that I am never going back to the girl that I used to be, not for anything.  I am His.  My heart is His.  That much I know.  Even when I'm angry, sad, frustrated, and crying so hard I feel like I can't catch my breath, I know that I am His.

When plans change, and I don't know which direction I'm headed or when or where to take the next step, the only choice I have is to hold on to the Light that guides me through every day.  And with each step, my faith grows a little bit more and I draw closer to the Savior who has been next to me from the very beginning.  I just have to trust in the knowledge that the One who knew the number of days I have on this earth long before I was even conceived will never steer me wrong, because He won't.

After all, I serve a God who wants nothing but the best for His children.  That's why He sent Christ to take what I deserve so that I can have what Christ deserves.  I may not know where I'm going, and the questions I have may not get answered until I'm sitting at His feet, but I know who He is.  I know that I don't have to conquer this pain because He already did.

And that is enough.

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