I hesitated to make this post. One because people are uncomfortable hearing about the subject these days, and two because I know there are others going through far worse themselves and this may seem like not much. But if I kept this to myself I would be going against what God asks of us, to spread the joy of His love and try and help others in need!!! Plus, I'm all hopped up on pain pills and benadryl so bear with me, on this crazy long post, but I have to share a testimony that I think is worth hearing.
2017 didn't start out too well for us, and the first few months were crazy ups and downs, very emotional and very taxing. When our world turned upside down, Nick and I turned to God. We dove deeper into the word, and focused on His grace to see us through. 32 days ago I started a bible study by myself, called "suffering and sovereignty" using the First 5 app. You may have seen me post about it a couple of weeks ago because I loved it so much. It starts with the book of Job, and how God tested Job with a series of unfortunate events. The more I read, and the further I went into the study the better I felt. Suffering is a part of life, and how you choose to handle it is up to you. I grew closer to God, and stronger in my faith. Then, in a way only God could provide, I found myself walking in Job's footsteps. In the book, God took away Job's wealth, his health via what is described as a very bad case of shingles, and he lost his loved ones. As I did the study, it brought me so much comfort, because I could relate to the first one. We too took a financial nose dive, and on a wing and prayer enrolled Caden in a private school, knowing very well we couldn't afford it next year especially because Alivia will be joining him for kindergarten. We put it all in God's hands, knowing he will provide a way. Then things got weird. I too contracted shingles, and found myself experiencing everything I had just read that Job went through. The sleepless nights mixed with the pain that wouldn't end, the blisters, and the agony. I couldn't believe it. The main difference being I had medicine to help relieve the symptoms and Job did not. Then, on the same day I got shingles, I found out my Nana was diagnosed with stage 4 lung and brain cancer and only has a matter of days to live. Ya'll. I stopped dead in my tracks, called my mom and said, "Mom!!! I'm Job!!! What's going on!?!?! How is it that I'm on day 32 of Job and I've literally experienced this book in real time?!" The answer is God.
God was preparing my heart for what was to come. God was holding my hand along the way and showing me exactly what needed to be done to carry on, all the while growing closer to Him. The major difference that exists between the book of Job and my life - God provided me with a tribe of amazing friends and family who rushed to my side. Where Job's friends turned on him, mine reached out a helping hand. Friends have brought the kids home from school, gone to the grocery, brought over meals and texted me with words of encouragement. God provided. God blessed us with this amazing support system, and through it all I never once cried out "why?!" or wondered "why all of this is happening." I know why. I'm not mad. I know that through it all, God's got this. Does that mean I'm not sad or uncomfortable? Heck no. This year has HURT. The shingles HURT. Nana dying HURTS. I've been crying out in pain and sadness plenty, just not in anger. I'm at peace with it. God will provide, and He has provided tremendously. If you just give him your all, your everything, trust in Him and be still, I promise you with His grace you will get through anything. I know that so many of you are experiencing your own test of faith right now, and I urge you not to turn your backs on Him, dive in deeper, and praise Him in the good and the bad!