The past year my mom has told me many many times that God brought me here and He will bring something good out of this. My dad, my sisters, my aunt, my grandmother, the entire family and a few of my closest friends have all said how much they love me and know everything will be for the best in the end. It is easy to hear it, but not always so easy to believe when the end isn't able to be seen.
I'm going through a series on Paul right now. The study bounces throughout scripture following Paul's life and his teachings. The passage I read today was from Acts 5:27-42. Verse 41 and 22 say "The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple, courts and from house to house they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ."
Those last verses hit me hard. They were flogged but they left rejoicing? What kind of nuts are these guys? Who gets a heavy beating and still rejoices. It then hit me that I need this attitude. God is putting me through things (not all bad) that will help me and give Him the glory. It isn't about me! That's the problem. I have been thinking why am I going through this? I don't deserve this. Why would God put me through this? With that thinking I never turned it around and said What is God trying to get me to see through all of this? How can this bring Him glory? How can I use this to further His kingdom?
Turning it around makes it seem so small. Yes, it is still not easy being alone a lot of the time, but it isn't about me. God has me here for a reason, and something good will come out of it.
The road won't be easy and I'm sure I will forget this passage along the way. But I am so fortunate to have family and friends who point me back to God. They point me in the right direction of thinking.
I had a short two week break. I came back and had a stack of mail. The mail consisted of bills, ads, junk mail and one letter. I love getting letters (hint hint, write me guys). This letter was from a woman at my dad's church that I think I've known about 13 years. I'm not exactly sure how old I was when we switched to this church. It has been a while regardless. I had no idea she knew things that were going on in my life. My mom had filled her in a little. Her letter wasn't long but it meant the world to me. It basically said she is praying for me and that I am not alone. I maybe see her three or four times a year since I live out of town and go to a different church. God has placed people like her and my family in my life for a reason.
My efforts are not futile. God does have a plan.
Another recent event that I was stressing about was money. My mom once again told me not to worry and it would all be ok. I knew she was right, but I still stressed (I get that from my dad). I didn't know how I was going to pay for tuition and I don't like being in debt. About two weeks after my stressing (which did nothing to help) I got an email saying I received a small, but still helpful scholarship. At that point all I could do was say YAY. My mom can tell you how excited I was since we were together when I got the news. She was excited too. Ha! Later on I was thinking how faithful God is. I was stressing and all the time He is probably looking down saying Chill Ashley, I got this. I came back from break to hear even better news. I was approved for in state tuition which means my tuition was more than cut in half. This means I will have less loan money to pay back.
Once again God put my mother in my life for a reason. She pointed me back to Him, saying it would all be ok. The past year has not been an easy ride, but it has been a ride that I would say is worth it.
God is doing something even though I cannot see the whole picture. He is faithful to finish what he started.