When Mark and I were told about Emma before she was born, our decisions determined the path her life would take. When Mark and I found out that I had brain cancer, our decisions determined the path our families lives would take. When our family was told that Emma would not come home, our decision determined the path her body would take.
Yet the Lord’s will never changed. He was not alarmed nor was He shaken by the paths that He already had planned for our little lives down here.
I had a really hard time with this after the decision was made to turn off the machines. I doubted myself. I doubted my love for Emma. But then a friend asked me one simple question: “Heather, when you turned them off, did she live?” It wasn’t up to me whether she lived or died, God had numbered her days even before she was born. If it wasn’t her time, she would have still been breathing after the machines stopped. It took me a long time to come to that realization and accept the fact that I did the best thing for my daughter.
God never lost control. He never lost his breath. He never shook his head and said “what now”.
“We have been called according to His purpose.” -Romans 8:28
Not our purpose. Not our wants or desires. Not our selfish plans.
We are never outside of His plan for our lives. So when those hard questions come, and trust me they will come, remember that we are never given over to “random chance” by our Creator. He is conforming and molding us into His likeness. He is refining our hearts, and with refining there comes pain and suffering.
We see the back of the tapestry with all of the knots and strings… He is in the front making His masterpiece out of our lives. In Romans, Peter says “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us“. God is going to reveal glory in His children. He is going to turn our mourning into gladness. He will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.
When the storms come, and questions run rampant in your hearts, where will you hide? Will you hide in fear and hopelessness, doubting that that the one who holds the entire universe in the palm of his hand does not care about you; or will you take refuge in His sovereign plan for your life, hiding in His loving arms until the storm passes and you are able to stand up again.
You will have questions, you will have doubt, you will be angry.
It is what you do with those things that will determine your future stability and well being.
Where will you hide?
Amy Hunt says
The miraculous way about it is that only through the storms are we better prepared for the next ones. To not hide. To trust. He strengthens our faith in all of these moments. And we aren’t to beat ourselves up when we hide and cower. We’re to ask for His courage to trust. And so, the next time, we’ll have a bit more strength to choose courage…to trust.
Yes, only He knows.
Your stories, as painful as they are, speak of his amazing grace. To persevere. To trust. To Hope. It’s this other side of the raw moment when you can See. And really, time does heal as He moves in us.
Rich blessings, sweet Heather, as He continues to show you purpose for your stories.
Gloria Gibbons says
Thank you for your response to Heather’s post.
I am one of those that will beat myself up and will hide and cower, but I have to remember that God has a plan and a purpose and may I learn from the trials/pain. I pray I learn to Trust and run to him.
Robyn @ a bird in the Father's hand says
You’re an inspiration for us all to hold onto Him, Heather. In all of my storms, the Heavenly Father has never been anything but faithful.
This was perfect for me today, thank you. While my struggles seem small in comparison to what you wrote about, they are still hard things for me. And I’m trying my best not to live in the hopelessness of lack of change or the desperation that I’m somehow the master of my own destiny – I know better. I do know that God is in control, and now I need to live in a way that shows I know that.
Thanks for this encouragement to my faith and my walk with God!
This message from you comes at a time when I have experienced much pain and disappointment in my life. Comparing my pain with yours serves no purpose but what you went through was certainly more than what I am experiencing. Doesn’t make it hurt any less but puts things in perspective. I keep thinking God is preparing my heart, making it softer to be ready to do his bidding when asked. I decide on a daily basis to trust him to endure the suffering and believe I will be called to glory with him and that’s all that matters. God bless and keep you.
Beth Williams says
What a testimony you have!
I believe we go through storms in life so as to be strengthened & trust God more–but also to be able to help & encourage others when they go through similar storms.
No one should ever compare themselves or their pain to someone else. We are all created & molded differently. God made each one of us unique in His own image.
Shelly R says
Thank you Heather, just what I needed to hear today.
Thank you for these wonderful and truthful words of encouragement. I needed DESPERATELY to hear that TODAY!!
Gloria Gibbons says
Thank you so much for being real and sharing this. As you said we all have struggles and pain, but what are we doing with it. I would love to stand boldly and say that I always run to God, but I do not – I sometimes cower and cry like a baby.
I appreciate Amy’s response about learning and asking for courage to Trust so that the next trial we are a little faster at running to God.
Thanks for the post.
Heather, I’m not sure how to express how much your heart impacts mine. God has and continues to use the words He gives you to help move mountains in mine. My heart breaks for the hardships you have and are walking through and am tearfully grateful for the decision you and your husband make to hide in Jesus. He’s using you in more ways than you know.
Thank you for sharing. God uses you greatly, my friend and you touch many.
Kaitlin @ Perceptions & Passions says
I read your post as I sit holding my one month son in the NICU. We just met with his neurologist who have us hard news. I’m so thankful my God is not shaken by this news and no matter what happens next there is purpose. None of this will be for nothing. Course my heart hurts like I’ve never felt before but I pray my suffering has purpose too. Thank you for encouragement!
Donna M. says
Heather, Just wanted to say thank you for your words of faith. Many times we tend to get so absorbed with the pain of the trial that we forget our Lord is right there with us! It’s such a challenge to hand our pain over not knowing what the result will be. I’ve learned to TRUST and let him weather the storms. Like Gloria mentioned above I also have learned to run much faster to Him when the storm hits! We never have to face the pain alone! <3
Kaitlin @ Perceptions & Passions says
I just finished with Isaiah and needed a new book to work through in the Bible. After reading this…Romans is on my heart! 🙂
I cannot tell you how timely this message is.
My husband and I were discussing news received yesterday that has rocked our world. I have spent most of the day crying today. I don’t know what to pray for or ask for so I am consistently praying for God’s will. Even though that scares the crap out of me, I have to trust it. His track record is impeccable. I have to believe that He will hold me in the palm of His hand and shelter me from the storm that He has chosen not to prevent.
The hubs and I have weathered many seasons. Now as we enter into another one, we have to take it moment by moment or it’s too much.
Blessings to you on this journey.
You are such an inspiration.
Kerry @ Made For Real says
Thank you. I needed this comfort through these reminders. Grief is resurfacing in difficult ways for me again. I know the Truth and yet the sting of loss always remains and guilt (from that loss ~ even though out of my control ~ ) rears its nasty head at the most unexpected moments.
Love this post! Taking refuge in God’s loving arms . . . best place to be.
Thank you SO MUCH for sharing, Heather.
Julie Sunne says
Absolutely beautifully written, Heather! Our suffering doesn’t indicate whether Our God is good or if He is in control. He always is (times 2). It reveals where are heart is and binds us to Him in the pain–as He weeps with us. Blessings to you, sister in Christ.
Betty Draper says
You are a wise hearted woman who knows the truth…life is hard but God is good. I am going to post this on my fb…
Kim B. says
This really sunk in with me: You will have questions, you will have doubt, you will be angry. It is what you do with those things that will determine your future stability and well being.
I am in a trial right now & while I’m trying to remain in His will & TRUST His perfect timing, it is HARD! What a GREAT reminder!
Heather, thank you. Your words are trustworthy to me because of you suffered. Thank you for using your suffering as an offering and for bringing us back to our Restorer, our Healer. Hugs.
Miriam @ a Rearranged Life says
Heather, Thank you for your message! It’s clear that you reside in the shelter of His grace! What a beautiful, and challenging, place to be!
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thank you for reminding me that we are not given over to random chance, that He is the architect of my life, that He is the Rock that I lean on & that whatever the storm, He goes before me & although I am not perfect & I may not do it perfect-that the lesson is perfect for me. I can do all things THROUGH HIM WHO GIVES me strength -who gives?? HE GIVES. Thank you Father that I am never alone.
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