I gripped my pen as she told me her story over the phone.
As she described it, I could see the danger her family faced and sense the fear on her children’s faces, the shock of losing their home, their community, everything but their lives.
She had lost so much.
But I cried with her — not because of all that had gone missing, but tears splashed onto my desk because she could see what she still had.
She could see the unseen. She could look through the blurry present and see a clear future. No, she didn’t have answers as to why her family had to evacuate the country they loved and served.
But she could see God’s heart even though she couldn’t trace His hand.
She looked past the devastation and pain and she trusted that God would somehow redeem everything.
“We are like Joseph. He lost everything. He endured prison and pain and hell itself. But he could look past the struggle and say God intended this for good, to accomplish the saving of many lives,” she whispered into the phone.
After the call, I put head on my desk and I cried. For her. For me. For the countless who are hurting, asking God why. And then I asked God to help me see the unseen. To know that there is a plan in our pain. Truth in our turmoil. Faithfulness in our failures.
I thought about the parenting book I’m in the middle of launching this month and the ugly words one of my kids yelled at me earlier that morning, “I hate my life.” Not exactly what I was planning for my marketing plan. Nobody likes failure. But that’s exactly what I felt like — a failure, an impostor.
I’ve always believed God uses failure as much as success to reveal Himself and bring redemption.
But who wants failure? The unfinished, ugly stories of unbelievable pain are uncomfortable. There isn’t a happy ending to some of our stories yet, and there may never be until heaven.
Maybe you’re grieving a yes or regretting a no. Maybe you feel hopeless or hopeful. Maybe this feels like the end and you really just want to began again. Maybe life is just blurry.
I don’t know what mountain you’re facing today.
But I know God can redeem anything.
My friend’s words were still ringing in my ear, “I don’t understand why. But I can already see that God is here, in this hard, uncertain place.”
God sees what we cannot. He sees the unseen — what we cannot even fathom.
We might not see it overnight or in our lifetime, but He promises to work it out for His good. He will be glorified.
Pregnancy, bankruptcy, rape, marriage, diagnosis, adoption, unemployment, rebellious kids, abortion, a cross-country move, divorce, failure, addiction, mistakes, even death.
He will redeem even this.
by Kristen Welch, We are THAT family
hey. praying for your friend right now. i hope that they are able to talk to counselors–losing your adopted country, esp suddenly can be very, very tough for many, many years. I always hear extremely positive things about the care given at Link Care. Please pass that on to them if they might be interested.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I am watching something unfold right now and I have know idea where this is going to go?? I know I am called not to worry and so I’m am casting my cares on Jesus. So true the He can redeem anything…nothing is beyond His control to bring beauty from ashes. What the world means for evil, He can and will work all things together for good so that He will be glorified. I need to keep remembering these truths that you beautifully bestowed upon us today.. Thank you. I needed this reminder.
Raw. Beautiful Real. Thank you for sharing needed truths. Hard truth. He is the God of the messy people too.
This it timely for me (I think I say that every time I comment because it is Always. True.) as I am watching a loved one go through a very difficult time in their life- decades of hurt and unanswered longings have left questions that over time created a hole in their very soul. Only God can bind that gaping wound; I have come to realize that I don’t have the perfect words or the magic touch, and I shouldn’t. True healing can and should only come from Him – that’s the healing that will sear that hurt shut and move this person forward. It’s hard to trust when the future looks so completely blurry for both of us, but I am determined to do exactly that – trust God in the midst of the unknown. Thank you for writing this- it’s right where I’m living today.
Missing Mickey Mouse says
Thank you for sharing. I needed to be reminded how faithful God is!
Though I know this truth and lean in to it often, I SO needed to hear this from someone else this morning. We’ve spent the last couple of days discovering and dealing with my teenage son’s bad choices – and this is my “good kid.” Our God is faithful and I am confident that these poor choices and their consequences must be God’s path to get my son ready for the future role God has for him. Thank you for ministering to this mama’s heart today.
I have failed time and again and I’m grateful the Lord did not give up on me. I appreciate how you put it Kristen, “God reveals himself in failure as well as success.” And your friend’s thoughts,”I don’t understand why, but I can already see God is here,” are remarkable. I hope and pray she continues to be comforted by Him.
Thank-you for sharing this with us today.
Rebecca Jones says
I have to agree, He might even reveal Himself more in failure. The things I’ve gone through convince me. The more we hurt, the closer He is. the day to day cares of the world can get us out of His presence quickly and caring for others can exhaust us. Of course, he wants us to depend on Him and not be hurt, yet He’s there. And He see the spiritual things, be sure and pray against the enemy.