You’ll be found.
That is what the Dude Upstairs is saying to us, every single day of our lives, through all of our struggles, our hardships. Everything happens for a reason. I did not always get this. Some of us never get it, unfortunately. One day, I had a realization – more like a revelation – all of these experiences I’ve had, happened for a reason.
Oh, and yes, this is PDL Day 25 – Transformed by Trouble. Did I mess you up with the title today? Just trying to keep you on your toes. 😉 What do you think? Keep it the old way or shake things up a little?
God doesn’t make mistakes. Things do not just randomly happen. He’s got it all planned out. He has a purpose for every problem we face. He can use sin and pure evil and turn it into something good. He uses our “circumstances to develop our character.” We will always face problems in our lives. It’s up to us how to respond to those problems that will make or break us. We can ignore them, run from them (I’ve tried this), question why this is happening to us, be angry, be depressed, be stressed, be worried, be bitter, or we can look for the silver lining. There is always a silver lining. Sometimes it’s impossible to see it. God will use whatever it is to strengthen our character, to teach us patience, to teach us peace, to bring us closer to him. Finding the silver lining means more than finding good in a bad situation. It’s about finding God. God is that silver lining, to me. Whatever it is, God is using that problem to teach me something – to make me grow up better, stronger, more patient, to trust him. When I finally “got it,” it actually helps me to live life a little free-er. Knowing God has your back, he’s got a plan, there’s supposed to be a lesson in this mess, it makes it a little easier to deal with. To know there is a reason, sometimes, is the only way I can make it through. It gives me a bit of peace. Peace?! Yes, peace. If you depend on him instead of yourself, you will find some peace. It’s not as hard as you think, if you just let go of yourself. When you cannot trust anyone else on this planet, and believe me, I’ve been there most of my life, you can totally FROG out (fully rely on God).
I love where Mr. Warren wrote, “You’ll never know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve got.” It’s in those darkest hours, the depths of despair, sometimes what you think may be the last minutes of your life, when you finally find God, when you seek him out, when you talk and pray to him like you never have before. It’s in those moments that you become real – in your hardest struggles – the most ginormous struggles of your life. That’s when you pray with your heart. You are being real with God and when you speak to him with your heart and soul, that may be the only time you will truly get him, meaning relate to him, reach out to him, need him. He likes this prayer best. Sometimes, when we pray daily, we get in a routine, we have a certain way we pray, such as: we’ll give thanks for different things, our day, Jesus, loved ones, blessings; we’ll ask forgiveness for our sins; we’ll ask for those things we feel we need or want like for all of us to have a great day, to continue to protect us, keep us safe and in good health (which are the most important things to me), we’ll shoot up our love and say Amen (these are sometimes our morning prayers). It becomes pretty routine. God wants our hearts, not routine. He knows what’s in our heart, so there’s no need to keep saying the same old prayer. After days, weeks, months or years of saying the same old thing, I think he gets it. He knows what’s important to you. I’m talking to me, here. He wants you to speak to him with your heart, like you are talking to your best friend in the world – the one you pour your heart out to – the one you trust completely. I have no such person on earth. Yes, there are about three that I trust and love unconditionally, but none I completely trust. Sad? Maybe. But it’s just what I’ve learned. Can’t really help it. With that said, there is one I completely and whole-heartedly trust and that’s the Dude Upstairs. God and Jesus totally get me and I want to totally get them – in every way. I want to understand them as best I can. I want to learn their ways. I want to please them, honor them, love them. When you feel you have no one, you do, whether you choose to realize it, or not. He’s always there for you, loving you, reaching out to you. Will you take his hand? Once you do, your eyes will open to a new day, a new light, a new life. Will it make life easy? Sometimes, yes. There will be some totally rad, awesome, blissful, tremendously terrifical moments in your life. And there will be bad, horrible, stressful, tear-jerking moments of immeasurable pain. God can use all of that.
Ya know, I have this theory – a theory on our problems. I had a dream or a vision years ago that we choose our problems before we come to earth. In this vision, I saw a mature spirit (me – not today but then) that knew God face-to-face. I was asked what I would like to learn or experience on earth that would strengthen my spirit, making my bond with God a little tighter, to build my character. I chose my parents, knowing who my siblings would be, knowing and choosing circumstances of my life (not fully knowing the outcome of my choices), but I was choosing tests for myself. So, when the time was right, Mama got pregnant with me and VOILA! My journey began. I’m not saying I believe in reincarnation. I don’t understand all that the soul is. I do know that this earth life is a test for our soul, our hearts, our minds. I do know that we are supposed to use everything that life dishes out; we are to deal with it in one way or another for our greater good. Some things, we are to walk away from. Some things, we are to embrace. What if you knew you had chosen your parents? Your siblings? The experiences of your life? Knowing that, would your life be any easier to live? I’m not saying we chose our lives and our experiences. I’m saying thinking about it makes it easier to deal with certain things in this life. It helps me to understand a little better. Knowing God has a plan and that he’s going to use all our problems for a great thing, makes living a little easier.
Satan and people may create bad and evil things to occur in your life and you may think that’s not in God’s plan. Everything is usable by God. Everything happens with God’s permission. Others may use problems for bad. God will use it for good. “God can bring good out of the worst evil. He did at Calvary.”
When you look at the you that you’ve become today, do you realize that you are here from a result of everything you’ve been through – the good and the bad? Do you like the person you’ve become? I didn’t use to. I like me a little better now. Do you still have some growing to do? Wow! I do! You are a result of your past. You are a stronger person now and if you can make it over this hurdle and the next, you’ll be even better. Strengthen that character! Learn that patience! Aw! Patience?! I don’t need no stinkin’ patience! I don’t wanna be patient!
Do be careful what you pray for. I no longer pray for strength. Sure as I do, something bad happens and it builds strength, but I don’t want to purposely experience bad things. I promise you, God is listening and sometimes he is quite swift in answering your prayers. I no longer pray for patience, either. I had to wait for Hallie for how long?! I wanted her since I was 2. Got married at 29. Pregnant at 30. Finally had her at 31. I never wanted to get married. I was going to adopt a baby when I was about 35. That was going to be my family. Ah! Love is blind and all that. You fall in love. Blegh! You get married. Blegh! Just kidding. It’s not all Blegh! I got that kiddo out of all that and thank God for that awesome kid, man! Actually, it’s good I had to be patient. I don’t think I would have been as good a mom to her pre-31. I was more selfish, self-centered. I had much maturing and growing to do before I could be her mom. I had to experience certain things in my life in order to be the kind of mom she needed. Yes, everything for a reason. Get it?
On Page 226, I just love this: “We are like jewels, shaped with the hammer and chisel of adversity. If a jeweler’s hammer isn’t strong enough to chip off our rough edges, God will use a sledgehammer. If we’re really stubborn, he uses a jackhammer. He will use whatever it takes.
Every problem is a character-building opportunity, and the more difficult it is, the greater the potential for building spiritual muscle and moral fiber. . . . What happens outwardly in your life is not as important as what happens inside you. Your circumstances are temporary, but your character will last forever.” Ain’t THAT the truth?!
Life sure would have been a little easier had I learned this sooner, ya know? To know that everything happens for a reason. Does it make it any easier for you to endure struggles knowing they are happening for a reason? I suppose I had to struggle and learn and grow so I could get to this point. I have much further to go, but I’m wondering if experiencing all of these struggles, then learning they are character-building exercises, were supposed to happen to me so that I could teach Hallie an easier way to live her life – going into it realizing they are tests sent by God and how she reacts and responds to these tests will help choose her character and, ultimately, the person she is to become. I like the idea of her life being a bit easier than mine. I don’t want her to experience nearly impossible struggles, excruciating pain. I want her to have more joy in her life, a real childhood, fun, laughter, love, trust, forgiveness. I want better for her. I wonder what kind of mother she’ll be. The future is not here and may never be. All we have is today. We should not dwell in our past, but learn from it and grow and be better for it. We can focus on our future, wanting a better life for ourselves and our children and grandchildren, but that all starts with how we live our lives today. What will you do today? How will you make a difference in the lives of others and in your own life?
Friday Eve!!!! A little closer to the weekend. Woo-hooo! Go out and make it an awesome, thoroughly fantastical Thursday!! Love yooze guys! 😉