As loving, well-intentioned friends have responded with shock and sadness, Bill has continued to minster to us all by reminding us that God is still on the move--and that we cannot rush, in our fear, to write the end of the story. Sovereign God holds the pen. Only He knows what this is all about.
My friend, Cabell, who lost her husband to melanoma 7 weeks ago, lost her father to colon cancer today. Seriously? Why now? My heart cries out, "Give her a break, God!"
And I feel Him respond, "So, you think you love her more than I do?"
I have been thinking a lot this afternoon about God as Author. I wouldn't have written my friends' stories this way. Truthfully, I wouldn't have written my own story this way.
Had you asked me 15 years ago how my ideal life story would go I would have been married 4 years earlier to someone I was crazy about (because I had not met the man I now know was intended for me all along), living in a different town, successful at work and a mother of two (birthed one at a time with the perfect 2.5 years in between, of course).
I would not have chosen a husband with such a demanding career--but I also wouldn't have imagined one with as much godly integrity, wisdom, great looks and so much love for and devotion to my family.
I know there are those who always imagined being a homemaker, but as a product of two working parents I was not one of them. I always thought I would work. I couldn't conceive of what one would do all day long without a paying profession. Why would you choose to spend your day watching soaps in front of the tv with a pile of laundry when there were so many mountains to conquer and battles to fight in the 'real world?' (I had many misconceptions about what stay at home Moms did.) How would I use my brain?
Now I know that paying job or not, my brain is challenged ALL day every day--explaining things I barely understand about life, God and the great big world my children are seeking their place in.
It is unlikely I would have chosen my current town. I visited here three times, years before living here was an option. Once as a high school student visiting friends who attended college nearby, again for a wedding reception post-college (the day after my third date with my husband) and again as a newly married working woman, conducting a training session (in the process of moving from Atlanta to Virginia).
While it was definitely a charming little place it never crossed my mind that I would one day choose this option over other more metropolitan areas. Now I cannot imagine ever living anywhere else. Like a Mama bird, I have built a nest that suits our family wonderfully. This is home.
Do I even need to address the infertility, the troubled pregnancy, the dramatic health scare(s) post delivery? Who would ever CHOOSE those plot lines? And yet, I cannot fathom my life any other way. Through the various trials we have encountered and surprising turns the last 15 years have taken, God has revealed Himself to me as an ever-present, undeniably Sovereign God.
I would not have written this story, but thanks be to the God that He holds the pen. His story is infinitely more beautiful and blessed than I could have ever imagined on my own. Had I been the author, I would have settled for such mediocrity. The Author has written plot lines that lead me to praise Him--not in spite of the tough spots--but because of them.
I know that He has purposed His own glory, but that as Scripture says, He is also FOR me. His detours, delayed answers to prayers (or ones contrary to my requests) are because He has written a story for eternity that is exceedingly better than anything I could ever ask for or imagine.
I become small-minded and circumstantially focused and forget that sometimes. He is God. I am not. That is enough.