2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1: 2-4
Growing up, I'd had a pretty easy life. Nothing really caused me to stumble or question life too much. I just strolled through it, literally without thought to trials. Oh, occasionally I'd mention that I was blessed to not have trials to endure. But that was such a passing thought.
Thinking back now, I guess you could say that I did have bumps in the road that should have rocked me. My Dad having a massive heart-attack. My beloved Grandpa passing away. Then his wife, my beloved Grandma 7 years later.
But I can honestly say...those experiences did not rock me. Or my life. They didn't cause me to question God, or enter into honest, real dialog with Him.
Nothing did...until Michael passed away. It wasn't natural. It wasn't expected. These things didn't happen to people like me. What kinda people am I talking about? Well...believers of course. But, they do. My faith, my whole foundation had taken an earthquake like I've never experienced before. I was slammed face first into my faith and what I'd professed to believe for so long. I had choices to make. I had the biggest set of trials to walk through than ever before. I still walk through them. I still have choices to make.
Do I believe that God is good? Is God good?
Do I trust that His will is perfect for me life? Can I trust Him?
Do I let go of my son, into His hands? Can I believe He loves Michael more than I?
Can I stand up under the grief that held me down? Can I call on Him...?
Can I fully turn to God for my strength? Will I let Him help me?
People walk lightly around me still, when they find out about Michael. I wish they wouldn't. I still get treated me like I'm broken. But I'm not...at least not in the way they seem to think.
It's because I asked those questions. It's because I railed at God. It's because I opened myself up, hurts, bruises and all to Him. It's because I sought Him, and found Him. It's because I let go.
It's because...that I am not broken. That I'm not stuck in my faith.
I still have so much to learn, and have so many ways to grow. But I know my God loves me. I know I can trust Him. I know I can hold onto Him, when nothing else will stay.
So trails...yes I know them. Before they happen, you don't think of them. During them, you struggle and seek. After them, you're thankful, for them mean you know more of God. You are closer to Him.
Have you had trials that have grown you? Made you question Him? Do you still struggle with His plans for your life?