Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Readjust For a New Normal

Guess what? Stuff happens. Good stuff and bad stuff happens, to the unregenerated and to the redeemed sinner. Stuff just happens, and we often don't have a clue as to the "why" question. The Lord knows we want an answer, and He knows how we will spin our wheels sorting it out, trying to come up with a reason why "bad" stuff is happening in our lives.

We have so many questions we might ask, like, "Haven't I been good? Haven't I tithed and been to church and Sunday School every week? Don't I pray and give to the poor and needy? Didn't I raise my kids right? Why? Why? Why is bad stuff happening to me?!"

A few years ago the worst thing ever occurred in the life of our family. My daughter attempted to kill herself. She wanted her inner turmoil, her unhappiness over life choices to simply be over, over, over. There was no pre-thought-out plan. No, it wasn't anything like that. What it was, was a moment in time when a number of circumstances converged with some stinking thinking and crashed into more feelings than could be felt at one time. Add to that the fact that we have a very real enemy who seeks to destroy the seed of those who belong to God, and you have a decision which altered and changed our lives overnight.

Since that day, I am not the same and neither is the rest of my family. One could easily think we are worse off than before, but that wouldn't be true. The truth is God, our Sovereign and Holy God, used every bit of our pain, and all the craziness of the ensuing hours, days, months and now years to mold and shape us more into the image and likeness of the Son.

He didn't leave us alone. Not once did I feel lost, alone or forsaken. Not once did I ask God "why." I think I went into shock for a bit as my mind attempted to adjust to the initial news. I know for a while my prayers were stuck in my mouth. I thank God that He can read the heart and the deepest cries of an anguished soul. I praise Him that when all that stuff happened in our lives, sisters and brothers from East to West and abroad filled the gap and interceded for the life of our precious daughter.

Life has gone on in the days since June 3, 2006 and we have all slowly but surely readjusted our lives to a new normal. God has loved us through encouragement, exhortation, discipline and fire. He continues to carefully peel back the layers of our hearts to reveal the enemy within. And then He masterfully aims His arrow of grace, shooting the arrow of His Word to pierce, destroy and mercifully deliver us and therefore equip us to do what He has called us to do.

He leads and we follow. He is our Great Shepherd and we walk or fall down, He leads, restores, comforts all, walks with us through it all NO MATTER WHAT!! Selah

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever
. ~ Psalm 23


Stephanie Paul, wife and mother of two grown children. An "instrument of change" in the Redeemer's Hand, in the lives of wounded and hurting women. Currently serving as a part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America's Keswick as Woman of Character Program Administrator.

James 5:9
James 5:9
Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.

Cross references:
A. James 5:9 : Matt 7:1
B. James 5:9 : 1 Pet 4:5; Rev 22:12
C. James 5:9 : Matt 24:33; Mark 13:29; 1 Cor 4:5

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