I Read this today:
“When it came time for Joshua to take the place of Moses, God said to him, ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.’ Joshua 1:9
And today God is saying the same to you. He wants you to pursue the dream He has put in your heart! Alfred D. Souza wrote: ‘For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, and a debt to be paid. Then, life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.’ When you encounter obstacles, you discover things about yourself you never knew. You discover the depth of your faith in God — and in yourself. Every problem introduces you to yourself. Obstacles are merely a call to strengthen your position, not surrender your dream. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did. So, when your dream looks impossible, trust God and act as though it’s impossible to fail. Why? Because ‘with God all things are possible’ (Mark 10:27 NKJV). That means if you’re going to climb Mount Everest, make sure to bring the flag with you. Don’t listen to those who tell you, ‘It can’t be done that way.’ Or to those who say, ‘You’re taking too big a chance.’ Ignore what people say can’t be done and focus on what God says can be done.”
This is truly how I feel lately. There are so many mountains ahead of me, and I look at them with sheer exhaustion. Every time I have felt that the time was coming for me to truly fulfill the call or passion within my heart it has been met with an obstacle, or it hasn’t panned out, or it just died a sudden death. So deep down inside there is voice saying, ‘This is just going to be one of those times again, so don’t get your hopes up. This is life….full of relentless disappointment!’
I can hear James saying now, “Lift your perspective!” I’m really trying…
We both however, truly believed without doubt that James would be healed, for the first time in a long time, we were both so excited about what God had in store for us in the future. It felt like God was going to rewrite a very new chapter in our lives, and that having come to that place of complete consecration regardless of the cost, we would be launched into all that God had for us, now was our time.
We had learned that through all the obstacles we had faced in the past, that our faith was a lot deeper than we had realised, that all of those obstacles had been opportunities to build our spiritual muscle and depth of belief. During that time my faith and intimacy with God grew to a depth I had only ever dreamed of.
Coming to a place of complete surrender was very painful, but we did it, no matter where God would send us, regardless of the cost. I had even come to the place where I had promised God I would still serve Him if James died, but wouldn’t be very happy about it! Thats why I knew I had to come to that place where I could whisper into James’ ear that he could go to be with Jesus. Believing that if God wanted him here, He would send him back. Because after all I had told God that if He sent James anywhere I would follow, I may not like it, but if God had placed a calling on him to heal and show love to the far ends of the earth, I would follow and do the same. In my mind even then, God was still going to heal James, all He needed to do was touch Him.
For years prior to that moment, I had been praying to God that I was dissatisfied with just living life from day to day with very little sense of purpose or meaning. It just seemed like we were going through the motions of life with no real direction or purpose, apart from loving others whenever we could and building a kingdom business that touched lives in the marketplace. Yet every day I would wake up and query that life had to be more than what we were seeing. So when we began to feel an excitement for the future beyond cancer, that was something we hadn’t felt for years!
However, all of that died in a moment when I saw James take his last breath, and he didn’t come back. I admit I tried for an hour to bring him back to life with every promise in the Word I could muster. How could we have been so wrong? Had we heard wrong? I didn’t just lose my husband in that moment, but part of my faith and hope died with him. God had chosen NOT to use us as a couple on this earth, it was a massive blow!
So many questions, too many to list here. What was the purpose in all of that? Words cannot describe the emptiness, pain and lonliness left in its place. Where once a soulmate, best friend, partner had been — so had dreams, hopes and aspirations for the future. My whole identity was wrapped up in being one with James, together with Chloe we were a team, we were supposed to walk hand in hand through this life facing it together, dreaming together, building kingdom together, seeing Chloe grow up together. Now just emptiness, disappointment, pain and bewliderment remained. Like being placed in a fog with a child who is looking to you with the same questions and bewilderment, yet you have no idea how to get out of it, no answers, no plan, somewhere you didn’t choose to be. Trapped in a life you didn’t choose. Days waking up and not even wanting to be me. Who would want to be me!
So here I find myself facing a new school year without him. Having to once again like a kid dipping their toe into the water with as much protection on me as I can muster (I know it’s not me controlling the outcome,) but hey, after having a bad experience before, at least my toe is in!! That slowly but surely I am placing my faith once again in the hope that God knows, sees, and really does have a good future for Chloe and I. Praying that the hope, passion, and faith return not only to where it was before but to a greater degree. The opposite would be a life without hope and faith, which would lead to a very dark place for me.
Maybe even one day throwing myself into the water head first, no floats, fully immersed, with total abandon, like the song ‘Oceans’ “…take me deeper than my faith could ever wander, my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Saviour”.
Trusting He has the right job for me, a future that isn’t filled with loneliness, waking with a sense of purpose and meaning, and actually feeling passion in my wounded heart again. I know that grief will never disappear, I loved him completely, I can only pray it will be easier to manage, and I will feel a sense of wholeness again. Learning and discovering as I go as to who I am, alone, the me transformed into a new chapter of what feels like a completely different book.
So I will take my flag with me as I take one day at a time, moment by moment, one step at a time, until the mountains are conquered, until the fog begins to clear, and I look back at where I have come from to where I will be. Maybe I’ll take more than one flag. Praying Lord let every place on which my foot shall tread — give it unto me, and hearing — this is the path I choose for you to walk on Molly, His voice behind me, moving me forward.
So that one day the word ‘dis’ is taken away from the word ‘appointed’, and I will stand secure, with my flag held high, no matter what, in the truth that I have been chosen/appointed for a purpose He had for me all along, I just hadn’t seen it, or chosen to believe it when He said it can be done.