Confession? I haven’t attended church since before my uncle passed away last May. And to be perfectly honest, along with complete devastation, came anger, confusion, and retaliation towards God for letting this happen. How could he take someone who was not only incredibly special to me but to so many people around him? How could he take someone who meant so much to so many? A man who always did the right thing. A man who was was always willing to do anything for anyone. A man who constantly provided for his family. A man whose wife is an Angel on earth. How God, How? Why? These are the words I have been wrestling with and crying over the past 10 months, and I’m just now beginning to allow myself to process all that has happened in the past almost year. I am finally at the point where I can say my Uncle’s name and mention him in conversation without tears welling up in my eyes, and a hard knot in my throat.
The past 10 months have led me on a journey of self discovery. A journey to answer why. To figure out this thing we call life. A journey I never saw coming-much like the passing of my Uncle. A journey of who I am, what I stand for, and what I desire for my future. A journey of realizing that things change. People change. Places change. Situations change. My eyes have been opened to suffering. I know firsthand that the world is full of suffering- even to those who may not deserve it.
So today with an open mind, shaking legs, and a smile painted on my face, my kids and I faced one of the hardest things. We went back to church. The place where I felt most let down by God. I had done my prayers. I had made my prayer requests each week. I had shared my prayers with the prayer warriors in this church and a few others. I had asked a few close prayer warriors to lift my Uncle up. And in the end God still decided to call him home. So hand in hand we walked through those doors, and saw all those faces and it wasn’t nearly anything like I had anticipated. It almost felt like we were able to pick up where we left off. The same smiling faces greeted us, called out to us, embraced us, and welcomed us. Wholeheartedly. It didn’t matter that we haven’t been there in close to a year. They were overjoyed to see us. To know that we were back and ready to worship. To fill up their community. And you know what? My relationship with God is the same. And ironically that is what the sermon preached to this morning, and I have to laugh because God knew exactly what I needed-just as usual. John 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Yes the death of my Uncle caused me to second guess God and his ways and reasons for everything. It made me beg the question over and over “WHY?” But through it all he never left me. He was still there. Even when I wasn’t ready or willing to talk to him, or communicate with him, He never left me. He made sure to stay close by, always watching. The past few weeks and months have allowed me the opportunity, little by little, to begin interacting with God. To talk with him, share with him, and put my trust in him. Today was a big step.
I’m realizing that our entire family, not just our small unit, is in a season of transition. And in life there will be many, many transitions. And in each transition He will be there. Waiting. Watching. With open arms. Just like those who greeted me and my family at church this morning.
For so long my prayer was always that through the trials and tribulations with my uncles health that God would keep our family close together. That this transition, this HUGE wouldn’t change our family dynamic. That we all still stick together, and not separate. And I’m realizing lately, as I look back on the past 10 months, he did that. He kept our family close. Tight knit. We have learned to lean on each other in ways we never have before. We have each made sacrifices so that we can help others when they need it.
And so now I feel like my prayers are changing. And it’s not just about them changing, but about me being okay with them changing. It’s scary when you realize how big your dreams are and how much you want from this life. If you’ve read any of my posts, then you know that I am against change. But what I am realizing lately is we need change. Without change everything and everyone would stay the same and that sound pretty dang boring to me. So once again I find myself in this place of transition. My prayers used to be for comfort and security. Closeness. Stability. Routine. Now something just a little bit different has been laid on my heart. Now I feel myself trusting Him again. I am ready for Him. With open hands, an open heart, and open arms. Now my prayers have shifted to bigger, bolder prayers.
Lord whatever you call me to I will answer. I am ready to answer when you say. Lord I trust you. I trust that you know better than me. I surrender all of my plans, and wishes, and dreams and I am giving you control. Control of every single thing in my life. From my morning commute, control of how my day plays out, what clients I talk to you, my daily struggles, my health, my relationships, my shortcomings, my strengths, my stubbornness. I know YOU have a reason for every single thing that happens. I know that your plans are greater, bolder, better, and more fulfilling than any other dream I could ever imagine. So I am ready Lord. Here I am, and here I’ll stay at your feet handing it all over. Recommitting to you and your ways, and your truth and your life. I am ready to walk with you again.