For I know the plans I have for you, " declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.1 year.
How has it been one year already? One year from the tragedy that was explained in this post. One year since the Lord decided that He needed my best friend more than I did. I'm not entirely sure how I got here, but I did.....and I'm ok.
Since I've moved, my computer stopped charging and I don't currently have internet at home. We are in a rental for the winter and I don't want to be locked into a internet company if I can get something better at the house we should be at in the spring, so we just play around on our phones and call that good for internet for the present. It does severely restrict my writing, however, which I am beginning to really miss. I keep getting post ideas only to realize that it will have to wait. Out of the blue the other night, Jason told me to go buy a new computer and get internet hooked up. He said he missed my writing and he knows that I miss it too. Maybe it's time :)
As much as I wanted to write today, with it being the 1st anniversary of losing Chad, I just sorta was blowing it off. I mean who NEEDS to write? Who has this insatiable desire to throw a bunch of words on a page? Apparently, a writer does....because I feel that I need to tell this story and today is the perfect day. So, I hijacked my parents computer and internet and I'm going to try to condense what I feel is my message today into something less than a book (which I will still release someday, by the way).
I've been keeping much of my story of how I felt prepared to lose Chad to myself, saving it for the book. I have told many people this part of my story, but haven't felt the need to put it on "paper" yet. Until now......
I found myself reading many Karen Kingsbury books in the last few years. One resounding verse that she uses in her books is Jeremiah 29:11. It is the verse that I started this post with and one I also had read at Chad's funeral.
God has plans for His people. Although we are tested and life isn't always easy, Christians always have hope for the future. It may not even be the future you have on this earth, but the future you are guaranteed to have in Heaven.
A few months before Chad died, I read the book Anything by Jennie Allen. It changed my life.....literally. It is about a husband and wife that prayed the very difficult prayer that they would do anything God called them to do. ANYTHING. They were trusting the Lord and His will for their lives.
I started thinking about that concept. Was there anything I wasn't willing to give up for the Lord? Was something an idol in my life that I loved more than Him? Chad was the first thing that came to mind. Chad was the only thing I wasn't willing to give up. I would do anything else the Lord wanted, in or out of my comfort zone, as long as it wasn't Chad.
That night, I said a prayer. I said, "Lord, the very worst thing in my life would be losing Chad. However, if he is what you want from me....I trust you. That is the most horrible thing I could imagine, but if that is what you have for my life, I know that you would get me through it."
Total surrender to God's will. Total scary surrender.
Within 2 months of that prayer, Chad was gone.
My dad told me the night Chad died that maybe the Lord took him because He was going to use me. Maybe in my departure from this world, Chad wouldn't have been as vocal for His glory.
Humbling thought. Chad's life was sacrificed so that I could help others to salvation? So that I could be the light for Him in a very dark world?
When we first started talking, Jason said that he didn't understand why our pastor said that some good could come out of Chad's death. How could that possibly be? I explained that people were being saved because of Chad's death. Chad knew where he was headed when it was his time and he was cool with it.
I can't help but wonder if God was waiting for my total surrender to take Chad so that He knew I was in a place he could use me to reach others for Him.
It's so hard for people to understand the why's of life, but I don't try to. I just trust that the Lord has a plan and taking Chad was part of it.
So many people contacted me and said that they knew of people that had lost a loved one and said that they spoke of the same incredible peace that I talked about. I have honestly cried more today than I did at the time. I am not crying tears of desperation, though.....they are just missing my friend. I am mourning for me and my girls....not for Chad.
I also know that with each passing day, I am closer to being with him for eternity.
I watched a sermon by Francis Chan once in which he talked about a rope. At the end of the rope you tape off about an inch. Then you imagine that the rest of the rope goes on as far as you can see.....for ever and ever.........That taped off inch is your life on earth. The rest of the rope is eternity. Don't live your life for that inch. Live for the eternal.
Being a good person doesn't get you to Heaven. Everyone doesn't go to Heaven. Some don't want to hear that....and others don't believe that there is any sort of afterlife, but I do and so did Chad.
I choose to live my life for the eternal.......this life is so short, as we have come to know all too well. None of the things here on earth matter, except getting others to experience what a wonderful God we have for themselves.
I feel that Chad's death had a purpose. I don't like it, but I trust that it did. I have seen things happen that wouldn't have otherwise.
People keep telling me how strong I am. I'm not. I'm a mess. I just keep trusting that my life has a plan and a purpose and I will keep seeking God to show me what that is. I will keep trusting Him to meet me in the mess and make it beautiful. I will keep begging Him to use me, even though there will definitely be some nay-sayers.........contrary to popular belief, God does give us more than we can handle, because that's when we turn to Him. It's in the darkest nights that His light shines the brightest.
I love this website for answering hard life questions......Got Questions. If I am talking gibberish to you, check out this site....maybe it will answer some of your life questions like it has mine.
Living a surrendered life is not easy, but the reward will be well worth it.
The top of my blog says "Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but at succeeding at things in life that don't really matter". Do you live this way? This life will soon pass away, then what? What really matters in your life? It's soooo easy to get bogged down in the day to day, but very soon it will be gone. I am choosing to live my life for the eternal. I surrendered to God once and I feel in some way that it cost me my best friend, but I also feel that in the long run it will be worth it......and I am confident that if Chad read this, he would feel the same.....I don't want his death to be in vain, I want others to experience eternal life because of my story.
Use me, Lord.........work in those that need you, through me.
Hoping to be back in this space regularly very soon.....until then............