“God is our refuge; an ever-present help in trouble.”- Psalm 46:1
“It was if I was saying, ‘Okay, here’s the deal. I was totally unprepared for our reality, but if I can be prepared for any and all outcomes that are ahead, it won’t hurt as badly because I will have somewhat seen it coming’…”- p. 20, On Milk and Honey
Have you ever been hit with something that felt like it came out of left field?
What I mean by that is, have you ever been going on with life as usual, woken up one day, and suddenly, you realize things are going to be different than you anticipated, forever?
“I am very worried about your girls. This is not benign hypotonia.”
A defining moment in our lives in which I immediately knew that this curve ball was not going straight anytime soon.
If you think about it, this happens in little ways all throughout our days.
We get stuck in traffic.
We studied totally different questions than what the exam included.
The gas bill was much larger than usual.
The news reads a story we had not yet heard.
The blood test comes back abnormal and needs to be repeated.
Yes, it is true that, more often than not, even our smallest moments don’t always go as planned. Yet what about those pieces of the story that are seemingly defining?
The wreck that leaves us emotionally and physically scarred.
The exam failed that cannot be made up and leaves us wondering what we will do next.
The bankrupt statement.
The cancer diagnosis.
The lipstick on his shirt that you are, quite positive, is not yours.
The call that someone you love is gone from this side of heaven forever.
February 28, 2014 was one of those defining days for us. It was a day in which the reality was much larger than I had the ability to swallow. But God.
He was- is- an ever-present help in trouble.
What I mean by that is this:
If you would have told me six months prior that we were going to be told our girls had a life-long, chronic disability, I would have thought my legs would have buckled and my heart would have snapped in two. Yet, His promises to us in these curveball moments of our lives might be some of the greatest promises He has ever given us:
I am there.
I will meet you in all things.
I know each and every millisecond of the story in greater detail than you could fathom, and I am going to use it for my glory and your good.
You are going to be able to survive this because of my grace and my grace alone.
It was true for us then, and it will continue to be true for you as you seek Him to make ends meet in the places where your strength ends and you desperately need His to continue going forward.
Friends, this week, I feel unbelievably called to ask you this simple question. It is a question I posed in Chapter 5, but it is something I want you to not brush by. Really sit with it.
What is your worst-case scenario?
Oftentimes, our initial thought here isn’t our real answer. Go deeper. Wrestle with it. Search the places of your heart that feel the most tender.
At that time, I would have told you my worst-case scenario was, quite bluntly, that we would lose Ally and Bailey Grace. As I look back on it, however, I realize that it was much more potent than that. My worst-case scenario is that I would walk through a pain so deep that I would never be able to recover.
Regardless of God’s story for Bailey Grace and Ally, this is not true for me and this is not true for you.
He is holy, and His promises stand true in ALL the details of your life.
He promises to never leave you.
Because Christ said, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ in our place on the cross; we can rest assured that it is, in fact, finished.
He is not going anywhere and He will get you through today and the rest of your tomorrows, no matter what the circumstance.
A Father is most near to the child He is carrying.
The Personal Growth Challenge this week is two-fold. First, spend some time contemplating the question of your own worst-case scenario. Secondly, go to the back of the Bible (or google if you do not have one) and find verses that speak on fear and what God has to say about our fears. Read aloud at least one of these every morning. Memorize it if you feel so called.
The Community Growth Challenge is simple yet vulnerable: spend some intentional time talking with someone else who is going through this study about your worst case scenario. Then, pray together about these fears; and agree to trust the Lord with His plans for both your life and the life of the person you are meeting with. If you are doing this study alone- let me know and I will help you figure out a way to follow through with this challenge. I promise you will never be disappointed about showing trusted friends the tender places of your heart.
The Pay-It-Forward Challenge is to use social media to encourage a friend, family member, or stranger with a verse you found during the Personal Growth Challenge that you think might encourage their heart.
God is for you, Beloved.
He is writing all the details of each of the chapters of your life, both those behind and those before.
He is not going anywhere.
May we praise Him in all His Sovereign goodness this week and always.
“I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.”- Psalm 34:4-6