I have known since I was small. I can’t take it back to a moment. It’s as if I’ve always known. Even in my darkest days, I have known God is real and that no matter what, He loves me.
There were signs…things most would call coincidences. I’ve always had a feeling deep inside me that I was not alone, even when it appeared I was. When I asked for a path to guide me forward, He provided it for me.
I recently finished the book 7 Lessons from Heaven by Dr. Mary Neal. This book outlines her experience drowning on a kayaking trip in Chile and her near death experience going to Heaven and meeting Jesus. After that experience, she knew God was real and she wants all of us to know without the burden of a near death experience. In the book she walks through the differences between hope, faith, and absolute trust. Many people hope that God exists, that there is an afterlife but they continue to live their life the way they always have. Many have faith that God exists, they show up Sundays and they usually do the right things. But often in times of struggle, those with only hope and faith will blame God and turn away from Him instead of leaning into Him.
Then there are those with absolute trust. No matter what, they believe that God has a plan and that we were put here to fulfill His plan for us. I have had moments of absolute trust, but it is still a journey that I am on. In those moments I experience it, even in the midst of pain and struggle, I feel what I can only describe as joy and deep sense of peace that it will all work out according to His plan. When I am in that place spiritually, I have never felt so alive and so free.
Ironic that I no more than finished this book, and I saw absolute trust in action in my life. My friend Natalie has wanted to be a momma for as long as I can remember. Her wish came true a few months ago when precious little Gwendolyn was born. Since birth there have been struggles for the little angel, and despite it all, Natalie glows.
Just a few days ago, she and her husband got word that baby Gwendolyn has a rare, non-curable, terminal genetic disorder. This is the kind of news that can ruin a person and tear a family apart. Yet in the face of this news, Natalie posted this about Gwendolyn’s diagnosis:
To say the news is devastating is a gross understatement. I don’t know why this happened to my little girl, but I know that God has a plan for her life. He knows every hair on her head and every cell in her body. He made her. He loves her more than I do (which seems hard to even imagine).
We have a lot to be thankful for. Today she is home. Today she is eating on her own. Today she is healthy. Today she is cooing. Today she is rolling over. Tomorrow is promised to no one so I will thank the Lord for each and every day that He allows me to be her mother.
That, my friends, is absolute trust right here in our face. It lifts me up, and it brings me to my knees in tears every time I read Natalie’s words.
Why does this matter? Because like Natalie has showed us, when we have absolute trust, our sense of joy and peace are unshakable. That doesn’t mean we won’t be sad, but it does mean that deep down we know there is a bigger purpose and He has a plan for us. My hope for all of us is that we can experience it, because He is always with us.
We will never understand why these things happen. They seem ugly and terrible. With absolute trust we don’t need to understand. Following His plan frees us to stop searching for answers and start looking for lessons. Lessons like, enjoy and be grateful for every moment you are blessed with on this Earth. Live with peace and purpose.
Be better for Gwendolyn.
“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.” -Jeremiah 29:11