Other people's stories can only take us so far. We must recognize the Divine in our own story. I don't have faith because of other people, but because I have seen God's handiwork in me. (Of course, as I mentioned in the previous post, I am encouraged by other people's stories.) Any of you that have known me for any length of time know that on my own I am a total mess. But when I get quiet and rest in Him an amazing transformation takes place. That is why I love and crave my quiet time with Him...now, don't get me wrong...there are many days I start out peaceful but do not do what it takes to maintain that Communion and Peace inside...but I always tell my kids "if you think Mommy is grumpy when she's had her quiet time, you certainly don't want to see her when she hasn't" ;-)
As a young adult I was chaos! I believed in God, but I didn't believe Him or trust Him as was evident in how I tried to control things from the outside...bouncing from one extreme to the other and never with any peace inside. As I realized I didn't believe Him for what He is--good, omnipotent, gracious, loving and so much more--I realized I didn't trust Him to care for me. I did start to ask and recieve changes of heart--changes I knew I could not have accomplished no matter how hard I "tried." That is when I got serious about my relationship with Him...and wanting all He had to offer.
Now, some of you who know my story may be thinking "But where was He when Todd and Stevie were murdered and you were shot?" My response is "He was right there with each of us." I cannot explain how I know this, but I do. I know that He escorted Todd and Stevie beyond these "shadowlands" just as He sat with me while I waited for help to arrive. What I don't know is why--why did all this happen...and I know just as surely that while I have breath in this body I will never know the answer to that. I can make myself crazy thinking about it and trying to figure it out, but there is no way to make sense out of this just as there is no way with what little I do know of the big picture to ever make sense of the daily awefulness I hear about on the nightly news. I do know that in God's Word He tells us He will keep us safe from harm...surely that can't mean physical harm as His Word also reports the sufferings of many who put their trust in Him...but it does mean we are safe with Him always...that we are not destined for this world (I believe C.S. Lewis said this life is just a shadow of our real lives), and that as long as we are in His presence we are safe. So I choose to put my trust in the only One who can keep me safe...not "me" as in my body, but "me" as in my spirit. To many this often sounds like foolishness, but because I have experienced the "peace of God, which transcends all understanding" (Phillipians 4:7), I know it to be true. Clearly I do not have it all together, but thankfully, I don't have to because I put my trust in the One who does.