I immediately went into my "taking care of others and details" mode. That's what I do. My husband and I needed to get to our daughter. She was coaching her cheer team and we needed to get to her before social media did. (Word travels much faster than it use to.)
Rick and I drove to the gym and had her meet us in the parking lot. When she saw us, she said she thought something had happened to her Mimi, but instead was totally shocked at the news we had arrived with.
Madison did not immediately burst into tears. She very calmly looked at me in the car and said, "At least she knew Jesus, mom." Then, a few moments later, after the news began to sink in, she burst into tears as we drove to a friend's house where her friends were gathering.
That is how our February began. A vicious circumstance beyond our control had rocked our world. All we could do was hold on to our faith.
Faith in Christ is the only piece that truly completes our out-of-control puzzle of life.
Faith for some is very strong and unwavering. Faith for others is very tender and not as strong. For all levels of faith, though, grief is very real and very necessary. How well we understand the sovereignty of God Almighty determines how we respond to our grief. It's in the times of being hard-pressed that what we truly believe bubbles to the surface and brings us incredible comfort.
So how does one develop a strong, unwavering faith?
Faith is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. The more weight you lift, the more muscle you build. The more we exercise our faith, the stronger our faith becomes.
"That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know Whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day." (2 Timothy 1:12 NIV)
Here's what I know: I know Who's in control. Jesus. I know Whom I serve, love and live for. Jesus. I know without a doubt that my Jesus knew what was coming down the pike that day, and He was already there to embrace McKinsey with His tender love and care as He escorted her into His eternal glory.
I also know that not only was He there for McKinsey, but Jesus was already there waiting for us to run into His arms of comfort, ready to catch our tears, pick us up, console us, and not leave us dangling in despair.
He was there and is here, at this very moment, with His deep love and strength and grace to sustain us through our insurmountable grief, hurt and pain. He is here to walk through the terrific storms in life and get us safely to the other side of our wounded, broken hearts. As we move through the confusion, doubt and the unknowns in life, we can know Jesus more intimately, developing a much stronger faith as we continue to grow up in our salvation, constantly moving to the next high place on our spiritual journey.
Here's what I don't know. I don't know the number of pages in my earthly book of life or yours, but I do know that God knows. ( Psalm 139) He's the Author and the Creator of life. He knows the number of my days and yours, and the number of heartbeats He has counted for you and for me. My job is to live life to the full, full of all that Christ is and has for me on this earth, and to proclaim Him with every breath I take in and breathe out. He is LIFE.
God uses the good, the bad, and the ugly to build the character of Christ in us and to make us stronger in Him. Our faith drives our hope, and our Hope is in Christ. We live by faith.
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV)
Faith is the puzzle piece that completes us in Christ and brings us total peace as we trust in Him.