John Lennon (Beatles) wrote a song for his son called, "Beautiful Boy," and one of the lyrics says, "Life is what happens while we're making other plans." I truly believe that "Life is what happens while GOD is making other plans!" I always thought that, because I was a Believer, and because I was close to God daily, that my life would have its ups and downs, but it would be relatively calm and put together. Boy, was I wrong! 3 years ago, my son became the poster child for what happens when you surround yourself with the wrong people! He was into all kinds of bad and ended up being arrested for a juvenile felony and sent away for 10 months, including his entire Jr. year of high school. He was arrested in our living room... on my birthday! I battled the devil daily during that time. How did this happen? How did my family get to this point? What had I done wrong? The guilt was overwhelming, and I would wake myself up in the middle of the night, literally crying out to God for peace and understanding. I was certain this was the lowest point of my life. Wrong again!
Fast forward 3 years to this past Thanksgiving when my husband of 20 years told me he was leaving. Yes, we had our struggles, and no, I am not faultless in this, but I truly never knew that leaving was an option...for him or me! I was devastated. Once again, I found myself waking in the middle of the night, literally crying out to God. Navigating this experience has been even worse than the one before. He didn't actually move out for 6 weeks after he told me. That was like waiting for the other shoe to drop. Then there was the night he told our kids. My heart broke for them. They didn't understand or know how to handle it any better than I did.
When my son went to JRC, a dear friend of mine gave me a devotional book titled: Jesus Calling; Finding Peace in His Presence, by Sarah Young. I had never been spoken to through a devotional book like I was this one! It was truly like being in the presence of the almighty God when I opened that book. Everyday's reading seemed tailored just for me! What made it mean even more to me, was the fact that the friend who gave it to me, was given the book when she embarked on her journey to becoming a breast cancer survivor! She literally passed her copy on to me and I knew if that book got her through the darkest hours of her life, it would get me through mine. And it has. When my husband moved out, I got back into that devotional book for the 2nd time and let it wash God's mercy and grace over me with each day's reading. If you are struggling to find peace, I strongly recommend this book.
God has so many ways of reminding us that He's near. Music speaks to my heart, and when my husband left, there was a song that I kept hearing on my Christian radio station by Danny Gokey called, "Tell My Heart To Beat Again." The chorus says this:
Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again
That was God speaking loud and clear to me! I have to make a conscious choice every day to walk in the light of God's grace, and some days it's been really, really hard, because a part of me just wants to wallow in my grief. But I know that while I was planning my life, God had other plans, and He promises me in Jeremiah, that His plans are for me to prosper, that he gives me hope, and He knows my future! Praise the Lord!