Is This Really Happening?
Is this really happening?
The alarm clock sounded. My eyes opened. I gasped; not enough air to breathe. "Oh God, is this really happening? Is this real or just a really bad dream? How did I get here? What am I going to do?" I sat up and immediately felt a tear trail down my face. My head hurt. My stomach hurt. I felt weak; too weak to go about my day.
It didn't really matter how I was feeling. I had responsibilities. There were things that had to be done. Life would go on. I had to get up. I had to work. The kids needed to get up and get ready for school. They needed a mom who was present and ready to help them go through their day. I had to move forward. Yet, here I sat dazed and confused; still finding it hard to believe. Is this really happening? Yes, it was. It really was happening. My happily ever after had imploded and the destruction was massive and family wide.
My devotional lay on the night stand. "Not today", I thought. I was just too exhausted to care what God had to say today. I just looked at it…then realized, "I know. I know. I need You more than ever." So, I reached for it and begrudgingly flipped it open.
I began to read about someone who was overwhelmed by the affliction in their life. "Yes, I can relate", I thought. I went on to read about how she had stood before an overgrown garden full of weeds and grass. As she stood there, God began to whisper into her spirit. She was reminded that the gardener stops pruning the vine, pulling the weeds and mowing the grass when He no longer expects anything from the vine during that season. He will leave it alone because its fruit bearing has come to an end. The scripture on the page was John 15:2…
"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away. Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes, that it may bear more fruit."
The story illustrated that our struggles and trials are used in our lives to prune us - or grow us - so that we can bear fruit for Him. The next sentence leaped off the page at me. "Shall I leave you alone?” What? What did that say? "Shall I leave you alone?" What a profound question. “No, I don’t want Him to leave me alone”, I thought. The realization hit me. While we aren’t eager to invite hard times into our lives, we certainly don’t want God to just leave us alone. Do we? But, if we never experience anything hard – how can we grow or become strong or even learn to trust in God?
You know - that was more than 10 years ago. But that pain, that desperation, that learning to depend on God was not in vain. God did not cause that struggle. Sin - the Evil One - orchestrated that demise. That was a time in my life that struggles were raining down on me. I was drowning! The only hope I had was in Christ. He was faithful to keep my nose and mouth above the water. He did not leave me. He did not forsake me. Instead, He carried me through. He fulfilled promises. He restored me. He took me on a journey and through a process that became so sweet and so precious to me. While I never would have asked for that path - I am completely and totally thankful for the journey, for the process, and for the pruning. Without it, I could not know what I know today. I could not have in Him what I have today. My love for Jesus is greater than it could have ever been without that time.
Matthew 10:27 says...
"Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops."
So, today I declare that GOD IS GOOD. Yes. He. Is. He is enough to carry you through any struggle, any trial, and any heartbreak. So, next time you find yourself asking, “Is this really happening?”…cling to the Vinedresser. Know you can trust Him. Walk with Him and He will bring you to a place of restoration. Your relationship with Him will go to new depths. Your story can become one that will glorify God and give others hope. He will use you, your life, your struggle, and the process you go through to prune you and prepare you to bear fruit. Your pain will not be in vain. When that happens – share your story. Talk about what God has done. Speak in the light what you learn in the dark. You never know who needs to hear your story.
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