Well, God... I thought we had reached our limit.... then today happened.
My grandmother died this morning, peaceful it seems, but she passed away and was found sitting in her recliner with her coffee on the table next to her, just like she was every other morning. Today however, was her day to go home to be with the Lord, Pawpaw, Daddy, and her parents.
Now I titled this entry "Greater Expectations," because I've determined that's what God has of me and my family. Since Daddy died, on many occasions, I have told God that we just can't handle another death... then it happened... and now we're handling it (guess that's what I get for "telling" God). Obviously, God knows our limits better than we do... and we're now experiencing His expectations of us. We're no Job... but sometimes it's starting to feel like it.
Which brings me to my next point... Why has God chosen to put my family through so many deaths in one year?? Why has he pushed us to our limits and then expected us to keep going?? Well, I can think of a few reasons, and one is harder to swallow than the other...
1. To remind us that He is in control, we have to rely on Him, we serve Him, and we should be spending as much time with him as possible. Once again I am struck by God's hand in my life. I just happened to be home this weekend. I had been planning a trip home and it just "happened" (or was divinely ordained) to be this weekend. If I had not come home to visit, someone would have had to call me in Birmingham and tell me the news... where as since I was the one here... I ended up making some of the phone calls to tell others. Shane was at a tournament in Laurel... 40 minutes away from home verses the 2 hours it could have been if he was in a tournament in Jackson. Kristen, as of this past week, is now in a relationship with a sweet guy who was with her when Aunt Lanell told her the news and he then drove her the 4 hours home just so she would not be by herself. God is so in control of our lives that He put us where we needed to be and with the people we needed to be with at such a sad and shocking time.
A note from Daddy's bible that relates to this point:
"We seem to think God should "fix" our problems, but He "allowed" them to start with. He doesn't want to "fix" them, He wants to work with us to do that. That's the whole purpose of His bringing difficulties into our lives."
2. God will get the glory... through the good times and bad. Maybe, like Job, God is allowing us to be tested because He has faith in us! (What a privilege and honor!!!) I was talking to a dear friend tonight when this thought occurred to me... what if God is using our family, our pain, and our reaction to it all as an example for others!! One of those... if they can get through it, then I can get through it things... As Christians, we should always strive to be examples to others... in the good times and the bad. If my family's strength in dealing with the deaths of Pawpaw Scarbrough, Daddy, Mr. Greer, and Mawmaw Scarbrough in the last year can help someone else get through their turmoil and pain... then God gets the glory if we will give it to him (and after all... that's what we were made for)!
"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent,
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever."
As I was thinking of what to write tonight, I asked Daddy to send me some help... I grabbed two of his bibles and of course, found some things that I hope will be both encouragement to my family and others.
Also from Psalm 30:
" For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life; <---- How awesome is that!!!
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning."
Psalm 30: 5
Now once again... let's be honest, as Daddy put it in a note I just found in his bible, "I can't praise you as well in the pit." It's hard to praise when dealing with sorrow, but still... God has given us so many blessings in life that we have no reason NOT to praise Him. In the absolutely worst year in my family's life... God blessed Kim and Robby with a beautiful baby girl who lights up all of our lives. We may be celebrating a lot of first without Pawpaw, Daddy, Mr. Greer, and Mawmaw this year... but we will also be celebrating a lot of firsts with Savannah.
I found a song/poem that Daddy wrote that I hope might be helpful to us, but also others going through the same situations... it doesn't have a title, and I have no clue when he wrote it...
When all of my ways are directed by God
When I am yielded to Him
Then I can say as I traveled my way
I'm not afraid when the light grows dim
Sometimes the Lord may try my faith
He may let me wander alone
To see if I will cry out to Him
When I can't find my way home.
He's faithful to me, He's always true
His love is boundless and free
And when I am lost and can't find my way
His strong arm reaches out for me
God is my Strength, God is my Song
He is my fortress and guide
And I can't describe what He means to me
And in Him I want to abide.
My expectation for God (... and I do think it's okay for us to have those) was that I always learn something from the hardships we go through... and He has come through for me as always. He is constantly reminding me of how in control He is of my life... which reminds me that I'm His... and is there anything more comforting than knowing that I belong to the One True God?? I don't exactly know what else God expects from me... though I hope it doesn't involve dealing with more deaths any time soon. But whatever it is I have the assurance that He is with me every step of the way... because He's the one directing those steps and controlling where they go.
Please keep us in your prayers. I love y'all! - Kacey