He Came For Us: To Restore - Even Us

"I should have seen this coming..." 

These words or similar sentiments have haunted me most of my life. As a child, I found myself more upset by how unprepared I was for difficult circumstances, than by the difficult circumstances themselves. I would often lament the unexpected nature of my life and how I often felt blindsided by the unfortunate turns my life seemed to always take. I would resolve to be proactive and 'expect the unexpected'. 

Determined to not be at the mercy of unforeseen circumstances for the rest of my days...

Though I've grown in stature and maturity, this old resolve will occasionally haunt me. The Easter that ended with a severe allergic reaction and my daughter in the Emergency Room, still unnerves me. Not because of how scared I was but mostly because of how jarring the whole event was. One minute we're hunting plastic Easter eggs and the next we're flying down the road desperate for medical help. Just like that - as if a switch had been flipped. More recently, on an average Wednesday afternoon, our lives took another unfortunate turn. 12 weeks pregnant and having complications, an ultrasound revealed our baby was no longer alive. Confounding us further was the reality that our precious baby had not developed beyond 7 weeks. For 5 weeks my body had been confused and continued-on with the pregnancy as though the baby were still alive. Sitting in the car outside of the ultrasound office all I could think was, "One minute I was pregnant with our 4th child and the next minute I was not." 

The unexpected had, once again, happened.

My most recent encounter with the unpredictable nature of life happened as we, once again, gathered as a family - this time to give Thanks. And just as with the previous days, I was left unsettled by just how unprepared I was. Though this day, I would come to find out, would also leave me profoundly changed...

As I stepped into the upstairs hallway I was surprised by the silence. The opening and closing of the front door had signaled the arrival of more guests. And yet, the kitchen sat empty. The hastily placed food on the counter the only proof that others had indeed come. My heart began to sink as I realized something had to be wrong. Opening the front door I observed the "others" were huddled together at the end of the drive. I called out, "Everything ok?" but my verbal 'wellness check' was met with a hasty, "We're fine. We'll be in, in just a minute!". Perturbed by their attempts to veil reality - I stepped inside, closed the door, and headed upstairs. 

As I peered through the blinds, my now elevated position allowed me to see what was going on. My older brother's familiar sway and crooked grin - so telling of someone whose sobriety had been lost - signaled to me that something I had not expected had happened. The familial redemption I had been eagerly anticipating, literally moments before - was now gone. We would be denied the restorative meal I had been longing for. The reality of what was happening - hit me hard. Life, so fragile, and death, so relentless, seemed to hang in the balance. Unable to join the festivities in his current state, my brother was asked to leave. Afraid for his safety, I prayed for protection and revelation. And then released him to the only One Who could bring the true healing and redemption my brother so desperately needs. 

As we sat to eat I could not shake that familiar feeling of, "How did I not see this coming?". This way of things was well-known to me. We have 'demons '- my family - but, I was so sure it would be different this time. And yet, once again the brokenness of this world had infiltrated our story. The starkness of real life jarring me from my suburban, housewife existence. Making me painfully aware of just how desperate our need for a Savior.

The Lord showed me something that day. For so many years I have been broken over just how ravaged my family has been by this world. And I have often felt helpless - even tempted to hopeless - in the wake. But sitting at that table, on that unexpected Thanksgiving, my Lord gave me something I have been desperate for my whole life: He gave me hope. He reminded me that He came for us: To restore - even us 

I want to leave you with a scripture that the Lord has brought to mind - often - since that Thanksgiving day. The unexpected and unforeseen won't stop coming. But, friends, we have not been abandoned. Our Savior has come!
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.     (2 Corinthians 4:8-18)

Loving and praying for you all today!


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