WhatÂ if God let you have a peek at your future?
I couldn’t handle it. Could you?
Looking back is so much better than getting a peek into the future. Yes, there are regrets. But most of the time when I look back, Iâ€™m amazed at one thing:
God laid the groundwork for what was to come.
Sometimes I chose to ignore His preparations in favor of things I wanted to see and how I wanted to do things. But one time in particular, I followed His lead and it paid off big.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how discovering a noncancerous tumor in Kristenâ€™s left eye left me angry and bitter. We counseled with our pastor who gave us nuggets of wisdom that lasted for years to come.Â When I wrote that blog post, I hadnâ€™t read my journal from that time. I didnâ€™t think I had to, since it was such a deeply embedded memory. But I was wrong.
Yesterday I flipped through the journal. I have a lot of journals spanning many years, but one is special. Itâ€™s black and shiny, with a white goose sticker that says â€œTeresaâ€™s Bookâ€ in my motherâ€™s cursive handwriting. She gave it to me in the hospital the week Kristen was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis, with the written encouragement to put my thoughts and emotions on those pages. And I have.
And Iâ€™m so grateful I did, because whatâ€™s become memory-dulled and mashed-up with other events, stands out as a life event of its own. What I remembered as a long process of acceptance was different. It was a blessing to read my emotion-less, formal words in my journal, telling of how I’d come to accept a difficult reality. The biggest blessing was the acceptance took place a full two years before the next big hurdle we would face. It would take a lot of time to practice living a Jesus-focused life to face what was ahead.
This is an excerpt from my journal:
A tumor (astrocytic hamartoma) was discovered in Kristenâ€™s left eye in 1988 and in October 1989, another examination showed the tumor had uncharacteristically grown bigger, therefore blinding Kristenâ€™s left eye except for light and movement. Also my fear of her losing her eye ultimately was given credibility by the retina specialist.
This was a time of being extremely disillusioned with Godâ€¦
Our pastor gave us a book called Surprised by Suffering by R.C.Sproul that changed our lives. In a nutshell it examines the darker side of being obedient to God, centering around Christâ€™s time in the Garden of Gethsemane. It has made me face my fears and anger and put me at a point where I, too, like Christ, can say, â€œNot my will, but Thine, be done.â€ If Kristenâ€™s eye must be removed, then so be it. He will take any burden upon Himself if I give it to Him. I must look past my pain and love Christ more.
God does things His own way, in His own time. Sometimes itâ€™s easy to feel neglected by a very big God. But I encourage you to take a look back and see where our very big God has intersected your life. You might be surprised at the groundwork God laid for those big things youâ€™ve faced.