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Remembering His Faithfulness in Hardship.

This has been a project I’ve wanted to do since I made it through all those health scares last month.
I’m sure the idea came to me because I recognized my great need to remember God’s faithfulness during trials.
I’m gonna fess up to something here…I don’t have a great track record when it comes to trusting in times of trouble.
I’m so good at counting my blessings and singing His praises until difficulties come my way.
Then, I find myself questioning him like a four year old little girl in my heart. 
“Where are you?”  “Why is this happening?”  “Are you good?”  “Can I trust you?”
Hardship tends to press me in and back me into a corner.  I can easily and quickly feel isolated and abandoned.
The great enemy of my soul loves to call into question God’s goodness,
and he most certainly was furiously at work to do this in my life last month.
When my doctor said he would bet money that I had a certain type of brain tumor,
 I took him at his word and was convinced he was right.
 Before I knew it, the war for peace in my mind had erupted into a fierce battle.
I wish I was more mature than this, but here’s the truth….
I had my funeral planned out, I was thinking of what I’d need to say in written letters to my children, 
and I’m a little scared to admit that I was seriously contemplating getting a heavy oil portrait of myself for Andy.
It’s safe to say that I was in a dark place for the better part of a week,
 as I waited to find out if I indeed did have a tumor.
When I thought about my greatest fears in all of it, 
I realized I was more scared of my questioning/untrusting heart than I was the possibility of a brain tumor.
I was sick and tired of feeling like a confused, suspicious four year old every time trials come.
Life has taught me this much….trials will continue to come.  None of us are immune.  Ever.
I want to be one of those people who trusts him…no matter what.
I want to stand firm in the truth that he is with us in all things.  He is close to the broken hearted.
He makes beauty from ashes.  He collects every one of our tears.  He redeems and restores our lives.
He is good and He can be trusted.

I know all these things are true..he’s proven himself faithful over and over again.
How sad that when a trial comes, I so quickly revert back to those little girl questions and fears.
This trial…the brain tumor one…it got me to a new place in this struggle to trust.
I was finally ready to never struggle like this again…who knows the next trial may be harder.
I want to be in a place of total trust when the next one rolls my way.

I’m so thankful that God is okay with us wrestling him
 because I wrestled with him like I was out to win a heavy weight championship.
I confessed where my heart was struggling to trust and why I was struggling to trust.
And, somewhere in the midst of me being totally honest with him, he brought his peace.
It was so good to get to a place of trust and peace before I knew the results of the medical tests.
I knew that a great work had been accomplished in my heart and that I could face any news 
as long as his peace was with me.

God is faithful, and he is always at work.  We need to remember this when trials come.
I know that peace came to me because he reminded me of all that he has been faithful to do in my life.
I saw situations in my mind that he had conquered for me…I was reminded of the healing he’s done in me and in others around me.  My mom’s peace in the midst of her disease came to mind…my brother’s salvation…provision in hard times…so many things flashed before my eyes.

Remembering all that he has done yields a confidence for all that he has yet to do.  
I’ve kept a journal of answered prayers before, but I wanted something that our whole family could use.
I wanted something that would serve as spiritual markers in our home….something we can see all the time.
So, we sat down today with our sharpie and some river rocks and started remembering his faithfulness.
It works!!  I saw faith & hope rising up in all of us as we remembered together all that he has done.
I know another trial is around the corner…it’s just part of life here on earth. 
My prayer is that I go into the next one with a heart that trusts {and remembers.}
How has God been faithful in your life?
Do you have an answered prayer to remember today?
Are you waiting on him for something?
Are you weary in a trial right now?

{thankful for}
773. answered prayers.
774. wrestling that brings peace.
775. laughs with Luke.
776. sweet reading time with Seth.
777. snuggle time with Lydia.

Michele - Love this reminder and truth. Great idea might need to do for myself and use with my clients.

Jackie at Roots and Wings - I love this idea! Not only the visual reminder of His faithfulness, but also the ritual of writing it down. It reminds me of the OT practice of builing altars as a place of remembrance and worship. I might have to copy you. :)

Beth - I know exactly where you’re coming from on this one… my faith and trust has been tested lately more than ever. We have been trying to have a child for over 3 years and nothing. We also feel that God has called us to adopt. Our application is in, now I have NO idea where the money will come from!!!! Faith is HARD!

Starr - So glad you found that place of peace and rest before having all the answers. He is a good gift-giver!

Doctor who “could have bet money” needs some lessons in bedside manner. What the what??

Feeling deeply emotional at your making of plans, beginning to tear up, then laughed out loud at the oil painting idea. Oh my WORD please do that anyway. Right above the fireplace. ;)

soulstretchesandsteps - Girl, I don’t have to tell you twice that I identify with every word you wrote. I’m so grateful that we have others to help us be lifted up and encouraged as we wrestle with the Lord. If I were like Jacob, and left to wrestle by the river alone, I’d sure fail time and time again. I’m so grateful He’s in control, even when it doesn’t feel that way.

I’m rejoicing with you as you remember and grateful for the reminder to do the same!
Much love,

Lemonade Makin' Mama - Well I could have written this pretty much word for word. My heart is crying out for the SAME things. I love that you and I are walking a similar road… I’ve handled it pretty badly this winter, letting hopelessness and sadness and discouragement overtake me but I’m working to reclaim that place that trusts solidly and knows that in spite of how it looks or feels, GOD’S got this.

I love your rocks. I’ve got a jar too but it’s not very full. I need to work on that!

Love you friend. - I made a jar of prayer stones (referencing Joshua 4:6-7) for the ladies in my Bible study when we were studying Deuteronomy and the journey to our Promised Land last summer. I’ve used them with my family, too. Such a great way to remember and reflect on times that God has carried us and answered prayer. (Why are we so forgetful?!) I like how you have them laid out in a prominent spot in your home.

Praise God for His peace and for every gift, and that even trials are blessings!

maggie@septemberrust - Wow, what an amazing post to read after having taking a short hiatus from blogging. it totally spoke to my heart, God has answered several prayers through the course of this year. what a great reminder to have a jar of prayer stones to reference and remember all prayers answered. i am going to do this for my boys, thank you for sharing your heart.

Lil Light O Mine - i love this! so awesome tara.

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