Wednesday, September 25, 2013

when you are tired of waiting and asking 'why?'

one look can say a thousand words.

i hope i never forget the look on marc's face the day he married kasey.
last friday i boarded a plane bound for dallas.  i was on my way to witness the answer to a prayer i've been praying for years.  a prayer not for myself, but for a precious friend.

sometimes our lives don't turn out exactly the way they looked when we closed our eyes and dreamt of them.  for my friend kasey the years kept ticking away and her friends kept walking the aisle and still she found herself without a husband.

have you ever really wanted something?

i don't mean a new pair of shoes you can't afford or that last krispie kreme doughnut that someone swiped right out from under you.
i'm talking about something big - a college acceptance, a restored relationship, a job, a clean bill of health, a child, a spouse...
when the deepest desires of our hearts go unmet we find ourselves falling into the deep, dark rut of a trial.

i've faced many trials in my life.  i've stood face-to-face with a life i didn't expect.  in those seasons there is something i've learned... 
God loves you too much to always give you what you so desperately want.  

i think laura story was on to something when she suggested that sometimes

there are some things that seem so good.
that you would give anything to take hold of.
that you can't imagine your life without.

and through our blind eyes we can't see that what seems like the best thing for us just might be the worst.  

because He is a God of love,
because He is a God who sees all things - yesterday, today, and tomorrow...
He extends his mercy so that what might seem unfair or undesirable is actually the very thing that will save us.

when God says no it might mean no, not ever or it might mean no, not now.  but either way you can be sure that his answer is best...even when you can't possibly see how. 
for years kasey got on her knees and pleaded for a husband...and God's answer was no.  but last sunday evening on a grassy lawn covered in white folding chairs we saw that it had been a no, not now and in a moment it became a yes.  in the right moment.

if it had been up to kasey she would have gotten married years ago.  but years ago she didn't know marc.  
years ago marc wasn't ready...and kasey wasn't ready.  
the waiting was hard but the waiting held purpose.
God's no's are never meant to hurt you.  
on the contrary...
they are meant for healing
for humbling
for holiness.

because that is true, even through the trials - the heartbreak and suffering - you can accept the no and hold it in your hands with hope instead of chucking it across the room in anger.  i've learned never to discard God's no because it is serving a greater purpose in my life.

on the very day that kasey wrote these words in her journal, she met marc who had been simultaneously praying for his wife.

y'all...i can't make this stuff up.  these are the stories God writes with our lives.

less than a year later...the first day of fall marked the first day of their life as husband and wife.
when marc looked at kasey as she walked down the aisle his eyes had much to say...
i adore you
you are beautiful
i cherish you
you are what i have prayed for...

...and the tears streaming down kasey's face as she took those steps towards her husband said the same.

wouldn't life be so much easier if we just got exactly what we wanted right when we wanted it?
easier - maybe.
better - no way.
i have never known joy like the joy that comes from waiting
and asking why
and continuing to pray with faith for something
and then watching God work in his perfect timing to give more than i could ever hope or imagine.

He loves us far too much to give us lesser things.

if we are obedient.
if we are faithful.
if we wait with hope for unfulfilled dreams.
if we keep living during the waiting.
if we choose joy and thanksgiving rather than bitterness and resentment.
if we trust that the God who created us knows our needs better than we know our own.
if we do all those things we won't get the life we've dreamed of...
we will take hold of something far better...

the life bigger than our dreams.

just ask marc and kasey...