I am nothing. I am no one. Except that I am holding tight to my faith. Has it taken a hit this year? Most definitely. And no, not at all. While I wonder what good prayer does in the face of trials and tragedies, I have been assured more than ever that God is sovereign. He truly is in control. I had to change the way I look at prayer. I was like a spoiled, little kid. I thought that if I asked sweetly enough and often enough, my wishes would be granted. But that is not how things work. Prayer has to be more of a seeking of peace for what is to come than of a hoping to manipulate what is to come. I am learning to accept that I cannot see the whole picture. I cannot pretend to be in charge. I have to be assured that there is a loving, caring father who can see dangers and blessings and lessons that I can see only AFTER I have passed through. And I am not through with this section yet, but I have learned a few things. Well, I am in the process of learning some things...
I am assured that there IS life after death. Jacob IS with Jesus in heaven, and that I will also be there someday. I don't get to go to heaven just because I am a nice person. Too many of you know that is not always true! I don't get to go to heaven just because God loves me. Though He loves me more than I will ever comprehend! I had to make a choice. I had to choose life. Eternal life. Through my faith and belief in Jesus as the Christ. The Messiah. The Savior.
Are you laughing at that? Do you doubt it? Are you positive that I am wrong? Well, you can look at it a couple of different ways... Either I am completely disillusioned and am wrong and will simply return to dust when I die. OR... Or I am right. Jesus IS the promised Messiah. The Savior of all. If you're right and I'm wrong, we'll both be dust. But if I'M right and YOU'RE wrong, where will that leave you? Let me spell it out for you-- H E L L. NOT the place I'd want to spend eternity. Forever. And ever.
I really have read the whole, entire Bible. And I really do believe it. In reading it, my faith was affirmed. If you have NOT read the Bible, how can you say that you don't believe it? Do you always make blanket belief statements based on what someone else has told you? Do you believe everything you see and hear? Can you HONESTLY discount an historically accurate account of history that is documented not just with one people group, but with ALL major people groups? Look it up. If you have read every word of the Bible, have given it a fair shake, and can still say it is filled with errors and contradictions and lies, fine. But if you have NOT read the book, then don't say you don't believe it. You don't know what it says.
Some people might claim that only ignorant and uneducated people believe the Bible. Really? Do you know me? If you think that, then you must think I am both ignorant and uneducated. Granted I am not the smartest person I know, but neither, my friend, are you. If you think all this this is emotional and has come about because of life circumstances, you are wrong. If you know me at all, you know I am not really an emotional person and you also know that no book that has thousands of closely-spaced pages would hold my emotions hostage long enough for me to read the entire thing. No this is not an emotional decision--this whole Christianity thing. The decision that I made when I was nine years old has simply solidified as I have grown older and wiser. I have questioned my belief and my faith. And I have held true.
This year has been completely full of ups and downs. Mostly ups the first four and a half months, many downs in the last seven and a half. I now think of everything as "Before" or "After." And I'm pretty sure that is how things will be from here on out. I can think of very few things that are worse than all that happened the week of May 24th. Jacob died. He was only four years old. He was an incredible little boy. He was so very smart and talented. So sweet and funny and full of life! He really was a blessing, and still is. He was our miracle baby. After so many years of infertility, we had a baby, and now he's gone. Jacob still exists. I know I will see him again someday, but not nearly soon enough. Why do I know this? Because I BELIEVE. Not with emotion, but with an analytical mind. I have examined the facts and I STILL believe.
And because of that, I can live. Only through my faith in Jesus. My faith in GOD. If not for Him, I would be dead. I would be an alcoholic. I would be a drug addict. But because I HAVE to believe, I am alive. Not happy, but alive with a peace that is beyond comprehension. I have total and complete faith in the knowledge that this life is NOT all there is. And somehow I even have a little bit of joy. More joy will return as I wade through the devastation of losing Jacob. I know that. And that little bit of joy that I still have is not based on emotions or circumstance. It is based on Jesus. HE is the One Who is the source of my faith and joy and love and hope. Without Him, I am nothing.