Molly has a personal and transparent post to share with you today. Molly is the Web Administrator here and many of you enjoyed reading her guest posts on the blog this summer (“Mondays with Molly”). If you missed it, she shared about preparing for her wedding (you can read that post by clicking here). She had a challenging pre-wedding season as God graciously took her to deeper places in her faith-walk.
I’m glad to have Molly on the blog today, sharing some of what God has been doing in her life.
Here’s Molly ~
This summer was hard. At least the last month of it, the time that should have been one of the most joyous and celebratory times of my life. I understand that it could have been worse and that it has been worse for others before. I understand all of that and yet that did not make me feel better when I was lying on the couch instead of wedding planning, when I was in a hospital bed instead of making final wedding preparations, when I was unable to work to pay for some of the wedding costs, or when I was barely able to move, let alone get into my “pre-wedding workout.” Many of you may remember a post I had previously written about preparing for my wedding and my groom. I wrote in that post:
In the midst of my own wedding plans, pre-marriage workouts, trips to the tanning bed, hours addressing invitations, outings to the mall, and time spent reading, Googling, researching, and Pinteresting to find the perfect wedding and discover how to be the perfect wife, the Lord stopped me in my tracks…
That was about a week before I was diagnosed with pneumonia and about two weeks before the doctors discovered that I had fractured eight ribs from coughing as a result of the pneumonia. I had no idea how He was going to stop me in my tracks until He literally stopped me.
A week before my wedding, I was lying in a hospital bed in the ER, awaiting numerous test results and internally wrestling with God. The doctors were surprised and confused that a young, relatively healthy person such as myself had fractured eight ribs just from coughing as a result of pneumonia. “Concern” and “confused” were words that I heard a lot from the doctors around me. I underwent numerous tests that day and throughout the following weeks – x-rays, blood work, CT scan, bone scan, bone density scan – as the doctors tried to understand what had caused these symptoms and the fractured ribs.
It is easy in these moments… moments of confusion, moments of concern and anxiety, moments that you dreamed to be different than reality showed them to be… It is easy in these moments to look up to Heaven and simply say to God, “Why me?” It’s an honest question, really. One that God probably gets a lot from His children like me.
It was then that I knew. Lying in the ER a week before my wedding, awaiting test results with an IV in my arm “just in case” I had to stay in the hospital, He got my attention. He stopped me in my tracks. I don’t always feel His presence. Often, I go through times where He feels far away, though I know in my heart of hearts He’s not. However, in this moment I had no doubts. I felt Him close.
“Molly, is this life not Mine? I gave it to you so you could give it back to Me. Don’t you know that I love you? Deeply. You’re mine, Child. Trust Me.”
I trusted Him. In that moment, I trusted Him completely. My “Why me?!” turned into “Why NOT me?!” as I heard those in the hospital around me report abuse, cries of intense pain, and a concerned mother with a son with cancer symptoms who was getting married that weekend. I don’t know whether these people were saved, whether they were His children. But I do know that just because I am His child does not mean that I am exempt from suffering, from pain, from possible cancer or terminal illness. Just because I am His child does not mean that I will not fracture a couple of ribs and then six more just a few days before my wedding day. But it does mean that I am safe, that I am secure, that I am His. It does mean that He has a plan for me, that His ways with me are good, and that He loves me deeply.
The truth is, I don’t deserve even one second of this life He’s given me. I don’t get to choose what suffering enters into my life and what suffering stays far away from me. “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21)
Yes, praise the name of the Lord. He saved my soul, He made me whole, and I am forever His. Why not me? I am not above or exempt from suffering. But I do have a Heavenly Father who is present there with me in my suffering, who beautifully uses it for His glory, and who amazingly redeems it so that I am closer to Him with it than I ever was without it.
I walked down that aisle on my wedding day with my dad and my Heavenly Father, one at each side. I walked down pain free and met my groom at the end of it, celebrating the beautiful God-ordained union of husband and wife. I laughed, I cried, I danced, and I celebrated.
Yes, praise the name of the Lord.