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  • Writer's pictureHolly Tomlin

God of miracles

The weight of this week has been so heavy. Life really sucks some days. It is by no accident that the sermon given at church by our pastor was on suffering and how to respond in times of suffering. Although I didn’t know what would come later in the week, the Lord did. Nothing dramatic or earth shattering happened personally in my life. It did in a friend’s though. Overall, it’s just been a very emotional, heavy week. One that leaves you asking “why God?”. As Pastor Hunter reminded us on Sunday, God is always in control. He keeps his promises. Always. And only God can save us. Period. Having an eternal perspective during the times in our lives when it hurts and we don’t understand. But it really hurts. I have a very dear friend that’s been in a valley and wrestling with life. She’s been so heavy on my heart this week. The “fixer” in me wants to help her and solve all her problems, yet there’s nothing I can do but love her and offer any words of wisdom the Lord gives me. The Lord has a funny way of working though. He was very intentional yesterday in how He wanted me to encourage her. I sent her a series of texts messages that I will share with you. I share not to disclose the intimate conversation we had, but I share because I think there are truths here the Lord gave me to share that will also give encouragement to someone else. Some parts have been removed for privacy, but I share because I truly believe the Lord speaks to us through others. I truly believe that it is no accident the experiences we have in life are a powerful part in God’s plan. We have a choice how to respond in times of difficulty. But I have no doubt that the Lord gives us seasons of trials and suffering to turn around and help others. So friends, I want you to be encouraged that what you’ve been through was not meaningless. It is part of the story God is writing in your life and it will intertwine with someone else’s story. Your ability to relate to someone else’s pain can forever change the course of their life. God uses all things (good and bad) for the good of those who love him. God is working in all things. Sometimes we just can’t clearly see His hand or hear His voice. But he is there. Every step of the way. Friend that's the Lord. He is so gracious to give us glimpses of how he uses us. You have an amazing heart and he gave you that. He gave you those desires. He has a perfect plan for your life. For me he sometimes gives me gentle reminders and sometimes it's a slap in the face. But it's his grace and love for us that gives us these moments. It's no accident this happened. He's not shocked by any of it. I love you friend. I have a heavy heart for you. I have been where you are - just empty and burned out. For me the wakeup call was cancer. The Lord was so gracious and patient with me. I don't think he caused my cancer. I think he allowed the season of suffering for me to realize the Deep need I have for him. I also think he allowed it so that I would see how deep his love for me is. I realized before cancer I was living life burned out on everything and living on my own strength. When he designed us to live in his strength. To depend on him. To allow him to carry the burdens of life. It was because of Jesus and his sacrifice for me that I have the gift of freedom. Underserved and unattainable by anything I can ever do. I felt so undeserving of that. But cancer to me was a picture of the gospel. I could do nothing to beat it on my own. Just like I can never attain salvation or love from God on my own. He loves me just because he created me. Nothing will or can ever change that. It was in the darkest and deepest valley of my life that I had the peace the Bible speaks of. The peace that surpasses all understand and for the first time in my life felt freedom. My cup was full. The Lord is the sole source of joy. Nothing of this world can give us that. And I was seeking anything and everything of this world to get it and always came up empty. Friend I love you so dearly. You will never understand how much. I love your heart. Your passion. I see all that God has given you. I don't mean to overwhelm you with any of this. But you've been on my heart all week. Praying for how to encourage you and then this happened today. I felt the need to encourage you. So much of what you're saying was where I was at 1 ½ yrs. ago. Overworked, under appreciated. Sad. Stressed. It was beyond affecting me, it was affecting my family, my mental health, and my friendships. I finally came to a point that I prayed and asked God to show me what it was. What was it that I was putting before him. What was it that was causing this distress in my life. I knew he didn't mean for me to be in this. But because of so much of my life, my past doings and the lies I believed about God, I felt that I was there because I had done something wrong. I felt I was there because I didn't deserve God's favor because of my past sins. I always felt like I had to keep doing to earn his love and to earn happiness. Through cancer, the Lord showed me that he had given me all these gifts but I was trying to be in control of how I would use them. When he wanted to show me how he intended me to use them. He wanted to teach me to depend on him and trust that he knew what was better for me. That I didn't know what was best for me. I'm very stubborn, a perfectionist and an overachiever. I always wanted to show God what I could do. But I was spinning my wheels for so long. So now my passion and heart still has the same desires yet he's opened a whole new path for me. I already had the gifts and now I had this experience so I had the compassion and empathy that not many others have. So much like your story. God created you. He gave you these desires and passions. Then he gave you this amazing yet horribly difficult season in your life. With that he faithfully carried you through. He then gave you opportunities to help others. You can are into a family's life either behind the scenes or on front stage and give and share and empathize in a way that only a few others can. You can encourage in a way others can't. I know my story isn't your story. But I do think you are wrestling for a reason. And I do think there is NO WAY this is an accident how this afternoon played out. What does it mean? That's for you and the Lord to decide. I do think if you pray and seek his guidance that he will give you the answers. I do think he will give you the desires of your heart and it may be in a way you never imagined. I do think God's plans for our life rarely turn out how we would plan them. But I do think that in hindsight that his ways are amazing. Sister I wish I could help you. But I will be praying for you to regroup, focus and to have discernment to hear and see what the Lord wants you to do! Love YOU! So thankful God brought you into my life.” Lord, may your truth wash out any lies in the hearts of those who read these words. I pray your love will be lavished out on all who read this. Earlier this week I came across a video of a woman that lost her battle with ovarian cancer. Almost every part of her story was like mine. Honestly it broke me and hit me like a ton of bricks. I know every woman’s journey with ovarian cancer is different. I know that in my head, but my heart isn’t there yet. I cried a lot. I found myself immersed in the blog she wrote throughout her journey until the very end. Two hours later I was in the floor of my closet sobbing. I haven’t had one of these moments in a while. They use to come more often, but as time passes, they are less frequent. The moments I am hit with the reality that nothing in life is certain. Nothing. I could get cancer again. It could be me writing those words on my blog. It is just the reality of everything I have gone through. I know it’s normal and to be expected but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. Yesterday, I found out that a very sweet friend’s 7 year old daughter was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Ugh. I am so broken for them. Lord, as Pastor Hunter reminded me this week, you are faithful to keep your promises. You are enough. You are the God of miracles. So friends, please be praying for sweet Katie. Lord we are begging you to heal her and remove every single cell of that tumor from her brain. Pray for wisdom of the medical team and her precious parents to make a plan for her treatment. Please protect the innocence of her heart and love for life. Lord, above all else, we pray you would be glorified in every single second of their journey. We are trusting you no matter how much it hurts. Jesus, we are trusting our lives with you today. Life is hard. Nothing is certain. Rather than being consumed in fear, I pray that each one of us would press in to you. I pray that your peace alone would consume our hearts. Fear has no place at the sound of your name. So many times in my life when fear has consumed me and my world seems to be crumbling, I just whisper your name over and over. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus, it’s all for you. Holly

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