Tuesday, February 24, 2015

.. but God... (Two of my favorite words)

but God... 

Those are some powerful words. They are preceded by heavy words of our inabilities and of hopelessness. Then they are followed by uplifting words about God's abilities and God love for us. 

but God...

I have had many "but God.." moments that have shaped the person that I am today. 

I was a slave to mental illness. I could not go even a couple minutes without thoughts of hurting or killing myself. I tried to self medicate with alcohol. I was consumed by self hate and fear to the point of being hospitalized over and over again. But God broke the chains of bondage. He gave me purpose and a new identity. He sought me out in my darkest moments and held me. He gave me hope. 

I was a young mother unaware of what motherhood really meant. I was neglectful of her basic needs for a safe and clean home to the point that I almost had her taken away from me. But God protected her body and her spirit. He gave me the abilities to care for her and to become a better parent. She has no recollection of how bad it really was, but she knows I am only the mom I am today because of Him. 

My marriage was in shambles. My scarlet letter tore down my husband and began to fester. Hostility and anger built up and infect all the areas of our life. Even after having found God and repented, the gap in our marriage began to widen. He went into a very dark place that I was not able to bring him out of. I prayed for years and years that he would find God's love and grace but I grew weary and hopeless. But God spoke to his heart and brought him into a saving grace. He healed the many wounds we had caused each other. God united us in Him and strengthened us. He is constantly deepening our love for each other and our relationships with Him. 

I had never been a good student. For as long as I can remember I have felt stupid and insecure. I would sit and reread the same two words over and over again having no idea what they said or meant. I felt it was my fault and that I was either stupid, or lazy, or both. The only thing I liked about school was my friends. It wasn't until I was a junior in high school that I realized that something was really wrong. My parents got me tested and got the tutoring I needed to help me catch up. I will always have dyslexia, but God has a plan for me. I was able to get enough help that I can read even though it is a bit of a struggle. I was also able to catch it in my oldest much faster because I knew the signs in me. God has helped me to teach her and raise the bar for what she thinks she can do. 

I have so many wounds from my past, but God healed them. 
I was ashamed of all my scars, but God has and will use them to His glory.  

Six months ago, my city was shaken. Lines were drawn and people divided. My family felt stuck right in the middle. I feared for my safety, the safety of my children, and the safety of all those involved. Instead of things calming, the anger and pain in people began to overflow like lava, slowly moving down the streets bringing destruction and impossible to stop. My heart was broken because I could see so much pain and hurt. The wreckage to the buildings and structures were nothing in comparison to that in the heart of the people. Out of the pain and heartaches came anger and fear. We cried out for God and at moments it felt so lonely. But God... but God brings restoration. But God brings hope. Even with such division there was so much unity among God's people. There were so many who went out to help and to spread God's love. There was communication about things that had been ignored too long. God had also placed his protection upon the people. For all the damage that was done, there were so few injured and killed. God poured out his peace upon his people in the darkest of moments and while buildings were sitting in embers and the streets were filled with shards of broken dreams, God's name was being lifted up in praise.  

I was broken ... but God healed me
I was afraid ... but God comforted me
I was lost ......but God found me
I was in bondage but God set me free 

... but God is good and worthy of all honor and praises even in the darkest hours.

... but God is able to transform your life
... but God 

What "...but God" moments have you had? 

1 John 5:9 
We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.

Hebrews 12:10 
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we might share in his holiness.

Hebrews 8:7-9
But God found fault with the people and said:
            “The days are coming, declares the Lord,
            when I will make a new covenant
            with the people of Judah….”

Hebrews 3:4 
For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.

2 Timothy 2:8-10 
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

Galatians 4:7 
So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Psalm 66:18-20
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

Psalm 73:25-26  
Whom have I in heaven but you? An earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is my strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 74:11-13 
Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them! But God is my King from long ago; he brings salvation on the earth.

Jeremiah 10:11-12 
“Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’”
            But God made the earth by his power;
            he founded the world by his wisdom
            and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.

Romans 5:7-9 
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Psalm 9:17-19
The wicked go down to the realm of the dead,
            All of the nations that forget God.
            But God will never forget the needy;
            The hope of the afflicted will never perish.
            Arise, LORD, do not let mortals triumph;

            Let the nations be judged in your presence.