You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.
He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
Four years ago this past Thursday, my Brother in Law passed away.
It was one of the worst things that has happened in my family.
It changed everything for us....and for me...
especially when it came to my relationship with God.
While I would never have wished for any of this to have happened....
A wife should have her husband and children should have their dad for longer...
I will say it's one of the few examples I have in my own life where God
took what was meant for evil and some how used it for good.
I remember the morning he passed away like it was yesterday.
My sister woke me up at like 2am to let me know an ambulance was on it's way
and her and my brother in law where on the way to the hospital.
It was the second weekend in a row this had happened, so I wasn't worried.
I even specifically remember not saying good-bye to Elliot
because I didn't want him to feel embarrassed about going out on a stretcher.
But...when I walked in my sisters room...or more specifically the bathroom...
and saw all the blood that was left behind, I knew it was bad.
Even more specifically I remember trying to scrub all the blood
off of the floor and out of the sink (I didn't want it to stain)...
and begging God....pleading with Him...to not let that be my last memory of Elliot!
I didn't want to look back and always think of that moment...
it felt to much like a right of passage, like by cleaning up his blood
I was agreeing to clean up whatever mess was left behind in life, if he didn't make it.
I wasn't prepared for that....not while cleaning the bathroom...
and not when I got the call from my mom telling me he was gone!
After that moment, and all that led up to it, I was pretty angry at God.
I had so many questions and so many doubts about His goodness and care.
I was afraid of Him because I knew He was God,
but mad at Him for what had happened.
I couldn't understand why God would allow such a horrible thing to happen
to someone whom seemingly did so many things in life right.
If being a good person and doing good in this world didn't matter to God,
then I wasn't sure I even knew who God was!
The reality of the situation was....I didn't know God....not really!
I knew stories about Him and I had pre-concieved ideas of who He was.
And I formed my life around those conclusions,
which although looked good from the outside,
left me empty, without hope and far from God in my heart.
A little over a year later, I found my way back to church
and sitting in my first service in months
I met God...
and once again...
It was one of those moments that I'll never really be able to explain
but God showed up and although I couldn't see Him, I felt Him...
and all I could do was bow before Him and cry out to Him through my tears.
It was like that story in the Bible where the Lord appears to Isaiah
and upon seeing God, Isaiah falls to his knees and says, "Woe is me"!
Except, instead of being afraid and wanting to run away,
I felt loved for the first time and it overwhelmed me.
Since then my relationship with God has been so different than anything I knew before.
I left church that day and instead of pretending like everything made sense now,
I brought my questions, and anger and frustrations to God.
I was honest with Him about so much...
more than I had been honest about with even myself.
I let Him see into the dirtiest parts of my soul
and hear me admit things I'd been too scared to say.
God became my best friend through those days....He saw me at my worst
(or at least what I thought at the time was my worst)
and instead of condemning me, He loved me and accepted me!
And while I have come to understand more and more over the years
what that actually means and how it impacts my life
in that one moment
I got it...
and I was made new!
Good has triumphed over evil.