“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
All or nothing, that’s me. I’m all in or I’m all out and there’s no room for anything in-between. If I know where I’m going then I just want to get there, and get there quickly. That means I want a good healthy marriage, no time to wrestle with petty differences; I’m quick to own up to my part and make the godly changes that need to be made. I want to see the promises of financial blessing immediately in everything I put my hands to because I follow God’s principles with my whole heart. I want to see the favor of God when I take huge leaps of faith in ministry because I believe in the big things of God. But expediency never makes for a great story, does it? The best stories take time to develop. They have rich
meaningful themes, thick fascinating plots with unexpected twists and turns, dynamically interesting (but not perfect) main characters, wicked and cruel antagonists and by all means, happy endings. Our lives are stories, are they not? They twist and turn in unexpected ways and some days (seasons even) seem to last forever. Some chapters seem to never end but the character that we see developed during them is what makes for great heroes, it’s what makes for great stories.
The evil antagonist in my story, aka Satan, bombarded me with horrific thoughts of suicide most of my life. With every hardship, like clock-work, the thoughts of giving up came racing in.
“Why do you trust in a God you can’t see? He hasn’t ever really done anything for you? How can He be good if He let this happen to you? Don’t you know that things are never going to change and you are never going to see any of the promises He’s made to you? Why don’t you just end it now and spare yourself the pain of being such a failure?”
I cannot express, in words, the depth of the devastation I would feel when the rush of tormenting anguish would press down on me. I thought of every way possible to end my life. And yes, I was a Christian and loved God with all of my heart at the time. But still the torment came. And as overwhelming as the pressure was, I thank God I couldn’t go through with it. I couldn’t fathom leaving behind two boys to fend for themselves. How could I have taught them to hope in God all of their lives and yet take my own? I couldn’t leave them that way. So I endured the pain of so many failed ventures and remained captive to the oppression… until I had a life-changing conversation with God about it.
Several years ago in the midst of one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, I pulled my car over on the side of the road and threw a fit. I screamed and yelled at God and threw the biggest tantrum ever.
“Why? Why have You not answered any of my prayers? I’ve done everything You’ve asked of me. I’ve given You my whole life. I can’t take this pain anymore! I can’t keep believing You and not see any of the promises You’ve made. Where are You in all of this? I don’t want to live like this anymore!”
His answer changed me and gave me a new found hope and perspective on the story of my life.
“This is NOT the end of your story, Melonie. I’m still writing it. You have to trust Me. This pain won’t last forever, I promise, this too shall pass. Keep holding on and keep believing in Me. This is NOT the end!”
I don’t wrestle with the overwhelming thoughts of suicide anymore. You see, I’ve come to realize that He really is writing my story. And it’s a beautiful story. It’s full of ups and downs and unexpected twists and turns but there is a common thread. That thread is the goodness of His hand in every chapter, in every sentence, in every word. I see His faithfulness. He’s there writing, orchestrating an amazing story of grace, and I simply have to trust His unseen hand, in His goodness and in His faithfulness. This is not the end of my story and there isn’t any mistake that I’ve made that He can’t turn into something beautiful, something awe inspiring, something miraculous. And the pain that some chapters bring really doesn’t last forever but His grace does. Endurance and perseverance are what this heroine is learning.
So many chapters have since passed since that inspiring conversation with God. I’ve now seen so many of the promises fulfilled, but you want to know something crazy? I was okay without seeing them. Sure seeing those wonderful things come to pass is great, and I’m thankful, but I was thankful before I saw them. I was complete and whole before they came. God’s grace carried me through those difficult chapters and God’s grace will carry you too. This is not the end of your story either. God is still writing it and it’s a beautiful story!
YOUR KOFFEE WITH THE KING:
God can give you hope for the chapter you’re in right now. Spend some time listening to His voice today. He wants to encourage you to hold just like He did for me. Start the audio track below, sit still before Him and get ready to hear the words of life from the Author of your story.
Study these scriptures this week to learn more about your story and its Author.
Day 2: Read Isaiah 46:10
Day 3: Read Ecclesiastes 3:11
Day 4: Read 2 Corinthians 3:3
Day 5: Read Hebrews 12:2