I love that hymn.  Absolutely love it.  It floods by heart, mind and soul with peace when I hear it.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

and the best verse:

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

This week started out anything but being well with my soul.  It has been a very intense week for me.  I have been warring with some pretty strong emotions that roller coaster from one minute to the next.  I’ve been mad, sad, happy, distraught, joyful, peaceful, in despair.  I was just all over the place depending on the moment you inquired.  I was upset.  I was mad.  I was confused why God was allowing all of this to happen.  Why does he keep dragging this trial out, now going into the seventh year, now.  Why?  Why?  Why?  What are they going to find when they operate in just a few weeks?  What if His will is for this tumor to take my life?  What about my family?  I’m not ready for all of this!

Those that know me know that my mind is one of my greatest assets, but also one of my worst adversaries.  After over-analyzing everything to the point of physically getting sick, I decided to send a note to a dear friend of mine this week.  I poured my heart out in some pretty raw emotion to her and I frankly didn’t like a word of what she had to say back to me.   She said that  “God didn’t promise you healing.  He promised that He would stay with us throughout our sufferings”, among some other encouraging words that felt anything but encouraging at the time.  She referenced this scripture:

“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.  Instead, be very glad–because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and  you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world” (I Peter 4:12-13)

I know that God didn’t promise to heal me.  I’ve been told (warned) of that over the years and it has always scared me to hear that.  I know He’s more than capable, but will He?  It turned me into the obsessive researcher that I am today, just in case I had to take the healing into my own hands (eh-hem). It really has always scared me and I didn’t like that she threw that back my way.  Not. one. bit.  But what she said was perfect.  Since this tumor started gaining some momentum in August, Marvin and I have talked about how I need to get to a place where I’m at peace with whichever path God chooses to take me down, healing or not.  Once I was able to lay my emotions aside and read her words with a softened and open heart, God did such a miraculous, really, work in my heart that broke down some long standing walls and has me in a place where I finally feel at peace with whatever God might ask of me.  I know that God is good.  God is sovereign and He has a plan.  I look back at my life over these past seven years and it is so evident.  You know when you are looking out a window that has so many fingerprints on it, that it’s impossible to look through the window because all you see are the fingerprints?  My life is that window.  You can’t look into me without seeing how His fingerprints have been all over me from the start of this journey seven years ago when I had a grand mal seizure.  One MRI changed my life forever.  But God didn’t.  He never changed, but He has changed me.  He has changed lives through me.  I am so humbled when I think of that.

I’ve had so many people tell me how mad they are and that it just isn’t fair.  I have said, felt and thought that a million times.  I’m very slowly starting to understand, though.  Cognitively, I understood before.  You grow up in the church, you read in the Bible that all things work together for His good.  There are so many scriptures that point to trials and why He allows them and how we are to deal with them.  Last night while driving home from choir, I was feeling peace with why it was fair.  He has not put me into existence so that I can live this carefree life on earth and then join Him in heaven when I’m 90 and ready to move on.  He has put me on this earth as His tool.  If I’m not being used for Him, then what good is my life?  What good am I to you if I’m not pointing you to Him?  Would trials like this seem fair to you if one of your loved ones didn’t know Christ, but came to know Christ through somebody else’ testimony like mine?  Would you be weighing the fairness of my trial, then?  I think not!  I think you would be rejoicing for the trials that God allows because look what came from it!  And then it might cause you to rejoice in your own trials when they come your way.  There is purpose in everything.  Who knows who will be joining you in eternity because of the short amount of suffering you might have to experience on this earth.  Your suffering might have saved them from a lifetime of suffering in hell.  We don’t know.  But He does.  And I’m finally at peace with that.