Today I was having a conversation with God in my head. It went a little like this,
God, I know it would be really nice and easy on us if we could just get rid of that house - but I also really want it gone so that You may receive glory.
I mean, it would have been such a great witness for our unbelieving friends to see the power of prayer and faithfulness, or to our non-Catholic friends who misunderstand novenas or the intercession of saints.
I really wanted us to be that family with the amazing story of "One day after the novena, our house was sold," because I truly want others to see how mighty You are, what great deeds You do. Maybe we could have brought souls to You or back to the Church.
And yeah, I understand the whole 'suffering is redemptive' perspective, but to other people it could just look like you're forgetting us, and that's hard to explain to others who are already having a hard time with You - no offense...
And I immediately thought of my friend Bonnie as an example. Her son was born without a heartbeat for over an hour and spent a good while in the NICU. Doctors, nurses, specialists - all gave predictions of the worst for him. But her family immediately called upon family, friends, and strangers for prayer for his complete healing. (And in no way do I mean to compare the potential of losing our house and money to that of losing a child. The similarities exist in the way we've approached our very different crosses. And she's probably done a better job at it than I have.) But through the faith and prayers of Bonnie and those she loves, I believe God healed James. It was truly a miracle that we were able to witness. And now, her story - James's story, gives glory to God.
And for a moment, how foolish of me, I thought that somehow God missed a great opportunity to use us. So foolish, I know. But in weakness, I thought, how discouraging our story could be for someone already struggling with God's presence in their lives or struggling with prayer or Catholicism.
And as quickly as I thought it, God revealed something great to me. It went a little like this,
I know the plans I have for you. Yes, you are called to carry this cross, as Bonnie was called to hers. But your roads are different. I am restoring faith in the hearts of people through healing My son, James. But for you, I am asking that you remain faithful to prayer and hope and sacrifice even without the rewards for the time being. This is so that others may see not just what I can do, but Who I am. I am not just the Healer, Creator, Miracle Worker, Protector, or Provider.
I Am God. And that is enough.
So family and friends - strangers who read this blog and know our house-hell story - I hope that I've in some way been a fraction of what God needs me to be, so that I may testify to His unconditional love for me, and you, even when the circumstances seem otherwise. Forgive me in my failings and encourage me in my weaknesses. God bless you and may praise and glory be to the Blessed Trinity.