When I was growing up, church was a big part of my life. It was just part of the routine. As kids, my brother, sister and I attended private Lutheran schools. We attended church weekly. And at school on Monday, the teachers would take church attendance. Yes, church attendance. I never wanted to be that kid that had to say “No” when my name was called. But, that was all I knew.
At that point in my life, I think church and religion was just about the motions for me. I believed in God. But, I don’t know that I truly understood what that meant. I hadn’t experienced many struggles. Life was pretty good.
Fast forward to 2013. The night after we found Michael. Some family and friends gathered at my parents’ home. We were busy digging through boxes of pictures (please, please, please get your pictures organized people!), putting together a slideshow and going through the motions. I was quite numb that evening. I had cried as much as possible, or at least I had thought so (I was definitely wrong). I remember sitting in a chair at the dining room table in a daze for quite some time. I looked up and saw this on the wall: “Trust in the Lord with all your Heart. Lean not on your own understanding and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6.
It was a quote in vinyl lettering that I had adhered to the wall months before. I had helped my parents paint and decorate their upstairs, including the dining room. Previously, they had a picture of Jesus hanging in this spot. It was a great picture, but it was dated and so I opted to take it off the wall (and now I question what happened to that picture. Did we throw it away? If so, that can’t be good. . . Who throws away a picture of Jesus?) Anyway, I struggled to find something to replace it until I came across this vinyl lettering. It seemed to fit and my mom really liked it.
So, I stared at that quote and in that moment, I completely embraced those two verses. There was no other option. I could be mad at God. Sure. But, I wasn’t. I was comforted because I knew that it was out of my hands. I had to put my trust and faith in God and move forward.
It is much easier said than done. Moving forward isn’t a straight line. Its been a few steps back and a one step forward. It is like anything else. It requires patience and diligence. I have questioned why. Why would God take such a precious person away from us? And then I have to remember that sometimes we won’t know all the facts. We won’t have all the answers. We just have to have some faith in God.
So whenever I find myself struggling with something or wanting answers that I can’t have, I remind myself of Proverbs 3:5-6 and I let go and let God take it. He’s driving. I’m just a passenger.