I’ve walked roads that I never would have chosen. I’ve been broken by love, shattered by those dear to me, and I’ve spent years praying for the same miracle. I have more questions than answers and please, tell me you’ve been there too, that you’ve walked some of these same roads?
We say it often, that Jesus never told us it would be easy, but can we just say that sometimes life is plain hard?
It is messy and complicated, confusing and full of unknowns. There are chapters of our stories we never would have chosen but here’s the truth:
I’ve been on the operating table and I’ve walked dirt roads in Haiti and I’ve found Jesus in both places.
Don’t misunderstand me – that doesn’t make the hard places disappear and it doesn’t mean that we suddenly find ourselves standing in a wide open, bright and beautiful place. But it does mean we aren’t alone. It means that even if life gets harder or messier, we’ve got a Savior who isn’t going anywhere.
God is good. Always. Even in the messy places and confusing pages.
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I believe that God was there even in the hard places.
I believe that He used every day and every page.
I believe that He has a great purpose for each of us.
I believe that He hears our prayers.
But I also believe that God will still be God and He will still be good even if His answer doesn’t look like what we’re asking for. At the end of the day, He never promised to answer all of our questions but He did promise to be the Answer to every question we’ll ever face.
This past year I began to hear a whisper inside, the Spirit of God gently and kindly turning it back on me and saying, “I am the Answer you’re looking for, but I have a question for you.”
I’d be willing to bet good money that if you chose to still and slow, you would find Him asking you, too.
“Will you trust Me and love Me even if not? Will you choose to say that I am good even if the only thing that changes is you?”
This is so very hard. I won’t sugarcoat it for you, there are times that daring to whisper even if not seems much too difficult. But the more I practice and the more I remember who He is, the easier the words slip out.
He is a promise keeping God to a promise breaking people and never once has He been anything less than faithful. Nothing about who He is hangs in the balance of what story this page will tell.
And so when the darkness around us is deep and we feel filled with despair…
When we hear the word cancer…
When a loved one walks away…
When we’re struggling to make ends meet…
When life looks nothing like what we dreamed of…
Even there and even then we choose to say even if not.
Because He is God and He is good. Because He is with us and for us. Because no matter what, He will prove to be more than enough.
Yesterday the book I never planned to write – the one that is my mess printed in ink – launched into the world. And I’m thrilled about it because, well, God looks so very good. He’s the Author, after all. Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between is for anyone who is struggling today, walking through the dark, wrestling with questions, uncertain their story matters or unsure of what the future will hold.