As you have heard before, I went to the illustrious Berry College (LETS GO VIKES) for two years. Since there isn’t much to do at Berry besides count deer and go to church, we had to find other ways to entertain ourselves. So my friends Marcy Jo and BFF Jen invented a game for us to play. I actually can’t remember who came up with the game but it definitely wasn’t me so it’s gotta be one of those two.
We called our game the Question Game. It’s exactly what it sounds like: One of us asks a question and we all answer. Not complicated. It’s like a really tame version of Truth or Dare without the dare. We played it pretty much every time we went out to dinner. Marcy Jo always had awesome, deep questions that made us search our souls. Jen’s questions were always exciting and fun. My questions were along the lines of, “If you could be a cloud, would you be a fluffy cloud or a REALLY fluffy cloud?” Real thought-provoking stuff. But it was fun and we enjoyed our game so much that we still play it when we get together (hint hint, Marcy Jo!). We even have a book that has questions in it for when we get lazy. We are SERIOUS about our fun.
It had been a while since the last time I got to play the question game, so a couple of weeks ago I explained it to Daniel and asked if he wanted to play. It was easy for me – I cheated and used the questions I’d been asking Marcy Jo and BFF Jen for the last eight years. Daniel played very well in spite of the many physics questions he asked me before realizing that was a dead end.
Then one of us – I can’t remember who – asked what was by far the most interesting question of the night: If we could change what had happened over the last few months, would we?
I thought I knew the answer to that one. I was ready to say yes, absolutely, of course I would change it, no question about it.
But as I thought about it more, I realized that wasn’t true. I wouldn’t change it. I hated it. But I wouldn’t change it.
I believe God has a plan. I have always believed that. But over these last few months, I started to wonder how this could be part of any plan. Why did it happen to us? Why did we have to stay for so long? Why did God allow our baby to go through so much?
I still don’t know the complete answers to any of those questions. But I still believe things happen for a reason. I believe in God’s plan and while I might never understand why things happened the way they did, I know it was part of a purpose. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future.'” Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Those two verses really say it all. God has a plan. I have faith in His plans. That doesn’t mean I can comprehend them or that I even like them. I wanted to make the plans myself; I wanted to tell God how things would go and then let Him make it so. But faith doesn’t work that way. True faith is understanding that you probably won’t ever understand, but the only things you have to know are that Jesus died on the cross for you and God has a plan for a hope and a future for you.
The funny thing about this whole experience is that I never thought Joshua would die. It crossed my mind and it freaked me out, but at the end of the day I knew he would live. I realize now that that is how I kept my faith. Even when I couldn’t pray, even when I thought God had abandoned us, He was still giving me peace and comfort without me knowing it. He was faithful to us. Joshua is home. He took a long and winding road to get there but he made it. And I can’t look back on this experience and think it was coincidence or bad luck or anything other than God’s sovereignty being shown through these struggles.
And now, I wait. I have waited a lot for the last few months but this time it’s different. Now I am waiting to see how God uses what happened to us to reach other people, to show that He is still God even when things are bad.
So here’s the deal: Jesus died on the cross for you and for me. God sent His son to take sin from us so we could worship with Him forever. If you don’t know that Jesus is your Savior, don’t wait any longer. Talk to a pastor, talk to a friend, talk to me if you want. God has incredible plans in store for you – don’t miss out on them.