Journal Entry ~ 10/07/17

Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 
9 For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.  - Psalm 107:8-9

God satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things. He doesn’t satisfy those who don’t know they’re lost, He satisfies those who long for Him, who are hungry for Him. The hard part is that the path to get to the place of longing is often filled with tears and pain. One day, we wake up realizing we’re lost and alone, groping for meaning and purpose in our lives. We realize all our efforts are for naught if this life is as temporary as the length of time we spend on this planet. We could accomplish great things, but what does it all mean in the end?  What ultimate good does it do?  Apart from God, it means nothing. There is no genuine meaning to life or purpose for living if you live apart from God, but first we have to get to the place where we realize that truth for change to truly happen. 

I’m watching some of my closest loved ones wrestle with these very questions right now, and it’s so hard to witness. It draws me back to the place when God got a hold of my heart. Growing up in a home dominated by chaos and instability, all I wanted was to be married and have a family. I thought if I could create that perfect, peaceful family for myself, then I would be happy, there I would find my purpose, and then I would feel fulfilled.  I met the man who would become my husband, and after a couple of years of marriage, we had our first child. I finally had the family I waited so long for - a wonderful husband, and a beautiful baby boy.  But something was distinctly missing - I still didn’t have the inner peace I craved. I felt so empty, like something was missing. I threw myself into parenting, feeling as if I became the best parent around, perhaps then I would feel that sense of fulfillment and purpose. My marriage started to struggle as I placed unrealistic expectations on my husband, looking to him to fill the giant void in my heart. But the demands I placed on him were unfair, and left him failing me at every turn. He was never meant to fill the void in my heart, my children were not meant to be my only purpose. I was in the desert, and one day I woke up to realize there was more to this life than just what we see. 

Since the birth of my first child, God had been trying to get my attention. I could hear his promptings to raise my children to know Him. I didn’t really understand what it meant at the time, so I simply dismissed it as postpartum. After my second child was born, it became louder, and I could no longer deny that I was at a place where I needed to find meaning and purpose in my life. I needed to find a way to fill the void in my heart that the people in my life just couldn’t fill. I found myself sitting in a church after a battle with my husband, alone and in tears.  Nobody greeted me or spoke to me the entire service, but God met me there. As I walked out of church that day, I grabbed a tract off a shelf. I went home and prayed the sinner’s prayer on the back, and gave my life to a God I didn’t know. He met me in the desert when I was longing for meaning and purpose in my life, but He didn’t meet me until I realized I was out there alone and hungry to be filled. 

But when He did meet me, my life began to change. It wasn’t as if suddenly every thing in my life magically became better, but gradually He began to fill my life with meaning and purpose. He opened my eyes to truths that had been hidden from me; and over the years, He changed my perspective from one where I was more focused on fulfilling my own selfish desires to one where I have greater purpose and meaning. It changed my life. I discovered a deep sense of joy and fulfillment in my life, a peace that surpasses all understanding, even when the trials of life become challenging. I am not living for myself anymore, but for His glory and purposes. I know my purpose in life is bound to God, and it is to know Him and do His will - no matter what I face in life. 

Watching my loved ones struggle in the desert is hard. I remember that feeling of being all alone, not knowing or understanding the purpose of all of this.  When you’re lost, it can be so hard to see Him through all the distractions that the world throws at us, each one giving us a false sense of purpose. We are distracted by people and relationships, our jobs or careers, the house we live in, the car we drive, or the number of vacations we take in a year. People keep striving to find that meaning and purpose on the horizontal, but they will never truly find it. At some point in the course of everyone’s life, they are going to open their eyes and realize that God has them out in the desert. What happens in those moments is critical, and the focus of my prayers for those I love still wandering in the desert. Here's one of the most important truths I've learned --> if we rush in during that moment to rescue them, we become the distraction the world offers, and they remain blinded to what God is offering them. 

I remain so thankful that God for a hold of my heart long before He walked me into a cancer diagnosis. He pursued me with His steadfast love, and He filled my longing heart with good things. As I come into contact with more and more people working in the oncology field or dealing with a cancer diagnosis themselves, there is a great distinction between those who believe this is part of His plan, and those who are still wandering in the desert.  I find myself praying more and more for those people still wandering in the desert, that they may find a longing to be filled with His purpose for their lives.  I have no doubt He has a greater purpose in my diagnosis, and I remain confident that His plan is for my good and for the good of those in my life. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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