I have had a hard few weeks. Hard, hard, hard few weeks. I had four huge exams. I had two exegeticals due (and with that comes the learning of new scriptures and realizing that I’m doing a lot of things wrong…learning sucks sometimes ;]). We had a HUGE event at church that I have been planning for months, but still had a lot of work to do. We had missions week at SBU, and I made a big decision that I’ll talk about later when I get the confirmation about somewhere I may serve next January…God has proven triumphant through his presence and peace throughout all of this.
Last week I found out that my dad’s house was being foreclosed on back in St. Louis. This has been a long-time coming. I don’t think people really understand how poor my family is. I try not to “seem” poor, as silly as that sounds (you don’t understand unless you’ve been there). My dad hasn’t had gas in his house for 4 years (and no utilities off and on). Imagine getting ready for your senior prom and not being able to take a hot shower beforehand, imagine trying to sleep in subzero weather in a brick house that hasn’t had heat in it for a long time, imagine trying to wash dishes with microwaved water…this was how it was for me. My dad just doesn’t take care of himself. I prayed for God to get a grip on his hard heart, and I think it is beginning to happen. It was a difficult prayer to pray that my dad would lose his life so that he could find it, but part one was answered. God was triumphant in justice. So I cancelled my classes on Wednesday and Thursday and drove four hours to help them pack and say goodbye to my childhood home. This brought a lot of memories. As much as this needed to happen, it still stinks. I was reminded a lot about why I left home…and I was reminded how much I have “taken for granted” all the things I have now–hot showers, three meals a day, a warm bed, and clothes without holes. God is triumphant in his grace for those who draw near to him (and even those who don’t, because I definitely don’t sometimes).
While home, a tornado ripped through my area and destroyed a lot more of my memories–area churches that I had been involved with destroyed. Little Caesars (my dad’s favorite food place) destroyed. KFC, the bank, 200 homes…all destroyed. Worst storm in 40 years for St. Louis. I drove around and saw the devastation. My heart broke once more. Yet God was triumphant and sovereign.
Today is Easter Sunday. I’m reminded of why Christ died on the cross. He died because my sins separated me from having a perfect relationship with my Creator–my Father who has never failed me, never abandoned me, never failed to provide for me. My Father who has blessed me beyond what I have needed at times, who has humbled me to be able to see his people the way he does. God is triumphant, and Jesus Christ dying on the cross is the ultimate picture of that. With his sacrifice, every filthy sin that I have ever committed or ever will commit is gone. My creator has consumed my heart and given me a new perspective on things. I am broken on all that is going on in my little “Heather” world. But it is a brokenness that brings peace. God is triumphant in my brokenness, because now that I am broken off from the world and shattered into little pieces, he can mold me into something greater.
I hope these words don’t come off as empty to you…because they are far from it. I’m hurt, I’m in pain, but I can see that the shadow proves the sunshine.