Here is a transcript from a speech. In giving her testimony, Kathryn normally shares pieces of the below in a format that is appropriate for the age-level. When speaking to young people she normally focuses the introduction and ending on their future dreams and the security there is in trusting the Lord with their lives.
Transcript from May 6, 2005 speech at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (before she ended up moving to Florida and working at this church!)
Good evening. I am deeply honored to have opportunity to speak to you today. I have so loved getting to know the church here over the past few months and I look forward to, through the events of this evening, beginning to get to know each of you.
Tonight I’d like to share with you a little about my work in Washington and the exciting things the Lord is doing on Capitol Hill. I’d also like to share with you a bit of my personal story in hope that God might use it to encourage you in, as you reflect on your own lives, His faithfulness.
Before I continue anymore, though, let’s pray and commit this time to the Lord. (Prayer)
I work for Congressman Trent Franks as one of his aides. My focus is direct work with constituents on various issues and also, on the legislative side, the Federal Marriage Amendment. Congressman Franks is a solid conservative Christian – actually he was a founder of an organization in Arizona which was the first state based affiliate of Focus on the Family. He is passionate about helping families and is a cosponsor on several of the marriage protection bills.
Over the last few years I have also been involved with Dr. Kennedy’s Center for Christian Statesmanship. Some of my favorite friends in Washington work there. I’ve done some mentoring of interns and have greatly appreciated the Center’s ministry on the Hill. They hold monthly luncheons where a godly Member of Congress shares his or her testimony, do a great deal of one on one mentoring for staff, and meeting with Members to pray for and minister the Gospel to them. I know that many of your support Dr. Kennedy’s outreach there and, on behalf of those of us who are strengthened by this ministry, I thank you.
DC is a wonderful place. There are so many opportunities, so much action. There never seems to be a dull moment. It is exciting to be a Christian there, seeking to be one of God’s tools in making a difference for the Kingdom. Yet, it is also exhausting. The politics of politics are real. There is a such a power struggle, turf wars, people focusing on what they can get from you that will help them climb. It is not just physically and emotionally and even socially tiring at times, it can also be spiritually tiring.
It just seems as if there is one battle after another. I truly believe that Satan is out to steal, discourage, destroy, etc. Every day I put on the spiritual armor before heading out of my house because the battle is real. I ask you to please pray for the Members and staff on the Hill. God is doing such awesome things. Over the past five years God has been raising up more and more Christian Congress members and staff who truly have a passion for making a difference on the Hill. Yet the daily spiritual battle rages on. We desperately need protection, encouragement, peace and discernment. So I thank you for your prayers.
Sometimes, when I’m rushing to the Capitol or when I’m standing hailing a cab in downtown DC or cramming into a metro I wonder how in the world I ever ended up in DC. I wonder, if I just had ruby slippers on, if I could click my heels and float back to my quiet little Kansas hometown. Yet, then I am reminded again how much I love DC. It is such a strange thing, but anyone who has stayed long in DC would understand, DC rubs off on you. Amidst the stress of the city and craziness of us all there, I love it and I it is hard to imagine ever moving from there longterm. It is such a wonderful place and I praise God for His goodness in leading me there.
Growing up, or even when I was still in college, I never would have imagined moving there. I had wanted to be a missionary. Or a flight attendant – because I wanted to travel. :o) I wanted to travel around the world and tell people about Jesus. I went to college – graduated from Moody – thinking I was preparing to be a missionary, fully expecting to, when I graduated go on the mission field. And instead I’m working for a Congressman. Yet, in a different sort of way, the Lord gave me more than I could have asked or imagined and fulfilled those dreams I had had while growing up. I believe the Lord has used these past 3 years in DC to teach me about the vitality of understanding the United States as an incredible fertile mission field. He has opened my eyes to learning – as you do here with Evangelism Explosion – to embrace the opportunities God gives us right here in our every day lives to share the Gospel. And, he has allowed me to travel – not as a flight attendant – but in sharing my story to people in various parts of the US. It has been thrilling to learn a bit about the ways He is working all over the country. Now I travel every weekend, commuting to your seminary here across the street. I’ve just about memorized the flight attendant speech and I think it is fabulously thrilling to do the flight attendant gestures (demonstrate “two rear exits and two front exists, keeping in mind the closest door may be behind you”) It is not what I had expected. Yet, I’ve been learning that just because God’s ways aren’t always my ways, I don’t have to worry. Actually, I can live with joy and excitement because I know, however He will lead me one step of the way, He will bring about something beautiful as I yield and put my hope in Him.
Sometimes, though, right when we are in the middle of a hard time it isn’t exactly easy – at least it isn’t for me – to see the beautiful ways of God when things look like they are just going out of control or hopes are crashing. Yah, it can be just plain tough to see any good in some things that happen to us. Like the really painful, sometimes scary times, like when a family member is diagnosed with a disease or we face a major financial setback. Or times when something tough happens and, although we know things will turn out OK, it is a significant unexpected bump in our life… like just the other day when my car died in the middle of rush hour traffic on the way to work and the airport. That wasn’t particularly pleasurable. And there are smaller things… like ruining a shirt, pouring a strawberry milkshake on a lap top (not that I have personal experience with that… well… actually I’m still wondering what the Dell technicians thought when I mailed it in for repair), or the time recently when I was boarding a plane after buying a Happy Meal – complete with orange soda – if you are going to buy a Happy Meal you’ve got to really live it up and get orange soda – just for fun. While boarding I was holding it behind my back and the bottom burst open and the next thing I heard while orange soda and French fries flew at two unsuspecting women…), etc. I question, why did God let that happen? What was the point of that? Besides making me afraid for my life the next two hours on that plane when I knew two orange splotched women were watching my every move. And I am sure you can name some situations like this from your own lives. Yet I’m learning that although I may not always understand why these things happen, I know who holds my life. And I’m more and more learning that, as I come to understand His character, it is on this that I can find peace and security.
It was one fall several years ago when I started to more deeply understand what it means to trust God through hard times. Before then I’d have to say my life was very pleasant compared to many people. My family did not have very much money, but we were so happy. I had never had to suffer more than just not having name brand things or not getting to go out to eat when I was growing up or having pets die. I would read about suffering in the Bible and I just did not know how to relate to that. I also, though, would read how, some of the strongest Christians were the ones who had most deeply suffered. They seemed to know the Lord in a way that I could never begin to understand Him. I wanted to know the Lord that way. I wanted Him to be an increasingly bigger part of my life. I wanted to learn to trust Him more and more with parts of my life. However, I had not yet understood that God wasn’t just asking to be a bigger part of my life. He was my life – He is my life – and I needed to understand that and live like it. I needed to understand that I could trust Him with all I was.
Well, let me take you to October 2, 1999, halfway around the world. My family worked in Moscow, Russia where we lived in an orphanage and cared for orphans. That morning my sister Kristy, my Russian sister Anya and I had walked across the street from the orphanage to the bus stop where we were going to head downtown to buy some soap. It was a chilly fall morning and I remember standing there in the fallen leaves and the streets still just a bit muddy from the yesterday’s rain. I looked down at my bus ticket about 10:50 in the morning. And, that’s the last thing that I remember. Because the next moment a drunk driver swerved off of the road and plowed into my sister, Kristy, and me, before heading back onto the road and driving away. My sister and I were both thrown. Kristy went from standing on that muddy street to walking into the golden streets of Heaven. Because she was killed when she hit a pole.
And I went from thinking my life was fairly put together, being a ballet dancer, college student, wanting God to be a big part of my life, thinking I could control Him with MOST of my life, to all of a sudden lying in my own pool of blood and dying. I’d landed unconscious on my face on the cement. Several bones were broken – both of my legs, a rib, a bone above my eye, 5 teeth, and my jaw. My face was scarred, my eyes were damaged, my ear was damaged (because a hinge bone from my jaw went through my ear before I swallowed it), etc.. At that moment so much of what I had counted on – my sister, my body, my abilities, my home were changed or taken away (snap) just like that. Yet in that split second, although so much was taken away, something was given to me. God began to reveal something to me that’s changed my life. You see, He began to show me that my own strength is insufficient. In myself I have nothing. So I can’t keep thinking that God should be a part of my life. He is my life. He is the foundation of all that I am, the very one who gives me breath and being.
Well, at the accident site, I remember waking up for a few seconds, hearing screaming around me, people trying to figure out if I was still alive, and then hearing my mom tell me “Kathryn, there has been an accident but you are going to be OK.” She not knowing, what the OK would entail, but knowing I was in God’s hands. A little while later, while I was being loaded into the ambulance they picked me up by my belt strap and put me on a board that was to serve as a stretcher of sorts. As they were carrying me on that board I was going in and out of consciousness, going into shock, throwing up, and, although I knew deep down that God was there for me, I was scared and so I desperately reached out my hand looking for someone to grasp it, to hold it, to help me know things were going to be OK. Right then someone grabbed it and held it tight and it made me feel so much more secure. To this day I don’t know who it was. But, it helped me know things were going to be OK. And, it was through this that I began to learn how God’s hand was there for me as He held my life. And His hand was greater than any human hand could ever be. I could trust Him. Things somehow would be OK. God was the foundation of who I was and He would not abandon me.
I remember another one of the times I woke up for a few seconds – this time before going into surgery – feeling the nurses taking my hands and wiping the fingernail polish off of my fingers. Again, just as the nurses held my hands right then, God’s hand started to become very real to me as I began to realize how all that I am rested in Him. I used to think that in some things I needed to depend on God – like if I were the President or speaking to a thousand people. Yet, in most areas – all those little things throughout each day – such as brushing my teeth or wiggling my fingers or finding matching socks – I could do fine on my own without God’s assistance. However, all that started to change when I saw that even things as small as seeing or smiling took place foundationally through God’s strength. I realized how much I must depend on God. Every breath I breathe is because of Him.
I look back now and I realize that during those initial hours, I couldn’t have begun to imagine how much God was going to teach me throughout the upcoming long days, weeks, months and years ahead about holding on to His hand and coming to know Him as my strength and protector, the One who went before me into battle – surgery, who understood when no one else quite could, and, most of all, the One I could trust with everything that am, was, and hoped to be.
After I was stabilized, I was emergency air evacuated to Finland. There I underwent a 10 hour surgery, was in intensive car for about a week, and was in the trauma ward for another week before I was able to handle the flight back to the US. I stayed in Chicago for a few days and eventually was flown back to Kansas where we held my sister’s American memorial service.
So began, days, weeks, years now actually, of beginning to more fully come to understand God’s trustworthiness through my healing. Learning to understand Him as the One who loves me more than I had ever known. The One who is the Healer of broken bones but also broken hearts.
There were so many times, especially during the days and months immediately following the accident, when it was very, very hard to trust God. I would lie there in my hospital bed, listening to the clock ticking each minute, and just wiggle and wiggle my toes because that’s all I could move. And I would feel so discouraged, rather trapped in my own body. I couldn’t even use my hands to so something as simple as opening a container of yogurt and I remember feeling so frustrated trying to communicate to a Finnish nurse that I needed help. I don’t know how many of y’all have gone through a serious physical accident. If so, you know what I’m saying – it isn’t just the big things, but the little things that are hard.
There were many times it was very difficult to trust that God’s hand was upon me and I could rest in Him. Yet, in His graciousness, He brought me through various circumstances to teach me the joy there is in coming to understand that He is indeed trustworthy. At times I would be tempted to become extremely upset about things I had gone through while in Finland and during the days immediately after I returned to America. It was emotionally hard to deal with some of the things I was facing physically. I never had a cruel nurse or doctor, and I knew that they were trying to help me, but it was still hard to have allowed them to cut off my clothes, give me showers, help me use the bathroom by myself, etc. I remember being excited when I was strong enough to pull myself onto a toilet again. It was exciting, but it was really humbling. Sometimes I would think: “If only such and such wouldn’t have had to happen.” Yet, God began to show me how He had allowed every single thing to take place in order for Him to be more glorified in my life. If He would not have allowed those things, I would not have grown in certain ways. Everything was for a reason. I have been learning that truly He is the Potter and we are the clay. He will mold us and then put us in the fire so that we can be most usable in His hands. But, while we are in the fire, He will not forget about us. His hand is right on the thermostat and He won’t allow the heat to become any hotter than it needs to be.
One very special thing God has been teaching me through the accident experiences is that, often, the hardest moments in our life are the thorns so to speak that lead up to the roses. The thorns are the path that draw us into a stronger relationship with the Lord. The Finnish people are very careful in their hospitals and the doctors needed to take precautions since I had come from a different country, that I did not have a certain disease that would jeopardize their hospital workers. So I was put in quarantine and I was treated as if I might have this disease. At first it was very hard. Every time someone would touch me they had to put gloves on. I was already feeling like a blob since I could not move. And I was feeling a bit like a monster because both of my legs were stapled down the sides. So the quarantine thing was upsetting to me. One time I had to go to an ear specialist because my ear had been damaged. On the way one of the nurses was about to touch me without gloves on and the doctor that was in the ambulance with her became angry at her. I didn’t exactly understand what he was saying since he was speaking Finnish, but I knew that the general idea was that I was dirty, I could have this awful disease. I felt so gross and so dirty and yet the Lord seemed be saying “I am allowing these thorns because I have a rose for you.” Indeed, although it seemed like a thorn it was actually a rose. Because of being in quarantine, I was able to have a private intensive care and trauma ward room, which was a wonderful miracle. This allowed me to rest and get better so much more quickly. When they finally got the test results back regarding whether or not I had that disease, they saw that it hadn’t worked correctly. So, they had to do the test again. By then they figured they might as well just leave me where I was. Because of that it was quiet and I could have visitors all day. It has been amazing to me to see how, a lot of times, the times that can be hardest, when we wonder: “Where are you God in this situation?” can be the greatest times, the times when the Lord is protecting us and showing us His love in an amazing way.
Through this I came to understand that God allowed this suffering because He loves me. He loves me!!! There is so much peace in realizing that it was His great love for me that allowed me to go through it! He loved me and desired for me to grow in a deeper relationship with Him and be used by Him in ways that I would have not been able to be used otherwise. He allowed me to suffer because He wanted to chisel His character deeper into my life, and although it would be painful, in the end He knew He could use me to better reflect Christ’s light.
Suffering is hard, and sometimes we do not understand how the Lord could ever bring glory to Himself through a certain painful experience, but we must learn to trust Him. Once I heard someone say that all Christians’ suffering is temporary. Even if it is for a lifetime, it is still only temporary compared to eternity. There is so much joy in learning through suffering to more deeply base our hope in Christ and the security of eternity.
People ask me if I’ve been tempted to be bitter. Well, definitely there have been times I’ve questioned God’s purposes. There have been times I’ve said things like: “But God, it is so hard to trust You! Where were you God when they covered my sister’s body with a blanket as it lay all broken on that muddy sidewalk?” It is those moments I have to run back to God’s Word and claim His promises even when I don’t emotionally feel in the mood. The Lord says in Isaiah 43:2, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” I was there, Kathryn. You can trust Me.” And when I say, “But, Lord, remember all those dreams my sister and I had about being in each others’ weddings and someday getting together at our parents’ house with all our children during the Christmas season? All those dreams have perished.” He reminds me, “Take hold of My hand and trust me.” And when, just recently actually, we were shipped some of my sister’s things from Russia, and I held her former make-up bag and hairbrush in my hands, and so many forgotten memories returned, I had to choose to run again to God and camp on His truths.
A significant moment for me in coming to understand the idea of running to God with my pain was about a year after the accident. I was speaking at conferences about God’s faithfulness in suffering, yet I’d get off the stage and be put back in a hotel room and face the same old same old crawling around and pain. One night I was asking God how I could smile like a good Christian when I was so tired of the pain. I knew He could help me, but I just didn’t feel I had the fortitude to keep going. It was then I thought of something I had read which Joni Erickson Tada had said. When someone asked her why she could smile, she said that it was not her smile but Jesus’ she wore. That profoundly affected me. And it taught me more about how it isn’t my life – God doesn’t call me to be strong in myself. It is Christ shining through me. I can smile because it is Jesus’ smile, Him shining His grace and strength through me as I rest in Him.
Well, for almost a year I couldn’t walk. No one was quite sure why my legs weren’t healing. I went from doctor to doctor all across the country – I am not exactly sure how many doctors I had. I stopped counting at about 25. Eventually I had bone graft surgery but, until then, I used a wheel chair when going out and when home I pulled myself around with my arms. I actually wore out the bottoms of my clothes from sliding around on the floor day after day. Some mornings it was hard to wake up and know it was going to take about two minutes for me to slide into the bathroom when a normal person my age could walk it in about 5 seconds. And yet again God’s grace was sufficient and His strength was made so perfect in my weakness.
There were many other times God taught me about yielding various things to Him. Sometimes it was small things, like when my doctor told me: “Kathryn, there are going to be times you will be frustrated, times you will want to just throw your socks across the room.” Yet, I realized that I couldn’t even throw my socks across the room because I couldn’t bend my legs enough to reach them. Those little things, like yielding and accepting that God was allowing someone else to be the sock putter on-er for awhile, or only be able to slurp liquids and mushed food because of my jaw being wired together. That was hard. When I could eat again I didn’t even want to see a milkshake for a few years. I knew God must have a plan through that, but it was hard to see, hard to remember in the day by dayness of it all. And there were bigger things, like yielding my energy level to Him. For months after if I would even make my bed I would be so tired from that I’d have to lie down again. Even now my energy level is low, and it is something I am still learning to yield to Him. Even though I can walk again, I continually have pain in my legs and I seem to have something like arthritis now. So many times I find myself crying out to God and asking Him to help me just get through the day because I’m hurting. There are many areas of my life I’ve been learning I have to yield to Him.
One of the most significant moments in this journey for me was yielding my hair to God. Doctors had seen all parts of my body and had done all kinds of painful things to everything except my hair. THAT was mine. Although it was not as nice as it had been before the accident because the medication and affects of the surgeries had made it very drab looking, at least I still had it. They had not had to shave it off. Finally we came to the point where doctors had been trying all sorts of tests to see what was going on with my body and why things weren’t healing like they hoped. They were starting to try all kinds of odd tests to see if anything would show why I wasn’t healing. So, it came to the place where they wanted to cut off some of my hair for a test. That was the hardest thing, one of the hardest things I had ever done in my life. I wanted so much to keep it. It was the only thing I had left that someone hadn’t taken from me and I remember just wailing and crying and crying and crying as I sat on the floor not able to do anything except sit there and cry. And yet again, as I cried, deep down I began to know God’s peace in a powerful way. I don’t know how to explain that moment except that God’s grace was sufficient again. And although it was the hardest thing to yield that, to finally break and say, “God, you have taken everything and I finally trust you with this last part of me that I want to hang onto”, when I was finally able to do that I had the greatest peace that can hardly be explained with words. God had been working very patiently and He had finally taken me to the end of myself. It was like He was taking me now to the edge of the cliff, asking me to let go. But I had been holding on, trying to scramble up, not wanting to go down there. I had been trying to hold on to just anything – just give me one little tiny iota of my life that I can hold onto – but God had been pushing, He had been shoving and saying, “Kathryn, until you let go of everything you will not understand my love in the way I want to show you. You won’t be as usable for my glory in the way I want to use you.” And so, finally, when He was able to take that hair, it was so exciting – and scary. It was like my fingers were pried from the edge of a high cliff and I was dropping to the bottom. But instead of smashing when I got to the bottom, totally ruining me like I thought was going to happen, He scooped me up and lifted me on His wings carrying me as on a pillow in a way I had never experienced. The Lord is so trustworthy and His love is so beyond our ability to fathom.
Since then I’ve thought a lot about how I want to hang on to life. “Well let me keep my hair, just something, God. I know you are so great. I know that I can trust you. But, God, just let me keep something!” just incase. And yet, until we are willing to give all, God doesn’t seem to show Himself as our all. Sometimes I think of how it is like a traffic jam in Heaven. He must have so much He wants to show us about Himself, so much He wants to give, and so many neat ministry opportunities He is just waiting to pour out on us. And yet, we are not willing to give it up, let Him be in control! We are not willing to say, “We trust Your character. We know that we can count on You. I will choose to trust and yield to You.” And so we let the traffic jam happen in Heaven. We let the doors close and don’t look to God to show us Himself in the ways He desires, to work in and through us for His greatest glory. When we do trust Him, though. It is so amazing! When we hold our small hands up to God and offer Him the little we have, He delights in pouring out more than we could ever hold. Before the accident I thought I had a good life. I was a Christian, but it wasn’t until He was able to begin to break me that I learned to see God’s love for me and what He desired to do in and through me, in a more vibrant way. I hadn’t realized that when I held on to parts of my life, thinking that was the “safest” thing to do, what I really was doing was holding onto a bondage of chains. I must be willing to give them to God, the Creator of the universe, the One who sets the planets in motion, the One who knows every wrinkle on my hands. I can trust Him with the details of my life.
I was talking to a government official at a conference awhile ago. He said, “You know, it is so easy to hang onto my family, my job, my health, my house or anything that seems very permanent. Yet how quickly they can be taken away. There is no security in anything but hanging my hope in God.” He is right. Often I want to hang on to what I know, what I seems real. What I can touch and hold. But rooting my security in those things is dangerous. There is great joy in hanging our security on the Lord. It says in Isaiah 54:10 that, even if the mountains are removed, God’s love will never fail. That’s our security – that we are a child of the King and nothing we face can separate us from His loving sovereignty.
God wants to do so much in our lives. But we have got to let go, let go, and allow God to be our All. It is a daily process, continually learning to place our needs and cares and hopes in the hands of God and trust Him. It is hard. But it is good. One of my favorite Bible verses talks about how those who trust the Lord will never be ashamed, they will never be disappointed.
Well, I eventually had a successful bone graft surgery and my bones healed enough for me to start walking again. But my jaw therapy continued and actually I still have therapy for that. But for the first few years, every week and then eventually every 2 weeks I would travel to a doctor to get shots around my head in order to loosen muscles in the process of remodeling my jaw without surgery. One particular day I remember going into the bathroom in the doctor’s office and looking in the mirror. I was in so much pain that I was staring past the mirror, past my eyes, at nothing in particular. I whispered: “God, I really need to feel your love right now because I feel so broken. I’m in so much pain. This is so hard! Can you show me your love for me? I know you are trustworthy. I know You are faithful and loving. I know you have a good plan for me. I know you have things in your good control. But I need to sense it in a real way right now. I want to see Your fingerprints on my life. I need a reminder that You are indeed in control here and that you really care and see my tears. I need to know your hand in a concrete way.” I then curled up into a little ball in the floor and cried for awhile there because I was so tired and in so much pain.
It was later that night I was outside. As I stood there I said: “God, I wish I could see your hand. I wish you would write out Your signature in the Heavens saying: ‘Kathryn, I am here. I am with You. My hand will uphold you.’” It was that moment that I happened to glance upward at the expanse of the dark Kansas sky. As I looked up at the stars twinkling above it all of a sudden it hit me like a flood of light penetrating the heart beat of my soul. God’s signature is indeed there. All across the heavens. Look at the stars, see God’s glorious work. See the rain drops, notice God’s creativity. Notice the intricate design of snowflakes. The little wrinkles framing a smile. If God’s hand has so intricately designed and held in place all of nature, I can know that this divine hand is personally holding me safely as well. I do not need him to write it out on a paper. I do not need him to e-mail me a note. I have reminders of His hand all around me in nature and God’s Word, I just need to remember to notice it. I walked back inside so deeply encouraged that night. God’s hands were upon what I was going through. If God cared so much about lacing the night sky with stars and perfectly attaching wings on the back of every butterfly, how much more could I know His hand was caring about me as well. I could trust Him all the way.
It also says in the Bible: Eye has not seen nor ear heard nor has entered the heart of man what God has prepared for those that love Him.” God loves you so much and He desires more for you than you could ever known. I love the verse in Isaiah Eye has not seen nor ear heard nor has entered into the heart of man for those who wait on Him.
Learning to yielding to God with our lives is a long process, that we will deal with throughout all our lives. It is an exciting process which causes more and more freedom and joy in being the Lord’s and being more freely used by Him. I am finding that my life is like an onion. There are continually more areas of my life that I am learning must be yielded to Him. It is as if the Lord unpeels one piece after another piece of onion skin, showing the need of the countless areas I must yield to Him.
Although I have not been in a situation as drastic as being hit by a drunk driver again, there have been other times where it has been hard to yield and trust God. At times it is in the small situations such as when someone irritates me and I want to get mad about it instead of trusting God. And it has been larger issues, like when, a few years ago my engagement was called off 8 days before my wedding when my fiancé decided he hadn’t actually loved me afterall. There are so many instances where God brings us to the reality of how we must learn to yield our hopes and desires and goals and plans and reputation and time, etc. etc. to Him. It is not always easy. Sometimes it is very, very hard. Sometimes I feel so broken inside and I feel that if I yield a certain something to God I will lose it forever and my life will be ruined. So, I try desperately to hang on, to try to manipulate things, to still try to have a little bit of control. Yet, it is not until I finally open my clenched hands and lay those things at Jesus’ feet that I can have freedom. And, eventually, I see how my life is so much better because of yielding to Him. God is definitely big enough to hold my life in His hands (after all, He is the Creator of the entire universe…. And not only has He made a zillion galaxies but He also is known for caring intimately about each person’s good even more than we care ourselves)! God is trustworthy.
God doesn’t guarantee an easy life. But during these trials we can wait on Him. We can go to Him and say: I’m giving everything to you. I am not going to hold on with even one finger. Here it is. I trust you. Ladies, God is trustworthy. Through the moments when our car breaks down. When our shirt bleaches. When we face a big trauma, a huge heartbreak, a seemingly neverending painful battle. God is there. He will not let us down. No wound is too great for Him to heal. He has a hope for you and me. And a future. May we rest in His good and sovereign hands.
I’d like to close by sharing some words from two of my favorite songs. Close your eyes and listen to the triumph of what these are saying.
(Choose some of these verses to read)
Be Still, My Soul
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Day by Day
Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best—
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He Whose Name is Counselor and Power;
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
“The Love of God”, my favorite verse:
Could we will ink the ocean fill
and were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
and every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above,
would drain the ocean dry
Now could the scroll contain the whole,
tho stretched from sky to sky.
God loves you so much!
Oh love of God how rich and pure, How measureless and strong. It will forever more endure the saints’ and angels’ song.