A few weeks ago, our pastor preached about getting through the storms in life. “How firm is your foundation?” he asked.
He demonstrated his point by showing a short animated film of a silhouetted stick person who’d built his house on the sand, and another who’d built his house on the rock. And, well, you know how the story goes.
The poor guy who’d built his house on sand lost it in a mudslide when troubles mounted. He just didn’t have anything to lean back on. No God to trust.
Naturally, I sat there and contemplated my foundation and if I’d trusted God through my storms in life. There were three main periods in my adult years that I reflected upon.
The first was when I was in my early twenties. Most of my friends had married and were moving on to having children. I had my career.
My parents thought this was what I wanted because, after all, I had a successful business, a great clientele, and I seemed happy. But on the inside, I felt lacking. I too wanted to be married with a family of my own.
Dating seemed glamorous. Getting dolled up, going on fancy dates. But the truth was I’d dated every conceivable type of male out there. Guys who couldn’t control their booze. Guys who had other addictions. Unfaithful guys. Creepy guys.
The only guy I couldn’t meet was the one whom I felt I deserved.
I’d hit rock bottom, but I had not lost faith. As long as I had God in my life, I had hope that I would meet the right person, someone who cherished me and who honoured God.
I never gave up praying because I loved God. He was my Heavenly Father, and I trusted that in His time, He would provide. And He did.
The second instance in my life was when I broke my leg, shattering the tibia and fibula bones completely. I was newly married, had a business to run, and suddenly I was in bed for 3 months, healing and contemplating my life.
God knew I wanted to move on to another career—though at this point I didn’t know what that was—and yet He also knew that I couldn’t find a way out of my present work situation. As silly as it sounds, I believe that breaking my leg was God’s gift to me.
This was what I needed to start my new life. I felt like Paul who endured the thorn in his side and who God spoke to, saying, “My strength is made perfect in your weakness.”
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
You see, it’s only when we totally rely on God that we will receive His blessings. When I was finally able to walk on crutches, I began university where I discovered writing.
On top of that, I had an amazing English professor who told me I had talent, and she’d said, “Never give up on your writing.” This opened a whole new world. And I began to see how God was working in my life once again.
The third and most devastating time of my life was in April 2009 when my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. My whole world changed in the blink of an eye. There had never been cancer in our family, yet the doctors told her she had 3 months to live. So I moved our family back to my hometown and we stayed with my parents where I nursed my mother until the end.
While the world revolved on the outside, I was on the inside, watching this woman who I loved get weaker and weaker.
I scoured the internet for miracle cures. I called hospitals. I bought books. I cooked would-be remedies. I prayed. I did everything in my power to help her. Plus, amidst dealing with doctors, care workers, doling out meds, bathing, and nursing her, I homeschooled our children, made meals for my dad, did laundry, answered phone calls, hosted visitors, and arranged activities for our kids.
What I did most with every spare moment was lay my head on the pillow beside this woman who’d given me birth, and shed tears. I was drowning in pain and dying with her a little each day.
She tried to be brave but she couldn’t hide the tears that silently slipped down her cheeks. And I could do nothing to save her. I felt weak, helpless, and alone.
John and I prayed over her daily and though my world was crumbling, I knew God was with me. He knew my pain, but He also knew my heart. He loved me, and he loved my mother.
He’d prepared a place for her, and though I felt more like an orphan with each passing day, I accepted the fact that one day my mother would be in a glorious place with Him. I held tight to the notion that one day I would see her again.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
No one escapes tragedies in life, yet the three storms I’d survived made my faith stronger, all because of Him. Whatever storms you’re going through, surrender your pain and put your faith in God.
Pray and ask Him to comfort you, to be with you, to give you strength. Be specific in your request. You may not see immediate answers, but God is always at work. Always. If you’ve got a firm foundation, you will get to the other side.