"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
I Peter 5:8
Spiritual warfare is ALIVE my friends. We see if on the news. We see it in everyday life. This nation we call America has gone from God-fearing, to diverse, to rebellious, to desiring tolerance and co-existence (Don't you just love those COEXIST bumper stickers?) to outright persecution, and it's only going to get worse. It's been prophesied.
Anyhow, this book left me thinking about God's plan for each of our lives. I came away with some conclusions...
1. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1
Do I REALLY live this?
2. I have to continue to give God ALL the glory and not only that, BUT give Him the glory when it's something that wasn't in "my plans". Something that's tragic. Something that seems too much to bare.
3. Living differently. Here's a quote that I'm going to copy and I hope it touches you and gives you a different perspective on time with loved ones, especially your little ones.
"How would I have lived differently if I knew that my time with Maria was going to be this short? Regretfully, I would have lived much differently. I would have purposely hugged and kissed more. I would have tried to memorize and lock away in my heart certain smells and smiles. I would have colored more and worked less. I would have laughed more and fussed less. Bedtime wouldn't have become a chore to check of the list of things to get done. Instead it would have been more of an opportunity to listen about the day and offer whatever words were needed. The swimming pool wouldn't have been too cold to swim in. The flowers in the garden would have all been picked, and definitely more ice cream would have been consumed!" ~Mary Beth Chapman
The book goes on to share the many wonderful memories that graced the Chapman household...weddings, graduations, accomplishments, adoptions, songs, etc. However, Mary Chapman STILL (two and a half years later) still struggles everyday with the loss of her precious daughter Maria Sue. There are some neat family photos in this book too. Get your tissues ready though when you get to them. They're precious.
The biggest thing I walked away with though was LISTENING TO GOD. This is one thing that because of their tragedy, the Chapmans yearned for. They yearned to HEAR God's voice. They yearned for signs that things were going to be okay and that Maria was safe in the arms of Jesus. I know sometimes we, as parents, get so entangled in the everyday activities and we forget to just sit down, BE STILL ("Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10)
and LISTEN. I think that's what the title of this book really represents, Choosing To SEE. The Chapmans chose to SEE all that God was doing in their lives throughout this tragedy and although we call it a tragedy, God sees it as something in His plans. He is there to comfort us and hold us in those times, but He has a specific will and purpose for our losses and trials here on earth.
I could sit here for hours (I'm sure!) and continue sharing, but a small baby needs my mothering and attention, so I'm off. I hope that this entry blessed someone today and that if you get the chance to read Choosing To SEE, your life will be changed forever.
God Bless sweet friends!