Trials were used by God to shape me and to draw me to him. I need the Savior! As a writer, a whole storehouse of experiences were crafted into my life from which to compose stories. This is who I am. I’m glad you’re along for the journey! This post was written in April 11, 2013.

Introducing Melinda: Blog #11

1993

Today I mark the anniversary of the beginning of a major transformation. Twenty years ago in April, it began to rain in Kansas. It didn’t stop for four months. A flowing spring ran through our caving basement; mold crept up the walls; rivers overflowed; dams topped over.

In April 1993 God began to dismantle my arrogance so he could show me himself. God is opposed to the proud, but he gives grace to the humble. He needed to humble me so he could pour on his grace.

“So, let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and he will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth” (Hosea 6:3).

Hope for the planetCreative Commons License Kevin Dooley via Compfight

Sometimes rain falls soft and misty. Other times, its coming is relentless. Still, it comes.

Before the rain, though I had prayed the prayer and bowed the knee, bitterness was my friend. My knowledge of the Lord was ill-conceived. In my mind he was a lightening-bolt-hurling Zeus, a god without love. Past wounds had prompted fear. I didn’t trust him.

Then he let the rain pour down every day without fail. Trials multiplied. Because I wasn’t intimately acquainted with him, I was battered by my pagan emotions and false ideas. Satan tormented me with doubts of God’s love.

FEMA couldn’t help. We lost the house. We went bankrupt. That was the least of our worries. Nearly all of our children were injured. One was assaulted by a gang. One was life-flighted. One was run over by a moving vehicle; one had a near miss. One blew his knee.

The highlight and blessing—we had a new baby. She needed four eye surgeries.

My children’s suffering crushed me to powder. With clenched jaw, I ground my teeth in my sleep. This was the crucible. I am a mother bear, a worrier. First, I turned my back on God. I quit praying. Why talk to him? Then, at the urging of a friend, I turned back to listen. But, like Jacob, I put up my fists to fight.

Ninja Portrait, Take 2Creative Commons License Zach Dischner via Compfight

More time in the crucible: six relocations, job changes, cancer, death, surgeries, physical therapies, living across the street from the Columbine massacre, the crush of personal conflict with God. Last, but not least, my health. The Job-like trials continued year after year.

As I watched the effects—all eight of us embroiled in our own subplot of trial, I hunched over my journal hurling word-spears at God, demanding an explanation.

God wants us to know him and love him. Doing so restores our souls and repairs the wounds. Intimacy with him has eternal impact. He’ll do whatever is necessary to draw us to him. It’s for our best that he does. But knowing him doesn’t mean he’ll give an account of the reasons. He is bigger than our comprehension.

Before the rain, I didn’t recognize my plight. Arrogantly, I had assumed I knew God. To strip a Pharisee bare of her pharisaical ways so she can comprehend her lack, she must be pulverized. I was crushed, but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed. God was thorough.

As I accused, he answered. He took me on a spiritual quest. I sought to find him in his Word, writing lists of his attributes as I uncovered them, learning to study and meditate on Scripture, digging into Habakkuk, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Job, and Romans.

As I saw the beauty of his bloody, relentless, sacrificial love for me, my heart softened. As I recognized his tender care in this fallen world of suffering, I fell in love. He will come to us like the rain. And he did. He met us on the battlefield. He took care of us in every trial. He softened the hardened soil of my heart.

He restored my soul. I ran into his embrace.

Anaïs&Quentin. Margot Gabel via Compfight

So, here I am, stripped of my prideful finery, with ostentation laid aside. God has remade me. He’s still reshaping me. He renews me day by day. Though I had earlier prayed, this fierce intimacy began twenty years ago.

“Come, let us return to the Lord. For he has torn us, but he will heal us; he has wounded us, but he will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; he will raise us up on the third day that we may live before him” (Hosea 6:1-2).

What quest brought you to closer intimacy with the Lord? How did he turn you around so you could see him clearly?

 

Tweetables:

Twenty years ago it began to rain.It didn’t stop for four months. God dismantled my pride and showed me himself. Click to tweet.

God wants us to know and love him.He’ll do whatever is necessary to draw us to him. It’s for our best that he does. Click to tweet.

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