There was this one funeral that I went to, though, that really hit me. The man had actually planned his own funeral - one benefit of knowing that you are dying. He not only wrote the order of service, but he wrote the message.
First in the message, he said this to his wife and kids, "I want you to know that right from the beginning when I heard about the cancer, I was not angry. I realized that this was God's story for my life. My choice was to choose to live well in it."
I actually pulled out my phone - something I never do at a funeral! But I had no paper, and I wanted to write this down.
As awful as what I have been going through for ten years or more is, this is God's story for my life. I do not believe, any more than I believe God wanted cancer for my friend, that God wants this marriage pain. But I believe that God is working in it, and God has a story in it.
I honestly do not know what will happen in my marriage. I know God has the power and ability to just do something that "works" and gets through to my husband's heart and we could be on a healing path in no time. I refuse to spend energy questioning the God of the universe about choices I do not agree with as if I am His equal. I believe in His power. His lack of action on my behalf at this time will not shake my belief in both His power and His love for me.
However, in the middle of it all, this is God's story. How I handle myself in this is God's story. How He is able to uphold, give strength, and comfort is God's story. How I choose to react to injustice is God's story. How God has changed my heart to respond more in line with the heart of God and choose to bless instead of curse, to pray for instead of hate... all this is God's story. What God will bring out of this in the future.... all this is God's story.
God has not forgotten about me or stopped caring what happens to me. He is not blind to what is going on. But He is, despite all the pain, telling His story in my life, and I have the ability to choose to live in it well.
God, when you tell my friend in heaven "well done, good and faithful servant", tell him well done on his last message. It gave me encouragement to live Your story in my life well, even in the tough times.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
If it was not dark, we would never see the stars.