Updated: Feb 14, 2022
As I was casually listening to music the other day, I heard this song that stopped me in my tracks:
Listening closely to the lyrics, this is my story! This is a perfect way to illustrate the journey I’ve been on with Jesus this last year. I think it’s easy to assume this song is about being born again and turning from an old life, and it can be… but I will tell you what… there is no ARRIVAL in the Christian life. It is forever a process of surrender and having to relearn His faithfulness, His mercies and His heart.
At Hope Church we talk about “Believe, Belong, Become” a lot from stage. We strive to BELIEVE in Jesus Christ, find a place to BELONG in a meaningful community and a path to BECOME more and more like Christ as your life is transformed.
This is part of my life-long process of surrender to BECOME more like Jesus:
About a year ago, our family was in turmoil. We were at an all-time struggle with our son who has Autism. His irritability, anger and behavior issues had been escalating quickly, leading to calls home from the principal multiple times a week, dealing with massive meltdowns, and violence.
Daily there were tears as I felt hopeless that we had exhausted any and all resources to help him. We’d been setting up different evaluations and doctors appointments, but there was a six month wait to see the specialists. It was one of the very hardest times in my life and we had been praying hard for relief to come, sooner rather than later.
Circumstances forced me into a time of my life where I had to completely surrender this to God, I had done what I could, and I needed to trust him with the rest. There were many sessions of prayer where I had to ask God to hear my heart, because it hurt so much, I didn’t have words. (Romans 8:26-27)
In the process of daily surrendering, a very supportive friend, who helped carry me through this time, suggested a Service Dog.
I went to work, I researched, I created a spreadsheet of Service Dog organizations around the country, their contact info, waiting times, prices, notes, etc. We felt like God was leading us in this direction. We slowly narrowed things down to one organization. Over and over, we felt that they were the right fit for our son, I loved their heart. They were a pricey option, but they had one of the shortest wait times (Free dogs often equal 3-5 year waits!). There was going to be a 10-13 month wait, it was our only option even though he really needed the dog NOW.
After prayer and discussion, we made the difficult decision to bite the bullet, fill out the application and send it in on that coming Monday. We were required to put 30% down with our application, but we felt God was telling us to move forward, so we put up the GoFund me page that Sunday.
By Sunday night midnight, we had raised EXACTLY 30% to the penny.
God wanted us to know that he had His hand in it, that it was undeniable that he was providing for us through our loved ones. We were blown away and felt like God was opening doors in this process.
“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16
A week or so later we were contacted by the organization for the next step, to be matched with a puppy and start that 10-13 month process. And something unexpected happened…
They told us, “This NEVER happens…” “We had a family back out of the program due to medical need changes and we have an Autism Service Dog available that would be a perfect match for Andrew!” Get this… he would be ready in 3-4 months!!
We figured out that, about the time we started narrowing down our spreadsheet, this family had backed out, opening up the perfect dog for our son.
“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.” – Ephesians 1:18
God listens to prayers, and he provides according to His will. And He chose to provide relief sooner rather than later!! I can’t help but share this story, as He so clearly answered prayer.
Back to the lyrics:
“'Cause my brokenness brought me to you And these wounds are a story you'll use
So I'm thankful for the scars 'Cause without them I wouldn't know your heart And I know they'll always tell of who you are So forever I am thankful for the scars
Now I'm standing in confidence With the strength of your faithfulness“
Through the loving support of friends and family, we were able to raise the remainder of the 70% for his service dog. Whenever I feel weary, God shows me this scar, and shows me that I can stand in confidence in his faithfulness.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19 (NLT)