So I mentioned the other day that I have to wear a bridesmaid dress this July.
The Man and I are taking a course called The Truth Project, and if you haven't taken it yet and you're a Christian, I highly recommend it. I won't try to describe it - you need to just watch the trailer for it and you'll see why: Truth Project.
This week the topic was history, and Dr. Del Tackett spoke about the big picture. This is something I actually think about a lot, because it brings me comfort to know that when things go wrong in my life, God has an amazing way of using them in a greater story. I may not see most of that story until He shows me the home movies in Heaven, but sometimes I get glimpses that give me goose bumps.
When we lost Lily eight years ago one of the ways that God brought me comfort was that I really never questioned why it had happened to us. I went through all of the grief and sorrow, but I never asked God why He let it happen. I know that only the Holy Spirit can give you that kind of peace, because I honestly cannot say how I could never question Him about this. I just didn't. I knew that our loss brought the Man and I closer to each other, and closer to God. I knew that He would work beauty from our ashes. I couldn't begin to imagine how He would, but one step at a time, He did.
Follow along with me.... The miscarriage led me to look for a support group. I couldn't find one locally, so I looked online and found one. I met wonderful women who had also experienced loss, and many of us moved on from that group into another one for women who were trying to get pregnant again. When I got pregnant with the Boy, I moved on to another group for moms who were due in March of 2002. Some of the women from the loss group also came with me, and we shared the joy of being pregnant again. At the same time I found a group for Christian stay at home moms, and began forging relationships there as well. Many of the moms in that group were involved with MOPS, an organization that I had never heard of before. I looked and found a local MOPS group, and began attending their meetings. It was there that I met Kate, who is one of my most favorite people.
Kate and I began hanging out and getting to know each other pretty well. This led to me talking to her about our church situation and our unhappiness there. I said I just would really like to find a good Bible study, because I wasn't learning anything at our church. She promptly invited me to come to hers at BFC. I have been in that Thursday morning group ever since. Two years later, when the Man and I finally made the decision to leave our church, BFC was the first and only place we looked. We knew immediately that it was a great fit for us, and everything we had been looking for in a church.
This led to several other families from our old church hearing about BFC, checking it out, and also attending there steadily ever since. (Disclaimer: these families were already searching, and their decisions to leave our old church were for their own reasons. The Man and I had no influence over their decisions, we just said that this was where we were going and why we liked it.) This also led me to invite a couple who were struggling with some things. They were from our same old church. They had made some incredibly bad decisions, and their sins were coming back to bite them. (I can certainly relate to that.) I suggested that a fresh start could be helpful. They've been coming to BFC ever since. A few weeks ago, during a meeting with one of the pastors, they gave their lives to Jesus. In spite of their previous time in church, they really had never taken that step. They got engaged a few weeks ago, and the bride asked me to be one of her bridesmaids.
When Del Tackett said that we should look at the big picture, I couldn't help but think that my daughter Lily must be rejoicing in Heaven today, knowing that her death sent us down a broken road that ultimately led us to so many good things. God could see all of this ahead of time, and He knew how this story would play out. Maybe it's presumptuous of me to think this way, or maybe the writer in me likes to see things in the form of a grand storyline. I had never needed a reason why for Lily's death, but if I had to lose her for two people to find their way to Jesus, I can rejoice in the small part that I played.