Preserve (verb) – to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.
We tend to admire others who display perseverance in their lives.
Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing the movie, “I Can Only Imagine.” I Can Only Imagine is the story of Bart from the band, Mercy Me. It’s an incredible story that resulted in a beautiful song (I Can Only Imagine) that makes me cry every time I hear it. His story is one of perseverance and resilience in facing his childhood riddled with physical and mental abuse at the hands of his dad. His mom left him at a young age. This meant Bart was alone with his abusive father. He had to deal with feelings of guilt and abandonment as a result. Not very many people could have bounced back from that type of childhood and become part of a record breaking Christian band. Long story short, go see the movie or read his story, he forgives his dad and is able to write this incredible song out of his pain, anger, and grief.
His story prompted a friend and I to consider something,
But if Bart did not live his life of abuse and pain; do you think he would have written a beautiful song that has reached so many people? Do you think Bart would have escaped his childhood and drowned out his life with music?
We will never know the answer to that question. What we do know is that God used Bart and his life lessons to reach millions of people through music. Bart’s life story has touched millions of others and has opened their eyes and minds to God because of his perseverance.
God takes our pain, fault, sin, anger, and brokenness and turns it into a blessing for others. In Romans 8:28, it says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
My loss of Kirk, my husband has been able to spring board me into a position that is a blessing to other widows and their families. My loss has enabled me to reach back and help others that have begun their journey of widowhood.
Would I rather have Kirk here at home with me tonight? You bet I would!! But God has a purpose and plan for me that I am not going to try to understand or know the reason for. I know that when God lays something on my heart to do, I obey and follow His lead. I use my grief and story to try to help others that are struggling and needing a compassionate ear and heart. If I can help just one person see the love God has for them and help ease their pain of their loss; I feel Kirk’s death has meaning and a purpose. If I lead one person to be saved by our story, then Kirk did not die in vain. This gives his death a purpose, a beautiful purpose of leading a soul to enter the kingdom of God for eternity.
Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,”
God knows the why’s and the reasons, we don’t. One thing I do know is that His way and path for me is so much better than the one I try to carve out for myself. I don’t understand why Kirk was taken from us so soon. I don’t know why his life was cut so short and my daughter has grown up without her father. But what I do know is that God has a plan for all of us and that I need to trust Him with my whole life, with my whole story. I know His plans for me are much more beautiful than anything I could do myself or dream of. I say this to myself several times a day: His way, not mine; His will, not mine.
I encourage you to use your story to help others in your life. Do you know how much you will bless someone to just give them a few words of encouragement? To let them know they are not alone. You will actually feel more blessed by doing this. It’s an incredible feeling that is a beautiful balm to the soul.
As a closing thought, here are a few of the lyrics and a link to the song, I Can Only Imagine.
“I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk by your side
I can only imagine
What my eyes would see
When your face is before me
I can only imagine”
Let the words soak into your heart and mind. I cry every time because I can only imagine what I’ll see and what my loved ones that have gone before me have already seen.