One of my favorite features on Facebook is the “On this Day” memory that pops up from day to day. Just the other week, I was reminded of a picture frame I purchased shortly before we left Atlanta for California—a lovely, sweet picture frame, perfect for a nursery.
I bought this frame on faith, tucking it away for a nursery I wasn’t sure would ever exist. I had no idea that just 3 months later, I’d be holding a positive pregnancy test in my hand, dumbfounded and overwhelmed with happiness. That frame now holds a picture of Aaron and me with our firstborn son, and it brings me deep joy every time I look at it.
Now, nearly four years later, I find myself with heart and hands impossibly full. I find myself living in a home filled with the boisterous laughter and cries of a son and daughter more precious than I could have imagined. I find myself cherishing tiny baby kicks as we anxiously await the arrival of baby #3.
And as crazy as it sounds, God has been speaking to me through those Facebook memories.
He has been speaking to me of His deep, abiding love for me. Of His goodness towards me. Of His tenderness and devotion.
Truthfully, these are all things I’ve struggled with believing over the past several years. Looking back over my life with some time and perspective, I’ve seen how failures, sins, and deep heartaches began taking their toll on my belief in God’s unwavering devotion to me.
Have your circumstances ever left you feeling this way? That somehow, God loves other people more than He loves you? I have struggled with this insidious belief—and it’s a lie straight from the smoldering, black heart of our enemy.
When we received a diagnosis of unexplained infertility in December 2010, I cracked. It was the proverbial straw that broke this tired camel’s back. A seed of doubt and mistrust planted itself in my heart and began to sprout, even while I continued in faithful service to and relationship with God.
Yet it grew, leading me to view every event, circumstance, and painful trial through the budding branches of doubt in God’s love for me. In such foliage, Satan has his field day.
If you were as good as so-and-so, you wouldn’t be experiencing this trial.
God blessed so-and-so more because He loves her more than He loves you.
God will never love you as much as He once did because of that sin you committed.
These hideous lies hung over me during an intense time of “sifting” in my life. I thought by now that every trace of their existence had been removed, yet God has been “cleaning house” in my heart, deeply scrubbing and washing away the lingering remnants and manifestations of these agreements I’d made with the enemy.
As I wrestled through these agreements early one morning, sitting in baby girl’s budding nursery with tears of thankfulness streaming down my face, God impressed upon me a powerful word that I want to share with you all. It isn’t new or unique, but it came to me at just the right time, and thus I am compelled to speak these words to you in the hopes that you too are in just the right place to receive them:
Your story isn’t over yet.
The truth contained in these five simple words has the power to change everything about the way we live and perceive God.
In 2010, when I drew conclusions about God’s goodness towards me based on our infertility struggle, I was drawing conclusions about who God is based on imperfect, impartial, and incomplete information.
My arms were empty at that point, but the story wasn’t over yet. I’m guessing God would have loved to reach down, give me a little shake, and say keep going! Keep reading! This isn’t the end!
And the same is true for you. Whatever you’re facing, wherever you are in this very moment—your story isn’t over yet.
Your broken marriage isn’t the end. Your job loss isn’t the end. Your battle with addiction isn’t the end. Your heartaches, hang ups, and struggles are not the end of the story God is writing in your life.
And even more amazing for us as His children? Even death is not the ultimate end, for we will share all of eternity with Him and the family of believers.
Whatever your story, dear reader, God is not finished with you yet! No matter how final your circumstances may feel, this is not the end. Don’t draw conclusions about who God is and how He loves you as if it is the end.
The disciples did this upon Jesus’ death—they disbanded and ran for cover, afraid and confused and hurting. I can only imagine how utterly miserable that Passover must have been for them …
… but in reality, that Passover was the Passover to end all Passovers! The definitive Passover Lamb had finished His work. Thousands of years of prophecy and scripture came to fulfillment. What an amazing, unbelievable thought.
The greatest event in History was taking place, all while Jesus’ disciples cowered and cried, and His most enthusiastic follower denied His existence three times over.
But as we with the advantage of time well know, the story wasn’t even close to over! And Peter, that most animated of followers, went from denying Jesus to becoming the rock upon which God built His church (see Matthew 16:18).
Your story isn’t over yet.
Hang on, sweet reader, hang on. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep pressing on as Paul did (see Philippians 3:14). Keep reading—you’re not to the end just yet.
Cling tightly to the truth that God is good, even when your circumstances are not, and let the ultimate Author continue writing His divine masterpiece in the broken mess of your dearly loved human life.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV.