Have you been through a trying time? I sure have. Last year when my father passed away, it was a difficult time for me. Many days I just wanted to stay in bed. But of course with two kids and four animals to care for, I couldn’t. And in some ways that helped to keep me moving forward. Another thing that helped was our crazy labradoodle puppy. She needed to be walked to help curb the destruction that she wrought on us daily. But I realized through walking her, that feeling the sun on my face, a breeze ruffling my hair, and just moving helped to blow away some of the gloom.
The best thing that helped my perspective was staying in the Word. Why is it so hard to open our Bibles when we are hurting? I think the Evil One makes it that way. The Evil One certainly doesn’t want us reminded of God’s promises or of the hope found in Christ Jesus.
It’s no mistake that a month after my father’s death, I needed to start work on my next novel. Boy, it was tough. I was beginning Facelift, and some days I could only write ‘Chapter five.’ Literally two words. That was it. I tried not to berate myself and give myself time. And eventually the words began to flow. But honestly, having gone through a difficult time gave me insights to the characters I was writing about. Because Facelift wasn’t about a surgical procedure. It was about finding hope and joy in spite of circumstances and situations.
My sorrow over the loss of my father was rooted in the hope that Christ offers. You see, I wasn’t sure where my father went when he died. A difficult and painful thing to admit. But there it is.
I just kept taking that pain to the Lord and praying about it.
One morning, the Lord whispered to me, “Do you trust me?” Of course. Well…I started thinking about that simple question. Was I trusting God? Of course there wasn’t anything I could do about my father. He was gone. As much as I loved my dad, God loved him even more. Did that mean my dad was in heaven? No. But it meant that God had done everything He could to get my dad to accept Christ and believe in Him. And that left me with my only recourse: trusting God.
Which taught me that trust is a choice. Just like so many other things in life. It’s a choice to get out of bed. It’s a choice to go for a walk rather than stare blankly at the TV screen. It’s a choice to smile. From the moment I chose to trust God with the fate of my father the depression lifted. And I received my own internal facelift and the joy and peace that comes from the Father, the Almighty, helped me to smile again.
So whatever problem you’re going through, whatever trial or tribulation you are facing, it is a choice. Not in going through it. Not in the outcome. In your response. In my response. So, choose hope. Choose Christ. Choose to trust.
Leanna Ellis writes of quirky women's fiction. She lives in Texas with her husband and kids, along with their menagerie of critters -- two dogs, two cats and a beta fish named Bobby. All the animals come to their homeschool, except for the fish and he just hasn't learned to swim upstairs. Leanna spend most of her days carting children to fencing, basketball, dance and soccer. It's no wonder she escapes periodically to the land of make believe -- her imagination.
A ‘can do’ kind of woman, who runs her own business and raises her teenage daughter alone, takes into her home her ex-mother-in-law after a botched facelift. She turns Kaye’s world upside down. Kaye receives her own emotional facelift when she learns joy isn’t tacking on a happy face but relying on her sovereign God who has a plan for her life.