Growing up, I went to church camp every summer. At some point every year, one of the counselors would get up in front of the camp and shout, “God is good!” And the crowd would return with, “All the time!” Then the counselor’s reply was “All the time!” and we’d shout, “God is good!” Little did I know then how hard it is to remember that when storms come our way. This past month has definitely had some of those moments when I question what God is doing, why my guy was allowed to have an emotional disorder, and what happened that I have had to spend the last 32 days without his influence in my life. And just when I get in a rut or start veering off God’s best path for me, something strikes me. Today it was the song “Good, Good Father” by Chris Tomlin playing on my radio.
I’ve played the song over and over since was first introduced to it when Housefires first released it. I even painted a canvas with the lyrics on it and have it hanging in the hall next to my bedroom. But the words hit me anew today.
You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are
God is good. Period. There are no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. It’s the definition of who He is. God is all good and nothing but good. I realized this morning that saying it or even singing it is one thing. But applying that message to our current circumstances and believing it is something different. Can I look around at my current struggle to come to grips with a separation from my guy and call God good? Once he and I start talking again, can I hear about my guy’s struggles and moment by moment battles with his thoughts and mood swings and call God good? Can I accept the fact that my guy may make the decision that he is healthier and more stable without me in his life and call God good? I’ll admit that last one stings. A lot. But I need to get there. I can’t allow what is happening my heart, my mind, and my circumstances to define my thoughts about God. Because God’s goodness is not dependent on me or my circumstances.
In any relationship it’s unhealthy to base one’s happiness on another person. Adding an emotional disorder into the mix makes the need to find our joy and peace in something stable and unchanging a requirement rather than a nice suggestion. Believing that God is good and has my best interests at heart is something that I’m learning to lean into. Trusting Him that He’s working on my behalf, even if a friendship with my guy doesn’t work, is hard. But, as the song says, He’s perfect in all of His Ways- not just some, but all. So even when it hurts and if it doesn’t turn out how I want it to, His plan is better than my plan. Always.
I got an email today from a prayer challenge that I signed up for. It was from Kaylene Yoder (I totally recommend her!!) and here’s what it said: Friend, we must be wise to the enemy’s schemes to divide, destroy, and devastate our lives. At the very core of his goal is the mission to destroy your faith… whatever he can find he will attack in hopes to sidetrack you into letting go of your faith.” Wow- just the reminder that I needed today. I must keep my mind on God and not the “what if’s” or “when’s” with my guy. I must choose to believe that He is good- all the time. And that His ways are perfect. And that where I’m at today is not outside of His plan. And that bipolar disorder is not bigger than my God. And that if this time in my life is only a season rather than the start of a new life, then God is still good. And His Ways are higher than mine. Period.
It’s a hard pill to swallow, but I’m working on it because it’s definitely worth it.