Day 5: Why Me?

why me?

You know My Story. I was raised apart from my father. Married at 18. Divorced by 35. A single mom with 3 sons, very little work experience, and a high school diploma. I don’t know if I ever asked, “Why me?” Honestly, that shipped sailed so long ago that I don’t remember. But I did ask questions. A lot of questions.

Perhaps your story is similar in some way. Your dreams didn’t come true, and you’ve tried to understand. Perhaps you’ve asked one (or more) of these questions:

  • Why did this have to happen?
  • What did I do to deserve this?
  • What am I missing out on because of this?

So why do bad things happen?

Asking why – or any of those other questions – will never get us anywhere.
In other words, how you see the problem is the problem.

Consider it pure joy?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing
of your faith produces perseverance.
(James 1:2-3)

[callout]How does that work?
Ask a different question instead.[/callout]

“What does this experience make possible?”
Some examples …

  1. Failure develops humility.
  2. Waiting develops patience.
  3. Grief develops gratefulness.
  4. Hardship develops strength.
  5. Opposition develops fortitude.

All of which will bear fruit in a practical way.

For instance – although I had never ever wanted to go through divorce – that experience made something new possible. My dream of going to college was always simmering on the back burner. But I hadn’t the freedom to go to school and manage my marriage at the same time. My then-husband opposed all my attempts for self-improvement. His decision to leave freed me to become who I am created to be.

Failure. Waiting. Grief. Hardship. Opposition. It took me 4 1/2 years more to actually get started, but once I did, I fairly flew. My experience had developed New Stuff in me. Humility. Patience. Gratefulness. Strength. Fortitude.

PLUS a Bachelor’s of Arts degree. A Master of Arts degree. And a Doctor of Psychology degree. All back-to-back!!! Who could have seen that coming?

And where I am now in the process of life
is deepening who I am in Christ!

[callout]Jesus has given me Beauty instead of ashes.
Just as He promised.[/callout]

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor. (Isaiah 61:1-3)

So here are my questions for you:

  • What does your current (or past) experience make possible that you would have missed without it? What is The Lord wanting to give you instead?

God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways, But Infinitely Better

god's ways are not our waysIf Your Life is anything like mine, you have one (or more) situations going on right now for which there is no plausible solution.

If you and I were in charge, we’d create a Straight Path to the Top. But would that really be better?

God’s ways always include Something More Wonderful – something you and I can’t even imagine – that will reveal His Glory on the earth.

Consider God’s Ways when …

Adam is alone.

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

Adam and Eve have sinned.

So the Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
Cursed are you above all livestock
    and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
    and you will eat dust
    all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15)

The World is Filled with Violence.

So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. (Genesis 6:13-14)

God’s People are in Slavery.

The Lord said [to Moses], “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:7-10)

Giants are in possession of The Promised Land.

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “… Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.” (Joshua 1:1-6)

God’s People are in desperate need of a Savior.

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways, But Infinitely Better!

There are so many more Wonderful Stories in the Bible.
True Stories! Stories of Jesus. Stories of people like you and me.

  • People who need protection and provision.
  • People who need vision and direction.
  • People who need hope and healing.

Remember: When God speaks, something happens. Though it often doesn’t make sense to us at the start, He gets the job done in a way that only He can! Amen?

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

QUESTION: What problem(s) are you facing today that only God can solve?

Related Article: How to Live Above Depression and Anxiety

My Boldest Prayer

Just over a year ago, I prayed the boldest prayer I’ve ever prayed. And I’ve prayed a lot of prayers. But this one was life-changing in ways I could never have imagined. And I did ask for it.

I’d just boarded a plane headed east to meet my youngest grandson for the first time. Exhausted, I opted for a silent flight. No music. No internet. Not even a book or magazine. Just my earplugs … and 4+ hours of quiet time with the Lord.

What should we talk about?

Prayer changes things. And people.

As you know from reading My Story, my life has been one challenge after another. Many of my lifelong dreams have remained just out of reach. Even now, I consider only a few of my endeavors to have been successful ones.

  • My three amazing sons (grown with their own families)
  • My three psychology degrees (BA, MA, PsyD)

It was July by now, and for several months the Lord had been talking to me about establishing a Christian Couples Retreat Center. [You can read the back story here.] The ideas flooded in as fast as I could write them down. “No one is doing anything like this,” I quickly realized. “The concept is totally unique, Lord! Very romantic and exciting!”

There were just a few problems, however.

Although I certainly have the training for it, I couldn’t help but wonder. Why on earth would the Lord give such An Amazing Vision – such a unique and brilliant concept –

  • to a woman who has been divorced twice,
  • a woman who is clearly no longer a Spring Chick,
  • and who has very little in terms of material resources?

Seriously. No one has that kind of money these days.

But if God wants it, He certainly can make it happen. Right? But why me, Lord? What have I ever done? Yet who am I to question God’s choices for leadership in His Kingdom?

He’s picked a lot of unlikely candidates to advance the Kingdom throughout history.

  • Abraham (an old dude with no kids … at first)
  • Jacob (second-born son who’d been a liar and a cheat)
  • Joseph (a bragger who lived the life of a slave and prisoner)
  • Moses (another old dude … this one with a stick and a stutter)
  • Esther (an orphaned Jewish girl who became Queen of Persia)
  • David (a scrawny shepherd boy who failed to fit the armor, but became King)
  • and Paul (who persecuted Christians … then wrote most of the New Testament)

… just to name just a random few.

So why NOT Dr. Debi (an old dudette)? “Ok, Lord,” I prayed on the plane that day. “I’ve been reminding You of how old I am, and You keep ignoring me.

“Your idea for this Christian Couples Retreat Center is so far beyond anything I’ve ever done. So – assuming You really want me to do this – You’re going to have to put me on The Fast Track.”

“I know I’ve played it safe all my life. But from here on out, you call the shots, Papa. All of them. Let’s make the Second Half of My Life a Real Adventure! You write the script. I’ll follow Your direction and do whatever You ask of me. Whatever You ask.”

At the time, “The Fast Track” I had in mind meant He’d have to start teaching me a ton-at-a-time about how to run the multi-dimensional business that He’d shown me.

Nope. Not even close.

What He’s done is put me on His Fast Track. He’s challenging me like I’d never imagined possible. And refining me in ways I didn’t know I needed to be refined. Here are just a few things I’m learning at a deeper level … so far.

  • Submit to His Lordship. If He’s in charge, then He’s in charge. Follow Him always.
  • Trust in His Goodness. For everything. I mean literally. Everything. Anxious for nothing. I mean literally. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
  • Stand on His Promises. I’m learning to hear His voice best and to take Him at His Word. Always. Because He never lies. Never. And nothing is too hard for Him.

Is this a new thing? I suspect it’s something He’s had planned all along.

I’ve always wanted to make a difference. And that was my goal when I began college as a single mom [and later, graduate school]. I wanted to help at least one person live a better life. But was that a new thought for me at age 40?

No, indeed. I recently recalled a time in junior high school. Yes, that’s when it was. Though I don’t remember the specific context, I’m sure it was during my Youth Group. The passion of it all – still fresh on my mind today – as I eagerly responded – even as Isaiah did – to the voice of the Lord. And I don’t think He’s ever forgotten it either.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

QUESTIONS: What Passionate Pursuit have you had on hold? How long has Your Dream been waiting for you? And what would it take to get you going again?