Yesterday I did not feel like going to church. I was really down, tired, and unmotivated to get myself all "prettied up." By "prettied up," I mean throw on the wig, do a 5 minute makeup job, and put on leggings and a sweater. We are not talking about anything fancy or time consuming here.
Right before we left, I was relaxing in my recliner and feeling very fearful. Doubts about God flooded my mind. The mystery of why God allows suffering is so tough to process and come to grips with. I was feeling scared of what else God is going to allow to happen. My eyes filled with tears because I don't want to be afraid of God! I KNOW that fear does not come from Him and that the enemy is attacking.
I peeled myself out of my recliner and got in the car to go to church.
We sat in the back as always and I settled in with Dr. Pepper in hand to make sure I stayed awake. During the meet and greet time (my husband's favorite part :), I lady whom I had never seen before turned around and said "Are you Alyssa? My husband, children, and I have been praying for your family. I have seen you around but never had the chance to meet you."
Let me pause here and give you a little backstory...
We moved to Knoxville at the end of June. We started attending Cornerstone Church of Knoxville regularly in August. I was diagnosed with cancer in the beginning of October. We haven't even joined a small group yet. This church has loved and cared for our family in ways that are humbling and overwhelming. Prayer, meals, kind words, cards, texts...and they really don't even know us!
So back to yesterday...
When this lady recognized me and said that she and her family had been praying for me, I lost it. I mean, big time ugly cry right there in the middle of church.
It was as if God was saying "See! I've got you! My people are holding your family together by praying and providing for your physical needs. They are loving your family because they love ME. I am not a mean God who is sitting around thinking of the next way to make you suffer. I LOVE YOU! I want to use you to glorify ME!"
And I cried on and off through the whole church service.
To top it off, one of the pastors ended with these verses:
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[a]) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When I went to pick up Chase from his class, his teacher asked my name. She put two and two together and said "Oh I have been praying for you! I didn't realize that you were Chase's mom! Do you feel like our church is caring for you and your family?"
Wow. Just wow. More confirmation that God has His hand ALL over this. I haven't even touched on the other friends and family who have been loving us so well.