It’s not If, But When

Our family had suffered through life changing sicknesses, financial issues, family member addiction, and loss of our baby. Then twelve years later on December 17, 1997, our 16-year old son was killed in a car accident.

Until the time we lost Landon in the accident, I faced life’s challenges with an awareness of God, but little faith. Up until this time, I believed “things” happen and you just had to be tough. After a year of struggling with Landon’s death, I came to a fork in the road. My faith would either grow or go to hell. My faith has strengthened. I would like to share how.

 

  1. I began to look at life as a journey.
  2. I then looked in the mirror and realized there’s a lot I didn’t know. There was a lot I wasn’t prepared for.
  3. I had to understand preparation takes time, but is well worth it.
  4. Realize time is a gift, and I needed to invest it. How I spend my gift of time speaks to what is important to me.  Invest at least 10 minutes daily learning more about faith.
  5. The best book to learn about life and faith is the Bible.
  6. Understand there are many reasons the Bible ranks as the bestselling book of all time. I then realized there’s a lot I’ve been missing.
  7. Read the Bible. “It’s like eating an elephant, you do it one bite at a time.” Wally Amos- founder of Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies quote about taking on big projects. I started reading the Book of Proverbs. Read one chapter a day for 31 days. Then, the New Testament Parables. Start with 10 minutes a day.
  8. Pray. Look in the mirror as you really are, and let God help you. I prayed for wisdom, understanding, and strength. Wisdom is not just acquired information, but practical spiritual insight.
  9. Remind myself life is a journey.
  10. Don’t go it alone.

May 28, 2010, I suffered a stroke paralyzing my left side. During my six weeks in the hospital I was asked several times if I thought of suicide. I would smile and say, “It’s OK. Holly and I have been through worse.” I would then explain about Landon’s accident thirteen years earlier.

In my journey I came to understand the beginning point of faith is in believing God is who He says He is. Understand His promises are always fulfilled in His time.  Proverbs 16:9 - We make our plans, but the Lord guides our steps. The end point of faith is in believing God will fulfill his promises.

Do you remember how you felt when you were very young and your birthday approached?  You knew you would certainly receive gifts and many special treats. But some things would be a surprise.

Birthdays combined assurance and anticipation.  Like the birthdays of our youth, because of our faith, we can go through our life’s journey with anticipation of our gifts and surprises.

Faith is what held my life together. It gave me an understanding of why these terrible things were happening. It gave purpose, and wisdom to understand and transform life’s challenges to opportunities.

Life’s challenges have blessed me with an understanding of the importance of my faith, my family and my friends. Without these trials, I doubt I would be blessed with the wisdom to know truly how important they are.

All of us will face life’s many challenges. It’s not if, but when.

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