What a beautiful testimony from Rebekah Methvin…
A few short years ago…I became really discouraged with myself and other Christians for our lack of authenticity… I was burnt out and honestly questioned who God even was or if he cared. I wondered if my choice to be a Christian was simply a byproduct of being raised in the bible belt-a southern girl and preacher’s daughter…let’s face it…that’s just what you do! You love God, go to church every Sunday, TRY real hard to do the right things, and then rush out of church to a yummy meal and forget about it on Monday.
Country Club Christianity, as some like to call it. And for a long time, I was an active member.
My husband, Roddy, and I had many conversations about how we both wanted more for our family, more than we were giving and more than we were getting. I don’t mean stuff….I mean REAL authenticity and a bigger view of who God was. We felt like there had to be more to being a Christian than what we were experiencing at that time.
I can still remember that conversation I had with God late one night… “I want to live for You but, I am so confused by what I see around me…it just doesn’t line up with who I think you are. There has to be more to this!” Literally the minute that prayer was spoken—God went to work. All of a sudden my life got really messy….. and I was slowly beginning to realize how many areas in my life I was exhausting myself trying manage on my own. We soon found out, unexpectedly, that we would be adding a new one to our crew…yes.. our 3rd baby under 3. God started leading us to leave our current church…one that had been our home for many years. And then….we walked into the darkest valley we had ever known….burying our 6 week old baby. I quickly found my perfect little life that I had all planned out…. spinning completely out of control.
In the 42 days we were given to spend with Mills, I have never felt more out of control in all my life, in fact, it was beyond ANY human beings control. We were living every parents worst nightmare. We would wake up, praying it was all a bad dream, only to find ourselves facing another day of the unknown with our child. We spent his life in a delicate balance between preparing for loss…yet praying and hoping for a miracle. One of those days in particular, I was sitting by his isolette, when two different families were brought in to say goodbye to their babies right beside me…a thin screen separating me from the worst moment in their lives. As I sat there watching my own baby fighting for his life, my doubt began to creep in.. “Really?? I mean, what kind of God watches a mom hold her dying baby?” On the drive home I couldn’t fight the rising lump in my throat and the harsh feeling of a brick pressing down on my chest. With panic beginning to overtake me I yelled, “What do you want from me, Lord? I have no idea who you even are anymore! Can’t you show me who you are without leaving me in this broken mess?“ Little did I truly understand at the time…just how He was meeting me in this mess. With each layer of myself that He stripped away one thing was consistent…God was present in it all. Not only was He present, but He was real. And I could feel myself becoming real with every layer that was shed. I felt God telling me that in order for you to TRUST me completely… I need you to know WHO I am… and knowing who I am means knowing and also trusting my heart. No preconceived religious ideas about who I am. My heart is way bigger than your safe box you keep me in. I need your brokenness so I can dig deep. I will show you my heart but you must let go of yours—all your expectations. Hand over to me your plans. Your adding up good and bad behavior. Your idea of who you should be. Your idea of what your family should be. The life OR death of your child….
Whoa…wait a minute….I don‘t recall signing up for that! I said I wanted more….but not this! Let’s be honest, you and I want the message without the mess. The victory without the trial. The success without the humble heart. The wisdom without the challenges. God began using this painful time in my life to teach me how to let go of the reigns and trust that He was in control. Still, I couldn’t help but tighten my grip even more. Not this… God…I’ve got this! You can have this area of my life over there- I am not budging on this one! I wanted to take it all back, and run safely back to my comfortable pew. It was like I was standing there, with my knees shaking and toes gripped to the sand not wanting to jump where I couldn’t touch. My Type A personality kicks in and I feel the need to have a grip on these things just in case they get too out of hand. But it was in that moment… I knew… I had to jump in face first and not look back. I knew I couldn’t go back to where I had been safely on that shore. He had brought me too far now. I had to take a deep breath….dive in deep…. and trust Him like never before.
God met me where I was at. He carried me… and yet still I continue to struggle daily with my false sense of control. And there my One constant remains, tugging at my heart and breaking away these strongholds that I have built up. Reminding me to let go and trust Him. I am so thankful He did not let me go even when I thought that He wasn’t holding up His end of the deal. That He is a God that can take all of our hurt, disappointment, anger and frustration and uses it to guide us to Him. In fact, He welcomes it. And as I get to know His heart it truly redefines everything. I still don’t know why we don’t have Mills with us here on earth….and probably never will. I am incredibly privileged to see glimpses of His glory through Mills life and how He continues to use Mills story to draw myself as well as others to Him. But I have to TRUST that He is working this all for the good and one day… it will become all clear. It doesn’t take the pain away…but resting in that hope makes all the difference in the world to me.
How differently would we face our greatest fears if we truly believed He is good and is on our side? All He asks is that we completely surrender our hearts and expectations of our lives and TRUST that He has the best in store for us…though it may not look the way we anticipate it. In fact, it almost never will…it will be better than you could ever fathom. And as you get to know His heart….you will find that while it is good…..it is also wildly addictive and incredibly captivating…You…my friend, will never be the same..
He can only change our lives and make it beautiful when it is no longer ours.