I am please to submit Lorraine's next installment as a guest writer in my blog. Since her mother's passing, God has been using Lorraine in a Great and Mighty Way to be a blessing in her world. May God inspire you through her continuing story.
Next week I will resume new blog postings in My TIE after taking a break from writing during July and August. Starting next week I will begin several post about being a "Grassroots Christian."
TIE for now,
Pastor Tom Ford
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” Psalm 37:3-7 New International Version (NIV)
To trust, delight and commit to the Lord is to praise Him under all circumstances. As a guest blogger on My TIE, I have been sharing openly my painful journey with the Lord. Slowly but surely, God has used my struggle to bless others in their life’s storms.
It’s been over two months since my mom has gone to be with the Lord and God continues to do great and mighty things while I am struggling to find my new life that He is creating for me within this dark season of grieve and adjustment. The eulogy that I delivered at mom’s funeral in early July has touched people in various stages of faith / no faith. It turned out to be a strong witness of God's grace for many in their life's storms.
I remember the day after mom’s funeral I received a LinkedIn invitation from a stranger who introduced herself to me as my brother’s friend. She looked me up on LinkedIn as my eulogy for mom touched her. She asked me to add her to my professional network and wanted me to know that she is praying for our family. As someone who has been looking for a job for over two years, expanding my LinkedIn network is very important, but I would have never thought a connection could come through a funeral service. God sure works in mysterious ways.
Through My TIE, people around the world have come to know my mom and God’s amazing grace. Even people at my very dark workplace have asked about my blog. God is indeed working and I take every opportunity to talk to them about the gospel and the peace that only God can give. I have since continued to share mom’s passing openly and tears have been easy to come by, and this time from those who are listening to my story. God has been using my struggle to bless others who are also struggling.
Many people are also sharing with me their struggles and how they have found my story comforting. Some who have been through similar situation of losing a parent are also giving me support and words of encouragement. All of a sudden, many more people are journeying with me, making my struggle less painful, and giving me more reasons to continue to praise our Lord even during this difficult time.
2. God answers prayer His way and in His time
Mom’s passing turned out to be the best part of God’s master plan. The day before mom’s funeral, my dad told me he wanted to go where mom is and I indicated to him that he must first invite Jesus to live in his heart.
Dad has been going to church with mom for many years but it was not until Jesus brought mom home to be with Him that he is questioning about the purpose behind Sunday worship and what it is like to give his life to Christ. God took away the pain of mom’s illness to invite my dad on an unexpected journey with Him. God answered my prayer (for over 10 years) for dad to seek Jesus by placing me in the darkest season of my life.
Dad has since been taking the Alpha course which introduces the basics of the Christian faith. He has started worshiping in a new church where he is being cared for and receiving spiritual support during this difficult time. God is always on time. He took mom away for a much bigger purpose. I will continue to praise Him and pray that despite the bumpy road ahead, dad’s passion to seek the Lord will lead him to finding true peace, the peace that only God can give.
3. Our struggle can be a blessing to others
God will take us to a place where we can be a blessing to others, even at the darkest point in our lives. The more we bless others, the more God will bless us. We often pray for a miracle when we are in the midst of a life’s storm, but we can also become a miracle for someone else at the same time.
Helping my dad adjust to his new normal while trying to adjust to mine has been extremely challenging but I have learned so much more about our loving Father from above, who He is and what He does:
· Jesus put us in the darkest season to equip us to live the rest of our lives;
· We feel defeated at times because we put victory at the wrong time and in the wrong place;
· Being at our lowest point in our lives gives us no choice but to rely on our Father for strengths and for resiliency to build endurance;
· Although the situation may not be pleasant, the darkest season of our lives gives us the opportunity to learn to trust God for what He’s going to do; and
· Learning how to handle our lives during life’s storms is to believe that God will bring it altogether in later seasons; that He will restore us from our brokenness to a state where we will be better and stronger than before.
We are blessed to bless others. God is transforming the world around us by first transforming us. We do not have to wait until we are delivered out of the fire before we give thanks; we are to turn our test of faith into a testimony for the Lord by praising Him even in extreme conditions. God is here to make us fireproof. His plan is bigger than ours and He is always on time. As someone has once said, “the greatest test of faith is when you don’t get what you want, but still you are able to say thank you Lord.”
God tells us through His Word, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, in just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” Hebrews 10:36-37 New International Version (NIV)
I want to thank you for your prayers and support during this difficult time. May the peace of the Lord be also with you as we journey together. May our Father’s name be praised.
Lorraine Fung (September 1, 2014)