Thursday, October 29, 2009

Only God

Only God.

The first day I started graduate school, my husband lost his job. The day I drive to school to quit, my husband got a job. Only God. I have been wanting to write for a week or so and it just hasn't happened. I had a midterm due yesterday and well, life is keeping me pretty busy.

The day I drove to school to quit, I was listening to a song and just felt the Lord saying, "It isn't time yet, Allison." Ok, Lord. Whatever. That seriously had been my attitude for the past few days. I was seriously on my last leg, emotionally and physically. That very morning I had been reading Lamentations 3. I think I read it two or three times. And I am pretty sure I read the last time with my eyes rolled back in my head. I was tired. Exhausted.

So, I proceed into chapel at school. I sit down and open my Bible and read Lamentations 3 again. This time my eyes were focused. The first scripture that comes on the big screen is.....Lamentations 3. Yep, Lord...I am listening. Only God. We watched this awesome film by Tim Keller called, "The Prodigal God." I realized that I was acting as the older son. The past eight weeks had been rough. I felt an almost sense of entitlement. Like this should not be happening. I had already been through enough. Seriously, Lord couldn't you just pick someone else for a little while? A sense of self righteousness. Oh, sweet Jesus, how sorry I am. I quickly figured out that this whole time Leighton had been without a job, I was saying I was trusting in Him, but actually not really trusting Him. Yes, I got up every morning at 5 and read the Bible. I learned so much during that time with the Lord. But, what He taught me that day was so worth it.

I came home that day and told my husband that I had decided to stay in school. As he walked out the door for another interview, he told me that one job told him that they didn't want him. I kissed him goodbye and told him it was obviously not meant to be. I headed back to my room with my Bible and phone. I started texting all of my close friends to pray for him. Then I laid down on the bed and just submitted to God. There were no "what if's". No tears. No pleadings. No doubting. No questioning. Just trusting. Really trusting. I felt different. For the first time in a long time I felt a sense of peace. For an hour and a half I just prayed and read the Bible.

Then my husband called and told me that he got the job. Only God. Relief. But, actually if you want to know the sad truth my panic attacks proceeded to get worse.
I could not figure out why I would be having panic attacks. I was about to lose it. And I did. I went for a run with two of my close friends and just lost it. Came home and lost it. Tears. Tears. Tears and more tears. My head on my husbands lap. Scared.

But, you know what? That is where my healing started to take place. I had been trying to hold it together for months. Just trying to keep everything in order. I was trying to do everything and not letting God take control. I let it all out and it felt so good. I was exhausted physically and mentally. My sweet husband loved me so tenderly. He took care of the kids. He let me sleep. My friends loved me and took care of me too. They rallied around me with encouragement, love and support. They provided meals for us for a week. For a week! What a blessing my friends have been. Such a sweet and precious gift from the Lord.

I needed rest. And He provided it. He always provides. Always. Only God. I can't do anything without Him. Nothing. He is my life. I love Him more than ever. Not because Leighton now has a job, not because my panic attacks have ended, not because I feel rested. I love Him because He is here always and He knows. He knows. He loves. He provides. He is our shelter. He is the lifter of our heads. He holds us in the palm of His hand. He is there with us all the time. We are never without Him. We just have to choose to let Him in. To let Him be in charge and not want to control our lives. Submit and surrender to His will for our lives. It is hard, but oh so worth it.

"I will give you the treasure of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name." Isaiah 45:3

"In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength."
Isaiah 30:15

"Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him."
Isaiah 30:18

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."
Psalm 34:8

"For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light."
Psalm 36:9

"For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever before me. I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin."
Psalm 38:17

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."
Psalm 51:10

Sweet friends, the Enemy will do ANYTHING to get us to believe lies. He does not want us to believe that God is all sufficient and all powerful. But, He is and always has been. God's Word is the Truth and we can fight the Enemy with the Truth. This battle is the Lord's and He will win. He will. Only God. It is His Promise.

"And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

"So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth."

Genesis 9:12-17

Leighton pointed out this rainbow one morning on my way to school. As I was driving to school I looked to see the rainbow again and I saw the beginning and the end of it. I couldn't see the in between:) Amazing God!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


God of All Comfort
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and) God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Over our Spring Break, or Family Griswald vacation, we traveled to Birmingham, Columbus, Georgia and then to good ole Decatur. While we were home visiting my parent's, my mom gave me this china doll. I had actually forgotten about it. But, when she told me about it...we both just wept.

You see this china doll is not like all the other china doll's out there. My mom made this for me. She told me that when all my friends were getting china dolls, she wanted me to have one so bad and she could not afford one. So, she ordered one and when it came she sewed the doll together and found this precious dress for her to wear.

And on the bloomers she had attached a little post-it note that said, "Allison's china doll. I made it." This doll is precious to me. It is precious for so many reasons, but most of all because it represents what she has done her whole life....done whatever she could to provide the best for matter what.

What you can't see is the the foot of this doll. (I didn't realize I had posted the picture of the foot:))Apparently it got broken somehow and was glued back on. Broken. This word came to me today and it just took my breath away.

We are all broken. We all have some sort of hurt, pain or suffering. Whether it be now or something in the past. My childhood was broken. It was broken because I had a father who was and is still sick. Mentally ill. Addict. Abuser. (Boy, that feels better to get that out there.) He was/is broken. His childhood was broken.

God was there with me in the pain of my childhood. I would guess that He was crying as He watched me grieve and long for the love of an earthly father. He knew. He knew then what He was going to do with my life. He could see it and I couldn't. He knew that He was going to redeem the brokenness of my life. He knew that one day I would love Him more than I can even put into words. He knew that He was going to give me Gregg, my stepfather. He knew that Leighton would be my husband. He knew.

Why is there so much pain and suffering? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Pretty deep stuff. My professor asked this question yesterday after we had been lectured to about Schizophrenia and other Psychotic Disorders. Why? Why would there be such pain and suffering? My answer to this question is, if there was no pain and no suffering there would be no need for God. No need for Jesus.

Jesus was not broken. He had no sin. He was perfect. Yet, He died for us. In Psalm 34:20 is say's, "He keeps all His bones; not one of them is broken." After Jesus died on the cross, the Jews asked Pilate to break the legs of the three that had been crucified. "So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But, one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness - His testimony is true, and He knows that He is telling the truth - that you may also believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: 'Not one of His bones will be broken.' And again another Scripture says, 'They will look on him whom they have pierce.'" John 19:32-37

God knew. God knew that His Son's legs would not be broken. He knew that Jesus would be raised from the dead and walk. His Son would not be broken. Y'all, we are broken. But, we are deeply loved children of a living God. My genetic code might have a little bit of my earthly father, but God took the evil and replaced it with the unbroken Cross of Jesus. My identity is in Christ. The One Who died for me. The One Who died for you.

After Jacob dies and Joseph is about to bury his father, his brother's say to him: "When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, 'It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.' So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, 'Your father gave this command before he died, 'Say to Joseph, Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.' And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father." Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, 'Behold, we are your servants.' But Joseph said to them, 'Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.' Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them."