Lauren Michelle Dowler
YOU ARE THERE.
As I was reviewing my life story, there were moments when I had to put my pen down and process. I guess I wasn’t expecting that some of the bullet points would carry an undercurrent of pain.
For the most part my childhood was sheltered from the UGLY. I’m not saying it didn’t exist. I was primarily naive and in the end, thankful. There was a day when a harsher reality hit. LIFE, as much as I wanted it to be, wasn’t always sweet, and at times it was straight up sour.
After an exhilarating trek around the globe where I witnessed miracles and God's direction like never before I arrived home on an absolute high only to discover that my family was in shambles. Pain had struck far too close to home. In only a matter of weeks, nearly every front of my life was shaken to the core. While my health remained intact, my heart was hurting, and my faithful smile struggled to make itself known. I had witnessed God's nearness over and over again in the AMAZING, but when the poo hit the fan and the pillows were chucked across the room I discovered His overwhelming comfort in the UGLY.
When we take flight over the 150 chapters in the book of Psalms, we look down and realize that David, one of the most respected kings in history, also experienced the full spectrum of #LIFE.
In Psalm 139 he begins by saying,
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.”
Lord, you know every word in my story, down to the most intimate thing.
“You know when I sit down and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.”
You know every day of my life and every thought that has entered my mind.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?”
There’s no hiding from You. There isn’t a place on this planet or situation that I may find myself in that is too far from Your reach.
“If I go up to the heavens, you are there”
In the AMAZING, You are there.
“If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”
And even in the UGLY God, YOU ARE THERE.
God was there. He was there in that moment. He was there cheering you on as you kicked the winning goal. He was there when you turned your tassle. He was there when you walked down the aisle. He was there in the AMAZING
God was there. He was there when your tears could no longer be kept at bay. He was there when your eyes witnessed that. When your family was divided. When those words were said. When fear surrounded. When you had no explanation and no answer. He was there in the UGLY.
Jesus himself descended to the depths of despair, the depths of pain, and even to the depths of the earth before He rose “far above all the heavens” (Ephesians 4:8-10). He experienced ALL of #LIFE. And He took on ALL of Death.
In His words, (not mine thank God, my words don’t do it justice) he says,
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33