"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me." Psalm 138:7
Last night as I lay in bed waiting for Justin to get home from work, I started thinking about one of my favorite films (and novels) Gone with the Wind and particularly about Scarlett O'Hara as she was stuck in Atlanta while it was being surrounded and consequently destroyed by General Sherman's troops.
Scarlett's short stay in Atlanta had been horrible from the start- she was forced to nurse severely wounded soldiers, she became a widow of a man she didn't love, she had little food because of war rations, and her friend was deathly ill after Scarlett begrudgingly delivered her baby. In other words, things were pretty grim. But the ever determined Scarlett realized that if she could just get back to Tara, her parents' beloved country plantation, there would be plenty of food and help and everything would be okay.
So in the middle of the night, Rhett Butler helped them escape the city. They fought off Yankees, bullets and fires all through the night. Once Rhett left to go join the Rebel cause, Scarlett had to make the rest of the terrifying journey by herself with a sick mother and screaming baby in tow. As she raced through the dark countryside, Scarlett kept reminding herself that when she got back to Tara, her old life of wealth and ease would return.
But that didn't happen. When they finally came upon Tara the next day, Scarlett found her family's once beautiful estate nearly destroyed and the land completely barren. The Yankees had ravaged the house, the crops, and the animals. There was no food, no slaves to help, and on top of that, her beloved mother had passed away just hours earlier and her father had gone stark raving mad. Scarlett's troubles were really just beginning.
I definitely relate to Scarlett and her hope that she was escaping adversity to get to a more blissful place like Tara. I feel like I already have had my "Atlanta." This past year has been the most difficult of my life - death, murder, miscarriage, two unforgiving jobs. I told myself through all of this hardship that things would soon get better. I thought that once I got pregnant again we would have joy and calmness and our lives will feel normal again." (How proud I was to think that I knew what was best for us!) But like Scarlett, who thinks Tara will be her salvation and happiness, that has not happened just yet. Her time of hardship was not over when she escaped Atlanta and ours isn't either.
I told a friend today that sometimes I just look up to God and say, "Haven't we been through enough?" "I have already experienced so much loss and grief, couldn't I have a little happiness and stability for a while?" (Again, it's funny that I think I know how much tribulation is "enough" for God's purposes.) The bottom line is that I just don't know why God is allowing all of these things to happen right now in the prime of our lives. But I do know and can trust through his written Word that He has a purpose. I may or may not see that purpose in this lifetime, but I can trust that he is working out everything for my good.
In the end, after much hard work and struggle, Scarlett was eventually able to restore Tara to its former glory. Now I know that I, too, can have confidence that one day my brokenness (and the world's brokenness for that matter) will be restored to completion in the glory of Heaven. And I can be thankful that God is continually working in me until that day to bring me closer to Him, especially through all these trials and tribulations. I hope and pray that I will arise from this stronger and holier, and will one day soon be able to experiences joy, stability and fruitfulness again.