When I look back on my life and all the pivotal moments or decisions combined with the ups and downs, I can see more clearly and am able to “connect the dots.”
It’s hard to understand why some things don’t work out the way we hope or think, but I’ve learned that no matter what, God is sovereign and He has a plan and not just any plan, but a good one. My trust in Him has been elevated over the years because He has always proven to be faithful to His word.
One of the biggest life events that comes to mind is the passing of my dear dad. When he was diagnosed with colon cancer, we believed until he took his very last breath that he was going to be healed and beat it. He was such a strong man of faith and if anyone was going to be healed, I really felt it would be him. However, God had other plans.
In the natural, it would feel normal to be upset with God and blame him for not allowing my dad to live. He would miss so much of my life. Graduating university, my wedding and the birth of my children to name just a few. However, that’s not where my mind went. This would be the first major test of trusting God I had experienced in my young life.
The day before my dad went to the hospital in an ambulance, where he would’ve spent the last month of his incredible life – I prayed that God’s will would be done. It was starting to get difficult seeing my dad suffer and not get better. So I told the Lord He either has to heal him or take him home. I released it to God and told Him whatever He does, I will trust Him.
Little did I know, that night would be the last one my dad would spend in our home. Although at first I was a mixed bag of emotions, because I couldn’t understand why my dad didn’t get his earthly miracle. What we were hoping for, didn’t happen, however, I believe he got his ultimate healing in heaven and know he heard the words well done my good and faithful servant. I trusted God had a plan and He would use this terrible, devastating situation for good. I didn’t see it clearly right in that moment, but I had hope.
Not too long after, we began to see things happen. Things that might not have happened if my father was still here. I would have to likely write a book to share everything, but two of the major events that stand out is my brother and I both meeting our soul-mates almost right after. My sisters were both married with children at this point. However, I was still young and we never thought my brother would ever settle down and get married, let alone have children.
We used to laugh and say that the Cleary name would probably end here (sorry Sean, haha), because my brother Sean, was the only one in our entire Cleary bloodline that could carry on our name. Well, guess what!? He met his wife a week after my father passed at my dad’s funeral. It was love at first sight (so many more intricate details that only God could coordinate make this so so special). I can almost guarantee this wouldn’t of happened if my dad was still living. My brother’s heart wouldn’t have been ready and he likely never would have met Jean Marie otherwise.
A few years after they got married they would go on to have their first child, a baby boy! They called him after my dad, Joseph (Joey) Cleary. They also had a little girl, Maddison Cleary and just celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary the other day! (Photo included is them and their beautiful children.)
If that doesn’t encourage someone today, than I don’t know what will!? Do we still wish our dad was here? Of course! But we have hope we will see him again someday soon, where we will spend eternity. This world isn’t the end and it isn’t our home. We are just passing through.
I want to encourage you today to never stop hoping and believing for something, but remember, often times unanswered prayers are blessings in disguise. We don’t always understand why God might close a door, but we know He sees the big picture. We know He loves us and wants the best for us and He is good and faithful to His promises. Some of the challenges you’re facing now don’t even have anything to do with today; they’re positioning you for something in your future. If you stay in faith when things don’t make sense, over time you’re going to see how God connects the dots, how it was all a part of His plan, strategically orchestrated.
People will ask, why does God bring sickness or disease to people? Why does He let people hurt others? Well, He doesn’t do any of those things. We live in a fallen world, that began with the sin of Adam and Eve. Since then, the world has been under the curse of their sin. God loves us and just as He gave Adam and Eve free will to choose, He gives us the same free will. Our decisions can effect our lives or someone else’s. They can effect our health, our family and even our bloodline.
However, when we receive Christ as our Lord and saviour, the curse is broken. We have a new bloodline. We have access to all God’s promises in scripture. We will be able to look back and connect the dots and see God’s hand all over our lives. We must first receive the free gift of salvation to gain access to these promises AND to heaven. Jesus tells us, no one comes onto the father, but through me. John 14:6
If you haven’t made this decision and feel so compelled, that’s the Holy Spirit drawing you. It’s not an accident you read this today and it resonated with you. Follow your heart. Trusting God with your life is the best decision you will ever make.