>*sigh* This has been the first time in about a week that I have allowed myself to de-stress and some-what relax. It is amazing how quickly you lose sight of things and again, how quickly it can come full circle to reality. I have talked about the busy-ness I have been feeling and I have talked about the mission stories that remind me why I am doing all that I am doing. Today is a little more personal. I grew up with a girl who was (is) my best friend. We went to school together, skipped PE together in middle school, and I even had the privileged of having her stand with me as my maid of honor on my wedding day. We have experienced 20 years of friendship, both close and long distance. Because of the duration of that friendship, her family became my family and vise-versa. I am blessed to say that my family is healthy both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I am saddened to say that her family has been experiencing a series of what I call Job years lately. If you read the book of Job, you discover that despite his devotion to God, a series of bad things keeps happening to Job. That is kinda what is going on with them. The majority is too personal for me to publish to the world, but today my 2nd mom (so to speak) underwent surgery to remove cancer. She came out fine, and the surgery went very well, but as I talk to my best friend, it all hits home. This was the family that I took refuge in when I was being too rebellious for my own good. This was the friend that I shared my heart with into all hours of the night and usually well into the next morning. She is one of a handful of people that I feel completely free to be myself without any guards and it breaks my heart that I powerless to offer anything more than moral support. I can’t fix it. And I can’t make all of the hurt and fear go away. I heard the other day a phrase that I think speaks so well of hard times, God allows pain and hurt so that the world can know that we are still human. It gives us a testimony of His endurance and His strength. And it is usually that testimony that changes lives to glorify His kingdom. God doesn’t cause the hurt and pain. God doesn’t even want us to have to go through it. But, like in Job, He will allow it to bring testament to His Glory. And that is my prayer today. Lord, give me the strength to trust you in every situation. You have blessed us and in return we have blessed you. But in those times when I feel like cursing the world, Jesus, help me to turn back to you and bless you instead that you may be made greater in my weakness. I thank you for your mercy and sovereign grace, today, tomorrow, and always.