When you were just a little thing I knew something was very different about you.
Love born 3:33 in the morning, a quiet time. Me with an amount of energy strange after a twelve hour natural labor. A time to ponder. And ponder I did.
You had a goodness and a kindness so very rare to come by. Always striving to do right. Trying so hard to honor Jesus who you loved so.
And that is how you grew up. As close to perfect as a sinful person can be. A female Job?
I lived with a terrible feeling that you would never grow up. Your aunts can tell you how much I believed you would not stay with me long. The age was nineteen. For some reason in my crazy gut I was convinced you would never see nineteen.
Now you are days from twenty. But twenty and hurting and broken. So far from your true self. Spirit so tired since nineteen.
I no longer believe it was because I was going to lose you that made me treasure each moment. Memorize each way you lived. Afraid it would be taken away.
I now believe it was so I would watch closely enough to help know your purpose. To be able to help guide you when nineteen would come and you would lose yourself.
Shelby, if there ever were people that Satan would place his angels around, that Satan would put every obstacle in the path of - it would be people like you.
People with the ability and the desire to make a difference. To be the feet of Jesus.
It would be you, my sweet girl.
And that is what he has done. He found your weakness and attacked.
He has taken your energy, your love for activity, your gumption, and your desire to save the world and left you with pain and hurt and fear - all in this world that broke your heart before feels like too much for you right now.
I know you are tired. I know every step is an effort.
And I know that you wonder why God - your protector and friend - has allowed this to happen to you.
But Romans 8 tells us -
The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture.
I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
(The Message Bible)
In this - if you let him - God will perfect your faith.
But consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:7
In the bible God praises Job to the devil. Permission is then given to Satan to test how faithful Job would be if he had to endure loss, grief, and pain.
Though he (God) slay me, yet will I trust in him:
I can see our Jesus praising you. Saying this one is mine.
We sometimes question why good people suffer and how God is involved in it. We try to find the cause of suffering and often put the blame somewhere--on self, others, Satan, even God.
God's word in the book of Job asks us to look beyond blame and to accept the uncertainty of this world and trust God for what we cannot see or control.
There hath no temptation (trial) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted (tested) above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
Exercise our faith, bluebird.
And most importantly - in all of our suffering - believe that our relationship with God can be renewed, my darlin' girl.
Your daddy and I have been desperately seeking to find the answers to your pain. We may never have an answer that is easy to accept.
But maybe it is time to try to accept, anyway?
And time to get to work - exactly where we are right in this moment.
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.