Tell a Good Story

In loving memory of JMR

Six years ago, the Lord wrecked my life in ways I never imagined. The person I looked up to most as an example of what true joy in Christ looked like tragically passed away. John Michael Ritchey was a teacher, a musician, an avid lover of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, but above all he was a man that sought-after God’s heart. He often told us that if he could show just one person the love the Lord has for them then his life would be fulfilled— and he did just that. From dive-rolling into the room to making us laugh over vocabulary words he showed us what it was like to seek joy in the Lord alone. When he passed, my world shattered and, in my despair, I begged God to be able to feel the same excitement and zeal for life that I had seen so evidently in JMR. Through this desperate faith, I began to truly trust God with my life rather than attempt to cultivate it into what I wanted it to look like.
 
Giving up my grasp on control and placing faith that God has this ultimate and beautiful plan that is far greater than anything I could imagine, let alone create myself, was one of the hardest paths I endured. Ephesians 4 pertains to seeking after God despite the circumstances and despite the hardships which in turn builds trust and faith in Him. Those “But God” moments are when things seem to be out of control, are failing miserably, or when anxiety and worry set in and we have no option but to turn to God alone to redeem and restore us from these dark places. Everything can be going wrong, BUT GOD is the Prince of Peace and promises us comfort (Isaiah 9:6). Life can seem confusing and you don’t know what to do next BUT GOD is a wonderful counselor who promises to guide our lives and uses every situation for our good (Romans 8:28). Trusting God with my future has been a beautiful process with cyclical tendencies as the more I seek after Him, the more I understand His character, the more I am in tune with His voice, and the more I give everything up and rely on Him solely.

I trusted God to somehow merge my passion for medicine, children, and desire to share God’s love with others and he came through on all of His promises—as always. He fulfilled His promise of guiding my future as He provided a path where I have been able to work with Pediatric Oncology patients as well as in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. Through these opportunities I have invited God into these areas of my life and ask him to equip me with the ability to bring some light in some of the darkest areas of the hospital. Could we navigate life without Him? The easy answer is yes, but will it be overflowing with fulfillment, deep satisfaction, and pure joy in any way? Absolutely not. Simply because God is the foundation for all these things, and in John 15:5 we see that, “apart from Him we are nothing”. If we choose to place our trust merely in ourselves then we are partnering with the enemy and excluding God from moving in these areas of our lives. He is our trustworthy foundation, so no matter life’s circumstances we can feel broken, but we will not be shattered—that is a promise He makes us (Psalm 147:3).
 
It has been made apparent in my life that God truly responds to desperate, audacious, reliant faith and that apart from Him we are helpless. As Mr. Ritchey once said “I want others to know the treasure they stand to gain in Jesus. If I accomplish nothing but that in life, even for one person, it would be worth it”. This belief was one that allowed me to experience the love of God as well as many others and since then it has been my passion to do the same. The journey ahead of me is by no means easy, God does not promise us that, but he does promise that if we commit our ways to Him and trust in Him that He will take action that results in our gain and ultimately glorifies Him (Psalm 37:5).

“Tell a Good Story.”

Author | Chloe Glass

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