Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

God is so Good…or is He? October 11, 2019

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:45 pm
Tags: ,
photo-1509392949348-24e77e5e902d.jpg

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

So many times I have stood in stage as I lead worship and told the congregation that God is good. No matter where you are God is still good. I said this from a place of comfort in my life. Nothing was going on to challenge that…until October 3rd.

My daughter plays volleyball, she has since 5th grade. We have watched her grow from the shortest girl on the team who was easily overlooked to the MVP her sophomore year. From athlete of the week her junior year to securing a position at the collegiate level. Her senior year was supposed to be her year to shine, to build her stats, be captain, maybe even be MVP again.

It all started before the school year. Twins moved to our small town, twins who had already been recruited to a D1 school, twins who are over six feet tall. My daughter is barely 5’7″. She was unsure what that meant for her since one of the girls played her position and the girls kind of changed the dynamic of the team.

She did get voted captain and we were so happy for her. But she sat more then normal this year, no one (not even other parents) understood why.

Then on October 3rd we went to a volleyball game that we were sure would be an easy win. The first set our girls dominated. They started the 2nd set and were winning again. My daughter got set, she went up to spike it, came down and went all they way to the floor.

Initially I thought she hurt her ankle, she had done that the previous year but then I realized it was her knee. My momma heart wanted to run on the court but I let the trainer and coach do their job, hoping she would stand up soon and be fine, but finally the coach motioned us over.

This is still hard to write, it still hurts to relive.

I took her hand, but she wasn’t really crying, so I took that as a good sign. The trainer thought she might have just popped her knee cap out. She recommended a place for us to go the next day.

I laid hands on her knee that night and prayed for a miracle. I was so sure God wouldn’t let it be anything too bad, that He might even heal her instantly or at least by the next morning.

My husband took her to the doctors and the texts started rolling in: “It doesn’t look good.” “Could be anywhere from six weeks to nine months for recovery.” “MRI at one ‘o clock.”

I wanted to just break down and cry. No, I prayed, this shouldn’t be happening.  But I had a room full of a students and had to sub on my conference hour, I couldn’t cry, there was no time

Did I mention homecoming was October 5th?

We got the call around three o’clock that she tore her ACL and meniscus. She would need surgery and possibly take 6-9 months for recovery.

Her high school volleyball season was over.

Musical is questionable.

Her senior year.

I was mad.

I was mad at God.

If He can bring the dead to life, open the eyes of the blind, make the lame walk, why couldn’t he heal my child? A child he “supposedly” loves more than I do? Yes, I was questioning this.

I was finally able to break down and then it was hard to shut it off. I never cried in front of my daughter, I didn’t want her to know how sad I was, or that I was questioning God’s goodness. But I most definitely was…I was questioning everything I knew to be true.

How could He care for her more than me when He allowed this to happened, if I had the power to stop it I would have. I don’t believe He caused it but He didn’t stop it either, He could have stopped it, but he didn’t. Why?

Why?

I asked that question over and over.

I’m better.

I do believe God is good. But on Sunday it was hard to stand on stage and sing those words. How ironic (or not) that I chose that song on Monday, before any of this happened, but God knew it would happen and He knew I would struggle with it. My heart was broken.

My daughter though…she is one strong woman. Her spirits have been pretty good, she has her moments, but she still went to homecoming. The other night during the volleyball game she was an encourager to her teammates. Without this moment I don’t think I would have realized how strong she is.

I keep remembering what this blog is named after: Genesis 5020.

I know the enemy caused this, not God. The enemy wants to harm her but God will use this for good. I don’t know what that is right now. And it’s still hard to believe that good can come from this set back, but if I don’t have God, I have nothing.

Another irony (or not) my son asked me recently what my greatest fear was and without thought I said something bad happening to my kids. I also read recently your greatest fear reveals where you trust God the least…hmmm.

On a long walk Sunday afternoon I surrendered my daughter to Jesus. It wasn’t easy, it was through tears and heartache. But I need to remember He REALLY does love her more than I do and want the best for her.

So is God good?

Yes, He is.

I will continue to say that until I believe it again.

The good news is her recovery is projected for 5-6 months, the college coach still loves her and wants her, she will probably be able to do the musical. All is not lost and I realize it could be so much worse, I know families who have endured far more, my child can still walk and will play volleyball again, she isn’t dead or dying.

She will be fine and who knows, maybe someday she will share her Genesis 5020 on this blog 🙂

Here is the song I had to sing this Sunday, maybe you need to hear it. Click here.

 

Lessons from the Robins: When You Don’t Leave the Nest August 16, 2019

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:58 pm
Tags: ,

luke-brugger-ZWZdoy2hoNE-unsplashA few weeks ago I wrote about the robins leaving the nest. This week a I have less pleasant story.

A couple of weeks after the the baby’s left it was very windy and at some point a dead baby robin landed on our deck.

Yeah. Not very pleasant to see or smell, it had been dead for awhile and I am guessing the wind knocked it out of the tree.

What happened?

I obviously don’t know but here is a reality: There are dead believers in our churches and when the winds of life blow they are going to get knocked down. Maybe you know someone like this, or maybe you have been there?

It was so sad. All the other baby’s had left and were living their lives, probably flying freely, but for whatever reason this baby never left the nest and ended up dying.

We can’t be dead believers, otherwise the wind will knock us down. We have to keep our faith alive and part of that is living beyond the church walls. Being with Jesus beyond the church walls.

God created the birds to fly and He created us to fly with him, to live with Him. So let’s live as He created us to live, let’s not become dead in our faith but alive in Christ.

 

 

Lessons from the Robins: Leaving the Nest July 19, 2019

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:46 pm
Tags:
luke-brugger-ZWZdoy2hoNE-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Luke Brugger on Unsplash

Baby robins start out in the nest waiting with anticipation for mama to come and feed them. But the day comes when they have to leave.

The robins at our campsite left a couple of weeks ago and I happen to be outside when it happened. One by one they would fly/fall out of the nest and hop around and begin exploring.

This reminds me of church and then the rest of the week.

I love going to church and worshiping with other believers and being fed by my pastor, but we can’t stay in that environment where pretty much everyone thinks like us. The service ends and we have to leave and go out into the world were it’s not as safe. Where someone who doesn’t think like us might not like us.

I do have a lesson on what happens when you don’t leave the nest but that will be a later post for now let’s focus on us leaving.

As much as we love the safety of being in church and around like minded people we have to go out into the real world. Honestly, what should happen is our faith becomes so big we can’t fit it into a Sunday and we have to share, we feel compelled to share our faith.

Those birds are growing and they can’t all fit into the nest, the have to leave and go out into the world.

The same is true with us. The good news for us is that we can return and go back to church each Sunday and to get refreshed. The robins don’t get to the that. Once they are out they are done.

I encourage you to take those moments in church to get refreshed, get feed, but may your faith become so big that you have no choice but to share it with the world around you during the week.

 

Lessons from the Robins: Anticipation July 5, 2019

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:53 pm
Tags: , ,

Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash

gary-bendig-9a6ANl31j4E-unsplash.jpg

As a lot of you know I camp (or glamp-glamour camping) all summer. This year we had two robins nests in the tree next to our camper. While I was doing my Jesus time yesterday God opened my mind to some lessons we can learn from the baby robins that can apply to our relationship with Him.

 

Honestly, this doesn’t happen to me much anymore, which is why I don’t usually write on Fridays, but alas, the next few weeks will be filled with Lessons from the Robins (might be hit and miss as I do have some reviews scheduled for Fridays).

This weeks lesson is anticipation.

You can always tell when the mama or daddy (I think they take turns feeding the babies since I have seen two birds switch duties) has come to feed the babies. They begin chirping very loudly.

But even before mama or daddy come they are waiting and they are ready when they land, they wait with anticipation and then make a loud noise when they are in the presence of their caretaker.

The same should be true for us. Even when we don’t “see” God or “feel” God we know He is there and we should know at any moment we can be in His presence. When His presence falls on us how can we be silent?

Maybe that is why people don’t get into worship because they don’t believe He is really there. But if we really believe God is there and we are in His presence, as we should be anticipating, how can we be silent?

We should wake up everyday anticipating an encounter with God, we should walk into church anticipating an encounter with God, we should go to work anticipating an encounter with God. You get the point?

The good news is the day isn’t over. Start anticipating an encounter with God. It might be something small or it might be something big. Open your eyes and heart (like the little birds open their mouths to be fed) and see what God is doing around you or in you.

Anticipate.

 

 

God Loves the World January 4, 2019

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:17 pm
Tags: , ,
juliana-kozoski-733679-unsplash

Photo by Juliana Kozoski on Unsplash

Sometimes I don’t like the world, if I’m being honest. I get so frustrated with all the things that are wrong. I’ve especially been struggling this year with keeping a positive attitude and loving people.

Just being real here.

One day as I stood in my classroom waiting for my students to come I overheard student’s using Jesus’ name over and over. Not the first time. This seems to be more of a “thing” now. I have even heard middle schoolers do it. Let’s just say they aren’t praying or praising Him.

My heart breaks because these kids don’t know the power of Jesus name, what it really means. To them it’s a substitute for a swear word. I was even in Christian book store and my daughter told me later that a costumer got frustrated with an employee and whispered “Jesus” under her breath. Again, it didn’t sound like a prayer or a praise.

Anyway, back to my classroom (where I have also had a student tell me she is now transgender and I need to start calling her by her male name, yet she wears a skirt and full on make-up two weeks later…hmmm). I stood there wondering what is wrong with the world and these kids and Jesus whispered in my heart the most basic of all verses, John 3:16.  “I love the world. I love them.”

We brush over that verse, don’t we, I do? It was the first verse I ever memorized, probably like most of you, and now it seems cliché. Yet, it’s anything but.

God SO loved the word. God loved the world and He still does. He loves those kids that throw around his Son’s name, He loves them even though they don’t know Him. He loves the girl who is confused about her gender.

The question then becomes will I love them? Will you love them? Will we look at them with different eyes?

Instead of being judgmental and disgusted we need to see them the way our Father sees them. We need to remember we were once there too.

God loves the world. I see the world as the people, not the things we/they do, but the souls. He loves their souls and wants to save them. The crazy part is He uses us to do that, to reveal His Son.

How are we doing?

Me?

Not so good. I will even isolate myself so I don’t have to deal with people. This isn’t what Jesus would do. Yes, He withdrew to be with His Father, but He didn’t hide and I can find myself doing that. Ugh.

My prayer:

God so loved the world that included a broken little girl named Melissa. This caused Melissa to so love the world that she laid aside her own desires and thoughts and simply love the world too.

Feel free to replace my name with yours and see if that stirs something up in you.

Make 2019 the year we remember how much God loves the world and may we lean into that love and learn to love the world better.

 

 

 

Shrug Therapy December 28, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:54 pm
Tags: , ,
adrien-tutin-401972-unsplash

Photo by Adrien Tutin on Unsplash

I have been listening to Joyce Meyer podcasts lately because she always talks about the struggle with the mind. This is where I struggle the most. I replay conversations in my head. I play what I will say when I have chance or what I should have said. Anyone else with me?

Then my gut begins to burn. I feel anxious. I can even start shaking. This is not good for your health.

Yesterday, as I was struggling with an issue and I was letting it steal my joy, Joyce said to practice shrug therapy. Seriously, in the middle of my stress she said this, I believe God timed that just right (He is a right on time God after all).

This is my new year’s goal.

What she’s saying is when things don’t go right, or how we want, or someone offends us, instead of getting all worked up, because deep down we know it won’t change a thing, we shrug it off, maybe even say, “Oh well,” or “It is what it is.”

I am not good at this but I want to be. Even this morning I was still stewing in my thoughts about this current situation that is eating away at me. But me thinking about it over and over will not change it, it will only change me and not in a good way. I will be moody and insecure.

I need to shrug it off. Oh well.

The other thing I did this morning was pray for the person who is causing me this strife. It’s hard to feel angry when God reveals the brokenness in someone else. This person doesn’t know their identity in Christ and is trying desperately to fight for it and I happen to be the one getting in the way. Maybe God ordained that because He knew I would eventually prayer for her. Wow. That is a whole new perspective and changes so much.

Anyone else interested in practicing some “shrug therapy” with me in 2019?

I also want to leave you with a verse that will by my verse for 2019. It’s ironic that God brought this verse to me several months ago and then today as I read the last page in Jesus Calling for Christmas it was the last verse in the book. I think God is trying to tell me something. Have a blessed and Happy New Year.

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 NKJV

 

Did you get the last chapters? December 21, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's writing,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:07 pm
Tags: ,
freestocks-org-487547-unsplash

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

I’m not sure what happened last week but the last chapters didn’t get sent in the email. I updated it so it is on the blog but wasn’t sure if you anyone clicked on the title to go there. If not click here and you can read the last three chapters.

I hope you all have a blessed and Merry Christmas. May you celebrate the day with a fresh and new perspective and gain a deeper understanding of what Jesus did for us.