Sunday, August 12, 2012

Convicted to Write

Confession time -- I have abandoned writing because of a sad addiction to facebook.  That's like abandoning a steak at Perini's for a Big Mac, just because you don't want to drive the extra distance.  Yuck.

But today I realized how essential writing is to my health and my relationship with God. 

Last night, I came across my journal from 5 years ago - written in the months before and after we lost Lia to stillbirth.  I cherish that journal - it helps me remember God.  Then today in church the theme of the sermon was Remember God.  We were challenged to remember his faithfulness in all circumstances and then to rely on that proven faithfulness when moving forward in obedience.  Toward the end, our pastor spoke of how he wished he was a natural journal writer.  He instead has developed other means to help him remember the works of God in his life.  I am a journal writer - a journal writer who has written only 2 pages in 5 months -- I guess that would explain why life lately has felt like a long bike haul up a mountain with two flat tires.

Every person has a means of responding to and remembering God.  Some paint, some write poetry, some sit quietly, some sing or compose.  I was designed to write.  If I am not writing, I am not responding to God.




Friday, March 30, 2012

Anxious

Tomorrow, Friday, is a big day for me.  I have been struggling with an abdominal injury for nearly 3 years, and tomorrow we travel to Dallas to meet with a surgeon who may be able to correct the problem.

But today I am anxious.  I have my mind all wrapped around what the consultation will be like, wondering if they truly will have my best interest in mind, wondering if they will understand my descriptions of symptoms.  I am anxious because the last 3 years medically have felt like a brick wall.  I thought I was heading down a good and promising path only to smack my face, bruise my ego, and expose my weak and doubting spirit.

But the past month has felt remarkably different.  New hospital, new surgeons, new city, new insurance, and suddenly the path feels smooth.  Each step of the way this month, from new CT scans, changing insurance, and ordering medical records has been a complete breeze with people along the way giving helpful counsel and pointing me in directions I would never have considered. 

Yet I keep bracing myself for the brick wall.

And today was the worst of all.  The entire day felt like a vain search for some kind of reassurance.  I wanted so badly to know that Friday would go well, that I completely forgot to take care of Thursday's own things.  But this evening an unusual request from my daughter brought me back into focus.

At bedtime, Jordan asked me to read outloud from her "Jesus Calling" devotional book.  I have only read from the book once before, and the directness of her request made it clear this was an important thing for me to do.  One look at the title of today's entry and I knew why I was to read it.

March 29th:  Everything In Its Own Time

"Stop trying to work things out before their time has come."

I had tried for 10 months back in 2010 to work things out in regards to my abdominal injury.  It lead me to 2 severe medical poisonings, muscle degeneration, digestive disorders, and much sadness.  I wanted to be healed so I tried to knock down closed doors, I tried to work things out, on my own, before its time had come.

"You can't take Friday's math test on Thursday.  You can't celebrate your August birthday in June.  And you can't make My will happen before the right time."

Well let's see - I have a big thing happening on Friday, but I am sweating it on Thursday.  And my birthday really does happen to be in August.  But seriously, I think the danger in trying to make something happen before its time is that God is forced to say No to something He may actually be planning to say Yes to! I have heard so many No's concerning my health, that I have come to believe that No is the final answer.  Perhaps the final answer is Yes - but only by His time.

"Your life will be much less complicated and confusing if you chose to live life one day at a time.  There is a time for everything - and I will help you do everything I want you to do, in its own time."

It does seem that God is helping this time.  Brick walls are gone and a pathway lies before us.

Today my mind was all wrapped up around Friday, and as a result I wasted my Thursday.  But God has Friday, and every day through eternity wrapped in His hand.  Which is where I need to rest tonight.

****************

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Perfect Love

Bedtime was almost a disaster tonight.  Lots of tears, lots of questions, and finally we got down to the root of the issue - nightmares.  My oldest had a big nightmare last night -- thunderstorms, dangerous utility poles, neglectful parents, panic, chaos.  And she went to bed tonight convinced that the dream would return again.

A part of me just wanted her to realize it was only a dream and go back to bed.  But the more I listened, I realized it wasn't just a dream.  It was a window into the depths of her heart.  And I needed to listen.  I needed to hear how she feared the storm, I needed to hear how she feared that I might not care if danger was coming.  I needed to hear that many other stresses of the past month have become deep fears within her heart and all played roles in her nightmare.  Listening gave me a view into her soul that wouldn't have come if I had simply said don't worry, it's just a dream.

But listening wasn't enough.  Listening to her dream didn't make her fear go away, praying for her didn't make her fear go away.  So next I tried what every natural teacher tries - education! 

Kaiden listened as I told her about fear - how fear is like a small seed that starts in our souls and seeks to grow and grow.  As it grows, it makes us believe things that aren't true and it makes us fear things that aren't even a part of the original fear.  I talked with her about how even though fear is real, fear is not good.  Fear happens when we choose to look at the bad instead of at God himself.  When Peter walked on the water, he was looking at Jesus.  But then he looked at the waves, fear rushed in, and he began to sink.  Fear keeps us from doing the amazing. 

I agreed with Kaiden that nightmares are horrible but that God can take the horrible and make it good.  He does not want us to fear, He does not want us to have nightmares, but He can use those nightmares to help us see the hidden things in our hearts.

Still the fear remained.  Now what... I had listend to the dream, I had talk with her about where dreams come from, I had helped her see what was hiding in her dream, and we had talked about how God and I really do love her...  what still was needed was faith.

When Peter looked at the waves and began to sink, he had to cry out - Lord save me.  Tonight in her heart Kaiden had to cry out in that same way.  She had to, by faith, trust that God could conquer her fear.  She had to believe that His Perfect Love would cast out her fear. 

It was beautiful to watch her fall asleep tonight, trusting in faith that God would push out her fears with His love.

Its funny, every time I put my girls to bed, I always hope for a quick night with no issues.  But my times of greatest joys are after a wonderful night of quiet whispers as we work together through the issues.

Father, thank you for letting me see into Kaiden's heart tonight.  Thank you for allowing us all to have dreams, and nightmares, and for being able to see the hidden places of the heart.  Most of all, thank you for a sweet time with my daughter.  Thank you for giving me wisdom to answer her questions.  Thank you for your Truth and your Perfect Love that is stronger than all our fears.