Wednesday, August 12, 2009
He is our living Hope.
Us! Saying goodbye to trimester 1!!
"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy..."
1 Peter 1:8
I have been dealing with a lot of emotions lately. I wondered if anyone could relate. Have you ever been in a nightmare that you never imagined you would be in and that doesn’t seem to have a light at the end of the tunnel? One that you wake up to and go to sleep to... for years? Hopefully not but I know a lot of people's marriage can be that claustrophobic nightmare.
That is how I feel as I deal with my chronic illness. I am actually starting to feel better (finally- I didn’t know if I would survive the last 3 months). The problem is we have been through this before (Lyme+ pregnancy) and we know how this will play out... unless God intervenes. My joint pain and blinding headaches will be back post-delivery.... unless God intervenes.
I HATE taking medicine when I am pregnant but have no choice. I don't know if I will be able to breastfeed or not because of my situation. I couldn't with Lake because I got so sick after delivering Lake that I had to go on high powered medicine that you can’t take while breastfeeding and because the Lyme disease bacteria passes through breastmilk. Instead of doing what most moms do, I was headed to NY and getting an IV put into my heart for 9 weeks. I HAD NO CHOICE. Choice has been taken away from me so often during the last 4 years. My life seemed to have spun out of control July 2005 and never stopped spinning. Sometimes, I just get angry about all that has been lost during those years- how I have been robbed. The suffering... the REAL pain... the scars I have been left with. How many of my boys birthday parties have come and gone while I have dealt with this nightmare. How chronic illness makes everything hard... and sad. How any chronic trial seems to steal YOU and the happy/ fun YOU you used to be.
So, I shared my heart with the Lord about this yesterday on a walk while begging for healing before this baby comes. Begging to be able to breastfeed. Thanking Him for this precious gift He has given me. He has been so faithful to give me 'joy in the mean time'.
Here are two verses that come to my mind often as I am angry...
That God can RESTORE years that have been stolen by hardship...
"I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten" Joel 2:25
“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day...” Gen 50:20
It is hard to come to grips with my situation because Lyme Disease is SO preventable... but God didn’t prevent it.
Tim and I become really popular during the summer months as everyone is finding ticks on them. Some get violently ill... some do not. We tell them all to get on antibiotics no matter what. So, they take a few antibiotics and (Praise the Lord)never know what I have known. I am so happy they don’t but, “God, seriously?, what about me? 4 years of chronic pain that you could have so easily prevented? What is up?”.
THE question that is constantly lurking is “WHY”?
And as weird as this sounds I believe the answer from heaven is... “so you would draw near to Me”. And, believe me, I have. He has taught me His Word. He has taught me about Hope. He has taught me His love. He has taught me His faithfulness. He has taught me that He is able. I have felt like a teacher’s pet during these years while sitting at the feet of my Teacher as He gently reveals to me great and unsearchable things. A lot about Who He is and how He desires to use me... if I will get out of His way. Depending on Him for every breath- every minute. Hanging on to the cloak of His robe with my all my might and believing Him for the impossible. I don't know why that is so hard. I have seen Him do the impossible OVER and OVER.
I want to encourage any of you that are in a chronic trial that Christ Himself will minister to you. He will heal your broken heart. He will restore to you MUCH more than your shattered dreams. Anything I have ever surrendered to Him has been a joke in comparison to what He has given.
And while we wait, WE HOPE. Hope in what? Hope in the glory that WILL be revealed through our perseverance in suffering... whether here or heaven. Hope in the fellowship (koinonia- truest, closest fellowship) with Jesus Christ during your trial. Hope in prayer. Hope in that fact that your faith, which is being refined by fire, WILL be proven genuine and will result in praise. Hope that He is bringing SUBSTANCE to your faith- that when you speak, people will listen and see Jesus. Hope that He can fill us with an inexpressible and glorious joy as we wait. Hope in the fact that we have an inheritance in heaven that can never perish, spoil or fade waiting on us right after our last heart beat. Hope because Hope in Christ is LIVING and it doesn’t disappoint. Hope that He gives us treasures in darkness and riches stored in these secret places (Isaiah 45:3- surely I have hammered this one in your brains by now!). Hope that there is no darkness at all in Christ- that He can brighten the darkest place instantly. Hope that as we are walking through the valley, He is annointing our heads with oil– pouring the Holy Spirit out on us, finding favor on us, equipping us for all He is calling us to do so that we will bear MUCH FRUIT.
So, if you have a broken heart tonight over dreams that have been shattered, I have good news for you... He is near. He draws near to the brokenhearted. Draw near to Him. Dine with Him at the banquet table. He is waiting on you to come.
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-- These, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
I have posted this before but it is one of my ALL-TIME favorite things I have read in my valley. I hope it encourages you that God is at work... you are being broken and HE is being poured out like perfume spilling out of a broken alabaster box creating an irresistible aroma.
"By reason of breakings they purify themselves" (Job 41:25) God uses most for His glory those people and things which are most perfectly broken. The sacrifices He accepts are broken and contrite hearts. It was the breaking down of Jacob's natural strength at Peniel that got him where God could clothe him with spiritual power. It was breaking the surface of the rock at Horeb, by the stroke of Moses' rod that let out the cool waters to thirsty people. It was when the 300 elect soldiers under Gideon broke their pitchers, a type of breaking themselves, that the hidden lights shone forth to the consternation of their adversaries. It was when the poor widow broke the seal of the little pot of oil, and poured it forth, that God multiplied it to pay her debts and supply means of support. It was when Esther risked her life and broke through the rigid etiquette of a heathen court, that she obtained favor to rescue her people from death. It was when Jesus took the five loaves and broke them, that the bread was multiplied in the very act of breaking, sufficient to feed five thousand. It was when Mary broke her beautiful alabaster box, rendering it henceforth useless, that the pent-up perfume filled the house. It was when Jesus allowed His precious body to be broken to pieces by thorns and nails and spear, that His inner life was poured out, like a crystal ocean, for thirsty sinners to drink and live. It is when a beautiful grain of corn is broken up in the earth by DEATH, that its inner heart sprouts forth and bears hundreds of other grains. And thus, on and on, through all history, and all biography, and all vegetation, and all spiritual life, God must have BROKEN THINGS. Those who are broken in wealth, and broken in self-will, and broken in their ambitions, and broken in their beautiful ideals, and broken in worldly reputation, and broken in their affections, and broken ofttimes in health; those who are despised and seem utterly forlorn and helpless, the Holy Ghost is seizing upon, and using for God's glory.
"The lame take the prey," Isaiah tells us.
O break my heart; but break it as a field Is by the plough up-broken for the corn; O break it as the buds, by green leaf seated, Are, to unloose the golden blossom, torn; Love would I offer unto Love's great Master, Set free the odor, break the alabaster.
O break my heart; break it victorious God,
That life's eternal well may flash abroad;
O let it break as when the captive trees,
Breaking cold bonds, regain their liberties;
And as thought's sacred grove to life is springing, Be joys, like birds, their hope,
Thy victory singing
.--Thomas Toke Bunch
Taken from Streams in the Desert
He has not forgotten you. Quite the contrary, He is showing favor on you so that you will have the privilege of being invited into the inner courts of the King. “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” ;)
If only we knew how loved we are and how Christ desires us to come to Him. To pour out our hearts to Him. To realize that He really is “enthralled by our beauty” (Psalm 45:11). That He wants to blow us away by His majesty.
I have had a really good few days. I walk in the morning listening to my Sarah Kelly CD, Born to Worship. I just love it. I love one lyric that says “I can feel the heat of your lamp on my feet... guiding my way” and another song that I rock out to is Beautiful God as I old-lady-speed-walk around our neighborhood at 7 am. She is super cool. I don’t know about her other cds but I really like this one. It has ministered to me a lot.
I copied this off her blog....
“There is nothing that moves my soul more than worshiping God. Jesus
Christ makes sense to me, plain and simple. When I embraced the
knowledge that Jesus did die for me, in my place, i became a
worshiper....and i only pray that my flavor of worship is the kind he
likes the best...IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH (john)
Worship is just a vehicle for our faith....the power is not in the
songs, but within the faith that we release into the center of the "why
God?" moments in life. All else is just karaoke worship. This is how
even though I lead worship everyday of my life, it never gets old.
There is always a new situation to "believe" through.
Next time you are entering a worship service...try taking all
the circumstances in your life into that church with you...instead of
leaving them at the door, where you pick up your "church gloss" mask.
Try to worship in the middle of the divorce, the miscarriage, the porn
addiction, the CIRCUMSTANCE. Then just like Paul and Silas, worshiping
from their prison cell in acts 16:25...not only your chains will fall
off...but those around you as well...
the faith of a mustard seed can move a mountain...so work it!” Sarah Kelly
She is a COOL chick. I wish I could sing like her. I do while I am walking with my headphones ;). Hope no ones windows are open while I am singing.."singin in the streets, singin' in my Church, singin' out loud UNTIL IT HURTS!".
I find out in less than one week if I am having a boy or a girl. If it is a girl, I already have her name picked out. It is written MANY times in this post and most of my others.
See if you can guess it!
I have been homeschooling my butt off this last week because I don't want the boys to flunk out of kindergarten and 1st grade. It has been really fun. I am learning so much.
And, the boys bunk room is being constructed this week. Everything is out of its place for the next few weeks but they don't seem to mind. Lake loves sleeping in their room. It is making bedtime more of a challenge! This child will not leave clothes on. He is naked most of the time. He is starting to talk (FINALLY) and has us all cracked up constantly.
Have a great week & if you knew the plans God had for you, you could REST like in these pictures. ;)
He is singing over them and US as we sleep. How great the Father's love for us... how vast beyond all measure.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a LIVING HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
1 Peter 1:3