Thursday, March 22, 2012

Filled with Awe

I had no idea (when I wrote the last post) what was coming. Sunday morning, Lake woke up with blisters all over him. At first, I thought he was having an allergic reaction because he has such bad food allergies. I asked him what he ate at the party he went to a couple nights earlier. Maybe he had eaten something with peanut? Then, it hit me. MY SHINGLES. I got shingles 2 weeks ago. This was chicken pox!!! Ughhhh. Oh great. 
Well, chicken pox isn't that bad, right? He will just be uncomfortable and itchy for a week or so. Day one came and went and it wasn't so bad. I immediately began trying to separate him from the little ones.
Now, I know you are all thinking... chicken pox? Isn't there a vaccination for that? Yes, there is. I must be one of those natural tree-hugging-non-vaccinating mommas, then? 
Let's back up.
When Lake was young, he was sick ALL the time. He had severe eczema, asthma, and food allergies. He had ear infections ALL the time. He was just SICK a lot. He was never really "healthy". So, as I was bombarded with all the information about vaccinations, I just FROZE with fear. Not knowing what to do. My older were up to date but now I worried about Lake. His immune system was just not very strong. There was so much information out there. Stuff that would scare you silly. The only thing I had peace about was... waiting until he was a little older. Now, looking back, that was not a "good decision".
So, chicken pox. No big deal, right? Well, WRONG, if you have asthma/ eczema. 
Day 2. 
Lake spiked a fever and just moaned all day. He was super sick. I called my doctor (at home, as usual, he is a saint. It was his day off.) I told him I thought Lake needed to be seen. I told him what was going on. He said something I have never heard him say before when I told him Lake was starting to cough. He said, "We can't give him steroids while he has chicken pox or this will be an even bigger disaster."  Disaster. My non-alarmist doctor just said "disaster".  


I took the other 4 kids to Tim's office and Lake and I jumped in Tim's truck and headed to the doctor's office. I was praying all the way. Lake was moaning and crying. I felt the dark clouds starting to surround us. If Lake's asthma flares up, he could die.
 (**Warning... If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, the rest of this blog will not make any sense. Or if you aren't aware of the spiritual war happening all around us, this blog won't make sense.
Also, you may think I am dramatic but this is me just being RAW and vulnerable. I recognize that I do feel things at a deeper level than some. That is how I am wired and gifted.  Take it or leave it but I am not making this stuff up. Step out in obedience/ministry/sharing God's Word and see for yourself the battle you just walked into. But IT IS WORTH IT! Knowing Christ is WORTH IT and these are the times when we truly know God. Times of deliverance!)
**********************************************
"Then you will know that I am the Lord your God"
Ex 6:7

I have always sensed the enemy's hatred of Lake because he is a natural worshiper. He loves to sing. He has joy. The enemy hates all of us, don't get me wrong, but he HATES worshipers.
I started to feel sick. Knowing, this was an attack against Lake's life. We had to sit out in the truck and wait to get called into see another doctor since Lake had chicken pox. We were sitting in the parking lot, praying together. Then, get this... (looking back, I am in awe of God), Lake was kicking his little legs and his foot hit the glove compartment box in the truck. The door slowly opens and THERE IS HIS LOST BIBLE. We have been looking for his little Bible for months. He has been having to use his brother's. I had given up thinking it was lost forever. Lake said, "Look, momma. My Bible!". I said, "Oh my goodness, what is it doing in THERE?". He said, "I don't know. I didn't put it there."
I got it out and said, "What should we read?". He said, "I want to read that one
Psalm 102."

 "LORD, hear my prayer!
Listen to my plea!
 Don’t turn away from me
in my time of distress.
Bend down to listen,
and answer me quickly when I call to you...
 Let this be recorded for future generations,
so that a people not yet born will praise the LORD....
 Tell them the LORD looked down
from his heavenly sanctuary.
He looked down to earth from heaven
to hear the groans of the prisoners,
to release those condemned to die.
 But I cried to him, “O my God, who lives forever,
don’t take my life while I am so young!
 Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth
and made the heavens with your hands.
They will perish, but you remain forever;
they will wear out like old clothing.
You will change them like a garment
and discard them.
 But you are always the same;
you will live forever.
 The children of your people
will live in security.
Their children’s children
will thrive in your presence.”
We kept reading into Psalm 103.
Ps 103
 Let all that I am praise the LORD;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
 Let all that I am praise the LORD;
 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
 He fills my life with good things.

If that was not a Jehovah Shammah moment, I don't know what is! He was with us and gave us the exact Scripture to pray! 
I prayed these passages and Psalm 91 over him.
I was VERY scared.
My knees were DEFINITELY shaking under my armor this time.
But, I think my shield of faith was getting 
a little bigger.
Maybe.
It didn't feel very big at the time because I was TERRIFIED of this situation.

When we saw the doctor, he said the next 48 hours would be critical and "tell the story". Eczema kids with chicken pox can have THOUSANDS of blisters instead of hundreds. But the biggest danger is that he can't take steroids or the chicken pox could take over his body, go to his brain, give him pneumonia or he could get SUPER-infection. So, he cannot get a cough. He just CAN'T. 

But... he was starting to cough.
Unless God stopped his cough from turning into asthma or croup (which it always does), we were in BIG TROUBLE.
We almost always have to treat his coughs with steroids. It was LARGE doses of steroids that saved his life when he was in the hospital for 3 days. I didn't think there was anything scarier than croup/asthma but there is... Not being able to take steroids.

I called mom. Told her she had to come. I couldn't do it all. The doctor told me to keep Lake away from the 2 little ones. That he was VERY contagious. How in the world was I suppose to do that?
Mom drove down that night. She has always been THERE for me when I needed her. And, wow, have I needed her.

We moved a big TV in Lake's room, the wii, board games, coloring books, etc...
He was going to be there for a while. 
He was Miserable with a capital "M". He would cough intermittently.
I was in a full-blow wrestling match for his life. It felt like tug-of-war. I wasn't ready for this. I was so tired. So tired from back-to-back trial and lack of sleep. But, here we go. I am FIGHTING in prayer and with the Word. Begging God to keep the cough away in the night. The night is when his cough always gets bad. 
"Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness"
Ps 91
We were hemmed in. Cornered on every side. It was the perfect storm. And, if I had gotten him the vaccine, we wouldn't be in this mess. The weight was impossible to carry. We were trapped.
I kept thinking of the Israelites being trapped at the  Red Sea.
Read this. I mean really read it. I have a feeling you will be able to relate.
************************************************
 Then the LORD gave these instructions to Moses: 2 “Order the Israelites to turn back and camp by Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the sea. Camp there along the shore, across from Baal-zephon. 3 Then Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are confused. They are trapped in the wilderness!’ 4 And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you.  I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD!” So the Israelites camped there as they were told.

5 When word reached the king of Egypt that the Israelites had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds. “What have we done, letting all those Israelite slaves get away?” they asked. 6 So Pharaoh harnessed his chariot and called up his troops.7 He took with him 600 of Egypt’s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with its commander. 8 The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, so he chased after the people of Israel, who had left with fists raised in defiance. 9 The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh’s army—all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops. The Egyptians caught up with the people of Israel as they were camped beside the shore near Pi-hahiroth, across from Baal-zephon.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the LORD11 and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? 12 Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”
13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. 14 The LORDhimself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving16 Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers. 18 When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the LORD!”
19 Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them. 20 The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night.
21 Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the LORD opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. 22 So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!
23 Then the Egyptians—all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers—chased them into the middle of the sea. 24 But just before dawn the LORD looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw their forces into total confusion. 25 He twisted their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. “Let’s get out of here—away from these Israelites!” the Egyptians shouted. “The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt!”
26 When all the Israelites had reached the other side, the LORD said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.” 27 So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but the LORD swept them into the sea. 28 Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers—the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived.
29 But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides. 30 That is how the LORD rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians that day. And the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the seashore. 31 When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the LORD had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the LORD and in his servant Moses.
************************
I NEVER noticed before that the Lord had sent a pillar of fire to protect the Israelites from the Egyptians during the night.
I began praying for God to send a pillar of fire. To give us TIME. We needed time... 48 hours. And then I asked Him to part the Red Sea and get us OUT OF HERE. I began to wrestle with all my might. Pulling Lake back. Using all my armor to stand my ground.
I was scared. Worried Sick, literally. I had my first panic attack when Lake started to cough as we headed into the night. My enemy was unseen. And, evil/sickness always get worse in the dark. When the sun started to go down, and Lake began to cough... I felt like I couldn't breathe. I had to walk completely by faith and the light of God's Word. Knowing that Lake could wake up in the night unable to breathe and there would NOTHING I could do to help him. I cannot imagine all the parents of terminally ill children go through. I just can't imagine.
Keeping my kids separated was giving me a panic attack too.
How do you keep 7 people separate when they all need you? And nobody understands what is going on?

BUT GOD HEARD MY CRIES and He stopped Lake's cough in the night.
That simply doesn't happen.
Or, at least it never has before.
"I call on you, O God, for you will answer me;






give ear to me and hear my prayer.
 Show the wonder of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes."
Psalm 17

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

I really saw pictures of the gospel all the way through this week. 
1. How unbearable it was to watch Lake suffer and be in so much danger. Yet God GAVE His One and Only Son to be crucified for me. Lake had blisters. Jesus had his flesh ripped off for my sin.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16

2. When Lake looked at me and said, "Hug and kiss, momma." 
Yet, I couldn't give him a hug and kiss because I was trying to stay clean for Crew's sake. He was covered in oozing, infectious blisters reaching out for a hug. Wow, was that a picture of us and the disease of our sin!  God can't embrace us if we are covered in sin. He is CLEAN. He is Holy. He can have nothing to do with evil yet we are covered in it...apart from Christ's precious blood.
Our sin SEPARATES us from, God. The blood of Christ cleanses us and heals us of our oozing infectious disease of SIN. We are covered in leprosy. Our Father who wants to hug and kiss us. God knew that there was no way He could ever hug us unless He did something. The sacrifice of His One and Only Son was the only way He could embrace us....  hugging and kissing us for all of eternity.
You can't clean yourself up. Don't try. While we are oozing in our sin, He loves us. But, we have to be cleaned in order to enter into His presence. There is only ONE WAY to be cleaned from your oozing sin.
Jesus Christ.
"Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.
 But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;"
Isaiah 59:2
3. Thinking of the vaccine made me think of Jesus. My older 2 had gotten one but the younger 3 hadn't. They were in danger. Unprotected. If you haven't received the vaccination for your sin (Jesus Christ), God's wrath is coming and you cannot escape.
"So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.  Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming."
Colossians 3
Have you been spiritually vaccinated, girls? 
Religion cannot save you. 
Repent and Turn from your sin, entrusting everything to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
***************************

Lake is still sick but God has delivered him and is delivering him. I am sleeping in his room with him and jump up at every moan or cough to comfort him. I haven't slept in forever. I didn't eat. Just wrestled with all my might for my precious son.
Life stopped.
It has been me and Lake. Playing Chess, watching movies, playing the Wii. Playing Board Games. 
SO SPECIAL.
Every minute with my children is so special to me.
I am seriously considering canceling my facebook account. It eats up too much of my  time. Precious time that I can't get back. 
It will take 2 weeks to find out if our younger two are going to get it. :( Please pray they won't. Chicken Pox is not the no-big-deal sickness you remember. Dangerously high fevers, encephalitis, super-infection, pneumonia... all those are complications. Not to mention if you have a child with asthma. Consider getting the vaccine, natural mommas.
God is refining me. He revealed Himself to me in HUGE ways this week. One was as I was calling on the Holy Names of God (Mostly Jehovah Sabaoth, DELIVERER and Jehovah Rapha, HEALER), I realized that I cannot call on the Holy Name of God if I have unrepentant sin in my own life. I think that is a commandment... not taking the Lord's name in vain. I confessed and repented from any sin I could think of as I called on the Holy Name of God. We have to take our sin seriously. God knows. He sees. We need HIM! We can't have sin in our lives and expect to approach a Holy God. Now, obviously we are all sinners but we must FEAR God and His Holiness. Approaching His throne with REVERENCE. We have no righteousness of our own but we are to "Consider our ways!" (Haggai 1:7) and see if there is any wicked way in us!
My children saw the hand of God and His power. What an answer to prayer! I pray that they would each know Jesus intimately. Well, trial is unfortunately the way we develop that close walk. Watching God's deliverance in times of trouble builds our faith.  
One of my best friends came and got Hope and then my older two boys. What a blessing. Mom couldn't stay long so times like this are really hard without family.
Another friend and her family came and serenaded Lake from our driveway with worship while we looked out the window.
My pastor's wife wrote me words that I needed to hear by text. Like that we should thank God for the gift of trial because it is the opportunity to know Him more. And this is the very essence of life... to know Jesus more.

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

Tim said, "we do have family here, Steph."
He is right. 
The family of God is so precious.
Thank you, Kristy.
Thank you, April.
Thank you, EVERYBODY who prayed.
I told Lake God saved him! He saved him so that we can spend the whole rest of our lives worshipping together. I tell him his superpower is singing. That he can never stop singing!
His eyes get so bright. He knows God has created him to worship. 
My prayer is that Lake's joy and his song are greater after he is better. When I heard him singing and playing the piano last night, I cried and knew everything was going to be ok. 
We have been singing Miriam and Moses' victory song together every night...

“I will sing to the LORD,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!
The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him."
Ex 15:1

I have got to get it on video. Tim plays his guitar and it is so fun. We go faster and faster. 
We are planning a celebration and the boys are going to make a banner to Jehovah Nissi.
We are going to sing and shout! 
My older boys have been such a blessing to me during trial. They are my brothers in Christ and I praise God for their spiritual maturity in times like these.
All glory to God for what He has done in any of the hearts of my children. I can't change hearts. Only He can call them (kaleo) by Name to walk with Him.


I told Lake how thankful I was for God being with us, for saving him, and for how He is healing all his blisters. I said, "what are you thankful for, honey?". He looked right at me and said, 
"You."
That was one of the greatest moments in my entire life. Being a mother is hard but, oh the rewards.

At the end of the passage at the Red Sea. After God had sent a wall of fire and then parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites may go free, it says 
"they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the Lord." 
That is where I am in the story. 
Filled with awe and with greater faith because of all I just saw my God do.
Don't get me wrong. I am SO tired. I am weary. I am THANKFUL that after the Israelites passed through the Red Sea, the Lord lovingly took them to pools of living water and fed them bread from heaven. He knows I am just dust. And I am very tired dust at that. Yes, we will battle. But, God gives us seasons of refreshment and rest. I hope we are entering one of those.



If the enemy is boasting that he has you surrounded, in "check-mate". PRAY. The enemy cannot overpower you.  He is in submission to our Dad and our weapons are stronger than his. Get rid of sin before you call on the Holy Name of God. Remember, 


"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the RIGHTEOUS run to it and are safe."
Prov 18:10


If you want to study the names of God, a great book is
"Lord, I want to Know You" by Kay Arthur



Ask God to send a wall of fire to protect you from your enemies and to divide the  Sea and make a way of escape. He can. Trust Him and WRESTLE in prayer. Don't ever give up. Lay down your will for His. His ways are so much better than ours.
Be Blessed~
Steph
"Let our children see your glory." Psalm 90:16

8 comments:

Liel said...

Philippians 1:6--"I am confident in this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Jesus is just starting;) His plans are greater and His thoughts are higher, but He is about to overtake u with blessings. Keep fighting.:)
Jesus placed it on my heart to tell u that. U are on my prayers!!

Kathy Hill Griffith said...

Well Stephanie I sit here now with tears streaming down my face and neck..I'm trying to put into words the AWE I FEEL AFTER READING THIS.. NEVER HAVE I READ OF SUCH FAITH!!! I am sooo totally in admiration of the Godly woman and mother that you are!!! I KNOW THAT GOD IS SO PROUD OF YOU!!! OH MY GOODNESS WHAT AN AWESOME,AWESOME CHILD OF GOD THAT YOU ARE!!! I'M VERY BLESSED TO KNOW YOU STEPHANIE AND PLEASE DON'T DELETE YOUR FB ACCOUNT!! I CAN ONLY IMAGINE HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE AS BLESSED AS I AM, TO READ THIS!!! I LOVE YOU GIRL!! I PRAY GOD WILL OPEN UP THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN AND POUR BLESSINGS DOWN UPON YOU AND YOUR PRECIOUS FAMILY THAT YOU SO GREATLY DESERVE FOR THE AWESOME PRAISES THAT YOU HAVE SHOWN AND GIVEN UNTO HIM!!!!

Anonymous said...

I, too, wept while reading and after reading this post -- and once again, my words fail to express the impact that yours are having on me! I've not stopped considering them in my heart and mind all evening -

ever grateful for all that you share and praying for you and your family and your ministry,

b in va

Erin said...

Steph, I have been praying continually for Lake and I had no idea just how scary things have been. I am always so sorry for your suffering, but I also know that it produces fruit. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST. Thank you for the seeds that will produce fruit in those who read and learn His word. I am so thankful for you my friend!!! Continuing to pray, especially for Hope and Crew and protection. And for REST IN GREEN PASTURES for a battle-worn mama!


"Though now, for a little while, you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith, of greater worth than gold, which perishes though refined by fire, may be proved genuine and result in praise glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. " 1 Peter 1

Erin said...

p.s. Can't wait to "see" the blessings that follow your obedience.

Amanda May said...

Stephanie,

I completely understand what you are saying here. And I agree 100%. I know that as Christians we are hated by the enemy, and while he hates us all with a passion, perhaps he hates the worshipers with the fiercest passion of all. I guess it makes sense, that’s what he was when he lost his position.

I have a worshiper too. His name is Austin and he’s just about to turn 15. There has been a battle raging over his head since the day he was born. He is the kindest, most compassionate, most loving kid I have ever known – people can’t help but like him. He is a light. He loves to sing and play the guitar. Sometimes he gets to lead worship for his youth group at church…and when he does, it brings people to tears. He has a sweet, sweet anointing to usher people into the presence of Jesus. And it is OPPOSED.

I have watched the battle rage over him in a new way this year – as he steps forward in that sweet worship anointing. It has uncovered extreme jealousy in one particular boy, who has been a dear friend since 1st grade – he has treated Austin horribly and it’s been really hard to watch. It’s like he loves him, and HATES him, all at the same time. A few weeks ago, I was crying out to the Lord, asking Him what in the world is going on. I know that this boy loves Austin, probably the closest friend this kid has ever had, yet at times it feels like he wants to kill him (slight exaggeration) – but seriously, the hurtful things that come out of his mouth…wow. As I prayed, this is what the Lord spoke to me…

“A Saul spirit will always be enraged by a David anointing.”

I felt like the Lord showed me what was going on in the spiritual realm, and showed me how to pray.

I began to pray that a “Saul spirit” would be bound over Austin – that it could not come near him. That the Lord would place a hedge of fire around him and protect him. I began to stand against that foul spirit in the spiritual realm, and guess what, it lost its power. A few days after I began praying like this, I asked Austin how it was going with this boy…he said it was really weird, but that things are a lot better.

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

Stephanie, you are raising up mighty warriors for the Kingdom of God – it will be opposed – but we know Who wins!!! :)

I will be praying for your precious family.

Love, Amanda

(Oh, and Austin also had terrible eczema as a little boy, and terrible food allergies. His skin was such a mess that I would just cry…there seemed to be nothing that could be done. He still has food allergies (peanut), but he now has the most BEAUTIFUL skin I have ever seen.)

Cross Moms said...

I am left speechless... and in tears. Thank you so much for sharing such a powerful example of clinging to God's Word for strength.
God Bless,
Christy at Cross Moms

Catherine said...

Hi Stephanie!

I stumbled upon your blog and wanted to encourage you and thank you for sharing your struggles and TESTIFYING of the Lord's goodness and faithfulness. He used it to prepare me for my own little brother becoming seriously ill a day later. It's amazing how much my own experience paralleled yours with the Lord guiding to me to what Psalms to pray over him. It has truly been a beautiful trial. The Lord has increased my love, faith, and trust in Him in so many ways. Thank you for being His vessel so He could teach me about Himself and fall more in love with Him. He is so pleased to use you for His glory :) Thanks sister!

-Catherine O.