"Trust in the Lord with all your heart And lean not on your own understanding In all your ways acknowledge Him And He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:4,5 This photo of Joel and me was taken on Friday September 7th by our friend John after a great 5 hour visit. It is significant to me because the next morning when we went to the mall to walk, I crashed. I hit a wall and old symptoms that had been whispering quietly in my ear for several days knocked me over the head. I tried to keep going, but soon I could not even walk without my body responding in a very negative way.I was in a major setback and confused. We were both truly stunned. We both began grieving the loss of what we truly believed was a permanent gain in health. Joel became angry at God which evolved into situational depression. I spent two days weeping. I could not.stop.crying. My feelings alternated between desperation, bewilderment, anger, fear, and deep sadness.
Phone calls to my practitioner and Dr. Lane had us believing that the homeopathic remedy I took was STILL going deeper into my body bringing up old symptoms and memories and it was all taking a huge toll on my physical health. Maybe. What about stress? Maybe. But do we really know why? This body has fought illness for nearly thirty years and is fragile in many ways.
Time and prayer is easing the strong emotions we were feeling, and we are working things through. Joel is laughing more and I am able to move around the house without a kleenix box in my hands. We have talked about how powerful the remedy was and even though it helped me so much it was now hurting me.....we have spoken about how since being sick, stress knocks both of us down more than anything physical.....we have talked about how I push myself too hard, we have also danced around the edges of the quietly whispered idea that God may not restore me the same way he restored Joel. This is where our anger and sadness has come in. The possible losses of specific hopes and dreams.
Certainly we have weathered far more difficult challenges. So, in the scheme of things this is a minor setback, but it has shaken us. I believe it will also strengthen us. We still believe God wants me well. What has changed for me is my belief that I can make it happen now. I am still working on surrendering to HIS plan for me. God is God, and it is not a matter of understanding, but a matter of trusting.
Today I am still in my recliner, but I no longer carry the kleenix box around and I am visualizing a walk to the river in my new hot pink tennies.
You heard me right! I have new HOT PINK TENNIES made for walking! !!!!!!
Aren't they great?!
I found these while looking for tennies. Recently while praying it came to me that these pink tennies hold my hope to WALK OUT MY HEALING. I ordered them and they arrived yesterday. I put them on, they fit great (I always have trouble getting tennies to fit and support my weak lower back). I WILL walk again wearing those great hot pink shoes. Every day I am going to put them on and walk a few seconds, minutes, whatever I can manage as a reminder of my future.
This too shall pass and I WILL walk again :).....to the river and beyond.
Memorial Box Monday was started by Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity. She relates it to Joshua who was told by God to build a memorial of large rocks for future generations to remember God's faithfulness and provision. Looking back and writing about our own stories reminds us of God's faithfulness and provision, while strengthening and encouraging ourselves and others. My story today started about two months ago when our built-in microwave started to malfunction. It decided to have a mind of its own, working sporadically except for the express defrost. We adjusted to using that one single button as we usually only warm things up, but eventually Joel called our favorite fix-it man to ask him about what could be wrong acoffin he could fix it himself. Our handyman told us what it was, what it would cost, and then shared that he had just been to the Habitat for Humanity Store here in town and noticed that they had an over the stove built-in microwave for sale...brand new but really inexpensive. Joel and I prayed about it, deciding to check it out as long as we had the cash to buy it. He measured ours and headed to the store, only to find it was closed! He went back the next day and the microwace was still there. It was the right fit and same color as our stove, so he bought it. He purchased the new microwave for $5.00 more than it would have cost us to replace just the touch pad for the old one. (Our old one is over 8 years old). When we headed up to our daughters in Minnesota for a visit the next week, we discovered they had the exact microwave we had just purchased, so we could see how it worked and what it looked like set up. As some of you know, I have reactions to chemicals so we usually "outgas" new things that come into the house. New plastic can be challenging for my lungs. We figured we could just use the express defrost a bit longer while it was airing out, hoping it would hold on until I was able to tolerate the new one. Well, a few weeks later the microwave was still able to outgas because ours went back to working fine until just yesterday when we are now back to only express defrost. God not only provided a new microwave for about half price that we could pay cash for, but he gave us time to outgas it before needing to use it! God worked out every single detail!
"Come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest."
When God gives a verse to me two to three times from different sources, I know that I need to pay attention. Last Sunday I read this verse in my Daily Light scriptures book, and also from two different bloggers. Even though I had no clue why this particular verse had come to light, God had my attention. A short while later I logged on to Saddleback Church's site to watch their Sunday service live. As I looked at the screen I saw a statement about being weary in large print, Of course I had to click on those words and see what Rick Warren would have to say....He spoke about Matt. 11:28! Warren talked about how our hurts and disappointments become a heavy burden to carry around. He encouraged people to bring their hurts to Jesus and leave them with Him, so we can become all God has created us to be.
I took all this information into the Garden of my heart spending quiet time in meditation. I spoke to Jesus about the hurts I was carrying around. Hurts from others and some just perceived by me. I immediately saw a pile of big rocks and as I questioned in my mind what they were, Jesus asked me, "Do you want to keep carrying around this heavy load"? I knew I did not, so I spent time praying over releasing the hurts stored in my heavy "backpack" one more time.
Yesterday this verse popped up once again so I decided to look up as many translations as possible to gather more insight into God's persistent message. I went to the online site Bible Gateway where you can look up many different translations quickly. The Amplified Bible version spoke to me.
"Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened and I will cause you to rest. (I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls."
Carrying heavy burdens and weary from the endless task of doing so on your own? I tend to think I need to do things on my own. Independently, pushing forward on my own time schedule. Does that sound familiar? Today I went back into the garden to ask Jesus about this verse that keeps coming back to get my attention. It had been a tough week for me and I was tired physically and emotionally.....in the garden Jesus led me over to the pile of rocks but this time I noticed a cross in the ground behind the pile. A cross....HIS cross. I realized Jesus already suffered for my hurts...for all our hurts. When I looked down at the rocks, I noticed the rock that represented the sexual abuse was in the pile. Yes, Jesus died on the cross for that time in my life too. Thank you Lord. Thank you, thank you. It amazes me how heavy negative memories and emotions can become. Time to let them go. One at a time...over time....at this time. We are promised rest and relief for my soul. That's a pretty good promise!!! Jesus wants us to release the burdens we carry. He already paid the price. For our sins, our diseases, our pain, our hurts. He loves us that much. There is no need for us to carry around the heavy loads that make us weary. Take them to the cross and let Jesus refresh your soul.
We woke up around midnight to the sound of thunder. Soon the wind was blowing hard and the house shook with each loud boom. When the storm made it presence known, it brought rain to our parched land here in north Iowa. Rain. Beautiful water falling from the sky.
We awoke this morning to leaves blanketing the ground and small branches scattered around. A couple of our neighbors lost large branches, the trees being so dry from lack of rain. Even though my hubby is having to deal with cleaning up, we are not complaining. The trees, bushes and earth needed nourishment! Like we humans who feel refreshed after a good drink of water, so nature has breathed a sigh of relief for the rain having quenched its thirst last night.
I cannot help but relate this to those desert times that come into our lives. There are seasons where we feel so parched and dry. Nothing seems to touch our weariness, and we long for rain from above. Living water to quench our thirst, nourish our souls.
God is His perfect timing will provide what we need. He always does. Sometimes the relief comes after a storm in our lives. We don't know why, but often after the "winds blow" and the "gust front" makes its way through, the "rain" comes. A steady rain that nourishes and leaves us refreshed. The desert place within soaks up the living waters, and we sigh in relief. All is well with our soul.
Today is Memorial Box Monday and I am reposting a story of God's faithfulness that I wrote a year ago.. It has been a good reminder for me of how God hears our prayers and goes to great lengths to protect and guide us. It is a comfort to me when I am feeling unsafe or God's voice seems far away. If you wish to read more Memorial Box Monday stories, stop over and visit Linny at A Place Called Simplicity.
"Your own ears will hear him,
right behind you a voice will say,
"This is the way yo should go,
whether to the right or to the left."
Isaiah 30: 21
In 1976 we were living in The Philippine Islands where Joel was stationed as a meteorologist with the US Air Force. We would soon be leaving Clark AFB and heading home, so selling our car was a priority and we listed it in the base paper that was also read by local Filipinos. Cars were hard to come by and we knew it would be easier and smarter to sell it rather than ship it back home to the states.
Joel and I had prayed about selling the car, asking God to guide and direct us in the process. Shortly after placing the for sale notice, Joel received a call at work that someone wanted to look at our car, so he set up a time and place to meet the prospective buyer in Angeles City outside the base. Two men got in the car ~ one in front and one in back and Joel began driving to let them see how the car was working. They started giving Joel directions on where to go, and when they came to an area that was unfamiliar to Joel and somewhat isolated, one of the men said, "Turn left here.". As Joel prepared to turn he heard a voice say from deep inside,
"DO NOT TURN."
He hesitated and he heard again,
"Go straight...do NOT turn."
The voice was so clear in his head he knew it was God speaking, so he went straight and drove into a heavily populated area and parked the car, quickly getting out and asking the men to leave the vehicle. The men did leave, stealing the calculator Joel had in the front seat. He firmly told them to put it back, sensing he needed to keep his distance from them as he spoke. They complied and left, at which point Joel got back in the car and drove home.
A couple of days later Joel heard about an officer who was in the hospital after being stabbed repeatedly by two men who he thought were going to check out his car for purchase. They had given him directions on where to drive and he ended up in an isolated area alone with the two men. It was sobering to realize that this could have been Joel. The men were able to steal this officer's car and had left him for dead.
There are times when hearing God's voice and obeying it can save our lives in a dramatic way. God gave Joel specific directions and Joel listened to the voice of God, which kept him from harm. We never forgot this, and have tried to be obedient to God's voice whether it comes loudly or in a whisper. He knows our future and He knows what is best for us. Just like that day so long ago, it is a comfort to know that God is with us just as He promised, hearing our prayers, guiding our steps, and watching over us night and day.
Remembering God's faithfulness and the promises in His Word