Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Blessing of Freedom

As I pondered Linny's challenge to all of us over at A Place Called Simplicity ~ writing about a blessing God has brought into your life this year~ I thought back over the past twelve months and the many blessings God has sent into our lives.  How to pick one?  And have a photo to go with it?  Hmmmmm

 I could not help but pick the photo of Joel and me below.....It represents so much more than what you see with the naked eye.  

Eleven years ago Joel went to NYC six months after 9-11.  He went as a weekend relief pastor to support those pastors who were working round the clock to help their church members cope with the horrors of that day.  I could not go along, as I was too sick to travel.  I had been sick for many years by then, and it would still be another 9 years of being homebound as the "girl in the bubble" before I was set free by God's healing power. 

If you look in the left hand corner of the pictures you see the new Freedom Tower.  We never thought I would be traveling again, seeing the NYC skyline, going to Liberty Island, or walking through the 9-11 Memorial while looking up at Freedom Tower.  We never thought Joel and I would be going on any adventures away from our home where I was held captive by disease.  But God had other plans.

Joel and I have been on a healing journey for nearly two years.  We have walked out our healing literally and spiritually with God as our guide.  Early this fall he nudged us about attending a conference on healing at a Lutheran church in Westport CT.  Travel?  Stay in hotels?  Could I really do this?  Could we step out in faith and walk into the adventure God had waiting for us?  For a few weeks prior to even knowing about the conference, I kept getting the phrase "rivers of living water" over and over devotionals, scriptures, blog posts......and then while reading the book the conference pastor had written two years ago, I cam across the chapter entitled, "Rivers of Living Water".  Really???   God seemed to be sending us a strong message, so we prayed and prayed some more.  Then we received a newsletter in the mail that spoke about Elijah and how God directed him on where to go, and not to worry about provisions.  Not to worry!  God had sent the ravens ahead to be there and give him what he needed, but it would not be there UNTIL he stepped out in faith and moved forward.  After praying more and putting out a fleece or two that were quickly fulfilled,  we registered for the conference and began planning. 

Our first vacation since 1986.  Did God provide?  Oh yes!  More than we could ever have imagined.
We traveled 3,000 miles in 10 states for 2 weeks.  Only God.  The conference was life changing.  God blessed our obedience with more healing,  beautiful memories, and friendships.  We had many exciting adventures ~ the Appalachian Trail, Niagara Falls, Amish community, NYC, and Long Is. Sound to name a few.  He asked us to trust Him and in doing so, we were blessed beyond our imagination.  Every time I look at the picture above, I smile and give thanks to God for the miracles we have experienced in our lives.  We treasure this gift....this blessing as more precious than gold.  Only God.

This picture representing God's blessings, are a wonderful reminder of how God provides when we are open to His Word and obedient to Him.  We look forward to many more adventures with God as our guide. 


Pia said...

God has been my provider all this time. With my medical expenses... He sure did provide. One thing i'm really grateful for is that I wasn't admitted to the hospital this year. No serious attacks or anything like that. God is good!

Sharon said...

I am so inspired by your story! It speaks so truthfully to me about the loving faithfulness of God!

My biggest blessing this year was the addition of my precious daughter-in-law. She and my son just got married last month, and spending the holidays with her in our family has been WONDERFUL!


Wishing you, Joel, and your whole family a very Merry CHRISTmas!

Anita Johnson said...

This is the perfect picture! May God continue to heal and bless you in the year to come! Merry Christmas!

Gayle said...

What a testimony story, I loved it! It so amazing how you were sensitive and the spirit directed. Miraculous!

Renee said...

Good to hear from you, Pia...I was just speaking of you to our daughter (from the Philippines) sharing I had not seen any activity on your blog since the typhoon. So glad you are okay. And thanks for sharing how God has blessed you this year.

Renee said...

Thanks Anita...a man with a French accent offered to take our picture :).....Love seeing Freedom Tower. Praying for you friend.

Renee said...

Thanks Sharon for coming by. I have been behind on my blog reading lately....How fun to have a DIL to bless your life.

Kim said...

Amen! What an incredible testimony! Your story has changed my life deeply. Love you both!