Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Update: It was a long winter!

Many of you read our testimony to God's faithfulness over the past 5 years through the loss of our business, homes and my husband's present physical disability. At the beginning of this year we settled into a little bungalow in my aunt's barn which is nestled amongst her 10 acres of almonds. The winter months were difficult for my husband physically while his body adjusted to many new medications. Several of the medications that were prescribed to relieve pain had horrible side effects which brought their own host of serious problems. The colder temperatures also brought more pain. We spent many of our days at doctor appointments and tests with a few trips to the E.R. I'll be honest and share my very heart with you ... some of those days felt very 'dark' and I struggled at times emotionally as I watched my husband suffer knowing I could do nothing to relieve his pain. Yet, through the myriad of trials we're experiencing a richer walk with the Lord as He teaches us more about Himself. Some of these lessons involve dying to dreams that have long been a part of us. These lessons, although painful, are proving in the long run to bring a deeper joy than we've ever known in our Christian walk.

I am finding a greater need to daily rest in the knowledge of God's sovereignty. I'm slowly learning the lessons of what Amy Carmichael once shared in her poem, "In Acceptance Lieth Peace". I am convinced that Scripture teaches a loving God has 'assigned my portion' for each day (Psalms 16:5). Some of that portion may involve suffering, some may involve sorrow. He is the 'blessed controller' of all things (1 Timothy 6:15). What that means to me personally is that even my husband's pain is not out of His control.

Elisabeth Elliot once wrote, "I know of no greater simplifier for all of life. Whatever happens is assigned. Does the intellect balk at that? Can we say that there are things that happen to us that do not belong to our lovingly assigned "portion." ("This belongs to it, that does not")? Are some things, then, out of the control of the Almighty? Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good. As I accept the given portion other options are canceled. Decisions become much easier, directions clearer, and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter. A quiet heart is content with what God gives."

I cannot live in the past of what my husband and I had hoped our future would look like. I cannot live in the fantasy of what we 'thought' our future should be. I especially will not mourn the loss of 'things' that with time would only rust and be left behind on this earth. I choose to rest in the security of knowing an all loving and all-powerful God has not left His throne but is masterfully in control of each intricate detail of our lives. We seeing His plan unfolding each day and are witnessing His skillful craftsmanship as He weaves all of our circumstances into a pattern for good.. even the painfully, hard ones! I pray His lessons will continue to change us and be used to conform us into the image of His Son Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:28,29)

You know.. the amusing thing is that the ideals we had for our future were no way as glorious as what we are experiencing today.... even in the midst of the painful times. Our 'imagined' goals focused on the temporary things of this world and how we would live financially in our old age. We labored to that end. A very small portion of our imaginations for the future had to do with God's kingdom. These days my husband and I talk much about the Lord's kingdom and how we hope to serve more. God is teaching us to 'seek first His kingdom' and we're finding a huge portion of joy as our focus becomes set more on the eternal things rather than the temporal.

(I have a small window (possibly) of opportunity to share lessons we are learning while my husband's physical state is temporarily stabilized and my help is less needed. I hope to share more in a later post... Lord willing.)