Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Don't you just love weddings? After months of anticipating the first wedding of a grandchild in our family, we were not disappointed to witness two Christians uniting in love and dedicating that love to God.
The picture above is so special because it is my brother conducting the service for his son, Joshua. I love the glimpse of their love and joy in the background as Bill shares with the family and friends news of the Author of true Love, Jesus.
It was just an amazing night, and as my brother said, it was truly "a glimpse of heaven."
-Because as the beautiful bride walked down the aisle, Joshua smiled and cried at the same time overcome by such love and devotion to her. I knew at that moment, that is how Jesus sees me, you, each of us. So much love evident as He sees us as His special bride, new and fresh, free from sin, disease, age, flaws.
-Because that night we had family together for the first time in such a very long time. I revelled in hearing stories, soaking up laughter, and just being in each other's presence. I knew this is what heaven is like where we will NEVER have to leave each other; where we will laugh and enjoy Jesus as well as family and friends. Conflicts and quarrels will be absent as our egos are transformed in Christ. Love will abound as it did during this special time.
-Because it is a beginning. Josh and his bride, Kelsey, reminded all of us of the excitement and joy of a new life, a new beginning. Heaven provides for us a new life with Jesus.
On the other hand, I know it was hard on some folks as they celebrated the wedding because they knew it was the ending of childhoods, of dependence on parents, of the past times of having their son or daughter home daily. It was a departure from those familiar times together and now would be part of family stories and history passed on at reunions or to future children.
I sat in the audience aching for my parents to be there, knowing what joy they would have seeing their son conduct the wedding for his own son, seeing their beautiful new granddaughter-in-law, seeing the joy of that night. --Yet I knew the joy they are experiencing in heaven far surpassed our own. I could not be selfish in wishing them back even for my own glimpse of heaven.
Driving back, I realized it was also a little bit of another ending for me. I have written this blog for a year now and have enjoyed sharing what God has put on my heart for His glory. --Yet now I feel it is time for a break from the weekly/daily devotional to see what God has in store....what is His desire for this next in between part of my life?
Thank you for following, responding,praying, Dear Readers. Keep in touch on facebook if you can. I may return....but I wait for God's direction.
May God fill you with His peace and love now and forever more.
For His Glory,
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
What a difference one hour can make!
Walking into the neurologist's office I felt my life could change dramatically depending upon what this doctor interpreted from my MRI during my one-hour appointment.
Onset of blindness?
The possibilities were not good. I had read the report. My primary doctor said the report looked like MS and I needed to see a neurologist. He just wasn't sure, but it could be....
Left with that possibility and the loss of vision as well as excrutiating head pain, my heart was crushed.
My mind ran to worse-case scenarios. You see, my mother was diagnosed with Parkinson's close to my age. Her active lifestyle (and I mean active, she ran circles around her children) changed in that one diagnosis.
I was with her at the hospital in St. Louis when the neurologist told her the heart-breaking news as to why her little finger fluttered uncontrollably like a butterfly. I was with her when she went to get her first prescription of dopamine which would not help control the soon-to-be violent tremors.
I was hurt and angry at God as she eventually gave up playing the piano for the church, taking daily walks in the park to enjoy nature, feeding herself, going to the bathroom alone, and talking. It took me a long time to realize God did not give her the disease and loved her through it all.
-Yet, I knew that if this could happen to my mother, then why not to me? I am no better.
As I sat in the waiting room surrounded by twenty or more patients with MS at varying stages, I felt I was watching my own future. While I prayed that it not be so, I also knew God had healed people in the past and He also had chosen NOT to heal people this side of heaven, like my mother.
All that was left for me to do was to trust He walked with me as He did my mother. He held my hand. He heard my cries at night, my fears in the day, and knew of my pain and worries for my daughter and her future.
The Word became my solace, my source of strength. I recited Psalms over and over. I wrote in my Bible where ever a verse spoke to me about my fears and the MRI results.
God was with me. He IS with me.
God let me get my news today instead of more waiting and more testing. He let me find out that I do NOT have MS!
I have chronic-daily-late-stage-onset of migraine headaches. Loss of vision is a side effect of these terrible daily pains. The doctor believes it is treatable. I am on new medicine today.
I have to tell you, Dear Reader, God really taught me the past week about trusting Him, about priorities, about His Word. I never understood the part in Phillipians 6 about "...with thanksgiving make your request known to God...." I understood going to God with requests, but with thanksgiving?
I get it now. I am thankful God let this fear come to my door. I am thankful because it brought me closer to Him.
My mother said that same thing about Parkinsons. She said without the disease, she would never have gotten as close to God as she did.
I get it.
I don't like it, but I get it.
I serve a mighty God. A loving God. A patient God.I have to stop having anxiety about life and trust Him!
I am a different person having had this scare and faced that waiting room and having had the MRI and suffering this pain than I was last year.
Thank you, Jesus, for loving me so much and being so patient with me through this life.
His mercy endureth forever.
Monday, October 10, 2011
It has been awhile since my last post. Ironically, it has been one year since I started this post. I was planning on stopping after one year, and still may do so. For now, I wish to share what is on my heart this morning, Dear Reader. May it bless you.
God has been working on me as I have struggled with shakey MRI news and severe pain.
I continue to ask for prayers as I face the neurologist October 12th at 10:00. I am praying for a good report and already feel God's merciful healing and relief from headache pain.
Ironically, I have been reading about David and the Psalms during this trial. It comforts me that David cried out to God, had his doubts, panicked as well, yet is still counted in Hebrews 11 as among the cloud of faithful witesses of God's glory.
God understands my weaknesses and my fears and is so very patient with me. He has been so good as I have found Scripture after Scripture reminding me of His mercy and love. I also feel the presence of prayers going to Him on my behalf. I have never had that feeling before now. It is precious.
This past weekend I was able to travel to Branson, Missouri, to surprise my daughter for her Adoption/Gotcha Day anniversary. To celebrate her walking into our lives from China, we took her on a family road trip to see the Acrobats of China and the Kung Fu show.
Both shows demonstrated such amazing talents and skills of the human body! It was good for her 10-year old eyes to see others who looked like her and celebrate seeing objects and pictures of her culture.
Yet, I must confess I felt such sadness in the Kung Fu show. The entire show talked about a young monk's journey to Enlightenment. It was an arduous journey filled with self sacrifice and discipline of his mind and body.
Sitting there, I wanted to tell the audience and the actors about another way, a way that does not depend upon ourselves, our disciplining of weaknesses,but a way of love and life and mercy and hope: Jesus.
The young monk would always battle trying to overcome his mind, his frail body. It would never be enough, and in the end, would only find failure.
No matter how poetic.
No matter how noble.
No matter how strong.
No matter how brave.
Man can not be god.
Man can not create heaven.
Man can not redeem himself.
Jesus can. Jesus did.
I thank God today for His mercy.
I also thank Him for His healing power, for my daughter, for this time of trial, for hearing me.
So...What are you thanking God for today?