If I could describe our life over the last 8 months, that would be it-a jumble of emotions. For the last 2 weeks, I’ve had really good days! I have begun driving much more, had enough energy to do things around the house and enjoy our family time, and the daily issues I deal with have been manageable without narcotic pain medicine. I’ve been able to go to church, my dizziness has been drastically lessened, and we’re even daring to dream about a more hopeful future where I can take care of the kids more. I still have to rest up in order to do these things, and then rest afterwards, but if I manage my rest/activity time right, I’m able to do so much more than I have been able to do at any other time in the last 8 months! The kids are doing great in school and have been blessed to make friends while still keeping their homeschool friends. God is blessing our family business and Chad is truly enjoying his work. And for all that, we praise God! We feel happy, joyful, lighthearted, and hopeful!
But just a month ago, I had a urinary tract infection that stopped me in my tracks for 2 weeks. Unfortunately, this is an issue that a lot of people with spinal cord degeneration deal with. My neurologist said, “I told you this could happen…” And when it caused every nerve in my body to flare up and I was in intense pain, my primary doctor said, “I told you that any infection or virus you have will likely cause everything to flare and be more difficult to get over…” Honestly, no matter how gently they delivered those, “I told you so’s,” it hurt. And no matter how great a day I’m having, a phone call from one of my doctors and knowing we are still waiting for genetic testing to be approved by insurance can come crashing in as reminders that everything is not alright. And in those moments, we feel despair, desperation, fear, and anger.
Some days I feel like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with my emotions going from one extreme to another.
God is teaching me not to be afraid of my emotions. I am made in His glorious image and emotions are a gift from Him! The Bible is full of God’s emotions: amazingly tender love, compassion, forgiveness, and even anger and wrath. And the beauty is, God is always in control of His emotions and never sins. Every action and emotion is perfectly justified and executed. I think I’ve been afraid of handling some of my emotions wrong-acting sinfully in anger or getting stuck in despair-so often, I’ve stuffed them down deep and covered them with a thin veneer of thankfulness topped with a smile that has become impossible to keep from cracking.
I don’t always have to be okay, and neither do you. And I can guarantee you this-if we don’t deal with the emotions we are feeling in a healthy way, they will eventually come out in a harmful way.
So I did something yesterday that I don’t normally do. I wept. And I mean, ugly cry x10, sounding like somebody died, kind of weeping. Because I’ve been doing so much better, I’ve felt like I should have no negative emotions right now. I should just be thankful and positive. But I was feeling increasingly frustrated and angry. I couldn’t understand this! What was wrong with me?!?
Through a sermon I listened to on “The Trinity and Christian Prayer,” God reminded me that I don’t have to understand what I need when I come to Him in prayer. The Holy Spirit intercedes perfectly for me on my behalf. This was so freeing for me! So freeing, in fact, that I fell apart in a good way. I let go of my need to “Be OK” and just let myself BE. I read scripture out loud and didn’t rush through it. Psalm 91 and Psalm 103 proclaim so clearly what I would like God to do for me and also who He is so that I am reminded that I can trust him no matter how He sees fit to answer my prayers. And as I felt His loving acceptance wash over me in spite of my imperfections, I wept. My weeping eventually turned to praise, which turned to peace.
God is good, isn’t He?
I’m still learning how to let Him lead me through this maze of emotions and circumstances. I want to handle everything right all the time. But I’m thankful that on my worst days and my best days, I come to Him in Jesus’ name, not my own.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, Who forgives all your iniquity, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s…As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.”
We are so thankful for all of you who has stuck with us over the last 8 months and interceded faithfully for our family! So many of you ask what our prayer needs are, so I wanted to let you know how you can pray right now.
1-Pray for our kids. Although we are super careful about what we share with them, they have had their lives turned upside down this year and they have just as many crazy emotions as we do. Last week, one of our kids admitted that they are still angry that we can’t homeschool anymore, and from the outside looking in, they’ve adjusted perfectly. But this anger was so intense, it was coming out in hurtful ways toward their siblings. Pray that we will have wisdom as we seek to help them deal with everything and for them, that all this will push them in to the heart of God and not away from Him.
2-Pray for Chad. An incredible weight falls on him and he loves and serves so well in our home! But he has had his own share of physical suffering since November with neck pain and almost daily headaches from bulging and herniated discs. Please pray for healing and clarity about a plan of care for him so that he can have relief.
3-This prayer was sent to me by a dear friend last night, and I couldn’t phrase it better-Pray that I would be on the mind of the doctors, a supernatural intervention where they just can’t get my case off their mind until they do their due diligence in getting the testing approved. Pray the insurance company quickly approves the testing without a huge co-pay. And that as we wait, we would do so with patience and trust.
Thank you, my dear friends! I praise God for each of you and am so grateful to Him for blessing me with you all on this journey!
“The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children…” Psalm 103:17