Thursday, January 10, 2013

Great is Thy Faithfulness

I created this print above thins past week.

I discovered that when I am struggling spiritually and emotionally, creating something that I think is pretty, that reminds me of God's promises, uplifts my soul.

If you are regular readers of my blog, you are no stranger to the fact that we have our share of medical struggles.  

A simple recap for those of you who aren't:



I became very ill around the time my son was at his worst, and I get a little worse with each passing year.

My son, daughter, and I were all diagnosed with the same disease--one they never thought was genetic--one that took ME 20 years to get diagnosed--and I only discovered our diagnosis after receiving Gavin's.

My son and I are still chronically, daily, dealing with the effects of a dreadful disease that affect us in a severely atypical way.

I am adopted {a wonderful thing!}, and I am an only child.  I am very close to my mom and dad, but while my dad and I went through decades of turbulent years in our relationship, my mom and I have always been oh so close.

This past summer, my dad had a severe stroke.  While he still suffers with being able to use his entire left side, our relationship became what I always wished it would be through it.

It was a blessing in disguise. 

And as I recap all of this, many more blessings in the midst of these heart-wrenching struggles storm my mind.  


{all photos were taken by Carla G. Design & Photography....me!}

Through my husband's head injury, 
we both surrendered our life to The Lord.  
Having already believed, but never having lived for Him, it was a major milestone in the growth of our faith.




Amongst all the ways we were blessed in Chelsea and Gavin's illnesses, the ones that stand out most are the way our real friends and church family supported us through it all.  Praying, bringing meals, bringing gifts, visiting us in the hospital, having the elders of our church lay hand on our son. 

Tim and I as husband and wife were overwhelmed with gratitude for the love our brothers and sisters in Christ showered us, and continue to shower us, with during those many difficult years.




Through my disease process, I have been tremendously humbled in ways that I can't describe with words.  I have been forced to submit for God's will for my life instead of my own--both as caregiver and patient.  I battle daily with wanting to be done with illness, with wanting to be healthy "like everyone else"... 

Only to have The Lord say 
"No, my grace is sufficient for you for in your weakness, My power is made strongest.
{2 Corinthians 12:9}

He changed my life, my plans, and my desires into His, and many days I am one with what those are, even with as little as I understand about it.




But then there are days where I panic, I wallows self-pity, I get borderline depressed, and I cry a lot in the shower so my kids won't notice.

There are days where I plead with Him for what I deem a seemingly normal life.  Where I don't want to accept what He has given us and/or allowed us to have.  There are days where I am just plain mad. 

Days that I feel like enough is enough.

I have been having those days lately.

This past fall semester was one of the most challenging times of my life.  My parents were forced to sell the house I grew up in following my dad's stroke, and I moved them down here with us...IN with us temporarily until we could find them a place to live.

While it was one of the hardest times, it was also one rich with blessings as my parents and the 4 of us grew closer and bonded in more ways than I ever could have imagined.

We eventually found them a place that is perfect for them, and only 5 minutes from us {another blessing in the midst of suffering}, and things settled down with them.

Things started to feel normal for us....it may be a "new times a hundred" normal...but it is one that we love.

Gavin had his routine hospitlization in the fall, and since he still has to go back, and so I was thankful that since my parents were finally settled into their new normal, that we could handle it with their help and of course with the Lord's.

I have been dreading taking him back to the hospital.

That felt big enough for me, but now life has added something more....
something bigger...
something even harder and scarier, yet again.

My mom was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor last week, and we don't know if it's benign or malignant.   

Within the next week and a half, she needs a bunch of tests before she has major back surgery to remove the tumor, following a 6 week recovery process where she can't reach or bend, sit for more than 20 minutes...basically do things for herself, and because of my dad's stroke, he can't help.

We have to move my dad into an assisted living place while my mom recovers either here at my house, or alone at her own, with our help.

At the same time, my son is supposed to go back to the hospital for surgery that will be major to him.

And while I am taking each family member, including myself, to our various appointments, I am doing it with bronchitis, and a severe sinus infection, with a disease flaring, and with more bone-aching fatigue than I have felt in a long time.

I have a cyst in my brain, and my uncontrollable headaches have returned.  My muscles jerk uncontrollably sometimes, and my heart shows it might have issues.  So I need my own testing--I have needed it for awhile--but who has time?

I am supposed to be homeschooling my children daily, not going back and forth from hospital to home.

I need another brain MRI, another EEG, another echocardiogram, a cardiac stress test, my son needs a 3 day body scan for tumors still, he needs his tonsils removed--something really dangerous for HIM because of his medical conditions....and now, my precious, sweet, best friend of a mom has a spinal cord tumor while my dad is partially paralyzed on his left side.

I am weak.

Not just physically from being ill, but spiritually and emotionally weak.  I read my Bible, my favorite verses, and they just feel like hollow words.

Oh Lord, forgive me.

It pains me to say it out-loud, but I know that in keeping quiet, I am keeping nothing from Him that He doesn't already know.

I feel a little like the father with a sick child who said to Jesus,
"I believe, help me overcome my unbelief!" 
Mark 9:24

In habit, I want to scream, "Reeeeealllyyyy?!".

And I do.

But the answer, sadly to me at times, is "Yes, really, my child."



For whatever reason, the Lord has allowed all of these things into my life.  But my faith tells me it's with a good purpose, with intent for a greater good.

My faith tells me that more blessings in disguise will come from this new suffering.  I am excited to know what they are, but in my human nature, I want to experience them...without the suffering.

Ever feel that way?  

Jeremiah 29:11 says
"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you, not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future".

I believe that.  I have faith in that.

Even when I don't feel like He is there, my faith tells me He is.



Even when I feel alone, my faith tells me He is carrying me.

My faith tells me He is carrying US....
because
Great is Thy Faithfulness.



Always.

Forever.

Whether I feel it or not.

So, I will cling to my faith and I won't let go.

And I will pray that His HOPE, JOY, and PEACE will once again return to my tired, aching soul.  

4 comments:

  1. just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just want you to know, I am praying for you and your precious family. May God hold you all in the palm of His hand. (Orange Park, FL)

    ReplyDelete

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