Friday, April 13, 2012

A Hard Place

Last night at my son's school program, I ran into a sweet lady that I have always admired...Mrs. B. She is an older mom, adopting 2 children through domestic adoption, she is a foster mom, and highly involved in our kids school. She gives hugs to everyone she meets and seems to always have a word of encouragement to offer. We were just able to speak briefly last night, but in that short time, I found out that she is struggling with her son acting out (issues related to his life before adoption) and she also has found out that she has a disorder (I forget the name) where the skull did not fully close and the brain begins to drop down into the opening. This creates the very real possibility as the condition worsens for a fatal bloodclot or stroke. Her only option is surgery, which is always scary. In our conversation, she commented, "I know God doesn't give us more than we can bear." With a half smile, it seemed like she might not feel exactly sure about that.

As I lay in bed last night, thinking about my struggle with Alopecia, my sister's debilitating struggle with excema on her hands, another sister's desire to marry and start a family, my mother-in-law's years of chronic migraines, my sister-in-law's mother being treated for her 4th bout with cancer, I wept. Why has God allowed these things in our lives, with no apparent reason, and no ready answer after years of praying?

It is no coincidence that this morning, in my reading, I came across the following in a book called "Kisses from Katie." It is an exerpt from her journal.

"Remember, God will never give you more than you can handle." People repeat this frequently; I heard it when I was growing up and I hear it now. It is meant to be a source of encouragement, and it would be if I believed it were true. But I don't. I believe that God totally, absolutely, intentionally gives us more than we can handle. Because this is when we surrender to Him and He takes over, proving Himself by doing the impossible in our lives. I have learned to accept it, even ask for it, this "more than I can handle." Because in these times, God shows Himself victorious. He reminds me that all of this life requires more of Him and less of me. God does give us more than we can handle. Not maliciously, but intentionally, in love, that His glory may be displayed, that we may have no doubt of who is in control, that people may see His grace and faithfulness shining through our lives. And as I surrender these situations to Him, watch Him take over and do the impossible, I am filled with joy and peace--so much more than I can handle.

Today, I am trying to relinquish and yearning for joy and peace, for myself and for those I love who are also struggling with the unclear, "why?"

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Secret Church

Last night I was able to participate in my 2nd "Secret Church!" Ok, it's not so secret anymore, since 50,000 people around the world were participating alongside David Platt, and The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL, through simalcasts! However, somehow, there is still something intimate about knowing you are studying the same scriptures with brothers and sisters around the globe at the same time. It seems hard to believe, unless you have experienced it, but six hours of Bible Study mixed with times of prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ around the world is energizing, not exhausting. I can't imagine spending Good Friday any other way. And the topic last night...suffering and the Cross.

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience,
but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
C.S. Lewis

It is not possible for me to share here what I learned about suffering last night in our study from Genesis to Revelation. But this I know...God is sovereign; All suffering should lead us to the Cross where He suffered in our place; Our sufferings will be redeemed for His glory! Praise be to God!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Great News!

Surgery is done. Lump is removed. Biopsy is complete. Results are negative for cancer! Continued gratefulness to the Lord for this answer to prayer and a huge relief off my shoulders wondering if I was going to have to repeat the last two years of treatment.

So, I am done with surgeries and treatment. I can handle going back for bloodwork every 6 months. There is something comforting in knowing that someone is helping to keep a lookout on my body. I will continue to walk in the Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society and I will continue to count up the years that I am "cancer free!"

I am still processing life-lessons learned, and the steps my faith-journey has taken. Who knows? In the future you may see a "life symbol" that will become a permanent reminder to me and to others of what the Lord has done in my life through this experience!