Blessings in the Middle of Pain




It’s a New Year and full of so much promise. You can just feel the fresh heartbeat, can’t you?  Change is in the air.  In the process of all this change, it’s always wise to reflect on the past year and see where God has taken us.

This past year has been a chock full of ups, downs, and heartache but also so much joy for me! It’s been a chance to really come to know the Lord on a whole new level. I’ve been brought to my knees countless times this past year. When the enemy brings us to our knees, we can either collapse in despair or surrender in prayer.

I’m pretty sure I’ve spent more time in doctor’s offices, hospitals, surgery centers and rehab facilities in this one year than I have in the last 5 years combined.  That’s saying a lot considering the fact that we’re sure our younger son helped pay for part of the new wing at our local doctor’s office.
I’m not sure which is harder honestly, being the patient or being the spouse, mom or sister. 

This could have been a year to just crawl up in the fetal position and feel sorry for myself and my family.  I could have become calloused emotionally.  My attitude could have taken a turn for the worse and thus making everyone around me miserable too.  I’ll admit I most likely wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows to live with every moment either.  I stumbled from time to time.

But, and this is a very important BUT, I made the choice to run to Jesus every time I felt my attitude starting to turn sour.  Or when I felt doubt starting to creep in about the outcome of yet another medical procedure.  I’m also very blessed to have an amazing family that helps point me back to Him when I’m struggling.

This isn’t to say that we are supposed to just ignore our emotions and stuff them down so no one sees that side of us. People have questioned my family all year on how we can stay so positive in the middle of all of these challenges.  To be really honest, there have been many tears shed.  I have felt scared, confused, nervous and even angry.

So what do I do with those feelings?  I cry out to Jesus. I play worship music.  I invite Jesus in to change the atmosphere. I tell him I’m hurt, confused or feel like I’m sinking.  I can’t hide those feelings from Him anyway so I may as well take them straight to my Creator. He’s a big God, with big shoulders. None of my problems are too big for Him.

I have Godly people all around me and if I’m really struggling I will call them to vent.  Most of the time they let me get it out but then quickly redirect me back to God’s promises. I put my trust in Jesus.  He is the only source of true peace.  Everything else can come or go, but He never changes.  He is the rock I anchor to.
  
Father God, thank you for the blessing of this past year.  It didn’t always feel like a blessing in the middle of it but I know that you have plans for me to prosper and not to harm me.  I cling to that promise and know that you work out all things for my eventual good.  Help me to trust you completely.
In Jesus name, Amen.



Participate in Your Miracle

God says, “By my stripes you ARE healed,” so I take him at His word.  This is a done deal, right?  Pray for it, step back, and let God do His work.  I know I can’t do it, so it’s always best to just step back and let God handle it.
So, I was praying for healing from a non-stop head ache that had basically been crippling me for three days.  I claimed healing and was going to stand firm and know healing was accomplished.  I was thanking God for the healing when I heard in my spirit the following, participate in your miracle! 
Wait, what?  I thought I was participating by praying and standing in faith.  Don’t get me wrong, that is participation, and God calls us to “Ask for anything in MY name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.” John 14:13.
I was going to the throne boldly when the Lord put on my heart that there was something I could do to participate in my own healing.  I prayed and asked if it was lack of sleep, a spiritual attack, maybe getting sick, anything I could think of at the moment.  Then He spoke clearly to me that it was what I was eating.  Who would have thought? 
Well, I should have since I like to study nutrition. I had just gotten so wrapped up in my own stress from the past month that I didn’t slow down long enough to realize how bad my eating habits had become.  That in turn had wreaked havoc on my health.
So, I will continue to stand on faith that I’m healed.  I will also pray for strength to make smarter food choices, so that my health isn’t negatively affected. 
I’m SO grateful that Jehovah Rapha is the God who heals and also lets me join in on this healing!