Friday, May 19, 2017

Trials That Leave Permanent Change!

I recently had what appeared to be a small accident. I  was riding my bike around my little community when I over corrected and slowly fell to the ground. At first it seemed that other than a few scratches and bruises, I was unharmed. However within the next two hours I began to experience terrible pain in my lower back. By evening the pain had become excruciating. Long story short, after spending 4 days trying to find relief here in Mexico through doctors, drugs and a chiropractor, we realized that my condition was worsening and that we needed to get me to a place of certain help.

My husband asked me to call our Chiropractor in the States and when I described my symptoms he said I needed to come as soon as possible as I could experience permanent nerve damage and even lose use of my legs. By this point, I was loosing feeling in my legs and feet. I could not sit, stand or laydown for more than a few minutes at a time and the pain was so bad I felt like I would go crazy. Praise our God, we had enough airline miles for a free ticket, so off I went to find relief and healing.

Although the trip was long and hard, I made it and began 10 days of treatment. The first week I struggled with deep discouragement as my body began throwing off the effects of the pain, shock and bad medicines I had resorted to. Along with the back and nerve pain I was also having other issues. However, relief came and by day 10 I was ready to return home too complete my healing and gain back my strength. At my final appointment my doctor made clear to me that this injury had now caused a permanent weakening to my back and that moving forward I would need to take greater care with my activities. This meant that certain things I love to do could no longer be part of my lifestyle!

The evening before I was leaving, I was thinking about this trial and the news I had received. Of course, there is always that question of why...why now, why this, why me? But I have learned to hand that back and trust that God is doing things I cannot even begin to perceive and that one day I will know as I am known. Then I found myself crying and discouraged and angry at myself for such a stupid mistake like falling off my bike.

As I moved through these emotions, I started thinking how trials are to refine us, to change us, to reveal things. In that vain, it occurred to me that there are different types of trials with different outcomes. There are trials that are self generated through sin and willful disobedience. Hopefully we learn our lesson and the other side brings heart change. There are trials allowed by our loving Father to mature us and shave away the flesh, exchanging it with the heart of God. Prayerfully, the other side brings maturity and a greater trust in God's faithfulness. Then there are the trials that bring permanent life change, like the death of a loved one or cancer or even the inability to do things we did before. The difference from other trials is that not only are you dealing with the pain of the trial itself, but you are also traveling through the grieving process of a major loss. I now understood that I was grieving a loss and working through embracing a permanent change in my life. This realization made everything easier to understand and accept. I still don't know why now and why this, but I trust that this life change will ultimately be used to glorify my Father in Heaven as I continue on.

So when trials come your way, and they will, take a moment to consider what type of trial and then look to the other side and trust that God is working it all together for our good and His glory. This life is but for a moment, it is a breath, a puff of steam. Eternity is...well forever and ever and God is shaping me for that life not this one!

             TRIAL:  A test of the qualities, suitability or performance of someone.

James 1: 2&3 - Count it all joy when you fall into various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

And So It Begins....Obedience!

In what area is your disobedience?  Is it that relative who you can't forgive? Is it that neighbor you need to stop and help? Is it that project you know you should complete? Is it that person at work that you avoid? For me it is writing...writing about the events in my life, the fun things and the faith things. A large part of my disobedience stems from thoughts that move all over the board. Thoughts like "Why would anyone want to read what I write" to "People will judge and criticize me". However, none of these things matter. My obedience is not for you or for me, it is for God. For a long time, years, I have been trying to figure this calling out. How do I write? Books? Articles? What do I write? Fiction? Non-fiction? I realize though that most of my crazy thinking is just excuses. A way to delay that which I just don't want to do.

Now don't get me wrong! I love to write. In many ways it is as natural as breathing for me. So why the struggle? I think, like any area of disobedience, to obey means to open myself up to others. To obey means to abandon myself to trusting in God's faithfulness. There is an underlying fear, if we are honest. What will it mean to forgive, to love the unlovable, to talk to that person, even to complete a project that would gain the attention of others. So today it begins. Welcome to my blog: Fun & Faith. Here I will just write and post. Stories, some from long ago as I try and catch up with years of disobedience. Many that will happen currently. Some funny, some serious, but all stemming from a heart to glorify and please God.

My prayer is that what I write might cause just one person to be encouraged, to be bold. To try something they never thought they would or could. My hope is that what I write might cause someone to laugh again. Most importantly my desire is to share and witness to the absolute faithfulness of God. So time to jump knowing He will catch me. I pray that today might be your day too. Jump! Go for it! Say yes and see what happens next!

OBEY - to comply with a law, direction or a request; to submit to the authority of; to carry out or behave in accordance with.

1 Samuel 15:22 NLT - What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.