I had a sweet, tender visit with Floyd this week. I told him about sharing at our GLS and "passing the baton/commissioning" our new international leader, Mary Ho. I showed him photos, and played a short video clip of me speaking. He gently cried. I'm sure it was hard for him to not be part of all that.
I read him several messages from people which touched his heart too. And then he was tired and wanted to rest.
As our long unexpected journey continues, I find I'm facing 2 things on a daily basis. As my strength is slowly building and returning, it seems that lots is happening. "Life" has ramped up! Things in our home need repairing/replacing. Medical appointments are ongoing. Details of Floyd's care need attention and sorting out. It just seems suddenly very busy. I am so, so aware that I can't make it in my own strength and ability. I need God's help and strength.
The second thing is that I feel like the enemy tries to bombard my mind on a daily basis with anxiety about my future. I resist him, direct my thoughts in trust towards God - but something will trigger anxiety again, and I have to start all over. I particularly feel vulnerable in regard to Floyd's care if something happens to me.
I've always thought that each of us has an inner "stress quotient" - the ability built in us in how God has made us to withstand pressure and stress. I've had times when I've asked the Lord to increase that ability within me, and He has! I feel I'm in a season right now where that ability has been depleted by all that we've walked through - particularly as I've battled cancer this year. I'm rebuilding from the bottom to get my stress quotient up and running. I don't seem to have enough quite yet to face the stresses coming my way.
I know I can't make it through all these things on my own. In fact, if I try to do that I think it disappoints the Lord - maybe even grieves Him if I try to do that. He's created us to need Him, to work with Him. And I know very clearly that I need Him!!
I find myself talking to the Lord continually through the day - over big things and the smallest of things. I'm aware that I need Him for every detail. He comes with His grace, His strength, and His wisdom to carry me through the day.
I'm equally aware that His unfailing love completely surrounds me. He upholds me. He fights the enemy for me. He carries me. His right hand loves, protects, guides, and sustains me. Sometimes I feel like He's holding me in His arms, and carrying me close to His loving heart.
The season seems to be changing in various ways, but I know God is faithful in every season! I'm sure He has new lessons for me to learn in this season as He carries me through it. I don't think we ever get to a place where we've learned a lesson completely, and it's over. I think God circles back around, and takes lessons deeper and deeper into our heart. I have a feeling that's what's happening to me right now. I've faced these lessons before, but God is applying them in a new and deeper way in my walk with Him. How faithful He is!
"He will not allow your foot to slip. He who keeps you will not slumber." Psalm 121:3
"He tends His flock like a shepherd. He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart." Isaiah 40:11
"The very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." Luke 12:7
"You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great." Psalm 18:35
"In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one." Ephesians 6:16
God has been faithful to meet me each day. But I shared in my update to our praying friends what I'm walking through because I feel the need for their prayers. Their prayers have helped carry me on this journey, and I still need them.
Prayer is such a wonderfully awesome thing! After I shared I had so many sweet messages of encouragement that people are still praying for us. I felt the impact of those prayers. I have felt the love, care, and support. I’m so grateful. It's so special.
A few days ago I received an email from a friend in Asia. He told me that he, his wife, and his children pray every night at bedtime for Floyd and me. He said if he forgets, his children remind him. My heart was warmed in thinking of being carried by their faithful prayers all these months.
I've felt the Lord reminding me in recent days that not one single one of these prayers are wasted. He hears every one. He is working in ways that we may not see or understand, but God is mindful of every prayer being lifted to the throne. Someday He'll let us see what has been accomplished through all the prayers on this unexpected journey. I have a feeling that so much has been accomplished that it may take a few years in eternity for us to see it all, but we'll have plenty of time!
"Pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16
The Lord "hears the prayer of the righteous." Proverbs 15:29
A few days ago Floyd had a visit from 3 wonderful men. Two of them were visiting here for the All Nations gathering. They had a special time of prayer with Floyd. While they were praying, they felt to do a "foot washing" - and did so with sanitizer! Floyd smiled the whole time. I thought that could be the first time that's ever happened anywhere. Maybe Floyd is still part of "pioneering." :)
The prayer time must have been impactful for Floyd because he slept soundly when the next carer arrived shortly afterwards. He never woke up the whole time. He sometimes sleeps when we're there, but usually wakes up after a few minutes.
Being from the US I thought about the Thanksgiving celebrations yesterday. We don't celebrate it here, but my heart is so full of love and gratitude for each one whos love, encouragement, support, prayers, and "joining hands" with us on this journey has carried me. I am eternally grateful!
"I thank my God every time I remember you." Philippians 1:3
"I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers." Philemon 1:4
My heart is filled with "thanksgiving" for our friends and family aroung the world!