Our Unexpected Journey

Floyd has been doing well.  He's been responsive - he even seemed to respond to a joke one of the carers told.  The therapists and nurses have been busy with lots of care, so he tends to rest and sleep in between.  Then he'll wake up and be attentive to the carers.  I'm very grateful that his days have been peaceful.

We're coming up to the 15 month mark on this unexpected journey we've been on.  One of my personal "goals" during this time has been to not waver in my trust in God - knowing that He is always good, always faithful, and that His grace is sufficient for anything He allows into our lives.  It's not been hard to keep that trust alive at all!  In fact, the more I stated my trust in Him, the easier it seemed to be to trust Him - kind of like a big circle.

One of the things that has been a blessing......and something that I didn't quite anticipate......is the "fruit" of trusting in Him.  As I've firmly put my trust in Him, I have been surrounded by joy and a deep sense of praise and worship.  At times the joy has been so abundant that it almost didn't seem in keeping with the heaviness of what I was walking through - and yet it was there!  Joy unspeakable!!  I've felt carried at times on a wave of joy.  It flows out in songs of spontaneous praise from my heart.

In the natural it doesn't make sense at all to be feeling joy during such an incredibly difficult time.  I've received it as a sweet gift from the Father as I tuck myself in close to Him and continually tell Him how much I trust Him.

There are so many "ways of the Kingdom" that are different from how normal life is.  This has been a special one for me.  A few weeks ago I read something in a devotional that brought this to my attention again.  I've been pondering it, and wanted to share it with you.  I'm so grateful for the undergirding of joy that He has given me.  It's a sweet foundation stone on the highway of this journey.

Thank you Lord!  Your ways are such a blessing to us.  When we trust you wholeheartedly, it releases so much sweet "fruit" into our lives - even in the midst of very, very hard times.

"Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge."  Psalm 62:8

"Commit everything you do to the Lord.  Trust Him, and He will help you."  Psalm 37:5

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."  James 1:2,3

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him."  Romans 15:13

"Have mercy on me, God, have mercy, for in you I have placed my trust. Even in the shadow of your wings will I find my refuge until this calamity passes."  Psalm 57:1

I trust in Him - He releases His joy into my life - and in His wonderful refuge I can be safe until "this calamity passes."

How faithful, sure, and true He is!

Whenever I'm going through a hard time, I pour out my heart in prayer to the Lord.  Those prayers become hopes that I'm lifting up to the Lord.  The hopes are almost like balloons floating in the sky - drifting up to God, waiting for Him to answer.  

When bad news comes, it's like someone sticking a pin in one of those balloons and bursting it.  At least - it feels like that.

If I've learned anything on this journey, it's that it is so very important to take that burst balloon immediately to the Lord.  He's not shaken by bad news.  He doesn't see the burst balloon as "the end."  In fact, often it's part of the process of what He's doing.  He's the restorer of the burst balloon.

When I'm going through a hard time, my emotions are more vulnerable.  At times they feel raw and tender from the intensity of this journey.  Again, I've learned that I must take those vulnerable emotions to Him, especially when they involve a burst balloon of hope, and ask for His sweet covering over them.

I truly didn't expect the bad news about my tumor growing that I got last week.  I had been praying for the tumor to shrink.  I was surprised that it was the exact opposite.  It felt like my balloon - my "hope" balloon - had been burst.

As soon as I could get alone with the Lord, I talked to Him about all this.  He lifted the weight of that burst balloon, and restored peace.  How grateful I am for that.

Sarah Young in one of her devotionals says "hope is a way of seeing - a type of vision that defeats discouragement."  I've been choosing to walk in that "way of seeing."

I find my hope in Him, and I know He's taking care of me and of Floyd.  I wait with hope to see what He intends to do.

"Why are you in despair, O my soul?  And why have you become disturbed within me?  Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him."  Psalm 42:5

I love how again and again in the Psalms, David says "I shall again praise Him."  He's honest.  He's struggling.  But He knows where he's headed in the midst of his hard time.  He's confident that he's going to praise God again - he just needs to work through his discouragement.  But he declares in faith how he's going to end up as he works things through.  His example is a good one to follow when we face hard times.

"I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope."  Psalm 130:5

"But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me."  Micah 7:7

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  Isaiah 40:31

"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord."  Psalm 31:24

"The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love."  Psalm 147:11

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

I love how the Word speaks so very clearly into the things we are walking through in our lives.  I take courage from the Word!