Our Unexpected Journey

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Floyd has been having some difficult days.  The chest congestion flared up again big time.  He’s been really miserable.  He bravely tries to smile when the carers come, and he tries to be attentive - but he has not been feeling well.  We pray for strength, grace, and healing for him.

As we come upon the 3rd year of Floyd being sick - I realized that I'm weary in some ways on this long unexpected journey.  When I approached the recent surgery, I wondered how I'd do.  I wondered if I'd have adequate strength to bounce back.  I wondered, even, if my body would survive yet another surgery, my 6th.  I wondered if it would take ages to get back to feeling normal.

I was filled with questions.  I faithfully took each one to the Lord.  I "cast the burden" of my questions upon the Lord.  I gave them to Him, and received by faith all that I would need.

About 10 days after the surgery I was feeling quite good.  Everyone, including the doctors, told me that I looked good.  That's always nice to hear after having gone through a complicated, intense 3 hour surgery. :)

I’m so grateful to Jesus!  I feel He sustained me, helped me, carried me - and has been with me each step of the way. 

"Even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs I will carry you.  I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save."  Isaiah 46:4

"God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:19

"Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved."  Psalm 55:22

"The Lord stood by me and strengthened me."  2 Timothy 4:17

"The Lord is near to all who call on Him."  Psalm 145:18

"They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."  Isaiah 40:31

"In all their distress He too was distressed, and the angel of His presence saved them.  In His love and mercy He redeemed them, He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old."  Isaiah 63:9

"You saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries His son."  Deuteronomy 1:31

"He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart."  Isaiah 40:11

God is so good!  He has truly "carried" me.  He has helped me in Floyd's absence.  He has watched out for me in every detail.  I am so grateful.

Unfortunately after those days of feeling good - I got hit with a bad tummy bug that is going around.  I have been so, so sick!  In the moments of feeling awful and so very weak I have been hanging on to the Lord.

In the midst of hard times, we tend to think that making it through the hard times is complicated.  It's not true!  One of the things that I've learned is that it is simple.  It boils down to several clear, basic things:

- trusting God unreservedly

- standing on the unfailing promises of His word

- choosing to be steadfast in Him, persevering

- continually worshipping Him for who He is - especially in the darkest times

I carefully chose the word "simple," because it is.  It's not some difficult format or puzzle.   But I didn't say "easy."  Making it through hard times can be, well hard.  But when we make the choices above......it gives us a clear roadmap, and then God can give us sufficient grace to navigate the hard times.

I absolutely, positively can't make it through those simple things on my own.  I'm weak.  I'm needy.  I get tired.  I get sick, like this week.  I fail at some things.  But, with His grace and strength, I CAN make it!!  He makes up for my weaknesses and failures.  He holds my hand, and leads the way.  He never lets us down......no matter how many times the enemy tries to whisper that lie to us.  There is nothing we face that is impossible - if we keep our eyes on Him and cling to Him.

"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 for the help of His presence."  Psalm 42:5

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."  Isaiah 43:2

"Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified.....for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."  Deuteronomy 31:6

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."  Proverbs 3:5,6

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."  Psalm 34:17,18

"Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed."  1 Peter 4:12,13

As long as we live on this earth, we'll face hard things.  It's part of life.  But the wonderful thing is that we don't have to face them alone.  He is continually with us!  And no matter what we face, He has good plans for us - plans to give us a hope and a future.

Since it was Valentine’s Day yesterday, I wanted to express my gratitude to the Lord for the wonderful life that Floyd and I have had, and express my love and affection for my best friend and sweetheart. 

We've had good times together - we've had hard times together, but the most important thing is that we've been together!  We've had times when we didn't know where our next meal was coming from, and we've had times when we've eaten in nice restaurants.  We've had times when we had to sleep in our car, and we've had times when we've slept in comfort and luxury.  We've had times when we couldn't even afford a tube of toothpaste (baking soda works!), and we've had times when we could easily afford our toiletries.  Our life together has had lots of ups and downs, but it's been a wonderful, wonderful life.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Even in the current season, God is still with us.  He's been good to us.  We've had a great life together.  I thank Him - and treasure the journey I've had with Floyd.  

And still, in the difficulty of our current season, I'm so overwhelmed by God's goodness.

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife."  Genesis 2:24

"Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."  Mark 10:9

"Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away."  Song of Solomon 8:7

"There are three things that amaze me - no, four things that I don't understand:  how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman."  Proverbs 30:18,19

"Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.  Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my God."  Ruth 1:16

The verse from Ruth was part of my wedding vows to Floyd.  I sometimes joked and told Floyd that I never dreamed what I was committing myself to!  I never dreamed all the places I'd go in following by his side. : )