I find myself in the spot I've spent lots of time in this year, my bed. I'm here because I'm sick again. I started feeling bad on Tuesday, went to the doctor on Friday, made it through a crazy busy student ministry "Road Rulz" weekend, and now I'm totally unable to speak. I actally cannot say anything above a whisper. My doctor doesn't really know what's going on with me...I've been getting sick about every 6-8 weeks since April. Alot of my sympotms are the same and so he referred me to an Allergist, whom I'll see on Thursday, to try and determine if this is some kind of chronic allergy or just a virus that I've picked up and can't get rid of. Either way, I have to tell you that I'm very weary of being sick. Of course I say that knowing that many, many people have it worse than I do and are dealing with much bigger illnesses, so I don't compare bouts with strep, ear infections, sinus infections, and the flu to any of that. However, it is not fun to be sick, no matter what it is and especially when it happens repeatedly. I stayed home from Church today and have been sleeping or resting all day but I have to tell you that I'm feeling pretty weary of all this tonight.
This fall has certainly been an interesting one. I have been very happy and very sad; very busy and very tired; very encouraged and very discouraged; very inspired and very confused. Despite that however, God has remained very near. I haven't always remained near to him over these last few months, but He has faithfully stayed near to me. At first the pain of pregnacy/miscarriage was so great that I knew I had to remain near to God. The time in His word flew by because it was so healing and my faith and dependence came so easily. I just couldn't face a day without strength that wasn't of me. But as time goes on, the pain lessens, life happens and reality sinks in. I got busy, I tried not to think about what had happened and I tried to move forward. Somewhere in that equation, I began relying less on the Lord and more on myself. So I've had to bring that train to a halt, turn it around and spend some more time with the Lord, asking him to break me of my independence and make me dependent on Him again. It's crossed my mind a time or two that maybe that's a reason for all this sickness. It's hard not to "look up" when you're laying down. But to tell you the truth, I'm not sure that I want to learn anymore lessons through affliction! I'd really just like a postcard or email from the Lord with bullet point tips on what I'm doing wrong and what I need to change...wouldn't that be easier? Maybe not...I'm sure my mailbox and inbox would be forever full.
Regardless, I find myself here now, in some ways walking down old roads and straddling new ones. We're back in the world of waiting for a baby...trying and waiting, trying and waiting...we know this road well by now. It's so hard not to get completely consumed by the calendar, counting the days, searching for symptoms...getting disappointed. All the while, Church and work march on, making the time so short and our weeks so busy. Family life continues, friendships need attention, and oh yeah, our marriage needs some time too. I have sensed and continue to sense that the Lord is calling me to something that He hasn't yet revealed and I do believe this might be a season of working my faith out so that I can walk in the way He leads. But I'm tired. And I'm sick. And tonight I just don't want to be what I feel I cannot be. But there is hope...as I lay in bed this morning, very tired of the crazy and I do mean crazy TV evangelists I kept finding, I found comfort in two things.
#1- The story of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20.
In the face of a battle that the nation of Israel could not win, this very wise king rallied his people to gather and seek the Lord, because he knew their strength could not come without Him. He prayed an amazing prayer before the people, to the Lord and he uttered one of my favorite lines in the Bible..."For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." So simple, so profound. He sandwiched that honest plea between two thick slices of praise and worship and God answered His people through Jahaziel by saying, "You will not have to fight this battle, take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you."That story brought me much encouragement today. I feel pretty lost right now, like I can't find my true purpose and I don't know what to do with my life...I say that in loose, general terms...bringing Christ glory is my purpose, I am happily married and serving alongside Travis, but I am waiting to see what He's calling me specifically to and the wait seems long.
#2- The song "Held" by Natalie Grant.
I love to have the radio on Sunday mornings because it fills our house with praise and worship and this morning this song spoke to the condition of my heart and to my circumstance. Her are some of the lyrics to that song...
Two months is too little.
They let him go.
They had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Who told us we’d be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We’re asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.
I can say with full confidence that I have been held. Despite my unpredictable feelings and emotions, God is good and He has been very good to me...even though I'm sick, again, I will choose to praise Him through uncertainty and pain and I will wait on Him because I know the battle is His and He will deliver me in His time.