My husband found himself in the office of a neurologist this year. After a thorough examination the doctor, confidently, thought Andrew had MS. This led him down the road of ruling-things-out which meant appointments, blood tests, a spinal tap and 4 MRIs.
I found myself clinging to my word, embrace. God showing me how to grab hold of truth in the midst of the uncertainty we were facing.
::Written in real-time::
Sitting in the waiting room. I realize I’ve been here before.
But in a different hospital. For a different person. My son (who was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 4). I’ve felt this feeling before and yet it’s different. I’m not here for my child, I’m here for my husband, my soul-mate, my better-half.
As I sit in the waiting room staring out the window, watching people come and go. I wonder. What are their stories?
I ask God. What story are you writing for my husband? What will the days ahead bring?
It’s a gift to be here. With my husband. Even though I can’t be in the room with him.
I am present.
I am praying.
Peace where there is anxiety.
Hope where there are real symptoms.
How quickly I get hope wrong.
Hope is not in the chances that his test results will come out favorable.
Hope is staring reality in the face and saying I don’t put my hope in you at all.
I put my hope in what’s up above. I put my hope in the unseen.
Not in the seen.
Not in the results.
Not in the chances.
Not in the percentages.
My hope is in You alone.
You, Jesus, stared death in the face, took all the heaviness of sin, sickness and heartache upon Your shoulders and died. All Your vitals told everyone you were dead. You were buried.
And You changed the storyline.
You beat death.
After 3 days, You came back.
When faced with a trial my first automatic response is to try to figure it out. To try to sift through the symptoms to determine just how serious it might be. Factoring in what the doctor says it could be with what I’ve researched while facing the reality of what the symptoms are pointing to.
You know if there is something wrong with your body, you just do. That’s my husband’s story. He knows something is wrong. Second guessing him will not help his cause.
I must accept his present circumstance. We fear acceptance because for whatever reason we think acceptance doesn’t allow room for hope. And we must have hope to live through it. My acceptance is facing reality WITH hope.
And I want to put my hope where it can’t be altered or diminished. I don’t want my hope to take that chance. Isn’t that what we do? Wait for the test results to come back so we can then determine just how much hope we can allow ourselves to have? No, the test results can’t affect my hope.
My hope is unshakable. My hope is a person. And He is ALIVE.
I can trust God to lead us each day, through each test result, through each change, to grieve our normal and to embrace our new normal for this season God has called us to. We can count on Him to be the story-changer that He is. No.matter.what.
Sitting in the waiting room today, I overhear one lady’s response to her suffering.
Expressing anger and bitterness towards everyone who is not helping her. Ready to cast off even her own sister for not helping her enough. Verbalizing out-loud to her husband, just two seats over from me, “I hope my sister gets sick herself so she can feel just as miserable as I feel.”
She continues to carry-on, ranting about her hatred toward the church, saying, “Why would I want to go to church, are they going to come pick me up? I’m sick. What is church going to do for me?”
Oh, it’s easy to pity her for holding onto such bitterness and anger.
But my thought-life can look not-all-that-different from her words….
TODAY- I feel like we are in this alone. Do people really care? People offer to “help” but do they truly want to help or is it just a nice thing to say? It feels more of an inconvenience to ask for help than to just do it ourselves.
THANK YOU- Lord for reminding me of the ugliness of my own sin. And of the places I don’t want to go….and yet how easily I could walk down THAT road. It’s only by Your grace.
I’ve been walking or running everyday, not because I want to but because I have to. I may burst if I don’t let it out somehow…..my spirit trying to break free from a circumstance that seems imprisoning.
I love the apostle Paul, because he was imprisoned and he embraced his circumstances right where he was. He didn’t make excuses from not being able to do ministry. He did it right where he was, with what he was given.
He embraced it.
He didn’t fight it or try to break free. Of course you know how God changed the story and used an earthquake to break him out once (Acts 16:25-34), but he was imprisoned 3 different times. Paul knew suffering.
He didn’t ask for it.
He didn’t want it.
But he didn’t fear suffering.
He accepted it.
He embraced it.
How can I change my response to suffering? To go from feeling trapped with an overwhelming desire to break-free from it…..to accepting, embracing and seeing beyond the circumstance.
Rather than seeing suffering as a sentencing, seeing it as a new way to give God glory.
I’m being given a new way to give God glory. A new way for God to show himself strong to my husband, to me, and to my family.
If life stayed the same, stayed easy, stayed comfortable, God wouldn’t prove Himself to be as strong and powerful as He really is. Do I want small, limited, vision? Or do I want to see BIGGER & beyond… To see and know the power of my God all-the-more?
Paul’s own words in Ephesians 3:8-21 are a source of strength for my husband and me.
We are still in the middle of the story. All the test results came back negative and we know that is only by God’s grace. We praise Him! Knowing it could be so much worse. Knowing we don’t deserve it. Yet the reality remains that my husband’s symptoms continue to plague him on a daily basis and yes, he would like answers.
This is far from the first trial we’ve faced in our lives and I know it won’t be our last (1 Peter 4:12,13). I’m grateful for the gift of perspective and truth God gave us in the waiting. May we not forget.
Only by His grace.