It's been awhile. A long while.
These last three and a half months have been the most grueling, exhausting, and frustrating months I've ever personally known, and believe me, I've had some challenging moments in my lifetime before this one! If I could share my life story in this public setting, I would, but in order to maintain the privacy of others who are also involved, it's just not something that can be shared here. In this particular season of my life, it's been a matter of facing a 43-year ongoing battle and trying to find some kind of healing. There have been so many obstacles and hurts and tears along the way, and at one point my biggest struggle was why God doesn't seem to hear our prayers or seem to care to do anything about them. No matter what was happening, it felt as though there was very little hope for our situation.
After finally allowing myself to verbalize that to a friend, she was able to share her own pained heart with me, and we were able to pray together. What a sweet time of fellowship! Later on that very afternoon, God did something that is just so like Him. He put in front of me the most perfect devotional that was all about being tired of waiting on God, and in it was the verse I have at the top of this blog as well as this verse: “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:14. It was such a beautiful answer to prayer at the most perfect time, and I was so thankful.
But then He did something else that was really awesome. After weeks and weeks of diligently searching for the right person to help walk us through this valley, God led us in a very roundabout way to a man who seemed to be the most perfect fit. A ten-minute phone conversation with this man was all it took for me to end up on the floor in a thankful mess of tears. God had provided just enough hope to keep me moving forward just when I so desperately needed it the most.
A short time ago, there was a meeting held with this man and a few other main participants. There were people huddled in prayer in another location, and lots of other people were praying for us as well. Even though the stress level was high, there was a sense of peace and assuredness within me that God was in this thing. Only He could have brought us to this place like He did.
After a couple hours' worth of discussion, some of us were given the directive that we desperately needed: "Go play on the swings!" In other words, "Take a breather. You've done what you need to do. Let it go. Take time to heal."
Those words of wisdom have been ringing loudly in my head, and I'm doing all I can do to keep on letting go and put it back in the hands of God and the help He has provided for us. That's so much easier said than done. An issue of this longevity is not quickly undone, and even though we're supposed to be "playing on the swings," the reality is that the long-term effects still have a way of infiltrating our lives on a daily basis. There is so much healing that needs to take place, but I'm just thankful for a God who understands our hearts and knows everything. I'm clinging to that promise right now.
It's time to turn my focus back on my own family. Next Tuesday we will be heading to Iowa City with Heath to check on the tumor that was discovered on his brain in September 2010. When it was checked last December, it had not grown, so we were told to wait a year and see what happens, so the time has come for us to see whether it has grown or not and assessing what, if anything, needs to be done with it. My prayer is that it will be gone!! What a great thing that would be to give thanks for this Thanksgiving! The very next week Harris will be heading to the hospital for his repeat colon surgery, and he'll be healing from that right on through the Christmas season. My prayer there is that this time there will be no complications and that his body will heal properly.
If we could all just go "play on the swings" for the next couple of months, we would! The thought of putting our family on a jet plane and flying away to some island far, far away and coming back in 2012 has crossed my mind many times, but that doesn't seem to be a realistic option. It's sure fun to dream about though! I'd even settle for a week away if I could figure out how to make that happen! Nevertheless, we are approaching a holiday season that will be vastly different from the norm, but we're just going to have to trust in God's perfect provision and plan for our family's lives. When we are weak, He is strong, right? If I'm supposed to be playing on the swings, I just as well start pumping my heart out and bellowing out the words of "Jesus Loves Me!"