This blog is a chance for us to tell our story and shine the light on the God who wrote it.

It is also a place for me to bring into the spotlight the millions of orphans around the world who are waiting for the Body of Christ to fulfill God's command to "care for orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27)

Soli deo Gloria... (All Glory to God Alone).

10.17.2011

Held

*I wrote this a little while ago, but was hesitant to post it. Then today I read these words at A Holy Experience:

“There is no greater mercy that I know of on earth than good health except it be sickness; and that has often been a greater mercy to me than health…

It is a good thing to be without a trouble; but it is a better thing to have a trouble, and know how to get grace enough to bear it.” ~Spurgeon

Know how to get grace enough.

It is a better thing to have a trouble, and know how to get grace enough to bear it. And we get grace enough to bear it — when we run into the arms of Grace who bore it all, into Him Who is more than enough.


So I thought I would post this as my "Amen"...





This, too, is grace.

I have a migraine. It has been with me for about three days now. I've struggled with them for years, but I've been getting them more often lately, and sometimes there is simply nothing I can do to treat them. The pain has been changing, too. They were getting better, now they are diffferent, and there are other symptoms. My body is weak.

Two years ago.. a year ago... when I was sick quite often, I felt abandoned in those sick seasons. I cried out to God: “Don't you see I have these children and home and husband? Why do you give these to me and I cannot care for them?” I hated this weakness... this not being able to be who I thought I should be.,, this being so unpredictable, so needy. I cried in physical pain … in shame … in discouragement. I would give anything to be healthy.

Last night I lay very still on my bed, trying not to move so that it would not hurt so much. And I cried. I cried tears of joy. I told Scott I would not trade it, and I am serious. I mean, I want to be healthy, but if it means I would have to trade the gift that has come through this trial … I would not trade. Because if I can know real joy in the midst of the things in this world that scare me most.. that I previously feared the most... right in the midst of chronic pain, right in the midst of me being 'useless', broken... then what can now defeat me?

Slowly, over much time … (I am a slow learner)... God has redeemed... transformed what I only saw as ugly into something beautiful. Because that is what He does. He takes our mess, our brokenness and he does not change it... he redeems it... he transforms it. He did not take my migraines away. He gave me joy in the midst of them. Would the healing have brought Him glory? Yes. But it could have been explained away, I suppose-- 'those doctors finally found the right remedy'. But the joy? Outside of drugs that may produce a very short-term sense of euphoria (none of which I take, by the way!)- this joy can only be explained by a loving God. Who wants to give me more than healing. He wants to give me Himself.

I know that my suffering is meager, truly meager, in light of what so many others are suffering with today. But I am not writing about my suffering. I am writing about His grace. And all I know is the story I have been given. And I tell it only to give Him glory.

I am not saying that it is always pretty. My children and my husband can confirm that I am messy and broken and I lose my patience easier when I am sick. But I am just saying that it is good. That it is redeemed.

A friend tells me “I don't know how you do it. How you keep smiling when you are in so much pain. I would complain all the time!” And I have said it, too, to others... in other situations. “I don't know how you do it”- (whatever 'it' may be... go through the loss of a loved one, watch your husband leave for yet another deployment while you parent four kids at home, work and serve in rough conditions, etc.).

But I promised myself that I would never say this again. Because I do know how. If we will trust... He will be who He says He is... all that stuff in the Bible about rising on wings like eagles... All those promises for strength and hope and joy when we should not have it- judging by our outer circumstances. All that singing in prison with Paul and his crew. Of course. It is all the same. When our turn to suffer comes... and we run to Him... He gives us what we need for that moment, that day. “His mercies are new every morning”. He knows what suffering our tomorrows will hold, for He holds tomorrow. And when we wake tomorrow He will give us the mercy, the grace for that day.. as we trust in Him.
“Even though I walk through (insert what we are 'walking through')
I will fear no evil, for you are with me...” Psalm 23


So this is what I would not trade. That deep, unshakable knowledge that he is with me. There is no greater gift.

Thank you, merciful Father, for the migraines and the fatigue. I can say it now and I really mean it. Thank you.

And then that 'thanks', that bending to the will of my loving Father... that is a step toward joy. Not my will, but yours be done. And I will give thanks, surrender, and receive. And what is the gift but joy... joy that only comes through suffering. A joy that cannot be taken away.

This, too, is a grace. It is a gift of Jesus. Hard eucharisteo.

I no longer feel abandoned in my seasons of illness. You know what I feel? I feel … held.


“I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us- yes, the many good things he has done... according to his compassion and many kindnesses.” Isaiah 63:7

2 comments:

  1. I really needed to hear that today, Haley. Thank you!

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  2. Hi Haley! I was blessed by reading your post (I saw the link on Scott's FB page). I have chronic illness too, and I can attest that God has shown me ways to be thankful for it as well. I was just wondering if you had looked into certain diets to help your migraines? Changing my diet has helped me a lot with mine. You can message me through FB and I can tell you more. Your kids are beautiful!
    Amy

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