Monday, May 27, 2013

Trusting God more.

I have heard anything from, "You can't go through the fire and come out praising God the same way." to "The only way to look when you are that far down is up (to God, that is)."

These two have been very true, for the most part for me. There was this one time though, probably 6-8 months ago I called my mother-in-law telling her that I was done following a God that would let my son keep having seizures and continue to dwindle in front of my eyes. I was completely done. I couldn't keep giving my everything to Him anymore because it was a complete and utter fight against my flesh to 'not worry'', 'not fear', or to not completely loose my sanity while being told to just 'trust God'.

She let me be right where I was. She told me she understood. She cried on the other end probably wishing she could take this pain from me, from her son and of course, from Ezekiel.

I told God, "You know what?! I'm DONE! You want me...yeah, come and find me. You really want me to follow you? Pursue me.I'm tired of this." < --- How's that for respect?! Eek!

Within hours, I received verses from friends that were so right on with who God really was in all of this. I wasn't able to accept it as complete and full truth (if I am being honest) because I wasn't "there" yet. I had a ways to go but sometimes, obeying and pursuing something that you know is true is good enough. And being where I am now, I see that God is faithful to help us get to a place where we can totally believe, something that we do not totally accept for all that it is, as truth, even in the midst of chaos. Clear as mud? Good.

Well, after all of that pursuing from God, I was kind of annoyed with Him. I wanted to yell more, but my heart was softening. I could feel Him coming along side me sorrowful. I knew He cared and hated watching me go through all of this, but He wasn't changing...I was.

I was about 12 hours into leaving God and one more phone call to real me back in, from a good friend of mines mom who wanted to hear my heart. She let me be where I was,  too. She didn't tell me I was being weak. She said things like, "Yes, you are in the fire." or "The enemy is trying to get you down."

She ended the conversation with with much encouragement. Reminding me that I am at war against the enemy. To put on the full armor of God and to be a witness to my children who are seeing this all unfold as well. To help them see Jesus' strength in my weakness. It was soooo good. I truly felt like I was getting ready for battle. It was truly a word from the Lord though her.

Today, many tears, dr. visits, med changes,and  hope crushing later, I truly trust God. I can say that I do not worry, I do not fear for my God is with me, us and especially, Zekey boy.

 I nip those feelings above, that are not from God, in the bud...I know they take me to a place that isn't where I find strength, truth or hope.

I have actually come to a place (God gets all the glory...anything less is pure foolishness) where I keep asking for more faith. I want to trust God fully. I only have so much time to become more like Jesus in this trial (in this lifetime, really), before my sweet boy gets healed and I want to eat it up for all He has for me! Why not?! I'm here anyway! Why not, in the midst of our trials, try to become more like Jesus?!

Here is my point. I am not forced to look to God in this time just because it's so bad and we are deep in a valley. I am not without choice in how I respond to this hell on earth as I wait for His kingdom come.But, I have turned away (for about 12 hours) and it was hopeless. There was anger and frustration and this world and what it was became a death sentence. I had no where to turn. It was like I was alone, wandering on my own and I just had no where to go. Yuck.

The wisdom is to keep the faith, to press on and learn more of who God is in these dark times. Because, He is very much there and we see Him more when we realize our need for Him.

He's always there, right? He isn't there for us more or less depending on how our lives look. It comes down to us and how much we allow ourselves to see Him. When life is easy, we tend to keep Him up on a shelf where He is still viewed but not as focal point.

Any good I showcase to you as you read this is truly only me becoming more like Him. Sure, I'm obeying as I keep saying Yes to Him, trusting Him now more than ever for who He says He is. I trust in His healing over Zeke. I trust He is bringing much good out of our bad. I trust that He is going through this with us and hasn't left. But, it's God giving me more faith as I ask. It's Him, not me.

We made it to Zeke's appointment on Thursday to see a new neurologist in Cincinnati. Zeke has much of the symptoms of Dravet Syndrome and the dr. is confident he should start treating him (with proper meds) as if that is what Zeke has as we wait for the diagnoses through blood tests.

You can read more about this lovely (sarcasm) "almost" diagnosis here.

I told God, before the dr. visit that I wanted more faith and to trust God no matter what. And He is testing our faith as we hear this devastating news. I let myself cry for about 2 minutes and quickly gathered myself.

"Wait, what? This diagnosis is just a way that God will get more glory in Zeke's full healing. Is God not capable of healing Zeke from even this?! Hello!!!!"

I really did have this conversation out loud, basically talking to myself. And it's the craziest thing in the world to let go of something that, to this world would seem like a death sentence. For us but especially for Zeke.

I's like I can see God, as He was in my dream, ushering me to keep trusting even though I have no idea what is ahead. What is ahead looks scary but I keep walking, blind step of faith by blind step of faith, trusting in The One who is trustworthy.

So, we have. We have not worried about it and we continue to pray all while believing and waiting for Zeke's complete healing. Denial? It truly is not. I am not denying how big of a diagnosis this is and I am not in denial of what this could mean for our family.

What I am doing is letting "God be God." I am letting Him reign in my heart, not the fears of this diagnosis. It's so freeing! It's so not normal! I'm loving it!!!

This was timely. : Trust Enough

Thank you for praying with us. God bless you. (I'm exhausted, per usual so as always...extra grace in my grammar is strongly encouraged.) ;)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sweet Spontaneity

I love spontaneity. Life doesn't really allow for much of it but when it does, it reminds me of a simpler life and I get excited. The more life throws, the less time or energy I seem to have for this fun noun-of-a-word. It just makes the times I do have, sweeter.

A random text asking to go out on a free evening with a beloved friend. A random "I love you" from dear ones. A voice mail telling me I'm a great mother and encouraging me when I feel a failure. A voice mail from my sister asking if she and her kids could come (from Toledo) and hang out for the afternoon, that same day!

This happened Monday. I was thrilled it wasn't just a "hey! How are ya? Just calling to chat." kind of voice mail.  It was so much better! I called her back and said, "come on down!"

The cousin-friends played as my sister and I were able to get some quality time chatting away. It was loverly. Zeke, on the other hand, was doing terribly. His seizures seemed almost constant and he was falling often. At the end of the night we ended up giving him diastat to stop the seizures because his routine med dose wasn't doing anything (which had never happened before). It was the right thing to do.

We decided that waiting until his appointment in Cincinnati the following Thursday was going to be too far away. So, I rode with my sister to Toledo with all my kids but Cyrus (so he could attend school) and waited for his seizures to come back.

I felt so guilty once I realized I was actually waiting for his seizures to come back. It was routine for seizures to be completely gone for a day after the diastat but they always come back, and they did. But it's not my responsibility, as a daughter of the king, to wait for the worst.

Am I to worry for tomorrow?  (you can click on link for scripture) Nope. Am I to give up hope of his healing? Nah. What about pray not truly believing? Not what Jesus says.

So some of you say, "But you know his routine, do not feel bad." And I must reply with the above. It's worth it to be a fool for God. It always is. I want to believe in the things only He can bring. Ezekiel's healing.

The week was good. I was so blessed by family all around. The joy that great-grandpa Bill brings with his laughter at even the most annoying things my kids do (at least this tired momma thinks so). He is blessed by their presence. He thinks rightly when they are around and it's a great reminder of the joy I need to focus on instead of thinking how I can't be the mother I want to be to them because of our current state of life.

I let this thought rule my head and it makes me angry and it ends up showing to be that they annoy me, when really, I just want to be free to love on them and cuddle them whenever I am reminded of what a blessing they are. But a sickly son, or their brother doesn't allow for this spontaneity and I have to learn to call out my true feelings so I can respond correctly. I'm not really mad...I am really sad. Thanks, great-grandpa Bill!

I have heard some of you tell me that I need to let my true feelings show. It's healthy. Let me tell you, I do. But I have learned that going down a path of thinking of the way life isn't and compare to how life is, turns to chaos. Hope seeps away, lies and fears make their way to become "truth" and Jesus is no longer on the thrown in my heart. I have booted Him.

But what I have learned, with these feelings that do creep in at times is to take them right up to Him. They are NOT mine to carry because they are far too much for me bare. And He is willing every time and every time I am so relieved.

And with the quickness of my giving to them, I can talk to Him on what is true. I can tell Him my heart's desire for my son and all of my kids. He hears them and that brings comfort. I can now also pray believing for my friends and their sadness and illness in their kids. I boldly approach The Thrown knowing who I present these requests to is fully capable to bring healing and He is pleased with our faith.

I don't know about His timing but one thing I do know is that He is continuing to use our (and yours!) story and hardship to not only bring us closer to Him, but to use it to bring others to Him. How amazing and humbling and exciting is that?! People are hearing The Gospel through this story and that, my friends, helps me wait patiently. God has a plan and sees fit to continue to use us and as long as He sees fit, I can just draw nigh to my Savior, lifting up my burdens and others' as well.

We didn't take Zeke to UofM as planned because there was no need. He has been given a higher dose of meds and for the most part, seizures are controlled. As in, he isn't have thousands a day.

Life is too hard to handle on our own. This situation with our son is too difficult to handle without God. So, know that anything we have done that is "good" during this time is only because of Jesus. I have no desire to take the glory as it's just not mine to take.

Thank you for your encouraging words and for your prayers. You bless us so! Your comments make me happy and will bless us as we look back and read on this time when it's all over. When Ezekiel is fully healed. So, please, I encourage you to share your thoughts or prayers in the comments section below.



Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Body of Christ

We watched Lincoln a few weeks ago and it sparked some clarity in what I've heard God reveal to me.

"If you're only willing to follow or gain wisdom from those who think, act and believe as you do, you're setting yourself up for a stagnant and arrogant life making yourself to be as a god. It's when we can see, without judgment, all people's have something to give,  whether through their brokenness or life experiences, strong faith (even if different from our own) we will not only gain wisdom, but put The True King back on the thrown, loving more like He. Amen."

I read to Andy this quote and he said, "You are talking about believers, right?" And my response was, "No, actually."

Here's why. I had a pretty thick head when it came to my beliefs and those who "claimed to be Christians" but had a faith very different than mine. I use quotation marks because that's exactly how I would say it. Sarcastically, as if they weren't really Christ-followers.

I was so very concerned about how others' theology looked that I barely took into consideration whether or not they believed the one thing that is core to being a part of the Body of Christ,

That Jesus Christ is the son of God, was sent down to earth because we needed (all of us) a Savior, who lived a perfect life as fully man and fully God, died a gruesome and undeserved death out of love for you and me, rose again and is now sitting on the Right Hand of God. He'll come back again making ALL things new. All because He first loved us.

This is important. You must believe these things as they are The Gospel. Jesus is the way to heaven and there is nothing you or I can do enough of to get there.

*Sorry, I've been all preachy and even had a spontaneous, mini sermon with my kids today about Jesus and His kingdom and it's okay because I got a few "amens" from the crowd! ;)

But, what is sad is that until I've come to a place in my life where I've been completely desperate for prayer for my son who is extremely ill, I didn't have the eyes to see The Kingdom, The Body of Christ all around me, some believing things I didn't or do not.

But these same people are loving on us like crazy during this trial we face, helping to make this season livable. These same people are coming along side us, giving up time and love to serve us in this extreme time of need. These same people are praying fervently for our son as if he was their own.

I didn't believe the way I do now, before this trial as far as healing...God started building my faith way back when He told me to pray over a man in Target,  on Father's day who was revived after God kept telling me to pray almost 2 years ago.

So, why do we judge? Why are we so quick to make fun of those in The Body of Christ who see things differently or at a different part in their walk as you and me? It's not right and I want to stop!

Jesus didn't come to condemn the world, but to save it.(John 3:17) Is he telling us to condemn, then? Should we be quick to point fingers when their worship or their preaching looks differently than ours? No.

With that being said, there is obviously discernment needed and Spirit led guidance when attending a new church or listening to someone who is truly speaking out of love but may not be completely speaking truth to you.

There are sheep in wolves clothing and we want to keep watch for that, again, not to judge but to steer clear and if it's appropriate, call them out as you feel led (out of love, people and IF IT'S YOUR PLACE!).

I want to be clear on the importance of discernment but discernment is NOT supposed to look like we are disregarding or even making fun of those who do this Christian life differently. Of this, I am guilty and of this, God has opened my eyes to loving on a whole new level.

Part of that is this vision I had when thinking of where people are in their faith. I don't picture it, anymore, as like a running track with a beginning line and a finish line and people are further ahead or behind. There is so much more depth to it. It's more like an actual body. A body doesn't have a perfect beginning or ending line where we start and finish. There are many parts to a body and all are needed for it to work well.

Here is what the scriptures says about The Body of Christ

ESV — 1 Corinthians 12

Spiritual Gifts

12 "Now mconcerning1 spiritual gifts,2 brothers,3 I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that nwhen you were pagans oyou were led astray to pmute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that qno one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is raccursed!” and sno one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
Now tthere are varieties of gifts, but uthe same Spirit; and vthere are varieties of service, but uthe same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is uthe same God who empowers them all in everyone. wTo each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of xwisdom, and to another the utterance of yknowledge according to the same Spirit, to another zfaith by the same Spirit, to another agifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another bthe working of miracles, to another cprophecy, to another dthe ability to distinguish between spirits, to another evarious kinds of tongues, to another fthe interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, gwho apportions to each one individually has he wills.

One Body with Many Members

12 For just as ithe body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, jso it is with Christ. 13 For kin one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—lJews or Greeks, slaves4 or free—and mall were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, nGod arranged the members in the body, each one of them, oas he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,5 yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, pall rejoice together.
27 Now qyou are the body of Christ and individually rmembers of it. 28 And sGod has appointed in the church first tapostles, second uprophets, third teachers, then vmiracles, then wgifts of healing, xhelping, yadministrating, and vvarious kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But zearnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way."

What about people who are not a part of The Body of Christ? Those who do not claim to believe. Well, they have a story just like you and I. The only thing different is Christ in us.  Simple but crucial. We can even learn from them, to see their brokenness and need for a savior but their choosing not to follow.

I think of Hitler. He was so freaking evil.Then I think of abortion clinics. And then I think of these people and how they may have been treated and how they clearly didn't know the love Jesus had for them. Makes me sad but I can learn something, right? Even if it's remembering they need Jesus, too but they just don't have Him. Humbling, eh? Takes us further down on the "righteous" scale and puts Jesus back on the thrown?! Yes. For me, at least.

Our family is being served, prayed for and loved on by MANY different parts of the body and guess what, it all looks different. I have seen The Body of Christ come together on a whole new level and I am humbled and completely thankful.

People are loving us the best way they know how. "Sending thoughts your way." or "praying every day" or coming over and cleaning my house because they know my life doesn't really allow for even that. Some of you pray more than you have ever before because you love our family that much.

Again, I'm not here to judge. I want to use this season in our life to draw others to Him and help you see that God is still good, even in the trials and that this trial, although it has shaken our faith, we have kept our faith and truly want to point others to Him as God will get all the glory out of it. Heck, he's even going to continue to bring good out of it! Amen? < ---- See? I'm all preachy today. I can't stop.

So here I blog, staying up much later than I should because God knows when Zeke will be up screaming. I just wanted to share some wisdom God's placed on my heart as someone who is going through the fire. Any good you see in me or Andy or in my strong children, it's by God's grace and mercy and I will take no credit only that I keep going to Him as my need for Him is great.

Amen and thank you agian for the way you lift our family and sweet Zekey up as we pray for God's healing hand to come upon Him, in His perfect timing.