my taunting foe…

November 22, 2010

another dilemma has recently surfaced in my fairytale  soap-opera life.  after coming to grips with the woman in my discussion group at BSF who has the 2 year-old little boy named luke and the 2 others who are pregnant, one of which has been in for a level 2 ultrasound just last week and ‘isn’t even going to think about those things that the dr said.’ there was yet one more woman to be added.  it seems impossible to even imagine that she would be assigned to our group, but she was.  she happens to be due in december with a little boy. …(stunned silence)… and the worst part is that now that babies are allowed, I know that she will be back after break… sitting there nursing her brand new little boy… that smells so sweet… and makes all those extraordinary newborn sounds.  I’m thinking… you have got to be kidding me.  you have got to be @%&# kidding me!!  could I have one place where i can let my guard down, where I can refill my cup, where I can enjoy the fellowship of other women believers as they discover and study their way through Isaiah too? apparently not.

so after leaving BSF upset and talking with friends about how upset I am and then requesting that this new girl might be moved because I am upset.  my answer comes back … these groups are prayed about and it doesn’t appear to be an accident… I mean, we are  studying the sovereignty of God and all. … maybe this is a oppurtunity for you (me) to be victorious in Christ. … … …

after crying and feeling ssoo frustrated and tired of what seems like an endless piling on of little things to haunt me and telling brian, “I’m sick of hearing about ‘victory in Christ’… give me a break!”, I went to bed.  it seems very much to me that God likes to pick on me… just trying to see how far this little bruised and battered reed can bend. 

sunday morning, we go to church, through the ice and freezing rain.  I don’t participate like I usually would.  I’m kind of pouting I guess.  I lay my weary little noggin on brian’s shoulder and fall asleep during the sermon.  I decide to sit up and be awake for the remaining part of the service, but I flip through my bible on my own, still not paying attention.  my little rebellion.  I only look for a moment until I stumble across psalm 42, which is all ready full of little notes and underlines.  it speaks directly to me… deep calls to deep… my soul is downcast… these things I remember… ‘why have You forgotten me?’ … as the deer pants for water… my tears have been my food… ‘where is your God?’… as my foes taunt me…  wait a minute, what was the part?  as my foes taunt me…  as my foes taunt me…  hmmm…  I wonder…  could that really be?  am I being ‘taunted’? … by my enemy?

now, I’ve studied suffering.  I’ve studied evil.  I’ve studied what is ‘allowed’.  I’ve studied Heaven and Hell.  somehow, my focus is always more on what God is doing, allowing.  so of course it seems like God is picking on me.  this small verse from psalm 42:10 changed that.  it changed my perspective.  what if all these little things are from my taunting foe?  then it dawns on me for the first time… that is where/why I could have victory.  I feel a little silly even saying that, because it sounds so… … … christianese. 

having said all that, it isn’t like I just feel better now.  it still hurts.  I still don’t want to sit in that group.  I plan to seek counseling to help deal with this post traumatic stress that I deal with.  it’s just that now… my heart feels a little better, I feel a little encouraged, back on the path.  I have identified my taunting foe and I have no plans of succumbing to his wiles.

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  Psalm 42:11

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always watching…

November 14, 2010

I learned a valuable lesson this weekend… one that I know, but easily forget or don’t pay much attention too.  it was good to be reminded and greatly encouraged at the same time.  here’s how it went.

I was at a retreat for moms with kids with disabilities.  after the main speaker, there was a Q & A.  the questions were directed towards us, the audience.  our second question was, ‘how do you keep your faith?’  someone I don’t know, a few rows behind me and to the right, stood and started to give her answer.  she said she had seen something that encouraged her, rather than something that she did herself.  it wasn’t far into her story that I started to cry.  I still can’t say exactly why it made me cry,  but it did.  she told us how she happens to attend bethlehem and on a sunday back aways, maybe Easter, we had a combined service at the lakeville highschool, rather than the 9 and 11 that we would usually have.  so, as she is watching the service proceed, she notices a family up front that has a little boy in a wheelchair.  she said she was drawn to the joy they showed as they were singing.  and then ‘I’ll fly away’ came up and again she felt she was watching something remarkable.  the family was smiling and singing and dancing around… even the boy in the wheelchair had his hands up and was doing his best to sing along.  she was impressed and encouraged to see a family that had obvious burden and yet such great joy.

oh how quickly I knew she was talking about me and mine.  I remember getting to church later than I had wanted and having to walk all the way down to the front row, because there are only a few places to sit with a wheelchair.  I remember the song too.  cole’s favorite!  in my whole time at bethlehem it has only been sung twice.  the week we came back after losing luke and Easter.  I also remember wearing my brave face and doing my best to sing along as I was breaking on the inside, because I really did  want to fly away.  I have a son waiting on the other side of glory and I want to see him.  I remember writing a poem that starts out ‘it still sucks’ after I got home…

so… to hear this story from a strangers perspective was… more than I can put into words.  here she is being greatly encouraged by just watching our little family sing and she doesn’t even know the half of it!  it made me remember that others are watching.  always watching.  and although things can and will be hard at different times, I need to rely on God and trust that He will give me the strength to suffer well.  that His light will show through my tears, through cole’s raised hands, through gabrielle’s twirling, brian’s steadfastness and dear dawson’s tender spirit.  He knows who is watching and what they need to see.