Sunday, October 16, 2011

David is my Homeboy

My whole life, the Psalms have been the safe place I run when the world seems to overwhelm me. Being the sensitive, fearful child that I was it was only in reading the Psalms at night--my Bible tucked under my pillow--that I could fall asleep.  The words gave comfort while I slept and promises of strength to face another day at school. 
In sixth grade, I memorized my then favorite--Psalm 91--for a Speech Meet (and oh yea, sixth grade self! I won a 1st Place ribbon, the 1st time I ever received recognition for something performance related.)
Little did I know it then, but thru the even tougher years of growing up--more times than I can count--having those words tucked deep in my heart gave refuge to my confused, young adult soul.
It is still, hands-down, my favorite chapter in the whole Bible, very likely because it's been right there with me thru so much. 
Now in my early 30's I've faced many of my fears, but I still love a life that's more difficult than I imagined for myself. Thru this ordeal with my back pain, Psalm 139 has become a close second favorite chapter. The promises it holds are remarkably personal. It's given peace that God sees me, knows me, and thinks of me more than I can fathom.
I've wanted it memorized for a while.  But the actual memorizing without a class project or deadline or something?  I knew that probably wasn't going to happen. This girl needs accountability :) 
So I was excited when last January, Beth Moore announced on her blog that she provides a place for women to memorize throughout the year (logging in two verses every month, 24 for the full year).   I instantly knew this was my chance to get Psalm 139:1-18 hidden in my heart just as Psalm 91 has been all these years.
 *side note*--As an incentive to those who log in faithfully, Beth is throwing a celebration in Houston, January 2012. I am planning to go and asking for the money for the plane ticket for Christmas!
And I did it. Just a few weeks ago I logged in verse 18! It's been amazing how much slowly memorizing verse by verse has enriched my life.  So often, it's been just what I need at just the right moment. In fact, right before that awful last doctors appointment, I whispered the chapter to myself on the x-ray table.
Here's the proof that I actually do have it all memorized. I recorded this video a few weeks ago, so my hair isn't quite as long anymore.  It looks a little bit more like this now, actually.
But that's neither here nor there....back to the important, spiritual stuff :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tough Stuff

I've been having a rough time lately.  Like really rough.  It all started with that stupid doctors appointment.   I wasn't expecting to feel this way, but it's shaken me to the core.  Everything seems more final now.  And its brought back to the surface a ton of disappointments.  I'm trying (again) to work thru it all.  To figure out how God wants me to cope. How do I glorify Him in all of this?  How do I move forward when so many of my dreams aren't possible?
I'm battling thoughts that seem consumed by all I can't do.
Losing your health (especially at a young age) isn't for sissies.
I did a Bible Study recently and one of the questions asked was "what would the perfect day look like for you?" I quickly chimed in with an answer having something to do with shopping and shows in New York City (and everything to do with Andrew being with me :)....but later, on the drive home, I could hardly see thru my tears....because I knew really what the perfect day would look like for me. And it didn't have anything to do with NYC. It was simply waking up and doing anything, being anywhere, without pain.
And there is another massive loss that looms and hurts maybe even more than all that right now. It's difficult for me to even talk about.  But it's where I'm at so I may as well be honest. Because of several elements in my back situation, I can't have another child.  It's a profound loss, but I don't mention it for you to feel sorry for me.  It's just the truth; part of the tough stuff I'm trying to wrap my mind around.  I wrote a little bit about my feelings here. And that helped me process things.  But I know I'm still in mourning--I haven't reached the other side yet. Some days I wonder if I ever will.
I know all of this is huge, heavy stuff. So heavy, in fact, it has the ability to quickly undo all I long to be as a follower of Christ. I know I must tred very carefully as I make my way thru this world of questions, doubt...suffering.  Too often I've watched tough stuff change people. And not for the better, either. Just recently I talked with a friend I admire and love deeply.  Hard times she's facing have allowed some very ugly, cynical views to take root in her mind and heart. It made me so sad to hear her talking that way, believing those lies. Giving in to the hardship.  But it also fortified in me that I do not want to succumb to that kind of mindset. Ever. I don't want to let the pain win over that part of me too.
So I will keep fighting.  It's easy at this point to feel like I've lost.  I fought a long, hard battle for "healing" and it didn't happen. Much in me tells me that I've lost.  But I know that I didn't lose.  My Lord knows all about my circumstances. And my life isn't over yet. And even though these days have been hard, when I take the time to ask and listen, He quietly whispers promises to remind me "the Lord will fulfill His purpose for me" (Ps. 138:8) and that He "restores the years the locusts have eaten." (Joel 2:25 ) I read those verses within two days of each other....I know He's speaking them into my very tender heart.
So the real question then becomes, will I believe Him in the midst of all the tough stuff...even when I absolutely cannot see it?