Where is My Trust?

Things in our world have shifted so much in recent weeks all because of a tiny microscopic virus. Our enemy is unseen. Life seems unpredictable and precarious, jobs and economy look uncertain and scary, and the future is clouded with unknowns and what-ifs. Most areas have restrictions for social distancing so many of us are also alone or just with our immediate family. How do we as Christ followers navigate this uncharted waters and still be salt and light for the watching world?

As flawed humans with a sin nature, it is easy to run into the ditch of fear and paranoia or to the opposite ditch of complacency or disbelief the threat is true. Even Christians can be overcome with anxiety or fear when watching the many news reports of COVID-19. How do we trust God and find peace in the midst of all of this?

God knows our propensity towards anxiety and fear and tells us not to fear 365 times in the Bible. https://www.christianpost.com/news/rick-warren-why-god-encourages-christians-to-fear-not-365-times-in-the-bible.html

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 ESV

First of all I need to remember this is not a surprise to my God. He is over all diseases, infections and viruses even COVID-19. He is with us, helping us, strengthening us and upholding us. I often imagine my Abba Father holding my hand with his right hand when I read this verse. I want to have the child like faith that my Daddy can make it all good. And Our Abba can!!

3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. – Isaiah 26:3-4 ESV

These two verses in Isaiah 26 show that our peace comes from trusting God. Remind yourself of past incidences where God has shown Himself faithful to you personally and in His Word. Because of His character and God’s past workings in my life and lives of others I see that he is faithful, sovereign, good and wise and worthy of my trust regardless of the circumstances around me.

I pray that we can each fix our eyes on Christ rather than get fixated by the negative news reports and social media. May we trust in the only One worthy of our trust and when we struggles to believe and trust ask Him to help us with our unbelief. ( Mark 9:24b I believe; help my unbelief!”).

Blessings from over six feet away!

Deb

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God’s Gifts in Waiting

Waiting is a part of everyone’s life at some point or another. For those like myself who deal with chronic illnesses, we spend much time waiting. We are waiting for a diagnosis, waiting for test results, waiting for insurance to approve a procedure or treatment, waiting to get into a specialist and waiting to feel better.

Our soul waits for the LORD;

He is our help and shield. – Psalm 33:20

One thing I will say is God has always met us, sustained us and caused us to grow and be refined in many ways through seasons of waiting.

I have learned more about God’s sovereignty, His faithfulness, having joy and gratitude in hard circumstances during seasons of waiting. The lessons learned in one season build up what we lean on in future seasons of waiting.

While I waited nearly a decade to get some of my issues diagnosed, I have walked through a couple more challenging seasons of waiting that I can look back and see how God really uses them to train me in His character, to grow my faith and dependency on Him and gain a greater eternal perspective than I would have had without them.

The first challenging season of waiting was from March 30, 2011 to June 7, 2011. For over two months I did not know if I had chronic blood cancer or an acute leukemia with a short time to live. God allowed dear friends Earl & Nancy to be visiting the first week of this season. Nancy had just completed chemo and radiation therapies after a mastectomy for recurring breast cancer. She and Earl sat in our living room recounting the ways God met them in her cancer and crying tears of joy. Their example showed me I wanted to be known as a women of joy and gratitude regardless of which diagnosis I received and to bring Christ glory. As I lived in the Word, I learned lessons on faith, counting it all joy, gratitude and dependency in a deeper and richer way than I had ever experienced prior to this. I realized whether my life was cut short or merely changed and long, I wanted my life to count for Christ and eternity. To share all I learned in those weeks would be a whole volume.

5 I wait for the LORD, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the LORD more than watchman for the morning, more than watchmen in the morning. – Psalm 130:5-6

The second harder season of waiting was from August 30, 2018 until March of 2019. This was not health related though the stress of it flared my health issues up. It was a nightmarish season of false accusations against my husband and two other pastors at our church. We were dealing with the hard reality that somebody we loved dearly and had been a very close friend was the one making these charges. Our relationship has not yet been restored since they continue to believe the lies about us. My husband and the the other two pastors were cleared of all wrong doing last March and commended for their faithfulness. This was a really hard season of seeking God and looking for His care and for treasures in the darkness. During this season, I dwelled in the Psalms and learned lessons of lamenting as well as praising God in the darkness of betrayal, false accusations and uncertainty. Somehow this season was much harder than awaiting a cancer diagnosis. But again we grew in trusting a faithful God who works out His perfect will even in situations that seem so counter to His heart of love and grace. And we still continue to wait for restoration of this relationship.

I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. – Isaiah 45:3

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. – Romans 12:12

How has God met you in seasons of waiting? Which verses or passages most encouraged you?

Welcome to Holland.

Today I am blogging a post I saw on Facebook this weekend during Rare Disease Day on February 29,2020. It is an analogy of how chronic illness changes your life what we planned and that it is still good. This was written about the changes in life having a baby brings, but in many ways our lives, dreams and plans are more disrupted with chronic illnesses.

rarediseaseday2020 #rdd2020 #mastocytosis #MCAS

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like you’re planning a vacation to Italy. You’re all excited. You get a whole bunch of guidebooks, you learn a few phrases so you can get around, and then it comes time to pack your bags and head for the airport.
Only when you land, the stewardess says, ‘WELCOME TO HOLLAND.”
You look at one another in disbelief and shock, saying, “HOLLAND? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? I SIGNED UP FOR ITALY.”
But they explain that there’s been a change of plan, that you’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
“BUT I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HOLLAND!” you say. ‘I DON’T WANT TO STAY!”
But stay you do. You go out and buy some new guidebooks, you learn some new phrases, and you meet people you never knew existed. The important thing is that you are not in a bad place filled with despair. You’re simply in a different place than you had planned. It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy, but after you’ve been there a little while and you have a chance to catch your breath, you begin to discover that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland has Rembrandts.
But everyone else you know is busy coming and going from Italy. They’re all bragging about what a great time they had there, and for the rest of your life, you’ll say, “YES, THAT’S WHAT I HAD PLANNED.”
The pain of that will never go away. You have to accept that pain, because the loss of that dream, the loss of that plan, is a very, very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to go to Italy, you will never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

And Holland has been more than ok. 💕

Welcome to Holland
by Emily Perl Kingsley

I know in my own journey with chronic illness, the big key towards living a full, joyful and grateful life was embracing the new normal in life that God has sovereignly ordained. He has used living a new and different life to grow my faith and confidence in Him and His goodness. I am learning to appreciated that which is around me rather than the places I will never go or things not likely to ever do. The scenery on this journey, while different than I expected, is still captivating and lovely when I look through the lens of God’s sovereign, sustaining grace.

Wherever you thought you would be compared to where you are now, remember He is faithful, sovereign, good and wise and His desires for us is our eternal good and His glory by living our lives wherever He has led us.

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. – Psalm 138:8

Blessings,

Deb