Lately, my heart has been longing to go back to how we were in this photo...before tormenting headaches...before the scary diagnosis...
I've been wrestling with my flesh and my mother's heart who hates to see her child in so much pain. I know without a shadow of doubt that God is sovereign and He has a great purpose for all of this...I just don't like it very much. How's that for honesty?
I commented to my mom that I am not feeling "fine in '09." A lot has happened in this new year...things I never imagined that we would be dealing with. Please, don't misunderstand me, I know that things could be so much worse and I am thankful that they are not.
I have watched my oldest daughter suffer with an awful headache that has been around constantly since Christmas day. Some days are better than others, but she still has headaches.
I started wondering if our family was going through some kind of punishment. Have you ever wondered about that too? It was a weak moment. I expressed that thought to my mom who has battled a toilet tank that had a hairline leak in it that flooded 2 1/2 bedrooms and one bathroom this week.
She calmly replied that all of this is just "Character Building," and you know what? I think that she is right. It's my heart's desire to be more like Jesus every day. But some days, it's just tough! Growing pains are hard aren't they?
Rachel and I have only had few days where we were feeling down and weepy at the same time. I try to be the strong, encourager every day. But, unfortunately, I have my moments too.
Last week, I struggled with the silence of God. Have you been there?
I know this post is already long but if you are still reading this I want you to know this story too. It's from Streams in the Desert:
A Christian dreamed that she saw three others at prayer. As they knelt the Master drew near to them.As He approached the first of the three, He bent over her in tenderness and grace, with smiles full of radiant love and spoke to her in accents of purest, sweetest music.Leaving her, He came to the next, but only placed His hand upon her bowed bead, and gave her one look of loving approval.The third woman He passed almost abruptly without stopping for a word or glance. The woman in her dream said to herself, "How greatly He must love the first one, to the second He gave His approval, but none of the special demonstrations of love He gave the first; and the third must have grieved Him deeply, for He gave her no word at all and not even a passing look."I wonder what she has done, and why He made so much difference between them?"
As she tried to account for the action of her Lord, He Himself stood by her and said: "O woman! how wrongly hast thou interpreted Me. The first kneeling woman needs all the weight of My tenderness and care to keep her feet in My narrow way. She needs My love, thought and help every moment of the day. Without it she would fail and fall."The second has stronger faith and deeper love, and I can trust her to trust Me however things may go and whatever people do."The third, whom I seemed not to notice, and even to neglect, has faith and love of the finest quality, and her I am training by quick and drastic processes for the highest and holiest service."She knows Me so intimately, and trusts Me so utterly, that she is independent of words or looks or any outward intimation of My approval. She is not dismayed nor discouraged by any circumstances through which I arrange that she shall pass; she trusts Me when sense and reason and every finer instinct of the natural heart would rebel;--because she knows that I am working in her for eternity, and that what I do, though she knows not the explanation now, she will understand hereafter."I am silent in My love because I love beyond the power of words to express, or of human hearts to understand, and also for your sakes that you may learn to love and trust Me in Spirit-taught, spontaneous response to My love, without the spur of anything outward to call it forth.
"He "will do marvels" if you will learn the mystery of His silence, and praise Him, for every time He withdraws His gifts that you may better know and love the Giver. --Selected
I found great comfort in that story. A few days later Rachel was having a weak kind of day and struggling with the silence. I shared this story with her and we both cried.
Last night was an awful night for Rachel. She tossed and turned all night and said that she thought the blood was constantly rushing to her head which always intensifies her headache pain. We talked about all of the changes that have happened since Christmas day and then she said something that still echoes in my heart this morning.
She said, "I kind of feel honored that God chose us to go through this.
I feel like God chose us because He knew that we would still believe and have faith in Him. He chose us for a reason and for His glory."
And this Momma's heart rejoiced once again. She is wise beyond her years.
I admire her strength and her courage. She created a scrapbook picture of herself that says, "I may have (the diagnosis) but (the diagnosis) doesn't have me!"
She is so right. She is trying not to let her diagnosis define who she is.
She made it to school every day this week! She hasn't been able to do that since before Christmas break!
Several people at school and even some family members have just assumed that her headaches are gone. They are not. Rachel is just trying to live by faith and trusting in her Savior that despite circumstances, she "Can do all things through Christ who gives her strength" because "Greater is He that is in her than he that is in the world."
I may not blog about every incident and struggle with "the diagnosis" and the seemingly long wait for our neurologist visit on March 12th, because I want to honor my daughter's request that this diagnosis will not be what defines her but I do ask that you please continue to pray for her.
These are character building times around our household. If somehow we look a little bit more like Jesus than it will all be worth it!
I'd love to know if God is growing character in your life too. Would you please share it with us?
PS If you are new to myblog and want to know more about Rachel's story, you can click on my sidebar Index. The postings are listed from most current to the oldest. This new journey of faith began on January 2nd. Information is listed under "Rachel's Story." The name of the diagnosis is not listed as she would like for that to remain private right now.