Saturday, August 24, 2013

Trauma or Depression.

Am I running away from God?  This question ran through my mind the other day as the rain poured down for the ten thousandth time since I moved here. 

You see I hate rain!  Yes I know it is necessary, but too much and I want to crawl the walls it makes me so crazy.  Being outside, feeling the sun on my skin and being amongst nature is how I draw near to God.

I dislike rain so much I moved away from Portland to get away from it!  But there is also the fact that the rain means nothing has died yet.  Which in turn makes my allergies and my asthma uncontrollable.

  I can’t run, I can’t hike, I can’t go outside and explore.  I have to stay indoors. 

I am forced to stay in my house this weekend so that my doctor can do allergy testing on Monday.  It is beautiful outside (or so it looks from my window).  The sun is shining, the sky is blue, birds are singing.  Of course my imagination doesn’t take into account the heat and the humidity. 

So I have a choice.  I can look on this weekend as a punishment from God or see the reality that He is answering my prayer.

In Portland, I begged Him to show me why I never felt well, but I refused to admit that my asthma was out of control.  In Nashville, I have no choice but to face that reality.  Something here is literally trying to kill me! 

So even though I feel like this:

I am choosing to praise God and focus on this:

He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,

upright and just is he.  Deut. 32:4

Because He is working a miracle in me as I type. 

How about you?  Ever been in a situation that was hard, but later found out that God was working a miracle?  Share it with me!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Joy through the pain

If you have been around here long enough, you know that I spend more time writing about the struggles of my life then I do about the good days. I noticed that too! So I have began to ask God to show me the joy even when I don't feel like seeing it. Most of my life I have had severe allergies and headaches. Each day I wake up with a headache and stuffy head. (For me it is normal to have pressure in your face). Since I arrived In Tennessee though, these headaches have gotten worse. They always get worse when a thunderstorm approaches so I expected this to happen before I moved here. But, I didn't count on the additional allergy and asthma problems I have here. The headaches are horrendous. My typical plan of action is to run to doctors for healing, instead of running to God. This time I have reached the end of my rope so I decided to approach it differently. I asked God to heal my head and my lungs. Slowly, and through doctors, He is answering that prayer. (His timing is always so slow to me!!). A week ago, I met with a new allergist. He took some blood, scheduled an appointment for two weeks and sent me on my way. I left the appointment with no answers but I did have a rekindled hope that God is working His miracle. But, I have at least two months to wait for relief. Saturday I woke up with one of those debilitating headaches. The kind that drains you, feels like someone is trying to pry their way out of your head and you ache all over. Then the real headache started. It felt like someone was stabbing a knife into my brain. (Probably the same little man that is always trying to pry his way out!) I was done. My day was miserable, but I accomplished a few things and even spent time with a friend. That night I lay in bed defeated. The next morning brought the same, so I resolved to go about my day. However, things began to turn around. The headache dissipated, the pressure vanished and even my breathing was a little easier. I went to church and came home amazed that it was still gone. I ate lunch and then stood staring out our patio door wondering if it would stay all day this way. Just then a beautiful humming bird paused and hovered at the door. As he hovered, for more than a minute, I felt he was staring into my soul. In that moment I felt God whisper, “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:31) For the rest of the day, until late into the evening, I was a bundle of energy and free of pain. I got a lot accomplished! As I ate supper, I began to feel the headache creep back in. Normally when this happens I just get frustrated and angry. But that evening, I looked at my roommate and said I am so grateful for the reprieve God gave me today. And I was and I still am. But it could be months before I find real relief, and there is no promise that taking care of the allergies will cure the headaches. I want to be angry and frustrated, but instead I am choosing to hold onto the promise he gave me. I will not be afraid because I am worth more to him than that hummingbird that he so beautifully made. So in the midst of this trial I will cling to His joy and trust His timing.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


I sat in the parking lot, gasping for air, terrified because my lungs would not inflate.  Each breathe in felt like knives punctured my lungs.  As I waited for the medication to force my lungs back open, I cried out to God for help.  Even as the medication did its job, anxiety and fear held me firm in their grasp.  I was out of control, unsure of what to do next.

For the first time ever, I felt true terror at not being in control.  Just that morning I had read a devotion on the Fear of The Lord.  As I sat there, I pondered, is this what He means to fear him? 

Over the years God has proven that He does not judge me for my sins, instead He loves me more than I could ever deserve.  Yet that ingrained belief that I deserve judgment alone continues to strangle me.  Especially when I loose what little control I feel I have.  As my world spins out of control, my joy and peace vanish.  I begin to question God and His love for me, instead of resting in His promises.  I begin to shake in fear of His judgment, instead of standing secure in the awe of who He is. 

See that is what fear of the Lord is.  Not a terror that He may strike me down at any moment.  But the awe that overwhelms me when, instead of lightning, I receive love.  That moment, when I drag my weary bloodied corpse to the foot of the cross, drenched in the sins of my heart, and instead of wrath He picks me up, cleans me off, wraps me in princess robes and holds me in His wondrous love. 

That is fear of the Lord.

As I drove home from the grocery store I pondered how my asthma attack relates to my walk with God.  For years, I have denied that my asthma was out of control.  I have suffered physically and emotionally because of this, losing sleep and peace.  I have grasped onto this denial because my fear of admitting it was out of control outweighed my desire to be well.    The same thing happens with sin in my life.  I know it is out of control, I know it needs to be confessed.  But the fear of that judgmental God keeps me in denial, pushing forward, pretending I have it under control.  I lose sleep, I have no joy and my peace evaporates.  All in the name of control.

But God doesn’t want us to be in control.  He wants us to rely on Him.    Because when I am unbalanced, and unsure of what tomorrow will bring, I run to Him.  In that free fall I find Him in the center.  As the winds rip around me, I find joy in the chaos, strength in the process and love in His arms.

Chaos rips at my skin
Life rushes past
Seconds run through my fingers

Oh Lord, how long must I wait for you?