Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Be Courageous Enough...

Last night I was listening to a Christian radio program that I occasionally listen to in the evenings. They were discussing being a mom and raising kids. Truthfully, I wasn't listening all that closely and can't remember much of what they talked about. I can't even remember who they were interviewing (I think her name was Lisa), but something that this lady said really resonated with me. She said that something God had spoken to her was, "Be courageous enough to let Me write your children's testimonies." That literally brought me to tears. I cannot tell you how much I can relate. When I heard that, it seemed as though God was speaking directly to my heart, "Jenna, be courageous enough to let me write Ellie's testimony."

The times I have prayed for our daughter to be healed are too many to count. I have so many questions as to why God hasn't healed her yet. I suddenly realized that instead of letting God write my daughter's testimony, I have been trying to write it. In my testimony for our daughter, I have written that she is miraculously healed in this lifetime. It suddenly struck me that perhaps that is not God's testimony for her life. I don't know what He has planned, whether it is to uphold her whole life with the prayers of His people, or whether it is to miraculously heal her, or whether He will take her before I think it's her time to go.

So often I forget the words in Psalm 139 "in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them." There is nothing, nothing I can do to add to the number of days that God had already ordained for our daughter's life before she was even born.

Thinking about this, I've realized that I have even tried to write my own testimony at times. What do I mean by this? I have dreamed and hoped of growing to a ripe old age with my husband by my side and grandchildren running around and then someday in the very, very far future dying peacefully and painlessly in my own bed...or I have hopes of never dying at all, praying that the Lord will return before I die. And while I think it is alright to pray for such things, at the same time, I must remember that God is sovereign. I am not. My purpose is not to live a happy, care-free life. My purpose is to glorify God and point people away from myself and toward Christ. His ways are not my ways. His thoughts are so much higher than my thoughts. I must be courageous enough to let God write my own testimony, as painful and trial-full, as long or as short as it may be, with the prayer that God will get the glory.

For me, it's an impossible task on my own strength. I simply am not courageous enough to do so. My sinful self would much rather try to take control and pretend I can control it all. However, I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, including letting go and letting God. That is not to say we shouldn't pray. Of course we should pray! And pray often! Pray for our children's salvation, safety, and health. Pray for wisdom in training and raising our children. Pray for miracles. Pray for healing. I know I won't quit praying for my daughter to be healed. But while I pray, let me never forget to follow our Lord's example and also pray not my will, but Thine be done.

*linking up to Raising Homemakers*


Chris & Cami Mansuy said...

That's an amazing thought, Jenna! It is so hard to not try and take control of everything and especially when it's a sick child. God will grant you the strength for whatever is ahead!

lisaplus5 said...

i really enjoyed reading your heart today... it is so hard to give up control and let God be who He is. I AM. this part is perfect "My purpose is to glorify God and point people away from myself and toward Christ."
I will be lifting you up in my prayers.

abba12 said...

I was born blind, and countless people among family and church did the same, they were convinced God would heal me, he just 'had' to in their eyes. They couldn't see how a loving God could leave a child blind, I was even told the lack of healing was my fault for not believing in it hard enough!

I believe in healing, and I know I will see with perfect eyes one day, though whether it is this side of heaven or not is up to God. And I still pray and allow people to pray for my healing, but I accept it will happen in Gods timing, not my own (I wish others would accept the same)

The point is, I can now look back as an adult, and I would be a completely different person with completely different life experiences had I been healed as a child. In fact at one point my blindness caused a chain of events that probably saved my life. I have had the opportunity to witness to people I would not otherwise have spoken to, and if I were not blind I probably would have followed the same track to a career that my peers did (I can work, despite the disability, but the disability opened my mind a lot to things outside the 'norm'). Were I not blind I would have never met my husband, because I would not have been where I was when we met. His brother would not have had to drive me to their church because I would have driven myself to a church that I actually liked. Things would be very different.

Sure, life hasn't always been easy, but would it have been easier without the blindness, or would I just have some other set of challenges instead? My testimony is what it is because I was not healed, and God still has many ways he can use me, and still does. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, but it's always for a reason. God will use what your family is going through, in fact he probably already has, but it's still so close that it's hard to see that right now. Your daughter will cause you to meet people you would not otherwise meet, learn lessons you may not have otherwise learnt, and give her a different life to the one she might have led healed. Not worse, not harder, just different. Different is not bad, it just feels like it sometimes because it's not following OUR plans and OUR ideas for whats best for us, it's following God.

I'll keep you in my prayers :)

James said...

It was Lysa Terkeurst who said that. I really needed to hear it. She has a website I looked at after the broadcast.

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