Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pieces of the Puzzle

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever - do not abandon the works of your hands. ---Psalm 138:8

This is what I wrote in my journal this morning:
"If He's about to let me spread my wings, I want to be sure I've done all I can to GET READY for the flight!"

Let me explain...

Last year my mom and I took the kids to my niece Ashley's High School Graduation in Pensacola, FL.  We made a week-long beach vacation out of it.  The condo that we rented was fully furnished and equipped.  The owners even had some books, games and best of all a jigsaw puzzle for their guests to use while there.  I am a puzzle fanatic.  I haven't done many since the twins came along (for obvious reasons).  It took a couple of days, but we all worked together and finished the puzzle.  So, what's the big deal?  It was about 300 pieces and it was stored in a Ziploc bag - that's it!  No picture of the finished product.  The challenge was that much greater, as was the opportunity to mess up, try over and the sense of accomplishment was even better.  It turned out to be a fun, cartoon beach scene with crazy fish, sand critters, flip-flops, sunbathers and a hodgepodge of other beachy things.

I was laying in bed last night thinking... I really feel that my season in the "furnace of affliction" is coming to an end.  And an end to the "furnace" season means I'm about to live again!  And I am praying desperately that living again looks completely different than it used to.  And I'm terrified and worried.  I don't know what God has in store for me.  I truly cannot fathom what ministry opportunity He has for me beyond this season, but I know it will be something significant for His kingdom.  And it reminded me of the puzzle - I am steadily working on (or pray that I am) putting all of the pieces together so that He can reveal the finished picture to me.  That is my new daily prayer, "God, is there anything more or different that I need to be doing to get ready for your work?"  Am I reading the right scripture?  Am I praying enough?  Am I working through the most applicable study material?  And I really don't know those answers, so I am seeking His direction to be sure that I am ready.  I want to know that I'm not putting the wrong pieces of the puzzle together.  And as long as I know that, it doesn't matter what the opportunity is, because He won't let me fail.

But I am so thankful, soooooo thankful!  Because we are all called to ministry.  But not many of us get the opportunity I have had to get a very intense training season.  I feel like I am in an elite group of people because God has taken everything out of my life to make time and room for Him.  Before I just had to fit Him in where I could... well, I didn't "have to fit Him in" but that's how it looked in my life.  Without the last nine months, I would not have slowed down or changed my ways.  I have had the rare privilege of spending hours a day reading the Bible and praying.  Like Job said at the end of his trials and restoration:

"My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you."  ---Job 42:5

I have committed to reading my entire Bible cover to cover.  I'm not saying by the end of the year, but I'm just doing it.  I read in a book some time ago that the author didn't want to get to heaven and admit to God that while here on Earth he had not read every word that God left for him.  That made a huge impact on me and convicted me to read!

And I know that we cannot be followers of Jesus and stay comfortable.  That thought both excites and terrifies me about the next step of my life.  Let's all pray that we are getting ready for God's work in our lives.  If we all did that, who knows what could happen???  I do hope that God allows me to keep writing when I'm well, because it is a joy and an honor!

I dropped dose 3 of 3 of my medicine 2+ weeks ago and have been down to 2 doses.  AND I dropped dose 2 of 2 four days ago and seem to be doing ok without it.  This is significant.  Getting off this medicine is key to allowing my therapy to work and coming off this "easily" is nothing short of a miracle to me.  I'm taking one dose a day and it's a really small dose!!!!

And I'm making a much longer story short here:  We found a close friend/family connection who is a doctor in Internal Medicine at Mayo.  Jonathan talked to him on his cell phone yesterday and the doctor said he would track down my application and call us early next week.  He said he's "not making any promises but will do everything he can" to speed the process.  Jonathan called the doctor and the doctor called Jonathan back within 30 minutes (that in-and-of-itself is a miracle)!

Please keep praying for the things above:
1) complete restoration and healing (so I can get on with ministry)
2) continued ease to get off my "dizzy" meds
3) an appointment at Mayo

And also, I've been having migraines the last few days. The GREAT news is that during a migraine, I'm not dizzy (or maybe I just don't notice it). It's funny when a migraine is a welcome relief!  But I really am not a fan of migraines and sometimes they can actually cause vertigo so I'd really rather just not have them.

Thank you, friends, for your continued prayers, love and support. 

One final note... I was talking with a friend yesterday and telling her all of the nice things people continue to do for our family.  She commented that before I never would have allowed people to help me the way I do now and I agreed (I needed a lesson in humility).  We were laughing saying that we hope people aren't just trying to say the "right thing" and offer their help because I don't turn anyone down.  So, beware, if you offer to do something for me, I will take you up on it!

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