Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Closer Look

There was a dead horsefly on our back patio when I woke up yesterday morning.  Seeing as how Gator eats pretty much everything, it was a miracle this little bug was still there.  It was on its back and I bent over to look more closely.  As I looked I noticed its little fly eyes and its stinger.  I then got the kids' magnifying glass and tried to look even closer.  The reason I say I "tried" to look closer is because Gator-the-Holy-Terror was trying to jump on me, eat the magnifying glass and step on the fly all at the same time.  I finally shooed Gator away long enough to gaze.  This fly, which usually is annoying, ugly and sometimes painful, became beautiful under the glass.  I could see many intricate details of its body, its large stinger, its scales, its amazing eyes. 

Over the last 2 weeks I have received at least 6 different words of encouragement from 6 different people in 6 different ways.  I want to share them with you, not to be proud or boastful, but just so you will know exactly what I mean:
1)      A family friend that I see once a year at most told me how much she enjoys my blog and how helpful it is to others.  She encouraged me to write a book or compile my postings in some way.
2)      A friend that I have seen about once in the last year sent me a Facebook message sharing her valley story and encouraging me with her words and lessons, so many of which I can totally relate to.
3)      A friend sent me a text acknowledging that every time she sees me walk into church she gives thanks that I am able to be there; knowing that for a very long time church attendance was difficult and I didn't go for a very long time.
4)      A friend sat next to me in church during a sermon from 1 Peter 1:3-9 entitled "Life Under Assault."  She looked at me after the service and told me she thought of me the whole time and about how I've stayed positive throughout my trial.
5)      A friend has been going through a very scary, physical ordeal for the last week (she's better - praise God!).  I was able to send her some encouragement and get hers in return.
6)      My mom called the twins' birthday into the local Christian radio station last week.  She also told the DJs what a great mom I am and that I read scripture and pray with my kids every morning.  It was a slow birthday morning (theirs was the only one), so the DJs spent some time relaying this story on air.  As I sat down to pray that morning I realized that if absolutely nothing else changes or I don't have a new ministry or calling as a result of this trial, that this one change in our life alone is a gift and a treasure and can have a significant eternal impact.  If I were still working full-time and running wide-open, I would have said, "We don't have the time in the mornings; we can't be late for school!"  And I realize this incredible gift of time that God has given us - time to spend training my children the importance of reading God's word and talking to Him every morning.

Again, I'm not sharing these stories as testaments to anything I've done.  I just want you to understand how over the last few weeks I've taken inventory of the last 19 months and am re-assessing just what it all means.  Somehow, with God's grace, I am able to look through the magnifying glass and see an ugly, painful, annoying situation as beautiful and precious.  It's a process, but I believe God has ignited a renewed sense of purpose for me.  Just like Gator distracting me from fly-gazing, many, many things have distracted me from having the right mindset over the last year and half.

I was lying in bed last night and shamefully remembering a conversation I had with the Young Singles Life Group that I taught up until the time I got sick.  One day in class I asked how many were ready to go to heaven and I sadly admitted that I wasn't quite ready yet.  Because I had a completely blessed life here, I didn't yearn for any more.  I had a great job, husband, kids, home, friends, HEALTH.  Through this journey, the priority of those things has been stripped away.  For so many days the only thing I could focus on was God's grace and the things of this world became "strangely dim" as the song says.  Now I cannot wait for the day that I can burst forth through those pearly gates.  I am ready NOW.  I realize that all I have is temporary and none of it is mine anyway.  It's all God's.  Now that my fingers have been pried from the grip I had on things of this earth I can spend time with my magnifying glass looking more closely at this journey and appreciating it for what it is and even finding beauty in something very ugly.

Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,    I will be joyful in God my Savior.
 ---Habakkuk 3:17-18

Other Stuff
I've been on the new meds for a week and it's actually been a pretty good one.  I'm cautiously optimistic.  Nights are still not fun at all, but at least I am getting a little relief in daily activities. I'm still having some trouble setting boundaries and not pushing myself - I'm sure that will continue to be a work in progress.

School is out for summer and I am so thankful for lazy mornings and no homework!

Tomorrow I will celebrate 14 years of marriage with a wonderful husband who has quietly born the brunt of the family burden for a very long year and a half.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Nicole, what a precious post! Thanks for sharing these encouragements with us. I admire you so much and pray for the Lord to continue His work in you and to give you complete and total health. Sweet blessings for a summer of fun!