The lumpy, bumpy road…

This road we’re on sure has a lot of stones in it. The narrow path can be hard to navigate. Trying not to fall to the left or the right is tough when this road less traveled never seems to stay straight. Instead, we’re full steam ahead on a journey that has more twists and turns than the county fair roller coaster. I heard someone say once that if you’re bored as a Christian, you’re not doing it right. If there is any Truth to that, I have to believe we’re really rocking this following Jesus thing.

But the really cool thing I’m finding about maturity is that my reflexes have greatly improved. Usually, at a new bump or bend at break neck speed, I start with crying out. Right away I know to approach the One Whose stamp of approval has been placed on this detour. I occasionally start with the “Why me”, followed by (a little bit whiney), “What is it about me that requires THIS much correction?” Or maybe “What am I NOT learning?” and sometimes, “How long, Lord?”. This is a much quicker stop than it used to be. Because, well, reflexes. Muscle memory? Practice?

Next, I move on to remembering. Because when I’m nervous or scared or just plain tired, I know that I fail to practice some basic safety measures like looking in the rearview mirrors. Looking at where I’ve been reminds me of how I’ve gotten through, and Who is always traveling WITH me. Over every rough patch, through every close call, I can find strength in remembering that those situations seemed precarious at the time too, so surely there is hope yet for this one.

Then I slow down and remember to check those side mirrors and watch my blind spots. Because, in remembering, I’m reminded that this is when the enemy delights in trying to destroy. Destroy my peace, destroy my calm and destroy my deep breathing exercises. A bit of defensive driving here is absolutely crucial. I grab hold of that manual, that map, that Word of God and speak Truth to myself where lies threaten to sneak up on me.

This last couple of weeks I had some difficulty navigating. We hit a few bumps. The A/C went out in my van. Which isn’t such a big deal unless you have a kiddo that doesn’t regulate their body temperature well. Then, there’s the water heater that suddenly quits. And in the midst of a cold shower, another bump. Or rather, a lump.

In my breast.

And if any of you have experienced this kind of bump in your road, you may know the kind of road I traveled this week. It took a twist at the ultrasound, after the mammogram, when the radiologist ordered the core needle biopsy. Though I’d been in regular prayer over all our bumps lately, I will admit that the big medical words like radial scar and inter ductal carcinoma had me doing more of what would be considered, praying continuously.

I prayed continuously as they prepped for biopsy. I prayed continuously when that room looked more like a crime scene than an exam room. I prayed continuously that I would not lose my lunch, that I would remain conscious, and that they would finish soon. And as it was all over, I prayed for wisdom for the staff that would interpret the results.

Curled up with a couple of ice packs that evening I was still praying. My busy mind in direct contrast to the stillness of my living room, I made a familiar stop at “Why me”. Because I was feeling a bit…. afflicted.

Why us? Why finances? Why always medical problems? Why SO HARD? Why can’t we have “those” problems instead? You know, the ones those other people have? How much longer, Lord? And this whole pity party collided with gratitude for a Father that tolerates the questions of His struggling children.

So I finished my devotional. I finished my daily reading and I prayed for the ability to hand it all over to Him. For a peace that surpasses circumstances. Because I knew He could provide it, I turned off all the lights and crawled into bed.

When Psalm 41 flashed insistent through my head.

I don’t know Psalm 41. Is that in the first book, or the second? I’ll look tomorrow.

I tossed, turned, fluffed and got back up to take some more Motrin. Then tried again.

Lord, I know You already know those biopsy results and You’re already ahead of our every need. Please help me remember that and rest in You.

Psalm 41

1, 2 & 3…

That seemed rather specific so I picked up my phone and looked it up quickly on Blue Letter Bible.

Psalm 41
Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
2 The Lord protects and preserves them—
they are counted among the blessed in the land—
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
3 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness.

Giggling and crying, because that’s how I roll when the Creator of the universe lowers Himself to not only hear my prayer, but whispers comfort in illuminated text. I shut my phone off and went to bed. And slept.

The air conditioning is still broken, the water heater still needs to be replaced and biopsy confirmed what’s called a radial scar. Benign, it should require no treatment, but will at least need to be removed.

But I have it on good authority that we are being protected and preserved and we will be delivered in our times of trouble. Not to mention being sustained and restored. I’m feeling far more peace about the road we’re on.

Baptism

Well, I did it! I was baptized! What a beautiful, emotional, experience shared with a loving church family and friends that came to support me. This act of obedience, this outward sign of my inner change, was a long time coming for me, and something I said just two years ago that I would never do if it meant getting up on that stage. I was wrong. Thank you Jesus! Below is the short testimony I shared, along with photos a friend took to capture this moment for me.

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I was raised in houses devoid of faith and crumbling in brokenness. Addictions, neglect, abuse, and abandonment were the foundation of my childhood.  He who knit me together in my mother’s womb, carried me safely through and gifted me with the desire to seek love, security, and safety. The world told me where to find it. I went to college, married a wonderful man, was blessed with two happy, healthy children, had a comfortable home, two new vehicles, a savings account, college funds, the privilege of staying home to care for my family, and plans. A life better than I ever dreamed I could have.  FB_IMG_1458346556622

Imagine my surprise when I was still plagued with terrible anxiety and depression.  I was led to a therapist, Believer, and now beloved friend. Who used her gift of compassion, patience, and love to, over time, chip away at that decaying foundation to make room for something more solid. She encouraged me through the doors of the worship center where the Holy Spirit opened my eyes for the first time to the gospel, with a heart finally ready to receive it. For several years He worked in my life, laying a new foundation in Christ; A carpenter, creating a new structure of trust, faith, and belief through His word and His church. He even added a surprise room for a third happy, healthy child.

Almost two years ago I was hit by a storm in the form of genetic disorders that I know, had that new foundation not been laid, would have taken down that new structure and I would not have survived the fall. Those transient, worldly things that I had held so tightly to and was so terrified of losing? The things I was sure would bring me love, security, and safety? Some of them were washed away. Healthy kids, financial security and plans made way for true love, security, and safety in Christ. Surrendering everything I have and everything I am to my Savior (sometimes on an hourly basis) has freed me from overwhelming fear. His blueprints for my life may look vastly differently than the plans I had, but He has shown me time and again that He and His promise are trustworthy. And the love, safety, and security I searched tirelessly for can be found seated at the right hand of God. I will follow Him, wherever He takes me, all the way Home.


Acts 22:16

16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’


 

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