My life is shaken, stirred, heated, and pressed down. BUT WE STILL STAND. In the last three months; the following has occurred:
1. My knee was clinically found to be too atrophied for a total knee replacement; resulting in an endless cycle of physical therapy to strengthen my leg but pain after the attempt, leaving me to pained to strengthen it.
2. An undeserved, shocking and supernatural healing… Without surgery. I had been a spoiled rotten brat that week, whining and complaining; and simply over it. That Sunday at church, they asked if anyone needed prayer for their hip or back. I hadn’t even told my husband that my hips were off by 2 inches. I received prayer, and my hips had no pain, neither did my back. A couple friends of ours asked to pray for my knee. I shrugged and said OK, even though I was skeptical and butter in my heart. I thought, “It’s not going to do any good, but go ahead.” I was instantly convicted of my lack of faith. I asked God to forgive me, and I said, “Jesus, I want to believe; help now my unbelief!” I felt pain as they prayed, I felt my knee cap return to its proper place, and I felt warmth in my quad muscle. I walked out of church without crutches. When I walked into Physical Therapy on Monday, my leg strength was 3 times stronger than it had been on Friday. I can’t explain it, other than Jesus was merciful.
I don’t know why I was healed, and why others have not been healed. I do know that it’s a question I will wrestle with throughout the rest of my life.
I know that my knee being healed doesn’t guarantee a life filled with perfectly beautiful scenarios. This leads me to the next numbers.
3. We received 20 hours notice to evict from our rental house.
4. After more than a month, we are still waiting for the rental that our hearts are set on to be available for us… Just a few more moving pieces.
5. One of our sons hit a tree while sledding and blacked out, fully unconscious. His concussion was severe. A combination of prayer, chiropractic care and rest had resulted in yet another recovery.
6. We were given a second car at a very good price.
7. Said car broke down and awaits repairs.
Do you see the pattern? Good, bad, good….
That is how I once viewed it.
I am no longer emotionally controlled by the situations in life!
Jesus promised us that “In this life you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world!” Jn. 16:33 biblegateway.com
We will have trouble.
Any time that healing occurs,
Or Beauty is discovered;
That is PROOF
That God is Here.
He Is God.
I needed to simply rest today and just get lost in this shot. My hope is that it will also provide you with a moment’s rest! Enjoy this snowy shot of our “Big Red” lighthouse at twilight!
How much do I cherish and seek after love? What am I willing to lay aside in order to receive love more fully? (What would possess a person to wear shoulder cut outs in a snow storm? Am I proud of how quickly I am distracted from focusing on Love? Nope…I am shameless; and in that lies my redemption.)
I am unflinching in my confession that I have no hope of ever being kind, unselfish, or loving on my own. Instead, I admit that there is not a shred of anything good in me, except by the Love of God.
Yesterday, I was very upset with my dear husband. I felt that I deserved an apology, I felt that it was delaying beyond what I wanted; so I prayed out my feelings (and my opinion) to God. I told Him that I wanted an apology. I prayed that God would “move his heart to see his error”. (This sounds absolutely awful as I type out the reality of yesterday, but, it’s what I did.)
Anyhow, as I am praying for my husband to be convicted in his spirit for offending me, I felt like I was being asked a personal question.
“Gracie, did you apologize before I died for you?”
Then I remembered the following:
I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”
How have I been loved? Oh, that’s right, Jesus didn’t just forgive me before I apologized; He took the consequence that I had chosen, before I chose it. Additionally, He prayed on my behalf, seeking forgiveness for me, before I apologized.
“Just as I have loved you…”
Before an apology.
Before I even knew that I had sinned.
Instead of simply praying, “Father, forgive him for he knows not what he is doing”, I was also praying; ” Father, forgive me, for I know not what I am doing. ”
Yesterday I was reminded that I was not reflecting the Father’s love.
What does my story have to do with you?
Are you reflecting His love?
Are you, like Him, praying that the Father forgives them, for they know not what they are doing?
If not, may the Father forgive you, for you know not what you are doing.
I was scrolling through my previous photographs,
and found this gem. I had to share it. 🙂
This was taken in Holland, Michigan at
Holland State Park. No filter, no editing;
Vagabonds aren’t always confident about where they belong.
This year, my family and I are homeless.
I feel displaced, and a bit unsettled; but not necessarily restless.
We are staying in a borrowed back room with family;
and I can’t help but be overwhelmed at how much more I understand the depth of sacrifice
that Mary and Joseph and Jesus made.
Despite their kinsman living in Bethlehem, they were not offered a guest room; but
instead were bedded down in a rustic place a bit outside of the “acceptable community” in
order to possibly avoid the stigma of appearances.
After all, Mary was about to deliver a baby; before she married Joseph.
Their families chose their religious appearances over intimacy with their Savior.
How often have I been guilty of the same?
For the last few years, we have given our kids 3 gifts…because a friend from church explained their family’s tradition of the same; “Since the wise men brought three gifts to Jesus for his birthday, so our kids can receive what Jesus received.”
We thought it was a good, spiritual idea.
This morning, though, I remembered a few things.
1st, the wise men arrived when Jesus was a couple years old. Ergo, He didn’t receive three gifts upon his birth.
2nd, shepherds came in from the elements to celebrate the birth of Jesus…in the place where the religious were afraid to go.
Therefore, to allow our children a fully Biblical Christmas experience, being homeless is the closest that they have ever come to living as Christ lived. Technically, they received more than Christ did since He had to wait a couple years before the wise men arrived with his gifts.
My point is that if you feel displaced by the church, if you feel like a vagabond of Christmas, if you feel like the religious reality of today holds no place for you, if you feel isolated, and cast aside, and like you just can’t feel at home anywhere; you have experienced the true intimacy of Christ. He has lived it, too. He is right with you in this and you are NOT alone.
You may have three gifts, or 1 gift, or no gifts at all.
You may have a home, or be homeless.
You may be alone physically,
BUT YOU ARE NEVER ALONE SPIRITUALLY.
IMMANUEL MEANS “GOD WITH US”.
May our eyes be forever opened, may our hearts be changed to receive the first gift of Christ’s birth; HIM. May He always be enough.