Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Walk upon the waters.

Ah, Wednesdays.  I love Wednesday.  Not because it's the one day that I don't have any tutoring sessions (though that is a nice bonus), but because it's Small Group night.  And I actually have a reliable ride now, so I don't have to miss more than I attend like was happening before.  The attendees vary week to week, but man oh man, I love this group.  I adore Kevin and Amy, the couple that are gracious enough to host it at their home.  Every meeting that I attend, I leave feeling rejuvenated, happy, at peace, and so unbelievably aware of how blessed I am that God led me to this church, this family.  When Kevin has led the group in prayer for various requests, and he prays for me and this chronic pain, I can almost physically feel God using this group of sweet brothers and sisters in Christ to pour His love on me.  It's the same kind of feeling I had when I got baptized, except this time the people actually know me.  It is simply beautiful.

Tonight's study went along with Sunday's sermon on regeneration.  One of the passages we looked at was Ephesians 2:1-10, and there's a simple two word phrase that has been stuck in my head since I walked out Kevin and Amy's door three and a half hours ago.

But God.

In Ephesians, the phrase refers to how we were dead in our sin, but God brought us to life because of His mercy and grace.  That passage was a great example of what regeneration is.

I keep thinking about how that phrase applies to my life, especially my current situation.  You may be wondering why I didn't really write anything yesterday, as that is so rare for me.  Well, I was having a really hard day because I had another talk with my neurologist that, in short, told me she has no idea what to do.  She's out of ideas or options, and made it sound like there's just no hope.  And when I posted yesterday's post with those two videos, I was still trying to wrap my head around it and find peace in it and with it.  I was doing better emotionally by the time I got in bed last night, and even better this morning.  Tonight, however, was a HUGE help, and a lot of it has to do with those two simple words, but God.

When I was growing up, I was told either directly or indirectly from all possible directions that I didn't deserve love, and I believed it for far too long.  But God saw me and loved me before I even knew that He was there.

I told God I wasn't going to be His, but God chased me down.

I told God I couldn't trust a church again after what happened in my hometown, but God broke down that wall.

My doctor has no idea what to do, but God has a plan.

My mother says this situation seems hopeless, but God says that in Him, there is always hope.

There are days when this pain makes me want to skip all of my responsibilities and stay in bed all day, but God gives me strength to get up.

The world tells me that I have every reason to be scared and not trust God, but God says that perfect love casts out fear.

My doctor says I may just not be able to be healed of this pain, but God says that He is bigger than a doctor's opinion, and anything is possible for him who believes.  I believe.

It doesn't matter if every doctor in the country tells me that they can't take away this chronic pain.  If I have God, I have hope.  There is always hope.

Possibly the most eye-opening and touching part of the night for me was a part of Kevin's prayer for me at the end of the night.  He asked that God would use me in this situation, in my brokenness and pain, to tell others of His glory and show people His love.  I had never mentioned to Kevin or anyone in the group that that was the same prayer I had.  And I received a very sweet text from Kyla late last night that said in part, "He's already used you in so many ways and he's not done yet."  He's not done yet.

She also sent me this new song from Hillsong United called "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" that immediately felt like my anthem, one piece of the lyrics in particular.

Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me.  Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

There's a lot of unknowns in what I'm dealing with.  You called me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail. And there I find You in the mystery. In oceans deep, my faith will stand.

And with this song, I saw that Jesus is asking me to step out on the water with Him, even though it doesn't make sense, simply because I trust Him.  I trust Jesus to walk with me.  He already knows the ending to this part of my story.  Just like I wrote days ago, storms don't last forever, even when they feel like they're going to.  I pray that I come out on the other side of this trial with stronger faith in the One who is carrying me through.  Because if I were on my own, I would have given up long ago.

But God is saving me.  He's saving me from the despair and depression that can come with chronic pain.  I feel Him more and more every day.  I feel Him wrap His arms around me more tightly with each day, even especially when I have my moments of questioning Him.

I've said many times that giving your life to God isn't always going to be pretty or easy, but it will always be worth it.  Well, this is my chance to live it out.  This isn't pretty or easy, but I want to go wherever He wants me to if it means I am closer to Him, even if it's something this painful.  Trust without borders is the only way to make it through.

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