Sunday, March 3, 2013

Gratitude when it's hard.

I'm currently attempting to write this blog post while lying down with my laptop propped on my legs.  I'm doing this because I can't move off this heating pad without nearly screaming.  Part of the equation when you have two 16-inch steel rods, screws, plates, and bone grafts fused to your spine is that sometimes, your back gets really, really angry at you and aches in a way that makes you almost feel all the metal in your back stabbing your vertebrae (which is, in reality, a ridiculous thought because there's no way I could feel metal that is so far down in my body it doesn't set off metal detectors).

So here's the truth:  Today is really hard.  And I don't have a lot to say because aside from tonight's Wolfpack game (which we won, yay), the entire day has consisted of me laying in bed trying to find the least painful position.  Not a very entertaining blog post.

Instead, I'm feeling led to post some of the things that have been running through my head as I have laid/sat here today and thought about this situation.  They're all things that have been keeping me focused on Jesus in the midst of the severe pain (which, yes, is on top of the usual migraine pain).  Because Jesus is here.  He has not left me for one second today.

Chris's words of wisdom on Friday.  Thank God for the pain, if only because it's a reminder to run closer to Him and pray.  "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"We won't stop confessing He is good and we won't stop thanking Him for grace and we won't stop holding out our hands - and taking His hand.  We won't stop believing that 'God is good' is not some trite quip for the good days but a radical defiant cry for the terrible days. That 'God is good' is not a stale one-liner when all's happy but a saving lifeline when all's hard." - Ann Voskamp

"Help me to win my endless fears. You've been so faithful for all my years. With one breath, You make me new. Your grace covers all I do.  Well, I will walk by faith, even when I cannot see.  Well, because this broken road prepares Your will for me." - Jeremy Camp "Walk by Faith"

"Consider my affliction, and please deliver me. Plead my cause and redeem me.  Salvation's not for the wicked, for they don't seek Your word.  Great are Your tender mercies, Lord.  Revive me according to Your loving kindness.  Revive me that I may seek Your word.  Revive me according to Your loving kindness.  Revive me, oh, Lord." - Jeremy Camp "Revive Me"

"[God] knows my heart enough to know that, in that moment, I couldn't possibly say, 'Oh God, thank you SO MUCH that I get to do this.'  The best that I could do was, when that door closed, and the light closed, and the dark room came back, I said, 'Jesus, lay with me. Please, lay with me because I can't do this.'  And my gratitude was to Him being present in this moment that I could not have survived.  And it's such a distinction of saying, I don't want you to feel like you have to be grateful for the thing that happened.  God grieves that with you.  It's a recognition of who He is, and that He is always good." - Angie Smith, in the Bloom Chapter 5 discussion of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

So tonight I choose to be grateful.  That God is always with me.  That He grieves this pain with me.  That He is always good.  That all the pain I deal with on a daily basis is a broken road that prepares His will for me.  That the pain is a reminder to reach out for God and pray for Him to just lay with me when I can't move.  That Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  That I am in the hands of the only One who can truly feel my pain and comfort me.

I am His, and He is mine.  That is enough to be grateful for, even on a day like today.  This is what is going to keep me holding on to tomorrow, when His mercies are new and I have another chance to grow closer to Him.

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  1. Hey Mal!

    I'm locking my blog up, so I want to make sure I have your current email address (the one you use for blogger).

    Can you leave a comment on my blog with your address? I won't approve it, and will delete it as soon as I confirm.


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