"I know you (God) have a plan and purpose and that I need to rely on you completely...and I feel that I do, by Your grace, so why I am still in this trial? Why do I still hurt? I just don't know how else I can grow through this. I've been here for so long, what more can you teach me? And yet, I am grateful Lord, I complain, yet I know you are there, I give up, but you continue to sustain me. Oh how do I keep going back and forth like this!?"
Ha, I read that and tears come to my eyes as I am overwhelmed by how God continually turns my eyes to Him, even when I fight it, even when I don't want to look, when I want to close my eyes and make everything go away - He makes me look at Him and marvel at the work He is doing in my stubborn heart - He opens my eyes to the small, beautiful things of every day life, continually works at stripping my heart of it's layers of ugliness so that He can replace it with His beauty.
I find myself more hungry for His word and wanting to know His character more. If this trial is bringing about all this, then why in the world would I want it to go away!? And yet...I do. Oh the contradictory nature of my thoughts sometimes! I am thankful for a God who was also Man and understands the turmoil of my thoughts and heart. I am thankful for His mercy and His patience to let me blather on and still continue to prod me along His path - I wish I traveled it with feet "a trippin' merrily" but, I don't...not always. Oh the fuss I can make sometimes!
A friend sent me an email on Monday with an article that had this verse in it: "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock." - Isaiah 26:3-4. I did a pretty long study on Isaiah awhile ago, and I don't remember that verse. But Wednesday night, God used it much during my journaling chaos to still my mind and my heart and to focus on Him. To find my joy in Him. To remind me that my stability is on my Rock, not on the current state of my health.
On Friday, I must have timed my meds wrong, because I yakked my guts up through the morning as my girlfriends and I made our way up to Austin for a fun overnight trip. I sat in the car, desperately willing my stomach to settle and for the waves of nausea to pass, and lamenting that I might have to stay in bed the entire trip. Later that evening (with my stomach thankfully settled!) a friend sent an email to me that spoke so clearly to the thoughts I was having during the car ride. She sent me a verse that had recently ministered to her: "Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind" Ecclesiastes 4:6.
Rather than being consumed by thoughts of what else to do with my disease, and frustrated with not being able to do things because I don't feel well, and, during the car ride to Austin, fiercely fighting against yakking my guts up more thanks to my meds, to just sit quietly, to accept what is going on, to know that He is at work and working everything out for my good and His glory, and to just stop fighting the path He has me on, to travel it quietly, with ears and heart open to what He wants me to learn. To be content and joyful in my trial. I can't tell you how many times I feel like I have learned how to do that, only to be right back at the beginning learning that lesson from a different perspective, deepening my understanding of what it means to be content and joyful.
So that's my focus - to be more quiet and still. To stop fighting against what I trust, and want to trust more and more, is God's way of working out His best for me.
I am not walking this trial alone. The two examples above of how God used friends to encourage me and remind of His presence are just the tip of the iceberg of the work He is doing in the background. I am so humbled and amazed by how much my God loves me.