There's Mail From Mom!

Wouldn't it be nice to have a letter from mom in the mailbox each time you checked it? Here's a place to check your mailbox for a heart-to-heart talk with mom...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sustaining Grace...

  This is not the next post I had planned.  I had planned on a post about sweethearts, Valentine's Day, etc.  I always get very tender toward my sweetheart in February because we got married in March and the memories begin to run through my heart of the wonderful years the Lord has given me with my husband of almost 37 years!
  The post I am going to write is difficult because it is one where I am going to be open about my weaknesses and that isn't easy for me.  However, I promised myself that when it comes to being someone in leadership (a pastor's wife) I want to be honest about the fact that I have every battle that every other woman has and that I want to wear no masks.  I am simply an older woman who has been down the road a little further which only has taught me how much I desperately need the Lord--not made me better than anyone else.  I do want to take my experience and help others so that perhaps they have less pain and learn to lean on Him a little sooner in life than I did.
  The post I had planned is not going to be written because  life has taken me down another path than I had in my planned for about a week now.  I battle major health issues since I had C. diff and pancreatitis three years ago.  In the last week or so I've been in what I'd call a major flare-up.  I have decided that until the Lord takes me another direction this is His will for my life and I try my best to make my illness one of the details of my life--not my life.  Every once in a while in takes control however, and we're there.
  I also am a victim of chronic depression.  It is not easy to say that, but God's grace has been so sweet to me in this area of my life.  He has taught me year by year how to manage this illness and I praise His name that He has used my life to help others at times. 
  I always have my lowest point in late January and early February.  I know it's going to come and have to remind myself to keep track of the triggers (and avoid as many as possible), to get my sunlight and make myself take walks when it starts.  If you suffer depression you know that's the very last thing you want to do and I remind my husband to not ask me but tell me what to do during this time of the year.  Because of the things I've learned I go through many winters with only mild symptoms instead of being in the bed in despair as I have in previous years.
   This year something caused the depression to go into a major downswing.  I could list about five possible causes so who's to know which one or if it was a combination of all.  Number one on my list is the downswing in my health.  I fight intense pain and when it gets to the point I want to pace I begin to feel hopeless that it will ever end.  The thought of living the rest of my life like this is not a pleasant one and I have to send that thought away and live one day at a time.
   But that's not what this post is about.  This post is about God's goodness and His sustaining grace.  This week I had a day when my body decided it had to have rest and I literally "crashed" into a deep sleep. (No medication involved in case you're wondering.) When I did rouse my unwelcome "friend" was always there with the despair and hopelessness.  And that's when the Lord had my daughter Alicia call to check on me.  I was half awake/half asleep and we were talking. 
   In the midst of a conversation I can't remember fully she asked "Who created emotions?" 
   My reply was, "God."
  Then she said something like this, "Mom, God created sadness, and fear and other emotions that are negative simply to be used as a springboard to make us see our need for Him." 
  My heart gripped that.  That was exactly what the Lord has been faithfully teaching me and He used my precious daughter to remind me of it when I was literally too ill to even think straight enough to turn my heart and mind toward the truths I knew.  I have no faith, no light, no courage of my own and at a time when my heart is trembling, my flesh is failing me, and my mind and emotions are in turmoil and confusion I only have to look to Him to sustain me and minister Himself to me. 
  Then today-- I ended up with four firetrucks at my house because of a problem with our fireplace insert.  We came very close to having a house fire.  The Lord spared us by allowing it to happen during the day and allowing help to come quickly.  We didn't even have serious smoke damage.  However, my already fragile nerves felt like they were literally shot and I could feel the panic trying to rise in me over all the "little foxes" in our lives right now.
  My oldest daughter Niki called this evening and began to talk to me about the Lord not saying He wouldn't put more on us than we could bear when it came to burdens--that text had to do with temptations. She talked about how He allows the unbearable burdens in our lives so we will turn to Him and let Him be our Burden-bearer and sustain us.  He simply uses the burdens to remind us we need Him and can't go through lives without Him.  The same message again--and just when I needed it.
   As we talked once again I could feel the Holy Spirit ministering the truth to me when my mind and emotions were too weary to even think properly.  Once again the Living Water bubbled up inside of me as I thought of Him right there to sustain me with His grace, to bear me up on His wings, to hold underneath me with His everlasting arms and when I can only look He's there for me.
  How thankful I am He has given me two daughters who can minister to their mother.  There is no greater blessing or greater dividend in life than having children that bring you joy in their spiritual walk being healthy.
So tonight, I want to remind you of His wonderful grace.  If you are too weak, too weary, perhaps you sicken yourself with your inability to trust or be courageous, just fall upon Him and look up at Him and let Him minister His life and righteousness and grace to you.  "My flesh  and my heart faileth : but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion  for ever."  Ps. 73:26  He will not fail you, He promises! 

p.s. If you are Niki's friend on Facebook you can read her wonderful essay on this--!/notes/niki-neal-lott/more-than-we-can-bear/10150133658690159


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