January 29, 2014
They’ve come up with a diagnosis for my back. It’s called mechanically induced adhesive arachnoiditis. That means that because of my previous back surgeries, nerves in my lower back have begun to join together creating tingling, numbness, weakness and pain. It is pretty scary prognosis if you read up on it.
Life is very overwhelming just now. But I’m learning to slice off little bits at a time and digest those.
As the body crumbles, it reminds me of how clay-like it is. I wish Humpty Dumpty could be put together again… And maybe he will.
But if God will use these crumbles to show Himself to be alive, good, powerful, trustworthy and oh so near, to myself, and to others, then it will be worth it.
February 8, 2014
This has been quite a week! I’m getting ready for my meeting next week with the nuclear med team (regarding radiation therapy); we also received some sad news about some dear friends. BUT oh, how good God has been! Perhaps best of all, He is teaching me so much more about painting the walls of my heart and life with the reality of His truth.
I’ve been meditating on His truth in a more intense way than ever before, allowing myself (with His help) to see that it really is the reality and the future is oh so bright!
Faith is being certain of that which is unseen. He kindly is giving me more of this kind of faith! I am so grateful!
February 11, 2014
I’m remembering to fight for songs in the night….
So many sleepless nights remind me of the old days when my children were just babies and there were the night feeds, the dirty diapers, the nightmares, teething pains etc. Now it’s my own body who is the grumpy customer… Most usually the back or a goofed up calcium level or anxiety…and pain.
I miss the nights of sleeping through and waking up refreshed. They seem to be a thing of the past… At least for now.
Now I need to ask God to help me fight for songs in the night…to use the times awake well.
In the past I learned to arm myself with music, a short Bible verse to chew on and people to pray for. It helped my attitude and it was encouraging to see how God answered many prayers prayed during that time.
Now I’m asking Him again to help me not be the fussy child because I’m awake yet again! But to once more sing in the night…to pray for others, to remember His kindnesses or at least try to have a sweet spirit.
From God’s Word:
March 17, 2014
4:50 a.m. … can’t get back to sleep. My heart just won’t be settled. Visions of side effects are dancing in my head when I’m really wanting it to be sugar plums dancing there instead. This is definitely NOT the night before Christmas in my heart!
Or is it? There’s a dead rat in my heart somewhere, to use a D.C. analogy. Rats die in weird places in this city. You can smell them but can’t quite get to them.
That’s how my heart feels. There’s a lie or maybe a whole family of lies rotting someplace in my heart’s recesses; Things it refuses to believe about God and His goodness; what I’m going through and what He has planned ahead. Then there are the things God has in mind to do that frankly I’d rather just do without … and it stinks.
But maybe it is the night before Christmas after all … it’s just that I’m getting a service call from pest management in my stocking.
I’m tired of the smell that this lie has been making but somehow I’ve been happier to live with it than go through prying open the floorboards of my heart to find it and get rid of it.
Perhaps God is using this trial to make me hate the stench of this lie so much that I’m happy for the demolition needed to be rid of it. That sure does sound like our great big good God!
So it’s ugh!!!! But somehow also ‘praise God!’
Perhaps, just perhaps, this will turn out to be not just one of the hardest seasons of my life but also one of best presents I’ve received.
God is so good and patient with me!
From God’s Word:
That soul though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!
George Keith 1639-1716
Every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of that.
A Song for the Suffering – John Piper
April 18, 2014
For the first time in my life, I’ve woken up on Good Friday morning and I feel the same excitement as I do on Christmas morning, right before everyone gets up and I know we will go downstairs to the Christmas tree and the presents and the celebration of the day.
What a gift I was given this day, 2,000 years ago! It trumps all my fears. Jesus bore all the wrath of God on the cross for me while I was still His enemy. There is nothing that He cannot take care of! He is faithful!
He who did not spare His own Son but freely gave Him up for us, will He not along with Him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32
There has never been such a love as this!!!!
Life’s journey will be along dark mountains that feel too difficult to cross and green easy valleys where I will be lazy and forgetful. But He has been faithful and will ALWAYS be found faithful. The road is not the point, the Guide is!
Come let us worship and bow down before our Maker … let the whole earth stand in awe. Psalm 95:6
Good, good, Good Friday! Good, good, good season of suffering that has brought me this joy to my heart!
Does He not do all things well?
October 29, 2014
When I was a pre-schooler, I can remember activity times when the teacher would distribute little mounds of play dough to each of us to play with. Everyone had their own bit to create their own masterpiece and no one was to mess with anyone else’s creation. Most kids were pretty good at respecting each other’s personal dough space. But sometimes the boys would reach over and stick their fingers in their neighbor’s work. It was just too tempting.
The memory of this came to me this morning as I was praying. I noticed how many of my prayers are like sticking my hands in God’s playdough rather than tending to my own little lump. What do I mean? Well … I’m so busy poking at His timing, His plans, the outcomes of things, His wisdom, etc. instead of being happy to let Him be the potter and do what He wants with the clay of life. If anything, I need to be asking Him to be sticking His fingers more into my clay and working what He knows is best in me.
Please, Lord, help me to delight in your will and pray that it be done. Help me not to be praying in a way that is really wanting you to change your good will. Help me to pray for whatever you want to do. Help me to welcome you to poke at my heart and life, shaping it into whatever you want it to be. Make my prayers filled with requests for trust, confidence, delight, expectation, surrender to You. Fill me with the knowledge of You and your love that exceeds anything that I can comprehend.
Editor’s Note. This article is an excerpt of Connie’s latest book. If you’d like to read more of her work, we encourage you to pick up her new book; He Will Hold Me Fast: A Journey with Grace through Cancer (Christian Focus, 2017).
Connie and her husband, Mark, live in Washington, D.C. where he has been pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church for the past twenty years. They have two married children. Connie devotes much of her time to writing children’s curriculum and music. She loves playing music, teaching children, and encouraging women—particularly pastors’ wives.