Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's a Wonderful LIfe

As expected, Christmas with my four was wonderful. I marvel at how my children grew into such fantastic adults. A true testimony to the power of prayer and a God in heaven. And, after reading a sunshiny Christian blog, and being privy to other Christians' charmed holiday lives, I had planned my next post to be chocked full of lighthearted anecdotes so my few readers would realize that the "100 Fold" Christian life can also be fun, but......

It started with the drive back home. I cried, mourning for the life that I am not able to give my kids, especially during the holidays. Celebrating in a home filled with childhood memories, familiar surroundings, and a complete family. This is not self-pity, it's one of my crosses that I bear. I waffle between dutifully trudging forward with the cross squarely placed on my shoulder to falling on my knees begging God to have mercy on me. Yes, I know, "God is faithful; he will not let (me) be tempted beyond what (I) can bear. But when (I am) tempted, he will also provide a way out so that (I) can endure it" (I Corinthians 10:13). I have witnessed what happens to those who break out of their prison and escape God's call - some completely backslide, and others live a tidier life, but cheat themselves out of eternal rewards (Revelation 2:10).

The day after I arrived home from our Christmas celebration, the doctor called. Diabetes. How can a 120ish pound, non-smoker, non-drinker, and in fairly good shape, be a diabetic? I was astonished. The only "symptom" I was even aware of was mysterious weight-loss (I thought it was from working so hard). During my 20 years of gym membership, my son once asked, "Why do you bother exercising?" I responded by saying, "So I can take my grandchildren bike riding!" I wanted to be a healthy old lady! This news arrives on the tail of the back diagnosis - which I still haven't mentally processed and can't treat until 2012 (poor insurance plan and not enough "out of pocket" $ to start therapy). My first thought was, "My life is over, what more is left?" God has me completely boxed in. A day or two later, I was reminded (as always comes to my mind during times like this) of my most earnest prayer that I prayed throughout the past 20+ years, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead" (Philippians 3:10,11). I ASKED to share in his sufferings. My hopes and dreams often clash with this prayer, but because I want God's will above my own, I wish I could be like the Apostle Paul, who is an inspiration; having faith in the eternal glory that far outweighs any of my sufferings, the ability to not lose heart, to consider all of my troubles as "light and momentary," and to fix my eyes on the unseen (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

Today I was reading in Zephaniah, and for the umpteenth time I believe God was telling me that He will restore my fortune (3:20). God has not only impressed this theme upon me in prayer and Bible reading, but someone also prophesied it to me. My struggle today was, "I hear you, Lord, but can you tell me if it will be in 'the land of the living (Psalm 27:13) or an eternal reward?" If the latter, I need help to "fix my eyes on the unseen." When I hear fortune, I don't necessarily believe it's monetary, although, it could be, but possibly a richer quality of life. What that includes, I'm not sure, but I'm leaning toward a "suffer-free" life :)  A year or so ago, a Christian friend told me, after praying for me, that my 15-year duration of "suffering" was over, hmmmm....

Many Christians have health problems, but not typically bundled in the Complete 100-Fold Christian Value Pack. No one I work with has any idea of what my real life has been like, and I believe I would be doing God a disservice if I portrayed my life negatively. I want people to see the over-comer, the positive, and the good that has resulted. Last Thursday, my coworker, C., marveled at the patience I had with some of our kookier customers. Thirty five years ago patience was not part of my personality.  I know that at times it's helpful to share our "testimony," but for the most part, we are to be like Jesus in shoe-leather. I rejoice that I am not the same person I was: selfish, unforgiving, not facing reality, to name a few more.

I no longer do New Year's Resolutions (if you've read any of the previous posts, I'm sure you can understand why). As 2011 comes to a close, my prayer is that I may readily accept God's will for my life, lean on Him more, and have greater faith. I'd like to experience some miracles, too. It would be nice to meet some Fellow-Folders, but I'm not sure how one goes about finding them. This post is not a puff-piece that's a light read around the holidays, stirring up warm, fuzzy feelings, but my hope is that by reading, you'll receive the same comfort that I have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:4). So when you see your Christian neighbor skating through, you won't be surprised that, even if you're serving God with all your heart, trying experiences continue to come your way.  Additionally, a reminder that sharing in Christ's suffering will produce perseverance, character, hope and a share in his glory (Romans 5:3, 8:17). Now that's a wonderful life.

Merry Christmas - may we focus on Christ every single day of 2012.


  1. "the Complete 100-Fold Christian Value Pack"

    I liked that phrase...

  2. Got interrupted by a phonecall while typing that previous comment... After 20 mins, I decided just to post it and come back later to add the rest of what I wanted to say. Got sidetracked, sorry. Don't want you to think I was minimizing your post...

    Diabetes, eh? Wow. Wish I knew what to say. Once again, I feel like a spiritual toddler.

  3. Dave,
    No need to say anything. My hope is that you, my kids, and anyone else who reads this post (according to the stats, I've had several come from your site), will be encouraged to fight the good fight, and know that if I can persevere, so can they.