It says this…
“The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37-24
Stumbling, and yet somehow not falling, because the Lord upholds those who delight in him.
I lost my baby, yet I am upheld because I delight in Him.
My health is at risk, yet I am upheld because I delight in Him.
My child has leukemia, yet I am upheld because I delight in Him.
I have not gotten the child that I long for, yet I am upheld because I delight in Him.
This is NOT how I wanted things to go, yet I am upheld because I delight in Him.
I’ve come to notice that this world is chock full of people stumbling. Every day walking by, shoulder to shoulder, with someone whose life might have just been upturned. Could be the car in front of us, going frustratingly slow, is doing so because they are crying in the driver’s seat. In the movie theatre, two rows ahead sits someone who got out to watch a move…just to…try…to…forget…for…a…little while. In rooms of the hospital we drive by everyday. In the pews, in the halls, in the cubicles, in the carlines, in the restaurant…they all have their stories. We all have our stories.
When I stumbled out of the ultrasound room that day, November 22nd 2013, I was never the same. The world swirled around me and all of a sudden I became keenly aware of all the pain. Somedays it made life harder. I was mad that I felt like no one else was noticing what I noticed. I remember wishing that I could have the word “grieving” tattooed onto my forehead so that people would handle me more gently. I remember thinking, “Its not fair. Look at them laughing. Going on about their lives happy as can be. How dare they!” (silly I know, but its the truth). It felt like the world was a happy place and I was an unwelcomed soppy guest.
As the tattoo on my forehead faded from “grieving” to “changed forever” and the height of my emotions quieted a little, that perspective began to be a gift. That keen awareness that it is not always as it seemed began to embellish my once oblivious days with compassion and understanding. Patience and slowness and a desire to hear…your…story. I began to give all people the benefit of the doubt, because you simply just don’t know what’s going on. And sometimes, every once in awhile, if you dare to actually ask them they might actually give you eyes to see inside their lives. Then there comes the chance to be that friend, that loving ear that you never took the time to be before.
Over the past few weeks I spent time asking for your prayer over friends. As I wrote them it was in the thick. Lindy was on the eve of a kidney transplant that she would later learned had to be delayed a month because of a virus. My dear friends Paul and Julia had just found out that their precious two year old son Titus has leukemia. It was raw, in the moment, please pray type pleading. And here we are, weeks later. The immediate rush, trauma, shock, “in your face this is happening NOW”…well it has died done a little…well, it has for us anyway.
I am praying now that none of us forget! That we sink in, together, for the long haul with the people in our lives that need it the most. In these hard seasons of life, sometimes we jump on the beginning need for prayer and support in upheavals in the beginning…but for as long as the struggle endures I pray that so do we!
Lindy still needs prayer, and we are praying BIG for a miracle…
*Her transplant has been pushed back until December 3rd and we are spending these extra weeks praying for a big time miracle, that a kidney transplant might not be necessary after all because God has made those kidneys new!
*We are praying for health for Lindy, for her body to kick whatever virus she is facing and that her body (and spirit) will be ready…transplant or not.
Titus is home from the hospital!!! Praise God! Please, continue to pray big things for Titus too…
*One week into chemotherapy, blood work showed no leukemia in his blood! This is a huge deal and a sign that the chemo is working. But we want even more for his healing! At the end of November Titus will get a bone marrow biopsy to see if the leukemia is still in his marrow…we are praying for that test to show he is ALL clear! That God did a mighty work in his body and that even in just one month little man will be Leukemia free.
*We continue to pray for endurance for the precious Cooney family of 6. Each Wednesday with them will be long days at the chemo clinic, we are praying for peace for Titus as he will need to sit for long periods of time. We are praying for endurance for Paul and Julia as they guide Titus through those days. We are praying for patience, understanding, and faith to define life for the older three as they navigate the waters of their new “normal”.
I write these mostly as a reminder for myself. I will never forget that the day after Gideon’s service was the hardest day for me. All the large crowds of people had dwindled. The hundreds of Facebook “I’m praying for you” posts had calmed. Life had to go back to its pace for everyone, it’s understandable and normal. But time after the storm needs loving on too and we might not be able to stick in it with everyone, but everyone should be sticking in it with someone. That even if one person, once a day says to someone who they know is hurting “I have not forgotten your pain and I am still praying”…well I believe that can make the world of a difference.
And, in the wake of it all. When we cling close to the struggling and broken-hearted, it is there we will see heaven come to earth as God’s promise to hear and answer our prayers unfolds before our very eyes. We will be witness to the in person miracle of coming alongside a situation that should leave someone flat on their face, yet instead…somehow…yes they have stumbled…but by the grace of God they have not fallen.