Can We All Pause to Celebrate?

The fog hangs heavy over the valley below us this morning. We can’t even see the little church with its white steeple, or the hills beyond. It’s a typical chilly November with rain moving in for the day. The perfect day for writing.

It’s been harder to find writing days these past few years, and I’ve missed putting together sentences, formulating paragraphs, to convey thoughts and ideas in this little corner of the blogosphere. I’ve missed communicating with you, reader-friends, who visit here, and hearing from you. My journal hasn’t been ignored, though—it’s crammed full of musings, study notes, prayers, and the record of daily events—but my pitiful little blog has been quite neglected.

For the last couple of years, every time that we attempted to settle into a normal rhythm of life, there has been a new “crisis” or unexpected medical issue, or another week to spend in Dallas at doctor’s appointments. But, with the last tests, and the last visit to the doctors in October, and the spinal injection last week—I’m wondering if things are about to smooth out a bit, if we’ll be able to find a regular rhythm of life again. Could that actually be happening?

LeRoy’s latest tests were encouraging—there are no signs of a recurrence of Neurosarcoid lesions. Can we all pause and celebrate that with a huge Thank You to the Father?

The doctors cautioned us that something could be occurring at the microscopic level, something we can’t see, and something that hasn’t presented itself in obvious symptoms yet. And I’m not denying that possibility—but I keep thinking that I’m seeing signs of recovery, of a return to what we would call a life that’s closer to our old “normal.”

I’m hoping that we’re seeing signs of healing of this rare neurological disease that has no known medical cure. That’s huge.

Yes, LeRoy still has a great deal of pain—but it is decreasing. Yes, he still has horrific muscle spasms—but not as often. Yes, he still struggles to walk—and some days his left leg is so stiff it can’t be bent—but his mobility is slowly improving. Yes, portions of his body may always be paralyzed, but as I watch him work hard at his own type of “Physical Therapy,” he appears to be moving toward healing and recovery.

And for that, I’m deeply grateful and hopeful beyond description!

As I sit here this morning in my study, I’m thinking back to the very difficult days of the past two Novembers, the fears, the continual pressure, the shock of loss, and the looming unknowns on the horizon. And today, I’m considering how God’s people would’ve had a similar shocking fear when they reached the Red Sea—they’d followed God, trusted Him with their lives, and stepped out in faith to hit, what appeared to be, a trap of certain death.

And yet, God knew that He would not leave them there. He knew He would continue His rescue operation and that He was about to do something glorious that would serve as a faith-building event for believers for thousands of years—right up to this very moment for those of us who are revisiting that Red Sea event in our minds right now!

But, God didn’t let them in on what He was doing until they needed to step into the water.

He didn’t tell them back in Egypt, “Oh, and just so you know, when you get to that Red Sea moment—where the Egyptians are breathing down your necks and it looks like the only way out is to drown in the Red Sea—no worries, I’ll just part that thing for you.”

Nope, He chose not to share that information with them before hand. And as always with God, that was a very wise thing to do. How could we ever grow or learn to rely on Him in the dark, in the terrorizing moments, in the fear of the unknowns—if He let us in on His plan to deliver us before we actually had the desperate opportunity to depend on Him in faith?

And yet, He does let us in on what He’s going to do, when, in His Word, He tells us to trust Him. When He shows us His character and His ways . . . there is a clear and resounding message throughout His Word that communicates to us that: “HE will not abandon His own!” That is the message we most need to hear when we are in the grip of terrorizing fear and hopeless days.

He will not abandon us.

Does that mean that we’ll never know sickness or loss? No.

Does that mean that we’ll never deal with cancer or the death of a child? No.

But, it does mean that when we walk the road of suffering—He will be with us. He will lead us on that road, because it’s a road He knows well. He walked the road of deepest suffering and sorrow, and because of that, we can walk our road of suffering with the assurance that He will not abandon us. 

“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

read more

Why I Wrote “Fierce Women”