Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 21, 2015 -- We're Back!!! : )

Forgive me for the long silence . . . I can't believe months have gone by since I last posted.  And so many of you have reached out to remind us that you still care. . . that you are still praying for our family. . . humbling to say the least. . . words seem far too small, but thank you, dear ones, for your faithful love and prayers!

I am not going to inundate you by trying to catch you up on the last few months. . . I'll try to post several shorter posts over the next couple weeks to share what's going on in Hope's life, and how you can continue to lift her up in prayer, as well as praise God for His goodness and sustaining grace.

A quick sum up of the last 4 months would be that the first 2 1/2 months were pretty tough on our family for various reasons. . . Hope was still suffering a lot from worsening back/neck pain, along with some other various issues, and we were all struggling to face each day with a thankful heart instead of a complaining heart.  God taught us all a lot through that time.  I'll maybe try to write about it in a separate post.  But to keep this shorter than novel length. . . ha ha. . . the last couple months, God has brought sweet grace in the form of Hope's recovery from the back surgery!  Her pain has finally started to tip over to the side of less than before her surgery!  Although, she is still healing, there is marked decrease in her pain, and we have even started to do little bits of re-building her strength in standing and taking steps, time up in the wheelchair, and resuming most activities that she was involved in prior to the surgery.  We are definitely thankful for God's grace, even in spite of our weary and complaining hearts!

Hope has taken on some new endeavours, and I look forward to slowly updating you on those.  She also has some resurgence of old issues, as well as some new issues that will be great to also update you on, as you continue to pray for our girlie!  We also have been praying about where to go from here in Hope's recovery from the brain injury, and look forward to sharing that with you. . . how we need wisdom on a daily basis as decisions are continually made and we often feel so inadequate as to what it best.  I hope you can know how much we treasure your prayers in all of these things!  I look forward to being in touch more often again!  I'll leave you with the Bible verse that I had started to write about, back when I lost all the work that I had typed out after the verse . . . 
2 Corinthinians 12:9-10
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamaties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Life is hard, it's different, it's still changing, and yet it's also stopped changing so dramatically where we want it to continue . . . all of this reminds us daily of our inadequacies, and our need to remain where we must . . . abiding in Christ!  I had likened our hearts earlier this year to the hearts of the wilderness wandering Israelites, who complained, grumbled, and lost trust over and over in their God who faithfully showed them time and time again, that He is faithful and they could trust Him, in the big crisis as well as the little daily struggles . . . the little hits that just keep coming and often take a greater tole in the long run than the big crisis itself.  It's the "moving on" part or the "accepting your new normal" part. . . man-derived terms that I have struggled to understand through the lens of God's Word and I hope I will be able to share more with you on that another time.  What's "great" about our inadequacies and the hardships and losses in life, is when you take Paul's admonition above and look at it all through a new focus . . . off self, and onto Christ!  It's not about us. . . it's all about Him, His Kingdom, and His glory!  Our inadequacies and suffering, in the right focus, become a boasting of God's grace and Christ's power at work within us!  "For when I am weak, then I am strong."  He cares about our suffering, He knows our suffering, and He is using it for His eternal good purposes and transforming work in our hearts.  I'll leave you with this final passage. . . 

1 Peter 5:6-11
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.  Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  To Him be the dominion forever and ever.  Amen."

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Nepal as they continue to suffer and pick up the many pieces of their broken nation following the huge earthquake.  May God's grace and power comfort them, restore them, and embolden then for the sake of the gospel!  I think of them immediately when I read this passage. . . and there are so many others, too.  See, I still managed to make this longer than I originally planned. . . ha ha . . . I've missed you!  Sharing with you has been a grace . . . a comforting and strengthening catharsis for my heart throughout.  Thank you for being part of Hope's journey!  You are precious to us, you humble us, and you bless us tremendously, dear ones!!!

You are loved!!!

Next time. . . I promise a post with pictures!  : )

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