Be brave and courageous

“My heart has heard you say, Come and talk with me,

And my heart responds, Lord, I am coming”

                                           Psalm 27:8

Have you ever wondered if God really, like really knows you?  Does he see what you are dealing with, your breaking points, your needs, your desires?  If he really knew you,then you wouldn’t be struggling right, you wouldn’t experience loss, pain or see a society plagued with darkness…

I have gleamed the internet reading about the state of affairs our world is dealing with: Baltimore riots, ISIS Boko Haram, Pastor Saeed, religious freedoms business owners are fighting for, same sex marriage, Bruce Jenner, Nepal, Hilary Clinton and the list goes on.  Where is God?

There was a time in my life that I wondered if God really knew my heart, knew my needs and better yet, cared.

It took me having to bury myself in the deepest darkest parts of my soul to realize that I was and am seen, called by name, by the one who wants to care for me.  I literally had to be stripped of all the things I allowed myself to fill up on and realize that I didn’t really have a healthy concept of God.  I would talk to him from time to time, but more of an acquaintance then a friend or an Abba Father.  My one-sided conversations consisted around my needs and wants.  I wasn’t looking for any dialogue, I was basically giving God marching orders…yeah…

“My heart has HEARD you say, Come and talk with me – And my heart RESPONDS, Lord I am coming!”  I had a steep learning curve in this part of my life.  I barely had enough in me to call on God and admit that I had needs, why on earth would I stick around to hear his answers.  Trust, broken, was the norm for me.  I held God at arms length, but most of the time a football field away.  Things never turned out the way I wanted it, it was like he took my suggestions and did the complete opposite or so I thought.

Looking back, God did send me answers, send me people, delivered help on my doorstep, but I was so blinded back then and couldn’t see or admit that he was caring for me and my family.

“You have always been my helper…

even if my father and mother abandon me, 

the Lord will hold me close” 

                           – Psalm 27:9,10

I don’t know what it is, but Richard and I are really bad receivers.  Asking for help is more painful then getting wisdom teeth pulled, impacted ones too…I would know.  There were periods in our life since Ezzy’s diagnosis that we desperately needed help and we couldn’t ask for it.  Instead we holed up in our house, let little people close to us and we lived in the sorrow of CF.  Those were the moments when I definitely did not see God “helping”.  As time went on we learned a new normal, was it healthy? Probably not, but we made the most of what we had.  

Does that mean that good hearted people weren’t reaching out?  NO…the problem was that coming home with a fragile child made Richard and I follow all the guidelines to a T, which were really hard to follow, esp if you weren’t living the life day in and out.  I recall precious memories of people trying to show us they cared but we weren’t in a place to receive the help or worse thank them.

“Teach me how to live, O Lord,

Lead me along the right path”

                   – Psalm 27:11

One thing God is faithful about is that he will show us how to live.  But are we willing to submit to him, to his path?  So often the path he designs for us is one that calls for us to be a servant first of all, not a master.  To be humble, patient, kind, compassionate usually are required too.  The first priority it that we have to ASK him to teach us.  

This last year I have experience more direction from God then I have ever in my life.  What changed?  My time with him, my two sided conversations, my desire to live according to his ways is what changed.

As I have looked back in the last year I have seen many times God has been trying to teach our family a lesson on how to receive his help…

Whether its an envelope stuffed full of cash left in our mailbox.image

A box sent to a little girl asked to fight a big battleimage

An entire classroom praying for God bubbles and sending little treats for the entire family

A youth group showing up on our door with toys for our kidsimage

A random call, text, email informing me I have dinner coming on days I needed it the most

A message delivered by a complete stranger that was specific to my searching heart

A painting commissioned by a friend

The list can go on, but I just want to remind you all that you are not unseen, unknown by our Abba father.  My question to you is, are you going to him with your needs with a surrendered heart or instead with preconceived notions.  I can’t promise you that you will walk away with money, gifts, dinners, messages, etc.  Those were actually needs, things that were seen by God and responded to for our family.  Our family has struggled feeling alone, wondering if people really understand the daily battle we fight.  Lately, we finally have eyes to see that God is and has always been wanting to provide for those needs. He has placed our family on others hearts so they can be his hands and feet.

In just 3 days we have almost reached our goal to purchase a therapy puppy for Ezzy. http://www.gofundme.com/sw2va28?fb_action_ids=932678040086397&fb_action_types=og.shares&fb_ref=m_d_ty&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B825615397516551%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.shares%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%22m_d_ty%22%5D  I really struggled with going this route, asking people to donate to a cause.  But I was encouraged to trust that people care.  I just want to say thank you to those you donated, shared the link and also took the time to say a prayer that our little warrior would get a much desired therapy friend!

“Wait patiently for the Lord,

Be brave and courageous, 

Yes, wait patiently for the Lord”

                             -Psalm 27:14

God will answer you in the timing that is perfect, I will warn you, it rarely matches your timing.  But he does answer.  He will answer.  Are you willing to be patient, to wait on the Lord.  The verse says we have to be brave and courageous when we wait.  Then it says “yes, wait” affirming again, that we need to be patient.  

We are in a situation right now in our family that is requiring us to be brave and courageous, to wait patiently for the Lord to intervene and do his work.  There have been ups and downs in the process and yet thankfully since the blinders have been pulled we still see God at work.

You want to know the crazy thing?  In those headlines that have caught my attention, the ones that provoke anger, sorrow, empathy, confusion, pain, self righteousness, I still see God.  I still see hope in hopeless situations because God has the final say folks.

“To all who mourn, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes

a joyous blessing instead of mourning,

festive praise instead of despair.

In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks

that the Lord has planted for his glory”

                       – Isaiah 61:3

No problem is to too big or small for my God, who is YOUR God…isn’t that something, he is free to all who call on him.

What struggle are you holding tight to right now because you feel like you don’t matter?  What situation is eating up your soul?  What thing are you turning to, to numb this life?

I ask this, because I am at fault right now.  I have been holding on out of fear and I realize that when I do that I can’t see God’s handiwork being done.

When you decide to go to God, will you add our sweet Ezzy to the list.  We are now going on 7 weeks of Ezzy being sick (super gunky cough and now chest pain) she caught RSV.  We have tried 3 different antibiotics and steroids to no avail.  Now on to a drug our island doesn’t even carry because its primarily used for CFers when they get a bad aggressive bug in their lungs.  Our amazing CF doc called our home personally and discussed the options with us. The plan is to try this drug and hope it does the trick, but we also talked about the possibility of hospitalization if we don’t start seeing a change.  Yes if you live here you have prob seen us out with Ezzy, she thankfully isn’t running any fevers, but she is run down, on edge and is now complaining her chest hurts.  We were told to keep living life unless she goes down hill fast.

So as you face your challenges and doubts of whether you are known by God, know this…

I am having to swallow the words I wrote and “wait patiently for the Lord” and I will have to choose daily to be “brave and courageous” and most of all realize that my family “has been planted for his glory”

      -Amen  

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2 thoughts on “Be brave and courageous”

  1. Oh, Sarah and Richard…I have Ezzy’s name written in my bible by II Timothy 1:12 “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to keep that which I have entrusted to HIM for that day.” I commit Ezzy and your family to the Lord each day. You and your sweet family are such a beacon of Light in Ketchikan💖

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