Monday, May 19, 2014

Update #73

Emilie and I are planning on going to Knoxville, TN on Wednesday for the final round of Destination Imagination's global competition.  It'll be four, jam-packed days of  competition and fun activities, followed by an early morning flight in order to be back in Buffalo on Sunday morning to cheer on Chad as he finishes his FIRST MARATHON!  

I would covet your prayers.

My body is not feeling very good. For the first time since my diagnosis, I'm honestly wondering if I'll be able to fully participate in the "non-physically strenuous" festivities we have planned. And it breaks my heart at the thought of this possibility – of what it all means and how it may affect Em.  


My sweet girl needs her mom. 
As does my compassionate little boy.
And I've been boldly and tearfully reminding God of that fact.

And, at the same time I remind God of the great need my kids have for a mom, I am abundantly aware that Laura's three precious kiddos – Sarah, jack and Kate - desperately need their mama too.  
Yet she is not here on earth to live that out for them.

(Ugh again.)

I know all too well – as do many of you - that what we want to be promised may not be what God promises.
What we want to be off-limits, may not be placed off-limits.
What we want to be unacceptable, may not be so unacceptable.
What we want to be able to get a pass on, may not be passable. 

And it's hard to let go of our definitions of what is good, of what is right, of what is acceptable. It's hard to let go of our dreams and what we want to believe our rights are.  It's hard to let go of all that so that our hands are free to hold fast to the One who perfectly knows what He can and will do in impossible situations.

How He will bind up broken-hearts.
How He will empower victory out of the mire of fear, worry and sadness.
How He will forge faith that withstands the wind and waves of trials and temptations. 
How He will redeem each hurt so that we can speak His truth to others who need to hear the words, "I know what feels like" and "I know the One who can make it right."

I'm in the middle of doing just that. 
Once again.
In the middle of that painful, yet strangely peace-filling process, of letting go of what I think would be best.
In order to fully surrender to the One who knows what's best.

How I wish this surrendering thing was easier.
How I wish that the process of wrestling and surrendering were simple.
How I wish I could travel through this process once and never feel the need to do it again. 

But that's not how it is for me.
In fact, you may be reading this and be asking yourself, "Didn't she write something like this before?"
I probably did.  I've certainly felt this before. Countless times.

The process of surrender is messy and imperfect.
It's hard and complicated.

But I've also found it totally worth it.
Worth it because it always leads to a place of freedom and peace.

Surrendering to God doesn't mean that I'm being broken in pieces and beaten to a pulp and have no other options. That I cry, "Uncle" and He wins a battle. Rather, surrendering to God means that I willingly come to a place of trust and rest in Him.   

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
For I am gentle and humble in heart,
And you will find rest for your souls." 
- Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV) 

In the midst of the painful moments of this journey, I surrender to the truth that Christ speaks these words to me:
Come to Me, Kristie, when you're feeling pain and you imagine terrible things inside your body…

Come to Me, Kristie, when your mind runs ahead and you wonder what you'll hear in a couple of weeks when you get your scans back…

Come to Me, Kristie, when you start to think that you're not doing enough, not living out life well enough, not being a good enough mom, wife, daughter…

Come to Me, Kristie, when you are angry and frustrated and are tempted to think that I've abandoned you to walk this all by yourself

Come to Me, Kristie.  Bring all that junk to Me. Lay it before Me.  Surrender it to Me.  
And I will take all of it and, in exchange, I will give you rest. 

Oh yes, surrendering is hard.
But holding on to false securities and less-than hopes and incomplete dreams is exhausting.

Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about.  
You, too, are in the middle of a battle over where your eyes will focus and where your mind will stay.
Perhaps you need to Him say similar things to you. Perhaps you need to hear Him invite you to: 

Come to Me all you who are frantically grasping for, and holding out for, what you want to be true…a process that leaves you unsettled, angry, frustrated and dissatisfied….

Come to Me all you who are trying to follow an imaginary list of "if only I could act better, be better, not make mistakes, then…"

Come to Me all you who are chasing after distractions in order to avoid the real thing that shakes the core of your being, that scares you, hurts you, confuses you…

Come to Me all you who are attempting to control and fix and figure out…all you who are incessantly planning and planning again for things that may or may not ever happen…

…Come to Me. Trade all that junk for My promises and gifts.  Surrender your whole life to Me. 
For I am gentle and humble and I will give you rest.  

As we move forward in whatever Hills that rise before each of us,
how I pray that you and I both will be clear on where our hope lives. 
On where our joy is sourced. 
On where our confidence is rooted. 
On where our future is secure.
On where our rest is received.

Thanks again for walking this difficult road with Chad, the kids and me. 
We are forever grateful for you and the various ways you encourage and support us.

May hope always get the last word.


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