I am a part of a virtual conference called JUSTONE by Leading & Loving it. It is for women in ministry. Every day a new speaker talks on the verse on Isaiah for anywhere from 10-15 minutes. The messages have been so good. This scripture is also in the Beth Moore book I am reading entitled Breaking Free to be memorized. I love it when God uses several different avenues to bring to your attention what he wants you to learn.
With this being said God has been prompting me to share my story in a way that I have not yet shared with anyone before. He is also stirring in my heart to do more for him. Joyce Meyers always says
"NEW LEVEL NEW DEVIL" therefore before we can move to the next level God works in our hearts preparing us through trials and struggles so that we can rid ourselves of the things he no longer needs us to have. Think of it like this.... Before we can travel long distance we will take our car to the mechanics to have it maintained in preparation of the journey ahead. It isn't necessarily broke but in maintaining the vehicle if the mechanic finds something that is going to slow the performance of the car down he will need to make adjustments. I believe God does that with our spiritual journey as well. Things may or may not be broke but he will need to adjust us to prepare us for the next steps in the journey He has us on.
We are the lights in this dark world and our lights need to be adjusted so that we may shine the brightest for him. In order to shine bright we need to work through the lessons God puts before us. As he does this and because we are all unique we all have stories to share. We can't compare our lives with others because everyone's life and stories looks differently. God wants us to use our stories to display HIS glory.
"They will be called oaks of righteousness a planting of the Lord for the display of HIS splendor"
If we withhold our stories from others How can we help those walking similar paths? God gives us gifts and it is up to us to be good stewards of these gifts. Gifts may not necessarily look like what we want them to. We often think of gifts of luxuries, desires and hobbies; things that we want or can use. But what if they come as hurt, pain, physical handicaps, mental or emotional complications to name a few, how do we have joy in the midst of these things? How can we appreciate these things?
In the conference today Lori Rohlinger used this as an example: Her husband was dying of a disease that they earnestly prayed for God to cure. The second part of the prayer was that she didn't have to make difficult decisions regarding the deterioration of her ailing husband. Both requests God choose to not answer these requests the way she wanted Him to. Her husband continued to get worse and she continued to have to make the difficult decisions. She became angry and questioned God, like sometimes we do. God revealed to her that IF God the Father could tell HIS precious SON NO... when in the garden he asked if GOD would take this cup from him; then why wouldn't he respond with a loving NO to us? That spoke to me as I continue to pray for healing of my back but God hasn't answered me in the way I would want him to. The question is then how do we glorify our God the Father when the struggle is real?
There is value in our struggle. We need to see it for that. She went on to explain that when a butterfly is in the cocoon that the wings are used to help break the cocoon that causes pain to the wings but the wings must go through the pain to make it stronger. Just like we must go through the pain to make us stronger. We have two choices, we can become bitter or we can become better.
As I thought about all of this and how God has recently stirring in my heart to begin serving him in only the capacity that he has already prepared for me I began to feel sad.
Sad because I haven't been a good steward of the gift of pain he has given me..
Sad because I haven't glorified my heavenly Father in the gift or mercy he has given me.
Sad because I have kept a crucial part of my struggle from many because of the fear of what others would think instead of using this part of the story to allow God to use for His purpose.
And lastly sad because in a small way I believe I have held a little bitterness instead of allowing the situation to make me better.
There is comfort in our mourning and His mercies are new every day. I am thankful that when God wants us to obey Him he lovingly prompts us until we become willing to do what he is asking us to do. So instead of being afraid I will shout it from the roof tops what God is doing in my life!!!
As many know I have a few herniated discs in my back. The prognosis is to have surgery however because of us not having insurance we continue to seek out alternatives to just ease the pain as we continue to pray for healing. I firmly believe God is healing me in His timing but that it may or may not look like what most believe full healing will be. I will one day dance, flip and jump in HIS presence but for the time I continue to wait on him as I am limited as to what I can do. I get very discouraged by my limitations and having to say NO when others ask to do things as simply as walking. However, the part of the story no one knows it that the doctors (all three that I have went to) are concerned with me becoming paralyzed. In fact, I was strictly told to not engage in any physical activity including physical intimacy with my husband as this could cause permanent damage.
There are days I struggle with walking or tying my shoes and require more help than other days but yet here I continue to walk! Instead of being discouraged by the things I can not do
I am encouraged every day I can walk on my own.
I am also encouraged by the things that help minimize the pain and allow me to walk without the excruciating pain.
I am encouraged that God elevates some of the pain when I just cant handle the pain any longer.
I am encouraged by my husband who faithfully is patient with the limitations and loves me even on my hard days that comes with discouragement.
I am encouraged that like Lori said... God the Father told his own son NO so I am not exempt from HIS NO and that instead of being SAD I want to use the gift of pain, and physical limitations to bring HIS name glory.
I am encouraged that when I look at it in the light of a gift then I can be grateful that He has chosen me to receive this gift.
The things that have been extremely helpful in the aid of the chronic pain are the:
Zeal Drink (Zeal is an all-in-one natural nutritional drink. Zeal is a synergistic blend of whole food concentrates providing an excellent source of nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins to enrich, restore and protect your body at the cellular level)
RELIEVE IT ESSENTIAL OIL (Relive It is a deeply relaxing, warming blend of therapeutic-grade essential oil that feels soothing & comforting to muscles & joints that has Spruce, black pepper hyssop and peppermint)
Acupuncture (Acupuncture is a component of the health care system of China that can be traced back at least 2,500 years. The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow (Qi) through the body that are essential for health)
Tens Unit (TENS" is the acronym for ranscutaneous lectrical erve timulation. A "TENS unit" is a pocket size, portable, battery-operated device that sends electrical impulses to certain parts of the body to block pain signals)