in answer to prayer...

This morning I should be posting a What I Wore Sunday post.

Sometimes though, I receive an email or a FB message that moves me so much I am compelled to write a response. A response the Holy Spirit writes on my heart.

Today is one of those days.

The email was written in the wee hours of the morning from someone pouring out their heart. I will not share any personal information here. I would never break the trust of a reader.

After I responded to them personally, I prayed for them and their questioning heart. While in prayer, the Holy Spirit directed me to re-write my response, to expound on it and share that response.

I pray this letter lands where it is needed most.

Blessings and Grace to one and all,

My Sweet Friend, 

Thank you so much for your beautiful words and even more for your prayers. I so needed to read your email this morning. Know that God spoke through you to me this day, so thank you for being open to His calling. 

As for our story, it is still being written. 

What I have come to understand is that God allows things to happen for all sorts of reasons. For us to learn something, for us to rely on Him more, for our children to experience something that is needed for their future formation, and the list goes on. Sometimes it has nothing to do with us but rather for someone that may be watching or listening, needing to see things a certain way for them to move forward in their journey. 

Our lives speak volumes to others. Sometimes that song is one of grace and beauty. Some days we are doing the "Twist" swinging about in great joy. There are days of clashing and clanging symbols, and sometimes all we hear are funeral dirges. 

Let's be honest, some days the only medicine is chocolate. 

Yesterday morning Courtney had a seizure minutes before we were to leave for a church event. Jerry looked at me and said "Do you realize that for twenty-one years we have been doing nothing but crisis management?" 

I laughed. Hard. And kind of scary.

It was not the response he wanted, but it was all I had to offer. All I could think of was "Well, DUH! Have you not realized this before now??" But maniacal laughter, which was all I could muster, did not help the situation.

Here at Chez Lenaburg, it is indeed Crisis Management 101 twenty-four-seven. It's how we roll. 

My life looks nothing like I thought it would, and I have had to let go of those dreams harbored in my heart since childhood. I have had to let go of everything in order to make room for God's calling.

And giving up control is terrifyingly hard for me. 

This may sound like I am complaining, but giving up control is the hardest thing He's ever asked me to do. Yet, when I do let go,  God pours out His mercy and grace into my life so that it becomes about HIM and not me.

Him. Not me.

Maybe that's why God is calling me to the quiet these last few months. Calling me to rest in Him and trust that it will all work out as He has written. People throw around that word "trust" without truly understanding the meaning. 

For years I did too, until that moment when I had to give Courtney over to His care. That moment will stay with me until my last breath. It is a gift to know that when He does call her home, there will be nothing but JOY in my heart to know she flies straight to His loving embrace. 

It's the hardest thing He has ever asked of me. 

Sorrow and joy are intertwined in life like rose bushes with beautiful blooms amidst the thorns. Some days hurt more than others. On those days, you must remember to look at the bloom and appreciate the fragrance. It's God's gift for that moment, an assurance that everything will be OK. 

If you are like me, you must be wondering why your life has taken so many twists and turns. Why did God allow things to unfold the way they did? 

I have no answers other than we only see the tunnel in front of us, while God sees everything. All the waves in the ocean, all the clouds in the sky, every person doing every thing they need/want/must do. 

My friend, Therese, calls him the "Grand Chess Master moving one piece at a time to fulfill His plan". I imagine one day, when we are with Him, the beauty we see will strip away all questions, doubts, and fears. 

I believe this with ALL my heart. He has his hand on us at ALL times whether or not we agree with the direction of this path. He is there, his quiet whispers drowning out the deceiver's screeching lies. 

This is the way I look at suffering. 

It is a gift to be offered back to the Man who took every lash, every piercing thorn, and suffered innumerable indignities for me. He carried that cross, was spit on and disgraced in every way imaginable. 

ALL for me and FOR YOU too.

So, if He allows Courtney's seizures, our financial distress, job worries, stress about our family's future, my emotional distress etc. etc., I must offer them back. In that moment of distress, I give everything back to Him as a thank you for all He does for me. 

Too bad it's so hard to remember to be thankful when I'm in the midst of all that pain.

This is the crux of my daily battle, and I pray that hearing about my trials will help you heal.

Please remember You are NEVER alone! You are LOVED! You are KNOWN by a Creator who will never leave your side. 

Be at Peace. 

Much love and hugs from our home to yours. Thank you for being the voice of the Holy Spirit for me today.