Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking ahead from behind me . . .

So as 2008 comes to an end, it takes my mind through a series of what I learned exercises. Some lessons I learned the easier way, but unfortunately many I learned the hard way. I guess you could say I'm kinda stubborn. Over the years that stubbornness has lessened, but there is still a lot of work to be done in that department peeps, yep a lot of work. Anyway . . .

The verse that came to mind for me regarding this past year is found in 2 Corinthians 12 (some of ya'll already know where I'm going ~~ you smart little boogers ~~ anyway) verses 7 - 10:

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment.
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
9 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
So this morning as I thought about this past year and how I wanted to convey my feelings on to "paper", this verse came to mind. And so did this question; Why is it that Christ's power is made perfect in weakness? Why couldn't it be made perfect in strength? Well the answer to that is pride. Pride started this whole fallen humanity mess we find ourselves in, and pride is the downfall of every person who leaves this earth without accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. And for every believer pride is also a HUGE obstacle that we face every day.
For many years I had a problem with prayer. I've had people look at me and say "no way not you!!" But it's true. Prayer was difficult for me partially because I am a speck on a planet in the universe our God created and He is God and well, you know. But then there was also the issue of just stopping, taking the time to humble myself and listen. Oh I could spout off a bunch of prayer requests, but when it came time to listening I was terrible at it, really terrible. But over time, God has so used events in my life, people in my life, resources and many different things to break this pride in me that said I didn't have time to stop and listen. God knew me, He knew my heart, He knew I loved Him. Well, yeah He did and does, but He also has given us a free will to choose Him, and to choose the best way. And part of that certainly includes listening to Him, which cultivates a DEEP personal relationship with Him. DEEP.
Over this past year I have had numerous doc appointments, bad news, good news, 2 knee operations, and many other things that have brought me joy and pain. But I will tell you one of the biggest lessons I have learned over this past year is that HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT!!
When I was lying in the hospital bed at MC in November, and in so much pain that nothing I did relieved it. I couldn't get in a different position, I couldn't rub it away, I couldn't distract it away with TV or some other electronic devise, no it would not go away. And this was no ordinary pain, this was pain on a scale I had never known. I had a talk with God in this dark, lonely hospital room and I told Him that if I was to get through it, it would be because He was there sustaining me. Because unless He did I simply didn't know what would happen. It was bad.
But God . . .
Don't you love that about Him. I needed Him and there He was. Did He take the pain away? no it was still there, but oh the grace. His grace was truly sufficient for me. Some how I got rest and some how I just moved on in baby steps with Him at the helm. He is trustworthy, truly trustworthy.
I have come to better understand that His power is made perfect in weakness and not strength. Because if it was made perfect in strength we would never come to Him. We'd constantly be thinking we could do things on our own. It is very sad.
So I felt the urging of the Holy Spirit (because oh yes I am so listening these days ~~ Hallelujah!!!) to read these verses in The Message:
"Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head,
I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations.
Satan's angel did his best to get me down;
what he in fact did was push me to my knees.
No danger then of walking around high and mighty!
At first I didn't think of it as s gift, and begged God to remove it.
Three times I did that, and then He told me,
My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness."
I had to smile at these verses in The Message, especially the part about this being a gift and all and pusing me to my knees, and no danger of walking around high and mighty. Yes God has a plan in all of this, and He has a plan for me specifically in all of this. I don't believe we go through hard things like this just to be the same on the other side ~~ NO WAY!! God is doing a work children ~~ He is doing a work!!! I'm excited to see where this journey takes me.
What is really interesting is that the last few days God has been asking me a question.
Are you okay with the situation if it doesn't get better? If your knee stays right where it is with the pain and limited movement will you still trust me?
I must be honest, I find these questions so interesting and hard. Because of course I want to get better, and I don't even think for a minute He is saying that I won't, because I so believe I will, but what I do think He is saying is will you trust Me no matter what. Can you be okay with the situation right where you are and you move forward in Me?
The answer to all of those questions, (I am happy to say) is an overwhelming YES!!!
"I will say of the LORD, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.' "
Psalm 91:2
So whatever you are facing today, may I encourage you to face it hand in hand with Jesus. He wants to help you. Cry out to Him. Desire Him. Pray. Ask Him to show you His glory ~~ He will ~~ He so will!!!
Thank you for a glorious blog year for me. I've made so many friends through this blog and so look forward to making more friends who can teach me more stuff, like . . . knitting (you know who you are =)
I love you all!!!!
Have a Blessed and safe New Year's,


  1. It's amazing the things we can learn when we go through difficulties. I have also had difficulties understanding how deep God's love is. When you come from a HUGE family, you have a tendency to feel invisible and I've always let that affect how I think God "sees" me. I'm learning more every day and He is faithful!

    I have really enjoyed getting to know you in these past couple of months. I hope 2009 is especially sweet for you and that you see miraculous recovery in your knee!!

  2. WOW - some deep stuff there... I LOVE the words you found in The Message...

    "I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations".... WOW!!! That is some deep stuff there!!!

    I love that you are so open to God's workings - even in the hard times of life! That's when most people shut Him off....

    May you continue to be blessed in 2009 all the while drawing nearer to Him!!!

    (And I can't WAIT to see your first knitted project!!!!!!!)

  3. Happy New Year, Dawn! I hope 2009 is a better year for you even though you have had the most positive attitude toward everything you've been through in 2008!!

    Lots of love to you and your family! :)