Monday, May 6, 2013

Ups and Downs

Our life has been a whirlwind lately and I am trying to catch my breath. In April, Zach flew to Alabama to be Allie's escort at an Acteens Coronation ceremony. I am so thankful he got the opportunity to do this and be by Allie's side for such a special event. Sadly, I was not there to take a gazillion photos, but here's one I squeezed out of the traveling Superdad -
In a little over 24 hours, Zach was back in Charlotte and packing up to drive to Florida to lead worship for a 3-day student weekend at my home church in DeLand. Mega weird to see my husband standing on the same stage I stood on for youth choir. Ha! But it was a great weekend nonetheless and I am so honored we could be a part of it.
On Sunday, Zach and I made a last minute trip to Jacksonville to stay with my sister for 3 days. My BIL was traveling for work and so my sis needed some companions. As many of you know, Lindsay has been battling brain cancer for over a year. It's still so surreal that she has this disease and that it is so... ugly. I've written about Lindsay before and currently she is facing a new obstacle, a new tumor growing in a new part of her brain. I'm not gonna lie... watching the impact this disease (and the treatment of the disease) has had on her is hard. It's stealing her personality, her independence, her mobility, and has already put a gap between her and many things she loves and loves to do. It's hard to see her suffer, to see her captive to such a vicious thief. And even though I know her soul is free because of Christ Jesus, her body is still at war and it shows. A lot.

As I've helped her do things and watched her be diligently cared for by my mom and BIL, it's made me explore more closely what God says about suffering. He never says we will be free of it, in fact he says to expect it. Our world is broken and even though we often turn a blind eye to the severity of it, there is no escaping it. Death is eminent for us all, no matter what our current age or health status. The children's ministry I work for is currently doing a 7 week series on Paul and honestly, it couldn't be more timely. When I think about what God says about suffering, the first person who comes to mind is Paul. He went through so much, yet he almost doesn't seem to notice. He is so fixated on reaching the lost with the message of Jesus that everything else seems unimportant. Wow. So often I find myself in self-preservation mode, wanting to protect myself for pain or injury of anything kind, but really that's just a distraction from my greater purpose. Paul challenges me to focus on Jesus and the freedom that comes from knowing him and forget the rest - all of it! No matter what you have to go through, Jesus is there to help you overcome it all. He wants our eyes to be so focused on him that we can view our trials as blessings because they make us more dependent on him and give us more opportunity to show others how he has transformed our heart into something beautiful and different.

My sister's journey has really challenged me on how I handle difficulties. I know I won't be free of ups and downs, but I hope that in the end, I can really learn to embrace this truth and let the life-changing gospel of Jesus shine through all areas of my life.

No comments:

Post a Comment