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 -
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.