Thursday, June 13, 2013

When It's Time to Surrender

My heart is so heavy of those days you need His strength for every step. This is my third day of feeling so weak in my humanity.

My husband's abscess ordeal got worse. The nurse practitioner didn't get all the infection with the first incision. Yesterday she confessed this is more than she can handle--something I wished she'd confessed when he first went in to this low-cost clinic for the uninsured and underinsured. They apparently don't have doctors at all--just nurse practitioners.

The clinic is trying to get a referral to a dermatologist who will take my husband on a sliding-fee schedule, but that could take some time, and meanwhile, abscesses get worse and are harder to treat, and the risk of serious complication goes up (blood poisoning for one), the longer you wait and let it grow. They have an epithelial cell lining to them that antibiotics can't penetrate. Thus, the need for incision and drainage procedures, which are excrutiatingly painful; they often can't get all the tissue covered with the local anesthetic. My husband almost passed out during the first procedure, and the thought of another makes him sick.

And me? I can't handle this. Not the daily dressings and the worries and the draining of the savings account, with no end in sight. Not the inconvenience of tub baths and me washing his hair in the sink, because the wound must stay open and packed with gauze longer because it is still draining; it can't get wet. No offense to my husband intended, believe me, please, but this is like suddenly having another child to care for, and with even less help. Better women might handle this like a minor glitch, but I'm sinking.

I have faith and I don't know why this seems so huge, but it does. One can have faith, but not endurance and strength. I'm short on those, what with Beth's tonsil and adenoid surgery coming up too, and a new volunteer job as a nursery and preschool church coordinator (though I look forward to that, beginning in July). And these neighbor kids sucking me dry, here so often now that summer's upon us.

For my sanity, I've limited each neighbor's visit to 40 minutes. The reasons are complicated, but suffice it to say these kids are not the best role models, and I have to disciple my kids through each visit, helping them to be strong against peer pressure. You fit in with God and your family, and that is enough. Don't ever do an act just to fit it, even if it's just removing your hands from the handle bars as you ride your bike. That might be something everyone tries, but that doesn't make it less foolish.

Everyone is usually wrong, and that is one of the biggest lessons of a child's life. Don't follow everyone. Follow Him.

As a non-Christian young person, I remember distinctly thinking, "But everyone is doing this. Can everyone be so wrong, and so few be right? That just doesn't make sense."

No, it doesn't make sense. Following God is an upside-down phenomena from day one. I'm glad my children have the opportunity, through neighbor kids, to strenghten their faith, but it's killing me. I'm so weary.

I'm praying for their steadfastness. For them to cling to God apart from Mom and Dad. To call Him their own, in every sense of the word. I believe all my children know God and are saved, but I can't get inside their hearts deeply enough to know for sure, at least at these ages. Kids have more questions as they get older, and their free will is still a powerful force.

My job is to pray, be the best role model I can be, and be ever-present to answer questions, and to ask questions--a lot of them, to help my children make Him their own forever. To help them choose Truth and reject everyone's tyranny.

And lastly, there's so much pain going on right now elsewhere. One dear one had a miscarriage, another dear one, Kristin Welsh, is going through incredible trial right now, along with Maureen, who runs Mercy House Kenya.

My problems are insignificant, I know. But anything financial- and health-related is always very hard, with so many wearying risks.

What verse of Scripture is needed? What will calm, sustain, strengthen us, in the midst of trial, however small or large?

First, we must imagine ourselves at His feet, just resting and crying, like a little child. We must do this in our minds...go through it as though it's real. Because it is.

He is there, meeting our need. As we cry and seek His comfort, he relieves our spiritual burden. He takes it upon himself.

And next, we must cling to the beautiful love words He's given the Bible. Everything is there. Everything we need.

But we must choose. We must choose to sit at His feet. We must go through these motions of surrender.

So often, instead, we fret and cause ourselves greater trouble.

Choose Him today. Choose Peace and not everyone's tyranny. Everyone's tyranny says we can work this out on our own. Everyone's tyranny says we just need to be stronger.

But surrending all to God? That's genuine strength.

Knowing He is bigger than our pain, our troubles, our dreams, our need for ease? That's genuine wisdom.

Prayer Time: Dear Lord, We love you. We thank you that this life is just a vapor. These afflictions momentary. We thank you for never failing us, never rejecting us, always taking us back into your fold, filling us with your love and wisdom. You hold us dear, so dear, Father. We are filled with gratitude for your steadfast love.

I pray for Emily, that you would help her trust. That you would mend her broken heart and help her surrender her plans to Yours. Hold her in your divine, perfect arms. And Father, another pregnancy for her very soon? And Tesha's broken heart, too, please mend it. Help her to carry this new baby with trust and complete joy. Complete, utter joy in the moment. Innocent joy.

I pray for Kristin, for Maureen and for Maureen's siblings as they mourn the loss of Maureen's beautiful mother. I pray for all those who contributed to her brain surgery, that they would see your glory in this anyway. That their contributions will be blessed, their obedience rewarded. And for the thieves, God, who would break into the new Mercy House Kenya and steal from Your ministry? I pray for justice, for their salvation, for your glorious replenishing of what was lost. Two Mercy House babies will be born tomorrow via C-section. I pray for all to go perfectly and for the miracle of new life to renew broken hearts. For life is a miracle. Your love is a miracle, And It Is Enough!

I pray for my husband, that you would heal him so that no further surgical help would be needed. I pray for protection from MRSA and other complications. I pray for strength for him through the pain. I pray for a doctor who will take his case and for wisdom for that doctor. I pray for myself and for my children, that we would trust you completely for healing and financial provision. Bring glory through this little glitch, Father. Show your glory to my children, even as they deal with a weary mother.

In Your Son's name I pray, Amen

Psalm 28
1To you will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if you be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. 2Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry to you, when I lift up my hands toward your holy oracle. 3Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbors, but mischief is in their hearts. 4Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert. 5Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up. 6Blessed be the LORD, because he has heard the voice of my supplications. 7The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise him. 8The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. 9Save your people, and bless your inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.



Beth said...

I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this. Praying that through this you will see God's love and care.

Christine said...

Thank you, Beth. The news was much better today, thank the Lord. I am much calmer. :)

Vicki said...

Standing with you Christine! I know how hard it can be. After my husband's whipple surgery for his pancreatic cancer he had an incision almost all of the way across his stomach. When he came home I had to do the wound care as you are describing. Of everything, that was the hardest for me. Oh, and neighbor kids....don't get me started!

Praying with you!