Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Press On

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3: 13-14

This morning, while I was having my morning devotional, I read this scripture. I began to pray, and was thanking God and rejoicing in how I could leave my past behind. I think that most individuals have memories in the past that we are glad to leave behind .... things we shouldn't have said, actions we shouldn't have done, thoughts that should have never entered our mind and so forth. This verse can be liberating when you are plagued with memories of your personal shortcomings.

Then, God brought a thought to mind.....

What about your "trophy" memories? What about all the times you accomplished things in the past? Are you still looking back at all those successes and triumphs and missing what God is calling you to right now?


These are the moments when you find yourself saying....

" I graduated at the top of my class.....",

"I was the star athlete on the ________ team....",

"I won the 'Best Actress' award.....",

" I worked at________ and made quite a living doing that......",

" I won this award while I was at that company....."

It hit me that looking back at my personal accomplishments was still looking back. Now, looking back at all that God has done for us is such an encouragement when we are struggling in a situation. Our memories of how God had provided in previous situations helped us get through the four months that Reagan was off work. I believe that type of looking back/reflection is God honoring. What I felt convicted of today was the looking back at MY accomplishments.... my mental trophies so to speak. If we focus on all that we were back a few years ago, then we aren't giving our best to what God has for us today.

Reagan and I enjoy watching the show, "Good Luck Charlie" on the Disney Channel. This is not a Christian show and at times we have to discuss parts of it with our kids, but there are parts of it that make us laugh till our sides hurt. I think because it often shows human nature at its best and worst. The mother on the show (Amy Duncan) cannot get past her glorious high school days. Often, she reflects back on how incredible her high school experience was; however, in the process she loses so many opportunities to connect and help her kids.

I think this is what God was trying to help me realize today. No matter what happened in the past- whether good or bad- let our focus be on what God wants from me in the present. I don't want to miss opportunities because I was shining old trophies or nursing scars from the past.

Thank you, God, for this day and for these opportunities.....

Monday, September 12, 2011

Grace for Today

Last night, as I sat watching a 9/11 special, I heard an all too familiar sound coming from Caleb's room. Immediately, my heart sunk as I walked in to find him in the midst of a seizure. Having dealt with his Epilepsy for several years now, I have the head knowledge to know what to do for him physically..... place him in a safe space, time it, watch to make sure he can still breathe and not sufficate or choke as vomiting is inevitable.....

But, will I ever not be shaken emotionally?

My heart still isn't used to seeing my precious son's body shaking violently and not being able to stop it. To see his eyes look black and lifeless and know that he isn't "there," and watching him suffer for hours afterwards due to a migraine-like headache.

After each episode, Reagan and I find ourselves hoping and questioning Caleb's future..... Will he be able to drive? Will he be able to function and work to provide for himself? Will he marry? In the past, our hope that he would out-grow this condition and be able to make it without medication would encourage us, but not lately. Our hope is fading for that all-inclusive-no-strings-attached miracle. He may always require medication in order to control this condition.

Today, God spoke to my grieving heart and reassured me that whatever He has planned for Caleb will include his Epilepsy. God designed every detail of my son and this condition did not "slip past" God. He planned this for Caleb. He is not flawed or broken. He is designed by the most loving, caring creator and this condition will not prevent Caleb from experiencing anything God has for him to do or accomplish. This will make him stronger. I think it is making our family stronger. The real miracle here may not be in the healing of this ailment, but in our thriving despite it. There are still many questions, and I cannot answer them at this point. However, I know that God loves Caleb and has his best interest at heart and that is enough to get through today, tomorrow and the numerous days ahead.

So, I praise Him for the adventure that still is to come and for the grace I need today.