And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
-1 Peter 5:10
I have felt broken recently, which has additionally led to feeling defeated in prayer. When it comes to John, sometimes I simply do not know how to pray, what to request, or how to incline my ear. I can feel torn based on past promises I believe I have received from the Lord and also due to the deep, aching desires of my heart. Do I desperately pray for John’s healing, which I still long for with everything that I am? Or do I muster up the courage to thank the Lord that John’s healing is already accomplished and to simply wait for its earthly manifestation? I get confused.
I also feel guilty. Am I too focused on John’s healing? Are my prayers somehow selfish? Am I responsible for the apparent lack of answers in light of my limited prayer life, small faith, or lack of “background” relationship with God I feel is required to deserve John’s growth and development? As I type this, it is obvious how skewed this perspective is, but I imagine I’m not alone in battling these warring emotions. We are simultaneously driven by fear and also by pride, thinking it is all up to us.
The fear can easily squelch faith as I find myself hesitant to get my hopes up in yet another prayer session for John. I realize a disconnect exists between my mind and heart; I’ve been operating in protection mode for a while now. I have considered my life, in general, to contain so much brokenness that I have inadvertently been shoring up my heart in an attempt to prevent the specific, more intimate brokenness.
What hit me at church, when given an opportunity to pray for John yet feeling paralyzed in this effort, was that brokenness does not necessarily translate as pain but almost always translates as an openness to receive. When something breaks, it literally becomes open. What was once closed is now a path, perhaps carrying a gift. A softening. A specific word from the Lord.
Yes, I uttered to the Lord, I want to receive. I long to grasp that you really do love me. That I neither have to take control of the generalized brokenness I often feel marks my life nor do I have to protect my heart from the specific, more personal moments of brokenness. Fear does not have to seize the victory.
Sometimes brokenness is less about experiencing pain and more about a sacred in-breaking… letting God in to love and care for us. Healing tears flow that have been absent for a while… tears I considered violently dumped out and depleted three plus years ago, tears that carried grief and unrealized dreams, tears that also carried away a tenderness with the Lord. But the tears are back, and I feel their Holy Spirit softening. I give into their cleansing. And I am grateful for their return.
(Prayer requests at the end.)
From now on I will tell you of new things,
of hidden things unknown to you.
|Our friends recently had a bounce house in their yard... needless to say, it was loads of fun!|
|A shot from our impromptu Christmas photo session last week.|
*We would also your specific prayers this week:
1) John’s general health. He has had a cold for a couple of weeks now. Even small sicknesses deplete his energy and make him more susceptible to other illnesses/complications. We hope we can get back to therapy soon! And pray against fear; it’s always scary for us when he suffers even from a cold because we are tempted to think back to all the poor prognoses John was given as a baby. But the Lord is healing us and has brought us a long way! Praise Him!
2) Upcoming appointments for John with various specialists… that the Lord will lead us to the right doctors in the right practices. There is one doctor in particular we are hoping to get in to see.
3) For patience and endurance with the mounds of paperwork I feel I am always filling out: for the doctors' appointments, for Medicaid, for the school system/updating John’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan)...even though John won't be attending school this year since we have his home program, we need that updated paperwork to apply for Medicaid.
4) A new drug being tested now that may help children and adults suffering from mitochondrial disease (and pray for John to get to be part of one of the earlier trials if that is God’s best for him). For those who want to do further reading, google EPI 743.
5) John’s development and healing. That we will trust God’s plan and timing in John’s life.