He invited me there. I stepped out in faith, out of my comfort zone, into uncharted waters. Reluctantly. In submission to His will. Not my choice but His. Surrounded by uncertainty (to some degree). Waiting....
My sea has not been one of glass just yet. Still some waves crashing on the sides now and then. The wind was still, quiet sometimes, leaving us a drift which left me wondering a bit. Nonetheless, I remained in the boat as I know it is not time to get out of the boat just yet.
God has been faithful, during this quiet time, in providing blessings along the way to bring me peace and focus while I wait. He has given me an abundance of opportunity to spend time with Him in prayer, in fasting, in study and in fellowship.
Sailing was relatively smooth until January. Then I was hit by a very unexpected storm. It built slowly but, in a matter of days, it became a hurricane!
I came down with pneumonia. A very serious case of pneumonia. So much so that I became hospitalized. First time ever!
At first, the doctors weren't sure it was pneumonia. The antibiotics didn't appear to be effective. I was poked with way too many needles, hooked up to a symphony of noisy machines, exposed to too many gamma rays (my husband tells me I don't yet glow in the dark) and had a thermometer stuck in my mouth more times in a week than I did a fork! A good night's sleep was reduced to multiple catnaps during the course of a 24 hour period. A shower consisted of dry soap used in the important areas; the rest of me had to wait for a week for the kind of soap you use with water. Not the hotel of my choosing!
My heart missed my family. I missed my own bed, my own pillow, my shower and my kitchen. The thought of death did cross my mind (as people do die from pneumonia)......
......but only for a moment! All those weeks of abiding in Him were beginning to bear fruit! From the first moment in the doctor's office, into the ER, and once admitted. In an instant. I did not recognize myself.......because it wasn't me, it was the power of His Spirit.
My normal questioning, anticipating-the-worst self took a hiatus! No feelings of stress or panic. I surrendered to His will at that moment and became transformed. I had peace, I was calm. My eyes were on Him. I was truly in the eye of the storm! I heard Him speaking to me in chaos and through circumstances, saw Him in the people who came to visit me, those who helped with meals for my family, and helped out with home schooling. I sensed His love and saw His provision.
And, I became empowered through His Spirit to minister to others. I took my focus off of my pain and struggle, focusing instead upon others in the hospital. I took personal interest in almost everyone who I came in contact with during my stay. Even when they were sticking me with needles, giving me treatments, or taking me to the X-ray lab in a wheelchair. Despite my illness, my mind and heart had the energy to touch the lives of others. By His provision. By His grace.
The joy it brought me to be used in this way by God is indescribable. The sense of purpose in Him was magnified in me. Through it all, He was glorified!
Our gracious Lord took a stressful, unpleasant experience and truly used it for good and for His glory. I am healed physically by His hand as I did most of my recovery at home without antibiotics. I am healed spiritually by His power within me as I yielded to His sovereignty, His authority, and died a spiritual death to self in that moment. Thy will be done.
and overcome you.
Your feet have sunk down into the mire,
but they have turned away.’
No struggle, no questioning, just obedience. In turn, He empowered me to touch lives, to bring light, to speak life into others. To be a light in a dark world, in a place filled with stress and suffering. Even when my own circumstances had dark possibilities. Therein lies the beauty of His provision. He knew the hurricane was coming and He prepared me for it during those months of quiet. He prepared me to survive it, to overcome, and to serve Him. Not just through submission. Through surrender. This time it was my choice! He showed me the way....
I'm still in the boat riding the wind and the waves with my Savior. It is still not time to step out onto the water just yet. My hospital experience was a test run. My strength comes from my God alone. And, the victory belongs to Jesus!