A Look Past Pushes Hope Forward

I’m not a huge fan of looking into our past, IF we are doing it for the sake of dwelling there. But I am a fan, if we steward our past with the purpose of healing, learning, remembering God’s goodness and looking forward with Christ. Looking back into my old journals has that effect on me. It conjures up emotions, sometimes painful, sometimes with joy. Some journals and pages I’ve purposely put through the shredder as they serve no purpose for growth. Yet some journals, even with uncomfortable memories, contain joy embedded within because I am reminded of God’s goodness.

Attempting to compare answers to a current study I’m repeating, I discovered journal pages written back in 2008, apparently just after a hospital visit. I wish I had the exact date, but the content is what matters.

As you can see in the first two photos below, the handwriting is barely legible. I was heavily medicated in an attempt to prevent seizures and to be honest, I’m not remembering what all for. With all the trials we were facing, I felt as if my world was being stripped away. I wrote that I was barely even able to read or write and couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t even walk straight! I have never been drunk and wondered if that’s what it felt to be so. So determined to journal, however, I wrote out my thoughts:

Now I feel like I have been stripped away of everything….I have so many drugs in this body, I don’t know how I will survive–but it helps me sleep and keeps me from ….?….or cramping up into a seizure. I’ve been in the hospital since the 21st, I think. I’ll go home for Christmas, then come back for evaluation by special epileptic docs. I’m so handicapped Greg has had to help me dress and walk to the bathroom. I wonder if this is what a drunk person feels like. Ha! One particular drug wasn’t given me last night, so hopefully, I’m better today. These words keep coming to my mind

The Lord is my strength and helper. They help me all day long. He has never left me nor forsaken me. He is my rock and shield my comfort all day long. He has covered me with his feathers.

Today, we are facing new trials, but I would consider them “petty” trials. They are numerous little annoyances that are starting to wear on me. (I no longer have seizures. Brain surgery took care of that, and there may be more posts later in which I refer again to that season in our life.) It seems as if arrows are flying at us from all around. I have different health issues. Different financial issues. Different relationship issues. And even though I may not feel the nearness of Christ as I did in the year of seizures, I know deep down he is still with me. And he is training me. How will I steward this time? Will I mope and pull away or will I stand strong? Will I ignore the Lord in dissatisfaction, or will I lean and cling?

These journal pages are a gift, a sort of memorial. Despite my physical weakness, my spirit was in communion with my Father in Heaven. I knew in the depths of my heart, he loved me and was with me. I remember the joy I experienced, despite the trials swirling around me. My body was failing me, but He was not. Not long after, I was able to decipher parts of what I wrote, and neatly print the attempts, as shown in the pictures.

Because my Lord has been faithful, I choose to carry on and practice trusting again and again. He is not a God who changes, but a God who is the same yesterday, today and will be tomorrow. And I know he will continue to be faithful in the future. I can trust, also, that he will not give up on me either, even when I fail. I have an everlasting hope! In all this, yes! I must keep leaning on him. I must keep clinging. To cling to the vine of Christ is to survive. (See John 15.)

I share this with you, because I want you to know you can put faith in the Lord, too. You can trust him to be faithful. Listen for his heart in your trials. Let him speak to you through the power of his Holy Spirit. Better yet, before your trials hit, fill up your mind and heart with his truth so you are prepared when the storm blows. The Lord prepared me and he will prepare you as well, if you let him. Believe that what he says in his word is true. Let him be the strength of your heart.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:25-26 (NIV)

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