Monthly Archives: November 2011

Scars

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The funny thing about scars is, they are an equal reminder of both suffering and healing.  Wounds cause them, but it is the healing that creates them.  Sweet and painful reminders intermingling one with another. 

I have four scars, caused by the four best days of my life.  The four days that brought the morning sickness, misery of muscles strained and pinched nerves to a beautiful end.  The days THEY entered my world.  I looked at them in wonder, and cried because I couldn’t believe they were mine.  They were brought into this world in a way that would cause me  pain, but nothing was regretted.  Love is a costly thing.

That sweltering day in July, when she entered the world, I promised myself that I would remember every single detail, since this would be my last time.  My last time entering the surgical doors of this ward, my last time feeling her move within me, my last time giving life.  Yes, I would remember each moment.  I remember feeling her shaking my belly with her movements as if she was jumping with excitement to come into the world.  I remember the feeling of cold iv fluids pumping through my veins, the warmth and numbing anesethia, the smell of the hospital, Justin stroking my head, and then she came.  I will never forget that moment, the dr. lifting her up, and I gasped because she was so beautiful.  Just like the three before her, I stared at her in wonder, and cried because I couldn’t believe she was mine. 

I was given a scar that day.  A scar that would marr my body, but remind me of her birth.  There is a beauty in this intertwining relationship of pain and healing, a beauty she would soon teach me. 

At her 3 month check up, the pediatrician noticed her pupil was not centered in her right eye.  I had spent literal hours a day staring at this child, memorizing every last portion of her perfect body, and I had never noticed this.  How could this be?  Over the next few days, I stared and stared, and the truth was undeniable, something was amiss.  A week later, a pediatric opthamologist confirmed she had congenital glaucoma.  Surgery was needed very soon.  And so she suffered the first of  her many scars.  As her surgery numbers mounted, her scars did as well.  With each surgery, my mommy’s heart suffered deep wounds.   Nursing her the night before, and staring at her in agony as she slept, denying her food as she tried to lean close to suckle, handing her to the nurses and walking away, and waiting sometimes hours as they operated, all of these caused heartache in the deepest sense, leaving deep, gaping wounds. 

As I cried to the One I knew could heal us both, He reminded me of some other scars.  Scars that spoke of deep wounds, but of an even deeper love.  “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands:”  Is. 49:16  As I press into these hands, I see them, the scars.  Scars that bear my name, caused by my sin, healed by His love.  Oh, how I love these Hands!   Like Thomas as these scars are revealed to me, I cry, “My Lord, and my God!”  I ache for His pain, but I would be lost without those scars! 

Scars have a way of changing people.  Poignant moments and sometimes painful ones remind us of them.  Gazing upon a new baby reminds me of my physical scars.  Looking at Lydia in her glasses or watching her in therapy remind me of  the scars that reside within my heart.  And sometimes the painful reminders are accompanied by moments that fill my heart with so much, moments I hope I never forget.  A moment like tonight, when a chubby hand grabbed mine to run it along her Braille so I could feel what she feels when I read to her.  And I gaze at her in wonder, and cry because I can’t believe she is mine.

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Sightings

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(that ye) “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length, and height;  And to KNOW the love of Christ.” Eph. 3:18-19

One of my favorite books to read to the kids is Tales of the Kingdom.  It’s an amazing book. and one of the games the characters play is ‘King sightings’, they laugh and giggle and shout and cheer when they see glimpses of the King.  It is a game my children and I have recently adopted ourselves.  When we see one another meeting a need, showing kindness when it was undeserved, or sharing a treasured item, we whisper, “I saw Jesus in you!”  It is a King sighting.  It is less of us, and more of Him. 

I have seen the King so many times these last few years.  The day when Justin had just gotten home from the hospital, and I bought groceries.  We had less in the account than I realized, and I didn’t have enough to buy his medicine.  I came home in tears and checked the mail to find a card and a check.  A dear, widow with eight children and a very modest lifestyle, lavished us with His love.  I saw Jesus that day.

The day we were in the hospital and our sweet Pastor gave me money to make sure I could eat during our stay.  When I thanked him he replied, “Oh, don’t thank me, it wasn’t my money!  Thank God.”  I saw the King.

When I had Lydia and the sweet, working mother brought me dinner and stayed to scrub my floors and play with my boys.  I saw King.

When our sweet friends, that I hadn’t seen in years, sent a card to let us know they were aching for us and praying for Lydia, I saw the King.

A simple cleaning lady in a hospital stopped to tell me that my baby was a beautiful gift from God, no matter how she came, and went over verses reminding me of God’s promises to me.  I saw the King that day. 

Friends who are far from wealthy, but were more concerned about showing us Him than anything else, gave us one of their vehicles.  In our dark moments, they showed us the King’s light.

Many, many more stories of King sightings are coming to mind, and I like Moses, must cover my face.  His glory is too bright for me, His beauty too much for these eyes.  It compels me to my knees, and on my face, I lift my hands to this King.  The King Who has lavished me with His love, treated my eyes with His beauty.  How can I with hold any area of my heart from a King that would love me with such abandon?  

  Those who seek the King, are not hard to find.  You’ve only to behold them, and you will see His beauty radiating.

Defining Moment

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I recently came across a challenge for photographers to submit one image that tells their story.  Only one image, any story.  I began to think about that, and couldn’t help wondering as a Christian, what verse would tell my story?  Any verse, any story. 

My mind took me to another hospital bed, only a year and a half ago.  My baby still safely buried deep inside my womb.   This bed is where my sweetheart lay.  The man who won my heart when he was only a boy.  The man I have loved everyday since we were teenagers.  The man who entered a holy covenant with me, til death do us part.  I found myself begging God that it would not be this night.  A silly broken ankle from a basketball game landed us here.  He needed surgery, and somehow in between the surgery and now, he got a staph infection and turned septic.  Poison was raging in his blood, reaching his very bone structure, and he was fighting to survive.  On this night, terror was real.  The fear in the room was so palpable, it would have choked anyone who entered.  I was the only occupant that was conscious, and it was certainly choking me. 

As I held his hand, and gazed upon him, the strong fingers of fear, gripped my neck like a vice, calling the unthinkable to mind.  Will this be goodbye?  How can I go on?  As I watched the vital signs drop, the grip grew stronger.  What will become of us?  I thought of THEM.  Three sets of eyes waiting for me at home, and one set still inside of me, yet unseen.  This moment will define me, as their mother.  Words, long since hidden deep in the recesses of my heart, flooded my mind, prying the choking fingers loose.  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.”  “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.”  “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  “Come unto Me, all ye who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  and perhaps the greatest for the moment – “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment.  He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

Oh, how I knew of the torment.  The demons in that room that night were alive and well.  For the first time, I can ever remember, I could sense a spiritual realm battling that night.  There is no fear in love.  And this was my defining moment.  In the dark room that smelled of antiseptic, this was where my worlds would collide.  I choose love.  I do not know how to be perfect in anything.  Heck, I can’t even fold that stupid fitted sheet perfectly even after years of trying.  Fear has been my vice for so long.  But on this night, that I did not know what the outcome would be, little eyes needed a mom that was not fearful.  And I needed a Father to transform me.  HIS love is the only love that is truly perfect.  HE is the One Who casts out fear.  I finally understood the verse.  He has no fear, nor would He desire for it to torment us, He is offering me to be made over into His perfect love. 

That night, was not a night of praying with words.  That night was a night of the Spirit interceding for us with groanings that cannot be uttered.  It was a night of Him whispering His words over my terror.  It was a night of Him teaching me, leading me, and pouring Himself over me.  Showing me a piece of His offering, to be made perfect in love. 

Dawn came and with it came healing.  Healing for this heart that had been too long in bondage to fear, and healing for that sweetheart of mine still holding my hand.  It’s been a long process for both of us, but praise God, we will never be the same.