Thursday, February 25, 2010

Great Expectations

What a journey we have and continue to walk with Abigail Grace.  When I think of her birth mother leaving her in a carseat, on a table, in a cafe, in Kazakhstan... I am moved in the innermost parts at how God had already claimed this precious one to be mine... to be ours... to be his.  I often wish there was some way I could let her know that she is ok.

I know she was having seizures and I know that is why she was left.  Her birth mother couldn't handle it.  She hoped someone else could.  Well, I can't handle it either.  But God can.  And with his love and strength and grace and presence, I get the privilege of walking this journey with her.  How humbled I am that God knew he could love and take care of her through me.

Yesterday, my heart was in a daze and my mind was screaming but my soul was still.  It is this calm that is with me that I know is straight from the Father and I am so blessed to be in his hands.  Abby had one seizure this morning at 6 a.m.  Yesterday there was one at 6 a.m., 7 a.m., and then 7:30 a.m.  Then the one at school around 1:30 p.m.  She needs to sleep at least an hour after one to sleep off the effects... she can't talk, walk, or really function after one.  So I lied there with her and prayed this morning.  Prayed that God would keep another from coming and that he would allow her to sleep and recover from the one she had just had.  And she slept until 8 a.m., peacefully and without further disruption.  It was his gift.


I am keeping her home from school today.  I am hoping to do some fun things with her while watching her like a hawk.  This may prove difficult as when she is seizing like this, she is not very nice.  I know it is an effect from the seizures but it is still hard.  I have tried to hug her today and received a cry out and been pushed away.  I have kissed her on the top of the head and received a similar reaction.  I have also received some not so nice words from just having asked her how she feels and saying good morning.  It may be a long day.

I have a devotional that I talk about all the time.  It's "At His Feet" by Chris Tiegreen.  I am so thankful for the way this book speaks to me and how much the Lord uses it to encourage me.  It becomes hard to pray sometimes... when you are and have been praying the same prayers for years and years... when you have and continue to endure such highs and lows on the nonstop rollercoaster ride of emotions.  But there is an entry I am clinging to today and I wanted to share with you.

"Great Expectations" October 27 
"According to your faith will it be done to you."  Matthew 9:29

 IN WORD  Jesus speaks frequently of "great" faith.  In one place he could do no miracles because there was no faith there.  He did not rebuke people who asked to have greater faith.  Faith is apparently a very measurable thing.
  But just because faith is measurable does not mean it is just a matter of quantity.  It is also a matter of quality.  Faith is qualified not only by it's object, but by it's appropriateness.  The object of our faith is God-- He is large enough to accomplish anything on behalf of those who who believe in him.  But the appropriateness of our faith is another matter.  We can trust God's ability without knowing anything of his ways.  We can believe that he might meet our need without any understanding of whether he wants to. And our suspicion of Him at this point is often the flaw in our belief.
  Expectant faith is not assuming that whatever we name we can claim.  But neither is it simply a trust in his ability wihtout any knowledge of his willingness.  We know God can do great things on our behalf; we seldom believe that he will.  Before Jesus ever asked the blind men in this story whether they believed he was able to heal them, they had already appealed to his willingness: "Have mercy on us," they cried out (vs. 27).  They already knew what he was like, and they counted on his grace to be applied to them. 

IN DEED  We often tacitly acknowledge God's omnipotence, his ability to intervene in our lives, even in very specific ways.  But this is only half of faith.  It has nothing to do with our expectations as long as it remains only a theological proposition.  The other half of faith is understanding the mercy of God and his great willingness to intervene.  This is what brings his glory from the realm of theology into the practicum of our lives.  You want mercy and power?  Expect mercy and power.  And it will be done to you.

This is one that go back to often.  The underlines are mine.  But it helps me see one of my biggest weaknesses.  I have said, before, several times... no... many times... "I KNOW that God can heal Abby with just a thought... a touch... a breath... BUT I don't KNOW if he wants to."  You know what that is?   That's safe.  That is me being safe... proclaiming God's power all the while trying to protect myself in case she isn't healed.  And that is only exercising half my faith.  This devotional convicts me to the core. 

But then what do I do with what I see around me?  I see many people, God loving, fearing, walking people pray and fast for healing and it doesn't come.  It is because of this that I want to remain safe.  Here is what I see in this.  Every person that asked Jesus for healing in the New Testiment received it.  In one instance a woman asked for it, Jesus challenged her in her request, she replied to his challenge and because of her faith... she was healed.  Another one simply touched his robe... she said/asked nothing... but she believed and because of her faith, she was healed.  Jesus says time and time again... "because of your faith" you are healed.  It does appear that healing is clearly tied to faith.  And I do believe that God still heals today through the power of the Holy Spirit.  I am pressing into really looking where my faith lies... faith in God's character and his power and his willingness. 

I also believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that faith is grown, stretched, and refined through trials.  I feel that if I had just popped out babies whenever I felt like it, and they were all healthy, and we lived our merry little lives... that my faith would be NO WHERE close to where it is today.  Abby's illness has given me cause to cling to God's presence for my very breath, my very sanity, my very life.  It has caused me to question my faith.  It has caused me to encounter God in ways I never knew possible.  It caused me to let go, fall into a hole of darkness, just to find out that yes, my Father was there and caught me.  My belief in some areas has turned from "I believe" to "I KNOW"... and I count myself so lucky to KNOW these things.

But my spiritual growth continues... so does his mercy... and so does my/her testimony.  God has a plan.  And his plan is sovereign.  And his plan works out for good for those who love him... his word tells me so.  And I KNOW it is so.  SO I trust in that... and go deeper... deeper into what God wants me to know about him.  Deeper into how he wants me to seek him... trust him... rely on him... call on him... rest in him.  Deeper into how he wants to live through me... and it is one day at a time.   

Yesterday, my precious prayer warrior friend, Bree, came over to pray over Abby with me.  I told Abby she was coming to pray over her and Abby said, "Mommy, we need many many peoples... call many peoples."  I asked her, "Why do you want many people?"  She simply answered, "So I can get better."  My heart soared.  My child knows that we petition the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords in prayer so she can get better.  PRAISE HIM!  
Your prayers for Abby give me strength.  I feel them.  I felt them last night.  Thank you so much.  And please stay before him on her behalf.  Thank you. So much love...

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