I’m sure you noticed, but this is not Part III of the journey and for that, I apologize! I am still working on it but seeing as it was the most difficult part of the whole saga, it is also the most difficult to put into words. That being said, it will be done ASAP! In the meantime, I have a small experience that is intimately entwined in my healing process since I have been home that I want to share, so here goes.
I will share more of what my first few days of being home in Lexington were like in Part III, but for now I’ll at least say this: the enemy is one relentless, stubborn, no good, low down, cowardly… devil. Even after all the lies he threw at me before surgery, during all the doctors visits, after surgery, on the way home, during the hospital stay… he still was not satisfied and continued to attack my thoughts and spirit even once I was home and finally able to heal. I would even go so far as to say he was now attacking with even more vigor than ever! He knew how close I was to breaking free from the bondage of my colon, and all the baggage that came along with that, and I think that scared him. In fact, I know it did because the more I think about “oh the places I’ll go” once I’m healed, and who I will physically get to be for God that I wasn’t able to be before… woooo watch out, I’m gettin more and more fired up every day now! Anyway, I guess the devil could see that so he was now furiously hurling anything and everything he had left at me to try and hold me in the deep places he had tried to take me to before. And I’ll admit, at that point, I was getting a little down.
I was now finally home but my body wouldn’t stop aching, my muscles were constantly tensed, I was walking around hunched over like an old lady, I still couldn’t sleep at night without waking up more stiff and tense than ever, and I just felt like my healing had plateaued. I wasn’t getting any worse, and I was truly thankful for that, but I wasn’t getting any better either. Or one symptom would go away only to have another one rear it’s ugly head. It was just a really frustrating place to be and after a month of thinking solely about my health, it was wearing on me. I was tired of me! Haha.
I was at a place where I really needed to hear something from God because it felt like He hadn’t said anything in a while. It felt like He had forgotten about me, or at least put me on hold or something. I didn’t have words the words to pray in that moment so I looked over a my nightstand and decided to read my devotional.
You should know that I have several devotionals that I bounce around between and sometimes I don’t even do an actual “devotion” for each day. There are seasons in my life where I like consistency and want to do the same routine with my quiet time every day, but in this season, consistency is not really even a part of my vocabulary, so I hadn’t read this particular devotional in a while. It’s called “Daily Light” by Anne Graham Lotz and it’s the devotional my parents gave to each of us three kids at a certain point of growing up that we all have incorporated into our quiet times. Each devotion is composed simply of Bible verses all focused on a specific topic and there is one for each morning and each evening.
Now that you know about this particular devotional, you should also know that my Daily Light has, over the years, proven itself faithful in many moments when I needed to hear something from God and didn’t have the words to pray. And, as you may recall from earlier, this was one of those such moments. So here I am sitting in my bed, frustrated, in pain, tired, unable to sleep, weary from this journey, being relentlessly attacked by the enemy, and fighting harder than ever to hold on to God’s truth and to never return to that place void of joy that the devil tried to keep me in before. I reached over and opened the book to that days date, looked at the evening side of the page, read the topical headliner, and immediately broke down weeping. God had done it again.
Here is what the devotion read:
“The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sick bed.”
Stop right there… HELLO! IS THERE ANY QUESTION AT ALL THAT THERE IS A GOD?!? And not only “a God” but one who loves us, sees us where we are, NEVER forgets us (or puts us on hold), and will ALWAYS prove Himself faithful as our provider and sustainer in our time of need? Amen!! Ok. Now, if that’s not enough for you, here is the rest:
“In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them. He whom You love is sick. My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
We do not lose heart though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
In Him we love and move and have our being. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases their strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on The Lord shall renew their strength. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
Uhhhhhh… YEAH!!! Now imagine how blown away I was in that moment. Even though, like I said, God has done this to me many times before with this devotional but still, every time, it hits me in the gut and I think “Why don’t I always expect God to speak to me like this?!? He never changes!” But this time was a little different. As I read those words, God’s words, I wept, snot flowed, tears fell on the pages, and with every line I could feel my spirit being lifted by the power of God through His words. I immediately prayed and thanked God for being my sustainer and for being with me in my time of need. I WAS weak, but in Him I could feel strength return. Man, God is good.
I then yelled for Bryan to come in and I read ( or attempted to read) the whole thing over again to him and there we sat, both soaking in the presence of God and so thankful to feel Him with us in the midst of attack and despair. And I know God is always with us but what a sweet moment that was to feel Him so close and to be able to practically hear Him speaking His own words over me when I needed Him most. God is good.
God. Is. Good.