Monday, November 19, 2007

Desperate Prayers and a Thankful Heart—1

Yes, those two things do go together. I’ll explain in a minute, but first I need to apologize for being so long away from blogging anything other than blog tours for the last two months. Even my husband commented about it last week. When I went to the ACFW conference, I had no idea that the Lord would use it to change me and my focus in such a huge way. But He did and He’s continuing to do so. Isn’t He good?

This past year and a half has been challenging in many ways, but these last two months especially so. Both my mother-in-law and mother went to be with the Lord six months apart. Then started a months-long journey of health problems for me. Last month I saw my primary care doctor who ran a bunch of tests to see if we could get to the root of the problem. But all the tests came back negative, leading us to conclude that everything stemmed from my fibromyalgia, which has gotten a real stress workout lately. While in one sense that’s nice to know, in another sense it’s very frustrating. But God has a purpose in all this, I know.

This past Labor Day weekend, my husband and I decided to take advantage of our holiday by spending three days in the mountains. Since we live in the Denver metro area, it doesn’t take us long to get there, so we planned three separate day trips. On Saturday we took Heather Tipton, a writing friend and virtual assistant extraordinaire, with us to Rocky Mountain National Park. Late in the afternoon we drove out of the park on the west side of the Divide and headed back toward I-70 and home. We’d gotten out and hiked at several places, the sun was warm, and we were all quiet.

Into that quiet a line from an old song dropped into my mind: “For whatever it takes for my will to break, that’s what I’ll be willing to do.” Okay, not a thought that normally crosses someone’s mind after a day spent actively pursuing favorite activities. Suspecting it was from the Lord, I naturally questioned Him. Now usually when I question the Lord, I don’t get immediate answers. But that day was different. When I asked if He’d put that phrase into my head, He said yes. Hmm. Hadn’t I had enough testing in the last year? This time the answer was no. Yikes! I’m beginning to panic a little. So I asked why. He said, “Because I never, ever want you to doubt my love for you again.”

For months I’d been struggling with this issue of His love for me. Once again, I’d gotten too busy doing things to prove my worth to Him and had pushed aside the time I usually spent with Him. Oh, I still had my quiet time every morning, but it had become rote and dry. I even led a Bible study during the summer on developing a Mary spirit. (I highly recommend Joanna Weaver’s Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World and Having a Mary Spirit. Both books led me to life-changing decisions.) By August, I knew that something had to change. By Labor Day I’d already started putting some of those changes into place. Which is probably why I could hear the Lord speaking to me so clearly that day.

As I thought about His words to me, I was reminded of the many things I was still hanging on to. Things that were understandable in a human perspective, but that were hindering my spiritual growth. And I told the Lord, “Whatever it takes, Lord. Help me know what it is You want me to do, what You want me to let go of, and allow You to love me. Not because I’m worthy of Your love, but because I’m not worthy.” Which was the whole point of Christ’s coming to earth to die for my sin, to make me righteous and holy, and to restore fellowship with a holy God who desired all these things for me.

Then came Sunday.


Paula said...

What a year we've had! May the fruit of His love manifested in your soul be abundant and cover all the pain.

You might find the poem I just posted on my blog interesting. It goes along with your post in a way.

D. Gudger said...

I've had conversations with God over the course of the past few years, okay, maybe it was more me talking at God...
"Don't you think I've been through way more than my fair share of trials? Come on, Lord, I've had enough trial and suffering for a small island country!"
I think somewhere along the way I bought into the American diestortion of "Happily Ever After" in this lifetime.
Then this last bout of depression hit.

I too, struggled with really KNOWING God loves me. I assumed He didn't b/c of all the pain and hardship in my life. Then this life-threatening crash.

He is, through His people, showing me He adores me.

Funny how these kinds of trials seem to proliferate in the writing community. What do you think that means?

We're all in this together. I love you guys!

Margie Vawter said...

Darcie wrote: Funny how these kinds of trials seem to proliferate in the writing community. What do you think that means?

Personally I think it has to do with being in the forefront of getting God's Word out to a world. In a very real sense we are missionaries. And anyone involved in ministry is open to the enemy's attacks. But we are armed with the armor, and Jesus Christ has already won the war! God never promised us easy lives, but our culture tends to make us believe otherwise. God does promise protection and His never-ending presence as we walk through the storms of life. Nothing comes to us that isn't first filtered through His love and grace.

Thanks, Darcie, for your openness in your comment! Praying for you, girl! You know I love you, too :).