Thursday, August 5, 2010

Faithfulness

"To declare your lovingkindness in the morning
and your faithfulness every night." Psalm 92:2

The faithfulness of God. It is there if you allow your eyes to see and your ears to hear. To see the faithfulness of God, our hearts must be settled, rooted and established upon Him. Open my eyes to see, Lord!

He is faithful, always.

As my eyes want to wander to my circumstances, I am swayed and begin to lose heart. How quickly I get caught up in the physical....the pain, the appointments, the uncertainty, the difficulty....all that I can see and cannot see. I am not faithful. I continually fall down. My desire is to stay focused, directed and steadfast...girded in Christ each day....that I may see Him.

As a lover of words.....here's the definition of faithful:

strict or thorough in the performance of duty
true to one's word or promise
steady in allegiance or affection; loyal, constant
reliable, trusted, believed
adhering or true to fact; a standard or an original, accurate
full of faith, believing

All this and more describes Jesus Christ.

Another verse I go to regularly, especially regarding the life and trials I've seen with my mother is in Lamentations. God's majesty of faithfulness is displayed in her life over and over again, as it is in ours....if only we would stay still long enough to see.

Lamentations 3:19-24

"Remember my affliction and roaming,
The wormwood and the gall.
My soul still remembers
And sinks within me.
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I HAVE HOPE.

Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS.
The Lord is my portion, says my soul,
Therefore I hope in Him."

And for me that is the key. To stay in His presence throughout the day with Him ever before my eyes, my lips, my head, my heart. That I may see Him and His faithfulness. And always, His faithfulness comes through in ways that I would never be able to define when I arise in the morning.

Today my heart is full of God's faithfulness and lovingkindness as I've seen it each day this week in my life. It was my first week "going solo" if you will. I was a bit apprehensive about the week and really overwhelmed, as I looked at the appointments before me, my physical limitations, and my energy level. My mother in law left on Friday. No daily reinforcements were scheduled. Of course there were friends so willing to come and help, but many of them have children of their own. My guilt comes into play. And on top of it all, my husband had his heaviest case load of surgeries to date....Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.....

My heart was overwhelmed.

But God in His faithfulness, showed Himself strong! On Monday, my friend Adrianne, who serves alongside me in Women's Ministry as the administrative support (really she is the hands and feet!), came over in the morning to go over fall details. Again, as my mind engaged beforehand at what this would look like, I was overwhelmed. She has 3 children. They were coming along, and I worried about the extra chaos that would ensue.

There was none! She and I spent the whole morning and early afternoon, sitting on the front porch, praying together, taking care of church business together, getting the fall Bible Study brochure and info ready to go out. We accomplished much and had a wonderful time of fellowship. She helped get the children lunch. Our children all had a wonderful time exploring the outdoors....even her oldest son found a baby snake which he adorned around his arm for hours (not around me, mind you....as I despise snakes!!) and then took home with delight. Just as she was getting ready to leave around 3:00....my husband pulled into the driveway....home from his early morning case and the reinforcement arrived. I could not have planned it better. God knows and is faithful.

On Tuesday....God showed Himself so strong. The day was packed. Again, looking in I was overwhelmed. But as God says, "When your heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I!.

I had a team of 2 women coming from church to clean my house. That team turned into 3 as another woman joined in unbeknownst to me. They cleaned my house from top to bottom. Did laundry (this is a post in and of itself...truly a letting go for me as they saw me on a whole new level!) Another sweet friend and Women's Ministry servant of the Lord came by to visit and share all that God was doing in an area we had been praying over. Back on the front porch we sat. To see God bring pieces together as you wait on Him is truly humbling, amazing and fills me with inexpressible gratitude and joy. As this all ensued, another dear friend was so willing to help with the children. They went to her house for the day....all 5.

I had 2 appointments that afternoon and my friend, Beth, took me to both so graciously. And then dropped me off at the football field where my husband joined me shortly thereafter. It was a long day. But God faithfully provided on every level and brought us all through.

And then yesterday....my first day without one appointment. The kids to myself. The house quiet. As I began my day sitting with God, meditating on His Word, crying out in prayer, He filled me to an overflowing and began answering many of my heart cries. Again, His faithfulness. But my body was tired from the last two days. I so wanted to be a mom today. To give to my children some more normalcy. No one stopping by. No interruptions. No distractions.

The morning got away from us too quickly. Faith and Jed are really acting out with all the changes, so discipline ensued. I felt like a mother hen wanting to gather her chicks so close and wrap my arms around them. Lunch came later than it should. I tried to do too much and at 2:30 I put my head on the island in the kitchen, and cried. My back was in spasms from by lower back to the upper. I wanted so desperately to lay down. And my husband was still in surgery, I thought. I called him and just broke down. It was too much. Again....God's faithfulness. Barclay was just out of surgery and would be home within the next 2 hours. It seemed like forever. But he made adjustments and arrived home just as our dinner was being delivered around 4:30.

And as this woman brought in our meal....she set a feast before us, and I mean a feast. And it reminded me of God. That He sets the table before us. He lays out the feast and all we have to do is partake. He says come and eat. Find rest. And it was a display of His hand upon us yet again. His lovingkindness. His tangible hands and feet through these people that are willingly offering themselves for the service of God....blessing our family beyond words.

And here is the clincher.....in the early part of the week, Barclay had two surgeries added on for Thursday and Friday. It would make for his fullest week every. A week that I was going at it alone, God had Barclay occupied each day. Today I am going to my first medical oncology consult (chemo doctor) and had another appointment in the morning with the wig people to try to look at options to lower the price. Barclay wasn't going to be able to come.

On Friday, I have two more appointments. One with another chemo doctor and one with my plastic surgeon. Again, his work schedule would keep him from coming.

I kept going to the Lord asking Him, "What are you trying to tell me?" "I am so tired and weak." "How are we to be in one accord on these decisions if He isn't even there to hear the doctors?"

And God kept telling me to trust Him. Keep your eyes on Me. I am faithful.

My friend, (pretty much a sister!) was going to go with me. She had a sitter arranged. She was ready.

At 8:30PM last night, as Barclay and I sat at the kitchen island, he told me. The patient for today had developed a fever and the surgery was postponed. His schedule was open. The surgery on Friday, given to another. His schedule was now open.

I just looked at him in disbelief. Why do I doubt for one minute that my God won't come through? He always shows us the way if we are willing to let go and let Him have His way.

And so, off we go this morning to our appointments. My hubby by my side. Jesus leading and guiding....and another lesson learned (hopefully!) that God is faithful and loving. I will declare His lovingkindness and His faithfulness!

Oh and Dr. Bazzan....well didn't have any appointments until September. His scheduler called me yesterday evening, after I had faxed her the 30 page patient questionnaire.....they are fitting me in early on Monday. Why do I doubt? My flesh is weak, but He is so strong.

Lead me continually, Lord, to the rock that is so much stronger and higher than I!

Much love,
Stacy



8 comments:

adrianne said...

Stacy,
Glad I can be obedient to the Lord in staying with you on Monday. I had a blessed time. Matt's snake escaped last night. Pray he finds it...or else...we will be back!

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

Oh Stacy - yes when we are weak He is strong! His faithfulness to all the detail overwhelms me with deep awe. His love for us overcomes me and I can't help but praise Him with you and for you!

Much love!
Jill

mindy said...

Hi Stacy,
I want to thank you again for sharing your life with us. I check your blog everyday. I continue to think of you and pray everyday for you. For answers to treatment, peace, relief from anxiety. Thank you for continuing to teach me.
Mindy

tab said...

Tears... streaming down my cheeks... oh, how i wish i could sweep in and care for you, giving you that rest that you need! But aware, that God has you and that this is part of His beautiful plan. So thakful for the ways He shows that He is faithful.

Kelly said...

Stacy,

I just love how God swoops in and fills in all the question marks! He has EVERY answer to every question that crosses our mind. What an awesome Father we have!!!

We continue to pray for your strength and healing sweet friend.

Sure wish I could physically be there with you during this trying time.


Love and many hugs,
Kelly

Sara said...

Stacy that is amazing how God has provided for you at every turn this week... he is faithful in the big and the little things... That was such an encouragement to me.

Continuing to be praying for you!
Sara

Michelle Geipel said...

Stacy- Your story is such a beautiful reflection of God in your life. I can't imagine the steep climb but He knows it well!

I remember sitting in the first session of the Spring retreat and hearing you speak so passionatly about Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount but I was having SUCH a hard time. Circumstances in my life had just unraveled in a way that I never expected. I remember asking God if He had me drive all the way to the retreat to hear a message on forgiveness! I was SO not there.
But you continued on and shared about Peter walking on the water. Peter needed to keep his eyes on Jesus, because when He didn't, he sank. And then I knew that's why I had made the drive. There was my nugget!

Neither one of this saw our respective "trains" coming. But Jesus did. And you were right when you said that the key is keeping your eyes fixed on Him. Don't look down! Just keep looking at Him.
In your words, "stay in His presence throughout the day with Him ever before my eyes, my lips, my head, my heart. That I may see Him and His faithfulness." That is how I am able to climb my own climb and I have complete faith that He will uphold you through this.
If you want, I am willing to share the details of what I walked through with His help. Maybe we can have tea on the porch sometime- just give me a call. :)

Love and Prayers, Michelle
PS- I'm still not 100% there with forgiveness... but He's working on me!

He & Me + 3 said...

He is faithful and always right on time. I got chills reading how the Lord is providing for you and your family each step of the way. He is walking right there with you through this storm as faithful as ever. He just wants to grow us at each corner.
Hugs,
Mimi