God’s Faithfulness in Transitions

We all experience transitions, and it is important to remember God’s faithfulness to us in those times and seasons of our lives. With the new school year approaching, like many families, my family is in a major transitional period. We are leaving behind the relaxing days of summer and looking ahead to new routines and schedules.

My husband will be doing some traveling with his job, and I am transitioning from being a full-time homeschool mom to launching a writing, blogging and speaking ministry. My boys are all growing up and heading off in new directions. My eldest son begins his Senior year of college, our middle son will be starting new therapy and educational programs, and our youngest will be transitioning to a full-time homeschool program.

Change can be exciting, but change can also be scary. We all experience transition periods when we start a new job, send our kids to off to school, get married, have a baby, or move to a new city. We all fear the unknown, but we should not be afraid. Our God is with us wherever we go.In Joshua 1:9, it says

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

We have no reason to fear. Our God is with us, and He has good plans for our lives. From these verses, we learn that we are to be strong and courageous and to not be afraid. We can face the days ahead in faith, instead of fear—not looking to our circumstances, but looking to our God who is faithful.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”FdsmU” via=”yes” ]A prayer journal serves as a reminder of God\’s faithfulness in answering my prayers![/ctt]

During times of transition, one way I keep my focus on God is through prayer. I like to keep a prayer journal. It serves as a reminder of God’s faithfulness in answering my prayers. God has been faithful to us in the past, and will continue to be faithful in the future!  In  Philippians 4:6 we learn that should not be anxious, but in everything, we should pray:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  

Let us approach the transitions of life through prayer. Knowing that the Lord loves us and wants us to be strong and courageous; knowing He has good plans for us!

 

 

Choose Joy!

Choosing joy in the midst of difficult circumstances is not always easy, but it is what the Lord commands us to do.

  “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” –  Philippians 4:4

We can rejoice no matter what circumstance comes our way, because of the great love that Jesus has for us, in that while we were full of sin, he chooses to lay down his life to save us. Jesus has forgiven our sins and cleansed us from all unrighteousness. Through his death, burial, and resurrection we have divine power to choose joy, no matter our circumstance.

In the many years, I have been alive, I have experienced many difficult trials. From having the monumental task of raising a special needs son, to the death of those closest to me—my Mom and Dad, my Mother-in-law and Father-in-law, my brother, several babies, and dear friends. Other tragic situations happened as well, like family problems, marriage problems, health problems, terrible accidents, financial difficulties, church splits, and just the overall effects of sin in a lost and fallen world. Life can be downright, and if though you have walked on this earth very long, I can guarantee that you have had some sort of trouble in your life.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” – James 1:2-5

[ctt template=”2″ link=”k8i3o” via=”yes” ]Whatever problems seek to plague us in life, we are told to COUNT IT ALL JOY![/ctt]

We all face trials of different kinds. Our struggles and challenges may be similar or different than our friends’ and neighbors’, but we all face difficult times. These challenges test our faith, and as we endure these trials it produces a life of faithful endurance. That steadfastness then helps make us more Christlike and conforms us to the image of God, which is a gift from God to make us whole and bring us to maturity in our spiritual walk.

Horatio Spafford penned the beautiful lyrics to the song “It is Well with My Soul” after a Job-like tragedy struck his life when he lost his son at age two in the Great Chicago Fire. The fire financially ruined him and then shortly afterward, all four of his daughters perished in a shipwreck crossing the Atlantic. Horatio could have become consumed with anger, bitterness or regret, yet he chose to have joy and to praise the Lord! In this life we will have struggles, but how will we respond? We will choose joy? May we learn from his example!

“It is Well with My Soul”

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain:

It is well, (it is well),

With my soul, (with my soul)

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!

My sin, not in part but the whole,

Was nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:

If Jordan above me shall roll,

No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,

Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,

The sky, not the grave, is our goal;

Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!

Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,

The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;

The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,

Even so it is well with my soul!

Prayer Update for Connor

I broke both of my arms last Spring and was unable to do anything for myself, my family or my home for several weeks. I was a little out of it from the pain medicine and completely forgot to pay Connor’s insurance policy. Connor was attending a school for kids on the Autism spectrum that cost over $4,000 a month. We only paid a portion of the monthly fee because his health insurance paid for the rest of it. Connor was on a Cobra policy and was immediately dropped from the policy when they didn’t receive payment. I was devastated! I began crying out to the Lord for help and praying for wisdom as to what to do with Connor.

It was during this time that we took him to see a Functional Neurologist in Dallas in July 2015. He diagnosed Connor with PANDAS, which, according to the PANDAS network:

“PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) occurs when strep triggers a misdirected immune response results in inflammation on a child’s brain. In turn, the child quickly begins to exhibit life-changing symptoms such as OCD, anxiety, tics, personality changes, a decline in math and handwriting abilities, sensory sensitivities, restrictive eating, and more. PANDAS Network estimates that PANDAS/PANS affects as many as 1 in 200 children.”

Connor was also diagnosed with Autoimmune Encephalitis. The Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance defines it as  “a rare and serious condition in which the immune system attacks the brain, resulting in impaired brain function.”

The part brain of Connor’s brain that was affected is the part that controls his motor function. His gross motor, fine motor, speech, and language were all affected. We also learned that Connor had about nine different eye conditions. He couldn’t focus, his eyes weren’t equally yoked, and he couldn’t visually track just to name a few problems.

The most heartbreaking part of all of this is that he had been living with all of this for 15 years! He did not get diagnosed until the age of 16. After years of going to doctor after doctor, Connor was misdiagnosed with PDD-NOS, an Autism spectrum disorder. We are so thankful for the brilliant doctor who finally correctly diagnosed Connor, and we began treatment shortly thereafter.

Connor began weekly IVIG treatments. According to Medscape, “Immune globulin products from human plasma were first used in 1952 to treat immune deficiency. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) contains the pooled immunoglobulin G (IgG) immunoglobulins from the plasma of approximately a thousand or more blood donors. Initially, immune globulin products were administered by intramuscular injection.”

IVIG is a miraculous drug! Connor received weekly home infusions, and we started to notice a difference in Connor almost immediately. IVIG is a very expensive drug, to the tune of almost $6,000 a month and it is not covered by insurance. For Connor’s condition, it is considered to be an experimental treatment.

After six months of treatment, Connor had his last treatment on Mother’s Day 2016. He has to be off the medicine for 8 weeks before he can be re-tested to see if the antibody is still present in his brain. In the interim, Connor is in Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Vision Therapy, swimming and golf lessons.

Connor is an entirely different person then he was a year ago. We are so thankful for the accurate diagnosis and treatment that he has received. Please continue to pray for our sweet little man and that Connor’s brain would be completely healed. To God be the glory!

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us!” -Ephesians 3:20

Learning to let go

Nobody warned me that it would be this hard. Watching them grow and then letting them go….

 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORDthe fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.

Psalms 127: 3-4

It is hard to believe that I grew these three young men in my belly. Where did the time go? They seemed to be little for so long, and then one day, almost overnight they have all become men. Each one is unique with differing gifts and abilities, but all are a blessing. We have raised them to be warriors for the kingdom of Christ. Peter and I have been intentional and careful stewards of these treasures, and soon we will be launching these arrows out into the world.

No one warned me how difficult and painful it would be on me when they started to pull away. A boy has to detach himself from his Mother in order for him to grow into the man God calls him to be. This is the way it is and has always been. It is good and natural, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

First, we dream of them before they are ever conceived. Then we grow them inside of us, oftentimes in pain and sickness, but we love them and long to meet them. Then we bring them forth into this world and our lives are forever changed. We nurse them, feed them, diaper them, dress them. We kiss boo-boos, tell bedtime stories, and give baths. We teach them to pray, to love Jesus and to love one another. We discipline and teach while they grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

After years of being the most important person in their life, suddenly one day they start to pull away and they don’t need you as much or at all. As they pull away it is heartbreaking to their mama! How do you love them with every fiber of your being and then simply just let go? By entrusting them to the care of Jesus. I will always be their mother and no matter how old they are they will always be my little boys, but I need to let them go so that they can become the men God created them to be.

Jesus, thank you for the blessings of children! Help me to cherish every moment that I have with my boys. Help me to remember that we have raised them well, and it is not my responsibility to control them, but instead it is time to let go and entrust them to your care.

 

A Leap of Faith

     Have you ever wanted to try something new, or learn a new skill, but you were afraid to get started? Or is there a desire or dream within you to do something and you just don’t feel qualified to do it? 

Many people today lack the courage they need to start new projects or follow their dreams.

     The other day while buying a new computer at the Apple store, the sales associate and I were talking about what I would be using my new laptop for. I told her that I was an author and blogger and that I would be using my new laptop to write my first book. She was very excited for me, and thought that what I was doing was really neat. She told me that she also had a dream of being an author, and one day hoped to write a children’s story.

She was bursting with excitement as she shared with me that she already had a great book idea, but something was holding her back from acting on that dream. This young lady is currently going to school for her teaching degree and wants to be a kindergarten teacher. I don’t know if she was just afraid to get started, or she didn’t think she was qualified enough to write a children’s story until she had a degree, but I sensed her hesitation—something was holding her back. So I encouraged her to go ahead and get started on her book now.

Too often, I see people who are held back from pursuing their dreams because they don’t feel like they have what it takes to pursue them. But the Bible tells us a different story.

According to 2 Timothy 1:7:
“God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and of love and self-control.” 

In 2 Peter 1:3 we learn that:
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”

     I would have missed out on some of God’s greatest blessings for my life—like motherhood, homeschooling, or blogging—if I would have waited to start until I felt qualified. God equips those He calls.

God has given us everything we need for an abundant life.

     If God has placed a dream or desire in our hearts, then we do not need to be afraid to proceed. Through His divine power He has given us everything we need, and through Christ who strengthens us, we can do all things!

So don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith: step out of your comfort zone, knowing that you are empowered by divine power, and follow your dreams.

Leave a comment below if God has recently empowered you to do something out of your comfort zone.