Well, I've been absent mostly because I've been struggling. Deep, wrestling struggling. The kind your own mind doesn't even recognize fully, so you're certainly not able to express it to anyone else. And frankly, it's pretty much consumed most of my spare energy. However, a few things worth noting have happened over the past few weeks:
1. My sister and her family returned from their 'far-out' service to our Savior...however, I haven't gotten to see them yet. I live a long way away from their 'home base' so I was the lone family member who didn't get to meet them at the airport. (Let's just say there were some tears involved in my evening that day...) But fair warning: I wouldn't stand between me and then come January when we all get together!! :-) Three and one-half years is a really long time...
2. For breast cancer awareness month (October), I decided to, just for kicks, get a biopsy done. My third one. And then, when everything on the biopsy was fine, I decided--again, just for kicks--to bleed internally and end up with one of the largest hematomas they'd ever seen following a biopsy of this type. Cool, no? And then (yep, there's more), I decided to not heal properly, so I keep having to go back and visit those fine folks. It's been a bundle of laughs. (Or, it's nerve-wracking every.single.time. One or the other.)
3. My mother had a major back surgery, which went well...until she caught a VERY serious staph infection and had to have a second major surgery, was placed on isolation, and given antibiotic transfusions twice a DAY. For six weeks. That poor woman has seen more health problems than most anyone I know, and she still keeps upbeat. (Which is why I had to type #2 first, 'cause my problems pale significantly in the light of hers.)
4. I shared the full testimony of my (weight-loss) Journey at a ladies event at my church. It was wonderful and amazing to see God's story impact others! It was exhausting to walk through that process. It has been exceedingly difficult to stand under the onslaught that Satan unleashed against me both before and since.
5. The lower level of my house took on some water...pretty much just in my bedroom, my office, and my closet. The cause is fixed and almost no actual damage was done (and I am GRATEFUL!), but only two out of the three spaces have been cleaned and reorganized. The mammoth job of cleaning up my office still awaits me. It may end up being a 2010 project at this point... :-) Although, crawling over the pile at the door does give me some exercise...
6. I've been a-workin'. The Christmas season is one of our busiest seasons at work (I work for a worship & arts ministry in a local church), and we added a big-name concert the week before Thanksgiving. 'Cause we thought we had lots o' spare time, apparently. Ahhhh.....!
7. I ate too much over Thanksgiving. Let's just say that the peanut butter fudge (oh mercy) and Chex mix and sweet potato casserole (which, I must say, I finally PERFECTED!) and 'lightened-up' pumpkin pie were just a tad too tempting for me. Or, more accurately, I gladly surrendered my long-term goals to short-term pleasures. However, I believe I am back on track. (Good thing, too, 'cause apparently you can cause a lot of damage in a short period of time. Ugh.)
But quietly, the biggest thing has been those 'stirred waters' I referenced last entry. God has only amplified these emotions and required of me to look deeply here.
And would it be wrong to say, I don't understand?
I'm not really one to need to understand God's ways. Me=pea-brain; God=God. I get that...and rarely question.
But I really felt I was content in the life God had given me...and I'm not quite sure why He has allowed--and perhaps even caused--it to become so much harder for me to be content.
...But I still choose Him. And I still choose to wage the battle to be content, though it seems to grow harder by the day.
Because no matter how challenging things get, this is my 'reasonable worship', no?
And because no matter how I feel, He IS good.
And still His,
Oh, and P.S. You're awfully glad I wrote this today and not yesterday. Let's just say...I was kinda emotional about all this yesterday. You're welcome. :-D
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. --Romans 12:1, KJV
I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.' The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young[-ish]. Let him sit alone in silence, for the LORD has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust--there may yet be hope. Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace. For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. --Lamentations 3:24-32, NIV