well, here i sit again wondering where this year has gone, but this year.....glad that it is almost behind me...
as i am sure you probably noticed, i have been really silent this year and there is a reason for that. since i last wrote, i have been suffering with a thyroid imbalance which brought on subsequent attacks of tachycardia, anxiety attacks, sleeplessness for nights on end, stomach cramps, migranes, and on and on. it has been the most difficult year i have spent yet. at times i thought this must be what hell feels like. it was a daily struggle to muster up the courage to face people and eek out a smile. sickness tempts you to an unhealthy introspection which leads to doubting if God is there and if He is, if He cares at all. just being honest. i have never been one to write sugarey-coated letters. if i can't be honest, then i will remain silent.....so, there you have it......i didn't think you would want to hear what was really going on, i mean, isn't there quite enough bad news out there already? and, i have to confess that i was ashamed of what was going on inside my head and heart.
in october, i headed back to texas to see my trusted doctor in hopes that he could answer my questions and shed some light on why my body was assaulting me so violently. fortunately, i did get some of those answers i was looking for and in the past couple months i feel like maybe there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. being able to sleep for several hours at a time makes me feel like a new person!
so, i am still in process, but hopeful and that is what this season is about, isn't it? waiting expectantly for the One to come who will defeat the darkness, make all things new, take the mess that sin has caused and turn it into something fit for Heaven, something glorious! i have learned many things this year, not the least of which is to intentionally give thanks in ALL circumstances no matter how i feel. there is something really amazing about gratitude......it lifts you up beyond where you are. it was hard. i have had to take a long break from doing many of the things that brought me such joy, have had to decline invitations that i would have loved to accept, but just wasn't up to. i struggled with feelings of uselessness....many times asking God why i was here in this place when i wasn't able to interact with the very people He had sent me to serve. i had become helpless. rick had to take over many of the daily duties of the house, which he did without complaining! i set out to make a thankfulness journal and to write as often as i could all of the things i could be thankful for that day. one day i was thankful that i was breathing. it is a gift. one i too often overlook. another day, i was thankful that food tasted good. simple, everyday things. and i clung on to hope.....clung onto the Word that told me that no matter what, Jesus loves me, He hears, and He knows. He is acquainted with my struggles. He will never leave me.....never. and that someday there will be an end to all this mess. someday it will be all made right.....turned right-side up again and He will give me the strength and courage to wait for that day.
Advent is more real to me this year than ever before. i am waiting........waiting like Mary, walking for miles heavy with child only to find there was no place to rest. how exhausted she must have been from life, how ready for deliverance.....but there? in that dirty, little stall, smelling of animals...all unkempt and out of order...just like our world. its quite a messed up place and we are quite the messed up people, but deliverance is coming. redemption is coming. we just have to wait. wait expectantly, believing that the One who came in that simple stable so long ago will come again and this time to call us up to a better place....one where there is no sickness, no pain, no cancer, no death. no death! no more saying good-byes, no more tears. one where there will be no more doubts, no more divisions. can you almost smell the rest? the glory? wait for it......it is coming.......it is coming......
yes, there is so much to be thankful for! also thankful for you all who have been so patient with us and our shameful lack of correspondence, thankful for your prayers, for your faithful support, and thankful that we are all breathing in the same air......that sweet spirit air that gives us life and keeps us hoping and waiting. wishing and praying for peace to reign in your hearts this Christmas and in the New Year to come.