Thursday, November 24, 2011

So Much to Be Thankful For

I’ve written this post over and over again in my head for the last two months. This fall marks a year from when my health really took a turn for the worse. I planned to write it the first week of October because that marked a year since I had my first fever, but I put it off blaming it again on the ipad. However, now that Thanksgiving has rolled around I can’t help but blog about what happened a year ago this week. This weekend last year I was admitted into Johns Hopkins University with “fever of unknown origin.” Yesterday last year, I was discharged from JH and apologized to because they had not leads on what was wrong with me. Every day for five months I had fevers rising regularly from 103-104 degrees and higher. I saw over 35 of the world’s best physicians at Georgetown, George Washington, and Johns Hopkins.

I finally began to see this time as an opportunity that God was allowing me to go to through for a purpose; I truly believe I was being sifted. Being spiritually sifted like wheat was a hard concept for me to grasp. I remember in a Beth Moore study I had done in college where the leader referred to her time of sifting as the most painful, but yet growth producing time she had ever experienced; words which I now echo. Satan tried over and over again from March 2010-February 2011 to break me down and beat me up. However, I fought to press on because I knew the Lord was teaching me that complacency in my faith was not something He was going to accept. You see I had become one of these “Christians” who grew up in the church, went to private Christian school, choose to go to a Christian college, married an amazing godly man, went to church, tithed and occasionally read my Bible and thought that’s what it was all about. WOW! Was I sooo wrong… Where was the fruit it talks about in the New Testament that we will KNOW fellow believers by based upon the lifestyle they carry out, the fruit that they bare? Sadly, my tree was bare and it had to change.

For the first time I really understood how God felt about me. In the Psalms it clearly conveys that God’s care, compassion and love far exceeds that of our earthly fathers, our spouse or anyone else. If you know anything about me you will know that I have a very special relationship with both of my parents. When I was sick they were even willing to help pay for any test my insurance wouldn’t cover (thankfully my insurance pulled through on my 100k worth of bills). I knew my parents loved me, but to read from the Bible and know that the Lord loves and cares for me more than my Dad was something I had never begun to think about or understand what that really meant. During that year I know the Lord carried me under His wing while He actively opened my heart to see the depth of His love and protection which he amply provided, something no Dad or any other person could have ever provided. His hands never left His hurting child.

Many people asked over and over “How are you doing though all of this?” Thankfully, my response evolved more into one built on faith as I mediated on God’s truths allowing me to voice certainty that the Lord was going to heal me (whether in this life or the next) something I had found complete peace in. Was I tired? Yes! Angry that almost a year of my life had been taken from me? YES! Upset that my medicine made my face look like a bowling ball? YES! However, I knew God was using all of that to create in me the woman He desired me to be.

I now have a whole new level of appreciation for this gift of life God as provided to me. God has richly blessed me beyond what I could have ever imagined. Nevertheless this Thanksgiving I have a whole new love for my God and appreciation of the small things. Especially for the gift of eternal life with the greatest Father of all!

Happy Thanksgiving!