The blog has once again been eerily quiet.
There was such a year of build up to creating this site, with God opening doors I could have never ever dreamed and with opportunities coming together in the most providential of ways. It was amazing to experience how when you are willing to simply say yes to whatever and wherever He leads, the journey is beyond anything you can ask or imagine. It was all of the truths of “immeasurably more” coming to life and exploding off the page. It was magical.
And then right when the opportunities were most abundant?
HE PUSHED PAUSE.
If you follow my social media channels you will have likely seen the reason behind the recent silence on the blog. After 15 years of continuing health issues a surprising twist has come to light. Countless misdiagnoses and failed treatments and incredulous shrugs from doctors who couldn’t agree on a name for the symptoms that seemed to be multiplying more rapidly than ever all culminated in a unexpected identity for my captor:
With the key finally in hand to the mystery of my crippling illnesses, we set out to finally banish my issues once and for all, only to discover we had been dealt a double edge sword. This particular diagnosis, it would seem, is only a beginning to a very long road indeed. Treatments are difficult and uncertain. Doctors who are knowledgable of the condition are few and far between. Insurance companies all but refuse to cover any of it. The diagnosis isn’t so much an ending to this struggle as the beginning of a new one.
And so it is that I found myself, neck deep in a beautiful calling and newfound purpose and growing ministry, with a surprising new direction. Rather than growing the platform He seemed to have orchestrated, rather than chase the dreams and run down the opportunities, He was leading me into a season of absolute stillness – a season of total surrender. The physical symptoms of my worsening lyme brought my fatigue to insurmountable levels. The neurological symptoms have made even the simple act of writing a challenge. Even reading more than a few paragraphs at a time has become increasingly difficult.
INNATE WORTH AND IMMEASURABLE VALUE
When your greatest accomplishment for the day is that you managed to move from the bed to the couch, it can be easy to measure your value in similar terms. To go from a mindset of growing ministry and purpose to one of total surrender is jarring to say the least. And yet it is in the midst of these lows that I’m discovering the face of Jesus. Im experiencing His heart for “the least of these.” I’m seeing the illusions of accomplishment and accolade fall away and discovering an eternal value that was never attached to anything I could have done but simply to who I am in Christ. Oh the power of grace to the one who is made desperately aware of how wholly they are in need, and how easy it is to eschew your own identity for that of Christ when you have nothing left of your own making worth clinging to.
IN SILENT WORSHIP
This point was beautifully illustrated for me this past Sunday in church. I have been no longer able to stand in worship or raise my hands for more than a brief line or two, sometimes even relying on a cane to get into church at all. But my heart still desperately seeks to praise Him in all things, so I would raise my voice in praise from my seat in the pew. Until on Sunday my very breath became difficult to come by, and weakness and dizziness forced me to stop midsong. Initially I felt guilty, as those around me stood and boldly proclaimed their love at His throne. I had no gift to bring, no worship to offer, and I felt naked and exposed in my empty handed state. And then it was if He whispered directly to my heart – It was never about what YOU could do. Just sit and breathe me in. Behold my glory. Embrace my goodness. Let the words wash over you as you meditate on my nature and discover more of who I am. I don’t need your displays: My glory was never dependent on you. If you raise your voice in worship? It’s by My Spirits urging, by My Power alone, and for My Purposes. If you sit in silence and simply receive? It’s by all the same. Never doubt My purpose for You. Open your empty hands so you can willingly receive. Let your surrender be your act of worship.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
In the short term? The battle of my life. We have secured a spot with a leading expert in Lyme and will be traveling to be treated at his clinic in Idaho, beginning November 28th. Treatment will be difficult, and truthfully will be more expensive than we have any idea how we will afford. We are choosing to see this as yet another time God will reveal His faithfulness to us. Beyond that? It’s all a faith walk. Will the treatments work? How long will they take? How soon after the initial treatments will I be well enough to begin writing regularly again? Will I be healthy enough to return to speaking engagements? Will there still be a platform here for me after so much time away? Part of clinging wholly to the truth of immeasurably more is admitting I don’t know the answer to any of these questions: and that I don’t need to. I may not have any idea what His plan is, but I know His plans are perfect – and for now that’s the hope to which I solely cling.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” For now I am letting go of my grip on this ministry and choosing to surrender it totally back to the One from which is came. Where it goes from here is totally and completely in His hands, and I can’t think of a better place for it – or for me – to be. I rest in the assurance that His perfect best will be immeasurably more than anything I could ask or imagine – and that in His perfect timing His plans will be revealed. I hope you share in my excitement to see just what those incredible plans may be.
If you feel led to contribute financially to the costs of Lyme treatment, please head over to this link. We are unable to pay for the staggering costs of treatment without supernatural provision and generous support. Thank you.