Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …


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Victory Belongs to the Lord

Doctors. Specialists. Antibiotics.

Allergic reactions. Emergency rooms. Green smoothies.

Detoxes. All Natural – Everything. Essential Oils.

Sugar Free. Gluten Free. GAPS.

You name it. I tried it.

” The horse is made ready for the day of battle,

but the victory belongs to the Lord. Proverbs 21:31″

You see, victory belongs to the Lord. Not to doctors, though He uses them. Not to natural remedies, though He gave them to us – because to Him, all glory is due. Isaiah tells us that he “will not yield His glory to another”. And He certainly will not.

No matter what I tried to battle the MRSA with, it failed. Daily for a year and half I fought, and as I did, all self-reliance and control died painful, slow deaths. Trust in any system of medicine waned, theology fell by the way side until all was stripped away. Have you ever come naked before the Throne of Grace?

A miracle happens there when we choose to let go of all pride, control and self-reliance. In His mercy the Father never turns a broken and naked child away. When all is stripped bare He remains faithful.

Although I could not see it at the time, He heard every cry and saw every painful tear, and there were many of them. 2012 was a year of tears for me; a year of raw faith when a lot of what I believed was tested, tried and refined. I woke up last Christmas to a huge boil and spent New Years in tears, begging for grace and pleading for healing as I carried the sickness into another year. The specialist could do nothing. In His grace, the very grace I was pleading for, He brought me to the most terrifying, exhilarating, and peaceful place. The place of “but God”, where heaven meets earth.

Through it all He asked me to believe Him, to believe He was big enough to heal me. “Could He?” “Did He want to?” And finally, “Would He?”

He is Jehovah Rafa, the God who heals. The One who first healed my heart, and then in abundant mercy when the time was right, the One who healed me physically. There was a group of friends who faithfully prayed over me, and one night last January– He healed. This Christmas was the one-year mark since I had a full blown MRSA boil. He is abundantly good and faithful. The journey has been long and painful, and even before the healing, the suffering is worth it to see the Father’s face. The side of His face that only pain reveals. When all was stripped away, He gave me everything – He gave me himself.

Whatever you are battling this Christmas, wherever you are broken and bare, there is hope, because He comes. One thing I have learned over the last few years is that He is faithful. He will not leave you there. He is not scared of our pain – what’s more, He enters into it. That is the miracle, and that is Christmas – Christ coming.

I have much to learn in what it means to walk in the healing and continue to trust Him for it. By His grace I’m slowly healing from the side effects, and every boil that has dared to start growing this past year, has vanished in the power of His name. There is nothing like literally watching healing in your own body to believe Him.

I blog today to praise Him – a year ago I was in a place where only He could move on my behalf and He did. This New Years I won’t spend in the doctor’s office, but in Kenya loving His children and by His grace bringing His healing love to them.

Christmas - He come

 Thank you dear friends and readers for the many times you prayed for me. You were apart of His grace. As many times as I prayed for healing, I want to praise Him for healing. Soli Deo Gloria – all glory to Him alone.

Below are a few posts I wrote through the journey with MRSA (in case you’re a new friend and reader of Not Unredeemed)

What I learned to do in sickness – Grasp

Last New Years – Robbed and Christmas Magic (2012)

Even This – Again and how He Heals our Faith

Fear


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Stingrays of Fear

Pst. Let me tell you a secret. I’m TERRIFIED of fish. Yes, fish. Even goldfish, and I own one! My dear Beta was given to me as a gift, and as a low maintenance pet, I love having it. I enjoy watching him from a distance, but when it’s time to clean out his bowl, GULP. What if he falls out?!? I’m a texture person and there is something about a cold, slimy, wiggly, flopping, scaly fish that makes my flesh crawl and my stomach churn.

Eating fish with skin and scales sends me hurling, an escaped goldfish sent me screaming for the nearest male to come to the rescue, a fish tossed at me resulted in the fetal position, and swimming in a pond only lasts 1.2 seconds longer than a nibble on my toe.

You get the picture; I have an irrational fear of fish and water animals. This tough farm girl is reduced to near hysterics near anything with gills.

There is no solid basis for my fear, but that is the nature of fear is it not? Fear is never based in reality for a child of God.

The paradox of fear, is that what we are afraid of is what we are often unknowingly drawn too. Why in the world would I own a fish, when I am terrified of it? Why do we rent rooms in our mind to the things that we fear?

Because on the other side of fear lies the fulfilled promises of God. Fear is simply a distortion of reality; which is a distortion of truth. Nothing can be distorted that was not once pure.

This week I fell in love with sting rays as I crossed off a bucket list item – visit an aquarium. (When I’m scared of fish… I know I know… ) We are drawn to what we fear, because fear is only meant to be a door, not a wall.

Stingrays were swimming everywhere in a low open tank – my girlfriend really wanted to see and pet them, (I would have kept going.) At her insistence, I timidly held my hand just below the surface of the water, bracing myself to hold back the scream I knew would force it’s way through my lips as my palm brushed the slimy back.

The first touch was GROSS. It was just a slimy and cold as I imagined it to be. But as one stingray after another came close to be touched, my heart softened. What once paralyzed me began delighting me.  Stingrays are magnificent! So much power, breathtaking beauty, and grace, gliding just beneath the surface.

On the other side of the stinging rays of fear lies the Lord’s beauty and grace. In EVERY area of life. Fear acts like a wall keeping us from grace.  But fear is not meant to be a wall, but a door we walk through.  It’s only AFTER facing our fears that the grace comes. The Lord can’t fill our hands with His love, when they are clutching fear, just as light can’t come through a walled off door. Fear is only overcome in the presence of the Lord, by facing it and walking through it. We will never know how big our God is, until we walk through the fear. Remember that fear is a distortion of reality – the reality that our God gives us ALL that we need.

Psalm 84 sayssting rays 2

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!”

No good thing does He hold back from us. The Hebrew roots of this phrase has the conation that there is nothing better left to give us. He withholds nothing from us, and gives us the VERY best, as we walk uprightly. “Uprightly” is translated from a word meaning “complete, entire, whole”.

There is so much blessing just over the threshold of trust, when we give Him everything.

Wouldn’t it be nice if every fear in life was a small as stingray problem to overcome? But then again, isn’t it? The choice to walk through the doorway is always ours. What’s on the other side of your doorway?


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Robbed

I’ll admit it, I cried when I woke up on New Year’s Eve. I desperately wanted to be rid of the nightmare of 2012, but fear battled with grace in my heart for 2013. Hope leaked out of my heart as the tears streaked down my face. I want to be IMG_5122healed. To go into 2013 clean, whole, and healed. But here I was against my will dragging into 2013 my worst nightmare – MRSA.I woke Christmas day to the flu, resulting in compromised immune system that handed me one of the most sever outbreaks I’ve had yet (with a trip to a specialist this time). Most of the last week was spent in bed.

‘Robbed’* was the word chased the memories of 2012. Bitter tears flowed as the scenes played by. Robbed of activities, strength, health, family and church time … and now – tonight was new years eve – the party I’d been helping to plan for months, and I didn’t even know if I could walk up the stairs to the venue. Continue reading


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Even If – 31 Days of Truth {Day 11}

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come

I’ve found a new theme song. Tonight I was driving home from work and a few lyrics made me pause and turn up the radio. They are my tidbit of truth for today. Although I am not musical, lyrics can often express what’s in my heart better then I can.

I’m in a season of life where a lot of things are being stripped bare.  The only thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that He is good and He is faithful. Even if the healing doesn’t come and the dreams are still a long way off – from the bottom of my soul – He is good. If life is rough right now, listen to this song and be blessed by the things we DO KNOW to be TRUE.

 Today’s Tidbit of Truth: We rest in what we do know, we rest in who He is.


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Surviving

Hello friends! Writing as been almost non existant for me for the last while do to some health problems, but by God’s grace I’m still here and kicking! 😉 I’m praying about sharing with you all some of those struggles at some point, but for now, I would love if you joined me over at YLCF. This month I’m talking about how to survive the unscheduled happenings of life (something I’ve experienced a lot this past summer).

Join me as I discuss the 4 Keys to Surviving the Unscheduled .

One thing I’ve realized this fall is that writing is therapeutic for me! How I’ve missed it, and the interaction with you all! Stayed tuned for the launch of a mini series on Truth in October (Lord willing!)

 

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