In The Good Times and The Bad…

During my walk this morning I was listening to my Pandora and the song “God Alone” came on. I’m so glad my hands were free because it didn’t take long to raise them in praise and surrender to my God! The verse “…and right now, in the good times and bad, You are on Your throne, You are God alone…” brought bitter and sweet visions to my mind. I saw sweet joy in bringing our baby girl home after 4 nights in the hospital…I saw sadness and brokenness of the people in Haiti…I praised God for my amazing husband who has taught me more about God’s love and forgiveness than I ever would have realized on my own…My heart hurt and tears welled in my eyes for one of my 7th grade teachers who is going through stage 4 cancer…I thought of the great things The Church could do and be if we followed His will and His Passion and never stopped giving Him our dreams…
I have so much to express about my stay in the hospital with Hannah (my tv was out; so, I’ve been telling everyone it was the most expensive spiritual retreat ever!), but I just had to pour out my heart this morning. Last night, though extremely tired, I was troubled in spirit and couldn’t get to sleep right away. Though many things are unfolding beautifully and to my family’s benefit right now, I am well aware of the despair of this world and my failings. Last night instead of sweet dreams, these thoughts invaded my mind and took over my emotions.
At the forefront of my mind is the upcoming episode of Extreme Home Makeover. The featured lady was my 7th grade Social Studies teacher (I believe that’s the right subject). The last time I saw Mrs. Creasy she was pregnant with her first daughter; now she has three. Her story centers around the fact that she is in stage 4 of whatever cancer has taken over her body. I told Nathan last night that I have to watch this episode, but am a little wary of doing it. I saw her face on the preview and it still seems unbelievable to me. The tragedy that is cancer affects so many; but when it affects someone you know it’s just too real. When it’s someone else that you don’t know very well you can get by without it “touching” you too much; though I’m not sure this should ever be the case. To be honest I haven’t yet cried out to God for my former teacher or her family because I’m just at a loss as to how and what; thankfully He hears my “groanings” and makes intercession for me!
Next to come up was a time recently when my sinful nature showed her ugly head. The effects have been intense, and I have to keep reminding myself of God’s forgiveness and unending love. Just when you think you’ve overcome and become someone who would “never do that again”, you do that again! It is just another lesson on God’s grace and His strength. I will never be able to be like Him in my own way or strength…I cannot for one moment try to live this life by myself or forget to lean on Him in every circumstance! The instance I’m speaking of has left a very sensitive scar, and I’m thankful! I need to feel the pain of turning from His peace and help and trying to handle it myself – in my own way. It is also a sweet reminder of His love, His faithfulness with this girl, and the Hope that I find only in a life lived hidden in Him!
(continued on Sunday morning…) So, two days later I can’t recall all that I had on my mind that night, except the two mentioned above. (Oh, I think it had a lot to do with my boys, motherhood, marriage – my whole life! That’s a lot to tackle in one night!)
Now, I do need to conclude this blog and actually get it posted…it’s nice to finish atleast one thing a day:)
In conclusion to my thoughts, I would just like to pass on the lesson I learned during my “home-church” this morning: Give thanks…in everything! (1 Thess. 5:18) Focus on the “in everything”. I found that I had been giving thanks a lot for the apparent blessings in my life (a good thing to do) but had not spend focused time thanking God for the hidden blessings…the blessings to come from the sufferings, trouble, struggles in my life and in the lives of others. So, after recognizing the call, I dropped to my knees and began a most unusual conversation for me; I thanked God for Hannah’s hospital stay, for the hard lessons Nathan and I have been learning, for my failures (one in particular that is like the thorn in my flesh!), for Mrs. Creasy’s illness, for the Cross. Please realize this was hard and at times seemed wrong (thanking God for some else’s illness!), but I did so in faith. I trust that since God has not said “No” to these circumstances that He has a great big “Yes” or plan or good to come from them. I must believe Him when He says He has a good future and not harm in store for those who love Him. I must believe Him because He is Faithful and never once has He denied His nature and not been!
That’s it; my conclusion is concluded. I pray I will continue to live this day and the next with these truths in mind; I pray you, friends, will recognize His many blessings in your lives (and trust in others to come) and not hesitate or wait to “Give thanks…in everything!”

  • Amber L.

    Thanks for sharing your heart Anastasia. I always enjoy reading your thoughts. I think I saw your teacher this past Sunday. Was that the episode? Anyway, I will talk to you soon.
    Love,
    Amber

  • Tisha

    We saw that show too. I cried the while way through it. Wow – her situation is so tough. Loved reading your thoughts. Thank you for sharing. I can relate to much of what you have said and also have a thorn in my flesh that I would like to be able to say "never again" to, but find myself there again.
    You, Anastasia have a beautiful walk with the Lord.

  • Dan

    Anastasia,
    Great to hear from you! Keep on Keppin' On! Love You!
    Coach T.