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We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Resting at Home

A series I really enjoy watching is "Call the Midwife" from BBC.  The episodes are based on true events preserved in memoirs by author Jennifer Worth, a midwife in London in the 1950's.  Her stories center around the Nuns and midwives of Nonnatus House.  Many times, she speaks to the ways she learns how to love her colleges and neighbors past cultural and socioeconomic misgivings.  The plot summations are many times profound and beautiful as articulated by the narrator.  One particular epilogue on the theme of home resonated with me.  She says,

"Home is not simply a mark on a map any more than a river is just water.  It is the place at the center of the compass from which every arrow radiates and where the heart is fixed.  It is a force that forever draws us back or yearns us on.  For where the home is, there lies hope and  a future waits and everything is possible."

Hearing these words was timely for me.  They give more words to number 6 of my previous post.  When I first wrote "Words To Remind Myself", I had no idea just how much I would need reminding in light of current circumstances.

I learned two months ago that a physical ailment I thought had been effectively treated is still causing me physical problems.  This past Wednesday, I had a third surgery in one year to correct the same issue.  Normally, it wouldn't take this long or so many procedures and treatments, but for reasons beyond my or my doctors' understanding, my body has been unable to heal.  I have had several physicians in the course of this struggle tell me that I defy what is a usual response to the treatments I have received.  Honestly, I never thought it couldn't be fixed or would take so long.  I have tried many methods and have come to the end of my resources.  I am thankful for the friends, nurses and doctors who have been so diligent to help.  My last, most skilled surgeon has been adamant that he will do all he can to ensure the end of our relationship:)  My humanity as it is blessed and cursed, as I have previously written, is set before me.

There is no other personal affliction that so directly reminds me that true hope lies beyond this temporal home than illness ~ especially chronic illness.  Suffering causes the reorientation of my compass outside the confines of this reality and reminds me of where my heart is fixed.  This is not because I am so spiritually astute but because of the One Who is at the center of eternity and His faithfulness in drawing those He loves.  Even when my fears and anxieties get the best of me, He honors my confession and remains firm in His compassion toward me.

I have prayed and asked God to heal through natural or supernatural means.  I have watched for Jesus to pass so I could take hold of the hem of His robe.  Instead of healing me completely so far, He has chosen to give grace ~ not to circumvent the present but to move me through it.  The song of a better country plays in the backdrop of the harsh quiet of pain and uncertainty.  "How long, O Lord?" is often on my lips.  Prolonged neediness has been acutely disarming and has invited me to again boast in weakness as I settle into uncertainties.  I see no quick end to prayers encompassing what I desire, what I feel, what is promised, and my understanding of what the Lord wills.

On the practical side, life is tough with five kiddos, three who want mama (or mamme, as Eliana says) to hold them.  I haven't been able to lift them for weeks and I still have weeks to go.  The big boys and my sweet husband have kept everything going around here.  The juggling that kind man of mine is doing on behalf of our family is remarkable.  We all are also glad that Nana has had time she can spend here helping as well.

And while sufferings draw my heart to hope, joys do as well.  It is true ~ Glimpses of grace, mercy, babbling, laughter, and silliness all around me speak loudly of future joy as I spend days with those I love the most in this world.  The metaphor of home in my familial home is restorative and precious.  When all you can do is primarily rest, there are days full of experiencing all the small accomplishments of babies and big boys.  This is what the little people in this house have been up to lately:

Eliana dreams of pigtails...  and the ability to read good literature.

Isaac, a view from the front...

...and from the side.

When I say, "Say Cheese!", Isabella does this~

After talking Elijah into an electric scooter for his July birthday then a breakdown over not figuring out how to ride it at first, this boy can finally zoom around like a pro.  He has even survived his first accident~Whew!

Andrew began studying Latin away from home.  Pretty soon, he is going to be teaching the rest of us!

For those of you who may be battling a chronic illness, I feel your pain today.  I hope we can all encourage each other along the way as the True Healer binds our futures as we endure.    Please pray for healing for me ~and I for you.