1 Corinthians 13:7
"Love.. covers all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things."
There are days when I can feel the pain of Ansley's circumstances building and I know I have come to a place of finding my hope in Ansley's deliverance rather than solely on Jesus. I find reassurance in times of grieving that Jesus mourned with Mary and Martha for Lazarus.(John 11:35) I know that the Lord is always weeping with me when I cry out for her. But, when the grief lingers, I know my heart is no longer focused on the glory of the Lord, but on my desires. It is every parent's worst nightmare to hear doctors say the things we have heard said to us. I would be lieing if I said I don't often just want to sit in the hope that there will be a miracle in her life so that life will be easier and what I always imagined it to be. I have to constantly be aware of the motives when I am praying for her healing and deliverance. James 4:3 says, "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." I am so guilty in my moments of weakness to just want Ansley to be normal for selfish reasons. To not have to deal with the pain of what her life could be like or to just make things easier for her and for ourselves. I have to force myself to be aware of when my motives and focus are shifting from the glory and honor of the name of Jesus Christ, to my own earlthy pleasures. Rob is always speaking the verse over me that .."The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy..(John 10:10) Satan wants to make me think our lives are over, that life will never be happy or carefree again, and to steal the joy out of every moment with the shadow of our circumstances. But thankfully the verse does not end there!! It goes on to say.. "I HAVE COME THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE, AND HAVE IT TO THE FULL." This is just a moment to fall to our knees and thank God for saving us. The tears spring to my eyes in thankfulness that I do not have to fight this battle. That the Lord has given us this journey so that we may then just give it back to Him as His glory. He has come so that Ansley may have LIFE and LIFE TO THE FULLEST!!! This is a promise of scripture that I claim over her daily. What a glorious promise to know that no matter what the Lord throws our way, He came to give abundant life. That He will never take us to a place His grace cannot cover. How much easier could the life of believers be if we would simply rest in knowing these battles belong to the Lord? When we first found out about Dan's cancer, Rob started carrying 2 Chronicles 20:12, 15 on a notecard in his pocket. It says:
2 Chronicles 20: 12, 15
..For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on Thee.. thus says the Lord to you, 'Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's.
If we believe the Word to be alive and true, why must there be such wrestling with our circumstances? I have had many moments crying out to the Lord asking Him where He is in all of this. Moments of anger and fear I have to continually confess. There was one particular Sunday morning when I was talking things out with Rob and the Holy Spirit just spoke into me as I was talking. The previous night had been a particularly difficult time and I had been so broken before the Lord asking where He was.. just to please show Himself. He just spoke into my lips that He was new grace every morning. That He would never fail to show up and provide endless grace in my moments that needed forgiveness. I have to force myself to remember that when I fall at the foot of the cross, I bring nothing, I have nothing and I am nothing - apart from the goodness of His grace and mercy. But I can rejoice in knowing that if I humble myself before Him, He will raise me up!!! (James 4:10) We have no other choice than relying solely on the Lord and His power to be our sustenance.
As with any trial, its important to be aware of where your heart truly is, because the enemy can deceive you into thinking you are focused and seeking the Lord when you actually may be making your circumstance an idol. It's so much easier to say than to do, especially when your circumstances are life altering, intense suffering. I know I have been guilty numerous time of making Ansley's circumstances an idol. The Bible makes it so simple and clear for us. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. (Deut. 6:5) It's putting this into action that is the challenge. The life of Paul should show us the truth that anything is possible through Jesus. Andrew Murray refers to the faith of Paul in his book "Receiving Power From God". He says.. "Paul dares any reader to say that what he asks for out of the riches of God's glory is too high and beyond what we dare think or ask. He knew what the greatness of God's power had done in his own life. He knew God was ready to do a miracle in anyone who would give himself up with his whole heart and life to trust God." It is God's love for us that COVERS us with grace walking through each moment of this journey. It is because of our love for Ansley that we will BELIEVE all things are possible. It is because of our love for Ansley the will always HOPE for absolute abundant life for her. It is because, of our great love for our precious Ansley, that will ENDURE this race.
As far as Ansley's health.. we had a wonderfully uneventful doctors appointment this morning! Praise God! Praise God! Praise God! She had four stool studies (sorry if you are gagging) come back completely normal. Thank you Jesus, thank you! To hear that some lab or test came back normal is such a refreshing change and such a gift of mercy. So we now have to grab the latex gloves and "gather" another sample. Think I can talk Rob into "gathering" this one?? We will know December 29th at her next GI appointment if the inflammation is gone. This will indicate that it is, in fact, a dairy allergy. I had a funny moment this afternoon with the allergy stuff. I had filled a cup with a straw up with water for Zachary at my mom and dad's house. My mom let me run an errand and when I got back, I was so thirsty, so I grabbed Z's cup and took a big gulp.... OF MILK!!!! I ran to the sink to spit it out, but already swallowed some. Luckily, the doctor said that small of an amount wouldn't hurt her or affect the test results. Phew! Too close!
Pictures from the Fantasy of Trees coming soon..