Faith - Family - Things I Love

The Battle and Anything Beautiful

It’s an interesting dance. Knowing God is good but battling with illness and pain. Knowing that marriage is about serving my husband but being consumed with serving our children and my health care instead. Knowing that God fills our lives with blessings but enduring so much that feels like the opposite of blessing.

To some this will sound like a big old whine (Aussie: whinge) but I don’t write this to gather sympathy or to elicit advice.  Please, no great words of wisdom needed.  I’m simply sharing my journey.

One of my hardest battles the past few years is with contentment. 

In 2009, My husband and I lost our long-term jobs the same day.  We began living one day at a time and saw many many miracles of provision.  Three years later things have improved to the point that we’re living one month at a time.  Vast improvement from the day-to-day struggle.  But it’s still exhausting.  He can’t take any time off because it would mean loss of vital income.  And now I’m working part-time to try to cover my medical bills.

I have many sweet and wonderful friends who are walking a different path.  They own homes. They take vacations. They can afford preschool.  And sometimes… well, often… I feel sad for my little family.  I wish my husband didn’t have to work so hard for us to make ends meet.  I wish we could have a home.  I wish things were just easier financially.

Today I was feeling a bit down. Sad about the feeling that we’re treading water with no end in sight.  Joint and hand pain has flared up. Husband and kids need to be tested for this disease too but at $290 a pop I don’t know how. I can’t, for the life of me, find the energy to work out how to do this sugar-free gluten-free dairy-free life.  Our apartment complex is  for sale and the uncertainty smacks me sometimes.  And I miss my Mum.

Today I discovered a blog.

The story of this husband and wife is incredible. I am totally blown away by their courage and love.

(May 10, 2011)

open your eyes so you can see the road

is what i found myself saying to ian tonight as he drove his wheelchair on our walk. it was meant simply as a reminder to open his squinting eyes just enough to see the road that he needed to drive on. the asphalt itself wasn’t that pretty and we had to watch a few potholes. but the beauty around it was clear- a big green field, full trees, dandelions along the edge of the road.
in that moment, i realized that i needed to do in my heart what i was telling ian to do with his wheelchair. it was a particularly hard day, with words like plateau and baseline thrown in to a conversation about ian’s progress (or lack of) and i found myself thrown into spiraling thoughts, fearing ian’s future, fearing physical decline, fearing that i won’t be able to give my husband what he needs. and while i was thinking of all of those things, i had my eyes closed to anything beautiful. before we left for our walk, i told ian that i needed to see god. i needed to see him in way that would refresh my thoughts that god is still here and god still makes beauty in the midst of our ugly mess. i needed to have my eyes opened to the beauty that was around the road, not the road itself. the beauty that was ahead of the road, not the potholes that we had to steer around.

it is so so hard to see beauty when i’m surrounded by nature that is groaning for the return of the lord. it’s so hard to see beauty when i’m being told that my husband won’t get any better. but it has to be in there somewhere. somewhere.
– – – – – –
Oh she is so right.  It’s so easy to have our “eyes closed to anything beautiful.” So easy to get focused on the hard things. The finances. The pain. The unfulfilled dreams.  So easy to lose sight of the truth of God and His goodness.
Feeling very grateful for the breath I just took. For a husband who is surrendered to God and is so loving. For a roof over our heads. For food to eat today. For the amazing church family we are part of.  For my dear friends.  For my sweet babies.  For all the simply beautiful parts of my life.  Thank you Father God.
Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how right!He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension! He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the green grass grow in mountain pastures. He feeds the wild animals, and the young ravens cry to him for food. The strength of a horse does not impress him; how puny in his sight is the strength of a man. Rather, the LORD’s delight is in those who honor him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.  (Psalm 147:1-11 edited)
On January 1st of this year our church service was all about remembering the faithfulness and goodness of God in 2011.  We took time to write on rocks to remember.  This afternoon I’m looking at the rock and remembering.  And feeling my attitude adjust towards His truth again.
 Are your eyes closed to anything beautiful?  What are the beautiful things in your life?  Maybe take the time to list them and thank Him.
Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are Psalm 48; John 1:1-28

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