TODAY’S FORECAST: MOTIVATED
‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life, are Your mercies in disguise.
~Laura Story – Blessings~
Hi everyone, hope you had a terrific weekend and THANK YOU for joining me for another post. I’m really excited by the response I’ve received so far, so thanks for all your support. If this is your first visit to the blog, WELCOME! I hope you will regularly stop in and duck under my umbrella. Change is always guaranteed. 🙂
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you already know that our family has had some pretty weighty circumstances in the last couple years; however, Bob and I are certainly no strangers to crisis. In the almost 14 years that we’ve been married we’ve dealt with more hurdles than I would have ever thought possible. Looking back, I’m still utterly amazed by God’s grace, because there is no other explanation in my mind for how we’ve survived. While my husband is definitely a super hero in my book, I don’t know if even Superman himself could muster that much superhuman strength and endurance.
Bob had a heart attack on the treadmill at age 36. He doesn’t smoke, exercises regularly and eats a healthy diet (well, at least most of the time). Genetics was a major factor, as we’ve seen both his parents and his late grandfather through heart attacks and bypass surgeries as well. My parents have also both had heart issues, my Dad has a stent and my mom had a virus attack her heart which causes it not to pump correctly. I joke with all of them that maybe we should look into a group rate for them at the cardiologist! My mom has had many intense surgeries including a hip replacement, a blocked carotid artery and a colon resection, the latter two, just last year. I have a dear friend who lost a family member to suicide and is still healing from that grief. Like many of you, we’ve watched family and friends alike battle all different kinds of cancers and disease.
Since Bob and I were married, I’ve had 17 surgeries or surgical procedures requiring anesthesia. (Imagine how much fun that information is to include on medical forms!) A few months after we were married, I was stricken with my first serious bout of CF-related arthritis. I didn’t walk for two weeks. Both our kids were premature and I had to be on strict bed rest; 26 weeks collectively between both kids. With Jake, I spent eight of those weeks flat on my back in a hospital while Bob parented three-year old, Meghan, by himself. We’ve been through the deaths of four grandparents, various aunts and uncles and numerous others.
Our son Jake was born with severe food allergies and asthma. At 18 months Jake tested positive for allergies to milk, eggs, gluten, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts and lentils. Now we’re down to just tree nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish, but feeding him in those early years was a huge challenge. Balancing the multiple diets in our household was next to impossible – allergen free, heart smart (low sodium and low-fat) and CF (high fat). Poor Meghan, she just wanted some “normal” food. 🙂
Add all that to the fact that I have a chronic illness, which brings its own set of daily challenges, and the financial crisis we encountered with our first builder (post: Temporary Home), and you get the perfect recipe for one heck of a pity-party. Believe me, I’ve been there, done that multiple times even though I continually vow I won’t. I can see God up there shaking His head at me, saying, “My dearest Jen, don’t make promises you can’t keep.” On so many countless times I’ve asked Him, “Why us? Why are You doing this to us?
During one of these self-pity moments, my sister-in-law (God bless her!) sent me the link to one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, “Blessings,” by Laura Story. The first time I listened to it I cried like a baby, and yet, it contained a message I so desperately needed to hear. All of us go through trials. Some may be epic or some may just be blips on the radar. Regardless, they wear on our hearts and challenge our faith. The next time that happens, listen to this song. It is my go-to comfort when disaster strikes. Through every storm it reminds me that there is a greater purpose for our suffering, even though I may not always understand it at the time.
Wishing you all smooth sailing this week, but remember, blessings sometimes come through pain. If that’s the case for you, know that I understand, as does the God who loves us all, even when we don’t think He cares.
Listen to Laura Story’s, “Blessings:
You Tube: http://youtu.be/GMeFzFUbmJo
Spotify: Laura Story – Blessings