Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Striving for the Gold

I strive to keep my blog upbeat and uplifting. I strongly desire to be an encouragement to women. But sometimes, its during the rough times and the hard spots that we encounter when we can honestly be the biggest source of inspiration and encouragement to others. With this in mind, I write to you today, tears at the brink, in hopes that through my trials, each person who reads this blog may see the awesome power and glory of God.

Once again, I awakened early to the sound of my precious daughter jerk hard and gasp. I immediately knew the sound. The dreadful sound which announces a seizure. I found it difficult to watch for the second time in a two week time span.

I cried.

45 seconds later her body visibly relaxed, her eyes rolled back in her head a couple of times and then it was over. She lay next to me peacefully sleeping, while I was left with a pounding heart and a racing mind. I scrambled through my brain, trying to remember what the neurologist told me I should do if she seized again before the scheduled EEG. Do I take her to the emergency? Do I call her pediatrician? Can I give her Motrin for her headache?

I cried.

I prayed.

Why didn't I feel the peace I felt two weeks ago? I prayed again. And again. I continued to pray throughout the day. I called the neurologist office after they opened only to be informed that our neurologist stepped out for a meeting and would call me back later in the day.

Time to wait. "Give me patience, Oh Lord."

About an hour later, the phone rang. I picked it up, thinking it was the neurologist. Wrong. The mechanic answered my hello with a downtrodden voice. Yesterday, he called with an estimate to fix our car. It appeared that we would be able to fix it relatively cheap and she would be up and running for us, able to give us a few more years of trustworthy service. Today, the pensive voice on the other end of the phone informed me that they dug a little deeper into why our front main seal broke. They actually googled the situation on the internet and found a common issue with our car year/make/model. After digging underneath our car, they found that yes, our car did, indeed, suffer this same affliction. There is no way we could afford to fix it and, quite frankly, it wouldn't be worth it. She needs a new transmission which would cost us $6,000. I needed to speak to James.

Time to wait again.

Once I got a hold of James, he remembered that the transmission warranty runs longer than the regular warranty and so he called a dealership and found out we are still under warranty. We had the car towed to the dealership so they could replace our tranny/engine for free. Now they are trying to say that we need to pay them to find out what is wrong with the car before they can tell us if we are covered by this warranty. Okay. Major frustration on my part. They assured us on the phone that it was, indeed, covered or we would not have paid to tow it to them in the first place.

Today was almost more than I could bear. I stayed in my pajamas (James pajama pants and his yankee t-shirt) until about 1:00 in the afternoon. I didn't even drink my first cup of coffee until about 11:00. I decided to take some time this afternoon and rest in the Word of God. I started out in Matthew reading about Jesus calming the storm. I prayed for a calming of the storm raging in my heart (and brain.) After a few minutes of meditation and reflection, I remembered the song "Refiner's Fire" and I immediately looked up a Bible verse pertaining to this.

Malachi 3:2-4
"But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years."

I long to be refined. I long to be pure gold before my Lord. These trials have come into my life to deepen my relationship with Christ. They have come that my character may be built and shaped to reflect Christ's character within me. They have come that I might be used to draw others to my Lord Jesus through my witness. How can I say no? How can I say I cannot bear them? Jesus will carry my load for me if I but hand it over to Him and trust Him with it.

Come what may, I point to Christ. In good times, I point to Him and rejoice. In hard times, I point to Him and rejoice. I pray that God's character be built in me and His fire refines me so I can present myself before His throne someday as pure gold. It is not easy, this striving for gold. There are moments and times when I wish I could just give up. Throw in the towel. Settle for bronze or even copper. But, Jesus always lifts my face back into His gaze and my eyes catch His and I understand that I really do long to be pure gold before Him. He deserves the gold! So I am handing over my baton, too heavy for me to carry any longer, and I am resting in Him.


Pam said...

Sometimes the Lord gives us struggles so that we can be His instrument to teach others how to act during troubling times. Anna, you are doing just that - sharing your struggle and your testimony that others can know that the Lord is always there to lean on.

I'm praying for you and Chloe....and James....and the car!

Anonymous said...

Bless your poor little heart. I feel so deeply for you. Pray thru it. Feel Gods' strength. Know that it's there. I am praying for you and your babe!!

jeremy said...

Anna, I just came across your blog today after finding it on Facebook. I feel for you in your situation with Chloe, and I will be praying for you. I wanted to let you know that you have a beautiful way with words. I found your blog to be encouraging! You have turned out to be such a beautiful woman - inside and out. Thank you for sharing your struggles! Love, Tricia(Stinger) Hayek

Adron said...

Thank you for your post. It is an encouragement to me. We all have struggles. I am learning more and more the christian life is a relationship not a religion or set of rules. It is clear that God is giving you a deeper relationship with him. I will add her seasures to my prayer list.

Nancy said...

My brother-in-law has had epilepsy for a long time, so I understand and sympathize. I pray for you often.
Nancy P

Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

No words of inspiration, just hugs as you're having to deal with all of this. I do know how it feels to be alone, even knowing that we're never alone.