One last steroid injection was left for the doctors to help in restoring my hearing in my right ear. I spent the night before in communion, alone, by myself with the Lord. Worshipping Him and reminding myself of the brokenness He endured for me. Reminding myself of how His wounds brought my healing. A beautiful, quiet time with my Savior. There was no time crunch or pretense. There was the simplicity of being at home, walking through the Scriptures, singing in the solitude of my space, and knowing that it was just He and I.
The next morning awakens me with the loud “washing noise” in my inner ear. It is very persistent and continues throughout the day and night. I have no certainty as if any hearing has been restored, for just trying to listen above the noise is challenging. I enter the doctor’s office with my son by my side, trusting that Jesus alone is my strength. Oh, how aware of that I am. Brayden reminds me throughout this entire journey, “All for His glory, Mom. Whatever that is.” He holds my hand with a steady and firm grip. The closeness I feel with my husband and children is like no other. My husband has remained the reassuring leader he is. My daughter has an empathy like no other and voices great faith in His truth. They mean the absolute world to me and I trust them explicitly, always being honest with them about my areas of weakness. By no means do I want you to think we’ve got it all together. By no means! I have failed in too many ways to count, but God’s grace has caught me, forgiven me, strengthened me, and set me back on my feet. I’ve learned to run to Jesus a lot faster than I did in my younger years 😉 And with this new challenge, I hit the floor pretty quickly, assured that He was right there waiting.
There is something beautiful produced through pain. Our fierce desire to have it all together is crushed and our need is exposed. Our dependency on His love and His intervention is delicately revealed. It doesn’t ever feel shameful, but healing and purifying. I NEED YOU, LORD. ONLY YOU.
“You are my strength, I watch for You; You, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I rely.” Psalm 60:9
To my astonishment, God had my “sister in Christ” (GR) be the one to conduct my hearing exam. She prayed with me and I was so very thankful for our bond in Jesus! We had some giggles and resolved we weren’t going to cry. The hearing test was conducted and to my great surprise, I had improved!!! How is that possible???? I could only hear 5% of the words the last time and now, 45%!
We had a holy celebration right there!!! AMAZED and EXCITED! Somehow, God had been working and performing a miracle, but because of the “noise” in my ear I couldn’t recognize the improvement!
It made me wonder…. God, how often are we missing your miracles because of all the noise? We are so focused on the distraction that we miss Your movement? We often miss the hope you want us to recognize. The very hope that will continue to stir up our faith and excitement! The hope that propels us in perseverance! Are we missing it and how do we become more aware?
Intentionally focusing on His Presence throughout the day is not merely a spiritual discipline. It must be a way of life. God wants us to look for Him and to anticipate Him answering, in whatever small or big way that may be. Anticipation that we WILL see the movement of the God of the universe!
“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3
We must be certain that one of the easiest ways the enemy keeps us from experiencing the hope and excitement God wants us to have is through the effectiveness of distraction. Distraction of the mind with worry and fret; comparison and harsh criticism of ourselves or others. Distraction of our hands with long lists and lengthy hours at work trying to create the American dream, rather than listen for the one that actually holds the dream created for our souls. Distraction of the family with “enough” activities and stuff, so we think they will be popular and successful. And we miss it. We miss You.
God has most certainly had my attention the past month, for obvious reasons and what I have experienced is a much deeper intimacy with my Father. He has called me to abide, worship, and agree to uninterrupted and unrushed time with Him. These are some of the reminders He has refreshed my soul with…..
- Abide in His Word: Not simply read it. Marinate in it. I love it when I plan enough ahead for dinner that I have our meats soaking for hours before we grill them. The difference is astounding! To marinate them allows the meat to soak in all the flavors to the point that it is not simply washed in an external sauce that quickly fades, but rather full of flavor. Marinating tenderizes the meat and God’s Word most certainly tenderizes our hard hearts, softening them so that we can hear and receive His truth. When I marinate on His Word, I carry it with me throughout the day and this allows me to keep Him in my thoughts as I encounter so many things that can distract me.
“Oh, how I love Your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me.” Psalm 119:97
- Wrap up in the Garment of Praise: There is something about music that is wondrous, evoking a sense of awe! I believe that when I am in a hard place (maybe because I have been so busy that I have lost intimacy with the Father) and I begin to sing to Him and about Him, something begins to change. Personally, I believe God’s Spirit within us sees our worship as an act of faith and faith MOVES…. FAITH MOVES OUT DARKNESS! God’s Spirit works within us as we join with Him in song. I believe it stirs faith and works in ways beyond our understanding. It begins to chip away at the sharp edges of fear and despair. Isaiah 61:3 reminds us of this. So, I sing. I worship. I believe. Someway, somehow, the heaviness moves and shifts…the “load” lifts and my heart feels invigorated!
- PRAY: Time and Time Again!! Psalm 119 is my favorite chapter in Scripture! Praying to God multiple times throughout the day keeps Him front and center. It is not that we always pray for what we need, though we ABSOLUTELY should! But that we praise Him in our prayers, too!!! We remind ourselves of who He is, His goodness, His power, His sacrifice, and His love. We connect with Him as Abba, not just God. Prayer is where I meet my Father…my Daddy. The one I trust. The one I am waiting on. The one who holds all things together. The one who holds me together!!! That is who I want to hear from! Sometimes, I have to start by disciplining myself to a certain time, but then that my prayers become more frequent and more often throughout the days, weeks, years! Oh, the peace that would sprout up!!!!
“Seven times a day I praise You for your righteous laws. Great peace have those who love your law and nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:164-165
“At midnight, I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws. Psalm 119:62
“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in Your Word.” Psalm 119: 147
I believe if we would go to war against all the distraction and take back our time, valuing silence and taking frequent moments to reflect, then we would begin to see just how much God is moving!!! He would open our eyes to see progress where we once thought there was none. He would show us the seeds of hope, whereas before we scuffed by them, covering them with the loose, dry soil underneath us. He would open spaces in our mind by clipping away the weeds of worry and the entanglements of discontent. He would replace it with trust and thanksgiving.
It is my hope that we can put an end to some of the distraction and seek a deeper intimacy with our Father. For not only will we have fresh encounters with His miraculous movements, but we will authentically proclaim and experience…
Love to each of you,