Monday, June 9, 2008

When It Rains It Pours

Well, it seems that old saying is right sometimes. It always seem that a lot of "stuff" happens all at once, and it can become overwhelming.

I've been worried sick about my sister recently. She has had a progressive form of Multiple Schlerosis for about ten years, and struggles with her disease on a daily basis. Unfortunately, MS causes certain things not to work correctly within the body, as it damages nerve tissues around the organs. My sweet little sister, Christie, had to have intestinal surgery two weeks ago, and things are not healing up as planned. Even though she spent part of the weekend in the emergency room, she had to be rushed back to the hospital today for fear of a serious infection, and was admitted again. Her doctor has scheduled lots of test, and we should know something more tomorrow about the next course of action.

My sister has two children, ages 8 and 9, and my mom and I have been helping take care of them, in addition to helping care for Christie. But my sweet, selfless, giving mother, has now come down with a terrible cold - in June no less! She is still going full speed ahead as care giver and best grandmommy in the world, but bless her heart, she is worn out - physically and emotionally, because it is so hard to see someone you love suffer. She also has the weight of the world on her shoulders, as she continues to look for a job to support herself. She is single, and lost her job last week.

In addition, we had another hospital incident this morning. My husband incurred an injury at work, a serious laceration on his left hand, which sliced open a large gash across the top of his hand and severed some tendons. The doctors temporarily stitched up the wound pending surgery, and as of today he is scheduled for hand surgery on Wednesday to repair his hand. It will take at least six weeks for him to gain use of his hand again.

To make matters worse, Michael was scheduled to go on a week long mission trip, called World Changers, with Morgan, scheduled to leave this weekend. It is a very labor intensive trip, repairing homes, roofing, painting, etc., for people in need. He won't be doing much labor as a result of this, but he still wants to go and supervise a work crew of kids, if the pain is not too bad, especially since the youth minister unexpectedly can't go either, because his wife is having emergency surgery this week, leaving only a handful of chaperones to take 35 youth to Virginia for an extensive work trip for seven days.

Whew. The enemy is at work.

I caught myself questioning God's plans today. I don't understand why my husband would get hurt like this, right before he was going to serve needy people and share God's love with them. I don't understand why my mom lost her job, when she works so hard and endlessly gives all she can give to those she loves. I don't understand why my sister has to suffer. I want God to heal her disease, to ease her suffering, to minimize her pain. I want Him to make her well. I want her to be able to the mommy and wife that she so longs to be. I want her to be happy again.

This past weekend I had a wonderful weekend in the mountains of Virginia, speaking to a Godly group of sweet women. As God would have it, I spoke about the stressors of life and how He desires that we handle them with faith. I spoke about how God uses our painful experiences, challenges in life, daily struggles, and even sickness, to draw us closer to Him. I spoke about how important it is to see God at work, and believe with all our heart that He has a plan and purpose for everything. What was the name of my first topic? From Panic To Prayer. But despite that, I got panicked today, about my sister, my husband, my mom. I got sucked into the problems, and forgot to focus on the promises. I asked for God's forgiveness, for my lack of faith, and for my doubts about what He had planned. I know it is not my place to understand His ways, but it is my job to remember how much He loves my sister, my mom, my husband, and me. His ways are not our ways.

Jeremiah 29:11 has been my life's theme verse for years,"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you; plans for a future and a hope." I have seen God work miracles in my life. I have seen Him use tragedies to His glory. I do trust Him and believe the promise in this verse. I just needed to remind myself of that today. I had to stop panicking, and start praying.


God's Word reminded me today to focus on His promises; to focus on Jeremiah 29:11; to live out His truths that I shared to my sisters in Christ over the weekend, even when they are easier to say than do. I believe that He sees my loved ones. I believe He sheds a tear for their suffering. I believe that He can use it for good, somehow, someday. It is still hard. But I do believe.

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25 comments:

Sheri said...

Tracie, that is so good. Isn't it just like our old enemy to try to get us distracted from the Lord and His goodness?

I was speaking on identity once and on the very day, my neighbor asked me if I was having a baby. Not quite the same, but boy I had to go back to what I "say" I believe and live out of.

I lost my mom to cancer. From that journey, I learned that I had a bunch of big fat head knowledge, but not FAITH - real faith. Long story.

Much love in Christ on your journey. May you all experience the deep and intimate love of the Father and also the eyes of your heart be flooded - knowing the power that is in and for you; the same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand (eph. 1).

Van said...

Tracie, You are in my prayers. Thanks for being a light in the deep shadows of life. I dedicated my blog post to you today. Come over and visit I pray God will lighten your weight, I mean wait... oh well.

Chill Pastor said...

Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers as well. Your precious mom and sister have been special to my family for many years. Your mom has always been such a blessing to my mom!!!

Once again you nailed the answer for your problem. The devil would love it if all of you just "threw in the towel." Keep seeking God for the strength!!

Many blessings,

chillpastor

Chatty Kelly said...

Praying for you and all of the P31 team today. I'm so sorry for your families struggles. Prayers for husband for a swift recovery and freedom from pain. And for your sister and mom. And your sisters children too.

"Sometimes he calms the storm, with a whisper 'peace by still!', he can settle any sea, but that doesn't mean he will. Sometimes he holds us close and lets the wind and waves go by...sometimes he calms the storm, but other times he calms his child." Praying he calms the storm today, but if not, that he will calm you, his child.

Nicki said...

Tracie, my heart hurts for all that you are going through right now. I wanted you to know I'm praying for the enemy to stay away!!! I can't wait to see what the Lord does through you at She Speaks! Praying for protection, peace and healing in your loved one's lives.

Digging for Pearls said...

Tracie,
My heart goes out to you and all that you have been experiencing. I pray that your husband's surgery goes well and that he will be able to go on the trip this weekend.

Whenever I experience rough times I always remind myself that God is not surprised by what I am experiencing. I pray that in some way that will be a hope and a comfort for you.

I will continue to pray for you as you deal with things at home as well as looking forward to next weekend as well. I pray that you will feel God's loving presence in a special way as you prepare for She Speaks. May God touch your heart in an incredible way at the conference as well.

Blessings,
Pearls

Jenny said...

Hi Tracie!

Sounds like you have a ton of concerns going on. I will be praying for you today!

Life right now seems to just be tough, the good thing is many more people are looking for those of us that have joy at the same time. Of course, I need to remember that myself. So that's what I'm praying for you, that you will have joy that is visible to yourself and others even in the midst of everything!
Jen

Lisa said...

Tracie,

I'm praying like crazy for you, your sister, your mom, your husband, your son, and the entire P31 team.

The enemy has already been defeated, but he sure makes a mess on the way to the curb, doesn't he?

Love and prayers!

Joanie Butler said...

Tracie ~

Just wanted you to know that I am lifting you and your family up in prayers. My husband had a run-in with a table saw about 5 weeks ago, so I can relate to the difficulty there. I know that you must be feeling overwhelmed with all this added stress and trying to prepare for "She Speaks." My specific prayer for you this day is that God will "quiet you with his love" (Zeph. 3:17) and that you will feel His strength and power.

Hope to see you at "She Speaks!"

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

Tracie-by God's leading, I will be in one of your sessions next week at She Speaks. Know that I am praying for you daily until we meet!!

In his Graces~Pamela

Wanita said...

Tracie, I am praying for you and your family.

Looking forward to She Speaks next week. Bless you.

Sonya said...

Difficult times in your life call for extreme pressing in to God. I know that this is what you are doing, and I'm glad.

You know, the thing that amazes me in Job is that after hearing all of the destructive things that had happened (taking away all he owned and all of his children) he got on his face and praised God!!! Wow, I'm not there yet, but I want to be. It's all about trust, do we really trust God with our lives and the lives of our loved ones??

I'll be praying for you and your family as you are preparing for the upcoming She Speaks Conf. hope to meet yout there.

Joyful said...

Tracie this is SOOO good! I find it so easy to talk and teach truth, but actually being living proof is sometimes so hard. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts and questions. They are so often mine.

I will be attending "She Speaks" next weekend and I just wanted you to know of my prayers. I am praying and claiming Psalm 91 over you - that God will guard, guide and protect you and that you will find your refuge, strength and hope in Him.

Blessings,
Joy

Michelle said...

In trying times, I often have to remind myself to shift my focus from my circumstances back to God. Your last post on your experience at She Speaks was very moving and inspiring. I will keep you in my prayers as you prepare for the conference this year. I cannot wait to see how God will use the weekend in the lives of all attending firsthand this year.

Dena said...

Prayers going out for your continued strength!!

swallowingamoose said...

Fast!
If i were you- i'd do it! Actually, i'm embarking on another 7 day fast as of tonight leading up to the She Speaks Conference. There were things that could not be accomplished without it that were spoken of in the bible. Starting with the disciples trying to heal the demon posses boy and in another account a diseased boy. Pick yourself up a copy of the new Fasting by Jentezen Franklin and you'll be blessed as well as eyes opened in a fresh way. I read this book recently and i have started this practice out of obedience. Already the fruit of my prayer & sacrifice have prevailed. We never understand why God does what He does but we must trust His ways. The injury to the husband could be God's way of stopping him from doing the work himself so that some of those youth will take on the task and that extra sweat might be what changes something in their walk with the Lord forever! That boo-boo would be so worth it then. I can say this only because i've learned it first hand. You may learn of that on my blog under "My Testimony." The disease, the pain, the hurt, the loss, etc are all for a greater grace. If 3 seconds would have been extended on a particular day of my life i would have turned through a street light and lived the rest of my life as a lost, very lost girl. But because the Lord chose for my light to turn red i sat there unknowlingly about to have my changed in the best way ever! Keep trusting and praying.

Lisa B @ simply His said...

Hey Tracie,

I'm praying for you, your family and the P31 team. There has been so much happening to all of you -- and while this may not help you now, I want to thank you for sharing so open and honestly. I believe God will bring tremendous good out of all of this.

I can't help but think that your husband will be able to talk to someone on that trip that he might not have gotten to talk to if he were busy working with his hands.

I look forward to seeing the great things God will do next week at She Speaks!

Robin said...

Your life verse is mine as well. Hang on tight sweet sister in the Lord - He will get you through these storms.

I am praying for you and the whole P31 team in these days leading up to the SheSpeaks conference.

Thank you for being a willing servant so that God can work through you and make me into who He wants me to be.

krista lee said...

Tracie,
I used that same verse, also my life verse, in my blog today as well! Please know I am praying for you and the entire P31 team.

Charlene Kidd said...

Tracie,
I am praying for you and all of your family.
Charlene

Kay Weathers said...

Lysa asked all the proverbs 31 readers to pray for all the proverbs 31 speakers so hear I am I'm praying.
"K"

Renata said...

I'm praying also!!

Kelley said...

I am praying for you and your family Tracie. I will be attending the She Speaks conference for the first time and I am really looking forward to it (although I am also pretty nervous). It seems God must have some big plans for this conference since Satan is putting up such a vicious attack. God bless you this week as you prepare.

Kelley

Laura said...

praying, praying, praying for you as we countdown to Shespeaks...