I was recently asked to share an experience in trials, and how they are sometimes used to prepare us. My first reaction was no thank you! It took me almost a week and lots of prayer before I was willing to even allow myself to go back, to remember a very difficult time in my life. It was something I had not thought of in a long time and yet as I began to remember, God allowed me to see it differently, he transformed my perspective and allowed me to see that there was good that came from it.
I went back to a time, 12 years ago while living in Alaska that I became very sick. The doctors had no idea what was wrong, I had every test imaginable done and yet there were no answers. Each day I would wake up feeling the same, awful. I was a mom of 4 small children and I could barely take care of myself, let alone my family. My parents were living in Florida at that time. I remember calling my mom, crying telling her I didn't know how I was going to get through the day. I know my mom felt as helpless as I did but she encourage me to turn to God, look to him for my strength, be okay with the not knowing or understanding the why. She would make me say out loud over and over, that I do believe in you God, I do believe you are who you say you are, I do believe you are with me and will get me through this, that I trusted him to give me what I needed to get through the day. Slowly over almost a 2 year period, I started to feel better. It was during this time that I became dependent on God in a way that I never had in my life. I had to come to a point of total trust in him to get through it and to have peace. It was by far one of the hardest thing I have personally gone through. I did not care about the why; I just wanted to feel better. At that time, I honestly could not see good in any of it. I was just thankful when I started to slowly feel better.
It was around 1 year later that Ryan, who was 5 years old at the time was diagnosed with Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy. We were told about his disease over the phone and told that there was no treatment or cure, that there was nothing we could do to stop this. I felt that familiar feeling of helplessness overcome me. As time went on and I slowly started to process and understand what it all meant, I once again had to turn to God, to tell him I did not understand the why, but that I knew he was there, and that I trusted him. I could feel God come along side me. He was giving me peace in a very difficult time. It was very fresh in my mind how he was with me during my illness and having had a little time to look back, I could see specific ways he was there. He reminded me of that now, how he helped me through each day. I knew that no matter how difficult things may get he would not leave us to go through it alone. I knew that because I had experienced it. God prepared me for what was to come with Ryan.
I can honestly say that I would have given anything not to have had to gone through what happened in Alaska, but looking back, I can now see that God has used that time in a positive way, to prepare me, for what we are going through with Ryan. Those things and what we have gone through with Ryan helped to prepare me, to be able to come along side my mom , in her battle with cancer in a way that I would never had been able to otherwise. For that I am thankful.
This is the verse that my mom sent me in Alaska. I have held onto this promise from God for over 12 years and I will continue to believe it.
Psalm 27:13 "I am still confident(hope) of this: I WILL (expect) see the goodness (answer) of the Lord in the land of the living. WAIT for the Lord; take heart and wait for the Lord"....HOPE..EXPECT..ANSWER..WAIT.