If you read my October 25th post from last year or the year before or you know me well you know that October 25th is a very special day to me. It holds incredible meaning and significance as 11 years ago I had a life-changing surgery that changed the course of my life and this was the day that the Lord healed me after doctors told me that there was "nothing" that they could do. (You can read more of my story with my battle with Endometriosis HERE!)
I shared two years ago the different ways I have celebrated this anniversary over the years. While some of these days and moments have been photographed over the years, many of them have not. The precious memories that my mind remembers today are of sacred moments of telling my story to my students over the years as I testified about the Lord's mighty healing power, the laughter between family and friends, the precious phone calls and texts from friends who prayed for the miracle to happen and never stopped believing, my sister calling to celebrate with me, long walks thanking the Lord on year two, and the quiet celebration in my heart every time I see the calendar approaching this special day when doctors said there was "no hope" and yet the Lord spoke differently.
As I think about year eleven today I have been met with a mixture of emotions. Extreme gratitude and thankfulness and tears at the Lord's mighty healing power and yet I do admit that like the last several years I have had some tearful behind-the-scenes prayers of, "why aren't you healing the same way this time in this Lyme Journey yet Lord?". It is a question that I think so many people have asked behind the scenes (and some of the brave have cried with me).
I recently received an email from the same reader that I shared about two years ago. This reader wanted to know if my response to their question from two years ago would be any different as I am turning another year on the calendar date. (You can read the original question and response HERE and last years thoughts HERE.)
As I told this reader, it's really not. I don't know why healing hasn't come in such a "mighty and easy way" this time and why it is a long and slow healing process. I really don't. What I do know though is that I have a choice every single day on whether or not to trust the Lord and walk in this trust over my feelings or spend precious energy questioning things. I choose to trust. I choose to trust the difficult and unknown path before me is the path that the Lord has me on. Where I might think I am better used or life would be better is not where the Lord has me. I humbly trust that "and if not He is still good" to all of my questions, all of my deepest hearts longing... and that is enough for today. Circumstances, if we let them can be refining windows into our hearts shining a light on what we believe. The "and if not" parts of life...even if I am never healed, never see my dreams come true, or if the secret longings that are deep inside of me never happen ...it is okay. It doesn't change who God is or His goodness.
I promise, readers that despite any circumstances God's goodness is NOT changed. I can attest in new ways and in more marvelous ways then I could years ago. And as I celebrate this 11th anniversary I am brought to my knees by God's goodness. His faithfulness astounds me and His mercies meet each new day.
Surrendering to God's goodness comes the opportunity to fall more in love with Jesus and who He is and what the Bible states and promises. NOT what I want it to state or promise but what it actually states and promises. And this 11 year anniversary is incredibly significant to me - especially as this Lyme journey continues on.
Did you know that the number 11 in the Bible often represents chaos and disorder in the Old Testament, Jesus in gave us eleven specific and special promises in the book of John? These promises are:
(1) A person can receive everlasting life by believing in the Son of God (John 3:16)
(2) A person can have eternal life (John 6:54)
(3) By following Jesus you will walk in light, not darkness (John 8:12)
(4) Jesus' word sets us free (John 8:31-32)
(5) Jesus brings freedom (John 8:36)
(6) God the Father will honor those who serve Christ (John 12:26)
(7) We can do great things (John 14:12)
(8) We will receive the Holy Spirit when we obey Christ's commands (John 14:15-16)
(9) We are loved by God (John 14:21)
(10) Those who abide in Jesus will be fruitful (John 15:5)
(11) We can be friends with Jesus (John 15:14)
*smiles* Okay, so you might be asking what does this have to do with me celebrating my 11 year anniversary and why are they significant to me?
First, scripture has never been shy about speaking about chaos and disorder which seems extremely prevalent in our world today. BUT scripture has also showed that there are mighty promises of truth for us to hold on to... even when it seems like everything is in chaos. These beautiful promises remind me of God's ultimate power here on earth and also as we contemplate eternity.
Second, our all powerful God shows His complete power by offering eternal life through Jesus and His death on the cross. In this act of unmeasurable love we not only are given the opportunity to accept Jesus as our Lord and be saved but on the cross Jesus conquered EVERYTHING. Including illness. EVERYTHING was conquered on the cross.
Third, Jesus has given these 11 promises that are so specific and significant especially as I remember this beautiful anniversary of His healing and also for my current journey with Lyme Disease. These 11 promises speak truth into the deepest parts of who we are. Knowing this I have a choice to make... every single day... I can choose to act in faith and trust the Lord completely or I can respond to my circumstances sinfully and grow bitter and angry at the ways of the Lord.
There is absolutely no question in my mind of my choice.
Even on the days that I feel discouraged I choose to run to my precious Heavenly Father and lay everything at His feet. The reality is that this anniversary shouts to me in the dark and reminds me of God's ultimate power and who He is. And friends, as I spend more time with the Lord and continue to run to Him with all of my questions, fears, disappointments, hurts, and every other emotion He lovingly speaks to my hurting heart. And I am reminded on this 11th anniversary of His incredible grace, His good gifts, His undeserving ways, and the gift of love that He gives.
And the best gift of all? Is the gift that the this 11th anniversary serves as a beautiful reminder that the Lord offers not only beauty, but incredible hope. Hope of a future that the Lord has in store... Hope of beautiful healing here on earth or in Heaven... Hope of living joyfully despite difficult circumstances... Hope of a loving God who loves us abundantly... and Hope of celebrating another 11 year healing in the future...
healing from Lyme Disease.