I have been told countless times times to "not look back" or "not to live in the past" over the years. And while there is truth in these words (especially when dealing with the topic of total forgiveness) I have realized anew this week that there is a hope that can only be found in history. For a variety of reasons this week was filled with lots of pain- physically (as I contracted some infection that left my fragile body not able to keep liquids and food in me), financially (as things are extremely desperate and we do not know how we are going to pay some bills let alone treatment and supplements for the upcoming days and week - let alone the weeks and months ahead), emotionally (feeling very discouraged and some changes in personal relationships that have been fractured (as one person stated - "it is just too difficult to see you still sick and in pain" - and no I didn't say "try living it" *smiles*) and visiting my old job where my heart longs to be back in a classroom teaching) and spiritually (where it seems that the Lord has answered everyone else's prayers and how very silent He appears this week for me). Yesterday as I lay in the doctor's office I started thinking about three specific circumstances that happened in the midst of all of this pain from this week.
(one)- Out of the blue I received a generous donation to my "go fund me" page that I was not expecting. What made this donation so unique those was the fact that unknown to anyone (outside of my parents) I had no idea how I would continue my oxygen treatments that are so critical to my health at this moment. The three of us (my parents and I) were crying out to the Lord for help and begging Him for a miracle. On the morning of my treatment I woke up to find that a dear couple had contributed the exact amount of the cost of the treatments for the next three weeks. Absolutely a miracle.
(two)- Jen, my dear friend whom I mentioned on Monday said to me this week in a text message - "God's got your back" and this was not said in a flippant manner but it came from a woman who is (and has) been walking a very very very long road through pain herself. (When someone is a hero to you in their faith you take stock of what they say! *smiles*) And this simple phrase that she said to me really started me thinking about all of the ways that the Lord "has my back" not only this week but specifically these past eight years in this health journey.
(three)- As I mentioned above I had a very unique opportunity to spend a few delightful hours at my former job. If you follow me on instagram than you know that I expressed how grateful I was for the overwhelming amount of love and hugs, the quiet words of encouragement, laughter, and the joy of being some very precious people. While it was painful (as I mentioned above) there was also a very unique way that the Lord spoke to me during my time there.
I had the lovely opportunity to thank the precious ladies (who I had taught two years ago) who had sent me the precious letters (and so many other precious messages and support). They were all together in a 12th grade girls Bible class (one of my favorite classes that I used to teach) at the same time I used to teach it, and in the exact same room that I used to teach it in. As I walked into the classroom (pictured above from 2012 - and looks very different now!) that held thousands of moments for me, my mind raced with personal memories of all that the Lord had done in that room.
The way that that the Lord has answered thousands of prayers of mine and of my students.
The way that the Lord had truly carried me (Psalm 68:19) each and every day.
The laughter and tears that had occurred in this room as we lived life together.
The amazing good times that had occurred along with the painful times.
I had entered room 211 in 2009 as a brokenhearted young woman who was still reeling from a broken engagement and had left as a woman who had not only healed but as a woman who had seen countless ways that the Lord provided time and time again.
It was not a coincidence to be back.
In the summer of 2010, as I was praying for the upcoming year, I came across a precious verse from the book of psalms. It said:
"Those who are wise will take heart, they will see in History the faithful love of the Lord."
It was a verse that I (as I mentioned to the girls on Wednesday) thought that the Lord was leading me to for my students only. I shake my head now in realizing how prideful that was. Because while the verse was something that the Lord used in some students lives, it was also a verse that I saw and pondered for two years. It was right above the front of the room and everyday I saw it as I walked the room & taught, sat at my desk to grade papers or talk with a student, or every single time I entered the room.
And this week I was reminded again how true the verse is. As a History teacher I could see the hands of God throughout the years and decades and centuries that I taught. I could see the faithful love of the Lord was not bound by race or culture, state or country, man or woman. And as a woman who walked into room 211 in 2014 during a week of pain I was reminded anew and could "take heart" that as I look beyond the history of the world and countries, and look back to my own little history I can clearly see the faithful love of the Lord. (*tears*) Truly our Lord is ever faithful.
Sweet friends, if you are struggling this week I pray that this verse brings you comfort and courage in your journey.
Dear Ginny & John Greaves, words can't express my humble gratitude for your generous contribution that has paid for several more weeks of oxygen treatments. The timing was not "random"- thank you for being used by the Lord to answer our unspoken request. Thank you again so much!!!
Dearest Jen- what a treasure your friendship is. THANK YOU for being my friend!
Dear friends at FCS, thank you for all of the kind words, beautiful love and warm welcome that I received- so many of you have lovingly and faithfully walked this journey with me and my heart is so incredibly grateful.
Dear Senior ladies, thank you for letting me "ramble and blabber" the other day as I tried to express my humble gratefulness for your kindness & love to me and the faithfulness of the Lord in this journey. Thank you for your compassionate understanding, your sweet hugs and your prayers. Thank you to many of you who said quietly to me - "It's so good to have you back in this room" and allowed me to well up with tears. I think you understood how precious of a time it was to my little heart. Thank you for loving me so well - what a blessing you are!