If you read my October 25th post from last year or you know me well you know that October 25th is a very special day to me. It holds incredible meaning and significance as nine years ago I had a life-changing surgery that change 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.
Over the years I have celebrated this anniversary in different ways from quite evenings in with friends or family to special lunches to attending a work dinner to a very special trip to Disney World with my sister to celebrate.
Celebrating four years in Disney World
A very special lunch with my parents at the 5 year celebration mark!
Chinese food to celebrate six years!
Celebrating seven years in 2012
And while some of these days and moments have been photographed over the years, many of them have not. The moments of a beautiful card from my mom on the one year anniversary mark, the precious 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.
And as I think about year nine today I have so many mixed emotions. Emotions of gratitude and humble thankfulness and prayers of, "why aren't you healing the same way this time 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 asking me if "I wanted to address the fact that the Lord healed me of Endometriosis but hasn't healed me and doesn't seem to be healing me of Lyme Disease? Could it be that last time you were more spiritual or could it be that maybe God doesn't intend to heal you at all and you should stop believing for this to happen?". You know what sweet friends? As I told this reader, I really don't. Instead I shared that I have learned a lesson in this journey that is incredibly precious but only comes when you walk through difficult trials... you can either spend your energy and time questioning the Lord or you can bow the knee and say, "I don't understand, but you are God" and humbly (and many times tearfully) surrender. There is NOTHING easy in surrendering our dreams, hopes, fears, etc. but there is freedom. Freedom to know that God is in charge. Freedom to trust His ways even when we don't understand them. Freedom to know that pain here on earth is temporary. Freedom to know that God is God and that is all that is important in this life.
The rest of it... how God answers or doesn't answer my prayers is not my concern.
And with this surrender 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 the nine year anniversary is so significant to me.
Did you know that the number nine is important in the Bible? The number nine is used 49 times in scripture and many theologians state that it symbolizes completeness. Christ died on the ninth hour of the day (3pm) and provided the way for salvation for us. In addition to this there are nine fruits of the Spirit, and there are nine people recorded as having leprosy in the Bible.
*smiles* Okay, so you might be asking what do those three things have to do with me celebrating my nine year anniversary and why are they significant to me?
First, scripture has never been shy about speaking about disease OR Jesus' healing diseases. BUT scripture has also showed that sometimes (due to the fact that we live in a fallen and sinful world) disease does exist and healing sometimes happens later than we expect it or in Heaven. (This does not mean that Jesus is not all powerful in fact the exact opposite!)
Second, our all powerful God showed His complete power on the cross which happened on the 9th hour! 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, knowing this I have a choice to make... every single day... I can choose to act in faith and trust the Lord completely (where the fruits of the spirit are found) 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. 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 ninth 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 ninth hour reminds me that Jesus' fulfilled it ALL on the cross... all of the questions, fears, and every other emotion by His work on the cross. And in that there is 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 nine year healing in the future...
healing from Lyme Disease.