“Smooth let it be, or rough-
it will still be the best.
Winding or straight it leads
right onward to Thy rest.”
When I picture my family, months ago, standing before this path of Lyme disease… it looks like an ugly and dangerous turn, full of scary shadows and darkness and dead foliage.
I imagine myself calling out, “Why are we going down this way; what are you doing Lord?” Desperately wanting to turn back, like “Surely there has to be another path towards holiness and joy!” But God kept calling us down this dark path,telling us we can trust Him. Reminding us of the promises in His Word.
And it took a little while, but
before too long, as we walked along that scary path,
the loveliest colors and sweetest flowers began to unfold at our feet,
as His promises were proving true.
Slowly we began to relax, feeling silly for ever doubting our Faithful Father.
My family is closer than we ever have been. There has been so much redemption in our marriage, and in a difficult relationship with our daughter. We are seeing growth we never thought possible. I am crying my eyes out almost every Sunday during worship because the Gospel is more real to me than ever! We wouldn’t trade this beauty for the world.
And all I can attribute it to is the faithfulness of God.
His mercy, His love, His kindness.
I have been feeling a lot better lately. We found a new treatment and have been having such great results. “Rejoicing, and ready to get on with life” is the best way to describe my heart these days.
So I was all excited this week when I went to my chiropractor appointment, “I’m feeling better, is it safe to start trying for a baby?” I was crushed when he said I should wait a couple more months till the Lyme is consistently not showing up.
Of course, my husband and I are perfectly at liberty to follow our doctor’s advice, or not. The chiropractor said so himself.
But of course, I was hoping for a sure and definite “Yes, absolutely! You can go ahead and get on with your life-plans now.”
That familiar temptation to bitterness crept back in. And that familiar “Lord, where are You taking me?!” feeling returned.
When I talked to my husband about it later, I was hoping for some sympathy. Instead he graciously and firmly told me God is trying to remind me that my satisfaction can only be found in Him. I didn’t like that comment in the moment. But, Oh! He was so right.
We had it planned for a couple years: in Fall 2017 I would be pregnant. “A little before, or a little after Sadie turns 3”, that was our plan. And I must admit, this is the one area of our life effected by Lyme that just seems like too much for me!
I thought Lyme was going to stop getting in the way of things,
but here it was again staring me square in the eye.
This feels so personal and vulnerable, but I just want to share how God is meeting me. Here right in the middle of Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”
I opened my devotional the next morning, feeling bitterness and knowing I needed God’s Word. And the Lord lifted my face toward Him with a simple line from Psalm 103. A verse I’ve heard hundreds of times, but it’s like I was reading it for the first time.
Vs11″ For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.”
As far as the heavens are above the earth? I had seen this verse on coffee mugs and canvas Sunday-school-teacher bags, but never really stopped to ponder it. The devotional I was reading compared it to the children’s storybook line “I love you to the moon and back.”
Tears of joy filled my eyes, and peace flooded my heart. God didn’t hit me with a verse that morning about my sin and pride, He gave me a verse about His love for me. That’s all I needed! “Bitterness dissolves when I remember the love with which He has for me.”, said Elisabeth Elliot.
And for these last few days, the simple act of looking up at the sky has just been such a treat. As I drive my girls around; as we play outside in the cold for a few minutes, as I peek out the window while I wash dishes, or run out to get the mail—
I feel like He is inviting me to look up at the sky, ponder it’s vastness, and remember that “so great” is His steadfast love toward me. And since that is true, anything He brings my way -all the paths that take turns I dare not choose- will be made sweet and beautiful by that love.
Verse 12 makes it all the more meaningful,
“as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions…”
because there again is the Gospel- where the fullness of His steadfast love was put on display, in all it’s power and wonder. He took my place. He has removed My transgressions. Hallelujah.
Another interesting way God has reached out to me this past week: on Revive Our Hearts Radio. A lady named Sarah Walton is telling her story of God’s faithfulness in trial. Her trial? Lyme disease! And she has passed it on to her children. She wrote a book, and I am going to have to read it. In the meantime, I commented on her blog and asked her what’s she thought about pregnancy and Lyme.
Her reply was prompt, and kind and sweet. And she didn’t tell me, one way or the other, what I *should* do. Instead, she simply told me to seek God. And that’s exactly what I needed to hear.
“Thank you so much for taking the time to write! Yes, it would certainly be an easier conversation to have over coffee! : ) But since that isn’t possible, I first want to say that I want to be careful not to push you one way or another. That isn’t my place and I don’t know if anyone has a clear answer as to what is right or not. But what I will say that I have learned over the years in this area is…we should seek to make decisions with wisdom rather than out of fear. It’s obviously good that we listen to the advise of doctors and I think it’s good to consider different viewpoints. In the end, however, I’m thankful for the children that God has given us…Lyme Disease, struggles, disappointments, and all. In our case, we were ignorant to the fact that I had Lyme and could pass it on, but my husband and I have both said multiple times that we are thankful that we didn’t know in some ways, because we never would have changed the path God has brought us on (well…most of the time. ; )) Do I wish my kids didn’t suffer with this disease? Of course. But has God used it in their lives and our lives? Yes – in a million ways. So I don’t believe that there is a clear right or wrong answer in this area. But God is not a God of confusion and is faithful to lead us as we seek His guidance. In the end, whatever happens, He still reigns. So, although this isn’t really an answer because it’s not an answer for me to give, I hope our own journey will encourage you. I will pray for you and your family right now…for wisdom, unity, and God’s glory to be shown through whatever the future holds for you and your children. Blessings to you, Sarah ”
All that to say, we still don’t quite know what we’re going to do!
Just that we will be seeking the Lord.
And that He will lead us.
And there is so much grace now, to enjoy the two girls God has given us; they are such gifts! There is grace to look up at the sky and enjoy fellowship with my faithful Father.
There is “the peace that passes understanding” despite disappointments,
and changes of plans, and hard decisions.
This old hymn, made new by Sovereign Grace Music has been a comfort this week.
Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be;
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the Path for me.
Smooth let it be, or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight it leads
Right onward to Thy rest.
I dare not choose my lot;
I would not if I might:
Choose Thou for me, my God,
So shall I walk aright.
Take Thou my cup, and it
With joy or sorrow fill,
As best to Thee may seem;
Choose Thou my good and ill.
Because God loves us “to the moon and back” ,
because He has removed our transgressions!,
We can certainly trust Him to fill our life’s cup with joy or sorrow; to choose our good and ill. Because He is sovereign and good and faithful, “It will still be the best.”
Thanks for reading my story, friends. Tell me your story!