Monday, April 2, 2012

the importance of endurance

Last week was tough. We celebrated dad's birthday on Wednesday and it just wasn't what I had expected. I wasn't planning on being emotional. I wasn't planning on getting my feelings hurt. I wasn't planning on being defensive on so many levels and I definitely wasn't planning on ending the day being angry. By the end of the day I ached, emotionally. I felt like I had been hit by a bus. God made it pretty clear about who I was supposed to go to with these heavy emotions, and I received good counsel and advice. After Wednesday I holed up for a few days and didn't return phone calls. I needed space, and I also needed to guard my tongue. It would've been too easy to run my mouth, spewing out daggers instead of life-giving words.  

God keeps bringing things to the surface. Things that I need to face and process through and deal with. I want to pent it all up, pull up my boot straps and get through it... just endure the difficult things. One thing I have been "enduring" is a chronic infection due to nursing Eli. It has lasted two months. I am in pain constantly and dread feeding my baby. The medications that three different doctors have given me have failed, and I continue to suffer. Last week I decided I would try to get through a few more weeks, and if the infection still did not clear up, I was planning on weening Eli and switching to formula. Friday morning my mom and my friend Cheri came over for a visit. I asked for prayer since these two women have significant influence on my faith, my marriage, and my relationship with Jesus. Cheri prayed a powerful prayer over me and told me I need to stop suffering through this pain. I needed to stop receiving the idea that this was one more hardship, one more thing I had to just "get through."

At our Sunday night prayer with Mike and Steph, Matt shared something that God had revealed to him last week that he had not gotten around to sharing with me. He was reading about endurance and decided to do a more in-depth search of what it means to "endure." He learned that in this context endure meant to remain or stay under God. So endurance doesn't always mean "just get over it," it means stay close and stay under our daddy in heaven... which is exactly what I need to be doing in these difficult times. 

Romans 5:3-5
Amplified Version

    3Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
    4And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of [c]character (approved faith and [d]tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] [e]joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
    5Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.

So yeah, life is hard, but, God is so good. My mom and I got to spend the day together on Friday. Saturday we spent the evening with the Figges out in Hastings and had a bonfire. My infection is clearing up. We are hoping to close on our house this weekend. Matt let me have a break this evening. I went out to see a movie with my dear friend Lea. We ate too much popcorn and drank too much diet coke. Then we went and got some fun accessories at Forever 21. Life always seems more tolerable after you get a new pair of sun glasses and a cute new scarf... especially when all you had to spend was $12. Gil's in town! And so I get to spend the next few days with my little brother. And the biggest example of why God is so good? He sent his son Jesus to die on the cross so that we could be saved and spend eternity with him. So this weekend we get to celebrate that Jesus is alive. How great is that? 

(four more examples of God's goodness)