strength to strength

This has probably been two of the toughest months of my life.

And I feel like that's saying a lot.

13 years ago I was told that I would be split like a grape and have two 18 in. rods placed on either side of my spine.

A year ago we were living out of our van traveling around the country before we moved into our fourth home in our fourth year of marriage.

Yet this summer has been the toughest. Actually, I feel like a storm has been building over the past year. In June, the rain began to fall. And as I write this, I'm still soaking wet.

Sure it would be easy to wait 'til I was dried, fluffed, and sassy to tell the story. But I think that we as Christians do that too much already. We want to wait until there is a neat bow on the story to share it. I want to wait until there is a bow...

But I share what I'm going through in hope, in faith that I will not always be this way. I will not always be on these pain meds, I will once again bend at the waist, clean my house, grocery shop, work with patients, paint my toenails, live without headaches or nausea. Or maybe not.

Maybe life as it is now will be life as it always will be.

And I will have to find a way to claim joy and praise God with a heart full of thanks.


So I'm trying to life that way now. I'm struggling to thank God today, for today. And I'm not really that holy or spiritual. Actually, I'm desperate. I have nothing else.

So I truly am at the feet of Jesus. And maybe if it took losing my physical health, financial security, dreams of the future, daily sources of pleasure. Than maybe that's enough. I'm not saying glibly "praise the Lord, everything happens for a reason."

I'm saying it through gritted teeth, through migraines and waves of nausea.

And here's the amazing part: I mean it.

I mean it.

I'm thanking God for making my body the way that he did, as I sit in my cubicle, thumbs to temples, fighting nausea.

I'm saying it as I massage aches and walk off twitching muscles.

I praise Him as I live through this body He has given me, instead of being trapped and taken hostage by it. He made me this way...who am I to scream at my creator.
  1. "Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, "What are you doing?" Or the thing you are making say, "He has no hands?" Woe to him who says to a father, "What are you begetting?" Or to a woman, "To what are you giving birth?" (Isaiah 45: 9-12)

So I guess it was a few days ago after a particularly trying day as I listened to my husband praying over me, I determined that I would put a stake in the ground. I want to remember this feeling. I want to not forget this pain. God is still here. He is here in physical pain, emotional turmoil, questions, doubts, and fears.

Psalm 84:4-11
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.

8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob.

9 Look upon our shield, [c] O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.

10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

This whole verse has been amazing comfort, but especially verse 7 where it talks about going from strength to strength. I have experiences the strength of the valley, when life is good. And now I am in the valley, and resting on His strength.

And I am beautifully broken.


Amy said…
Jenny, this is really beautiful. I can relate to a lot of what you've written, though in totally different circumstances. but I have a lot to learn from your attitude. thanks for sharing your heart.
Amy said…
coming back to this today as I browse through old posts of mine in preparation for a talk I'm giving on brokenness next month. I had linked to it on my blog...glad to read it again today. still so wonderfully true and powerful. and glad for the beauty God has brought after these ashes in your life!