“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed…with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.”- 2 Chronicles 32:7a-8b
Why do we watch reality tv shows?
We watch them because of the nature of what they are- real life.
We crave authenticity; we want the true story.
I never imagined that I would be blogging a lot of the details of our family’s life.
When I first began sharing our journey with the girls, I had no idea the type of following that would ensue. I hope you don’t hear any arrogance there- I know it’s not me that attracts the readers. There are plenty of much better writers out there. The story God is writing in our family, however, is unique- and people love to hear rare. More than anything, my prayer is always that you could read these details, see God carrying us, and trust that He can carry you, too.
He fights our battles.
The journey to the hospital for us is always a slow, slippery couple days. It usually starts with a seemingly harmless illness, followed by a turn for the worse, followed by the inevitable truth that we need to have some medical intervention. This illness has been no different really, other than that it came on much more suddenly, involved more complex systems of the body, and has yet to really affect Ally.
I would be lying if I didn’t tell you I’m just waiting for her to get sick.
Some would read this and nod their head in disapproval from my lack of faith.
I’m sure there’s some of that dabbled in.
Others would urge me to, “claim physical healing” over Ally’s little body- and I love the idea of this. The problem is I don’t see anywhere in Scripture that tells me it’s my way or the highway. Yes, our words have power- but God. He sits in the throne room and we have walked this journey long enough to know that He is absolutely in charge. His ways have been different than mine enough for me to simply say, “Thy will be done”. He knows my desires, and ultimately, I want my desires to line up with His purposes. This is the goal.
This post is going to be full of exhaustion and delirium. Sometimes, I think those are the best because they are raw and unrefined- real, if you will.
I have wrestled often with the verses above because I know God tells me He fights our battles- but it sure feels like our family is doing a lot of the fighting.
I am learning a lot about pride these days, and how much of it controls me.
While I share about our family truly in hopes He would get the glory and you would know Him more, I am humble and human enough to know that, whether I see it or not, there has to be a level of self involved in it, too. I think for any of us involved in social media, if we can’t recognize that has to be true, we are in a scary place.
So, today, I am praying that even in the midst of me- the Cheeks would disappear and you would know Him more deeply in these details.
I think God is teaching me that while He is ultimately the One fighting within the spiritual realms, our spirits certainly rage within the battle.
Jesus fought the greatest battle- the one at the cross- and already claimed the victory for us. The real battle has already been won.
So, if this is the case, what are we fighting for?
We fight to trust that He has in fact won- even in the midst of the evil and horrific things going on all around us.
We battle to believe that He is good- despite all the hurt and pain and brokenness surrounding.
We wrestle to cling to Him when it would be easier and more comfortable to simply lean on the fleeting pleasures of this world.
We continue to claim that He is good- most especially in the hardest corners of our lives.
This is what that looks like in our home:
I see Hugh on our porch, and I see a man that is fighting.
When we open God’s Word, when we speak to Him in prayer, it is not out of duty or to gain brownie points but out of essence.
We need Him.
We don’t bring formal, fake words- we cry out to Him with big, complex fears and hurts and disappointments.
The power in the Bible is that, as we do this, He does the changing. He transforms our thoughts; He lifts our view from petty things to eternal treasures. He takes us out of our own circumstances and fixes our eyes on Him- on His characters and His perfect plans. He reminds us to stop looking at the individual threads and strokes of the paintbrush and, instead, look at the final product- the beautiful tapestry that He is weaving- the finalized painting that He is accomplishing.
But friends, we have to fight to believe this.
The past 72 hours have been full of hard- not much sleep, lots of suffering from Bailey Grace, moments where I’m simply waiting for another ball to drop- with the added temptation to think about the fact that we could have been relaxing on the beach.
I could ask what in the world God is doing here- OR- OR– I could simply praise Him for being present and in control of all things.
So this morning, I read through Psalm 16- God bringing life and richness to my soul with each and every verse.
“I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good beside or beyond You.”- verse 2
“The Lord is my chosen and assigned portion, my cup; You hold and maintain my lot.”- verse 5
“The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, yes, I have a good heritage.”- verse 6
“…my heart instructs me in the night seasons”- verse 7b
“BECAUSE I HAVE SET THE LORD CONTINUALLY BEFORE ME.. THEREFORE MY HEART IS GLAD.”- verse 8a-9a
This is how we battle.
We begin each day reading verses like the above- meditating on them and repeating them over and over and over until we begin to believe them again. We look past emotions and fears and current circumstances and look up to the One who says never will I leave you and never will I forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5). We don’t have to feel attached to these truths in our flesh to know that they are absolute in our souls.
This is what I want you to see. We are not a family with superhuman faith- quite far from it. We have many, many weak moments- of doubting, of frustration, of anxiety- yet He stays strong. No, we are not superhuman- but we serve a supernatural, omnipotent, holy and mighty God who is worthy of our praise no matter what the days hold.
Friends- whatever you are walking through- my hope is that you don’t grow weary of the fight. I know it’s hard- I know throwing up the white flag might feel easier at times- believe me. But God. He is worth it. He is for you. The ultimate battle has already been won. We are no longer slaves to fear- we are children of the living God.
Thanks be to God, because of Jesus, it is a good, good life.
All glory to Him today and always for making well our souls.