Sometimes we find ourselves standing in the middle of something we’d never pray for, never ask God for yet in the midst of it we uncover a hidden beauty underneath the mess…
Something which although we’d never want to go through ever again…we’re learning and gathering here is perhaps something we once spent hours praying for.
Please hear me, I’m not saying I’ve ever prayed for this disease or suffering to be in our lives but within this very intense season something bigger is being birthed.
It’s when we acknowledge what this season is bringing into our lives and how we’re growing even in the midst of the deep ache we’re experiencing that we find purpose for the pain.
It’s wholeheartedly believing these seasons which sometimes crash into our lives with a reckoning force that crack open our hearts bring a sacred invitation to join God in his holiest of work.
In no way am I over-magnifying this work to elevate anything we are doing but what I am saying is perhaps the seeds God calls us to sow in times of heartache and suffering grow something far greater than we would’ve ever expected.
Here I am in the middle of watching my husband struggle through pain, here I am in the middle of the wounds that come with fighting against something so brutal that I often miss how God is healing us in ways that will carry us for years to come.
Being able to see our lives through the steps of growth we’re taking rather than the pain we’re struggling through is making all the difference for us.
God loves to put a new song into our hearts but the process of ‘moving’ one’s heart is a tender work that sometimes requires pain.
Because movement within us arouses our sometimes sleeping souls and awakes us to people we would’ve never stopped to notice before…
Now changed we get invited to be moved by his Spirit.
Why does this matter?
It matters because there’s a lot of broken souls surrounding us and God desires for us to leave our self-focused lives and enter into other’s pain…uncovering unseen brokenness.
We come alive in this work.
Because as we begin to uncover other’s pain we discover something born out of our pain, giving it purpose beyond the devastation of it coming into our lives.
Our lives become far greater than a search for its meaning as we find life resurrected from a hard season of plowing, awakened and released to embrace a new beginning, a renewed ministry to those who are broken.
God does his best work in bringing life from death, because death always precedes resurrection…
We are finding this true in so many ways as we are walking through this cancer journey.
When we were first told of the aggressiveness of his diagnosis, doctor after doctor spoke of its rarity and aggression.
And honestly we both were overwhelmed with their concern.
We’d always heard the words aggressive and cancer used together in rather hopeless situations.
So, when our Oncologist explained with the aggressiveness of his disease it could be treated with an aggressive chemo we were hopeful, but there was one thing
-it was going to take all we had to fight it.
(And boy has that been true!)
He said the treatments he would endure would attempt to kill all of his cells to bring him back to life, to heal him.
The details of this disease shouldn’t really surprise us…
You see God’s been calling Joe and I to the work of restoration since we first came into ministry.
We didn’t always know this or even see it.
In fact it wasn’t until about fifteen years ago that Joe first spoke of how he felt God had designed us like this.
And once he spoke it out loud we began tracing this truth throughout our lives and were surprised to find it even within the tiniest of details.
You see, God’s given us a love for this kind of work whether it’s the beams of a house broken at its foundation, the soul of a shattered person broken beyond belief or even the heart of a church splintered needing its heart revived…
So why were we surprised that he would need us to experience this same kind of work in our own lives too?
And the interesting thing is, even though Joe and I are going through these days right now side by side next to each other, we’re experiencing this work in two totally different ways…him within the minuscule cells of his body and me within the secret places of my soul.
Because the work of restoration is as unique and distinct as the cells he’s placed within our bodies.
And the truth is each of us goes through our own kind of restoration…
Because death always comes before a life is resurrected and the question which remains is…
Are we willing for something to die to find life?
Who am I to think that the road to finding new life would be anything less than paved with the pain of death?
And even though a death of something must happen for life to find its way to emerge, there’s something truly beautiful that gets birthed when we live a life surrendered to this kind of dying.
We clasp arms with the restorative work of our Savior who he himself chose death for life.
So, friend if you feel a part of you is dying or even more a piece of you that you know has needed to die for years
-know although the process may take all you have
the life you’ll find after the resurrection is a life worth dying for….
I’ve felt death within the deepest places and God is showing me how what is rising within me is far more life-giving than anything I once carried around.
Because what we are finding these days is for us to feel fully alive,
a death must painfully come first…