Have you ever made plans and then life stepped in and took over? It can be a bit of a challenge. This summer was supposed to be about renewal leave for me. I knew it would start with surgery to replace the torn ACL in my knee, but in my mind that surgery would happen and then I could get on with my plans. I had no idea that ACL surgery was more of a young person’s surgery – that it would demand hours in one of those CPM machines and even more hours attached to an ice pump and lots of hours of physical therapy. I had no idea that walking would take every ounce of concentration I could give it.
What do you do when your plans are interrupted by reality? There were so many emotional turns since my surgery. From determination to depression to outright fear and then moments of joy – I went through it all. When people ask, “What did you do on your summer vacation?” I could say that the only thing I really did was rehab. But that wouldn’t be completely true. I learned.
I have learned:
- When you don’t know what the next day will be like – trust that God has given you the inner strength to face it.
- When things are more difficult than you ever dreamed – trust that God has given you the ability to keep going, even when you think it is easier to give up.
- When fear stops you in your tracks – trust that God has given you the ability to take a deep breath as you keep pushing through the edges of your fear.
Life’s struggles have a lot to teach us about who God is and who we are in God’s love, but it is a daily choice – an intentional, moment by moment, journey. I find strength in these words:
The thought of my affliction…My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, [the Lord’s] mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in [God].” – Lamentations 3:19b-24
I am well aware that the future of our church is not fully known right now. I am also aware that as the people of God we are well equipped to handle whatever may come our way. The challenge is to make the intentional decision to live as people of faith along the way. It requires a daily, moment by moment, choice.
So, let me challenge you to do some faith shaping therapy. Fill in the blanks below, then print the table out and put it where you will see it daily.
|When I am uncertain about tomorrow —||I will choose to believe —|
|When the difficulties are more than I like —||I will decide to —|
|When fear builds walls —||The action I will take is —|
Being Called Anew invites us to know that there is always one more day. Let us not give up along the way. Let us choose to hold hands as we encourage one another to keep on walking the walk together.
Blessings and peace,