Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tough Questions I'm wrestling with...

These past few months have led me to wrestle with my faith, and not whether or not I believe in God, that's not the struggle for me. I struggle with, "Will God do as He promises?" I am struggling with my lack of belief; I am struggling with my broken dreams and desires; I am struggling with continuing to be faithful during this unsure time in my life.

My mother shared the following devotional with me recently--I was brought to tears.

At the age of 16, pianist Leon Fleisher made his formal debut at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic. He went on to win prestigious international competitions and played in the world’s finest concert halls. But at the age of 37, Fleisher was struck with dystonia, a neurological condition that crippled his right hand. After a period of despondency and withdrawal, he turned to teaching and conducting, because, as he said, he loved music more than he loved the piano.

When our dreams are shattered, how do we react? After Joseph, the favored son of Jacob, was sold as a slave by his brothers (Gen. 37:12-36), he could have given in to self-pity and self-indulgence. Instead, Joseph remained true to the Lord. Four times in Genesis 39, we read that “the Lord was with” Joseph (vv.2-3,21,23), and his actions revealed his own faithfulness to God. By his exemplary life, those he served in Egypt recognized God’s presence with him.

Do we love God more than our own dreams? Although Joseph must have grieved the loss of his past and what his life could have been, the Lord led him to a calling he had never imagined. Today, the Lord longs to lead us. Are we willing to be redirected by Him? — David C. McCasland

My cherished plans may go astray,
My hopes may fade away;
But still I’ll trust my Lord to lead,
For He doth know the way. —Overton

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. —Proverbs 16:9

And then I realized, I needed to continue to think, pray, and wrestle with the following questions.
  • When my dreams of teaching missionary kids in Ukraine, at KCA are shattered, how do I react?
  • Do I love God, more than my dreams of returning to Ukraine?
  • Am I willing to be redirected by Him?

This time in my life continues to be a challenge. And I continue to think back on the Word, what scripture promises, as well as the words of love and encouragement people have given me. One of the greatest blessings is that my monthly supporters are still supporting me. I was very scared that my financial support would stop, and I would be left on the wayside.

I am teaching a women's bible study on Mark. The memory verse I chose for the women was:

Mark 1:41
Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed."

I love this verse for multiple reasons.
  • God was moved with compassion
  • Jesus physically did something, he stretched out his hand and touched him
  • God is willing

I'm trying to believe that God is willing and wants to heal me at some point also--whether it be through doctors or miraculously. In case you were wondering, they memorized the verse! Success! :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cardiologist Appt

Two and sometimes three appointments in one day is never fun, but that's how I seem to schedule them. My first appointment was with the ophthalmologist. Due to my increased blood pressures, and genetics, I went in for a visual field test. I am thankful that I only have some slight hemorrhaging in my right eye, and the visual field turned out normal. My ophthalmologist also dilated my eyes and checked my pressures.

My second appointment was with the cardiologist, due to my librating blood pressures. Once again, I went through all of the symptoms, as well as family history. Shortly after starting the exam, the cardiologist looked at my eyes, and his demeanor very quickly changed to concern. My Mom then interjected, "Faith just had her eyes dilated this morning!" And he thought that he might have to disclose that I was enjoying some drugs. Hahah! I guess you had to see the look on the cardiologist face; it was priceless!

My great grandfather, my grandmother, most likely my uncle, and possibly my sister have either died or had surgery on a barry form aneurysm of the brain. Next week, I will be going in for a Brain MRI/MRA. Yes, another MRI, with and without contrast, this time of the brain, as opposed to the abdominal. Thank God I'm not claustrophobic. We would like to rule this out.

The cardiologist is determined to find a clear diagnosis for me. :) He says my case is fun, interesting, exciting, and challenging!

In the meantime, as I continue to go through a battery of tests, I am thankful for the blessings God continues to shower upon me through so many amazing people!