Monday, November 23, 2009

A Year to be Thankful

Wow! This year has brought all kinds of changes to my life - some good, some not so good. I will be 62 years old tomorrow, and I think I may be FINALLY learning some things that I should have learned many years ago.

1. Don't sweat the small stuff. I'm learning to not place undue importance on things that don't really matter.

2. Cherish family and friends. We've had to lean heavily on some of our friends and family this year, and no one has bowed beneath the weight we've put on them. Thanks, guys and gals!

3. Realize that dwelling on unpleasant things doesn't help my state of mind. I can't help what others say, think or do - even if it affects me in a personal and hurtful way. I'm only responsible for myself. I CAN control what I choose to think about.

4. God has been very gracious to me. Don and I married when I was 18, very naive, and very immature in lots of ways. God gave me a wonderful man who would stand by me and support me despite my flaws (and,I will add - for those of you who think Don is perfect - that goes both ways!), and we've built a beautiful life together.

5. Look around and see all the things I have to be thankful for. We've had some difficult times, but not as difficult as some others have had. No matter the trial, God has provided the needed strength.

It's been a good year. I'm gearing up for a wonderful forever!

Friday, November 6, 2009

What, Exactly, Is Faith?

As you know, hubby was diagnosed almost two years ago with ALS, a terminal disease where all your voluntary muscles die. It's actually much more complicated than that, but that's a simple explanation.

Let me begin by saying that we believe in divine healing - miracles. We've actually experienced some in our own lives and have seen others who have also experienced unexplained healings and happenings. Problem is, we didn't write down the formula. I can't tell you why we received a miracle one time and not another. In all honesty, I don't believe there is a simple Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 formula, and I automatically turn a deaf ear to those who try to give me the instruction sheet. I know I must have faith (even as a grain of mustard seed). I know the healing comes to the glory of God. I've read scripture to build my faith and put me on solid standing. But that's about as far as my religious insight goes.

So, when people tell me to "call what is not as though it is" or not to say my husband has ALS, because then I'm laying claim to the disease, I struggle with that. I know there's life and death in our words, but is denying the truth speaking condemnation on ones self? I believe God can heal Don, but do I think I have some sort of secret concoction for obtaining this healing? No! If God was limited by our words, how did Jesus raise Lazarus? Mary and Martha were both rather blunt with Jesus in telling him he had come too late. What about those times when people were raised from the dead when the mourners were already outside the door going through their loud chants and groanings? It didn't limit God's ability in any way.

I'm probably being far too "open" in posting my feelings, but I'll freely confess that I don't understand all spiritual things. I know God is in control, and I know that both Don and I strive to live our lives in a way we believe is pleasing to Him. If being positive means I put off or fail to deal with daily needs he has, then I'll have to decline that positive stance. If having faith means I accept where I am today and deal with it in an affirmative way, knowing that God can still, in His omnipotent power, reach down and give my sweetheart a miracle - then, I'm in. Lord, I believe; help Thou my unbelief!