Sunday, September 20, 2009


Tuesday our little Danica had an MRI that revealed a chiari malformation in her brain. What this means in simple terms is she has a gap where most people's skulls are closed and so some of her brain is sticking out into her spinal column. Some people have this condition without symptoms, but in Danica's case she is presenting many of the most severe symptoms very early on. In many ways I think I felt initial relief knowing there is a real answer or cause to the torticollis and other issues she has been experiencing. But as I have researched and talked to several doctors over the last few days I am realizing the road ahead for us is not an easy one and includes some form of neurological surgery to try to give her relief and the best chance for normal development. I'm back to holding loosely.

On the front of Danica's baby book is a quote from Roy Lessin.
Just think,
you’re here not by chance,
but by God’s choosing.
His hand formed you
and made you the person you are.
He compares you to no one else—
you are one of a kind.
You lack nothing that
His grace can’t give you.
He has allowed you to be here
at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose
for this generation.

Beginning March 23, 2007, the day I found out I was pregnant with this little girl, God has been making a way for Danica and preserving her life in miraculous ways. Friday Dan emailed me the verses from Psalm 139 I clung to while fighting for her those long months laying in the hospital. "For you have formed my inward parts; You have covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them."

Do I believe God makes no mistakes? Do I believe He lovingly formed this child's skull and brain how we find it today to fulfill His purpose in her life and in ours? Do I believe we lack nothing God's grace can't give us including strength for today and the days ahead? My verse for this week has been Mark 9:24 "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief."

I'm afraid. I'm so very tired. I know that trusting God with my child is perhaps the hardest thing He will ask me to do. As He grows my faith and asks me to rest in His promises. I will fall. I will have moments of anger and confusion. I will want to quit and walk away.

Oswald Chambers wrote, "Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason — a life of knowing him who calls us to go." Knowing a God who is unchanging and will do everything He says He will do is the only way I will navigate through the next weeks and months. I believe.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Just as I am

I only like clean, neat, pressed things. If something has a chip or a scratch or a wrinkle I really don't want it any more. Even if it can be fixed but I know where it was fixed I can't get that out of my mind, and it still drives me crazy. I have a sickness of sorts that follows me into almost every area of my life. I need things to be whole. Sunday as I was getting ready for church I pulled on my white sweater and noticed a little wrinkle in the front. Let me tell you this was a newly dry cleaned sweater that came off a hanger, and I know the wrinkle was probably not noticeable to any one else. I plugged the iron in and instead of taking the sweater off to iron the tiny spot I put the hot iron on my belly to try to quickly fix the problem. Well, just as I did that a huge spirt of steam came out and burned me. Not just an ouch--too hot--kind of burn but the kind that left two large burn marks on my stomach.

Every day sine then as I shower or get dressed I see these big red marks on my stomach, and I have been thinking about why I am so afraid to be a little messed up. Why do I feel like I have to keep holding everything together all the time? Would it be so bad to let someone see me with a wrinkled blouse or a dirty house or completely prostrate in tears because I am just too overwhelmed? I think as a Christian I am always supposed to be strong and courageous and full of peace and joy, etc. So today I found some quiet time and started searching the Bible and guess what? God delights in our brokeness. He came to clean up messes. He came to patch us back together with the super glue of His grace and make us whole. Not the kind of repair job where no one can see where we've been either. The kind where everyone can see we were shattered in a million pieces beyond hope and He fixed us! This brings Him glory! When I read the Psalms and the Old Testament prophets I see this so clearly. They weren't afraid to let it all hang out there. They had times of complete anguish over circumstances and sin and their own inadequacies. God included this over and over again in His Word for a reason.

So here I am. I'm a mess. It's ok. I've been saved by a God who has purged me with hyssop and made me clean. He has washed me and made me white as snow. He has bound up my broken heart and gently led me in paths of righteousness. He's not ashamed of the brokeness--the years of promiscuity, drug use, unfaithfulness, idolatry, and even murder. While I was yet a sinner He sent His Son to die for me. He calls me His daughter and He is my ABBA Father. I have been reading several blogs lately where godly women are brave enough to expose the cracks and tell the truth about just how big a mess their lives were before God saved them. I see the response of the readers and it reminds me how scared we are in the body of Christ to really be vunerable. We are afraid to share our sin and our stories of where grace found us. I know for sure this is exactly where God can be most glorified and where He can lovingly call others to Himself--speaking through our brokeness and His amazing love. I am praying for courage today to come to God and live before others just as I am.

Just as I am.
By: Charlotte Elliott

Just as I am, without one plea
But that thy blood was shed for me
And that thou bidd’st me come to thee
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just a I am; thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be thine, yea, thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.