Monday, August 06, 2018

The Glorious Unfolding in the Journey

This is a long post....
But so was the last six months.
There is a lot that has happened.

This is a snapshot of mine and Wesley's last six months. 


This was the place of such a mess, but that was not my main concern. What we did at that table with the chairs on either side was a place the Lord was allowing us to take a "mess" and begin to make it "straight."


Six days a week.
Two days a week at the training center with his trainer for 90 minutes at a time. 
Four days a week at home for an hour + at a time.

There were things missed in the social parts of life because we had to train.
There were moments of frustration.
There were moments of triumph.


But this table and these two chairs are special to this Momma's heart.


We laughed a lot here.
We got on each other's nerves here.
We struggled to be happy over our circumstances at times here.
We had some wonderful conversations here.
There was GROWTH here.


The metronome and timers were sometimes our friends - and sometimes not. 
They made us stretch ourselves in ways we had never been stretched before.


But no matter what we clung to this promise the Lord gave me when we began this journey.


You see, being a teacher is what I do. However, I was walking into this not knowing or understanding a thing of what we would accomplish. For the past six months we literally walked by faith and not always by sight.

Watching Wesley begin to grasp things right in front of our eyes was amazing to see unfold. We knew everything would not be "fixed" in all of this - he had too far to come in a lot of areas. However, the Lord revealed to me that His meaning of the verses He gave to me were not that all of Wesley's academic areas were where we would see Him work "far more abundantly."

Here is why:

Wes and I both grew spiritually - and it was wonderful to walk through this together. We created a bond that is hard to describe. It gave me a chance to minister to Him with what the Lord was teaching me through this process.  

Some days were real and raw. 
Some days we both wanted to quit. 
Some days we did all we could to complete the goal for the day because we both were so exhausted. 
Some days we both had to cheer on each other when we knew we had to train. 

BUT 

There were the days of accomplishments and triumphs. 
There were the moments of beating his own time record or finally "getting" an exercise he had struggled with for so long. 
There were awakenings in his knowledge. 
There were improvements in his retention.

Far more abundantly, in this program, the Lord taught Wesley:
GRIT. 
Determination.
Perseverance.
Focus.

That is something that has to be learned through trial and "fire."  It is easy to say something is too hard and just quit. He learned that failure does not mean it is over. He learned that failure means you tried and you get back up and keep trying again - and again - and again.


We officially finished the week of July 9 but the waiting was still part of the process. He had to be re-tested and then we could get the final results.

I will be the first to admit that those 2 weeks were long in the waiting process, but the Lord showed me great things in that waiting period.

Allow me to share:
I have been in II Chronicles 20 for some time this summer. If you don't know much about that passage let me give you a synopsis. The tribe of Judah was being attacked by the Moabites and Ammonites.  King Jehoshaphat knew they were up against a large army and he didn't know how they were going to overcome these enemies. He chooses to seek the Lord instead of allow his fear to overtake him. The Lord delivered him from the enemies. This is what the prophet told Jehoshaphat:

15b Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's.  
16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel.  
17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”

I wish I had time to go into more detail of what the Lord taught me but here is the huge point God was making in my life: this battle was not MINE. This was going to be all the Lord's doings and He would receive praise. I did what He had called me to do by training, but the outcome was the Lord's.

I read the above verses in detail the day before we were to have his "graduation" and test results revealed. It brought tears to my eyes because the Lord told me to not be afraid - the Lord will be with me - and Wes.

After the passage above, King Jehoshaphat fell down and worshiped the Lord. He also called on others to praise the name of the Lord as they were going into battle the next day. Here is what happened:

21 And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say,
“Give thanks to the Lord,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.”
22 And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.  
23 For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.


The passage then goes on to say how they went on to gather the spoil:

25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found among them, in great numbers, goods, clothing, and precious things, which they took for themselves until they could carry no more. They were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much. 
26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, for there they blessed the Lord.


The day of Wesley's graduation and test results reveal, I chose to praise the Lord for the improvements we had recorded and seen. I praised Him for His timing. I praised Him for what He has done. I went into the battle with the Lord. Then He showed us the results. There was "spoil" to be gathered.


Why am I telling all of this in such detail? I guess because I just had to share what the Lord has done. I must praise Him. I must give Him glory and what better way than to use His Word in that praising.

  • Wesley's "enemies" were not Moab and Ammon. They were his weaknesses in his Mind and Abilities.
  • The Lord went before us and began to make a way for Wesley's brain to begin connecting pathways that had not been there before. He had the battle plan all along.
  • I chose to praise Him even when I still didn't know the outcome.
  • We received "spoil" from the training - growth in so many ways!!!

The Lord has taught ME to trust Him more through this process. The Lord has shown ME many valuable truths from His Word that I would not have had if we had not done this very hard thing.

So, yes, the Lord has done far more abundantly beyond all we asked or thought.

Here are a blurred version of Wesley's test results. He had so many areas that needed strengthening. The green is what he was before. The purple is where he is now.  The one on the far left may not look like much - but that was his long-term memory. It barely registered at a 0.1 when we began. It improved 140%. He has other areas that are so important for the learning process that skyrocketed.



Is everything perfect and not needing any more strengthening?
No.

We know there are still areas of growth. But isn't that for any of us? We all are works in progress.

But now, Wesley has the "spoil" from the battle that he can take with him and continue to improve in so many areas.

In this training process,Wesley has reminded me of a butterfly coming out of its chrysalis when it is becoming an adult. The struggle to get out of the chrysalis is what allows the butterfly's wings to become stronger. If one were to cut the chrysalis to "help" the butterfly, there would not be enough strength to pump the wings. The struggle makes the butterfly stronger. It is something the butterfly must go through in order to unfold its wings and FLY.

Wesley's struggle has now made him stronger. This is just the GLORIOUS UNFOLDING of how Wesley's future will continue to have hope.  

I am looking forward to watching him FLY.

To God be praise!

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Wrestling in the Journey

I have never been a wrestler. I have no idea about the rules of the sport.

But what I am finding, in this Journey of Hope for my son's future, I have been in a wrestling match.


My opponent changes.

Some days it is Satan.

Some days it is Myself.

Some days I am just wrestling with the Lord.

Ever since day one of this brain training I have had something or someone I am wrestling.

I think in the past weekend it has been Satan himself. He has been around like a roaring lion seeking to devour what the Lord has been doing.

It is summertime and we are still in training mode. It is a sacrifice, as I have mentioned many times, but now it takes on a different level. When we normally would be "off" in the summer doing different things, we are still working our brains hard - and even harder now that we are in the last third of the program. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE learning and am always wanting to learn over the summer. This is just different. Summertime training has taken my son and me into a different summer mode than we have ever had - and we have wrestled in that.

However, the real wrestle match came within my heart over the weekend. My wrestling came in opening up the mail and viewing a report card which we knew what would be shown, but the reality of what was shown hit hard. It became yet another reminder of why we are doing what we are doing this summer. I began to look at a website to help me figure out where to help my son with his struggles to strengthen areas academically in math - since that really is his weakest main subject. What I found shocked me.... areas we are trying to work through in training now actually began back in the third/fourth grade. He had been taught all of this - but he had not been able to retain it and then build on it. This fact that we are trying to make up so many of the "lost years" began to overwhelm me.

You would think after all the Lord has taught me so far in this journey I would not even be having these moments!

Unfortunately, because of being weary (I normally am this time of year anyway), Satan took that as a small opening in my life to begin a wrestling match with me. He was pinning me down to the mat with lots of his accusation moves:

"See, I told you this wouldn't work."

"He will never accomplish what you are wanting."

"Why did you wait so long to get him help?"

"You have wasted so much time."

"You have failed your son."

Now, I realize all of these are lies, but the wrestling match was ON. I began to hear the lies louder than the truths. I began to feel I had truly failed my son and no matter how much brain training we would do, it would never be enough to help him even graduate next year let alone get into a college.

I wanted to cry - and I did. I cried out to the Lord for mercy because Satan had pinned me down. I knew I was weary because of the wrestling I had been doing all along, but I couldn't let Satan win. He is NOT in control.

The Lord heard my heart cry and began to reveal to me what I needed to remember and learn from His Word. This wrestling match didn't need to end in defeat! It was the Lord's match to win - not mine.

Let me show you how the Lord, in His love and mercy, reminded me how HE was going to win this wrestling match.

The Lord literally began in Isaiah 30 - as my Bible opened up when I went to search, THIS was where He opened it for me to defeat "Your son will never accomplish what you are wanting":

Isaiah 30:19-21
For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. 
And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

Isaiah 30:23 (Look what the Lord showed me in this passage for my farmer son....)
And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your livestock will graze in large pastures

Then to help me make the move against "You waited too long" in the wrestling match, He took me here:

Isaiah 43:18-19
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

When the in the wrestling match he pinned me down with "You have wasted so much time.", God sent me here:

Isaiah 51:3
For the Lord comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.

Isaiah 58:12
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.

Isaiah 61:4
They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

I know we are not dealing with ancient ruins here - but look at those promises! I have been wrestling with devastating news of a ruined future but the Lord has shown me it WILL be built again. He is building up my son's foundations one "brick" at a time.

One last area the Lord showed me that became precious to me - and my son:

Isaiah 42:16
And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. My son and I discussed this part - this is our time of training. We have felt a bit "blind" in this journey as it is a path on which we have never been.
I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. This reminded my son of how this brain training has caused what seemed dark to him in learning now has light - aka - the "lightbulb is turning on!"
These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. WHAT A PROMISE!!!


So, to end this wrestling match, here is a quote I found:



The Lord has shown me so much through this journey - and then I have been able to share these moments with my son. He and I discussed all of these passages today and it was a sweet time. We are both getting training in this process....and it is not all "brain" training.  I am thankful I am not wrestling alone even when I have felt that way at times. I have increased my hold on the One that matters and He will have the final call of "WIN."

Here is a song I was reminded of by a school parent when we began this journey. I honestly just thought about it again as I am writing. 💗✌
How fitting:



"Keep fighting" will be our mantra. We WIN.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Lessons from a Big, White Cabinet

My classroom has had a huge, white cabinet in it to enable this teacher to store wonderful items to enhance the learning pleasure of my students each year.

It has been dear to me. You see, I could put many, many things in that cabinet. Last year I heard from my administration that I needed to learn to let go because it would be leaving my room in the future. I just couldn't think of life without this cabinet! I cleaned out last year and reorganized it hoping to help them see that the cabinet was still good. It might be old, but it was still worth saving!

(insert emotional music here....)


 A couple of weeks ago, the inevitable happened. There was a new kid, er - cabinet, in town and I was told to purge some more and get my supplies into my new cabinet.

(insert more emotionally driven music here...)

How was I going to get all that was in my big, white cabinet into what was now my new - smaller - cabinet? I had just purged so much this past year so I knew what I had was needed.....

....or so I thought.....

As the new purging began, I began to open up the boxes and view the supplies. I began to see some items in each box that I had kept for a long time. When I looked at them through new, "you have to get this done" eyes, I began to realize I had no need for some of the items I had been holding onto through the years. There were a lot of things that were kept that as I pulled them out I wondered what I was thinking when I kept them. There were other things that had been hidden and needed to be thrown out completely. Then there were just some items I needed to release. Period.

You see, my big, white cabinet actually became a holding area to things that were a hindrance to my teaching. Even though it seemed organized, it was distracting when I went inside to look for the items I really needed. There were too many places that things could "hide." As the purging continued I began to rethink and reorganize in a different way. Some of my old storage boxes would not fit into the new cabinet. I had to visualize a whole new way of storing what was needed.

In the end, I had actually done more cleaning out than I originally thought a year ago. I truly purged things I had been holding onto for so long that they became comfortable and "ignored." The new cabinet has been a blessing because I have been able to keep what I truly needed. I have found I can do more with less.

In the coming weeks my old cabinet will be torn out. My new cabinet will take its place.

As I was finishing up cleaning my room for the end of the year, the Lord began to impress a spiritual twist to this cabinet. He began to help me see how this applied to our spiritual lives.

How many times have we been just like how I have felt about the big, white cabinet? We love a place that can hold a lot of things inside - but they are not always things that are needed. We are comfortable with the space that can be filled with items that can actually hinder us instead of help us.  They are things that we hold onto - and sometimes hide. Then there are just some things that need to be released. Period.

Things like.....

Anger.

Jealousy.

Bitterness.

Doubt.

Fear.

Anxiety.

Worry.

Complaining Spirit.

I could go on....

Sometimes the Lord has to tell us He is removing our big, white cabinet that holds all of these items that hinder our spiritual growth. Sometimes He gives us a "heads up" that a purging needs to happen. We do our part and purge in the way we think takes care of the spiritual problem, just as I had purged "enough" last year in the big, white cabinet. But when I was forced to further examine what was in my cabinet I found out I was holding on to more things than I originally thought. It is the same in our spiritual lives. The Lord uses circumstances in our lives, like my new cabinet was at school, to force us to recognize things that are not needed. He uses His Word to help us spiritually purge the anger, jealousy, bitterness, doubt, fear, anxiety, worry, complaining spirit, etc. These are not needed as we become more like Christ.

My old cabinet began to lose its sentimental hold on me. I began to see that, while it had its purpose, it was time to let it go. As I was leaving school I began to spiritually connect that the old cabinet is like our old sinful nature.  The old nature wants us to think we need to have a big enough space to carry around the extra items. We believe we have to hold onto attitudes and beliefs that are not needed.  When the Lord makes us a new creation, like my new cabinet, He helps us to get rid of things we hold onto that are taking up valuable space. We need to let them go. Instead, we can be filled with the items that will be useful and needed. Spiritual things such as....

Faith.

Love.

Self-Control.

Patience.

Goodness.

Joy.

Peace.

Gentleness.


When my big cabinet gets torn out, I actually want to be there to observe it. I want to see how the new will replace the old. I am grateful that the Lord is always there when He tears out my old sinful nature "cabinet." He replaces the old with new. Our theme verse at school for this just finished year was II Corinthians 5:17  ~

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

How fitting for me to end the school year with another view of how God makes all things new!

So what big, white cabinet is the Lord trying to help you get rid of in your life?

Don't hold to what you think you need - allow the Lord to show you what needs to be purged.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Praise Him - in the Journey

Wesley and I have been in our brain training now for four months. There are some days we feel like we just began, but other days we feel like it has been forever.

Tonight we were training - or at least beginning to do so - but then the training turned into a conversation that has been on both our hearts since we began. I needed to talk and share - and he did, too. In our talking through tonight the Lord reminded us both of some things we needed to hear.  The Lord had been preparing him and me all week for the conversation we needed to have.

I am not going to lie - his training has been hard. It is always in the back of our minds that we must "train" every day but Sunday. We have persevered. We have kept the faith because of the promises from God's Word that He will do far more abundantly beyond what we ask or think.


But in the last week it seems as if it has gotten harder. Between the end of school, typical dealings of teenage life, a weary teacher-Mom, and our brains being tired, Satan has decided to attack. He has chosen to use events and people to become "uninvited guests" on our journey.  May I just be real here? Recently, we have felt beaten down and chained to the journey.   There have been sacrifices of time and energy that have drained us in ways we didn't realize. We have had moments of wondering if all of this is really working for him. Are things going to get better for him - is his future going to work out as the Lord promised?

I have recently taught my students from Acts about Paul and Silas on their missionary journey in Philippi. I have written about this story before - Praise Him at Midnight - and this week the Lord has brought it back again to my heart.

Paul and Silas had been beaten and thrown into jail for doing the right thing. They were placed in a dark dungeon and chained. Instead of complaining about how hard things were for them, they chose instead to sing and praise the Lord - while being chained - while suffering from their beating.

While I know that our circumstances are NOTHING like Paul and Silas, the Lord gave me some spiritual reminders as my boy and I were talking tonight.

We are doing the right thing - this brain training is exactly what the Lord planned for us to do because He led us to this journey, just as He led Paul and Silas to Philippi. We must trust in all of this that God has a plan.

As he and I talked, I shared with him different things the Lord has been showing me - and he shared some things the Lord has shown him. We discussed that we could complain over feeling beat down and chained. We could allow our circumstances to control us. Or we could praise the Lord for where we are - and what He is doing in our lives.

We listened to each other as much as we talked. We grasped what the Lord was showing both of us. Because of this journey, he and I both have grown closer to the Lord in ways we never would have imagined. We have been able to have moments and talks that would not have happened if we had not been in this journey. And we are learning to trust even deeper in the One who brought all of this about for His glory. While we have been "chained" to where the Lord has brought us, we are learning to praise Him while we are still in the dark of exactly how this will all turn out. We are not alone.

In His love, He reminded us tonight that as we praise Him in the journey, our chains of doubt, fear, and uncertainty will fall away when He has brought about all that He will accomplish.

Until then... we will praise Him.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Be of Good Courage - I Am!

We have been on our "Journey of Hope for the Future" for a month. When we first began the journey, I was excited to watch how the Lord was going to work in our boy's life.

I still am....

...but I began to feel overwhelmed by the weight of it all.

I began to feel as if I was drowning with trying to accomplish everything I had been called to do.  The road ahead was long and the day-to-day was becoming arduous.


Then the Lord reminded me of how much I am like Peter and had to take me across the Sea of Galilee to get me to see what I had been missing about this journey on which He has sent us.

To help, let me refresh you on what Scripture tells us in Matthew 14

22 Immediately [after feeding the 5,000] He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 
23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. 
24 But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. 
25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 
26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 
29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 
30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 
32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 
33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”


I have always loved this passage of Scripture.  I guess you could say it would be one I could talk about so easily because it was a favorite.  I could "claim" it for others to give them encouragement when they are in storms of life because I know how the Lord is there for us.

One little thing - I was Peter here.
I knew the path that the Lord had us on was His plan. I saw Him perform the miracles of having every step of this process fall into place, just as Peter saw Jesus feed 5,000 + people on five loaves of bread and two fish preceding this passage of Scripture.

I was Peter when Jesus put the disciples in the boat while He finished up what He was doing with the 5,000 +.

Peter was a fisherman.  He knew what it was like to handle a boat! I am a teacher - I know what it is like to work with children and help them succeed!

I was Peter when he said "If it is really you, call me out of this boat to come to you."  I was Peter in that I GOT OUT OF THE BOAT - and began walking towards Jesus when He made it clear for us to COME along this path to help our son.

But then.....I was Peter in that I began to take my eyes off of the One Who had called me to this journey and began to pay attention to the wind and the waves around me.  I began to drown. I began to cry out for the Lord to save me....I was trying to do it all just as He had called me to do!  Only, I was Peter and I forgot to listen to the precious words spoken just minutes before Jesus called Peter to "come" out of the boat and walk toward Him.

I was Peter in that I forgot that Jesus said "Be of good courage.  It is I.  Be not afraid."

I learned in the last week that the translation for "It is I." should actually be rendered "I AM." When I learned that, this whole truth from God's Word began to take on deeper meaning and the Lord spoke to me as if immediately pulling me from the drowning waves asking me "Why are you of so little faith....why did you doubt?"

"Be of good courage, Kellie."

"I AM. "

"Do not be afraid of this journey and let the waves of what is ahead drown you. I never sent you on this journey alone. I knew all along what would be ahead of you.  I knew all along that you would need to keep your eyes on me with every step."

I AM.

He is not  "I Was."  "I Might."  "I Will Think About It." "I Could."

No.

I AM.

He is with me.  He is with our son. The Lord is with all circumstances He has placed in my family's lives right now because He IS!

He sent us on the boat for our son's future knowing full well what this journey was going to entail. He came to me when I was drowning in work expectations, home expectations, mom/wife expectations. He calmed my fears in the midst of this storm. He will see us to the end of this long journey.

He taught me also while grasping this passage that the "fourth watch of the night" is between 3 and 6 in the morning - exactly when I get up each day to head to school.  This is when I must call on Him and keep myself focused for that DAY.

Little did I realize that I needed to learn this deep spiritual truth because our son was battling the same overwhelming waves.  Within a couple of days, he came to me with tears in his eyes and said, "But what if this doesn't fix it?  What if nothing changes after you have gone to all of this for me?"

Be of good courage, our Son.

I AM is with us.

I could confidently tell Him what the Lord had just shown me to help him understand that the Lord had sent us on this journey and it WILL work because He is there giving us courage, picking us up when we fall, getting into the boat, and calming all of our fears.

He will see us to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.....our Journey of Hope for His Future.

So.... Be of Good Courage...

I AM.

This song has replayed in my mind over and over since the Lord deepened my understanding of His truths. May it bless you as it has me.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

A Journey of Hope for the Future

When I took this photograph many years ago I never realized just how true this picture represented our son's future.  He wanted to be a farmer when he was a little guy, but things one might enjoy as a little child may not be what is still enjoyed in the older years.


For our now almost 18 year old young man, farming is still top priority, and the love for it has stayed steady and grown through the years.

There has just been one problem.

One major problem we have dealt with for years.

He hates school.  He has done poorly in school.  College was looking bleak.

We realize that farming does not require the same amount of schooling that a doctor or lawyer needs, but there is still an important aspect to education for farming.

For years we have worked with him.  We have tried to help him stay organized, keep him focused, give him study skills, etc...  He has struggled since his first year of Kindergarten.  He got a little better when we tried some medication to help him focus, but nothing has seemed to work since the 6th grade - and he is now in 11th grade.  The road to his future was not looking hopeful. 

For years we have prayed.  For years we have worked with him.  For years we have asked the Lord to help him get better.

For years. 

Years of feeling that the definition of insanity (wanting a different result but nothing changing) was our life with him.  Years of seeing our son see himself as, well, stupid.

After meeting with teachers and administrators at school we determined we would get him tested to see what we can do to help him.  He has always thought deeply, yet his attention would never let him stay on task.  We knew if we were to get him tested that would allow him to have interventions to help him where he is.

I began the process.  I printed off the 5,000 page (felt like it... it was probably just 20) packet that I needed to fill out to get him tested through the public system.

I struggled with this.  I struggled that I had not "helped" him with this years before.  I struggled with the fact it was SO much to fill out in the paperwork.  I struggled with the fact that it may not even work.  I struggled with the knowledge I learned that certain interventions had to already be in place for an extended time before the public system would even think to begin the testing process.

I struggled with the timing of it all.

I never really filled out all of the paperwork.

School began again in the fall. I felt like there was no hope - we would just have to push through and he would have to study harder.  He would have to put more effort into school.  He was just going to have to do it!

I accepted that school was not his thing.  I tried to cheer him on - only to have him come home and say that he was struggling yet again even though he was studying. We were at our wits end - we had no idea what to do.

Then came October - and the Lord used an event in my own life as the beginning of a Journey of Hope.  Through "chance", some might say, I was able to earn a free testing/consultation with a brain training company in our area.  What is so coincidental is that this was the same company I had written on a sticky note some years ago when he was struggling.  I was going to check them out - but money was the only obstacle. The testing was not through a public system so we would have to pay for it out of pocket.  Now, because of this surprise, I could schedule the testing.  I was just glad he would now have something to help his teachers give him more time to think in class and understand his focus issues.

We had him tested in late December. We were able to get the results at the very beginning of January.

What we learned blew us away.

Our son was not being "lazy" all of those years.  It was not just a case of Attention Deficit Disorder.    He was struggling - big time.  Our son was especially thankful for the testing - because he said now he was not crazy - or stupid - there really was a reason he had struggled for so long.

We knew the Lord had opened this door for him to be tested - now what?  We began to pray and ask the Lord what He would have us to do to help our son.

As we began to pray, the Lord began FLINGING open doors for him to begin his training. The Lord made it clear to me that I would have to be a part of this training process - meaning, I would be spending four hours each week training him at home, while he also had three hours a week with his trainer. This would last for nine months. This was certainly going to be a journey.

I cannot adequately express just how many ways the Lord directed our steps with this process for him. I look back now and am blown away by how He moved and worked in a seemingly quick time. However, we have been praying for his needs for years!

In God's timing, not ours, the needs of our son were being met.

Now I look to this journey - this "Journey of Hope for the Future" - and my son now actually sees HOPE.

This journey will not have its hardships - there is a lot of time that will be spent helping him. It will be hard.  I almost have the feeling you get in college when you look at the syllabus for a semester and get that knot in your stomach because you do not know how you are going to do everything.  I have been trying to wrap my mind around the fact that life for the next nine months will be totally different than any other. It is going to be challenging in so many ways. I have found myself wanting to rush through it just to get to the end.  I want it "over already."

But then the Lord began to bring this to my mind and heart:

The first nine months I carried him, along with his twin sister, was a new journey - and one I did not know how I was going to handle.  There were challenges along the way that I did not know how I was going to get through.  There were times I wanted it "over already" but I had to wait.  The Lord was there with me each step of the journey, just like He is now.  The Lord has put this journey before us to enable our son to have a HOPE and a FUTURE.

I just have to WAIT - and see what the Lord is going to do through this journey.  Meanwhile, I get to watch His plan unfold with a front row seat.  How awesome is that?

These are some verses the Lord has given to me in the last couple of weeks.  I have clung to them as I have been trying to figure out how I am going to get everything done.  I can trust that my Heavenly Father will walk with me every step of the way.

Isaiah 64:4
For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

...and finally, the "theme" verse for my son and me as we train together.  Truth from the Lord for this Journey...

Ephesians 3:20-21a
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  
to Him be glory

This Journey of Hope was not chance.  This journey was hand-directed by our Heavenly Father who knew the needs of our son when he was still in my womb 18 years ago.  In HIS timing, all of the plans He has for him are coming together.

To God be the glory - great things He has done - and will continue to do. 

He is to be praised.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

When God Is Silent


Have you ever looked up to the heavens and wondered if God was really listening because it seemed as if He has been silent for so long?

You have prayed and prayed for something to change or be taken away. In the times of trying to listen to His voice, He has remained silent.

I must first admit that this has been the case for me with this blog post.

I have had a long silence without something from the Lord with which to share on here.  I love to write - but have felt very dry and without words.  I have felt the Lord has been silent to me.

It has been a very busy fall.  Once school started it has been difficult for me to really find a great amount of time to be still before the Lord.  That frustrated me.... I love to just sit at His feet but I felt I was being Martha so much more than Mary.  In that, I felt that sometimes God was silent.

However, what the Lord has been showing me collectively over the past few months has now come together in a culmination of how He has NOT been silent. He never really is...

Back in the summer we decided to be more up-to-date in the TV world and purchased an Amazon Fire Stick.  You might wonder why that has anything to do with what I am writing.. bear with me.  I had recently stumbled upon documentaries on my Kindle Fire.  Now, with the Fire Stick, I could watch them on the regular TV as well.  I began to open up the world of historical learning for this always learning brain of mine. Most of my friends and family thought I was crazy - and still do for the most part. :)  I realize documentaries are not on most people's list of wonderful things to do, but I desired to learn more about ancient history so I could understand more of what was happening in the background as I read God's Word.

I learned about ancient Greece and Rome in ways that I failed to do in high school and college.  Partly because I usually fell asleep in class. I am being honest here!

I also began to make connections with what really was going on historically and it helped me understand more deeply of what I was reading in God's Word.

As the past semester of school began to get crazier, and my time with the Lord began to be more sporadic, my feeling of God's silence became overwhelming at times. I felt the need to go searching more deeply in the history of it all.

That led me to what I am writing about now - when God is silent. I began to dig more deeply into the history of what happened "between the Testaments".  Meaning - what happened between the Old and New Testaments when God was silent to His people.  I was curious as to why He was so silent.

From what I am understanding in my research, there were no Prophets to the Jewish nation after the book of Malachi was written. There was silence from God for four hundred years.

However, God's Presence is so evident in what happened in those four hundred years.  Prophecies were fulfilled from Daniel where Greek and Roman Empires would burst upon the world scene and make everything that was revealed in the Old Testament of the coming Messiah to fall into place. The Greeks made a way for all people to understand a language.  The Romans built more sophisticated systems and roads so that eventually, followers of Christ could travel and share with the known world how Jesus, the Messiah, gave His life for us on the cross and rose again.

All of those systems had to fall into place and arranged in such a way for the perfect timing of God's Son coming to earth. It was time for Emmanuel - God WITH us.

This set of verses has taken on deeper meaning to me this Christmas:

Galatians 4:4,5 
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 
to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

I am continuing to learn that God's timing is everything.

When I feel God is silent and not listening.

When I wonder if He really cares.

He is always there working even when I cannot see it.

One thing is for certain, during this dry season I have found that I have been searching for Him more. I have desired to seek Him and find Him with my whole heart to find out why He has been so silent.

In that seeking, He has revealed Himself to me through ways I did not fully grasp at the time.  I now have a deeper understanding of Him because of the silence. He used the "things of the world" to draw me to Him in ways I never would have if He had not been silent.  He used the nations of this world to fulfill His plans to bring His Son into this world at just the exact time, and the Lord continues to show me that sometimes He uses the world I see today, or events in my life from this world, to draw me closer to Him. 

During those silent times from God, one has two choices.  One can either choose to believe and trust even when the silence is deafening.  Or, one can reject that He cares and live life as if He doesn't exist.  

There were both of those examples represented when Luke 2 happened. 

I desire to be one that chooses to believe even when the silence is deafening. Christmas is about God breaking the silence to proclaim His Good News and Truth.  

Long ago the Shepherds were going about their normal routine that night on the hillside of Bethlehem. God broke the silence and shared the Good News of His Son, the Savior, being born. The same is true for us all. We need only seek Him and trust Him as we wait for the silence to be broken.  He is working all things for our good and His glory.



Luke 2:1-14
1  In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 
2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 
3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 
to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 
6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.


8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 
9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 
10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”