Tag Archives: prayer

Road or Air?

Road trips. Yeah, I just laughed out loud at the memories. If I were an author, I could write children’s novels on the subject using my family’s experiences and adventures. As a family, we took many road trips especially in the younger years–even when Marcia was in a car seat. I don’t know how my parents survived.

My extended family circle is big. I am extremely blessed. When my Dad felt led by the Lord to move West (Colorado) for work, my parents made every effort to make certain that we kept in touch with all three sides of the family. Because of this, road trips took different directions: one year, we would go northeast states in a loop, squeezing in as many family/friends as we could in the short period of vacation time; the next vacation, we would go in the opposite direction doing the same pattern. Road trips also gave an opportunity to visit historical places and other tourism specialties in different cities.

In our suburban, there was this unwritten form of conduct for the seating. Because Melissa and I didn’t get carsick, we were always smashed in the backseat. Melissa’s long legs could only handle so much of the no leg room and for myself, my pet-peeve was not being able to hear the music. Literally the example: No one is talking, so I ask, “Can we turn up the music, please?” Mom turns up the volume. As I have now broke the silence, now everyone is talking or bickering between the middle/backseat–Mom turns down the music. Unfortunately, the only music we never wanted to ask to be turned up was Dad’s oldies. I finally learned to appreciate them (before I went deaf.)

Now, the backseat was responsible for getting the snacks, packed lunch or Dad’s Diet Pepsi from the cooler. Being efficient packers, the cooler always landed in the farthest back of the trunk, in which one had to unbuckle their seat belt to practically climb over the pillows and duffle bags to get in the box. Somehow, someone upfront was always hungry when the backseat persons were sleeping. The middle seat was responsible for the trash bag. I am not sure why this was a big deal, but most of the seat bickering was based on the trash bag, or the fact that they had controls for the air vents, their windows rolled down and they had the best seats when we played the Alphabet game (of course, Dad driving had the best seat of us all!)

When we started traveling by plane, I liked the convenience of getting to our destination quicker and always tried to act more mature when we sisters got to sit by ourselves apart from Mom and Dad. The only real code of conduct our family has for air travel is that we get to the airport a prompt two hours early to check in our luggage and get through security. Traveling the air was a breeze, until this time my ticket officially labeled me as a disabled passenger.

The disabled label does not have any real grasp on my mentality…it used to irritate me significantly, but now it is something that I have come to acknowledge. My disabilities are not always visible, which is why no one fully understands the amount of physical pains, pressures and problems that my body endures. I don’t blog about this subject–even though it is one of the biggest physical challenges I daily encounter–but to understand the significance of my fear for this flight, you must understand that like any other area in my body in which the tumors destroy the nerves–there is disaster in waiting. In this instance, it is my bowels. I have little to no control of them or their patterns. I often feel controlled in fear of having accidents; no 26-year-old should be having accidents, but it has happened. It’s humiliating.

So as I started preparing for the flight to Colorado, I felt fear take a strong grip over me and I asked a few close friends to join 1me in prayer about this–I needed peace. Our flight out left at 7am, so in code, we arrived to the airport around 5:15am for check-in and security. We checked in our two suitcases, as well as my walker. I was then pushed through security and only stood (Mom holding one of my arms to keep me balanced) when they performed the security pat-down. Passing the requirements, we headed to our gate.

You can tell that it was our first time traveling in this manner, because when we arrived at our gate, we said our thank you to the girl who pushed my chair and then she left to go help another wheeled chair passenger. When they joined us, Mom and I saw the lady tip the employee. As she left, I looked at Mom and she asked exactly what I was thinking: “Were we supposed to tip her?” We looked in our wallets and resolved to use what few dollars we had to tip any others that help in such a manner. ūüôā

Being a disabled passenger flying Southwest airlines is sort of like having First-class seating. I was wheeled to the plane door, then helped to the seats…Mom and I decided just to sit the first row. There is a first time for everything. Still nervous for the flight, Mom gives me reassurance prep-talk and soon the plane is running down the airstrip. I remember take-off. Then sleep found me. We landed in Denver and I was one of the first few of the plane, once again pushed in a wheel chair to baggage claim, although this time they buckled me in…which I found quite hilarious! It made sense, however, once we rode on the concourse terminal train. I have never felt so much freedom at the sight of my walker waiting for me at baggage claim!

In both my flights, I had to completely surrender myself and trust in God’s protection. It was NOT easy! But I saw answered prayer; I lived answered prayer. On the last day of meeting friends, I had the chance to see my interpreter from CCU. We were discussing this flight story and I told her that I had been challenged by the experience. How often it is that I say the simple phrase, “I’m praying for you.” Then I forget or say it once quickly, then get busy and move on with life.

It humbles me to know that I have prayer warriors who daily lift up my name to God; they present my personal, detailed requests…as well as the need for comfort and strength. Prayer in my life, as of late, has seemed to be an unwritten code of conduct–very formal, lacking zeal. Like the Disciples (Luke 11:1-4), I often in question say, “Teach me to pray.” And I know He will answer.

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.

Soren Kierkegaard

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Like a blur…

It has been progressing, slowly. At first I thought it was dry eyes–that could still be part of it even though I use eye drops multiple times a day. There are a few other thoughts we have discussed about this–my vision. I am not so much in panic or alarm as I am pure annoyance.

My vision just gets blurred. I can’t focus, I am starting to squint more. It is like getting teary eyed..when the water is in your eye and it makes your vision a blur. You blink and the blur subsides as the tears flow. I blink and the blur is still often there. It is also like getting dizzy–where you close your eyes to refocus. This is the best I can explain.

The annoyance comes as it affects my reading, especially lip-reading. and my balance is thrown off as well. Different light settings can also determine how bad the blurred vision is–my laptop and cell phone screens especially. I have days that are better than others, but I have seen (haha, sorry I couldn’t resist the pun!)¬†a steady increase of this problem over the past month. My checkup appointment with my ophthalmologist had already been set months ago for May 7th; we called in and it is now April 23rd.

This is all I have for you. I do not wish to outline my further medical “could possibly be this assumptions. I just write for a prayer request: that the vision problem can be recognized at my appointment, and if so, properly treated in a timely manner. I depend on my vision, because I don’t have hearing. It has become a test of faith.

Be Thou My Vision

Irish hymn, translated by Mary Elizabeth Byrne

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

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Lifeline

Yesterday morning, I spent two hours at the hair salon getting my perm redone. For the amount of time taken, the result looks lovely (and bonus points to me as having no sense of smell fully pays off in these instances.) Nearing the end, I had twenty minutes of waiting, during which the solution needed to soak into my hair with the curlers still set in place before my stylist removed them. I asked the lady sitting next to me if she could pass me a People magazine…just something to glance at as I waited. “Pointless readings,” I tell myself, but I didn’t read much anyway as I didn’t have my glasses on at that moment.

I did happen to find one good article about a girl my age who lives with Down Syndrome. As I skimmed the blurry article, I was impressed by her courage not to let the disease define her; she had even gone to court to declare her independence rights on choosing where to live. I don’t know her name or the edition of the People Magazine for quotes, but I do remember reading a few sentences where she states that she is an independent person–she just might need a little help sometimes. I had two thoughts: First, I fully relate to what she is saying. She and I may struggle with vastly different physical limitations, but there is a common understanding both in emotional and mental thoughts of what it means for independent living. And second, whether you struggle physically or not, don’t we all have moments where we might just need a little help? It is our human nature; it keeps us humble.

When I first moved back in my parent’s house, I thought I was losing all independence. It took time for me to process that I never lost my independence; living at home ensures that I can live independently. Yet, I am surrounded by family who can help if I just might need it: opening zip lock bags or medicine bottles if Walgreens places the lids in the wrong direction; putting on my compression stocking or clipping my toe nails; carrying my groceries up the stairs or my full laundry basket to the washer. Or in the event that I have car problems, need to get Muffy’s food from the patio but it is dark outside, I accidentally break a dish while loading/unloading the dishwasher…help is there as well. It is safe independent living.

hermie¬†“I’m…independent!” (samefacts.com)

To maintain continual safe independence–while at home–I now wear a Lifeline necklace. Wearing this necklace does not change any part of how I currently live. I still get up in the mornings on my own; bathe and dress on my own; make myself meals and, of course, the morning pot of coffee; I can still write (chicken scratches), type (finger poke), text, and paint; I still climb up and down the stairs, even if it is a slow one-step-at-a-time; and, I still drive, run errands or go to church on my own as long as I have the energy and weather permits me to do so. ¬†The Lifeline’s purpose is to inform others if I needed help–the communication is accurate and efficient. The necklace works only at my home (garage, basement too) and outside property. Once I leave the driveway, I am too far from the sensor for any signals to send. ¬†However, being out in public, my chances of being all alone are quite slim. ūüėČ

When we first set the Lifeline in place, I was confused as to how I, personally, talk with the personnel over the communicator (set up in my parents room) as I am Deaf. I really do nothing, except push the button on my necklace if I need assistance. The personnel from Lifeline contacts my parents through the communicator and notifies them that my button was pressed, so they can check on me. If no one answers that machine call, they immediately start calling my emergency contact numbers in order; my mom’s cell phone is first, etc. In the case I fall and I am unresponsive, the sensor on my necklace cues in on this and Lifeline automatically sends emergency medical help. It is safe independent living.

Lifeline is unlike a regular 911 emergency contact. It doesn’t have to take a catastrophe of epic proportions for me to push my button for assistance. It can be something even as simple as accidentally breaking glassware while doing the dishes and not being able to safely step away from the glass; if Mom is outside working in her garden, how would she know I needed help? The necklace is also waterproof, so I wear it in the shower. It is only by God’s goodness and perfect timing that my parents were still at home on that Sunday morning when the first blood clot hit as I was in the shower. Because I was hyperventilating and had my left arm slung through the handle on the shower wall in order to stand up straight, the only way I could contact for help was to bang my right fist against the shower wall. At that time, I didn’t even think it was being heard. After a few solid bangs, my mom finally decided to check in on me. You can see the importance of having this in place as I continue to live independently.

Although Lifeline is often aimed in advertising for the elderly, I know for myself–and the family–wearing the necklace puts ease in the mind of constant “What if’s?” It reminds me of my times in¬†prayer. I don’t have to wait for epic catastrophes in order to present my requests to God. Prayer replaces the “What if’s?” with constant peace.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

Psalm 16:5-6 ESV

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I am commanded…

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:12-14 ESV

After sitting in the car, waiting rooms or doctor appointments (not to mention almost three hours in the MRI machine), my attempts to write a few emails Thursday evening¬†were fatal as I was so cold, I just couldn’t function–namely my hands. I heated the scarf my aunt gave me (it is designed that way…therapeutic), got cozy, put on my¬†slippers, made some tea and sat down to watch the movie– The Second Chance. It has been a long time since I have watched the movie; and I only thought of it, because my friend and I had brought it up during our coffee chat a few weeks ago.

The movie is set in America–typical big city where you have the “rich” side of town and then the other. In this case, the story is themed over the church–on the rich side, it is The Rock. However, their roots started at the sister church on the poor side of town. “The Second Chance” church serves the community in that part of town. The movie encircles faith in action…0n the common ground:¬†getting out of your comfort zone; laying down pride; living by faith;¬†serving, loving, forgiving.

I am not going to spoil the movie, but I will say that Pastor Jake’s ending less-than-five-minutes¬†speech is one of the best sermons I have ever heard. It is profound and so truthful. In light of the movie’s events, he reminds his congregation that they are commanded to love their enemies, even in the face of injustice.

Jesus said to love our enemies and pray for them (Matthew 5:43-48). I don’t have enemies (not to my knowledge), but in terms, there are certain individuals both in my past and a few¬†in the present in which I hold bitter thoughts towards. In loving my enemies, I am also commanded to forgive my enemies; and although I do not see them as “enemies,” the fact I am bitter towards them sort of implies enemy status. Those in my past,¬†I have no contact with anymore; the forgiveness is¬†now between me and the Lord.

The present bitterness is caused by the feeling of injustice; I feel robbed of time over the past few months mainly in the area of driving. The lack of trust and inconsistency of “concerns” resulting in a long period of¬†waiting caused me to become angry. I felt angry for my family–the extra burden it placed on them during that time.¬†And just when I can drive, my car goes in the shop for a week; why didn’t I just¬†take it over (three minutes down the road) when I was not dependent on it? So I am angry at myself for being too nice–for trying too hard to not “do anything wrong.”

The question is then, “How long do I wish to remain angry? Bitter?” It will only keep me in the past, which is where I don’t want to be anyway. Forgiveness is hard; like prayer, it is easier to mouth than mean it sincerely in your heart. It may not be a drastic change overnight, but the choice is mine:¬†will I love, pray and forgive my enemies–just as God in Christ did for me? (Ephesians 4:32)

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Light

Today was refreshing. Encouraging. Restful. (I like naps!) A time of fellowship with a friend. And sunshine.

I am not implying that the sunshine alone turned my attitude in a 180 degree motion, but waking up to its light did lift the mood as I prepared my breakfast and sat down for coffee and morning readings. Last night, I ended the day pretty much in despair. I saw little hope. I felt sick in my stomach/intestines and getting ready for bed was in pain from the pressure in my neck.

Mornings are a better time of day for me; I am a morning person, though I can totally stay up late as well. But I feel energized in the morning and this morning was no different. I still woke to the same problems I fell asleep to last night, except the pain in the neck was gone and not as much pressure on the spine. My stomach issues are just something else anyway, but I did enjoy a light breakfast.

Finishing my coffee, I read the passage in Genesis where Jacob wrestles with God. I always find this passage interesting, because we see Jacob on his way to meet his brother Esau after fleeing from him years before because he stole Esau’s birthright and the blessing from their father Isaac. So now the night before they meet, Jacob is afraid. I read the Matthew Henry Commentary for this particular passage and it was discussing how Jacob stayed behind, alone, to pray‚Ķ”wrestling” with the Lord.

And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, ‚ÄúLet me go, for the day has broken.‚ÄĚ But Jacob said,¬†‚ÄúI will not let you go unless you bless me.‚ÄĚ And he said to him, ‚ÄúWhat is your name?‚ÄĚ And he said, ‚ÄúJacob.‚ÄĚ Then he said,¬†‚ÄúYour name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,¬†for¬†you have striven with God and¬†with men, and have prevailed.‚ÄĚ Genesis 32:24-28

I can’t say that I have ever prayed fervently a whole night about my fears‚Ķto be honest, this past week, I don’t even think my prayers got past the phrase, “I can’t do this‚Ķ” Not even this morning’s prayers were very specific, but knowing that I can wrestle my inner thoughts, emotions and everything before God enables me to be vulnerable. I think of vulnerability like dependency = the sign of weakness. But it can be a source of strength–like my walker‚Ķit implies a tone of “handicap”, but it is a source of strength and stability when I walk. And today, I was able to get my walker to my car, in my car and drive to meet my friend for an afternoon coffee/chat. I don’t always need my walker or my cane as this morning, I was walking fine without them, but being independent, still needs dependent. I am finally accepting that my safety, when on my own, needs the stability.

Acceptance is rough. Although today, I found a ray of sunshine…of hope. I can live with these new changes, though I am still figuring out how, it is still difficult and I will still have melt-down days of despair, but today, light prevailed.

We ought to continue instant in prayer, always to pray and not to faint: frequency and importunity in prayer prepare us for mercy.

Wrestling believers may obtain glorious victories, and yet come off with broken bones; for when they are weak then are they strong, weak in themselves, but strong in Christ.

Matthew Henry Commentary. Biblegateway.com

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Homecoming: thoughts of heaven

This weekend was Homecoming Weekend for the university in town. Although it meant nothing to me (besides a fun parade and getting pumpkin chai with my sister afterwards), there were many class reunions during the weekend where the alumni had returned to their Alma Mater to celebrate their years of attendance and also seeing the vision of the school continue through the current students. This year was also special as it was the coronation of the new university President.

Homecoming is coming home. Ok, so maybe college is not home…nor your high school, but when you are saying “homecoming,” it is the welcoming back notion. I have to admit though, when I was in college, my term for “coming home” literally meant calling Mom and saying, “I am coming home.” Home. My mind has been thinking about this word…I think I started when we took a little weekend road trip to Toledo.

After my mom remarried, we moved to Toledo. I was about a year and a half old or so. We moved to Colorado¬†a few months after I turned six years old; my first memories of a “home” were from there.¬†As we visited¬†a few weeks ago, I¬†realized that all my memories of Toledo were of places,¬†such as the tunnel you¬†walked through under the main road to get to the¬†zoo; the Bob Evans we passed to get to our house; the house itself (I can still see the inside); the church we attended (but when we actually attended church I noted how much smaller the sanctuary was compared to my five-year¬†old mind);¬†MacQueens¬†Produce Farm and a really¬†awesome ice cream place¬†by¬†car¬†lot (which I¬†finally got the name: Jan’s.) I remember things like my classroom¬†at school, getting red tokens for lunch when you wanted pizza, learning¬†the alphabet, and being Mother Goose in the end of the school year play. I¬†remember singing a¬†Honey Tree song for church and playing in the turtle sandbox or eating orange pushups. But what I don’t place is people’s faces. I only remember them through pictures.

All that changed in Colorado. We moved in the summer,¬†meaning I started a brand new school that¬†Fall. The kids in my class were the peers I attended the rest of my school years with, graduating together¬†and continuing to keep in touch here and there¬†(thank you¬†Facebook.)¬†Home was no longer just things or places…it involved¬†people from town, school and church. Home, physically, was¬†the house…a place¬†where¬†I could be myself, protected from the world. In the bigger¬†picture, Colorado was home. I still consider it home. It is my Alma Mater.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe God moved me here for a purpose…especially in¬†the¬†area¬†concerning my health. I now have friends, live closer to my extended family,¬†a “home” church I have attended since the move and many open doors for my paintings. So why doesn’t it feel like home? Time may¬†play a part in¬†it:¬†we lived in Colorado for almost twenty years (seventeen to be exact).¬†Whatever the cause, I think it¬†fits into the season of the soul..this¬†current road I travel, with thankfulness.

Home brings thoughts¬†of heaven. As my body continues to decline, [yet¬†I am¬†still becoming all that God has planned for me in this life]¬†there are¬†times when I¬†do honestly question God in aspect, “I don’t know how much more of this I can handle.” Maybe I am using thoughts of¬†heaven as an easy way out of this worldly suffering. Heaven is joy…and I look forward to that Homecoming. There will be nothing like it in comparison. But here, in the now, I should not be praying centered around myself, but God. It is only then that this temporary home (my body) will find strength in thanksgiving, even in the suffering:

Man-centered prayers tend to ask, ‚ÄúHow can God help me with my problems?‚ÄĚ while God-centered prayers consider, ‚ÄúWhat is God doing in this? How can I join in God‚Äôs purposes here?‚ÄĚ This changes not only what we pray for, but also the way we¬†pray.

Tim Challies. “Persevere in Prayer.”

Philippians 4:4-7

~Mel ūüôā

*http://www.challies.com/articles/persevere-in-prayer?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_content=5575&utm_campaign=Four-hourly_2013-10-02+12%3a15

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Unshakable

The other night at dinner, we were discussing old movies. Old–as in black and white…as in Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and the like. We grew up watching many of these kind…either that or classic reruns of black and white television shows, such as The Lone Ranger, Petticoat Junction, The Dick van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy, The Beverly Hillbillies¬†or The Andy Griffith Show. If I ever need a hearty laugh, these are bound for success!

Don Knotts, who plays Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, also starred in many funny movies: The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, The Reluctant Astronaut and¬†The Shakiest Gun¬†in the West are personal favorites. In the 1968 film, The Shakiest Gun in the West, we find Jesse W. Haywood (Knotts)¬†fresh out of a dentist school in Philadelphia¬†and now pursuing the West to open an office and provide his services there.¬†One¬†hilarious¬†event¬†after another, Haywood’s vulnerability¬†places him right¬†in¬†the middle¬†of¬†a secret government case in which he has been lured into by the stagecoach robber, Penelope “Bad Penny” Cushing, who has been offered a pardon if she helps solve the case.

Haywood at the beginning of the movie is not what you would label a western man. Everything changes for him when the other wagon men see–what they perceive–as Haywood fighting off a group of Native Americans. Suddenly he is a hero. From that point on, his pride is fueled, enough even to accept a challenge from the famous and feared Arnold the Kid. It is only after this that he discovers the truth about his fighting abilities–it is not him, but has been Penny the entire time. Crushed, he returns to the plain old Jesse W. Haywood…a nobody in his eyes. I don’t want to spoil anymore of the movie, but I will say that in the end, we see that Haywood learns confidence. He has experienced the West and longed to be something big–but in the end, it is not his pride or fighting skills that earn him his recognition but simply by being himself and what he does best: being a dentist.

When my sister was here in July, we watched this movie. ūüôā I have thought of it a few times lately more because it gives me a few good laughs when I get frustrated with my hands.¬†As you may recall, my hands are weakening–curled fingers due to muscle loss¬†in the left hand and extreme numbness in the right hand which results in lack of grip and sensation. It is not entirely noticeable but my hands also shake. Not violently but just a steady jitter.

When it first started, I did not think much of it, figuring it was just a phase or I was tired that day or anything else excuse-wise that came to mind. When changes happen in my body, I allow myself a certain period of time to test and take note if it is indeed a change or just a spontaneous reaction of tumors with the nerves. Sometimes things happen only once,¬†never occurring again. Unless it is crucial–like my notice of hearing loss–I don’t mention anything to my parents or doctors until it becomes a relevant occurrence.

One night, my sister came home and as we were talking she just broke in midsentence and asked, “Are you feeling ok? Your hands are really shaky.” I had not mentioned it to anyone yet…guess it was time to say something. That was early summer. As the summer months progressed, so did the shake. Sometimes my left thumb will spasm. It does not hurt; I just have no control over its movement.

I really don’t notice the shakiness¬†until it is obvious: when I eat, when I write or as I observed last night..when I paint in detail. I was finishing my last two paintings for Saturday’s festival (exciting ūüôā ), but on the one I was elaborating¬†with flowers and side margin d√©cor. My shakiness started to frustrate me as my marginal fancywork continued to expand farther and wider than what I wanted, topping it of with my right hand smearing the metallic¬†red paint amidst the baby blue background.

– – –

This past weekend, there had been (and will¬†be) a lot of conversation about the days ahead and my health. Since my body continues to change, we are moving forward to get the help and resources set up in advance so when life gets more shaky, we have some stability. It was a rough weekend emotionally. As if shaking in fear of¬†losing¬†“independence,” I was reminded that¬†receiving this help will¬†in¬†return¬†help me¬†to¬†continue to live as independently as possible. There are resources and services¬†that we are not familiar with…this is a whole new chapter¬†in life.

It doesn’t come naturally for me to admit that I need the help, but it is then that I am graciously humbled.¬†I had to set aside my pride to see the goodness in this situation.¬†I see¬†a parallelism¬†to my prayers as well. I have been¬†contemplating what it means¬†to “ask, seek,¬†knock”¬†(Matthew 7:7). Three action verbs…why are they so difficult to act upon? And yet I can come before God at any time, not with¬†shaking or trembling, but with¬†confidence.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need…[and]¬†let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken.

Hebrews 4:16, 12:28a

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