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A Severe Mercy

It’s only in the middle of it that I realized that what they say is true. Trials and suffering do make people stronger. It’s not even me suffering. I mean I have struggled and wept as Nicholas had seizure after seizure a month and a half ago. Even writing that word is foreign and makes me feel sick, something revolts in me at the thought that my little guy had to go through that, and that He still might if he weren’t on the medication that’s keeping him stable. Something I never expected has happened. We have been blessed with four healthy, happy children, and believe me, we count these blessings and are thankful because we know the struggles that so many families have had with medical and developmental challenges with their children. After the little bit that we’ve gone through with Nicky my heart goes out to them so much deeper than it did even in the ten years I worked at Christian Horizons.
But all of that to say, as we walked down the road of life about a month and a half ago, things seemed ok. Nobody was sick, no crises happening. And then the seizures that tossed our world and especially Nicky’s upside down. They were terrifying.
It felt as if we had suddenly taken a sharp left off the road of normalcy and I didn’t want any of us to be there. But we were and we are and a funny thing has happened. We are better than we were before. Where petty things brought division in our family, now they all of a sudden don’t matter. God has us in the cooker. I’m pretty sure because the heat's been up in a lot of areas, but this was truly the most difficult for obvious reasons.
Now though, life has sharp focus, things are clearer than they were. Priorities are defined and easier to stick to because I realize that the fluff and excuses for busyness and pettyness and all the stuff we struggle with on a day to day basis aren’t important.
We shall be refined and come forth as gold. I know this and I’m actually willing. Where I would have felt fear and run from the thought of this before, now I know we’re in it for a reason and God will bring us through. He will complete the good work He has begun in us.
Praise be to His Holy Name.
Nicky calls the seizures storms and a song called "Praise You In This Storm" by Casting Crowns off their Lifesong album coins what I have been feeling. Here's a bit of a verse and the chorus that says it all so well...
"And as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away...

And I will praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I cry
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm"

Dear Lord,
This is hard. Please heal our Nicky. I don't want him to suffer and the fallout of his seizures is difficult, especially the tantrums. But please also help us to learn and grow through all of this. Thank you for bringing a new heart to our family, one that is not concerned with the trivial, but focused on what is important and lasting. Thank you for your severe mercy.


Susan said…
An excellent post... God seems to have a lot of us in the same hard school!

We've learned by precept that our goal is "to be conformed to the image of Christ". There's such a cost to that, but you're right, it's so worth it. And the alternative is unthinkable. The last thing I would want is to be "put out to pasture" in His Kingdom - be considered "not fit for service".

God bless your writing - it touched my heart and encouraged me. And God keep little Nick...

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