It has been several days since my last blog (but I am back to internet service). As most of you know, my family has moved into a new home. The downsize has finally evolved into reality. Throughout the weekend, my health took a toll on the move. My cold progressed into a full blown flu-like illness. I pushed through it (only with God’s help). The kids have been wonderful. They have been outside in the creek and hiking through the woods most of the weekend. I have thrown more clothes in the dryer after creek stompin’ has taken place. It has been amazing to witness how much they already love this new house. Pete has been in the barn all weekend. It is his little nesting area. I think because he finally has an area that I want nothing to do with and he can make his own. By last night we could actually pull in cars (one in the garage and one in barn). My sister, Sandy, has been a life saver. Throughout the weekend when I thought I couldn’t open one more box, she inspired me to do it. I really don’t know how she is still standing upright because the amount of work that she did for us certainly deserves a 24 hour day of rest and Bengay! My in-laws came on Friday and worked their tails off. Amazing how many angels God sent me when I truly needed a little help.
For all of this to take place during Lent was certainly no coincidence. During church on Sunday, we read the scripture of Lazarus’ rising. As many of you know Lazarus was long dead when Christ performed the miracle of bringing him back to life. Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, were quite upset that Jesus did not come to see Lazarus on his death bed, but Jesus had other plans for Lazarus.
So the sisters sent word to him( Jesus) saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.” When Jesus heard this he said, “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Now this story does have a great ending, but I am dwelling on the above scriptures because I think it shows us a very important part of God’s plan. You see, Jesus loved Lazarus. He obviously was a dear friend (since the sisters write “the one you love”). Jesus knew that God planned to use Lazarus’ death to show people the power and glory that believing in Him holds. It must have been extremely hard for Jesus to wait 2 more days before going to the sisters’ side. Can you imagine if one of your friends was ill and you purposely waited for them to die before going to see them? Can you imagine the scorn that your friend would feel? Can you imagine the pain that would fester up while you wait to go see your friend? Picture this. I have a friend who is dying and her family contacts me. I say, “It all be okay. I will be by in a couple of days. This is all part of God’s plan.” How do you think her family would react to me? Do you think they would accept me with open arms when I arrived? I know I would be a little irritated if one of my friends did this to me.
Martha met Jesus when He came into town. She says to him, “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” (Luke 11:21-22). You see, Martha trusted Jesus. She knew that God’s plan required her to believe and trust in Him.
God’s plans work this way. They sometimes make us look bad in order for His glory to be revealed. We have to be open to humbling ourselves and opening ourselves up to criticism. This is how I knew that our move was God’s plan. I knew that people thought we were crazy to downsize into this smaller home, moving away from family (my mom lived 7 doors down from my old house, my two sisters were less than a couple of miles from my old house). I knew the perception of our choice was not favorable. I also knew when my illness struck in full force (because I NEVER get sick) that evil was working against me. Evil was trying to get me to lose my patience and say, “Fine, I give in. I am wrong. We never should have done this.” I knew that little things were going to pop up and change our plans. I knew that my body would eventually give out on the weekend. I am no spring chicken any more! But I had faith through it all.
On Friday night, after all day having movers in and out and unpacking boxes, there was a meeting that I really wanted to attend at church. My entire body was exhausted. I had no make-up on and couldn’t even change my clothes – because they were all boxed up! I didn’t even have a clue where those items might be in my new house. There was a list of items that I needed to still do before bed, but I really wanted to go to this prayer service at church. When I thought I couldn’t move another muscle, I hopped into my car and went to the service. It was beautiful. It took me away from the chaos and reminded me that God was my strength for the weekend. God knew this was the perfect move from my kiddos.
The next morning I awoke to a beautiful (chilly) sunny day. Katie looked at me with her big eyes, and told me how much she loved our new house. She played out back most of the day, coming in only to throw her clothes in the dryer and have a little hot chocolate. Katie and TJ played so lovingly together. We had no television or internet, so they played board games. They barely fought all weekend (which is a miracle)! Megan came down with my same cold, but she barely complained. She unboxed stuff, took a nap, and unboxed some more. Her poor little body was miserable when she woke up this morning, but she couldn’t wipe the smile off her face. She loved her new home.
You see, I thought that God’s plan would just click into place. But He showed me even though it doesn’t always work that way, He will make it worth the while. It takes hard work, that He will provide the energy for (even through sickness). God is so great. When I think of where our family was just a year and a half ago; when I think of all the turmoil that we were in the midst of with Katie and her many issues; there is no doubt in my mind that we have been looking to God for strength and help. Mary and Martha were probably at their wit’s end when they messaged Jesus about their ailing brother. They finally had allowed their heart, body and soul to realize that they were powerless without Jesus. I did the same with our move. I knew it was the right thing, but I wasn’t sure what road lay ahead for my family. It wasn’t the straightest path, but with God’s help – it was doable. And all the pain, suffering and exhaustion was worth it!