It’s a little before dawn at our house and Rainier wants to go out (for the third time I might add). So I slip the Fitbit into my pajama pocket – don’t want to miss out on the steps – and head downstairs. Candidly, I kinda wanted just a few more minutes upstairs. I have quite a bit going on today. I’d just finished my quiet time and there was a verse that had really spoken to me. I know it’s lazy but I just wanted to lay there thinking about it a few more minutes.
When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:18-19. But Rainier was asking…politely.
As I headed out onto the patio and into the yard, all of a sudden the crickets fell silent. There were one or two seconds of complete silence, and then one of the birds started to tweet at us. There’s a cardinal, a beautiful one I might add, who has recently made our yard his home. We see him several times a day. He and Rainier have become friends; whenever we see him Rainier will stop and most times just sit next to me and watch this bird. This morning he did just that. He sat down as soon as the bird started to sing. It was one of those moments where it felt like the world stopped for just a second to encourage me. And what a way to start my day. It felt as if this performance was our new friend’s way of telling me “we got this”… and Rainier had been in on it, making sure I made it outside in time to hear.
It was almost like that song from Train: Calling All Angels. The opening line is: I need a sign to let me know you’re here! Well without a doubt I got a sign today. Maybe it’s the cardinal I need to learn to cue!
So my goal today is to offer some sense of encouragement somewhere and somehow. We all have those days when you feel like you just aren’t ready for the day to begin. If we stop for just a minute even on those days we don’t want to head out, there is some form of encouragement waiting to be seen, heard, or felt. All we need to do is be still…it’s there. I promise.
Enjoy your day my friends!
I promised when I kicked off this series that I would share the good and the most challenging parts of my journey…along with my soul. This is a little tough for me because I’m not very good at sharing my soul.
The last two weeks have been extraordinarily challenging for me. So much so that I was convinced that I was having a setback after all the progress that I’d been seeing with my epilepsy and other health challenges. It’s hard to put into words how that had made me feel but let’s just say I’d been feeling extremely discouraged, to put it mildly. I’m going to borrow a phrase I heard last week: everywhere I went, there I was. And that’s exactly how I felt: everywhere I went, there I was. I couldn’t get away from me…all of the emotions, concerns and challenges that I was feeling. All of the challenges came along with my concerns that Rainier and Mike and my tribe of folks were worried and burdened. Sometimes I put more pressure on me about that than I probably should.
However, this week when I saw my doctor, she was emphatic in encouraging me, that I had indeed not had a setback. She said that there was nothing she wanted to change and that I was making progress. She said – and her words, not mine – that ‘I need to learn to embrace and accept my health as a challenge and that that would allow me to adapt accordingly. The Lord would not have given me this challenge if He wasn’t confident it is something that I could handle…and handle well.’
It has taken me several days to embrace what she said and how encouraging that really is. You know, what she said is powerful. Once you know the challenge in front of you, then you can adapt accordingly and move through it successfully. If I do choose to accept all of these challenges, it will empower me to adapt accordingly. I am reminded of something I recently heard from Levi Lusko when he spoke at North Point a few weeks ago. He encouraged us to ‘run towards the roar’ (I have found his book Through the Eyes of a Lion to be very encouraging.) He mentions that we need to learn to ‘cue the eagle on our roughest days.’ (Isaiah 40:31 – but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.) As I’ve really spent time pondering this, it’s not just about accepting and adapting but engaging, or to borrow Levi’s phrase, running toward the roar…and cueing my eagle and candidly sometimes a song!
It’s hard to let something – even your health – hold you back or have the best of you when you are on the move…discovering that eagle and learning when and how to cue it on my toughest days is exactly what I need to learn. I’ll bet it will even help me be more of a blessing to those I long to be a blessing to, and even help me find encouragement in all kinds of places as I long to do.