Today I am excited to welcome my friend, Carmen Horne, to the blog. Carmen’s writing draws you in and makes you feel as though you are sitting on the couch with her, enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea. She invites you to not only take part in the conversation, but to ask questions and deepen your faith. After reading one of Carmen’s pieces I always feel like I’ve gained a new nugget of truth to carry with me through my day and share with others who may be dealing with a similar experience.
Wife, mom and Jesus girl best describes Carmen. She loves family and friends mixed with laughter, hugs, dark chocolate and the beach! Carmen’s writing comes from a heart that God is mending. She invites you to stop by for a visit and talk about life together.
Today Carmen will be talking about the fifth and last aspect of renewal we will be exploring together: the renewal of Spirit.
When Your Tools Are Rusty
I had awakened not feeling myself. I just felt bad. Something wasn’t right. This cannot be happening. Today is party day. Our daughter’s kindergarten class would be at our house in a few hours.
Those beginning weeks of school had been difficult. She and I struggled to adjust to her being away and her immature immune system was assaulted with unfamiliar germs. Doctor and hospital visits had filled us all with dread. Our girl had been the picture of health. Can you see where this school thing wasn’t our favorite?
Winter had been a struggle. Along with school distress, my grandfather who I adored was diagnosed with lung cancer in October and died in February. I was ready for spring. I needed spring.
The tide had changed. School was no longer the enemy camp and we were all looking forward to fun. A piñata stuffed with candy, goodie bags lined up like little soldiers, colored eggs galore and, I could hardly move.
What was wrong with me? We partied but, I awoke in the wee hours of the following morning with my heartbeat out of rhythm. I knew it. I could feel it. This time I was the one in the hospital and for the next 6 months my body just took a break from life.
As Christians, when our bodies grow weary, we hope our faith will rise to see us through. But, what if our faith is weak too? Mine was.
As I fought the discouragement and depression that came with my health issues, I felt so unprepared for this battle Satan was waging against me. I had no idea how to fight back.
How do you live most of your life as a Christian and have no tools (weapons) “to stand against the schemes of the devil”? Or, the weapons you do have are so uncared for they are rusty.
A few things became apparent as I limped along.
- When we are weak and weary, it is not the best time to sharpen our weapons. It sure would have been comforting to have them ready. Bible reading and prayer today helps me be ready for tomorrow.
- We are not indispensable. Life goes on. Easter happened. My duties at church were fulfilled by others. So why do we fill our plate so full? Do we think we are the only ones that can do a certain task? Sounds like pride doesn’t it?
- Difficult times don’t last forever. Lary hired someone to help clean our home. This dear lady once told me, “In six months, you will look back on this time and realize this is not as big as you think it is.” She was right. Seasons change. People change. Life is not always good or bad.
- Growth happens in ground watered with tears. Although to me it seemed I was doing nothing useful, I was actually in a growth spurt. That spring in 1991 when I found myself in the worst crisis of my life, also found me in a spring that became an amazing spiritual renewal.
I hungered for God and wanted to hear His voice. Although numb in many ways, I did remember that God promised His word always produces fruit (Isaiah 55:11). So, I read and searched for a Bible translation that was easy to comprehend. My love for the New Living Translation was born. When my memory failed me, I trusted God to hide His word in my heart. Psalm 91 and James 5:16 consoled me – “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.”
Boxes and bookshelves of books never opened were mined for something to encourage and grow me. I listened to message after message on television. God was pouring into me what I needed and for once, I was still and hungry enough to dine at the table He set.
I had contracted a virus that physically changed my heart and along the way, my heart had been changed spiritually as well. The cry of my heart was heal me. God allowed me to see that my heart needing healing in many ways. My prayers were answered.