Shallow Things

I seriously cannot believe I’m publicly blogging all this…this morning I was so overcome by the difficulties of this life I lead that I had to get away. It’s been such a crappy semester, and I’ve been pretty good at clinging to Him in the seemingly deep waters, but the little stuff has been destroying me. For one, Yaacov and I have been falsely accused of ungodly and untrue behavior, and honestly, it’s hard to trust the Lord to take care of that. It’s even harder to convince my heart that waiting on Him for that is the Good approach…and to believe the Good approach is the one that is best for all of us. Plus I found myself homeschooling Abigail for this school year, but our lives are still ordered as a part-time schooling family. I feel constant guilt over giving her less time, and because I value the ministry opportunities in my life over doing math problems. God surely has direction for me, but I can’t hear what He’s calling me to do because I am so busy and depressed. Most of all, I can barely make it through a day because I am miserably unhealthy. I have Gained.So.Much.Weight. I weigh almost 20% more than I did when I was first diagnosed with cancer. More than half that has come on in the last 6 months. The menopause from lack of ovaries is probably the main culprit, plus the anti-cancer medicine I’m on isn’t helping. It’s embarrassing to talk about for so many reasons: I should just eat less and exercise more. I should never have had my ovaries removed and therefore deserve the consequences. I should just be happy God healed me, and shut up about being fat.

In early days of being a Christian I would talk about my tendency to overeat as a sin, and people (wrongly) judged me for it. They didn’t think something that could involve self-control should be focused on when everyone else has real problems. Maybe I was too shallow? Maybe I wasn’t living a holy enough life. These are thoughts that still keep me from blogging or talking about this stuff, especially because many of my readers are struggling with life and death problems. But, that line of thinking is likely to make me isolate myself and hide from the truth–exactly what the enemy wants! I just read this devotion from My Utmost For His Highest and was so encouraged I could not possibly hide the treasure. I’m going to retype it all because it’s so much better than my own words:

From November 22, 1 Cor 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, o whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God’

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow concerns of life are not ordained of God; they are as much of God as the profound. It is not your devotion to God that makes you refuse to be shallow, but your wish to impress other people with the fact that you are not shallow, which is a sure sign that you are a spiritual prig. Be careful of the production of contempt in yourself, it always comes along this line, and causes you to go about as a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than you are. Beware of posing as a profound person; God became a Baby.

To be shallow is not a sign of being wicked, nor is shallowness a sign that there are no deeps: the ocean has a shore. The shallow amenities of life, eating and drinking, walking and talking, are all ordained by God. These are the things in which Our Lord lived. He lived in them as the Son of God, and He said that “the disciple is not above the master.”

Our safeguard is in the shallow things. We have to live the surface common-sense life in a common-sense way; when the deeper things come, God gives them to us apart from the shallow concerns. Never show the deeps to anyone but God. We are so abominably serious, so desperately interested in our own characters, that we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life. 

Determinedly take no one seriously but God, and the first person you find you have to leave severely alone as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.”

Every word in that devotional is so true for me, and I really think there are others who needed to hear it. Just remember, it’s Oswald calling you a “spiritual prig”, not me!

 

 

 

 

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What If?

Before I devoted my life to Christ, I was a faker. I knew that God existed and that Jesus was His son, but I didn’t do anything about it. Because I didn’t want to. True, I didn’t know about having a relationship with the Holy Spirit, so I thought of Christianity as a list of rules to follow. And I didn’t like the rules. So, I had this thought that once I “grew up” a bit and got married, I would buckle down and get on board.

I am so grateful that God’s plans are better than mine! His ways are better than mine! Instead of leaving me to make my own bad choices that would have caused more heartache than success, He worked on me until I was ready to receive Him, then when I stopped fighting I found myself in a deep pit–that I’d dug myself–and the only way I could look was up. I saw His glory shining down at me, not with anger or condemnation, but with delight. He reached His arms down to pull me out of the pit, and never let me go from then.

I think that list of rules I was waiting to follow got buried in the sludge that sloughed off me. Now I seek to please Him, which generally means that I behave a certain way, but it’s not from legalist standards, it’s because I long to be close to my Rescuer, and many fleeting pleasures of this world interfere with that.

When I was diagnosed with the cancer I often said I could never go through it without God. I still can’t imagine how awful it would have been to hear I was dying and not have the assurance of an eternal, perfect afterlife. Or thinking that I truly was in control of my own fate. I would have obsessed about treatments and doctors, and would not be able to forgive myself or them when they turned out badly.

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only son into the world, so that we might live through Him.” 1 John 4:10

Well, once we’re saved and healthy, it’s easy to forget the daily struggles of the dying. I am sure that is why the Lord has allowed a glimpse of suffering back into my life recently, to remember the agony of despair, and to share the hope of the living. It’s hard to trust in a God who chooses not to end our suffering. Who allows terrorist attacks, lets the bad guy win, and the good guy lose. It’s hard to encourage someone to release control of her own life to the One who let others hang Him on a cross. But…how can we acccept good gifts from Him and not share them? How can we look into the eyes of a hopeless person and not share true, enduring hope? How can we tell someone to “have a nice day” when we know she is destined for eternal wrath? How, indeed! I’m ready to rise above social nicities and share true, unceasing, love.

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 4:18)

 

Welcome to Unceasing Love!

I am working on writing the story of my healing in book form, but it’s taking longer than I hoped. So in the meantime I needed a new website and didn’t want it to have “cancer” in the name. I prayed about how it could reflect what should be the focus of all our lives, and God reminded me about the crux of my message–Love. I used to think the main point of the message He gave me was of hope, but then He reminded me that “faith, hope, and love remain, but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:13). He is love, and although people through time tend to alter the definition of the term, the true Word reflects its meaning in some way through every page of the Bible. Everyone knows love is patient and kind, doesn’t envy or boast, etc. (1 Cor 13:4-8). But love also speaks truth and does not leave a thief to steal, but lets him labor and do honest work (Ephesians 4:25, 28). Walking in love means forgiving people who don’t deserve it, the way Jesus forgives us Every.Single.Day…

So, on this journey to walk in His unceasing love, I have summarized the basics of what I know:

I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend.

I am messy, moody, short-sighted, forgetful, quick to anger, slow to listen.

But, I am the beloved daughter of royalty. My Father is the King of all Kings, the beginning and the end. He created me in His image, and finds me delightful.

And, I am just like you.

He knows every bad thing we have ever done, every dark thought to pass through our minds. There have been many.

He doesn’t punish us for those things, although He could. Instead, His perfect Son willingly took every one of our sins and carried them to the cross, where He died so that we can live.

When I fell in love with Jesus and thanked Him for taking my punishment, He blessed me to spend eternal life in heaven, with Him. I look forward to worshipping Him forever. He does that for every person who accepts Him. We don’t earn or deserve it, we just receive it upon request. No strings attached, no fine print.

I didn’t deserve to be miraculously healed of terminal cancer, but He freely spoke the word and cast all the cancer out of my body. “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift” Ephesians 4:7.

I transferred my old blog with lots of details from my family’s journey with incurable cancer to this site. Please join it and spread the word of Unceasing Love.