"Lord, I believe you are the God who performs miracles, the God who heals, the God who does HUGE things....I really want to see it...." I've been praying prayers like that for a couple of years now. Desperately trying to believe it--But I tend to fall in the same vein as Mark 9:24 "I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief". The concept of healing and miracles has been one I have wrestled through with Jesus for 7 years now. I have asked for things--good sounding things. I have really believed. But when time and time again, nothing changed, I would head back into my doubt cave, to try to rebuild my faith. I usually walked out, loved on by Jesus, but convinced my deep down unbelief was the problem. Miracles are confusing, aren't they? Healing is something I have no doubt we are allowed to ask for, but even the men discipled by Jesus Himself struggled to understand. (Mark 9:28-29)
Years ago, I had a confusing and painful “no” when I prayed, full of belief. As the Lord tended to my broken heart, He reminded me that just because I hadn't gotten what I wanted, and just because I hadn't gotten it quite right, it didn't negate the deep things I had learned on the journey. Slowly He revealed where I had rushed ahead, instead of waiting on Him. Much like trying any new, hard thing, the learning process is so valuable. He encouraged me to not give in to doubt, but to keep asking questions, and keep being brave.
The Monday before Christmas, a phone call from my mom slowed down my world. "Hey baby, daddy and I were in a wreck. Daddy's not ok. He has a brain bleed. They are sending him to UAB....." I am sure there was more to the conversation, but I can't remember it. That moment began a journey we will continue to be on for the unknown future. We have learned what a brain shift is, what it is like to sit in a waiting room while the sweetest man you know is having brain surgery by a doctor you haven't even met. I watched my moma kiss daddy goodbye, and then the pillar of strength's eyes filled with tears, wondering if he would remember her when he woke up. Or if he would wake up. We have lived through the false sense that it was over, only to spiral back down into even deeper risks.
In the chasm moment, between the call from my mom and moving into action, I came face to face with the deepest, most untouched spot in my faith I have ever been. Do you remember this blog?
What if the prayers I have prayed for the family of man who will give Brad's daddy his lungs... were actually for me? What if God nudged me pound the door of Heaven for such a time as this? " How much do you trust me, Amanda?" The breath left my body. Only the hope of eternity with a loving savior can hold you when a moment like that happens. For the next several days, The King of heaven and earth held my hand and my heart. He ignited people I don't even know to pray for my daddy when all I could do was say on loop "I trust you. I trust you. Not my will but Yours".
As we drove to the hospital, I kept rubbing a stone that my friend Jess had given me a couple of years ago. She had written Phillipians 1:6 on it, which says: "Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ." Deep down, the Lord reminded me that we each have a day of completion. If it was my daddy's day, no earthly intervention would stop it. If it wasn't, no accident would. “Do you trust me, Amanda?” “Yes, Lord. I have decided, no turning back. Show us Your glory! Let us show Your glory to others. But also, please let my daddy be ok.”
The peace that passes all the human understanding kept us strong, kept us light, even kept us happy. My family has always loved each other well and laughed a lot, but as strange as it sounds, this week has even been fun. We have had so much time to talk and to be silly. I know that is because all around us, people were praying--strengthening angel armies for us.
As I have been able to ponder the way God works, I am once again overwhelmed and humbled by how mighty He is. How, much like our brains, a billion little things are interacting at all times, and influencing each other. How the details matter to Him because He sees the overall impact, and loves us so intentionally.
I walked the halls of the Neuro ICU and my heart broke in a million pieces. There are so many people hurting, in horrible shape, so many families’ lives have screeched to a halt, and they sit and wait....I was able to pray over the people in those halls, pray for their families. My small contribution to the greater plan. Could daddy’s accident have happened so I would walk the halls and pray for one of those people? Could it have happened so Daddy would meet Ms. Ruby, the woman who cleaned his room? Adam walked in on the sweetest conversation where they were encouraging each other and talking about how they have seen Jesus move in this section of the hospital and in other areas of their lives. I don't know why. We may never know why, but I know that God will be glorified and that is literally the purpose of our life, so as long as there life in our bodies.
This week I have seen a miracle. Every medical person we have talked to has reacted in surprise on a variety of levels. We keep being told how shocking it is, that with the severity of his injury, daddy is even alert, much less half as physically and cognitively sharp as he has been. His clarity has been miraculous.
I keep pondering how we are knit in our mother’s womb. How we are made in God's image. I am so overwhelmed by the medical team that has walked this out with us. I wonder if they realize that their abilities and their gifts are simply the way they reflect the image of the God who heals? I am so thankful they nurtured their gifts and refined them. I know their skills are obvious now, but what if the people in their early lives hadn't seen those gifts and encouraged them to pursue them? I keep thinking that the treasure hunt God invites us on is to KNOW Him. I wonder if one way we can know the Lord, is to look for the reflections of His image, that He uniquely knit into the people around us--then help them shine it up? Is it possible that loving people enough to help them find the gifts and treasures knit into them is one way the unseen God designed us to be able to see Him?
No matter what crisis you are facing. He is good. No matter how deeply it scares you or hurts, He is good. If it's a yes, He is good. If it is a no, He is good. Surrender is trusting Him even when your eyes can't see.
"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and honor depend on God. He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. Selah" Psalm 62:5-8