Presidents Points - Pam is starting a journey
It is late, and I haven't had (or made) the opportunity to write an article this month. Fortunately my daughter Pam has just started blogging, and she posted this wonderful article about a journey she is starting. It is a scary journey, and we certainly covet your prayers for her during this time, but I think you will enjoy her writings. The title is a link to her blog, where she will be posting more steps in the journey.
TomWhere's the Joy?
I have had these words "trials=joy" on my cell phone screen saver for a couple years now. I claim them based on James 1:2-4
"Consider it pure joy, my bothers, when ever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith developes perseverance. Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
I like that each time i check the time (does anyone else use their phone as a watch?), I see these words and they help to "center" me when life's little hiccups come along. I would even go so far as to say I look forward to difficult circumstances (or at least things that take me out of my comfort zone) because i know i will learn something about myself or life or God. This has been the case for awhile now, until my most recent hiccup. I'm having a little trouble with the whole joy thing. I guess this blog is about my journey...because i will find the joy, i promise you!
So, my story is that when i was 21 i was diagnosed with MS. It stopped my life in it's tracks...but only long enough for some really cool things to happen. JOY ALERT!
1. I surrendered my life to God. Yes, i had known Christ as my savior since i was a kid but was still holding the reins so to speak. When i was flat on my back for more than 2 weeks with vertigo, double vision, pins and needles in my face and some pretty bad headaches...i was brought to my knees, literally. Was I going to die? If not, what kind of life could i have? Would i ever get married and have kids (which were the ultimate and only real goals i had up until this point)? But there was joy to be found, when from my knees that i reached out and grabbed for my fathers garment...and He comforted me, and then...He healed me. Ok, so the doctors said i had relapsing/remitting MS and that i could very well go another 20 years until having symptoms again...but as far as i was concerned, I was healed...at least until God decides otherwise. But the point is, that from that moment forward, my life was no longer my own...God had a plan for me and i was on board!
2. The diagnosis brought my wonderful, sensitive, hilarious, all around amazing, albeit "anti-commitment' guy to the place where he felt God telling him it was time to step up. Eric says he literally felt like God told him to take care of me...WOW! So, he got off the fence, we got engaged, got married, had 2 beautiful girls and are living happily ever after...seriously, we have an amazing marriage that could only be a gift from God himself!
3. I have had the privilege of viewing every healthy day of my life as a gift. No, that doesn't mean i don't get grumpy and irritated and self-absorbed and stressed out...but i try to keep an underlying attitude of gratitude. In the grand scheme of things...isn't gratitude really the overflow of joy?
There have been MANY more joy sightings on the way to today and i 'm sure i'll be revisiting them on this new leg of the journey...which brings me to today:
I am currently seeking the joy again because the MS may be back. I am 36 after all...the clock is ticking on that 20 years the doctors mentioned. In the midst of the the Dr. appointments, MRI's and tests is the WAITING! Waiting to see if my symptoms really are the MS returning. It's HARD! But, really the hardest part right now, is that I guess i thought that i was prepared for this. Like when it returned i would be ready. After all, God had brought me through this trial once, I should feel confident He would do it again. BUT, i am finding i am less than confident...actually downright fearful. So, at this point in time i am attempting to claim a new verse, Romans 8:14-15
"...because those who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father."
--- If you would like to read more from Pam, goto: http://trialsequaljoy.blogspot.com/