Sometimes I feel a little selfish in that I’m primarily the one that gets to read and benefit from Sarah’s past journals and old Facebook posts – so I feel compelled to share from time to time! It was shortly after our move out west more than two years ago that Sarah’s health trials deepened and I became her full time caregiver assuming all of the household responsibilities as Sarah no longer physically could. She turned some of her attention then to journaling which I now get to read and consider how to use going forward.
I love what Sarah wrote in this post two years ago because behind these brave words was a woman who struggled greatly at times to believe and live them out. I had a front row seat to intimately watch as her body slowly faded away, yet by God’s grace her mind and spirit remained unbowed though greatly wearied. Hindsight can have a tendency to whitewash our past memories of the most painful elements and those on the outside can overlook or miss those realities in favor of a focus on the noble struggle. Sarah and I were both human replete with all the failures of us fallen image-bearers of God. I could tell you of the countless tears of anguish, crushing physical, emotional, and mental weariness, endless quest for answers that never fully came, the nights of depression where the darkness did not lift in the morning, the slow but steady loss of independence as Sarah became mostly homebound, and the shadowy fade of hopes and dreams for the future. So consider that context when Sarah wrote what she did.
Sarah’s life verse was Galatians 2:20 which she quoted here. She preached truth to herself asking God to give her the faith to live it out. Sarah looked ahead in faith to the day she had no idea was coming as soon as it did when her faith would become sight: “I’m thankful that someday, He will take me to Heaven and I will spend eternity face to face with my risen Savior, praising Him, with a perfect body, and there will be no more suffering or sorrow – that is ultimately where I place my hope and longing.”
If I sound endlessly repetitive on this one point about preaching truth to ourselves, it’s because that is what made all the difference. Our volatile feelings, frail emotions, and finite understanding ought not be the basis on which we live our lives. However, the cacophony of those voices threatens to overwhelm us along with the world all around us. Each of those is preaching a worldview to us, and the vast majority are diametrically opposed to the truth of God’s Word. If you aren’t daily reading, meditating, and memorizing Scripture, how can you hope to hold back the tide of wrong thinking? May I also encourage you to journal and write down your own thoughts on what you’re learning and going through. We are very forgetful people! I promise it will be a help to you when you go and look back, and just might be able to be a help to others too even after you are gone!
For those that keep telling me to write more, I hear you and am humbled to know that what I share is a blessing to others. I’m working on a few series to be published right now as I dip my toe into broader writing projects and am considering a book/booklet project over my sabbatical this summer.
“We’ve shared this with some of our family already, but thought I would share with our extended family and friends…
I have been really struggling physically the last few months, but we thought it was mainly the stress of moving. However, I have continued to decline health-wise. Last month, we found out my body was no longer processing my thyroid medication effectively — so not just a simple dosage increase needed, but my body is having difficulty actually utilizing/processing the hormones correctly – which means I have profound symptoms of hypothyroidism, really too many to list…but the worst would be extreme fatigue, constantly freezing-cold, very poor sleep, and getting sick constantly, among other significant issues.
Unfortunately, the healthcare provider I was seeing was not able to determine a solution. The Lord led me to a new doctor this week and he is very gifted with diagnosing and treating more complex hormonal-imbalance issues, which is what I am experiencing. Not only am I dealing with basically zero thyroid function/severe hypothyroidism, but I have several other hormone levels that are practically non-existent. He needs to do more extensive testing which will take a few weeks to get back, and then he will hopefully be able to start correcting what is going on.
While we are very thankful to our Heavenly Father for providing a competent doctor who feels confident he can help me – although it will take at least a couple of months before I might start feeling better since we have to wait for test results, then start treatment, and then wait for it to take effect.
Physically I am very weak and discouraged – so having to wait one more day, let alone multiple weeks, to start working towards feeling better, feels like forever. Please pray for myself and Daniel, that the Lord will continue to encourage our hearts, and strengthen me spiritually and physically, as we wait on Him to provide healing. Daniel has taken care of me in every way, and I am so thankful for his selfless, Christ-like love for me.
Our Heavenly Father has carried us through this all, and so much more in the past, and we know He is sanctifying us through this trial. We know His love and timing is perfect, and that we can trust Him completely with all of these circumstances, even when in our human frailty we don’t understand it all, we can still praise Him for His faithfulness, sovereignty, and wisdom.
We live in a fallen world, and physical suffering is a part of that. As Christians, God uses trials to draw us closer to Him, to purify us, and conform us to the image of His precious Son. I’m thankful that some day, He will take me to Heaven and I will spend eternity face to face with my risen Savior, praising Him, with a perfect body, and there will be no more suffering or sorrow – that is ultimately where I place my hope and longing. All because of what Christ did on the cross for me. If you do not have that assurance, or do not understand what Jesus accomplished on the cross, I would be happy to share with you what He has done in my life, and the hope that can be found in God’s word alone. Sorry this was so long! If you made it to the end – thank you for taking the time to read this, and for your prayers.”
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. -Galations 2:20