Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Finish the race

I pitched a hissy fit last night. Right in the middle of this crazy long distance run God has been asking me to take I got tangled up in the wires of my catheter and laid down on the track crying my eyes out. I was sad and mad and feeling pretty much defeated. I wondered if it's possible to lose your faith in the last leg. Would God bring someone this far and let them go down like this?

Since my surgery I have been reciting Paul's words, "I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith." I keep waiting for the "kick." You know, that thing that happens no matter how much pain a runner is in, no matter how much their legs feel like mush, how matter how much the knife in their side hurts. Once they realize the finish line is just up ahead, somehow they are able to sprint to the end when seconds before they could barely put one foot in front of the other. It's exhilirating to experience when you are the runner. It's miraculous to watch when you are the spectator.

I've been living with Danica's appointments next week as a finish line. Six months now I have been waiting to hear Dr. Crawford say her brace is coming off. I picture it over and over in my mind. Can you imagine the elation we will feel to reach this milestone in Danica's healing? Can you close your eyes and see the laughing and the tears of joy as Danica is WALKING out of that clinic with only an Aspen collar around her neck? Part of this positive imagery is me feeling well. Sure, I'll still be sore and tired from my surgery, but I will be on the mend, and we can FINALLY do the hundreds of things we have been waiting and hoping to do. The sun will be shining and we'll drive home dreaming and smiling. Danica will get to take her first real bath in half a year. We'll get up Wednesday morning and head to Target to the dollar bin and then buy some real clothes that don't have to be cut up the back and slipped under her Minerva. We'll sit her on the potty and put big girl panties back on. We'll go out to eat as a family. We'll go back to church and Sunday school. We'll plan our wish trip to Disney World. Believe me, we have a REAL list that goes on and on.

Wearing a catheter, stopping to empty my pee every few hours in strange bathrooms and fighting through the discomfort of a rubber tube shoved up my urethra during so much walking and riding in the car while I need to be focusing on Danica was not part of the race plan. I am supposed to be in the "kick" over here. This is when I wanted to sprint and get the high fives and hear the theme to "Chariots of Fire" and give God all the glory.

When I woke this morning I was looking at the icky truth about my situation. This sucks. So, I fell down. This is where races are decided. Face down to the ground I had a decision to make. I got up. I limped to the spiritual power bar, water station to hear what God says about this running and finishing stuff. I was amazed.

"...shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life; in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing." Philippians 2:15b-16

"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

"Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave..." 1 Corinthians 9:25-27a

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:24

And my favorite, "I consider my life nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me; the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:24

Wow. Read it again, "I consider my life nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me; the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."

God is still good today. My bladder and kidney may be lazy, but I will not give up. Satan will not steal any joy from me. My life is nothing compared to testifying the gospel of God's grace, the beautiful story of His unmerited favor in choosing me, saving me and blessing me over and over again. His grace is keeping me till the end and promising me I will finish, because He will never let me quit.

(Thank you for all your prayers. Please pray my bladder will wake up soon. Please pray our family will be encouraged and remain hopeful in light of so many continued trials. Most of all please lift us up as we head to Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon. Danica will be sedated Monday morning for her first brain MRI since her surgery. This is always a very exhausting process for her and for Dan and I. It is very hard to let her go for several hours once we get her asleep. Tuesday morning we will see Dr. Crawford and have an x-ray to check on her fusion. Please pray the answer will finally be "Yes!" We need travelling mercies and so much physical strength for this trip. Know we will share our good news as soon as we can. We would not have made it this far without your faithful love and support, and we cannot wait to rejoice with you all. Our hope remains!)

1 comment:

  1. I am praying for you guys! Good luck Danica! Hope all goes well!