In the darkness of night

Between Judah and Malachi we never quite know what our nights will be like.  Two nights ago was Malachi’s turn to wake in the night.  And apparently last night was Judah’s turn.

For almost 4 years Judah was a perfect sleeper – often 11-12 hours each night. But when these seizures started in May they greatly affected his sleep. For awhile we had the seizures under control but a few weeks ago he began waking again in the night – agitated and having irregular brain activity, sometimes seizures.

Last night was no exception. By 1:00am Judah was awake…and continued to remain awake and quite unhappy til 5:45 this morning.

But in the middle of the night while holding Judah in my arms I had a sweet time with the Lord. Simply chatting with Him about the fact that a miracle is what I’m believing for…Picturing myself seeing Jesus face to face and setting Judah in His lap.  Sharing with Him that it seems the ONLY way we’ll see victory in this is from a supernatural touch. We’re doing all we can in the natural – he has a 24 hours EEG on Monday. Doctors are doing what they can to solve this. But even the smartest doctor cannot repair the damage in Judah’s brain.

But God can! I began to replay the miracles we’ve all read about. The man near the pool of Bethesda. He had dealt with his infirmity for THIRTY-EIGHT years! Much longer than Judah, but that wasn’t too hard for our God!

How about when Peter and John saw a man begging by the temple? He had been lame since birth! Much longer than our Judah! Yet he rose up and went walking and leaping and praising God!

How about the blind men? Their vision was far worse than Judah’s yet they received sight!

None of these things intimidated Jesus. None were too hard for Him. And neither is my Judah! Over and over these stories played in my mind. Over and over I replayed the many times He’s already done amazing works in Judah.  When the doctors told us he may not live – he lived.  When they told us he’ll be brain-dead, blind and deaf he exceeded their expectations.  When these seizures did begin to occur, the neurologist said he was more amazed that Judah hadn’t been having them all along.  Given the amount of damage in Judah’s brain any doctor would have assumed he had been having them for years.  The miracle of Judah’s speech – that his favorite words are Jesus, Hallelujah, Holy, Glory!  How alive his spirit is! That songs of praise and worship rise up out of his little spirit on a daily basis…

…And the confidence grew…and continues to grow….that truly, all it takes is one touch — Just one touch from my Jesus.

With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. ~Acts 3:8

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Fake Diamonds

Judah had 10 seizures last night……. 10!!

…we’ve had two hospital stays….tons of tests…tons of doctors….medicine with plenty of nasty side effects….and yet still, he had TEN!  … in ONE night!
Know what?!  It made me mad.  And sad.  But mainly mad…
I don’t like feeling like we took 10 steps back. I don’t like seeing my sweet boy go through this. I don’t like that we’ve spent so much time and energy and emotion in search for answers yet have none.  I don’t like seeing Judah hurt, seeing Chad hurt, seeing my kids hurt…and I don’t like hurting myself quite frankly.

After throwing a pity party for far too long today I finally snuck away for some alone time with the Lord…Didn’t even know where to start but grabbed my Bible, plopped onto the bed, and opened it up.  Out fell some loose papers I’ve saved over the years.  They’re filled with prayers that have been prayed over us, promises spoken, notes I’ve saved, etc.  What caught my eye was a page of ripped out notebook paper with my scribbled handwriting from 3 years ago.

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“I want to hear the heart of God – know His thoughts toward me. I must obey His correction in my life.  No running. No talking the talk. I want to be the real deal – heart burning for Him more than anything or anyone else.  Fear of Him bigger than fear of any man! Desire for Him bigger than any desire for His benefits. I want to be addicted Him, His love, His friendship, His presence, His praise, his voice, His Word. Over-flowing out of the abundance of Jesus inside of me….”

You know what I was longing for??  Jesus.  Just Him.  His heart.  His thoughts… Him…But these past couple weeks I’ve been longing for answers…longing for results….longing for a quick fix, as quickly as possible, like fix it yesterday already, God!  And not finding the results. Not finding the answers.  Coming up short, hurting, frustrated…trying so hard to simply trust like a little child again, yet really struggling.

I was reminded of an embarrassing fiasco from a couple months ago when I spent TWO weeks searching for my wedding ring.  It consumed me. I was thinking about it constantly and looking for it everywhere.  I knew I had lost it in our home so I tore our place apart looking for it.  Every drawer, every cupboard, every couch cushion and it was nowhere to be found.  And you know what is so embarrassing about this?  IT’S NOT EVEN REAL!!!  Good gravy!!  I gave my real wedding ring away years ago!  So here I was wasting my thoughts, energy, and time on a ring that holds no nostalgia, no precious memories, and certainly no eternal value…nothing! I could hop online and order another fake one for under fifty bucks. ha! Come on now, Krista. Get you act together!
Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.”  Well, embarrassing as it is, I certainly know what it looks like to search for something with all of my heart…but have I really searched for Jesus with all of my heart?  Or only His benefits? Or only his promises? Or only his healing for my boy?

My flesh wants to retreat.  Wants to check out.  Wants to say, “I’m done. It’s too hard.  I don’t know how to stand any more, God! It’s taking SO long!”  But today, my heart is longing to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Heb 12:1) and do a search… not for a ring…not a google search for every remedy under the sun or every cause of seizures known to man.  But a treasure hunt for something more…to begin anew with a search for just Jesus.  Only Him.  Nothing more, nothing less.  With the confidence of Matthew 6:33 – “but seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

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“For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Habakkuk 2:3

We Dance

Every so often I would catch a glimpse.  It was only a brief moment.  Sometimes during worship.  Other times during prayer.  Often, however, it came right in the midst of chaos as I’d frantically sprint through my daily duties of wiping bottoms, comforting tears, feeding babies, schooling big kids, cooking, cleaning, brushing, bathing…..

Freedom.

Me.  Free.

Dancing.  Smiling.  Arms wide open twirling and laughing and singing as I worshiped my Heavenly Father.

He was right there with me.

Smiling. Laughing. Loving….

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…Last Fall, I was home alone with Judah and Malachi on a Wednesday evening while the rest of my family was at church.  It wasn’t an easy night by any stretch of the imagination.  Judah was crying in pain from gas in his tummy.  Malachi was crying, wanting to be fed and held.  I was crying throwing my own pity party wishing I was at church like everyone else.  Wishing I could interact with people.  Wishing I could serve in the church alongside my husband like I once did.   Wishing we could be a “normal” family that could all attend church together without such a struggle.  More than anything, wishing I could be in the presence of the Lord at the 7:30 prayer meeting…my favorite service.

I stepped away for a brief moment to grab a tissue and I cried out, “Lord!! When will I be free?!!  This is too hard!!  I can’t do this anymore!”

In my heart He gently whispered these words, “You don’t have to depend on seeing Judah’s complete healing to experience that kind of freedom.”

I stood motionless and processed those words, suddenly realizing I had inadvertently assumed that the joy and freedom I so desperately desired would only come if my circumstances were perfect.  But that’s not how it works!  The beauty of the victory we have in Christ is that we can experience joy and freedom despite our circumstances.  When circumstances pound on us like a thunderstorm we can dance in the rain!

The Lord continued to work, using many things to bring me to that place of freedom.  He led me to supplements my body desperately needed to restore balance to my hormones, thyroid, and adrenals.

And He spoke His word over my life and confirmed the vision I had seen by using my husband and a dear friend.

In December, while Chad was praying for me, the Lord gave him these words for me:

“In the midst of the chaos, sickness, and challenges- know that I am with you. Know that My love exudes and penetrates out of every smile and twinkle in your children’s eyes. Don’t live for “when”, live for now, live in the moment.
Have you forgotten your first love? Your first cheer? The love and commitment that you held so dear? Have you pushed My hand away without looking to see that which I give? In the past, every moment and every encounter was an opportunity to share my kindness, warmth, joy, and peace. You didn’t hold back, you didn’t hesitate. But life can make things dim. Life has a way of stealing the joy and kindness that I once gave, that came so freely to you. Why wouldn’t he want to steal that? Why wouldn’t he corrupt and confuse the innocence that you thoroughly enjoyed with Me? Draw near to Me, I have never been far from you. I have never left you. I want to receive your pain but yet you hold onto it. You feel like it yours and yours to carry. I loose those chains now. I release freedom and peace into you. Yes, right now as you read these words it is possible to feel that peace, and anointing that will break the lies of the deceiver. Now come back, yes come running back. I will restore the years that the locusts have stolen from you and Me. Not just the health, money, homes and all of those things that your mind immediately gravitates towards. I am talking about something so much more precious and important to Me Krista, it’s your heart. Your passion. Your boldness. Your treasure. That is what I am restoring to you right now. That is what I am passionate about. The other things will be restored. Has it not been written? Did I not say that those were yours? Trust my child. Trust again. Let me mend your broken heart and heal your deepest wounds. 
There.. that’s it. Crawl back into my lap for there is protection there. 
I forgive you, yes of course I forgive you. I am sorry for what he has done to you. I am sorry for the pain. I hate to see it. 
Why? Why has this happened?
For you live in a broken world. For you live in constant attack. For there is constant pressure that you do not see waiting to take and steal your very life.
I restore, I redeem, I recover. I will unfold the path and the steps will be made clear. In this moment, in this now, enjoy Me. Enjoy Me Krista. Enjoy My love. Enjoy the warmth. Enjoy the restoration. Enjoy the protection. Enjoy the peace. Enjoy the freedom. 
To hell I send torment. To hell I send fear.  To hell I send sickness. To hell I send anxiety. To hell I send every broken and bruised thing that is not of Me. To hell is where all of this belongs. 
Now, do your part. Stand. Stand in agreement with Me. Yes I see it now, I see you twirling and dancing like a little girl. Cheer from ear to ear. Holding me tightly as if to squeeze out My very last breath. Don’t hesitate. Don’t be reluctant. Let it all go. Let it all go. This is real. This is you and Me. This is the conversation that you have desired for, for so long. Now you come. Now you come to Me and My throne for I have been waiting for you like a loving Father would for any child. Dance before Me. Dance before your King. 
I don’t just put things back together. I make things better. For all things now will be better. All will be stronger. All will be forgiven. All will be restored. For My love runs deep for you.”

A few days passed before I heard from a friend, who knew nothing of my dream, who knew nothing of the word God spoke through Chad.  She sent me this song that she had been singing over me: We Dance.

 

I look back to who I was just a short time ago and I hardly recognize myself.   I had been bound by anxiety.  Bound by flashbacks to Judah’s injury.  Bound by fear.  Bound with questions.  I was constantly hurting inside over what happened to our life, to Judah’s life…

BUT GOD!!!!!  Today, it is with thankfulness, grateful tears, and a heart full of joy and freedom that I can proclaim to you now –

WE DANCE!!

My Father and I dance…

I twirl.  He smiles.

Are my circumstances perfect?  No. 🙂 But He healed my heart.  Sealed it with His love.

There are still some storms in our lives, but now I dance in the rain…

My prayer for 2014.  Last year, my heart's cry was, "GOD, HEAL MY HEART!"  He used many things over the course of the year...it wasn't overnight, but He answered my cry. :)

My prayer for 2014. Last year, my heart’s cry was, “GOD, HEAL MY HEART!” He used many things over the course of the year…it wasn’t overnight, but He answered my cry. 🙂

Psalm 30:11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,