I’ll say it over and over again, unless God tells me otherwise, I won’t be writing another book! HOWEVER…my story is not finished being written. You’ll hear me say a lot that our stories are really HIS stories. I firmly believe that what God allows us to go through is all for His purposes. He wants us to get that.
So much has changed since the ending of my book. The book concludes with my daughter beginning college in a wheelchair. Those who see her now might find that astonishing. But even then, most people don’t know what the maintenance level of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome looks like and it’s different for every patient. What is seen on the outside can be deceiving; a person can look perfectly healthy on the outside and nobody sees the day to day struggles, some of which are not physical.
Some days I like to go back and read my book again. It reminds me of how God was and still is present in our lives, how faithful He is, and the memories in the pages remind me nothing is by chance. He is a purposeful God. I’m still waiting on the Lord in numerous ways. I’ve seen His provision and his preparation in my life and my family’s life. I do not believe I have fully seen yet how He is going to use our family’s experiences and I’m trusting Him that there is more to the story. This feeling of anticipation of what God still will do is exciting! He builds my faith more and more each day through His goodness and love for us, based on nothing of our own merit.
What about you? What’s your story? With amazing stories come much responsibility with what God has entrusted to us. Are you using your story to point others back to Him? Or maybe you are still trying to find Him yourself. Matthew 7:7-8 NIV speaks this truth, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
It's been a while since I've spent any substantial time in a hospital setting. Strangely enough, I miss those days. Days I felt God making connections with people He wanted me to bump into, all in the name of illness. Days I felt that our journey had a purpose and it was not all for nothing. Days I could speak and make someone's load a little lighter, if even for a moment.
After completing the writing down of what I still believe to be God's story, I felt a huge sense of relief that I had finished a project that God had prompted me to undertake in the first place. I had a wonderful sense of having obeyed the seed He planted in my heart. For me, it was not a concern if I would sell any copies; I only wanted to extinguish this fire inside of me that would not allow me to rest until I had finished it. Literally, this feeling is hard to describe. It was this urgent sense of priority that everything else was secondary and if I did not hurry up and get it done, God would pass me over and give my job to somebody else. I could not live with that. Once our story was published, I knew I had done my part and the rest would be up to God to take this little act of obedience and do with it what He pleased.
He gave me a little glimpse into how He is using it when my neighbor who is a nurse texted me the other day. She had been a huge part of our journey, my confidante, and a deep encouragement to me over many years. She was looking for a copy of the book to be placed in the library of the hospital where she works. She shared with me how she meets patients at the hospital who have similar struggles like my daughter and how she shares our book with them. It brought me such comfort and joy to hear that even though I was no longer in the desert days of the hospital, somebody else was there continuing our mission of encouraging these downcast souls who may feel hopeless just like we did.
A little while ago, my own sister shared how she had become connected with different friends struggling with illness and how she was able to place a copy in their hands. One individual I was blessed to hear from. I love when that happens so I can just thank God for showing me this little sliver of the beauty of His work!
We will not understand the work of God. Isaiah 55:8 NIV says "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord." What is He telling you to do today? Don't ignore those promptings. He is inviting you into His work!