Tuesday, February 8, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

Months ago, while on vacation, I awakened suddenly to a pounding heart and a racing mind and an overall unexpected fork in what I thought to be a very straight path of life.

And just as it must and does when these things come about, life shifted. Prayers became longer and more intent in hearing. The Word, read, and digested more slowly. Inventory of life taken. Heart examined. Priorities weighed and the question of, "Why?"  ever constant on my lips. 

"Why, Lord? Why now? When children whirl and life blurs at it's busiest yet for us. Why?"

Test are run and come back negative and my chest heaves at the thought that there just might not be a tangible answer. I lean harder on the Father than ever before. 

It is a hard season. 

Harder than my parents divorce. 

Harder than our first pregnancy and the dashed hope of the baby that wasn't.

Harder than anything I've yet to experience in my 28 years . 

Several doctors have taken a guess at what drives the fear and keeps the cogs turning way past when I am  ready for them to slow and quiet. Their words, their diagnosis', all hang like heavy blankets.

I cry to my husband about the thoughts in my head and the tightness in my chest  and how I feel robbed of joy and peace. He gently reminds me that only earthly peace and joy are devoid of conflict. His arms comfort and his hands fold over over mine and the man who prefers music to books, reads aloud strong words from great men late into night until sleep finds me. 

And slowly, like a small but steady trickle from a faucet, the Lord whispers softly to me that in being broken I am really being healed.

And so I praise Him, for His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts, and I daily cling to His promises and the HOPE of the Gospel. 

And I continue to beseech Him for wisdom and strength in this journey.

Won't you pray with me?
Admits these  wearisome months, I have continued to find great encouragement through one of my favorite blogs, A Holy Experience. Recently, Ann, whom I often talk about to others as if she is one of my dearest friends, wrote a book called One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. This book is Ann's story of  striving to live full of grace, and in her words, "waking up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when I must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out."

Ann also says in this week's in{courage} book club video,"I think the tension of every moment is if it's going to be resentment or am I going to accept it as a gift and it's going to be gratitude. All of the time. Every moment there is that choice. It is a battle all of the time." 

So I begin today, choosing gratitude over resentment. Naming the gifts bestowed by a Father who loves dearly and tenderly and who's grace superabounds in all moments of life.

1-10 of my 1000 Gifts
1. A husband who patiently loves and comforts and  who has welcomed the past couple months of tears as if they were his own.
2. For the darkness for that is when we truly understand light.
3. For a renewed sense of gratitude to the Father and ALL of His gifts.
4. For longer days and the promise of the coming Spring.
5. For grace.
6. For my dad, for reasons to numerous to list here.
7. For these days that keep me constantly seeking the Lord. 
8. My babies and their infectious happiness that is  thwarted neither by sadness or worry. 
9. Tears in the eyes of a friend who asks you how you really are and then really listens.
10.The Cross and all it's Glory.

Should you find yourself in a similar season of life OR if you just desire to count the gifts of our Father, please consider purchasing Ann's book and joining me in the One Thousand Gifts book club over at in{courage}. And if you've never heard about the Lord and the HOPE of the Gospel, I'd love to be the one to tell you about Him. 


Sydni said...

What a beautiful post, Sarah. I'll be in prayer with ya girl. I'll have to check out that blog when I get some time.

Anonymous said...

My prayer is simple but says it all Rah Rah .................

"May peace be with you"

All My Love Always
Auntie Deb

Susan said...

I love your honesty, friend. I will join you in praying, and in knowing that all answers rest in him.
You are a blessing to so many.

Becky said...

Thanks for your honesty, Sarah. You are not alone. I have been feeling and learning a lot of the same things the past few months, and am reading this exact book right now! Isn't it amazing to truly be able to thank God for trials and to be able to see the joy, fruit, and blessings that we wouldn't have had without the trial? Praying for you- PLEASE let me know if there is anything I can do for you. And...I'd love to get our boys together soon! Miss seeing you!

Rochelle Turri said...

You are oh so gifted with words, your honesty is moving. I'll be thinking of you and praying for you!

Teresa Brooks said...

Sarah ~ Truly I was touched by this post and continue to lift you and your precious family in prayer. I will also rejoice in the 10 listed Blessings in your life.
3.Gratitude to the Father
6.Seeking the Lord
9.The Cross
10. All its Glory
I am downloading Dare to Live fully right where you are to my kindle and will read this :}
Scripture that comes to mind is Isaiah 26:4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, is the Rock eternal ~
There are times that we are confronted with obstacles so big that it seems only God could move them out of our way. When that happens rely on him, He will either move them out of the way or show you another way around. Just keep your eyes, ears & heart open because His interventions usually comes when and where you might least expect it.
I love you and we are so proud of you Sarah Marie Savage Sloan you are a Blessing to us all ~ Aunt Teresa

Sarah said...

Thank you my dear friends and family. Words cannot express how grateful I am to God for each of you and how I covet your prayers!