Finally, We Write
We haven't sent out articles
in a very long time. Many of you have called to check on
us, to ask if we are still living :), and to know why we
suddenly stopped sending articles. Thank you for that. We
love you and have missed communicating with you.
You see, we've been living
II Corinthians 12:9-10. It's been difficult and at times,
it's been awful. I personally have many articles
which I've recently started, then set aside. Questions would
always form in my mind: What do I say? How much do I say?
Who would believe it? Will we receive further repercussions
if we speak the truth?
Here's what God has put in
my heart to write. It's not all of our experiences, but
it is much of it.
It's good to write again.
Last week, as I was driving
down the highway, I glanced back at Jonah. Face upturned
to heaven, his eyes were closed and he was whispering to
himself. I knew he was praying.
I blinked back the tears as
I fought to stay on the road. I was dreading the week at
Shriners Research Hospital. It had been a bizarre year and
frankly, I didn't know if we would survive the week. Obviously
Jonah was unsure as well.
Jonah was praying.
As we parked the car and walked
toward the entrance, the tears stung my eyes. There were
children in wheelchairs, children in leg braces…
Father, what are we doing
here? I prayed. We don't belong here!
I wanted to take Jonah and
run! But then where would we go? Jonah needed help. We desperately
needed some answers. Jonah had broken 9 bones in 8 months.
He hobbled around on his feet and complained of pain. An
MRI showed abnormalities in his spine and ribs. Bone disease
had already been determined.
We'd been praying for complete
healing. A miracle even. Life had just been overwhelming
Ken lost his job.
We had to move (which was a
huge task), with little income, and with a house yet to
sell in Texas.
Brooklyn had five surgeries
due to intense pain in her ankles, wrists, and elbows. Now
she was having unexplainable heart problems.
Chase had to quit gymnastics
because of recurring pain in his legs and ankles. He was
feeling a little lost. All he ever wanted to be was a gymnastics
coach. Now, the pain was too much to even continue gymnastics
Jonah fractured four vertebrae,
then broke his foot, then his hand. It seemed to take longer
and longer for his bones to heal each time. When he broke
his hand, just a few months ago, the bones literally looked
crumpled under his skin. I guess it was then that I realized
he truly had a problem. I cried all the way to the ER.
Not long after, I began to
have intense pain. Tests showed that my gall bladder just
randomly decided to stop functioning. I had it removed just
a few weeks ago.
Why was all this happening
I don't know that we will ever
have all the answers to that, but I do know that we have
not been alone. Even before our circumstances became difficult,
God was already there. All of these catastrophes, and more,
have been no surprise to Him.
How do I know? Because of our
family verse. We chose our family verse months ago, not
knowing what was to come.
Does your family ever pick
a verse for the new year? We do this every January 1. After
choosing a verse or a passage of Scripture, we make posters,
we memorize the verses, and we try to live by them.
Here are our family verses
for the year 2011:
He said to me,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made
perfect in weakness."
Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly
about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses,
in insults, in hardships, in persecutions,
For when I am weak, then I am strong."
II Corinthians 12:9-10
...I delight in weaknesses…
This past week at Shriners
was actually a good one. Jonah was diagnosed with Osteogenesis
Imperfecta and Elhers Danlos Syndrome. However, we came
away with new treatment, a few answers, new friends, and
much encouragement. Since genetic testing was done, we discovered
that Brooklyn and Chase also have Elhers Danlos (EDS) and
this explains the many surgeries, pain, and even the heart
issues our biological kids have been experiencing. Shriners
Hospital is doing a family study on us and will be treating
our children-all at no cost. What a blessing! What a "God
God has given us incredible
peace on this health journey. We are weak, but He is strong!
Praise God! Truly we can say we delight in weakness.
…I delight in insults…
Honestly, here's where I hesitate
to say too much. I want to be truthful. Yet Proverbs 10:19
comes to mind:
words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his
tongue is wise.
We have just come out of such
a bad church experience. Never before have we felt so misunderstood,
lied about, and insulted. So many things about "who
we are" were challenged: our commitment to and understanding
of God's Word, our love for the people, our multi-racial
family…the list goes on. The criticism was constant. Why
must there be hate and lack of acceptance in our churches
today? Does everyone have to fit a certain "mold"?
Why must there be a power struggle? When did rules become
more important than people? We were confused by the rejection,
the accusations, and the gossip. Truthfully when Ken resigned
from the church, we were heartbroken, but we were relieved.
We didn't even know how to be what this church wanted.
Now, God has given us a new
journey, a new calling! We have grown through that awful
experience, and have actually become more sure of who we
are in God's eyes. We have nothing to be ashamed of.
Yes, we can say we delight
I delight in hardships…
Because the house we were living
in was a temporary situation, we had to move out by this
past September 1. We began looking for a new house in May.
It seemed an impossible task! St. Louis has occupancy rules,
and so our family of 10 had a very difficult time finding
a house to even move into! For weeks, we packed boxes, not
even knowing where we were going. Finally, in His own way,
God provided a house for us, on the OTHER SIDE of St. Louis!
At the time, we did not realize we would be leaving the
church, and we were frustrated with the location. Now, we
are so grateful to God. We love where we are.
But we still haven't sold our
house in Texas! Right now we are able to pay rent on this
house as we receive a rent check from the family who lives
in our Texas house. Their lease runs out in December. Will
they renew? If they move out, how will we make this house
payment? What should we do? These questions, admittedly,
have run through our minds more than once.
Do we delight in hardships?
Well, we're working on it. I'm not sure we've attained "delight."
We do find comfort, however, in our Heavenly Father, who
has never failed us.
I delight in persecutions…
This is another "delight"
that has been difficult. Ken resigned the church a few weeks
after we moved into our new house. Definitely we were starting
a new life!
But rude phone calls and letters
from the church followed us. Why? My birthday came at the
end of August and on that day, we had a visit from Children's
Services. Someone had called the abuse hotline and accused
us. Did we lock our children in a dog kennel to punish them,
they demanded to know? Did we have a large animal that attacks
our children regularly?
We don't even own a pet.
Regardless, the social worker
had to investigate our home and interview each of our children
individually. It was a frightening experience for them.
Our children did not even know what a dog kennel was, so
the social worker asked them, "Do your parents lock
you in a dog cage when you are in trouble?"
It was a birthday we will never
forget. Jonah cried, asking desperately, "MOMMY! ARE
THEY GOING TO TAKE US AWAY FROM YOU?!" Anger and grief
filled my heart.
As she was leaving, the social
worker looked at me and said, "It's interesting that
this alleged abuse was called in to the hotline on your
birthday. Someone is being very cruel to your family."
She wrote "HARRASSMENT" across our file. Then
she said, "I hope that whoever did this realizes they
have just committed a felony by making a false accusation.
I have just wasted my afternoon with a false report, when
I could have been truly helping someone."
Then she kindly apologized
Do we delight in persecution?
This one was hard…one of the hardest things we've been through.
It scared our children badly; and sadly, they will not forget
We choose to delight in
persecutions. It's not always easy. We're not always successful.
I delight in difficulties…
Ken has been looking for another
job for several months now. He doesn't ever want to pastor
a traditional church again, unless God calls him to the
task. We have one more month of severance pay, and then
we will have no income.
We will not be afraid!
We stand pure before the Father.
Truly we have walked in His ways, but only by His grace.
He will care for us.
then, shall we say in response to this?
If God is for us,
who can be against us?
Our family verses have brought
us so much comfort this year. Truly we have lived these
verses, and the year is not even over. But God knew! He
knew the kind of year that He would allow in our lives.
Why did He allow it? So that
we would truly understand our family verse for 2011. So
we would truly know…
grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect
For when we are weak, then
He is strong.
Our journey is not over yet.
Will it end with 2011? We still don't have a complete solution
to Brooklyn's heart problems. Jonah has a long road ahead
of him, since he will struggle all of his life with bone
issues and pain in his legs and feet. Perhaps he will be
in a wheelchair some day.
Chase, too, will struggle.
Elijah may have these same problems, though we haven't seen
anything in him yet. Maybe all of our biological children
will have to live with disease.
Unless, of course, God chooses
to heal them completely. Either way, we are His.
And we still don't have a job.
Whatever happens, we are His.
We are weak, but we delight in Him!
I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ's power may rest on me…
Thanks for listening.
our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against
against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual
forces of evil in
the heavenly realms.
Who shall separate us from the
love of Christ?
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness
or danger or sword?
…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through
who loved us.
© 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights