Are Not Abandoned
In children's church we have
been studying Paul.
Do you know the story of Paul
and Silas, when they were in a prison?
they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison,
and the jailer was commanded
to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders,
he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in
Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and
the other prisoners were
listening to them.
Suddenly, there was a violent earthquake…
Wait. Stop right there! They
had been beaten? Thrown into prison? Their feet were in
They were praying. Yeah, I
would be too. But they were singing hymns to God?? Hmmm…would
I be doing that? If I were bleeding, sore, dirty, threatened,
confined…would I be praising Him?
Most likely I would be crying,
praying for deliverance, feeling miserable, consumed with
self-concern -- asking others to pray for me… all night.
But they just praised Him…and others were listening.
This one thing about Paul and
Silas has been on my mind for awhile now.
As most of you know, we have
been on the weirdest journey. It's so strange, in fact,
that I hesitate to write because at this time, our lives
are consumed with hospital visits, medical testing, urine
samples, wheelchairs, and blood draws. Yet IS it strange,
Dear friends, do not
be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as
though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice
that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that
you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed!
I Peter 4:12-13
Whether it's strange or not,
I haven't been writing because I don't want my articles
to be consumed with tales of our sicknesses and our trials!
That has to be boring for you. How can it be uplifting?
But…all I know to write about is what's going on in our
lives. And this is what's going on! God is teaching me through
all of it, as monotonous and constant as it is. So...at
least let me give you an update.
Elijah has been our main concern
over these past few months. The morning of January 1 he
called me into the bathroom and asked what was wrong with
his urine. It was completely red, full of blood. Looking
at it made me feel sick! I had no clue what to do, so I
looked up on the internet, "What to do if your child
has blood in his urine." All the information was the
same: call the pediatrician. So I did. Because it
was a holiday, it took awhile to get through to someone.
They told me to go to straight to the ER. Blah.
Thus has begun our journey
with "urology", "nephrology", "gastrology",
"eternal doctor's appointments and test-ology",
complete "frustration-ology"! Poor Elijah. Though
they have poked and prodded and taken sample after sample,
and though they ARE finding blood in his urine and they
HAVE discovered strange bowel and bladder problems, they
canNOT find the reason why.
Somehow it seems to be related
to this disease that all of our biological children are
all struggling with. It's a strand of the thread of sickness
that is affecting all of them during this time. Elijah is
also experiencing pain in his legs and feet, like Jonah
did. There are similarities. It's a common thread.
Since this journey of sickness
began just a couple of years ago, with Brooklyn's pain and
multiple surgeries on her tendons and ligaments and Jonah's
breaking bones, I began pulling on this "thread,"
trying to find the source of all these problems!
"Where is this sickness
coming from?" I kept asking the Father. "Why won't
You just make it go away?"
People think we're weird! We
have become the kind of family that when people ask what's
going on with our children's health, we don't want to say,
because it's just toooooo strange. We've reduced our explanation
"Oh…it's just some sort
of weird genetic thing…"
We see the physical, biological,
genetic pattern. But now I've begun to notice a spiritual
pattern. God has truly been teaching me through all of this,
though I still don't understand it all. Now you might think
this is REALLY strange…like the "weird genetic thing"
has begun to affect our brains…but if you are a brother/sister
in Christ, hear me out. If you are not a believer in Christ…well…hear
me out anyway. God may have a message in this for you. At
least I pray He does.
We felt such a strong calling
to come to Missouri several years ago. Almost 3 years ago.
Now that's really amazing for us Lovelace's because we LOVED
living in Texas. We were involved in jobs and ministries
there that completely "fit" us. You know what
I mean? And we were geographically closer to our extended
families than we had ever been in our married lives. So
a move was random, yet we felt compelled. It was a fire
in our bones.
if I say, "I will not mention Him or speak any more
in His name," His Word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
But as we began our ministry
here in St. Louis, NOTHING was easy! We couldn't sell our
house in Texas (we STILL have not sold our house in Texas),
we had trouble adjusting, we had trouble finding friends
and activities to be involved in, we felt sooo different,
we were in a ministry position where we just didn't "fit".
After more than a year, finally,
things began to "click," just a little. Brooklyn
began leading Bible studies for young girls and seeing God
changing lives, Chase began playing guitar and singing praise
and worship music to whoever would listen, Jonah began meeting
new people and talking to our neighbors about the Lord again
(which he always did in Texas)….we as a family began talking
about the joy of adoption, multi-racial families, family
ministry…God began opening doors! People began coming to
That's when every rug we stood
on began to come out from under us…we lost our ministry
job, our biological kids began losing their health, we lost
the house we were living in…if you have read previous articles,
then you know these stories.
Our oldest began having some
serious medical problems (his is a different journey yet
to be written). Brooklyn developed heart problems. Chase
began having pain in his wrists and hands, so that he has
difficulty playing piano or guitar, Jonah began spending
more and more time in his wheelchair and at home.
Elijah seemed totally unaffected
however. I began calling him, "My one healthy biological
Then, he came to us crying,
saying that God had been speaking to his heart. He needed
Jesus. He knelt right there, at the end of our bed and prayed
his own prayer, giving his life to Jesus.
He's been telling me ever since,
"I just feel different Mom! I really do have Jesus
living inside of me! I'm not alone! Jesus gave His life
and His blood for me!"
It was soon after that that
the blood began to appear in His urine. Any connection with
the blood of Christ? There is a connection because now Elijah
has developed that same target on his back that all of us
as believers have.
We belong to God. We now have
an enemy, Satan, who wants to destroy us. Peter knew about
it -- he wrote about it so that we wouldn't be ignorant…
self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil prowls
around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know
that your brothers throughout the world are
undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
I Peter 5:8-9
Believers all over the world
know about this! These attacks on the Lovelace's are nothing
new! We are nothing weird or special, and we are certainly
NOT "super spiritual"! The enemy is attacking
all over the world -- and it is becoming more intense as
we approach the end of time on this earth. Satan our enemy
is "hitting below the belt", where it really hurts.
It hurts TERRIBLY to see my
babies go through all of this. It hurts to be told they
have degenerative diseases, and it hurts that I carry the
disease, yet have no health problems whatsoever. It hurts
when they cry because of the pain or become discouraged,
and I can't make it go away.
But it does not defeat us.
Do you hear me? It does not defeat us!
Look all around! There is pain
and suffering everywhere, among ALL believers!
What about with you? Do you
sincerely believe that Jesus is the Christ? Do you live
by the Truth? Then look behind you. There is a target on
your back. You have become an enemy of Satan.
But something that we must
consider and REMEMBER! Satan can do nothing that God does
not allow. God is allowing this time of trial and suffering.
Is He allowing it in your life too? Why?
I don't have all the answers.
But when I'm listening, Paul and Silas are teaching me.
God is teaching me. I want to talk more about the
"why" next time.
are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed,
but not in despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed!
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
© 2012. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights