Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Test of Faith in Changing Hearts

For the past year I have been working on moving our daughter Kathryn out of a nursing home and into a support home. My hope and prayer is she would be in a more loving and stimulating environment. It is heartbreaking each time I go and see her in the nursing home. Just the thought of my sweet little girl there brings tears to my eyes. As I walk through this process I often feel alone and wonder if it will ever workout. Feeling broken and defeated, I knew this was beyond anything I could do on my own. I turned to the one source which would be my strength and could accomplish this move, God, so I started to pray.

It all started with Gene not wanting to put Kathryn into a support home. I was not even sure if this was what I wanted. I was sure however, a nursing home no longer met her needs. So I started to pray for God to provide a perfect home for Kathryn and if it were to be a support home, for God to change Gene's heart. For a year I continued to pray this, I was not sure if God was even listening. I also worked on letting go of my control of Kathryn's care and turning it over to the Lord. This has been a tremendous test of faith. A test which I have failed at frequently, however the times I got it right, God was amazing. When God's in charge, things end up better than anything I could have planned. However, his timing is not mine and I can not always see how he is working. This is what makes letting go and letting God so difficult. The lesson I have learned is; to look for answered prayers that come in obscure and unexpected ways and I do not have to see the results to know He is working. (This could be a post in itself)

Anyway back to my test of faith. In February of this year, one year after our first meeting with Every Child Counts, I received a phone call from Kathryn's case worker letting us know a support family had been located in Irving. Gene was still not wanting to place Kathryn with a support family and took some convincing to go and visit them. Once again I started to pray that if this was God's will for Kathryn, Gene's heart would be changed. On March 12th, Kathryn's 21st birthday, we met the support family, Virgina and her husband. On the way to their home, Gene reminded me that he was going only because I asked him and he did not like the option. He then proceeded to give me all the reasons why this was not a good situation for Kathryn. I prayed all the way there, that if this is what God wanted, he would change Gene's heart.

During the meeting, I came up with my own list of why I did not like this situation. After we loaded Kathryn into the van and started home I asked Gene what he thought. I was ready to add my reasons to his list why not to place her with this support family. To my surprise he gave me a list of reasons why this was a good placement for Kathryn. I was taken back and unsure of what to say when he turned the question back to me. I did what any hormone filled woman would do...I didn't say a word, I just cried. Once I got the flood gate under control, I prayed praising God for answered prayer and changing Gene's heart, it was a miracle. We spent the next 15 minutes comparing lists and for the first time in a year he was addressing my concerns with his list of the benefits for Kathryn. This was quite the role reversal.

God had His work cut out for Him, another miracle would be needed. As quickly as Gene changed his heart, mine was changing too. This will be the topic for my next post.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Looking out my window towards the valley, I can see four towns in the distance. On most evenings, as the sun sets over these small country communities, you can see a fabulous show of orange and pink in various shades. At times there are even hues of purple added to the magnificent sky in the west.

One spring evening, as I looked out my front window, there was a different picture being painted. I could see a storm blowing in, the parade of colors had turned to black. The once white billowing clouds were dark with sharp spears of light shooting from them wildly, followed by loud and terrifying cracks and claps. The gentle breeze of spring had turned violent and the trees were twisting in the wind. A storm was approaching and I was in it’s path.

I turned on my television so that I could try and catch the 6 o’clock weather and get a better idea of what I was in store for. The picture painted by the weatherman was not promising. Hail and tornado activity were reported to the west of us and heading our way. The rain was falling from the sky as if buckets of water were being emptied, instead of the gentle spring rain we had experienced earlier in the week. Our field to the south of us now hosted a river of water roaring down the hill. Our pond, which was bone dry, now was full and if the rain continued at this rate, the water would spill over the dam.

Although this was a terrifying experience I knew that I was safe in the shelter of my home and I took comfort in this. My next few entries will be reflecting on the storms of life that I have experienced and how I found my shelter and comfort in the Lord. As I am writing this, I am reminded of a storm that Jesus had calmed in Matthew 4:35-71 and Luke 8:22-25. Jesus and his disciples were crossing the sea and a storm blew in while Jesus slept. The disciples woke him asking if he cared if they perished. Jesus spoke "peace, be still" and the storm was calmed. He then responded to them saying "where is you faith?". How often do we find ourselves in the storms of life and ask God if he is there and does he care, when instead we should be placing our faith in him.

2 Corinthians 1:4
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has give us.