"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalm 16:11My ability to walk in joy comes not from rosy circumstances, but from remaining in His presence.
My individual path may seem frightening, dark, unsure, but the reality is I'm 100% assured I'm on the path of life.
Life can be hard. I can choose to remain in His presence and His joy becomes my strength and stability.
As I remain in His presence I am filled with His joy and am assured of eternal pleasures which will far outweigh any emotional or physical pain this world throws at me.
Michael shared a bit of our "path" in chapel yesterday, only because we covet the prayers of the family of God as we navigate unexpected diversions. Many know Michael has not been feeling well or "right" for several years and has visited a zillion doctors, been prayed over by countless saints and personally knocked down heaven's gates asking for healing. We have openly shared each new tangent....but we've learned not all can keep up, in person or on the internet, and this leaves us having to answer questions, "No, he doesn't have lupus, intestinal or bone cancer or whatever," weeks and months after we have moved from that detour to another. It's also a soul drain as people raise questions we simply don't have answers for at this point.
Michael does not like drama. He has decided not to share further diagnosis speculations until we follow various paths to concrete information. He has asked the same of me and the kids. Those who know me, know how hard "keeping quiet" truly can be for an extrovert who desires to be authentic and transparent and processes life in community....Yet, I respect my man, and this is a gift I can willingly give him. Thank you to those who care and have asked and have honored our desire to "let it rest" until we know something for sure. Your gift of unquestioning presence has been beautiful. We began navigating the current detour on 11 May and are set to receive more info the end of June.
Here is what Michael shared at chapel yesterday. "We appreciate your prayers as we continue to investigate medical issues. I'm not ready to share a diagnosis, but it is not cancer."
I can also share this piece of concrete info. We have been in contact with the global mission's director of our denomination. It was with heavy hearts and tears that we shared our detour and the fact that we needed to back out of our July vision trip to Japan. Life is uncertain at this point. By July, we may be in a process which would not allow travel. It is not fair to our denomination for them to split expenses with us for a vision trip knowing there is a strong possibility we won't be able to take the trip and our plans for the future have been "paused."
Life has been plain hard since May. Pieces were falling into place so easily. We were SURE we were on God's path for us - a path to Japan. Things are murky at the moment. Yes, "We appreciate your prayers as we continue to investigate medical issues." We also appreciate your grace as we seek to find the balance between soul-draining drama and authentic transparency. We're doing our best.
My friend Mindee walks in the spirit. She wasn't in the service and, as far as I know, isn't aware of details at all. I've been quiet - and that fact in itself is a miracle of God's grace and empowering of the Holy Spirit y'all. She gave me this mug......
Yep, it's cute and capitalizes on the fact we are moving into a trailer....but it spoke to me in deeper ways. God uses even secular cards and mugs to confirm His voice.
The inside rim has this saying on it....
You can't really see details on the mug...but the trailer (YES, I DO love the paint job) has a sign on the door that says "side roads" and the print at the bottom says, "Enjoy the view along the way, life is full of exquisite diversions."
We are on a side road.
The journey to His presence on the path of life remains the same.
I can choose joy and I will see Him work in the exquisite diversion, or I can wail, moan, focus on the pot holes and barricades and sink into despair and depression.
My word of the year is "Resolve." Here are a few of my resolves.
I resolve to choose Him.
I resolve to dwell, remain, abide in His presence.
I resolve to choose joy in the midst of life's exquisite diversions.
I resolve to follow Him with courageous joy.
Note: this post was Michael approved to be concrete facts minus the drama before it was published. ::wink::