Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In the Strength I Have

Few people who know me now are aware that I was born with a chronic blood condition.  My family line includes a genetic abnormality of the blood that could be characterized as serious.  My bone marrow does not produce a proper blood molecule.  For the first half of my life, I struggled with this condition.  I fought fatigue daily and lived in an anemic state.  During the worst times, I would require transfusions of other's donated blood just to function normally.  Over my life, I have had many, many of these given to me by selfless donors:
I spent my life fighting this struggle, never knowing when it would be befall me.  Usually, it would strike at the time I most needed strength.  For example, during my pregnancy, I required 16 units of blood, 8 during my delivery.

So, I always adjusted to being a person who had to be "careful".  Who had to think carefully about where she went, what she did, and how much it would tax her system.

In 2002, I dedicated myself to living for God.  In 2007, I was baptized by immersion and declared it the mid-point of my life.  I told God the second half was all His. 

A few months later, I was at a church service with my friend who had been experiencing terrible pain in her feet.  The pastor said that he felt led to pray for anyone who needed healing.  I sat next to my friend and agreed with her in prayer that she would be delivered from pain.  With my arm around her, I bowed my head and prayed with my whole being that she would be healed.  I BELIEVED she would be healed.  As the pastor walked past us praying, I felt a strange sensation like electricity shoot through my body.  It felt like I had been shocked, but it was not painful.  I particularly felt it in my bones.

A few days later, my friend called to say that her feet no longer hurt.  Life went on but something was different.  After a few weeks, I noticed I was feeling really great.  Weeks turned into months, and my husband said one day "Have you noticed that you have not had any symptoms of your condition?"  That was three years ago.  I have not had one symptom, one episode since that day.

When I went in for my annual physical that year, my doctor said "where have you been?" 

When God called me to the orphan, He asked me to go lots of places and do lots of things that I would not have imagined.  One time I was afraid I did not have the strength to go, and He said "Why do you think I healed you?"  Ah...now I understand.

Today, I go again.  God has called us back to Africa.  This time, to adopt three precious children, and to continue several missions He has revealed to us.  I am 48 years old.  I could never have imagined that I could take on such a task.  Anyone mother reading this knows that raising a child brings its own kind of exhaustion.  Yes, I am afraid, but I know my God is with me. 

One of my favorite stories of the Bible is about Gideon.  He was called to do great things, but he wanted to hide.  He was scared and did not think he could do it.  God told him "Go in the strength you have."  Before God healed me, I had taken that scripture as my verse.  Always lacking strength, it gave me the courage to press on.  Now that I live normally, I find I need that verse just as much.  Because that is all God asks of us:  to just go in the strength He has given us, however meager that might be.  And He will be with us.

"The Lord turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand.  Am I not sending you?"

"But Lord", Gideon answered,  "how can I save Israel?  My clan is the weakest in Manassah, and I am the least in the family."

The Lord answered, "I will be with you...."  Judges 6:14-16