Month: June 2017

UPSIDE DOWN AND BACKWARDS

As I jotted the last word in my fifteenth journal to God, I grabbed a new one from the bookshelf this week. New journals always inspire and delight my soul.

Pages lay empty.

Line after line waiting to be filled.

Love Himself meets me here and our relationship is deepened. Free to pour from the deepest wells of my heart, here, I am safe. Here, I am held accountable. I am examined. Corrected. Strengthened.

This beautiful blue journal was given to me by my precious husband. When I opened the front cover I saw this:

Did you notice something?

The whole book is printed upside down and backwards. To even use it, I have to go to the back cover and flip the entire book around. Then, it becomes right side up.

At first I was really tempted to take it back.

How can I use it like this?

It will eat at my obsessive tendencies every single day. For months.

Nah, I can’t use this.

It’s upside down and backwards!

The more I thought about that phrase, the more I realized that’s exactly how my life feels right now.

My nice Christian girl tendency is to say, “I pray that’s not where your life is right now,” but the truth is, sometimes we have to be turned upside down and backwards in order to get right side up.

And maybe more than once.

Though I never gave thought or voice to it, I subconsciously expected that I wouldn’t have to go through this again. I’ve already experienced the pain of helplessly watching two of my children suffer.

Not again.

But just imagine for a minute if that were the case.

What if the disciples had said, “Persecution – check,” after their first encounter.

Thank God it isn’t or we wouldn’t have a new testament.

Dare I say, thank God it isn’t or we wouldn’t have a testimony?

The upside down and backward places of life are painful, I know. I do and yet, I think I am beginning to understand why James could say,

“Count all joy when you face various trials. Know, that the trying of your faith produces patience. But, let patience have her perfect work.”

My PATIENTS need their perfect work all right! And my patience too. In either case, it comes only through the trying of our faith.

My heart doesn’t always understand that and it’s especially hard to express to my young son who is still hurting.

Just this morning he lay in the car moaning as we ran an errand. We were listening to a song that stated God can set us free. As the song ended I heard him ask,

“Why won’t God set me free?”

His faith is being tried at a very young age but I am confident that God watches over his word to perform it.

My deepest prayer for my son is that his faith would fail not. That is my prayer for you if you find your faith also being tested.

Know, beloved, and find rest in the truth that God is able to keep you from falling.

I know it because he’s holding me too.

 

Scripture References:

James 1:2-4 and Jude 24

 

 

 

 

BOLDLY BROKEN

I’m scared.

Can I say that?

I’m hurting.

I need to say that.

I’m willing to bet you are too.

For different reasons perhaps but either way, hurt hurts.

A friend of mine, Bob Hostetler, recently delivered a life changing key note speech that flung open any doors my heart secretly tried to keep hidden.

“Write bruised.”

“Write broken.”

“Write naked.”

I am all of those today. In truth, I am all of those, all of the time. At least, I want to be.

Before God. Before others.

I spent thirty-two years pretending I wasn’t. I can’t do that anymore. I won’t.

Yesterday I watched my son hurt in ways I can’t take away.

There are no magic words. No magic touch.

GOOD NEWS

We received good news from the cardiologist. His echo cardiogram looked great. The abnormalities on the EKG were thoroughly checked and they are normal. He does need to wear a heart monitor for two weeks to address his palpitations but this is a precautionary step the cardiologist wants him to take so we can say without a doubt, that none of this is due to his heart.

Thank you Abba, thank you.

BUT IT STILL HURTS

When the cardiologist left the room my son burst into tears.

“I’m still hurting,” he said.

At this point, going to any doctor seems counterproductive. His mind can’t process this the way ours can. He knows why we’re there and yet secretly hopes with each doctor that examines him, that they can make it all go away.

He turned toward the wall so I rubbed his back. He pulled away from my touch. He’s never done that. When he did, the sword that’s been lodged in my heart since April 21, twisted even further.

I’m right here honey, let me hold you.

He was hurting too bad in that moment. Too confused.

I sat down silently asking God to do what I couldn’t.

YET ANOTHER APPOINTMENT

We went straight from there to see the pain management doctor. After what happened at the cardiologist I hesitated to even go. I knew this wasn’t going to be what he wanted it to be.

If one thing was said that would help him to deal with this or help Frank & I to help him, the pros tipped the scale.

TURNING 11

Elijah turns eleven tomorrow. The biggest Lego set in the world can’t replace the wish that he could simply not hurt.

We’re working on the big Lego part, but the other part I’m leaving to God.

With an enduring faith. Not a fickle one, moved by the waves as they crash.

No, one that sits by the ocean, aware of it’s massive power.

Feeling its breeze.

Hearing its voice.

Assured that it is kept in its place by God.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Gal 6:9 Click To Tweet

 

 

 

 

 

TO EOE, OR NOT TO EOE: THAT IS THE QUESTION

After a long week of doctor’s appointments for my son, Elijah, I finally sit to share my heart with you. So many of you have prayed and asked about him. I sincerely thank you.

Your messages, emails and phone calls are like a kiss from heaven to me during this time. If you aren’t aware of my son’s recent battle, you can read the following posts. PROVISION & PRAISE, WHEN THINGS DON’T GET BETTER, A DIAGNOSIS, and IN BATTLE

Monday afternoon we finally met with the EOE specialist to discover that the way EOE is diagnosed has changed. It is now a two-step process.

Step one is confirmed.

Step two involves another endoscopy with multiple biopsies in six weeks.

He has been on a new medication for two weeks, but must be on it for a total of eight weeks. He must have another biopsy that shows eosinophils present or absent. Then, his diagnosis can be confirmed or denied.

In short – still no answers. Still no relief.

He sent us back to his GI doctor to address his pain during the next six weeks or indefinitely if it is not EOE.

Later that afternoon we saw his pediatrician. I tried making him laugh by matching his frown. I’m happy to report it did garner a small one.

“Mom, my heart doesn’t feel right.” Elijah told me on Wednesday. He occasionally says it feels like it skips a beat but so did mine as a child.

This was different though so I made a mental note to add it to the list of things I need to discuss with the GI doctor.

Thursday morning Elijah woke and said the same thing. Less then five minutes later he was hobbling to the sofa, grabbing at his chest saying, “It hurts to breathe, it feels so heavy.” He was weak and could barely raise his arms.

It didn’t last long but I called his doctor’s office right away. In less than ten minutes we were sitting in the office.

His EKG was abnormal and cardiology was called.

The GI doctor saw him today and performed another EKG. Still abnormal.

Or so it appears. But I saw his heart today and it was beautiful.

“Ma’am, here you go. I have a card for your son. I hope he feels better soon.”

The boys and I regularly make up a bunch of get well cards for kids and every time we go to the children’s hospital, we find hurting little ones or their families and give them one. Today, as we were leaving the hospital, Elijah spotted a hurting child.

That’s my sons heart!

WHAT’S NEXT?

Tuesday June 13th he is scheduled to see a cardiologist, to be followed by an appointment with a pediatric pain management doctor.

Pediatric pain management doctor.

My heart broke at the realization that such a title exists. And yet, I’m so thankful it does.

Aren’t you thankful we also have our very own pain management physician? I’ve been frequenting his office a lot lately.

His name? Jesus.

He’s the most personal doctor I know.

His bedside manner is out of this world.

He lets me curl up in his lap.

He holds me when I need to be held.

He wipes my tears and keeps them.

And one of the best things – he is available the second you call.

Thank you for visiting him on my son’s behalf. On our families behalf. I feel your prayers fellow servants.

Scripture says to pray for others that you may be healed. As Elijah poured out toward the sick child he saw today, even in the midst of his pain, may we also pray for you?

Feel free to comment below or you may email me through the contact form. Elijah and I would like to pray for your need. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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IN BATTLE

 

“In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Dwight Eisenhower

I planned to take Elijah to the EOE specialist today. His appointment was scheduled nearly two weeks ago and since then, I’ve watched and listened as he moaned in pain. Daily reminding him we were one day closer to Thursday.

Until I got the phone call on Monday morning.

“Mrs. Daruk, I’m sorry to tell you this, but the doctor just called and he has a family emergency. He is cancelling all of his appointments for the week.”

No! No!, I can’t tell him. I can’t. Not another disappointment.

My heart sank like led and I couldn’t speak.

“We have him rescheduled for Monday at 12:45pm. We are very sorry.”

Mustering the courage to respond, I told her we would see her then.

Doctors have emergencies too, but my goodness did it have to be now? I had to deal with my own disappointment before I could properly address my sons.

Laying my hand on his shoulder, I relayed the information. He had a hat on at the time. He grabs the hat and covers his face.

With a loud exhale he snapped, “I don’t even care anymore!”

Fighting tears with every fiber of my being I prayed with him then rushed off to my closet. I called my husband and sobbed.

Prayers & Distractions

At this point, all I can do for him is pray and distract. That’s it. There are no more doctors to take him to. No medicine to give him except the balm of the gospel. It works. It heals our minds and hearts as we wait.

Though our plans proved useless, as Eisenhower said, I refuse to stop planning. The day of battle is upon us all somehow and our preparation is never in vain.

I pray this prayer for those of you in battle today. I pray it for Elijah.

The Servant in Battle

(A Puritan Prayer)

I bless thee that the issue of the battle between thyself and Satan has never been uncertain, and will end in victory.

Calvary broke the dragon’s head, and I contend with a vanquished foe, who with all his subtlety and strength has already been overcome.

When I feel the serpent at my heel, may I remember him whose heel was bruised, but who, when bruised, broke the devil’s head.

My soul with inward joy extols the mighty conqueror.

Heal me of any wounds received in the great conflict;

if I have gathered defilement,

if my faith has suffered damage,

if my hope is less than bright,

if my love is not fervent,

if some creature-comfort occupies my heart,

if my soul sinks under pressure of the fight.

O thou whose every promise is balm, every touch life, draw near to thy weary warrior, refresh me, that I may rise again to wage the strife, and never tire until my enemy is trodden down.

Give me such fellowship with the that I may defy Satan, unbelief, the flesh, the world, with delight that comes not from a creature, and which a creature cannot mar.

Give me a draught of the eternal fountain that lieth in thy immutable, everlasting love and decree.

Then shall my hand never weaken,

my feet never stumble,

my sword never rest,

my shield never rust,

my helmet never shatter,

my breastplate never fall,

as my strength rests in the power of thy might.