Just wanted to say before I go to bed with my crazy sleep schedule, that I am honestly so thankful for life. Every day to be alive and with the people and know that God has prepared an eternal, amazing place for all of us to be together with no more suffering or pain is amazing and hopeful to think about. And this is what I want to focus on in the good times and the hard times, the times of laughter with my hubby and loved ones, and the times of extreme pain and just trying to get through each hour. No matter how much pain we go through here on earth, it will not always be like this, simply because Jesus loves us so much that he took all of our mistakes upon his shoulders so we could have that perfect "happily ever after" that we all dream of in our hearts. How awesome it is to know that those words are not just a fairy tale!
The suffering and pain that my hubby and I go through, although grueling, tiring, and just out-right FRUSTRATING at times? I would not choose to go back before this all happened and have it disappear. Because our love is deeper, our faith is stronger, our hope is more genuine, and our longing to be with Jesus and home where we belong is more real. Believe me: I don't like pain. In fact, I despise it. I don't like it physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. But there's something about pain that makes us realize what's really important in life. There's something about it that gets into our heart and says "hey, life's not meant to be like this. There must be something better than this!" If we choose to handle life's suffering in a positive way, we will grow deep, deep roots that cannot be uprooted when the storms of life come one after another. We will be able to appreciate the simple things of life like having a whole day without pain, enjoying a movie and laughing hysterically with our spouse or loved one, spending precious time with family, and just spending time worshiping God whether it's through music, being out in His creation, encouraging others, or filling ourselves up with His word and applying it to our daily lives.
I totally admit, I am not perfect at this lifestyle of constantly being thankful. I have times of worrying about our future, about our finances, if I will ever get better, if my husband will ever grow out of his crazy migraines that he's done soooooo many things to try to alleviate, and how we will survive. But I know that my God says "Cast all your cares on Him and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." (Psalm 55:22).
One book I have been reading for encouragement lately is a book by Joni Eareckson Tada (let me know if you want the title!), who is an amazing Christian woman who was paralyzed by a diving accident at the age of 14. Since then she has led many, many people to the Lord through her testimony and started her own organization for helping the disabled, as well as speaking about her hope and the wisdom she's learned through her disability all around the world. It is so encouraging. The verse she quoted while I was reading a few nights ago was 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." And this is the verse I want to follow in my life right now while things are difficult. I don't want to stop praying and asking for God's healing, presence, comfort, love, and peace to be with my husband and me. I want to give him all of my honest thoughts but always knowing that I am rejoicing in His salvation and in the rewards of heaven to come. I don't ever want to get stuck in a rut of negativity. I want to give thanks for the things that I have, because I have so many blessings in my life, even on some of the worst days. God has always provided everything I need, and He will continue to provide, just like His word says! And He will do the same thing for you. Just keep trusting, keep persevering. Don't give up. Don't let your spiritual "fuel tank" go empty so that you get depressed and hopeless about life. And encourage others like me to stay on the path of thanksgiving and hopefulness!
Oh, and Happy Belated Easter! We weren't able to celebrate Easter this year with family because we were both really sick, which was hard, but we certainly celebrated in our hearts. So I'll leave you with a couple pictures of some eggs we dyed... last year! lol. :-)