Thursday, January 3, 2013

Trust in the Lord

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understandings; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will bring health to your body and healing to your bones." Proverbs 3:5-7

Eight years ago my mom was admitted into the hospital because she was in agonizing pain and slowly losing the use of her hands and feet.

And the doctors couldn't figure out why.

For two weeks her body deteriorated, until she could no longer walk or use her left hand.

At the time, my oldest daughter was only three weeks old. Every day of my maternity leave I took my baby to the hospital, where we sat with my mom and watched her body stop working. It was one of the scariest times of my life.

My mom is one of my best friends. To be a brand new mommy myself, with an infant in my arms, the last thing I wanted was to lose my mom. She was only forty-nine years old.

Two weeks after she entered the hospital, they were able to diagnose her disease. Vasculitis. Looking back, it should have been an obvious diagnosis, but for whatever reason, it took them two weeks to figure out.

She left the hospital in a wheelchair. For six months I spent every spare moment I could with her. I was a chauffeur, a chef, a housekeeper and a companion. And all the while, I was scared and I doubted God.

I was relying on my own understandings and I was miserable. There was no peace in my life. Instead of my mom helping me, I was helping her. Instead of my mom pushing my daughter's stroller, I was pushing her wheelchair. Instead of making meals for me, I was making meals for her.

I didn't resent helping her, on the contrary, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. I was so afraid I would lose her, so I held on to her as tight as I could. I begged God to spare my mom and restore her health.

Then, ever so slowly and surely, I watched as God performed a miracle right before my eyes.

One year after my mom was in the hospital - six months after she left the wheelchair - my mom was with us in the Black Hills of South Dakota, on a bike ride, making memories with my daughter.

Her body has healed miraculously. It's been a long process, and she still has residual pain and some numbing in her feet, but she is active, healthy and strong.

Three years after she came out of the wheelchair, my mom was elected the mayor of our town. She's now in her second term as mayor.

My mom, as the Mayor, officially welcoming
soldiers back home from Iraq

And today, eight years after she was hospitalized, my mom has welcomed five more grandchildren into our growing extended family. They love having sleepovers at Nana's house. They love baking cookies, having tea parties, going camping and playing games with her. They are making memories every day.

Christmas Tea at Nana's House with nine of her
eleven grandbabies, my two sister-in-laws and me
My oldest daughter with her Nana
I thank God for answering my prayers.

I look back at those days in the hospital and I'm reminded of the fear I felt. Yes, it was scary, and I had every reason to be concerned - but in the end, God taught me the most important lesson in my life - one that I'm still learning: He is in control and I will never have a reason to doubt His plan. Even if He would have chosen to take my mom eight years ago, He would have done it for a purpose - one that I could trust.

While my mom was in the hospital, I relied on my own understandings and I was afraid, which brought on stress and sickness in my own body. But now, when I choose to trust God, there is a peace that fills my heart and transcends all earthly understanding. I'm left with assurance that He's in control - He has a plan and a purpose for everything - and I have nothing to fear.

God did more than just heal my mom. He taught my entire family, and a community, the importance of trusting Him.

What about you? Do you have trouble trusting Him and relying on your own understanding?

23 comments:

  1. Beautiful story, thanks for sharing. I sometimes forget God is bigger than my own fears and worries. There is always hope:)

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    1. Hi, Lisa. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I know just what you mean. It's so easy to forget that God is much bigger than any trouble we face here on Earth. That's why I'm so thankful He revealed His Might to me through this heartache.

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  2. First of all, yay for the miracle of healing in your mom's life!

    And yes, I've had times when it's hard to trust God...for sure. My devotional this morning was all about getting in the habit of saying, "I trust you, Jesus." It's something I certainly want to get better at...not because I want to be a perfect person, but simply because I KNOW what peace and joy trusting Him brings...and I want that peace and joy! :)

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    1. I want that peace and joy, too, Melissa. It's not something hard to attain, nor is it something God will give us without trusting Him. There is a reason He asks - no, commands - that we trust Him. It's for our good in so many ways.

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    1. Thank you, Julie. It's only by the Grace of God.

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  4. A beautiful story! Praise God for His faithfulness--even when we are not. Not faithful to trust, to lean on Him. I'm guilty of this. But in those times, when He shows Himself to be strong and able, it builds what little or lack of faith I had and gives me sure footing to stand. And when the next wave of need crashes on the shore of my life, I can hold on longer, knowing He's in control. That He loves me. That He loves my family.

    Celebrating with you, Gabe! :)

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    1. You're right, Jessica. Each trial we walk through strengthens us for the next. There have been so many times since my mom was in the hospital that God has called me to use the muscles I gained in that battle...and He continues to strengthen those spiritual muscles to this day.

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  5. How ironic that we were learning the same lessons at the same time...8 years ago is when my mom went to be with Jesus. As you know, I've learned a lot from that. I still fear sometimes, but it all comes down to trust and faith...Do I have faith that He is who He says He is, and that His plan is best?

    Yeah, I do. I just have to remind myself of that when Satan tries to get a foothold through fear.

    Love you, friend. Can't wait to meet your mom in June! :) She sounds amazing.

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    1. I was thinking of you when I wrote this Lindsay. God uses so many things in our lives to teach us to trust. He uses healing and death, doesn't He? He uses words, but He also uses silence. He uses answered prayers and unanswered prayers. No matter what He chooses, He teaches us that He is in control and He knows best.

      Love you, too! I can't wait for you to meet my mom and my whole family. :)

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  6. Okay, you just made me cry. What a beautiful, redemptive story! In scary moments, I have to remind myself to trust God. It doesn't come naturally. I don't know that automatic trust will ever when I'm frightened or doubting. But the second I remind myself that the situation is in God's hands alone, I can literally feel my tensed shoulders relax. What an incredible Mom you have, Gabe. What an incredible God we have!

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    1. I do have an incredible mom, Donna! She's an inspiration to many people, all though she'd probably deny that. :) She just lives her life according to her convictions and her faith. She often says: "God only gives us as much as we can handle. Sometimes I wish I couldn't handle as much as I do."

      Trust doesn't come automatically; it's a decision we have to make every single day. In the good times and in the bad. That's why it's so powerful. Choice is the most precious gift we've been given. We have the power to choose life. To choose trust. To choose hope. To choose Jesus.

      I'm so happy you stopped by today. I've been watching to see when you're going to post on your blog again. I hope all is going well as you prepare your upcoming teaching event! I wish I could be there.

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    2. Thanks, sweet Friend. Teaching/taping prep is in full swing and I cannot wait to share what God has revealed! Next blog? Scheduled for tomorrow. I hope to see you there. Hugs!

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  7. What a story of miracles, Gabrielle ... both in your mom's life and in yours.

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    1. Sometimes I forget how many miracles I've witnessed, Beth. That's why it's so good to write them down. I think that's one of the reasons David wrote about so many miracles in the psalms, so he could recall the Mighty hand of God and proclaim Him to others.

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  8. I love that verse - one of my favorites.

    Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. God is good!

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    1. It's always been one of my favorite verses, too, Loree - and my mom's. So good to see you here today!

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  9. Hey Gabe, wow. I've been here to comment and run away and come back and run away...I am 49.
    I am 49!!
    This has slapped me silly about getting, and staying healthy. And that God will be here as I struggle up this mountain.

    Hug your mom for me...

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    1. Jennifer, there's no better reassurance than I can offer, but this: He will never leave you nor forsake you. If I've learned anything by watching my mom, it's faith and believing that God is bigger than anything we can possibly face. I pray that you have great success in getting and staying healthy. You're only 49! Still a pup. :)

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  10. Glory be to God! How precious and so very inspiring Gabrielle. Thanks so much for sharing. Your post resonates with this Christian - whose word for 2013 happens to be trust. Trust God.

    God's best for you and yours- especially your mom- in 2013.

    Happy New Year, Gabrielle. :-)

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    1. Happy New Year, Ganise! Yes, trust is huge and a lifelong lesson, to be sure. Thanks for stopping by to say hello!

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  11. Wow - Gabrielle, what a beautiful story. Ryan's younger brother had vasculitis, which is why his kidneys failed. He's in great health now, after the transplant. Crazy how it affects people differently.

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    1. I know, Katie, I think that was why it was so hard for them to diagnose. Vasculitis can affect so many different aspects of the vascular system - my mom's affected her small nerves and was moving into her larger nerves when they finally started treating her. The docs said that if they hadn't stopped it, it could have gone into her heart and other organs and killed her. Thank God they were able to treat her and your brother-in-law. Modern medicine is amazing! Thanks for stopping by today!

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