Monday, October 6

Under and back up again [3/3]

Today is the final installment of Lisa's testimony. For future reference part 1 and part 2 can also be read.

Thanks to Lisa for opening up and sharing. I appreciate it, and I know that reading her testimony has helped me to know her a little bit better. I hope that in comparing my testimony and hers you can see how God has brought us together and given us different talents and abilities to compliment each other.


My final year of college was the busiest of my life. Remembering how little sleep I got and how I even have to do homework on many Friday nights is still painful. So it’s not too surprising that I didn’t spend much time reading the Bible or praying, or that because of that I felt very distant from God for months after graduation. I still don’t know how I could have found more time to spend with God that year, but I believe that God would have taken care of me if I had made it a priority. I regret not doing that. Repairs were made slowly. I did not trust myself to be faithful in spending time with God, so I was wary of trusting Him and had lost of the art of pouring out my heart to Him. Having no time to spare also left me very self-centered in my goals.

Since I’m a Baptist I don’t usually practice Lent, but a year ago I decided to pray ten minutes a day during the Lent season. The difference to everything ten minutes made was astonishing. God showed me how much he cared about the people I worried over, how he had them in his hands, how wondrous his creation and his love for me were. Going through the book “31 days of Praise” also revived my spirit enormously, turning my prayers about day to day concerns to joy over the many blessings God has given me. God has also used the type of enthusiastic friends who proclaim that God is working in everything to remind my tired spirit that my strength will come from the Lord and for a purpose.

Then came the sort of trial many of people have told us they could never face: Ben’s cancer. Of course, we would have said that too. But we didn’t have a choice. Again, I was very busy, working full-time while being Ben’s caretaker and I didn’t have much time or energy to think. There was a great number, innumerable by us, who supported us through prayers, letters, and in materially practical ways as well. Friends almost pleaded with us to let them bring us meals, to clean, to sit with Ben. I certainly didn’t feel worthy of all this help (it was humbling!) but we took it and saw that we were allowing our friends to serve Christ by serving us. Why did God target us for so much help? I certainly would have had to quit my job without it, and then we would probably be in a fair amount of debt and very lonely. He gave us a huge trial, but surrounded it in blessings we would never have experienced otherwise.

Now I have a sympathy for the sick and those who take care of the sick and am confident to approach them, knowing that they may want to talk or they may just need dinner, but that I can and should help them. Our friends and family made sacrifices for us that showed us so much love. Another issue I struggled with over the year was prayer: should I be encouraged to hear that another person I don’t know is praying for us? Does it increase our case to God? I don’t know the answer to that, but we did learn that prayer bonds together God’s family, through solidarity in hardship and rejoicing when prayers are answered Yes. Prayer changes our perspective correctively and makes us dependent on God. So yes, I should be encouraged that so many people are obedient to God when he places us on their hearts.

After Ben was recovering from his cancer treatments, we looked for a ministry to be involved with at church. Because of my personal growth in high school and experiences with teaching since then, I’ve had a desire to join the youth staff at church for years. High school is a turning point in so many people’s lives. To my surprise, Ben was also interested, so we joined the youth staff last June. Now that we may leave I’m not sure what God’s purpose was in having us there for such a short time, but Donny the youth pastor says that God may have simply been turning us back towards ministry in general. I think this may be part of it.

It has come time to make another large decision which has given us and our acquired support group much prayer fodder. Since Seattle has been my home all my life, moving is frightening and exciting to me, like most new things. I trust that God has a plan for us and it may lead us from our home. Colorado Springs does seem like a wonderful place to be sent.

To be continued!


1 comment:

  1. Ben & Lisa,
    Thanks so much for both sharing those intimate parts of you. It's been revealing to read, with lots of little - and big - reminders of who God is.
    The journey goes on! Will be thinking of you both as you move! Heather (& Joel)


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