New to Refiner’s Fire? I encourage you to read the FORWARD.
By the time Joe returned from his meetings at the Open Door’s office in California, the kids and I were settling into “our own” routine in our new home.
“New normal” for the Parker family became dad gone for two weeks, dad home for two weeks, then dad gone for two more weeks and so on. Families with a parent who travels more than 50% of the time can relate to the stress this begets.
“Mom, dad’s coming home tomorrow. We better clean the house”
Mom to kids: “Remember, dad is still the head of our home. We must return to his ways.”
How could Joe anticipate the changes happening in his absence? When he returned, he would expect the home front to be running as it did when he left. What a surprise when the kids looked to mom for direction resulting in confusion for both Joe and the kids. Finally, I asked him to give us two or three days for the kids and me to return to his leadership over our home – that worked.
Through the day my body told me I was living in terror; at night I couldn’t sleep. My feet tingled so bad it kept me awake. Desperation caused me to put my feet in the toilet to calm down the tingling. (How I ever came up with that idea, I don’t know, but it worked); later I put a container with ice next to my bed which worked even better.
My body burned with terror no matter what was happening.
One weekend, we were all excited about visiting new friends at their home. It would be a half-hour ride. Diarrhea had become another “new norm.” I pulled out maps, plotting where restrooms may be along the drive.
With the tingling feet, the diarrhea and a raging body, I decided it was time to see a doctor.
“Mrs. Parker, this is all just in your head.”
He looked at me, dumbfounded.
I have no memory of any tests taken.
Talk about stress! This new diagnosis took me to a new level of stress. It meant I did cause the terror! If I was creating the terror, I should be able to stop it. Was I crazy? I asked myself over and over. What do I do?
There wasn’t anyone I could talk to.
Joe was stressed over his new job. I tried explaining how my body felt, but he couldn’t understand. I gave up trying to explain to him. I felt like he agreed with the doctor.
A few times I shared with others, but would usually hear, “Trust God more” or “True love casts out all fear.” Once again, I sensed they agreed with the doctor. There never seemed to be a concern or a desire to help – just judgment. I reasoned it was because they thought that if I wanted to, I could stop it.
This was a walk I had to do by myself. I had never done anything like this by myself before.
My CHALLENGE to you —
Let’s grab a cup of coffee … imagine you and I are sitting together chatting.
When God gives us a life that doesn’t fit the fairytale dreams of our childhood, we must be intentional as we look for God sightings.
My arms were heavy with terror as I walked into the bedroom, I looked out the window at this scene.
I immediately thought, “My body is dark with terror; yet in the midst of my terror, the light of the Triune God shines!.
He is with me right now. He hears my cry. He gives me the strength to walk through this stress. In my mourning, in my terror, I can dance. He is with me through it all.
(If you haven’t read the “page” A God Sighting, read it now so you have understanding of what a God Sighting is)
We may be surrounded by darkness but God gives us sightings of Himself. His light is in the midst of our darkness.
We must be intentional as we look for His Sightings. For me, it often comes as a wonderful surprise.
Do you have a hard time seeing God sightings each day?
- Don’t give up!
- Cry out to the Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, asking the Holy Spirit to open your heart and eyes.
- Ask someone you know, who walks with God, to help you recognize His sightings. God may not remove the darkness, the suffering (emotional, physical, relational, mental). If you have surrendered to Him, and He is your Lord and Savior, He will never remove Himself from you. That’s His promise. (Psalm 37:25, Hebrews 13:5, 2 Corinthians 4:9)
I Can Face the Future Because He Lives Gaither Vocal Band
This is an amazing video as it begins at a gathering from years ago with saints who have “crossed the river” and are now home with our Father. It seamlessly changes to a present-day rendition at a concert where thousands are singing with the Vocal Band. It ends with a blending of the two gatherings singing.
Oh, brother and sister in Christ – what we have to look forward to!
Next page: Blessing! In the Midst of Terror