This is another email update that I sent out.
I sit at home with a lot of time on my hands, so i thought I'd let you know what's been running through my head lately.
I continue to have strong days and weak days, but each day keeps me on my toes because it's never the same. I have spent a lot more time reading lately and I just finished reading Sandi Blad's book. If you haven't read it, you need to! It spoke to me in ways I can't describe. I related to her in so many ways, although I am not facing what she faced physically. Her vulnerability touched me as she openly shared her struggles with her faith. It inspired me to be more open with people about what's really going on inside me. There's a healing that comes from being vulnerable and I want God to heal me completely - physically and emotionally.
This song has been running through my head the last few days and I've brushed it off as a song I used to sing and perform. Today, God reminded me of the words and their deep meaning and showed me how he is ALWAYS speaking to me. This was not just a memory, God was showing me something that I had learned many years ago. This song is sung in German and I'll give you the rough translation as well. I'm sure the spelling is incorrect as I couldn't find my sheet music to copy.
Schaffe Keunen Siche Weiden
Wohl ein guter hierte wachte.
Wohl regenten wohl regieren.
Kann man ruhe und frieden spuhren.
Und was lander glucklicht machte.
Ruhe und frieden.
Ruhe und frieden spuhren
und was lander glucklicht machte.
(very) loosely translated as:
Sheep may safely graze where the good shepherd is watching/awake. He gives them peace and rest to their soul.
God has really been getting a hold of me lately through hymns and I recently bought an old hymnal from the MCC along with a book that explains the reason the hymn was written. There are SO MANY amazing hymns out there and just singing them brings incredible peace to my soul. One that has really touched me is "It is Well With My Soul". This song just excites me to sing it - I have to share it with you:
When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll.
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
"It is well, it is well with my soul!"
It is well with my soul.
It is well, it is well with my soul!
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin! Oh the bliss of this glorious thought,
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, oh, my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight.
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend,
"Even so," it is well with my soul.
The writer of this hymn was Horatio G. Spafford and the circumstances surrounding him writing this bring me to my knees. He was a lawyer in Chicago and during the great fire, he lost almost everything. On November 22, 1873, he lost four of his children when a ship that his wife and the four children were on sank midocean. His wife was rescued and when she landed at Cardiff, Wales, she cabled him the message, "Saved Alone". Upon hearing this, he fell to his knees and worshiped God and wrote this hymn. He moved to Europe to be with his wife and their one remaining daughter and they eventually moved to Jerusalem to witness the second coming of Christ. Immediately after connecting with his wife, Rev. Moody asked them how they were doing, and their response was "May God's will be done".
Wow! Not sure I'd be inspired to write a song praising God after losing my fortune and then my family. We truly serve an amazing, gracious God!
Here's just one more song that has touched me lately:
Mourning to Dancing
He's turned my mourning into dancing again. He's lifted my sorrows. I can't stay silent! I must sing for the Lord has come!
Based on Psalm 30:11,12:
"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!"
Recently, I found out that I was denied funding to go to university. I long to be a teacher. I feel that God has given me these gifts and abilities and I ache to use them to inspire kids and lift them up. I definitely had a day of pouting, but some words that were spoken to me resonated deeply and I have a much deeper understanding of the fact that God's ways are not always our ways. As was said, this may not be a stop sign, just a yield sign. And the story about David waiting MANY years to finally become king made me realize that God may still honour my desire to teach. Just, in HIS time, not mine. Right now, my health has to come first and when the time is right, God will give me what I need to take that step. Teaching may not even be what God has for me. Who knows? Maybe he wants me on staff at the church! Ha Ha! Anyway, I just feel so joyful inside! I don't like it that I can't always walk normally, and I hope that I don't become known as "Jacqui - you know, the one with the limp?", but if I do, I guess it just gives me opportunity to share how God has worked in my life. That I'm learning to love him through adversity.
There is so much more that I want to say and share, but I feel I must stop here. After all, I'm not trying to write a novel (although you may be thinking that by now). I would like to share a few prayer requests with you.
1. Please pray that I would be able to have an MRI in the near future. My official appointment is Oct. 4, but I am on a waiting list to get in sooner if there's a cancellation. I could go out to Calgary, but I don't have $1500 kicking around for a private MRI.
2. Please pray that I would be able to effectively take care of my family. Lately, I have been very tired and my arms feel like they weigh 100 lbs each. Even my chest feels heavy as I breathe.
3. Please pray that my family would still feel my presence in our home. When I am very dizzy, I hardly feel present myself, and I pray that I still have an impact on them in a positive way.
Thank you for your support. It means the world to me.