Saturday, March 18, 2017

I am weak.

Yep, I said it.

Many Christ-followers would NEVER utter those words.
They see those words as a negative confession.

I learned from the best about positive and negative confessions when I spent my years in Tulsa, OK, attending a few mega-churches, and finishing my degree up at Oral Roberts University. Tulsa was the place for name-it, claim-it teachings and declarations.

The thought is that we "call things as though they are not" and we NEVER say anything negative, professing weakness and the like ... NEVER EVER. Someone might hear us, I guess. The devil might hear us ... like he doesn't know already that we're weak and we can fool him with our positive words about ourselves. 

Are they really simply positive words or lies?

There's a difference between stating who God says we are in His Word and simple lies.

There was a time when I bought into all this, but the last couple of years have taught me something different.

I remember, years ago, as I was leading a certain worship song in church, that there was some disagreement about the lyrics. The lyrics stated, "I'm so weak and You're so strong," and went on to proclaim how God lifts us up and gives us strength. We actually changed the lyrics to not sing the words, "I'm so weak."

I didn't understand that at the time. I didn't see what the big deal was in saying that I was weak because I am. I still don't understand the logic in it now.

Truth is: I AM weak.
Denying that fact just makes me a liar.
It's ONLY through Christ that I have any strength at all.
We can say whatever we want, but that doesn't change the truth.

Paul said it best ... 
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

It seems that Paul actually "boasted" in his weaknesses.

That's how God shows His strength through us ... in our weakness. If we don't claim to be weak, how is God glorified?

I still catch myself correcting La Petite Belle when she says "she feels sick" or she says "she's sick." I say, "Don't say that." But, the truth is she is sick. Saying that doesn't negate the fact that Jesus paid the price for her healing. Saying that doesn't negate the fact that she is healed by His stripes. Saying that doesn't give the enemy any more power. Saying that simply means that it's Jesus who is sustaining her and making her strong through this.

So, maybe instead of boasting about how strong we are, we should be boasting in our weakness, giving God the glory for His strength which is what upholds us.

I understand the power in our words and I'm not saying we should be proclaiming negative things about ourselves because those would be lies. We should still speak truth in who we are as God's children but let's not try to hide the fact that we have struggles. It creates this negative perception of who Christ-followers are. We are not perfect people, not in the least.

Proclaim who you are ...
loved, cherished, heirs with Christ, blessed, the righteousness of God, redeemed, forgiven, free, chosen, an overcomer. 
Say those things because they are true.
But, let's not deceive ourselves into thinking we aren't weak, that we don't struggle with all kinds of things like sickness. Boast in those, always remembering and proclaiming that it's God who makes us strong. We literally have nothing to do with it.

Many people have said the words, "You're so strong," to me, over these last couple of years.

My response: "No, I'm actually not."

That is the time I can boast in my weakness and give God the glory by letting people know that any semblance of strength that you see only comes from God. It's ONLY Jesus who picks us up, holds us up, and keeps us standing.

Our La Petite Belle is slowly making some progress. There are some moments throughout a day where she feels okay and she's not vomiting or complaining about her stomach pain. I'd say that's better than when her pain and vomiting were 24/7. She has days when she feels really bad and doesn't want to eat a thing and other days where she feels pretty decent and attempts to eat. 

This was one of those good days. She was able to get out and even ate a cup of frozen yogurt.

We have another appointment scheduled with the GI motility specialist at TCH, but weren't able to get in until late April We're hoping he can help so that La Petite Belle can feel okay an entire day and not just parts.

We still spend three days a week at the hospital for a BMT clinic visit and dialysis. Although the renal team has already spoken to us about a future kidney transplant, we still hold on to hope that her kidneys may still recover. There is some function to them related to fluid because she is and has been producing urine for some time now. Her blood is just not getting cleaned.

La Petite Belle has a physical therapy evaluation this coming week. It's the third time we've had to reschedule due to unexpected hospital stays the last couple of months. We're anxious about this because we know that getting her strength back and walking on her own are so important for her right now. She is much stronger than she was and gets a little stronger every day. Her strength and endurance just need to be built back up and this will take time.

An unexpected issue arose last week when it was discovered she has a cavity. We're waiting for a consultation from a dentist. Her health situation will be tricky with treatment for this tooth. But, it's causing her a lot of discomfort. 

Beau and I still don't have jobs. Beau has sent over 100 resumes and I've sent at least over 50. Beau has been able to continue to play on some weekends and Wednesday nights, along with a few jazz gigs here and there. That's all definitely been a blessing. I've had two interviews, but no job offer as of yet. One of the interviewers said, "You're definitely overqualified." To which I said, "Yes, I know, but I just need a job." Who knew getting a job these days is so hard?! Or maybe it's just us right now. We're discouraged, but moving forward and trusting God to provide just like He's done. 

It's been difficult finding nurses La Petite Belle connects with and whom we feel comfortable leaving her alone with. We still end up doing most of the work and have to train the nurses on everything. Plus, La Petite Belle always wants us anyway. It just got to be so exhausting having the nurse here. I never imagined finding good home health nurses would be so difficult. Only one of the nurses sent to us would we ever consider more long-term. And, since we don't have jobs yet, there's no need for nursing help until we do. Who knows?! La Petite Belle may be strong enough for us not to need nursing care when we are finally working.

Thank you all for continuing to pray and stand with us. Believe me, I know this has been long and we don't have a clue of when it will end and normal life will begin again. We want to hurry God up so much, but that's just not how things work. I keep reminding myself to be patient in the process, as I'm reminding La Petite Belle, who gets discouraged and overwhelmed by all of this a lot.

We appreciate all your love and support! Please continue to pray for our precious girl ... complete healing and strength. Also, that God would continue to provide as we navigate what our life has become.
If you would like to financially support Katie's (aka La Petite Belle) journey to healing, you can find more information here: www.gofundme.com, and www.youcaring.com
All funds go to cover medical bills and expenses.

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