I wrote an earlier post about my oldest son, Ryan.  This picture is one I took of him 25 years ago.  Every time I was on the phone, he would “enjoy” unpacking his dresser drawers.  I will only write one blog this week because there is only one thing I feel capable of thinking about right now.  Ryan has had a bump behind his ear for a couple of years.  His new wife, Candice, was bothered by it and kept telling him he needed to get it looked at.  I loved her before, but I love her in a whole new way now.  The bump is a very rare, cancerous tumor.  Ryan will have surgery this week and the only purpose of this blog is to ask every one of you to pray for my son, his wife, and for our family.  Jim and I have been going about our ministries, doing what we need to do, because God has given us strength for each day.  Sometimes the greatest blessings come from the hardest times.  I am amazed at the spiritual strength and the trusting faith that both of my sons have displayed during this past week and a half.  I told them both, they were putting their mother to shame!  I am blessed by the knowledge that my sons have grown up to be strong men of God.  I loved Laura Story’s song “Blessings” before…now it means even more.

Here is what I am leaning on and learning anew in this tough time:
Lamentations 3:22-23.  “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.  Great is your faithfulness.”  The word compassions is plural.  I am learning God’s love and strength in new ways I had not yet experienced.  He is enough for each day…but tomorrow I will need to ask for, and receive, his “compassions” for that day.

Isaiah 54:10.  “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”  I understand God’s peace in a new way. It is a constant presence, or Presence!  But this time his peace feels heavier to walk with.  I think it feels that way….because it is a greater peace than I normally need for each day.

Romans 8:6.  “…the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”  When my thoughts are governed by the Spirit, I receive hope and encouragement.  When my mind goes elsewhere, I give Satan the opportunity to influence.  So i choose to surrender my thoughts to the One who speaks the truth.

1 John 4:12. “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love his made complete in us.”  God made us to need each other too.  I have been blessed, strengthened and loved by friends and family who have sent encouragement, prayers, Scripture and other help our way.  You have allowed God to live in you – and we have been ministered to, through you.

When Ryan was just a little boy I had trouble with him not wanting to hold my hand.  If I heard it once, I heard it twenty times a day, “No momma, my byself!”  (and no…that is not a typo!)  He would try to pull his hand away from mine – and that little guy was strong even then!  So I taught him that I didn’t have to hold him, as long as he held me.  Ryan learned to hook his finger through my belt loop and we would cross the street like that.  (He didn’t know that my hand had the back of his shirt collar at the same time!)  I knew how to keep him safe then….and I know how to keep him safe now.  I’m asking everyone I know, to pray. 

I was speaking at a conference this past weekend, once again carried by God’s Spirit.  I mentioned one of my “life verses.”  Galatians 5:25 says, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”  There are moments when I want to look at God and pull my hand away.  I can hear him say, “I don’t have to hold you, as long as you hold me.”  My family is hanging on to God this week…but I know He also has his hand on “our collars” all the same.

Thank you for praying…it will make all the difference.  And I will write again later….

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