Friday, January 21, 2011

Sufficient Courage - Stand Strong

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death."

Philippians 1:20 (NIV)

I just love this verse, and think most all of us, as Christians, hope we can live our lives to be fulfilling of this.

Someone made reference awhile ago to something that really (intensely) struck a nerve with me.  It was something to the effect of people acting like they have some huge drama in their lives and they have these attitudes of 'look at everything I've been through and I'm still standing strong.'  While I agree that yes, some people use unfortunate circumstances in their lives to actually better their situations or to get people to feel sorry for them (sadly, I do know a few people like this)...I don't believe that everyone who has faced personal tragedy whether it be the death of their parents or children, or an illness that had the potential to kill them, or whatever their story may be, wants to feed off of that.  They didn't ask for those the picture I showed you all of my friend, Allie awhile ago standing beside that sign that said, 'I don't want to have to be tough and brave and inspiring.  I don't want this to be my life. But I sure don't want it to be someone else's life, either'.

I don't want to have to look in the mirror and see these scars for THE.REST.OF.MY.LIFE. I didn't want to have 2 lumpectomies, a hysterectomy, and a mastectomy in an EIGHT YEAR time span. I don't want to have to inject insulin in my body multiple times a day, or prick my finger.  I don't want to have a child who I know I'm going to have to watch go off into the OR at some point for another open heart surgery.  I didn't want to have to let her go and entrust her into the hands of a (brilliant) surgeon when she was SIXTEEN days old.  This IS NOT, in any way, shape, or form the life I would've have chosen for myself, my husband or my child(ren)!  Heartache and hard times are NOT choices in this we chose to deal with them...that's the CHOICE! My husband, myself and my children had a choice as to how we would deal/cope with those situations.  It was up to Chris and I to show them through our actions that it's okay to be sad, it's okay to be scared, but it's also okay to be happy, and to be thankful.  I hope one day my children will look back and be proud of how we walked through it all. And I'm not at all meaning that in a boastful way.

I think as human beings we have a choice.....Are you going to let life knock you down, or are you going to stand strong and SURVIVE?!  I know the second option seems much more appealing to me.  I have a wonderful husband, 4 amazing kids, and awesome family and friends, and I want to spend as much time with all of them as I can (and not be wallowing in self-pity while I'm doing it!)

Sure there are times when you think 'why me', but then you get to a place where you grow into the understanding of 'why not me'. God doesn't love me anymore than anybody else...we are all His children and He feels all of our pain!

There have been many days in the past 5 months of my life that have been filled with extreme sadness, there have been many days filled with heartache, hurt, and disappoint in the 'what was', but there have also been many days filled with peace, understanding, love, and extreme happiness!  Those days have far exceeded all the others, and without God giving me the strength to 'stand strong' that would not have been possible.  I would've succumbed into a place of grief and depression.

I very much believe that God gives 'special life missions' to people He knows will use them to His glory whether it be through their lives or through their deaths.  I know that when He does call me home and I'm kneeling at His feet that I want to feel secure in knowing that in those moments of weakness and in those moments of 'standing strong' I glorified Him.

And until then (and throughout my whole ordeal), I want to lead and guide my children to the understandance that God does PROMISE life WILL throw you challenges, and even if they do temporarily knock you to your stay there and PRAISE HIM until He gives you the strength and courage to stand back up and stand strong in HIS glory...because without Him, when you stepped into the box-ring with the opponent called 'LIFE''d knock you out permanently!

I really wish that people would be more considerate of what other's have went/are going through before putting a label on them.  Until you've walked in someone else's shoes, you can't say how you would feel/handle the situation if you were faced with it.  We all like to think we know how we would handle certain situations, but until you are standing there facing it, you have no clue how you would actually respond.

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