I think many of us have a point in life that we can look back at right before we were hammered by a storm that would forever change us. Do you ever wish you could go back and warn yourself to just hang on, that the Lord would pull you through?
For me, that storm is EDS. Except it is like my own personal hurricane that never goes away! Ever feel like you’ve got one of those? Sometimes you are in the eye and you are at peace though it swirls around you. Sometimes it simply feels like a category one, and others a six (yes, don’t worry, I know that there is only five categories. I ain’t that home teached! ;)). So, when you realize that it is no use waiting for the storm to pass, you take this quote, the joy of the Lord, and His sufficient grace, and you just dance.
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.
EDS has forever changed me and is continuing to do so. I am not the same girl that was diagnosed with EDS six months ago. But that is the funny thing about storms, they never leave their path the same way they found it. Sometimes it feels like that storm just might wreck you. Sometimes I wonder how much of me will be left when this is over. You want to know how much? Exactly how much God intended for there to be. He took my “good” plan and shattered it and replaced it with His, more beautiful and wonderful than anything I ever could’ve imagined or planned for myself.
Sometimes I tell Him I don’t think I can go much farther. And you know what? He seems to ask me each time, “Are you willing to follow Me even here?” And though it hurts to give myself to Him over and over again when I feel I have nothing left and can’t go on, I cannot help but think of what He gave for me. He left His throne and gave His life for me. Is He not fully worthy of everything I am and everything I do?
The hard thing is, when He changes our plans, it often does not feel like it is for the best. It hurts like crazy because we have to let go of ourselves, our possessions, and lay our lives at His feet and that is not what our flesh wants. Sometimes I mourn for the life I once had because, while it was not “easy,” it was not this hard. But He’s teaching me that if I have to rely on Him every day, if I have to ask Him for strength just to get through the day, if I need Him to just be able to carry on, that is exactly where I need to be.
The thing is, though His plans often wreck us, they are supposed to. Because, in order to make us more like Him, in order to teach us, in order to grow us, we have to be wrecked of our sinful nature. If He never moved us, we would never grow. As Elizabeth Elliot pointed out, the acorn has to die for the oak to tree to grow. We must die in order to live.
So hold on. If you are in the worst of your category six hurricane, just hold on to the Rock. His grace is sufficient. He has proven it to me. He proves it to me every day that His grace carries me through. But I would have never truly learned that lesson if I had not had to endure the category six hurricane.
P.S. For those of you wondering what has me on the hurricane kick: we drove through the area that hurricane Michael hit in October. Apparently, I am stuck on it and it is a wonderful reference when trying to wright about trials! And I could not decide on a title, thus The Category Six Hurricane it is! 😉