Several times I have mentioned here that I have an illness, a chronic neurological disease that will be with me for the rest of my life. I don’t like to waste time on this blog talking about it, because I want my words to be about how God has faithfully carried me through and provided for not only me but my husband through the changes in my;  in our lives. I want others to see that when you are in your darkest place, God provides Light. And when you think you just can’t go on, He provides strength and a new even more exciting path to travel, with the promise that you don’t have to go it alone.

Yesterday we made our regular trip to see the specialist at Duke and I felt compelled to share some things with you.

My husband, myself, two PA’s, and my Doctor were in the room discussing where I have been, where I am now and where I might be as time goes by. I felt raw emotion bubbling up from deep within my chest as conversation was taking place around me.  I was squeezing back tears as my chest felt tighter and tighter, constricting with pain and loss.  I was looking everywhere so as not to make eye contact with anyone, lest they see how close to tears I was.

I was thinking, Lord, just get me out of here before they see how sad, how hard this is for me. I don’t want to set goals and talk strategy for a 20 minute walk when I have run miles! Miles filled with friends and fun and laughter and sweat and wind in my face, and yes some occasional pain and grumbling.

When I allow myself to sink in to the sadness and focus on the loss, I miss all that I have gained. And I don’t want to miss that!

When I look down, I loose sight of The One who’s carried me over the mountains, and held my hand through the valleys. The One, who has wiped my tears and held me through overwhelming fear and anxiety.  What I have gained through all this, is a deeper relationship with God.  Time, time to rest in His Presence and soak up His Word and grow closer and closer, and more dependent on Him. I’m not so tired and worn out from tightly hanging on to so much control, which in retrospect is much like trying to hold on to the ocean as the tide ebbs and flows. And peace, Peace that passes all understanding.

I’ve been nurtured by precious friends who’ve encouraged me and made me laugh and prayed over me and for me.  And my man and my marriage, there’s just no words for how an already strong marriage, has grown even stronger through this bump in the road. How we’ve come together to find God in it all, and even healing in other losses we’ve suffered together.

No, these are precious gifts, I would not trade for anything.

As I was reading my Bible this morning I came upon Psalm 119:27-32 NIV

“Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds. My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law. I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to your statutes, Lord; do not let me be put to shame. I RUN in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.”

Yes, in my weaker moments I ponder what I have lost. But what I have gained is so much more. God has given me a new race to run and I have been blessed to experience Him in ways I could never have imagined. Would I trade that for more miles pounded out on the pavement…NO!

Because that, my friends, is the ultimate gift with way more to gain than loose!

“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2Chronicles 16:9a NIV

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn