Courage. Putting on a badge and a gun (thereby making yourself a target) and stepping out into the night to protect complete strangers. Courage. Having terminal cancer and fighting it tooth and nail with a smile on your face to be a blessing to others in a similar circumstance. Courage. When you fall behind in your bills because you have more going out than coming in yet you continue to praise God for everything He gives you and protects you from. Courage. Leaving a job that you’ve worked at for umpteen years when it becomes apparent that your ideals, morals and values no longer coincide with those of your employers. Courage. Facing all of your fears, doubts, trials, tribulations, anxieties head on, knowing that your Father in Heaven is with you always…and though He may not deliver you from them, He will NEVER leave your side and will weather them with you.
I’ve missed writing these last eleven days. It seemed as though everything was falling apart around me. My wife ended up in the hospital for four days because she passed out and her blood pressure and hemoglobin dropped…which is a pretty serious thing when you’re healthy let alone 27 weeks pregnant. When that happens, when one member of the team is put on the disabled list (baseball term there), things don’t function nearly as smoothly as they do when you’re at full strength. Case in point: my days were spent at the hospital with Lena while I maintained things at home and took care of the kids at night. Men…never take for granted what your wife does around the house while you’re at work or when she allows you to go out with the guys…ESPECIALLY when there’s a toddler involved :). It’s not pretty.
To top that off, the bills won’t wait. And when you’re losing days at work, they’ll have a tendency to pass you by, forcing you to play catch up for the next year. Thankfully, I had some sick days at the Sheriff’s Office. My wife, on the other hand, doesn’t have sick days. So naturally, the worry about Lena’s health was magnified by the worry over what her lost time and my starting a new job would do to us financially.
But wait…there’s more. Throw in drama with the ex, and now it’s a party!
Okay…enough of my story. You’ve all got issues that you’re dealing with. And I’m sure that many of them are waaaayyy more important and life-altering than the ones we have been going through. I told you all of that to lay the groundwork for the next lesson….a lesson in courage.
In spite of all the things that are going on in our lives, we still get up and put our game-face on. We still pray to God and thank Him for all He does. We still have faith that He will work things out for our good as we continue to grow in Him and put Him first. We know that everything happens for a reason, and that our Father is the only one who knows what those reasons are. We can only pray the He shows us, so that we may learn from His teachings and guidance.
As my wife lay in her hospital bed, dejected, scared and physically exhausted, do you know what she said to me when I went to stay with her? “I’m sorry.” She was sorry that she fell ill and couldn’t be there to help me with the kids, or the house, or the bills. She was sorry that she couldn’t lay in bed with me at night so that our feet touched when we sleep (we rest a lot easier when some part of our bodies are touching, and that’s usually the only part that can when your two-year-old has a tendency to end up in bed with you :)). She was sorry. Her thoughts and concerns were for her family instead of on what she was going through. That’s courage.
We had so many people praying for us in our church family and on Facebook that we were genuinely uplifted in spite of the hospital stay. In my opinion, that’s one of the reasons it’s so important to be in church. Lena’s out of the hospital now and back at work. Even though we still don’t know what happened or why, we know that there’s nothing to worry about because God is in control. Mia (due in December) is perfectly healthy, and that’s a HUGE blessing because of the danger Lena was in. I’ve started my new job (still in law enforcement), and things are slowly returning to normal at home. I’m still praying that He works something out for us on the financial front and with the other issues we’re facing, but no matter what, we know we don’t have to face anything alone. We will continue to be courageous, knowing that by doing so, we are strengthening our relationship with God and each other.
Here’s the scripture He has led me to share with you. Also, I’ve attached a link to “Courageous” by Casting Crowns. I can’t wait to see this movie! Be courageous. Be blessed.
“…I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord. Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, who have no confidence in the proud, or in those who worship idols. O Lord my God, you have done many miracles for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them. You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand — you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings. Then I said, “Look, I have come. And this has been written about me in your scroll: I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your law is written on my heart.” I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O Lord, well know. I have not kept this good news hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness. Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. My only hope is in your unfailing love and faithfulness. For troubles surround me — too many to count! They pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They are more numerous than the hairs on my head. I have lost all my courage. Please, Lord, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me. May those who try to destroy me be humiliated and put to shame. May those who take delight in my trouble be turned back in disgrace. Let them be horrified by their shame, for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!” But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!” As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord is thinking about me right now. You are my helper and my savior. Do not delay, O my God.”
– Psalm 40 1:17