In the month of May I am taking a break from public writing and sharing the posts of other bloggers that I follow that have encouraged, inspired and challenged me. May this beautiful post by Carolyn Watts bless you this Mother’s Day. Here an excerpt with the link to the whole post:
God’s mothering is not something I thought much about until the last decade or so. In Scripture, God is so prominently Father that it’s easy for God’s mothering to get lost. But God’s mothering is there, written into Scripture right from the beginning . . .
For ten years, I listened daily to heartbeats. Heartbeats of babies as they were formed in the darkness. Heartbeats of their mothers, too, dreams and fears and longings. I was on holy ground, witness to the quiet creation of new life.
Ten more years have passed since illness began to keep me out of the clinic. I no longer use a stethoscope or an ultrasound machine. But still I listen. Sometimes I hear only the whisper of my own heart, the urgent longing to be fully alive. I hear that cry deep in the groans and prayers and laughter of others too.
But when I’m given the grace to be still, when the noise without and within is quieted, I hear the heartbeat of the One who knit me together and placed in me this longing for Life and Freedom. He whispers “come,” “rest,” “be whole.” He reminds me who He is and who I am. Again I find myself on holy ground, witness to the growing of new life within.
THE SCHOOL AND WORK DETAILS
Six months after I finished my training as an obstetrician/gynaecologist, I moved to Pakistan, then on to Afghanistan where I lived for over four years, working in a little mud-brick hospital and clinic high up in the mountains (picture no running water, no xray machine, but lines and lines of beautiful and courageous – and needy – people to serve).
Then I gotsick. Hardly-able-to-get-out-of-bed sick. I was diagnosed (in a way only God could have orchestrated) with a chronic illness that had gone undiagnosed since my teens. Months of rest and good treatment didn’t solve the problem and, three years after returning home from Afghanistan, I gave up my licence to practice medicine.
Welcome to Day 7 of Part 3‘s Chapter 1 of Arise and Shine. Today, Bettie is sharing our final free will offering of incense that she penned in 2016. It is a powerful story of Christ’s intercession at work in her, taking us all on a journey into the heart of God for the beautiful people living in Vietnam.
We pray that your hearts are being so encouraged to continue pressing into Jesus, to see His incense rise in intercession in and through you. Our own hearts are being so encouraged also in sharing old and new testimonies. May praise and worship rise in each one of our hearts and be on our lips as we bow in awe of our mighty God who always lives to make intercession for each one of His children, who never leave His safe hand. May we recognize His face and Presence waiting to be uncovered in those He sets before us and moves us to intercede for.
How did I get to be in that incredible place? And why am I telling this story now, in the middle of this RA/Fibromyalgia Season of re-learning my place?
Another word-sharing-session with my counselor brought me to the place of remembering. I told her that I still wanted to be up and doing and walking away my anxieties. I am not finding the PEACE here that I thought I should have attained by now. So my Counselor asked if I could take a walk through the memory hall of my mind. The same emotions that were triggered during the actual pleasant times can be triggered again, proven by studies, simply when we remember those times.
Shortly after she proposed a time of remembering, a new Blog-Friend of mine found out that I had taken a God-Planned-Adventure to Vietnam, and she stirred up these very memories when she shared her own Adventures. Thank you Valerie, at gracewithsilk for asking to hear about my story! So today I am walking over the land that a healthier and stronger me was allowed to witness.
I was probably 17 or 18 years old when I had a vision while I was praying. I saw myself in an Asian Village, being so thankful to share in a love that was God-given. I assumed I would be a Missionary. But my life took a different turn, and decades later, as a stay-at-home Mom, I found myself wrapped up in the story of my Pastor and his Wife, trying to adopt a baby from Cambodia.
I prayed and agonized with them through a very long and difficult adoption process. When they returned with their beautiful baby boy, I sat amazed by the pictures in their slideshow. It looked like the Asian Village in my vision from so long ago. Tears rolled down my face, as I felt the Lord say that I had been in that village with them through my praying. Ahh beautiful, I thought. Now I know why I had that vision. End of Story.
But God’s endings are not the same as ours. Another decade later, and this time our oldest son took a trip to Vietnam with his new friend. We didn’t know that a possible marriage with his friend’s sister was in the itinerary. But again, Jesus finds ways to let a Mama know how to pray. On the very night of the marriage, half-way around the world, my heart was burdened to pray for my children’s spouses, with an urgency like never before. So when our son came home and asked us to pray with him so that his new wife could get a VISA to come to America, my heart had already been prepared.
Years of praying, and crying, and waiting were finally answered in the spring of 2011, when her VISA was approved. When we finally met our new daughter-in-law, loving her was easy because my heart had been captivated before she ever set foot in America.
So when she asked me to go with her back to Vietnam for a Family Reunion Party later that fall, I thought my heart would burst.
My journeys now feel large when I can take a day-trip involving a 3 or 4 hour car ride. But my times for Adventure are not finished. When I let Jesus plan my journey, whether through chronic illness or healthy travels, HE will set my feet in the good place of HIS choosing: Finding BEAUTY and LOVE each step of the way.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus”