Saturday, December 31, 2016

Thank you

Dear friends,

Last night I was feeling a little anxious as I looked toward today. I wanted New Year's Eve Day to be different and special — to somehow signify the change I've been working so hard toward these last several years— so I determined to make the day memorable.

I've been hoping and praying for snow during my visit to the Pacific Northwest, and since the Portland area doesn't get much, if any, snow I decided I would go hunting for it up in the mountains. But my dad worried that the car (and its southern California driver) wouldn't do well on the icy mountain roads, so that adventure didn't seem like a wise option after all. I settled on a hike in Portland instead. But then those plans fell through, too, so I decided to go on a walk in the neighborhood to soothe my disappointment. 

As I walked, I thought back to last spring. I spent the spring much like I spent the last few years: researching treatments and clinics, implementing medical protocols, trying new doctors, and meeting with old doctors. It was brutally exhausting and generally fruitless. In May, I realized I had been working so hard to get healthy that I hadn't given God much opportunity to advocate for me, and I felt a strong prompting from the Holy Spirit to cancel my appointments at new clinics so He could direct me to life-giving treatment. I cancelled the appointments, and two weeks later, He led me to limbic system retraining.

Since then, I have felt convicted to practice the discipline of waiting for God's blessings — of letting Goodness and Mercy pursue me, the way the Psalmist describes, rather than chasing them with frantic ambition. The more I have practiced waiting, the more convinced I have become that in this season, God wants me to stop hustling, to stop planning, to stop doing all of the things that seem so very sensible so he can provide for me: a Dad taking care of his beloved girl.

As I planned my adventures this morning, it didn't occur to me that today, of all days, God would like to show me his care for me by filling my day with good things, apart from my own efforts. So halfway through my walk, I asked him to make the day special — to mark it with something exciting to signify a new chapter in life.

When I got back to the house, it started to snow.

The big, feathery flakes felt like a reminder of God's attentive care and a symbol of the newness that lies ahead. It was the perfect New Year's Eve gift.

As I look toward 2017, I want to thank you for your support in 2016. Many of you have been faithful prayer warriors on this roller coaster ride, and words don't do justice to my gratitude for your prayer support. Your prayers and notes of encouragement are two of a few things that have mitigated the suffering of the last year. I also want to thank those of you who have contributed financially to my medical fund. Your generosity is a wild and wonderful gift to me. I wish I could give you each a hug in person and explain to you how all of your support has deeply influenced this journey.

My friends, I pray your transition into the New Year is filled with reminders of God's persistent goodness and mercy. There is no god like our God; and there is no better life than a Life in Him.

I'm thankful to be walking this journey with you,

and I'm cheering for you.

Happy New Year,


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© by scj