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I Have Not Sustained A Fatal Blow
by Anita Howell 
12/04/05
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Psalm 39:7 (NKJV)
"And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My hope is in you."

Normally dates and ages don't bother me. But here I was turning 40, and 39 had looked so much better. On my 39th birthday I was nearing the end of a seemingly healthy Normally dates and ages don’t bother me. But here I was turning 40, and 39 had looked so much better. On my 39th birthday I was nearing the end of a seemingly healthy pregnancy and about to get my hands on my brand new healthy baby boy. Now, one year later, the endless questions about Ryan’s vision, seizures, medicine, and therapy made the future seem confusing and overwhelming.

On this very bluesy birthday, my Pastor told me about his niece who has a rare disease called Sympathetic Dystrophy. This disease tells her body that even the tiniest bump or bruise is traumatic. If her arm is “injured” she begins to favor that arm; after all, moving it would lead to more pain. But if she doesn’t continue to work through the pain then, eventually, her entire body will shut down.

God began to show me that my emotions were behaving in much the same way; they were convincing me that I had sustained a traumatic injury. I had even begun to protect myself from hoping that the next medical report would testify to God’s mercy and power. After all, hoping, or expecting something good, could lead to more disappointment, more pain. By letting go of my hope I had lost my joy and in losing my joy I had lost my strength. I was beginning to shut down spiritually.

Pastor tells me that his niece is now old enough to understand and even desire the reward of exercising through the pain; she has matured into an athlete. I decided it was time for me to mature as a Christian and exercise my faith. I still face disappointments from time to time but it is getting easier to let go of the fear and dare to hope. Hopefully, I’ll become an athlete too and run the race HE has set before me.

Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

As for Ryan, he is still recovering from the stroke he suffered just prior to his birth - a stroke that most adults wouldn't have survived. His vision is improving and his muscles are getting stronger every day. He will be two in March and has been seizure free for over a year. Many times during his short little life I felt like things were hopeless and that I would never laugh again. Thankfully, I was wrong.

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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