Lessons from “The Fall of 2021”

Steve has always talked about our lives being like a wheel. Actually, the Lord spoke of this first in Ezekiel. Our life is a continual series of tensions and relaxation. On the night of December 28th, a major tension happened in our family, and now 12 weeks later, we are starting to feel the relaxation happening. It is such a relief to feel the beginnings of “normal” again. But, you know what? The tension will come again. We went to the bottom of the wheel at the end of 2021. And now we are feeling the rise upward again like a Ferris wheel. But, there can be wheels within a wheel (we are still trying to figure out our ten-year-old’s sickness.). Yet, no matter where we are on the wheel, the Lord stays the same. So we cling to the Lord through the whole ride until eternity.

Here are a few things we learned from being at the bottom of the wheel for a short time (And btw, our bottom of the wheel has been shallow compared to the depths some have gone through.)

  1. We do not need to fear the bottom of the wheel. After what Steve experienced on that concrete floor and the nearness of the Lord being there at that exact moment, we can say assuredly that no matter how horrific the fiery trial is- if HE is in the fire with us, then all will be well. I watched my husband go through the most incredible pain he has ever endured, yet his face shone as having been with the Lord. Yes, we will fear again, and our hearts faint to think of the trials and difficulties God may still call us to face in this life, but we are convinced those are childish faithless fears. There is a grace, not there before and not there afterwards that he gives IN THAT MOMENT. Why art thou cast down oh, my soul? Hope thou in God… When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
  2. Even in trials, the Lord gives mercies. Owen says there is no mixed cup in this life, and even the bitterest trial is full of mercies. We have seen this over and over again. Whether it is an unexpected encouraging note in the mail or a friend that works at the hospital giving you an update on your husband’s surgery… every little mercy is like a hug from the Lord. Our pastor’s wife has always encouraged us to magnify our mercies. Here are some of the mercies we received:
  • Multiple text messages from the moment word went out of Steve’s fall-One even saying they were not going be bed but staying up to pray
  • Love bag from our pastor’s wife with little things (and big) to help with being in the hospital- Including a shawl I wore and used like a blanket
  • A Dunkin Donuts gift card
  • A little girl using the money she got from doing chores to buy flowers for Steve
  • Someone meeting my dad to drop off a bedrail
  • Neighbors offering a shower chair
  • Receiving homemade fresh roasted coffee beans and favorite drinks carefully wrapped and shipped across the country
  • Friends taking the boys to homeschool co-op
  • Needed vitamins just being purchased and shipped by a friend to our house
  • A Dr. from our church providing massive amounts of nutrients and supplements to help heal Steve’s bones and cartilage
  • Another friend sending expensive detox products to us in the mail
  • Someone else putting together a healing clay pack for pain and sending it home from church
  • Chick Fil A gift cards
  • Meal, after meal, after meal (2 months worth!!!)
  • Slippers and comfy clothes sent in the mail
  • Homemade cards made from the children at church
  • Neighbor across the road taking over homeschool math for our 10 year old
  • Secret financial gifts
  • Far away friend paid for a cleaning lady for me (!!!!)
  • Individual scriptures sent by way of text
  • A friend coming to pick up the kids and take them to the park
  • Extra treats sent for the kids
  • Fun gifts to make us smile
  • Little care packages for me (lip balm, tea, etc.)
  • Adrenal support vitamins sent for me

And of course, the greatest of the mercies are the hours and hours of prayers sent up to heaven by the Lord’s people.

NOTE, TWO PRACTICAL THINGS:

1. Lots of times, in the past, I will say to someone, “Let me know if I can help with anything.” I had the right desire, but it’s better to see a need and just do it. Instead of saying, “What can I do?” I am challenged rather to see a need and say, “Hey, can I come by tomorrow with a meal?”

2. When someone is in a trial, they may not be able to have visitors. If that’s the case, just dropping off something at the door is SO appreciated!

  • 3. The Scriptures come alive and become personal in trials like they haven’t before. It is better to be in a place of trial than in a position of ease. We certainly don’t want that. But, as Rutherford says, grace grows best in winter. Our pastor preached another GOLDEN sermon this past Lord’s Day. It was another one of those sermons that Steve and I were SOAKING in with tears. Here are a couple of quotes from the sermon that I will be embedding below. “The eyes of the Lord are constantly upon His people with Divine power and help. The little believer is bobbing amid the sea of trials {feeling overwhelmed and ready to sink}, And Christ doesn’t allow the believer’s head to go under the water…so much of the Christian life is a struggle and fight to see clearly. Your mind is moving forward {in fears} when it should be looking upward. The believer goes from trial to trial, but your path is sprinkled with Ebenezers.”

We may not have many more updates to give on Steve (although we have learned not to presume but take one step at a time. Pun intended.) But, Steve wants me to convey our gratitude to all of you yet again. You have been the hands and feet of Christ to us. You have been instruments of so many mercies to our family. Our pastor once said, “Let me fetch a little glory for the King.” That has played over and over in our minds. We are content if God is glorified in even a small way through the “fall of 2021”. May we fetch a little glory for the King. We love each one of you dearly.

~STEVE AND JENNY

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