Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Abundant Life

The house is clean, the refrigerator is stocked, the laundry is done, our bags are being packed, and Paul and I are almost ready to leave for a three-day vacation. Just after Katy was diagnosed with HPS, our Pastor came to visit us and told us that someone had offered to send us somewhere so Paul and I could get away for a rest. We don’t know who it is or if they read the blog but I just want them to know how much this means to us, especially because it is our anniversary. There were so many nights we spent apart, and so many times the stress was hard to bear. During some of those times, I would think about that offer and know that one day the time would come that we could enjoy each other and make some new memories. I wondered if they have been through a similar trial and knew how badly a marriage needs a time of joy after hardship. We will honor your gift, enjoy every minute, and have already prayed several times that the blessing you have given us would come back to you ten-fold.

In my study of scripture I have found that there is a misquoted verse that I have used before, until I learned the truth. The phrase, “God will not give you more than you can handle,” is not in the Bible. The verse reads as follows, “He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out, so that you can stand up under temptation.” (1 Corinthians 10:13b). When I learned that the verse was about temptation and not about unbearable situations, I suddenly was free to feel all the emotions of sorrow, fear, and grief, without guilt.

I actually felt God’s pleasure the day I read 1 Corinthians 1:8-11 and found out that the Apostle Paul admitted himself that he felt overwhelmed, just as we did when we understood the seriousness of Katy’s condition. The Apostle Paul said, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so we despaired even of life. Indeed in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but God, who raises from the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us in the future. On Him we have set our hope, that He will continue to deliver us, as you help by your prayers.” So beloved friends, anytime you are going through unbearable times, we hope you will rely on the comfort of your Heavenly Father. He may have someone come alongside of you, to pray with you, to weep with you, and to give you comfort, so that you will know that it’s normal when you feel you cannot bear the pressure one more day. He can, and promises to carry our burdens for us. “Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7). That’s what the abundant life is all about.

  1. Laura Griffith Says:

    I would like to know where you are going but then again it seems more like a honeymoon if kept in suspense. I pray you have a wonderful time.

    Happy New Year!!!

  2. Jess Lankford Says:

    Dawn and Paul!
    We are praying that you have a wonderful time as well!! That your hearts, bodies and souls would be refreshed and reunited after these long hard months!

    Thank you for your post this morning! It is so encouraging - like having an older sister whispering in my ear that it’s all ‘ok’ and that God is in control!


  3. Heather Kirkwood Says:

    I’m so glad you all are getting a chance to get away for a while. How wonderful! As for the guilt, I’m so glad you were able to let some of that go. It’s a pretty common emotion among the HPS’ers I talk with every day and their families as well. But, it’s something we’ve just got to let go of - easier said than done sometimes though.

  4. Doris Harriff Says:

    Have a very good mini-vacation! You know, Dawn, I’ve often had that verse misquoted to me when I was carrying a burden that seemed to heavy to bear. I’ve even pointed out that it says tempted, only to be told, well, it means both.

    Aunt Doris

  5. Ib & Patricia Says:

    Happy 32nd….and have a really great, yet restful time.
    Just returned from Linda’s father’s funeral. Bunches of people in P’burg say “hi” as we were there Wed/Thurs.
    So glad that Katy is doing so well so that you are able to accept this gift.
    Peace, Love and Joy,
    Ib & Patricia

  6. Julie Says:

    Happy Anniversary! I’m sure you’re having a wonderful time. We love you!