I know, I know, long time, no talk. I'm usually going six ways from Tuesday, but after a couple of really (and when I say really, I mean REALLY) bad years during which I endured the loss of many of my beloved animals, including my German Shepherd, Max, I kinda got surprised by Lyme. That would be the disease, not the town it's named after, which would just be weird.
I'm not going to go into the whole sob story of how sick I've been (like, REALLY sick) because one thing I have found out since starting treatment and feeling even worse is that it's tiring to keep talking about how rotten you feel. It feels like you're disappointing people when you just don't get better, or, gulp, obstinately get worse. And hey, I know it's tough trying to maintain a relationship with a sick person (a REALLY sick) person, because they can't do any of the fun things they want to do and they feel like a total drag because there's nothing new going on in their lives except new meds, which always make them feel worse before they feel better. So it's just no fun all around. I get it.
But this post is not about that. It's just me poking my head up off my sick bed pillow to say that I am alive (sometimes it feels like just barely, but hey, you take what you can get) and that eventually I hope to get back to this writing gig. I had a bunch of projects in the hopper when I was finally diagnosed and started treatment and everything ground to a full stop. I probably have more drive than most human doings, so it's been especially hard for me to sit and twiddle my thumbs. (Okay, that's an exaggeration...on bad days even breathing takes too much work. Twiddling is completely out of the question).
My latest book, Leaving, is finished and the cover is done, and all I have left to do is incorporate my editor's changes and upload it. I just haven't had the energy to do that yet. Then there's the Farenorth Press Community Cookbook Project, also in the works, also not finished. Life and Death has been out awhile now, but still no print version because the formatting was giving me problems before I got sick, and I haven't been able to get back to it. Then there's an audio book for The Shaking in production. I was almost half done. And I was writing two books simultaneously because I couldn't figure out which I should concentrate on: This Means War or Monster in Our Midst. The first follows a young woman as she begins to understand and train for spiritual warfare and the second is an allegory, my first ever attempt and it's kind of brilliant. Not that I take credit for that. I've never been good at allegories, but I told two people the storyline and neither guessed right off who was what and which stood for whom. Ha!
I'm really feeling the spiritual warfare topic right now. Ever since I published The Shaking, I've been under assault. Lyme is just the latest ... killing off my animals didn't stop me, so attack the body. But I'm not worried. You know why? Because:
God's strength has always been made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), so I can boast about my weakness, because it means God is working all the stronger in what I do write, when I write. Whether that is today, tomorrow, or next year.
But I'm not all that special. I bet you're going through something challenging, too. I know, I'm like a mind reader or something, right? Not really. Because I know that "man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7, NIV). That's life. We can either surrender or go down fighting.
Here's the thing . . . "If none of God's saints were poor and tired, we should not know half so well the consolations of divine grace. When we find the wanderer who has nowhere to lay his head, who yet can say, 'Still will I trust in the Lord'; when we see the pauper starving on bread and water, who still glories in Jesus; when we see the bereaved widow overwhelmed in affliction, and yet having faith in Christ, oh! what honour it reflects on the gospel. God's grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers. Saints bear up under every discouragement, believing that all things work together for their good, and that out of apparent evils a real blessing shall ultimately spring - that their God will either work a deliverance for them speedily, or most assuredly support them in the trouble, as long as He is pleased to keep them in it. This patience of the saints proves the power of divine grace" (Morning & Evening, Daily Readings by C. H. Spurgeon).
Tough situations are our chance to let God shine through us! They are opportunities God gives us to prove that He is in the house. He's got this. No matter where it ends up or how long it lasts, He's got this and He's got us. That's not a reason to moan; it's a reason to celebrate. (Although a little moaning now and then is understandable.) Now if I was saying this from the comfort of my busy, happy life, I wouldn't blame you for thinking, "It's all well and good for you to say that." But I'm not. I'm saying it in the middle of my battle with Lyme disease. That makes it legit. Say it from the middle of your battle. Believe it and know that God is in the house, and He says, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV).
"If then, yours be a much-tried path, rejoice in it, because you will the better show forth the all-sufficient grace of God. As for His failing you, never dream of it - hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now, should be trusted to the end" ( Morning & Evening, Daily Readings by C. H. Spurgeon).
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