Monday, June 2, 2008

Lessons from our Niagara Trip Part 1 - Promises

The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. Psalm 145:13

Well, we are finally home. I'm having some re-entry problems. It's always difficult for me to get back into the swing of things when I've been away a few days. I keep wishing I were there (the place I've been) instead of here. But when I'm away, I sometimes wish I were here instead of there. Does that even make any sense?

Anyway, I want to share some pictures and tell you a few lessons learned or thoughts pondered while on my trip. Niagara Falls was absolutely beautiful. We really did have a wonderful time. We had several uninterrupted meals and conversations which rarely happens around our house.

I won't get to everything in this post, so there will be a part 2 and maybe even a part 3, so hang with me. I'm still processing myself.

As you know, we were celebrating our anniversary on this trip. A celebration of a promise Greg and I made to each other 15 years ago. Before we even left for the trip, I was thinking of promises and what they mean. One particular definition of promise I like is "that which causes hope, expectation, or assurance." God's promises to us certainly are a cause for hope, expectation and assurance.

In case you can't tell from my TSMS posts, I really love music. I connect events from my life to certain songs. I usually have a song running in my head all the time. Certain words or memories often make me think of a particular song. When I think of promises, the song that comes to mind is... "Standing on the Promises of God."

I sang this song in my small town church a lot growing up. It was one of those songs the hymnal opened up to automatically because the pages were worn. I've known the words for a long time. It's only been in the last 8 to 10 years I have truly come to understand what they mean.

Verse 2 says
Standing on the promises that cannot fail,When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, By the living Word of God I shall prevail, Standing on the promises of God.
Verse 4 says
Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, Bound to Him eternally by love's strong cord, Overcoming daily with the Spirit's sword, Standing on the promises of God.

As I think of these words now, I fully understand that the Word of God, the Spirit's sword, God's written promises are how we prevail. They are the way we daily overcome the attacks of the enemy.

Here is the view from our hotel room.

Notice the rainbow on the left side. I was so reminded of God's promises and His provision through the entire weekend.

On Saturday night near the end of our trip, we received a phone call. Spencer had a seizure and my mom and grandmother called to tell me. Fear immediately gripped me. I so wished I were home instead of there in Niagra Falls. And I couldn't get home. We checked on flights and there were none available until our scheduled flight out at 7am the next morning.

Thankfully, the seizure was mild and did not require the use of his rescue medication. But still...
it had been 9 weeks since his last one. We had debated even leaving the kids and going that far away from them in the first place. I felt defeat. I felt like like saying "here we go again." I felt like screaming "we take one step forward and two steps back." I felt a thousand different emotions.

So I sat in a hotel room, separated by almost 1000 miles from my son, waiting for another phone call. I was afraid he would have another seizure. Maybe the next one wouldn't stop. What if he ended up in the hospital and I wasn't there.

All I could do was pray. And pray I did. And as I prayed, God's promises came to me.

"Do not be afraid. I am your shield, your very great reward. " Genesis 15:1

"Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there". Genesis 21:17

"Do not be afraid; the LORD your God himself will fight for you". Deuteronomy 3:22

"News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them." Matthew 4:24

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose". Romans 8:28

"The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed". Isaiah 53:5

"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:10-18

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:26

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

I prayed off and on the entire night and as I prayed, the fear subsided. We caught a flight the next morning and came home to find Spencer totally fine. Thankfully, no more seizures. We are back up to 2 days. The count starts over. We may not fully be free of seizures until we reach heaven some day. But until then, I will stand on God's promise to be with me no matter what comes my way.

Check out more of God's promises here.


The Stokes Family said...

We were praying for Spencer and your family as well that evening, so glad he didn't have any more seizures.

Glad to have you back, can't wait to hear more about your trip!


Chaotic Joy said...

Oh Amy. I am sorry to hear Spencer had a seizure while you were gone, but I think it's possible that there wasn't a flight home because God wanted you to rely on Him, and not in your own ability to fix the problem. I think He likes to remind us that He is the one in control sometimes. I will continue praying for Spencer and your family. I am glad you liked Niagra Falls. It's near and dear to my heart.

Sita said...

One of the hardest things is to be physically far away from your loved ones when they are in need. AS the previous commenter wrote, it is then we learn about really releasing to God's Hands. Be blessed, dear sister.
Love, Sita

ocean mommy said...

I'm glad you had a great trip...and I love that God gave you that rainbow. Wow....He continues to amaze me.

There is such power in His word isn't there!

Praying for MANY seizure free weeks.


LAURIE said...

Glad that you were able to get away and reading your blog this morning reminded me of what God has shown me in the lives of my grown children, especially my son who is getting ready to serve our country in korea. My heart was ripped in half thinking how far away my son would be from me and God so gently reminded me that He has the whole world in His hands and no matter what distance comes between me and my children that God will be with them in places that I am not able to go. I have peace knowing that God has my children (His children) in the palm of His hands, keeping them safe. That is what God did for you this past week, Spencer will always be in Gods hands as God watches over him. Amazing, thanks for sharing a piece of your trip with us- blessings, Laurie

kmom3 said...

Welcome home, sweet Amy!

I am so glad that you had a wonderful trip with your hubbie! I am sorry about Spencer having a seizure. Those times when we can do nothing but to cling to His Word can be so hard, and yet we come out of them with an even deeper knowledge of how His promises can be trusted. I hate you had to go through that, but I you will allow that to strengthen you.

Thanks for the link to the promises, and thank you for sharing your journey with the Lord with us.
You are a blessing!
K :)

Michelle said...

I can completely relate to your re-entry issues. I'm sorry to hear Spencer had a seizure, but thankful it was mild and no more have followed.

What an amazing view from your hotel! I look forward to hearing more about your trip. I'll be posting about my trip as well.

I'll keep Spencer in my prayers.

Carol said...

I can't believe you've had a post up this long and I've missed it! Sorry! I'm praying for you!