Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Book Review: God's Grace in your Suffering by Powlison


Powlison is a trusted biblical counselor and author. I was blessed to be trained by him (through video).I was always blessed and closer to Jesus for learning from his wisdom. This book did not disappoint.

The first class I took included singing a hymn before each session. I was confused and curious as to why this was such an important part to the counseling process. Powlison taught me the importance of hymns based on scripture. Music is healing. It teaches us and helps us grow in our walks with the Lord.

This book focuses on stanzas from How Firm a Foundation. It also looks at scripture, how to apply it personally, and personal stories of suffering.

It is a helpful resource and worth your time.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

You can get a copy of this book from here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

I'm Wonderfully Made, My Soul Knows That Well -- Or Does it?


For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,the days that were formed for me,when as yet there was none of them. ~Psalm 139:13-16

I read an article yesterday that made me cry for a little bit. Researchers from around the globe have found some potential reasons for autism. They studied brains of people with autism and found a common factor. 

The part that made me sad was a theory. The theory states that "if a mother is pregnant and during pregnancy she has a bacteria or virus, it activates something bad in the fetus's immune response, in particular impacting the brain in negative ways causing inflammation." You can read the entire article here. It is very interesting and there are things at the end stating that you can do some things to help reduce inflammation and eliminate toxins.  Some things we've tried off and on.

The reason I was sad was because it felt like it was my fault that my daughter has autism. During pregnancy I did have an active Lyme infection of which I was unaware. The study indications make sense.

Yet, many people get tick bites everyday and it is more rare to get an infection from Lyme bacteria that you cannot fight off than we think. We camped all over the country as a family on a regular basis. All of us had ticks attached from our times in the woods. Yet I was the only one to get sick. Prior to this I also caught mono as a child. All of it goes together weakening an immune system. The immune system that God knit together perfectly and wonderfully while I was in my mother's womb. 

Some people just have the right combination of bad events or biological make up in their life that will cause these horrible lasting effects. I was one of those and it effects everything. Daily life, choices, doctor visits, etc. 

My husband was gracious, he says that our daughter is more like him so it was probably part of his genes. And he is right, they are so similar that it is scary! However, I find no defect with either of them. I just watch all the difficulties my daughter has with life. These difficulties are ones she would never chose to change. I love her for that but it is difficult to watch her struggle none-the-less.

When we start to question why we are made the way we are whether it be a weird quirk, a crooked nose, or predisposition to a certain disease or disability, we must remind ourselves of the truth above. 

We were not only woven together but intricately woven (like embroidery) by a loving Father who is intentional with design. 

We were made fearfully-indicating with reverence or awe 
and wonderfully-meaning marvelous and set apart.

God calls this work marvelous (the making of us) and the Psalmist is recognizing He knows this in the pit of his gut very well.

God even knew the days that were formed for me and you, every one of them! This is the same God who knows every hair on our head. As we age or disease and a hair falls, he knows it! He is attentive in His care.

Knowing that Christ-likeness is the goal, I can trust that though I am limited and my daughter is limited, no matter how it happened, we can trust that God knit us together perfectly, every cell, every minor detail, the exact way that He desired creating an amazing creation of art. Art that only He can perfectly create. Knowing our days and what would best draw us to Him, He made us. He uses every bit of every weakness to keep us close to Him. 

Weakness is where the real power resides you know. It is a holy thing to watch God work and overcome in an area you know you were clearly incapable of. It is beautiful and humbling to see God's power move on your behalf. He sees us as perfect, though the world we live in is fallen, disease resides now, bodies are slowly decaying, brains are breaking down, but it is not something that has caught God off guard. No, He is using every bit of it to make us more like Him. As we look to Him we are transformed more and more into His image. We reflect Him in those ways. Typically it is weakness that drives us to Him. 

So, I grieved, wiped my face (remembering, Our gracious Father doesn't even let our tears go to waste for He collects those too), cried out to Him and resolved to praise Him for fearfully and wonderfully making me exactly the way I am and exactly as He made my daughter. It is good because He is good. 

One day we will live without the boundaries of diseased bodies, I am looking forward to that day! And the beauty of disease is it keeps me focused there, longing, hoping, praying for Christ's return. So, don't let your limitations hold you back, look to Christ. Cry out to Him. It is in this weakness that His power shines most brightly through.
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