“It is not the ‘ministry’ you could have ever anticipated or chosen but we are confident in God’s ability to help you live it out!” (from a dear pastor and his wife)
I pondered those words as winter released its grip.
I think God gifts us with creativity to help us cope through the messy parts of life. I find that my photography is a way to count my blessings. I capture most of my photographs indoors now. I keep snapping and pondering…
It’s been 2 months today since I posted here but I haven’t been stagnant. What have I been doing? Besides taking care of my husband, through his cancer and transplant journey, and finding stillness in my photography, I’ve been praying the Lord’s prayer. Everyday. Often several times a day and finding power to live out this ‘ministry’. My prayer, the words that I learned as a child, take on new meaning and perspective these days:
Our Father who art in Heaven
( You are my Father. A good and gracious Father. A Father that I can approach with the truth about my feelings, even weep and find comfort when I need it the most).
Hallowed by thy name
(You are worthy to receive all my praise. You are high and exalted and I worship you and thank you for allowing me to grieve my way to acceptance. I praise you for understanding me from the inside out).
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven
(May your will be done here in this place (here on earth) where Bob and I live. Thy will be done. In releasing my life to your will, it frees me — frees me to give thanks, and leads me to acceptance and in thanksgiving and accepting your will I am surprised by JOY).
Give us this day our daily bread
(Daily bread. We have enough to eat. Thank you. But we need more. Give us what we need today…peace, patience, endurance, stamina, faith, hope, love, comfort…Give us yourself! You are the bread of life and in receiving you we receive life. Abundant life comes by living in your presence. As my brother, Jim, said to me, “The Lord doesn’t just provide what we need He is what we need”. And, Lord, you are enough).
And forgive us our sins
(Forgive me for the sin of fear, despair, or looking back on life as it once was…that life that we left. Bob’s illness took us out of our comfort zone and we found that comfort zone lacking in many ways. It’s only in the valley, the trials, the storms that we experience the truth about our Christian faith and what it truly means to follow you. We understand more fully what you meant when you said:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple”. (Luke 14:26)
Even our own families and the familiar can become idols. We have given up a lot, left family, home, possessions, Bob’s health, friends, church, and now we’re living in a medical bubble in a strange city. At times it feels or seems like we’ve given up everything …and as hard as that is…it is also freeing).
As we forgive those who sin against us
(Sometimes it hurts when those we thought would be there for us are not or cannot. Is that a sin against us? I’ve tried to sort that out, Lord. When our hope lies in what others do or don’t do, it robs us of peace and joy. Many do not understand the weight we carry. Forgive them for they know not what this is or what it’s like. Until we walk in another person’s shoes, we cannot fully grasp the truth. It is the same for me; for us. I acknowledge that I don’t always understand what others are going through. We need to forgive one another! That frees us to love).
And lead us not into temptation
(Lord, help us not to look at life through our earthly eyes. Keep our focus crystal clear through our Spiritual eyes. That first step toward sin often comes through what we see and perceive that we need. Keep our eyes holy).
But deliver us from evil
( Lift us out from under the weight of the evil one. Remove his activity in our life and let us not fall into his trap of believing that you are not able to heal. You can and still do and we rest in our prayers for Bob’s healing. Let us not be lured into self-pity, bitterness over circumstances or lack of trust in your plan and purpose. We trust and believe in your sovereignty).
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen!
(And may our lives and all we do and go through point to you. May you receive glory). Amen.