Dedicated in loving memory of Katharyhn Pierantozzi, Sept.3, 1943-Nov.9, 2015
That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:10-14
My friends, I thank you for your outpouring of prayer and support since my last post. I assure you that I am not depressed. In fact, I feel the exact opposite. I feel very grateful. In my lowest possible moments, I am the most dependent on my Savior, Jesus Christ. And He never fails. He never disappoints.
In those moments, I fully realize that I cannot find complete joy in myself, I cannot find complete joy in others, and I cannot find complete joy in all the things I do. This realization breaks my pride and my selfish will and I fall into the arms of Jesus, completely surrendered. When my heart is the most broken and the most softened and the most pliable and the most still, He is then able to continue making something new and beautiful out of the mess.
There IS complete joy in knowing that the frustration, the anger, the fear – it actually has a purpose! And the purpose is for my ultimate GOOD. Yes, I believe that with all my heart (And we know that all things work together for good to those that love God, and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28) The “good” that is referred to is us being made new into someone more loving, more patient, more compassionate, more gentle, more faithful. More like Jesus.
Experiencing my disease and the feelings that come alongside it without that belief? Now that would make me depressed. Utterly despaired. And I’m sure I’d stay that way without any joy on the other end.
But I believe in the promise that all things, good and bad, are for my good. I have seen evidence of this promise in my life (I am not who I used to be and that is a good thing!) And I know that my ultimate destination is with Jesus where all suffering is obliterated. These truths pull me through a wave of despair into complete joy.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I am truly grateful for everything God is doing in my life.
My prayer is for each of you to have a wonderful day in thanksgiving and fellowship with friends, neighbors, and family. But I realize that holidays can also be painful as we all experience the loss of loved ones, whether by death or separation.
I just lost my mother-in-law a few weeks ago. She battled a very long time with Multiple Sclerosis. And she pressed on through pain and suffering with courage, dignity, and grace. We had many conversations about eternal hope and what heaven might be like. I am confident that her faith led her home to be with Jesus. I pray for that same faith to capture the hearts of you and those you love. I dedicate this post and reading of this Psalm to my mother-in-law. Grace be with you, my friends.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.