Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I have reached an interesting place in my walk with God. It is something new, something I didn’t expect and certainly wasn’t looking for. But before I can tell you what this new thing is (although the title of this blog post does give it away), I need to tell you a bit of my life story.

I grew up as a tomboy, loving sports and being active. When I met the Lord in 1977, I was at Whitworth College (as it was known then), participating in cross-country, basketball and track. Through the Fellowship of Christian athletes, I learned how to use my gifts of athletic ability to bring praise to God, and not to me. I had found my calling in sports, and I would literally praise God while playing or training.

Throughout the following decades, I continued to participate in all kinds of sports, still praising God through them, finally coming to bicycle racing as my new passion, in my late 30s and 40s. This was something I was able to do with my husband, Randy, as well. We spent many enjoyable hours riding our bikes, and racing, all over the Spokane area.

But then, in 2003, I got sick. It wasn’t the flu, and my doctor wasn’t sure what it was, but I was flat on my back for weeks. I was literally too tired to get out of bed. After a couple of months, I started feeling a bit better and tried to get back to working out, but there was something wrong with my muscles – they didn’t work right, and working out made me feel terrible, even if it was a light workout. (And, no, it wasn’t/isn’t Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.)

This started years and years of trying to find a doctor who could tell me what was wrong, with no luck. I gradually got weaker and weaker, and in January 2013 I had to quit working, as even getting up, showered and dressed would exhaust me.

Through all of this, I never let go of my faith in God. Oh, I got mad at Him, especially early on, because I knew He could heal me, but He didn't. But I learned that even in our darkest times, He is there. I could literally feel Him holding me. I didn't know why He was letting me stay sick, but I knew He loved me, and wanted the best for me. So, I had some ups and downs, but kept walking in faith. And I kept praying – praying that God would heal me, or that He would lead me to a doctor who could tell me what was wrong, or one who could give me a drug that worked. I kept praying like this, and many, many people were praying for my healing. And, oh, how I wanted to get back on that bike!

But, about a month ago, in November 2014, I was praying my usual prayer: “Please heal me, God,” when I heard God say, “Do you trust me?” And when I, of course, said yes, God said, “Then let me deal with this in My way and in My time.” Boom! That brought me up short! What could I do, but agree to give Him the issue of my health. After all, I gave Him my whole life, all those years ago in 1977, and wasn't my health part of my life? So, I stopped the way I prayed. I no longer told God what I needed and wanted, and just said, “I trust you, Lord. I know you are with me and will never leave me.” And as I've been praying this way, and as God has been rearranging my attitude, I have come to this new place. This is a place of peace with my life – even as it is, with me disabled and weak. This is a place of FREEDOM, even though I am pretty much house-bound. But, I am no longer bound by my ‘unanswered prayers’ or my fear of never getting better. I am here, now, with God. What more do I need? He is with me, here and now. What more do I need?

It’s hard to explain this new feeling. Yes, it’s freedom, and it’s peace. But it’s more than that, somehow. I am reminded of a scene from the movie V for Vendetta, where Evey has been imprisoned and tortured, and she’s about to be taken out and shot. Her captor says, “Look, all they want is one little piece of information. Just give them something, anything.” Evey looks up at him and says, “Thank you...but I'd rather die behind the chemical sheds.” Her captor says, “Then you have no fear anymore. You're completely free.” And he turns and walks away. And Evey IS free to leave at that point. The whole purpose of her imprisonment was to remove her fear. She was brought to the very end of herself, and discovered that at that end, she was free.

Now, I’m NOT saying God inflicted this illness on me to teach me something! But we do know that God works all things for His good, so God has used this illness to lead me to a deeper relationship with Him, and a place of freedom in my spirit. I am no longer living in fear of never getting better – I know that if I am not healed, it doesn't make any difference as to who God is, and what He means in my life. Sure, I still wish I were able to do even a little more, physically, and I’d love to ride my bike again, but that’s no longer my focus. I just want to be where God wants me to be – and He wants me to trust Him, in all things. Being weak physically has taught me to be weak spiritually – and when I am weak HE IS STRONG. This illness brought me to the end of myself, and at the very end, when I had no hope, God was waiting, arms open wide. I rest in His arms, and I am at peace.

I hope this doesn't sound like I’m bragging on me – “Oh, look how deeply spiritual I am! Look how close I am with God!” That is not my intention for writing this! All the glory goes to God, who gently led me to this place – even when I was kicking and screaming. He is the one who loves us, through thick and thin! I want only to share my journey so that it might be of encouragement to someone else who is struggling with something. TRUST God. Believe me, I know this – He will see you through anything that life (or the enemy) throws at you. Keep your eyes focused on the Prince of Peace, and you will certainly receive the “peace that passes understanding.”