Pre-Script: Some of you have asked for the written version of the testimony I shared on having an eternal perspective. (Struggling with that today! ) Here it is. Read with your own “past” in mind. . .It may be betrayal, or regret, or abuse or. . .Please read with this in mind. Your past brought you to where you are today, but it does not define who you are. Your identity is rooted in Christ and your choices. Shared With Our Lord in Mind. . .Tracey
From A Legacy of Loss to A Legacy of Liberty
SIP Testimony, Summer, 2012
Please don’t be deceived by my ALS disease. I have more freedom in Christ today that I’ve ever known. . .Let’s press into some past, some present with our perspectives. . .
The Past: Loss
When I was 7 years old, my dad died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. In the trauma, I made plans. I found an old suitcase and packed it with my teddy bear and a couple of pairs of underwear. I thought it looked strange to be so empty, but thought traveling light was best. I needed to be ready to leave at a moments notice if my mom left too. I hid the suitcase under my bed for a long time.
Then, years later, my husband Bucky and I began our family and our first born Hope, was 18 months old. My mother died suddenly of pneumona. Life seemed a place of enduring loss. A year or so later, my maternal grandmother died. She was my last grandparent. A legacy of loss was thickening. . .
Fast forward into 4 wonderful daughters and an rewarding fellowship and service at the Chapel. All too soon, health issues, slowed me down. A diagnosis of ALS tore through me like a tornado. Now I faced loss of muscle strength and life as I knew it. I said to God, more than once. . . “This cannot be my life!!! Now you are going to flood me with loss??? How does ALS fit into a plan to prosper and not harm me???” I wrestled in my thought life. . .would I allow myself to turn inward into the darkness of this disease and continue a legacy of loss? Or would I choose to turn outward finding more of His perspective?
The Present: God’s Goodness
Admidst, the reality of loss, God shows up. Goodness speaks into my life with:A daughter that says just one more time: “Mom, how can I help?” A fridge full of food from friends. A hug that needs no words. My husband telling me, knowing all this, he would marry me all over again. A chance to serve Him in Women’s Ministry. God calls my arms to gather in His goodness. In the holding of past and present, I experience the present to carry more weight than the past.
This is Mr. Fred, He was our Alaskan tour guide on our recent trip. Mr. Fred woke up early, I’m not sure he went to bed, and hand crafted this step for me. As we said goodbye, this burly Alaskan, with tears in his eyes, kissed my check and said he would pray for me.
His Perspective: An Eternal One
In conclusion, know the past, process it, but connect eternal perspective by making choices that embrace His present goodness. There are battles many days. I bleed anguish. But, I choose to believe the way I live this part of my life has deep life-giving purpose to those closest to me. I choose to believe that the hope I carry forward makes a difference in His Kingdom. I choose to believe there is greater freedom here, in a legacy of liberty than in a diminishing legacy of loss. It is my freedom to experience His victory.
By the way, I still pack suitcasess. . .FULL of God’s freedom in an eternal perspective.
I’m heading to the beach with my family this week. I would be so blessed to pray freedom into your past and your present. Let’s build sandcastles in His Throne Room on behalf of your freedom. If you would like me to pray for you, just write your request on the back of a comment card and I will pack your requests with me and get the throne room all sandy on your behalf.
Post-script: I did take your precious prayer requests cards with me and each card has it’s own journal page where I responded in writing with our Lord on your behalf. I am still working through the cards, lovingly!
A HUGE hug and thank you to Caleb Michealson for his gift of video taping it and making it available to us via youtube. (you tube link to come)