As 2016 was coming to a close, there were two profound choruses resonating loudly within my soul and secretly preparing me for what was to come.
My husband, Freddy and I began preparing for the 2017 year, yet we knew we would be facing an intense season ahead with some serious health issues that had escalated. In short, we were told Freddy’s kidneys were no longer able to support his body's needs which have now led him to be on dialysis treatments and listed for a kidney transplant.
We had no choice, but to embrace this season and I began realizing how the Lord was preparing me and wanting to create a stronger faith in me to see the miraculous performed in this coming year. “The miraculous” - it sounds so profound and yet in some sense of the word it sounds a bit predictable. Predictable in thinking what only our minds can comprehend from what we’ve seen or read in past stories. Profound, in choosing to let faith arise to a stronger level and trusting that the Lord is working it all for His Glory.
Oh, how I know the Lord is our ultimate Champion and the One who fights our battles. Even more, I believe I’ve seen firsthand how the Lord has displayed these exact traits in physical form; working and showing himself strong through Freddy and his daily schedule throughout this year. It is true, you never really know what someone goes through unless you see it lived out day after day - morning, noon and night. And in this time, I have seen him endure more than I could ever begin to convey. I have seen him physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, depleted and with nothing left to give; and yet he has kept on going; determined not to quit or give in to what has looked hopeless more times than not.
For those who know or have ever met Freddy, you know him to be the one who lights up a room by bringing laughter, fun, excitement, and love to all he encounters. And even in the midst of this intense and grueling span while continuing his daily routine and responsibilities, he has endured and continued to remain steadfast to who he is and let the light of the Lord shine through him. He’s been my hero through all of this. What a warrior!
Fast forward to where we are now; 7 months in on this trek. We have been on one of the most extreme, joy-filled, humbling, wearisome, heartrending, frustrating, emotional roller coaster rides I’ve ever experienced. Most of which has revolved around the daily obstacles that present itself to having a donor and a date set for transplant; to receiving a call with devastating news that it is no longer approved and realizing you are back at square one; wondering when “this too shall pass”.
More times than not, the Lord works in ways we never come to understand on earth. And to be honest, this is one of those times. Our hope was rising, and we had our finish line in sight. Maybe that was our “predictable miracle”; thinking we had it all figured out and saw how quickly and favorably everything was coming together. Then, in a quick second to receive the gut-shattering news that revoked our hope has caused me to question more than a 1,000 times a day the why, what and how in all of this.
As a worship leader, I dare to say that maybe the easiest part of this calling is to stand on a stage and sing loudly and passionately songs that declare who God is and how awesome it is to trust in His Promises. Yet, the moments that shape us and propel us into action are these. When the stage is empty, and the lights are out and the torments of life press in - that is where you painfully have to choose to lean in even closer to who He is and what His Truth is all about or live in an illusion of unmet expectations. Either way, we have a choice. For me in this duration, my choice is being made from day to day and most of the time minute by minute. It is a choice in surrendering to the “not seeing” and “not knowing” part of His plan; a choice that is more than just words. It is the brutal decision to willfully push through the arduous weight of mental instability and decide that even if He does not answer in the way I have prayed, that I will still choose to praise Him and proclaim that He is good; regardless. Honestly, it is a decision that is drenched in agonizing discomfort each second I am up against it.
It’s taken me a lot of tears and long, hard pondering moments to uncover the small ounce of faith that was hidden deep within my soul. But the good news is - I found it; and with that, I am clinging to His Word.
I do not know every step on this path, but I believe Freddy and I are on a voyage that will significantly affirm God’s faithfulness and His miraculous ways. It is only by that mustard seed faith that I found buried down in the trenches of my soul, that I can now see the victorious outcome of him standing in complete wholeness and healing with a new kidney giving praise to the only One who makes the impossible possible.
In the same way, if you are in a season faced with defeat or having to choose between illusion and unmet expectations or His fullness and goodness, no matter the insurmountable distress you find yourself in, I encourage you to dive unswervingly into His fullness and goodness. There is nothing else that compares to who He is and what He has. Friend, I am on this wandering, jagged road with you. But may we choose to let those enervating questions, yearnings, and cries catapult us closer towards the One who will gloriously come through in due time. For it’s these exact trials and testings; that IF we surrender and embrace His truths, our “faith becomes stronger in the presence of our Savior.”