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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Living for the Applause of Heaven

I've written before about monotony and about invisibility. I've talked about the beauty of mundane life. (Mundane life takes on an extraordinary beauty when trials have hit us unexpectedly.) But today I want to share something I've been thinking about for a few days now. The Bible says our lives are hidden in Christ ( "For you died, and your life is now hidden in Christ with God." Colossians 3:3)  That's a lovely thought, but it also makes me think of many of us whose outward lives may not look like a lot to the world - in fact, you could say that we are almost hidden away. But in that hiddenness is a beautiful look into God's heart.

Much of my day to day life is spent caring for our daughter who has cerebral palsy. It isn't what I would have chosen my life to look like. It certainly isn't what I wanted for her.  I also don't think that God has "assigned" our daughter this terrible disability, though at times, I've wondered. There's been thoughts like, "Is this disability supposed to develop our character? Make us stronger?" No, I don't think so.  What I do know is that I took His hand, sometimes hesitantly, and began walking with Him through this unexpected time of life. I've talked, cried, and poured out my heart to Him. I've questioned Him, raged at Him, and fell asleep while crying and talking with Him about her condition and future.

There seems no end to the work involved in caring for our daughter.That is just a statement of our lives.  I don't always have a good attitude about it. Sometimes I long for a day of no real commitment. I can't even imagine what that would be like. There is a lot of repetition of her daily care and a lot of anguish in my heart on some days. There have been many times where I've left her room after putting her to bed or giving her lunch, only to stop and cry as I'm going back upstairs. The "whys?" in my heart have had no answers. The "whys" are not just for myself, but for my daughter also. It is a terrible thing when the dreams you've had have died. But even those crushed, broken dreams and heart have to be offered to Him.

There are so many dreams I have for her.  I want her to have the chance to not only pursue her own dreams, but to do the little things we take for granted. I want to see her be able to take a shower any time she feels like it, to get up in the middle of the night to get a drink, to be able to curl her hair and put on her make up, to do her nails, to wear high heels and a pretty dress, to run down the road just for fun, to drive with the top down in a convertible, to go through a drive through to order a Coke, to create a sandwich just the way she likes it, to hold her little brother's hand as they take a walk together, to get up in the middle of the night and watch a movie, to go to Target and buy whatever shampoo she'd like to try, to go and get her hair cut, to have a pedicure, to walk around the mall and window shop, to go to the movies with a friend, or to sit in her sister's room and just talk.

 Will these dreams for her ever be? I don't know. I hope so. My faith feels tired, but it is still there. I know that Jesus is my friend and that He knows and sees and understands. I don't understand the "whys", but I know I can trust Him with everything that is dear to my heart.

 I see Jesus differently than I used to. If you had asked me about Him before, I could have given you a nice, heartfelt "Christian" answer. But He would have sounded like a very sanitized historical figure. I think my knowledge of Him and relationship with Him was limited at best. There is something about walking through a crushing time with Him that forces you to get to know Him in a way you might not have been able to before. It is kind of like, "Oh, I can see You now!" Where as before, it seemed like I was squinting to get a good look.

 God has been speaking to me about the hiddenness of my life (and your life if you are reading this and feel this is speaking to you) and living for the applause of Heaven. When life here has ended, all that will really matter is what we have offered up to Him and the obedience we have walked in (sometimes with our extremely limited vision.)  I think we will be surprised when we arrive in Heaven one day. I never think of myself as anyone special, and maybe you feel your life isn't anything special, but I think on that day, our eyes will be opened to what our lives have looked like to Him on that side of eternity.

Everything I've ever offered up to Him, for Him, has not been forgotten by Him. (Even the things I've forgotten about.) He remembers what you have given Him. He sees every tear you've cried when you've been by yourself whether it was tears of exhaustion, sorrow, rejection, or not understanding why all these things in your life are happening.  You've made the choice to walk with Him even through the pain of not understanding. You have made the choice to love Him despite what is taking place around you. He will not forget your choice, your heart, or your life.

Your life is hidden with Christ in God. There may not be applause or recognition right now. That is okay. "...your alms (giving) may be in secret and your Father which sees in secret himself shall reward you openly." Matt. 6:4


LinkinGrace at Homeg up to:  www.impartinggrace.com  www.kellyskornerblog.com

23 comments:

  1. Kathy,this is so honest and heart felt...thank you ...to live in the Light of Eternity...love Gloria Phifer

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  2. "There is something about walking through a crushing time with Him that forces you to get to know Him in a way you might not have been able to before. It is kind of like, "Oh, I can see You now!" Where as before, it seemed like I was squinting to get a good look."...

    I can most definitely attest to those words. Beautiful post. Really. It brought tears to my eyes.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your kind email. Very much looking forward to reading more of your words here.

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    1. Thank you, Diane. I look forward to reading your blog, too. You're a tremendous writer.

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  3. Kathy thank you for sharing your life does Minister to my heart. I can so identify as a care giver.we sometimes feel so alone and wonder Jesus where are you in all of this but we know he is right here. I just want you and Dave to know your strength helps us through.
    Love Dave and Penny

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    1. Thank you so much, Dave and Penny. I really appreciate your kindness and we love you both, too:)

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  4. As always amazing and very touching...Thank you so much for touching my heart tonight. Rob Michael

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  5. Stopping by through Kellys Korner link up! Glad I found your blog! :)
    -Priscilla
    www.gracefullyrefreshed.com

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  6. Kathy, thank you for stopping by my blog. Thank you for sharing your heart! I have been having one of those seasons with the Lord as well. Psalm 25 has been a comfort to me.

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    1. Thank you, Julie. I was trying to find your blog again. What is the address?

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  7. This is such a beautiful post about mothering. Most of the good work we moms do IS hidden away..and is pure service. I love the last Matthew verse...no applause or recognition...those rewards would be so worldly and trivial anyways.

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    1. Thank you so much, Sarah. I read your blog everyday! I love to read about Janey:)

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  8. Kathy,
    I love you and I love your expression through writing. I love your heart for your family. I love your beauty and your kindness. I love you. I have a blog too but I havent written in awhile I think I have writers block. I think it more has to do with my divorce than anything else. I look forward to your next post,

    Cheryl

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    1. Oh Cheryl, I didn't know about this. I would love to read your blog! Please send me the link. Love you!

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  9. KATHY, I shared this with my husband...he was really touched...thank you for being so open ...you are a lovely woman...Gloria Phifer

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    1. You and your husband are wonderful! Thank you:)

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  10. I stumbled upon this post and it has really encouraged me, thank you so much. My husband has been partially disabled for 13 years, and completely for almost 1 year. It is so hard and lonely. We have 11 children...2 grown on their own, 2 teens that live with their sister and are drug addicts (long sad story) and 7 at home. The youngest is 5 months. My heart is broken and my spirit and body are weary, but this post has helped me feel a little better.

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    1. HI! Your note really touched me. Dear God, bless this dear lady and bring about miracles for every member of her family. We commit them into your care. Give her a peace that passes all understanding. Nothing is impossible for you, God. I send you love and hugs! - Kathy

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    2. Thank you! :)

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  11. I've just found your blog and want to thank you! What an incredible encouragement you've been to me (and I'm sure countless others who may not have even commented but have soaked up your words). Heaven IS applauding as you care for your family. Keep up the good work! May you feel the Lord's closeness and favor each day!! love, ~julie

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    1. Thank you so much, Julie! I really appreciate your kind words.
      Have a blessed day!

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