Talk to Yourself
By Sharon Betters
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Just when we thought it was safe to relax and revel in the birth of our little grandbabies, death knocked on our door. Late at night Heidi called for us to come stay with their children while Greg and she rushed to the hospital. Abigail was very sick, diagnosed with a life-threatening infection. Our tiny granddaughter could die. Intense fear, the what if’s, the unknowns and the need to create stability for the other grandchildren filled our hearts. Overriding all of it was the fear of losing our sweet little “Abigail Lynn.”
Once more, David mentored me: Talk to yourself, Sharon. Say:
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 62:5, 6
The crisis passed. Relief flooded our hearts with the good news about Abby but her road to recovery would be hard and long. Both babies were so frail, so tiny, we now knew what our daughter had hidden in her heart: bad things could happen quickly. Vigilance intensified.
None of us were smiling.
I tried to write in the middle of all of this, recognizing my inadequacies and inability to write the book unless God miraculously intervened. Our circumstances left me with three options: tell the publisher I couldn’t meet the deadlines; force myself to write when I was needed in other places; or trust that God was my Rock, Rest, Rescue and Refuge and He would provide the right amount of time to write this book. To help my heart rest in His plans, I started choosing to believe He was up to something better than I could imagine.
I think God smiles when we make our plans because He often has a better one.
Laura and I began to understand how God brought good from the disappointment of their unmet home closing. They would have been moving in the middle of July, right in the midst of the family chaos. Instead we acted as a tag team, taking care of grandchildren and house responsibilities.
I needed Laura in our home. I needed all of them. With so much uncertainty swirling around our little twins, God gave us precious time with the grandchildren, hugs, stories and bedtime rituals, that feeling when you go to bed and everyone is home, safe and sound. All of these grounded me, gave me moments to breathe and find rest in the Lord. Perhaps not by desire but certainly by choice, Laura had to die to self in order to serve the needs of our family in ways she never expected. But perhaps that’s the way of dying to self. She never complained, never whined about having to live out of suitcases for so long. Instead, she was a steadying force in our home. Our whole family sacrificed and Laura led the way by her quiet strength.
God knows me better than I know myself. He knows the number of hairs on my head. That’s intimate! My Father knew I could not emotionally handle writing Treasures in Darkness by spending large chunks of time on it. He knew when I agreed to the writing schedule the earth beneath my feet was about to shift dramatically. Instead of protecting me from the added writing pressures during this stressful time, He protected my broken heart by bringing good from all of those stressful days. He used each circumstance to set the stage for me to write in the middle of lots of distractions and urgent needs that required my attention. He supplied the physical and emotional energy to face each day. He brought good from the chaos in so many ways.
It's in serving and obeying, even when it's hard and long, that God often answers the cries of our heart and meets our needs. God sent stabilizing moments of joy in the middle of difficult emotional stress. And I met every writing deadline. And that’s when I smiled.
Father, we are learning that it’s in serving and obeying even when life is hard and long, that You often answer the cries of our hearts and meet our needs. You give us stabilizing moments of joy when the earth shifts beneath our feet. Give us faith to trust that You ARE our Rock, Rest, Rescue and Refuge.
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Sharon W. Betters is author of Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness and co-author of Treasures of Faith. She is Director of Resource Development and co-founder of MARKINC.org, a non profit organization that offers help and hope to hurting people. Sharon enjoys quality time with her husband, children and fourteen grandchildren.
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