Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Future plans

Since some have asked and some already know, I thought I would give some hint as to where we think we are headed after Southwood. From an earthly perspective, our temporal future is in the Lord’s hands and yet to be revealed. My medical situation certainly is a key issue in the unrevealed elements of my temporal future. At present, our hope is to relocate to the Dallas, Texas area where our oldest daughter, Kristin, James, and Ranae live. Our second daughter, Kara, Aaron, Nathan, and Kailee also plan to relocate near Kristin. Brian and Jen will return to Moody Bible Institute in the fall of 2010 so Brian can finish his degree at Moody. Bethany plans to finish her second year of the nursing program at Gloucester County College in the fall of 2009 and spring of 2010. We do not have a date to relocate to Texas. My medical needs along with unanswered questions about my physical condition and capabilities provide for us a challenge on what lies ahead in providing for our needs to live in Texas.

Our one assurance is God’s firm grip on our lives and His sovereign knowledge of our future.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. (Proverbs 16:9). I realize that this faith statement is much easier to make when you have more than sufficient financial resources and/or job security but life stretching when you are not sure how this is going to work out. But it is just those life stretching circumstances that confirmed faith for those in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11. I confess that I would much rather read about someone’s stirring testimony of faith than be tested in this area. But how else do we learn? My expanded definition of faith from Hebrews 11:1 still stands: “Faith is my choice to believe and live by the truth and reality revealed by God in His Word regardless of my circumstances or feelings.” Grab a verse and put yourself to the challenge. What if I choose, this day, to live by the truth and reality revealed in this verse regardless of my circumstances or feelings? I invite you to join me in being stretched into the conformity of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28-29).

P.S. If you want to hear Brian's Sunday am message (May 31), which I highly recommend, go to our church web site and "current messages." What a privilege to sit in the congregation and hear my son preach and enjoy Bethany singing with the worship team. They are a delight.


Nancy Tyler said...

Proverbs 16:9 became my husband's favorite verse in college, when things were great and he was untested. When we got married and found out he was sick, that became the verse for our lives together. And it's remained my go-to verse. Its truth is a part of my thinking as I prayerfully plan for the future--it pops up on the screen every time I turn on my pocket pc, reminding me before I look at my electronic calendar that God's the one who controls those dates and plans.

That second part of the verse, "but the Lord determines his steps" has become a comfort for me. He's not letting me walk ahead into dark and unknown places alone. He makes my steps, even when they're on difficult terrain, purposeful.

I'm praying for you and Dottie as you're stepping into the next phase of life together and as you look forward to the hope of living close to those grandbabies!

Jennifer Hill said...

I am praying for you and your family. Your words are such an encouragement to me. I thought I would share with you what one of our staff members shared on the very same day you wrote this post, entitled "God Is Still In the Miracle Business":

Today is a special day.

It is the 10 year anniversary of a miracle - when my father became cancer free.

He had been given as little as six months to live after being diagnosed with a very rare abdominal cancer. In a life saving, 13 hour, never-been-done-on-a-person-as-old-as-him-before surgery, which removed his stomach and 23 pounds of cancerous mucous and tumor which was throughout his abdomen, he was healed. No radiation, no chemo – just a risk-taking divinely gifted surgeon and the healing power of the Almighty. Dad was not supposed to survive.

When he was recovering right after the surgery, he felt a physical washing over of his body and is certain it was the Holy Spirit filling him, comforting him, enveloping him, protecting him. He said he knew then that he would be okay. There were complications, toxic feeding solutions in the feeding tube, 911 calls, and additional hospital stays. But today, Dad is alive and leading a full, normal and healthy life at the age of 74.

God used this experience to bring my parents’ previously private and quiet relationship with God to a deeper and more open level, leading them to use the cancer as testimony to God’s love. The illness also forced my dad into retirement, after 42 years at the same corporation. The Lord refocused my father from career to matters of the heart and spirit. Through the experience, they showed my 3 siblings and me how faith can sustain, how prayer lifts a person and brings comfort and healing, and how family and friends acting as the body of Christ, can become closer than ever before. Today my parents are both Stephen Ministers, serve on their church Session, and counsel and prayerfully support numerous other patients and their spouses with the same diagnosis.

In the last 10 years which my dad was supposed to miss, one of his children has been married, 4 grandchildren have been born (one of them is my second daughter), another child celebrated 25 years of marriage, and my parents have celebrated 50 years of a loving, faith-based marriage – not to mention numerous family gatherings. My family is so thankful to the Lord for the gift of my father’s life, and for the fact that God is in control, performing miracles every day! Praise the Lord!!

Heidi Hooper