Bring on the Blessings

mountain verseI’ve been thinking a lot about blessings lately.

It’s been a hard few years for our family. My son recently hit the twenty-month mark in his journey with leukemia. We’re shuffling along slower than we were before cancer struck and forced him home from college to battle for his life.

The adrenaline that hit at his diagnosis, and pushed us through crisis after crisis, has given way to a crash of exhaustion. We’re ready to ride the downhill relief of getting over the worst of the cancer mountain, yet we’re stuck in the middle of the climb.

Every one of us is drained and tired and ready to be done–because cancer doesn’t just stick to the patient, it crawls over the entire family and clings. In our own ways, each of us is a little messed up.

There’s a scary statistic out there that says 85 percent of couples divorce after their child has been diagnosed with a serious illness—regardless of whether the child survives or not. I wonder how many siblings emotionally “divorce” their families as well. I don’t have any stats, but I can see how easily that could happen.

Because the truth is tragedy and hardship don’t always bind families tighter. They tear them apart. Drive wedges between relationships. Make people bitter and angry and start a rousing round of the Blame Game.

Kyle has ten months left of weekly chemo. Another year for his body to heal from the ravages of a second long-term treatment. And who knows how long to deal with the mental and emotional fall-out of taking back his life.

All of us struggle. All of us have mountains to climb. You don’t have to be dealing with illness to relate to the hardships of life. If you’ve lived at all, you get it.

When we suffer for long periods of time—whether from physical, spiritual, or emotional issues—I’ve discovered one thing that can keep us going. Hope. And hope for me comes inside of blessings.

 

Psalm 5:11-12 (NIV)

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;

let them ever sing for joy.

Spread your protection over them,

that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;

you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

 

Here’s my prayer for my family. Maybe you can fine-tune it for yours.

“Lord, bless Kyle abundantly. As much as he’s been asked to suffer, as hard as life has been, provide an equal, or better, measure of good as he moves forward. Bring people into his life he can help and who can help him. Open doors to the future You have planned. Show him how he can use both his battles with cancer to bless someone else.

Protect my marriage. Keep us strong and united, especially in the worst moments.

Be with my other kids. Bless them with open eyes and open ears to see and hear Your goodness, instead of blaming You for letting Kyle get sick. Use this time to build a rock solid bond between you and them that can never be destroyed.

And last, take our ugliness—there’s a lot of it—and make it beautiful in a way that only You can.”

 Psalm 29:11

The Lord gives strength to his people;

the Lord blesses his people with peace.

I don’t know where you are in your relationship with God or in your own battles with life. Maybe you’ve never suffered. Maybe you’ve suffered too much. But there are blessings out there for you. Sometimes it’s just a matter of asking. Other times it’s a matter of opening your heart to see them.

This morning, I encourage you to pray for blessings for yourself and for your family. And I’d love it if you shared your prayers at the bottom of this post.

blessings

Thanks for hanging out on my blog.

If you’re interested, here are some

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13 Comments

  1. Lori, as we’ve traveled this journey, trailing along behind y’all, I’m so thankful for your transparency to share the good, the bad, and the very ugly. Isn’t that what God tells us to do? We will never understand all that is involved this side of heaven. But these things I know from having bumped along the grief road when our Michelle went home. Blessing #1 – Your transparency allows the Spirit in us to know how to pray for Kyle and your family. Blessing #2 – Your anguish and trials reminds us how blessed we are at this moment in time. Blessing #3 – Seeing Kyle’s pain and your helplessness to fix or protect him from this disease drives each one of us to our knees before the One who can heal, to cry out not only for you but for all the others struggling, limping along this road of life. Blessing #4 – The knowledge that this current crisis is not forever. It may seem like it right this moment. But like swimming in the surf, if we can lean into the waves, rather than run from them, we can stand the force of the crashing currents. Pain and grief are like those crashing swells and we must learn to lean into our own chaos. ‘Cause that’s where we find Jesus…just like Peter did that night in the middle of the storm on the Sea of Galilee. It’s hard to comprehend the scope of the lessons and blessings in the middle of the storm, but I can assure you they will someday fill the book God is writing in each one of you.

    • Lori Freeland |

      Thank you for all those blessing reminders! I needed them.

      • That were such a blessing to hear your story and to feel your pain for a child,thank god you are in Christ Jesus and you realized that he has a plan and a purpose for you and Kyle,if not just for me to read your Blog thank be to God for your faithness

  2. Margaret Bazemore |

    Lori, I must say reading the material you have been willing to share has brought me back to reality. I too know the long road of suffering, and yes there have been and still are many times when I perceive that my mustard seed faith will not be enough. But one thing I can encourage you with and that is the word of God. No matter what the situation looks like, in spite of all the pain and agony and what seems to be unanswered prayers continue to stand on the word.
    as you rest today take Psalms 91 with you where it says Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler and the noisome pestilence. Surely he will deliver you out of your present circumstances. My step-daughter was recently killed the 24th of May in what appears to be a domestic situation. Each and everyday that I and my husband wakes up on this side of glory and we are not stretched out across the alter in our own eulogy or that we are not sitting behind jail bars it lets me know that God is still a miracle working God. Continue to pray and hold on for God will come and see about you.

  3. I have never met anyone with your honest transparency. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who KNOWS God is there but my faith is so weak. Years of health battle roller-coaster. Marriage is just about over. Both Christians but have given up. I’ve enjoyed your readings

  4. Claire Rosalia |

    It is not easy to see God His goodness in our illness, But God is good! He knows the best.
    Also for me.
    Parkinson is not always cooperating and sometimes I am struggling on my own instead of trusting in God.
    I hope God will use my disease for His Glory.
    I appreciate prayer.

  5. Lori, 7 years ago my 18 year old daughter was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. We lived most of 6 months in all childrens hospital. .they don’t let the aml kids get chemo and go home. In this period of time Satan tried to attack and have my marriage and pull my other older daughter into a bad way of life. She was 20 and felt deserted. I lived at the hospital with Haley and we set up a scripture wall for all to share and sign. Everyday Haley would pick a person and scripture off the wall and we would pray for them. This helped Haley ..and me. ..to focus on others and stay in the word. This was not my idea but the Holy Spirits. ..in that guidance we also realized another teenager and his family did not have the peace that we had. .they did not have the Lord. We were able to be used to glorify our Lord by helping them come to know Jesus. He did not survive and leave the hospital as we did. Sometimes we don’t get to see how God uses us to glorify Him in our trials but He allowed us to see why we were there. To help bring Jonathan and His family to know Him. Your sharing in this has reminded me of so many of my blessings through and since then. So thank you for glorifying the Father through your trials. He’s got you and will hold you through this storm. Haley is now 26. .Praise God!My older daughter Lindsay is married to a wonderful Christian man and about to have our first grandson. My marriage survived and is strong. Keep thanking the Lord and I will keep you in my prayers!

  6. My Son Storm Is Still Recovering From 2 Brain Surgeries First One Had Complications Which Dr’s Placed Him In A Medically Induced Coma & On A Ventilator For 11 Days & Second 18 & A Half Surgery Which Went Into 107 Days In Neuro ICU On A Roller Coaster Ride Of Living Second To Second Of Unknowns, I’m A Single Mom & Been On My Own Thru It All With No Family Or Support Network Except For Our Heavenly Father Doing It All While Battling My Own Medical ILLness From On The Job Issue Before My Son’s Crisis Occurred, My Employer Wrongfully Closed My Medical Claim 5 Months Ago Stopping Our Only Income To Live On While Storm’s Still Recovering & I’m Battling To Regain My Health Back Also We Are Now Being Evicted & Going To Be Homeless & Scared But Our Faith Assures Us That God Has Us In The Palm Of His Hand & We Will Be Alright Thru Him Always, I Do Know What Being Exhausted Really Does Mean & Living On Prayers Non Stop Holding On So Tight To Gods Hand, Praying For The End To All These Night Seasons Soon, Sending Prayers To Kyle & Your Family, Thank You For Your Blog, Helped Me To Remember The Phases Of Our Faith ? God Bless Us All In Jesus’ Name ? Amen

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