An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Giving Birth and the Book of Elijah?

January 25th, 2011



Thirty years ago today, I was in labor with my firstborn. It had been a long labor and I was tired and not sure if I had what it took to give birth. But when the doctor said, “Come on Kathleen, one more push and you will have that red headed baby," I seemed to come alive. Joe and I both had dark hair. At the moment I couldn’t figure out how we could have a redhead, but with what strength I had left I looked into Joe’s eyes and said, “I promise its yours.” Minutes later Joseph Austin Maxwell entered the world. What a wonderful gift this child/man has been. Joe’s grandmother and my mom both had red/auburn hair, so the mystery was solved. God uses Austin today as an officer in the Navy.

Somehow I sort of feel some of the same feelings now I felt that day 30 years ago. In my spirit I have never felt stronger and more alive, but in my body and emotions are at a weaker place and I am finding it necessary to rest more and let God restore me. The events from the recent months have caught up with me, and with the events of recent years, I just can’t bounce back as easy. But this is a good place to be, because I get to discover who God is for me in this season of my life. I may not know much, but I do know he told me he wanted to be my sustainer. How wonderful to be sustained and comforted by the creator of the universe. I hang on to that promise as I watch my dad’s fragile health and my precious child-like mother. I have a rich godly heritage and much to be thankful for. We had a family meeting this weekend, and as I shared my weakness my mom who drifts in and out of reality with her dementia said, “We need to pray for Kathleen.” Then she and my dad blessed and prayed the sweetest and most heart felt prayer of blessing over me. Mom’s mind may be failing but her spirit is very alive and in those moments she was “there.” As hard as this season is I must spend more time in worship. God reminded me that singing is how I got through the tough days with watching tumors grow-worship helped me focus in the storm, so I am stepping up my worship. On our worst days, God is still worthy of being worshiped. Stepping into my pain and worshipping regardless of our circumstances is called lamentation, and many other people in the Bible documented their experience. Habakkuk 3:17-19 says, “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be in the vines; Though the labor of the olive mail fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls- Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” ( NIV) In this time, I have the opportunity to establish my own story of God’s faithfulness to rescue me and sustain me. In this time I will rest more, worship more and trust Him more. I will step into that childlike place and since he is sustaining me, my position is being one of staying in that place of a much loved child and letting Him nurture and love me in my new life. I appreciate all prayers for my family and me we navigate this season of life. On a lighter note I sometimes entertain myself. The other day I opened the mailbox and saw a jury summons for Joe. I laughed and thought “I have to get in touch with him so he can get back here for this summons! How can that happen when his death certificate is on file in the county? I am filing that under “things I don’t understand.” Another thing that made me laugh was when I recently decided to read the story of when God fed Elijah by the brook. I opened my Bible and began looking for the book of Elijah…I searched the old testament a few seconds and then remembered that there is no book of Elijah! I just laughed at myself, and wondered if I had really been a Christian for 41 years.

Singing, Resting and Laughing,

Kathleen

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