be strong and courageous 

Raw … Real … Honest … that’s what I strive to be with y’all. So … I’m gonna keep doing that. 

Yesterday we received a call from the Dr. He reviewed my MRI with a neuroradiologist and it really hasn’t changed since last March. Which lessens my chances of this being MS, which is good news, but it really doesn’t give us any insight to what this is. So we are going to proceed with a lumbar puncture. 

I’ll need to have lab work prior await the results if they are ok then hold my aspirin (which I am on for increased risk of heart disease and stroke due to the MTHFR gene mutation) for a week then have the procedure which they will send off the fluid for testing and 10 days after that we should hear from the doctor with results. 

This is good news, I said that earlier but even though it’s good news it just left me feeling worn. It always takes me a little bit to feel the weight of any news, cry a few tears, fall asleep on my rocks shoulders then the next day or so I’m ready to endure the wilderness and so I feel encouraged that I’ll do the same with this. But right now, last night I mean, I wasn’t encouraged yet. 

This is what I prayed. I didn’t really know what to pray, sometimes it isn’t about your prayer being perfect but about the quiet intentional time with the Lord. 

   

Then Danny and I prayed and then we got up hugged the kids and kept on keepin on. I didn’t want this – this next thing – to rob my happiness. Layla and Hunter bring us … Me … Us … So much happiness. They are just sweet and loving and kind hearted and love us so well I didn’t want to feel this heavy thing on me and let it rob me of those things. 

I continued to pray all night that the Lord would just keep my fleck on faith present. That he would send me a whisper, a song, a text, a hug from the kids that would let me know He hasn’t left, He is still present in our wilderness. 

Then as I sat in my sweats with slippers on and a blanket it came. “be strong and courageous … be strong and courageous” began to repeat over and over in my head. “Be strong and courageous … He took me back to IF:Gathering 2015 when a theme throughout the gathering was to be strong and courageous. 

It says it a few times in the first chapter of the book of Joshua but my favorite part is Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid;do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

Amena Brown delivers a monologue that was so powerful and yet I hadn’t really even thought about it since last February when I first heard it. I hadn’t listened to it again since that day or anything but last night the Lord played it over and over and over again in my mind, I had to find it and listen to it again. 

Here is it …   

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HfgU0RXDw4Y#

 I pray you take the time to watch it … It’s 5 – 6 minutes but it’s well worth your time. Watch it over and over again. I pray that it encourages you as much as it has me. I felt like the Lord was speaking directly to me through it last night. 

He is present, He hasn’t left us in this wilderness, He is with me wherever we go. We can do hard things. We can do this … We are doing this and we aren’t alone. Like I said the other day, the struggle is real but the fight is worth it. I’m daily reminding myself of this simple truth and that’s ok, we do what we have to do to get through what we have to get through and I’m gonna get through this. 

Whatever your wilderness is friends, He is there, you are not alone, you are strong and courageous and you can do hard things. I am praying for you as hard as I am praying for me. The fight is worth it, you are worth it, we are worth it. Be strong and courageous… 

One more thing, I know I always say that … These are pictures of the sunset as we arrived home last night … I didn’t see it then but I see it now, God started His whispering and encouraging us before we even realized it. How is the Lord encouraging you today? 

  Did I mention that I’m falling in love with living on this still,quiet mountain?? 
 

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