Learning Contentment again

I have had the desire to write about some kind of an update. A change or some new progress…but things are much the same. I get asked, “How are things going? How is Joel?” I sometimes struggle with how to answer. I want to say fantastic, great but… things are still much the same.

Our lives have become somewhat routine, dare I say, normal. Rewind six months and I would say there is nothing normal about what we are living today. Yet as days have turned into weeks and then months many things have become normal to us. Drugs, blood tests, hospital stays etc. Joel is actually counting the days until we have our stay at the hospital. Before he went to sleep he said 2 more sleeps.

I am still struggling with all that Joel is going through and have concerns for his future. I had dreams for his future as I do for all of my children yet somehow this Medulloblastoma and its treatment has robbed me of those dreams. I still have them yet I doubt them now. I wonder if it is fair to hope for them. Our doctors have laid out all the possible side effects and deficiencies Joel may struggle with and I wrestle with it.

You see I have hope and trust and belief but I also have doubt. Remember the Daddy who said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” The actual verse reads;

“Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”- Mark 9:24

Some people may argue, ‘you just need faith’ and there is some truth in that but you know what Jesus didn’t say when you believe fully I will heal him…no he healed the boy. God understands our, at times, weak faith. I think He desires our honesty, and I am nothing if not honest about my struggles. Sure I put on a brave face and smile and I will say, “Okay.” to the question, “How are you doing?”…. because sometimes I don’t know where to begin….and if I start it could be a long answer.

I find when I just start to feel like I have attained a certain level in my walk with God He humbles me. Dave and I went through some tough times financially a while back and in the midst of that I learned to say along with Paul who penned these words….

“for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”- Philippians 4:11b-12

And I had to that point, now I find myself in a new circumstance one I never would have dreamt of and once again I am finding myself wrestling with contentment. I know what it is to be in need…I have walked that path and God brought me to a place of contentment. Now, I walk a path in need of something entirely different… a need to see my little boy whole again, able to run and jump, able to carry his favorite book or toy upstairs, able to finish a sentence without struggling for the words, able to brush his hair, able to catch crickets and frogs with his brothers and sisters, able to eat a big meal…. I could go on. For the most part contentment has settled in to our lives. There is hope for healing and that we will look back on this as a distant memory… BUT what if that does not happen. That is where my contentment has yet to settle.

Paul speaks of the secret of being content and I think it is found in the next verse;

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” -Philippians 4:13

This is a process and one that I definitely do not lay any claim to having attained it. I know His word also says;

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”- Matthew 6:24

Perhaps my challenge lives more in not letting my mind drift to the unknown future than contentment. For me, it is not so much the next day, week, month or even year, it is further down the path that I am tempted to worry about. All that to say, I can still cry out to Jesus, “I believe but help my unbelief,” and I also know the secret that I CAN do everything THROUGH HIM who STRENGTHENS me as I travel down this path once again to contentment.

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