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Spiritual Graduation

So it was an interesting day. Abby has had these "vision issues" for quite some time now, probably close to a year. But they've gotten significantly worse recently. We've seen multiple eye doctors who all assure us that her eyes are perfectly fine. Yet she cries about them daily.

So... we saw her pediatrician about it today. The doctor said she wants to test Abby for Lyme disease also. Yes, Lyme disease. After all, Abby was severely sick last year with symptoms similar to Eva's... a very high fever that would not respond to meds, body aches, etc. She never got a rash, though, but that's not unheard of.

Anyway, our doctor wrote up the order for the lab work and we left. I drove off in sort of a daze. What is happening? It can't be Lyme disease for her too. It just can't be. But what else is it? I was beside myself. This week we have had some pretty serious and intense things happen in the Mal house. More than just this. It seriously was a week from hell. Or.... was it from Heaven?

No, I don't think God sent a tick to my daughter or is causing harm to my family. But He has allowed it. You see, I was asking the Lord why all of this was happening, why we couldn't just have a calm spell for once. I haven't even had time to pray or shower or think. And in the blink of an eye, as quick as a flash, I had a vision of a graduation cap soaring into the sky in slow motion... and I understood.

For so long I have been sitting in prayer, like a student at the feet of her teacher, taking notes in my prayer journal, asking questions, reading His Holy text, listening, learning. And today I felt like a student who just graduated and must now begin to apply what she has learned -- a student who must put it all into practice. And live it.

Don't get me wrong, I don't pretend to be done learning. This was like just preschool graduation, really. But here's where we take a break from learning and begin the application. Here's where the rubber meets the road, where the faith I say I have is tested. The Lord has brought me down a path where He has instructed me about Himself, where He has promised never to leave or forsake me. He has to lead me through the great and beautiful spiritual garden where peace flows like a river and trust sprouts like a mighty oak.

At the same time, He has instructed me about the reality of the earthly gardens -- plants, vitamins, phytonutrients... their purposes and effects on the body. He has equipped me for this moment, through every moment that has led up to it. So why do I despair? Why do I fear? Why do I question Him? He has allowed all of this because God works all things for GOOD for those who love and serve the Lord. (Romans 8:28)

It is for our good that we labor in these trials. It is for our good that we experience the test and begin His boot camp. What good is the soldier who has forfeited it? I promised to follow Him. And He has asked me to pick up my cross. It is that simple. He embraced His for me. Am I really going to despise mine in pursuit of Him? How shameful I feel for being so downcast. See, I told you. I am one of the weaker souls in His army -- but I am all the more grateful for the opportunity to be part of it. Praise God He has accepted me and taken the time to train me.

And so, onward we march.

I have put together a strategy for Eva, and we will continue to dig for answers for Abby. We will continue to accept and carry all of the other crosses that come too... because, He has equipped us to do so. And deep in my heart, I know this is just training. He is preparing me, preparing all of us who are undergoing trial and strife and suffering. Continue to work, friends. And continue to support each other. Your support recently has meant so much, so much. We are an army together. Strong. Faithful. Victorious. God bless.

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