Do you have words to live by?  
Repeating phrases that ring in your ears as well as your spirit?
I do. 
Scripture passages bubble up and roll through me; they drag me back from the cliff's edge with a 
firm grip on my sweaty waistband and shove me in the right direction again.
Chronic illness has been part of my life since my early twenties when rheumatoid arthritis made itself known in my body. Back then, I searched the scriptures to try to gain an understanding of what was happening. This story of compassion hit me like a ton of bricks and sank like the same, deep down into my heart. Now, as a five year remission seems to be winding to an end,  I continue to find hope on that very page, and still find myself stretching out my hand to my Savior on the more painful days. 
And sometimes, I hop and wave a little frantically, too.

Side Note: 
In elementary school, I was part of a gaggle of girls who often congregated for sleepovers, almost always at the same small house set far back on a hilltop. After eating nearly everything in the kitchen, roaring around the neighborhood, and endless rounds of truth or dare on the front porch, we all bedded down on the family room floor in the basement. In the parent-imposed darkness, secrets stole from our lips and floated like mist just above our wide-awake faces. One night, our classmate-hostess disobediently shared a confidence her mother had instructed her to keep strictly 'in the family'. She sat up in the dark and whispered the secret: during her prayer for salvation, her mother felt a strong and firm hand slip downward into her own upraised one. All of us were stunned into silent consideration of this amazing occurrence. Had Jesus actually clasped hands with this entirely ordinary, mother-shaped person?  During breakfast, although warned against it, one of us blurted the question onto the formica table. After scolding her daughter with an intense sideways squint, she confirmed the story, but refused to add further details,  for which we begged. 
When I consider  potency of that childhood story and the recurring theme of Stretch Out Your Hand in my life, I'm left to wonder how these pieces fit together. . .

A verse first spoken to my husband and me when we were having troubles with teens.  To  this weepy mom, it was startling, but very few pieces of parenting advice have been as useful as this one. My hope cannot rest in home schooling, in seminars or programs. My trust for their well-being cannot be rightly placed in bold mentors or godly coaches. While those may be desirable, they cannot bear up under the horrific weight of my TRUST. These sons have been given to us to raise, but they are the Lord's alone. He is writing their story. 
Our trust can only find its proper resting place in the strong name of the Lord God.

My most recent addition. I'm still sorting out what 'higher' can mean, but this keeps 
battering on the door of my heart.  
It gives me much to ponder as I prune dead hydrangea canes.

What are your repeating verses? 
Does His word prompt and point you? 

I'd love to hear about that.


Jenny said...

So many verses to lean on, but I do keep coming back to Prov.3:5-6 and John 6:29 (The work of God is this:
to believe in the one he has sent).
When I was little, I had a picture of Jesus as the Good Shepherd and I've always treasured that image. I'm sorry to hear that your arthritis is flaring up. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Jenny said...

Another thought about children: We also home-schooled for elementary school. One son turned his back on Christianity and I had to learn to give him to God. We have a friendly relationship with him and I still hope he will find the Lord, but I try to just pray but not worry.

Anonymous said...

"While He sings over us"....Really? The creator of all things sings over me? ME? How dare I say crazy things about His piece of work?