I need reminders. Reminders to do my to do list, reminders of my schedule, reminders of places to be. Mostly I find that I need reminders of how Great my God is, how loving, how powerful, how merciful and how good He is. I tend to get distracted and my mind wanders off on its own and it seems to almost immediately forget what I know to be true. So I need reminders. I post His word in places I can see it, I choose to listen to worship music every morning, I observe His most amazingly beautiful creation,and I even got a tattoo, but mostly I need reminders from my people. The body of Christ. I have yet to find a reminder as powerful as when God speaks and display all of His truth through the people He has brought into my life.
I got my second tattoo last November (my first was with my family the day after my youngest brother passed away). I was surrounded by family and friends. Both of my kids had left for college so finally getting the tattoo I had wanted for 7 years of a puzzle piece was perfect for this time. I had been and was still trying (and often failing) to adjust to becoming an empty nester. I needed a constant reminding during those first several months.It reminds me daily that I have to choose to trust God with the big picture, He is the only one that knows how all of our pieces will fit together. It reminds me that I can not judge Him and eternity based on what little I can see on my piece of the puzzle. It reminds me that though my circumstances may seem crazy, or bad, or wrong or full of grief, that God has promised, in Romans 8:28, to work all things for good and all means all.
Yesterday I had a follow up appointment with a rheumatologist. I have been dealing with some really not okay and really not fun stuff for quite a while now. So, as crazy as it was, I felt a sense of relief when he told me that I did have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Relief to finally know what is causing me all these issues and to begin treatment for it. Followed by a sinking feeling when I realized that there is no cure, that this is a progressive disease and often the treatment itself creates issues. As it began to sink in throughout the day I began to really wrestle with this diagnosis. Sadness swept over me. Sadness that I now had to spend the rest of my life dealing with this disease. Sadness realizing all that I have already missed because I felt too bad to participate and realizing there are a lot more of those times in my future. Sadness realizing that the pain I am currently in will be a frequent visitor. Sadness realizing this disease does not at all fit in with all my plans or how I envisioned my life. Sadness knowing all the people who have prayed for me to be healed and at this point I am not. Tears flowed when I realized I was driving home to an empty house and would spend the remainder of my day and night coping with this news alone. (Unfortunately my most wonderful husband is out of the state doing military training)
I knew if I chose to stay alone that my mind would take off on its own. Down a familiar path, one I’ve tried to avoid traveling after spending far too long on it, that path that leads me to question God’s goodness. So I called my always there, always willing to take on and conquer anything, always winning ;-), friend Sarah. We spent the evening talking, eating and shopping. She always reminds me to look for a new way. I love her for her constant encouragement and reminders that we can never ever think we know how God is going to show up.
I wrapped up my evening sitting on the floor, drinking champagne in my dear friend Nicole’s brand new food truck. I sat there with my girls, Kerry, Shannon and Nicole celebrating this brand new adventure that Nicole is starting off on, shedding tears of happiness and joy at just how God works things, in His timing, for good. Loving to hear how Nicole trusted God over everything else and He lead her back to the fulfillment of her life long dream, so much more and so much better than she ever thought or imagined. As we sat on the floor together, they listened to all the details of this diagnosis, treatments and my fears. They encouraged me, lifted me up, supported me and made me laugh. As I left that night I couldn’t help but smile and thank God for such an beautiful reminder. The reminder that He is God and He has promised to work all things for good. The reminder that trusting Him is the first requirement. The reminder of just how fun and beautiful life with Him and with His people really is. The reminder that in all the crazy, fun, adventures of life He is there and He brings just the perfect people to be on the adventure with us. The reminder that even those times that we feel life isn’t as we had dreamed and planned that there is still a crazy, fun, adventure to be had.The reminder that He loves me so much that He gives me people to show it.
This morning after spending a restless night and a stressful and sad morning trying to process everything, my tattoo caught my eye in my mirror. Again I felt the Lord reminding me, that He has got this. I don’t need to worry about my tomorrows, He is already there. I don’t need to worry about this diagnosis, He has known about it all along. Reminding me that if I will trust Him with my puzzle piece that He will work it all for good. His good, not my good. I will choose His good over my good ANY day. His good is eternity based and my good can only be based on what is in front of me right now, that little bit that I can see on my piece of the puzzle.
We celebrate the realizations of dreams and food trucks. We choose to trust Him, above all else, with diagnosis. I am ever grateful, especially today, for reminders of His goodness and His love, from tattoos and from my people. There is no place I would rather be than surrounded by the people, who like me, find they need reminders and who choose to trust even when it doesn’t feel good and who celebrate victories and dreams brought about by trusting Him, no matter how small or how big…even food truck sized, even with a Rheumatoid diagnosis. He is good and I love reminders.