I absolutely love gardening. My grandparents had farms and gardens. My parents always had a large vegetable garden. And although I HATE bugs, I love every other aspect of gardening. Cultivating the soil, planting seeds, watering, fertilizing, weeding, and the best part of all: Watching the growth and enjoying and sharing the harvest.
And of course, I deeply love and appreciate all the spiritual lessons that gardening affords. Lessons such as, the seed has to go into the ground and die before it can bear fruit. Or realizing that weeds must be pulled up by the roots completely or they just come back bigger. I could go on and on…but the lesson on my heart tonight is simply the concept of sowing and reaping. If I sow cucumber seeds, I will reap a harvest of cucumbers. It is so simple. So basic.
So life changing.
I have been compiling a list of ways that the Lord has provided for us. Ahead of time. Before we even realized that we had a need. So that we would know without a doubt that He loves us and will take care of our Georgie. As my list has become longer and longer, I am compelled to share it. But not just share it…I want to sow it. Because as I blogged a few weeks ago, I will not waste this pain. I will use every single thing I can use in order to bring glory to God and encourage others.
As I share these miracles, my prayer and hope is that a harvest will take place in the hearts of whoever reads these words. A harvest of faith. Hope. Joy. Peace. Trust. Rest. Knowledge of God’s love and care.
Right now my list is up to fifteen. I can see fifteen different ways in which the Lord provided, prior to Georgie’s diagnosis, so that when the storm of Type 1 Diabetes hit we would not drown. I am certain that there are more than fifteen, but these are the ones I can recognize so far. It is my joy to share all of them in these next few blogs.
I cannot say that God gave George this disease. But I can say that He has worked in our hearts for years, preparing us and giving us exactly what we need in order to walk this path.
The first that I want to mention is our prayer shield. That might be a strange phrase to some, but it is simply a group of incredible people that have walked with us for years through ministry and life. These people know us. They love us. And they pray for us at the drop of a hat. If I remember correctly, my prayer shield began about 14 years ago with a handful of ladies who were burdened to pray for a single young gal in full-time ministry. This group has grown to include many friends and family. And honestly, I do not know what life would look like without this group of people consistently covering our family in prayer. On our way to the hospital on March 19th, I sent out one or two texts and immediately countless people were praying for us. People who were ready ahead of time, years ago. To provide intercessory prayer in a time of crisis. Amazing. Humbling. Inspiring.
Which leads right into the second thing God provided ahead of time. Sometime after the first of the year, I was invited to become part of the leadership of the Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class that I attend. I was asked to become a children’s leader, and so it happened that a few weeks prior to George’s diagnosis I started going to the leadership meetings and began their training. There are over 60 women in this group who have come around us with prayer, texts, Scriptures and most dear to my heart…they have come around George. He is quite popular with the ladies! Several of the ladies have taught him over the past 3 years, and his current teachers have cared for him tenderly. I’m overwhelmed with God’s provision of this safety net of sisters (which includes some who have T1D in their families as well).
Third on my list is again from my involvement in BSF. Prior to joining the children’s leaders, I was part of a small group. Together we discussed the Bible passage we studied that week, and exchanged prayer requests. I LOVE these ladies, and the group leader has become a dear dear friend to me. Amazingly, in this group is a woman who is a nutritionist for folks with kidney disease and/or diabetes. Also in this group is a woman who has a family member on the board at the Barbara Davis Center for Juvenile Diabetes where we are receiving George’s medical care. Not a coincidence. God placed me in this group way back in September. Because He knew what was coming in March.
These first three provisions that God put in place ahead of time, along with our family, friends and local church are just the tip of the ice burg. I am undone when I think about the far-reaching love of God. How He sees, how He provides, how He pours out love and grace. He has sown much into our lives, and it is time to start enjoying and sharing the fruit.
“You are acquainted with all my ways…You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me…where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence…Your hand shall lead me, Your right hand shall hold me…” Ps. 139