Surviving … or Thriving???


BOB ARIZONA SUNSET.tiff

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

In my previous life as a clinical psychologist, we were encouraged to write up five-year plans, ten-year plans, and to develop a mission statement.

Things went off track during those first five years - derailing completely before those years were up.

I’ve not looked at those papers for years.  I felt the plans were useless - as was my mission statement.

Then, today I realized that God has allowed me to fulfill the words I wrote, albeit in a completely different manner than I had hoped.

You see, the words I ended my mission statement with were, I want others to believe that  “if deni can … I can, too.” 

I came from a background that included an abusive husband and father to my children.  The havoc wrecked upon those children still has devastating remains.  I’d never worked in my life, knew only what it was to be a mom, and was suddenly faced with living life as a single mom with four children, when we were abandoned.

I was appalled that, when I was “deni on welfare,” I was treated with contempt and disgust.  But when I was “deni who was getting her doctorate,” I received accolades. I was the same person.  I hadn’t changed.  Only my circumstances.  I knew it was the same for others.

Yet, life didn’t get easier and I knew that if I could help one person realize that if I could survive the horrors of my past that they could too - my mission would be complete - hence my seeking my chosen profession.

You see my life has been littered with disasters.

A child who stopped breathing in the ER.

We survived.

Another who was actively suicidal for years and had one attempt that was way to close to being successful.

A bi-polar diagnosed child who was dual addicted to drugs and alcohol by age 12.

We survived that, too.

Molestation in our family.

We survived.

Being “in the system” and living on food stamps not knowing where our next meal or next rent payment would come from.

We survived.

Car crashes.  Strokes.  Hearing loss.  Partial sight loss. Heart Events.  Confined to bed for six months needing complete rest.  Autoimmune disorder after autoimmune disorder.

Survived.

The realization that my children were on the Autism spectrum.

Survived.

That I, myself, have high-functioning autism.

Survived.

Time, after time, after time.

Survived.

Survived.

Survived.

And now?  With an even harder road ahead with my cancer diagnosis?

I’m not just surviving.

I’m thriving.

I’m living in love and joy and peace.

And I’m doing it because of God.

I get and want none of the credit.

He gets it all.

And when I read a comment on my blog post from a friend who penned, “if you can do it, so can I” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry or shout out loud to God with a loud “Thank You.”  I think it was a combination of them all.

The words of my mission statement.

Fulfilled.

Yet, not fulfilled by me at all.

You see - it’s not me.

I’m not amazing.

There isn’t anything special about me.

In fact, the real me is weak, and scared, and oh-so-human.  

But with God?  Oh, how that picture changes!

And my dear, dear reader - if it changed for me.

God can change it for you, too.

You see - it’s not us at all.

It’s God.  

And it always has been.

Father God, Today I come before you filled with so much gratefulness and gratitude, that you can take a life that has been shattered over and over, and put it back together in such a way that it can bring glory to You.  Thank you that I have seen the fruition of something planted in me years and years ago - and then brought into bloom by You.  Amen and amen.

Your daily dose of VeggieTales “Peace Like a River




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