This morning I walked barefoot through my quiet home. The sun was coming through the window, sneaking down the wooden floors and spilling up and over my feet. It was bright, silent and eerily familiar. And suddenly an overwhelming moment of recognition came over me. August of 2016 was calling, late August and her heavy warmth was reminding me of an unexpected trial I walked through just a year ago.
On August 22nd I found myself at the Sarah Cannon Cancer center for a parathyroid tumor removal. There were many assurances that I would wake up from surgery feeling better than I had in years. But that was not the case. When I went home on the 23rd my body revolted. I spent months in a recovery that was supposed to take days. I was readmitted to the hospital at times and had a few ER visits as well. I was never sure when walking was a good idea because passing out or nearly passing out became normal. Making my bed was more than my body could handle. My friends and family had to swoop in to care for my family. My husband took the entire load of parenting at times. And in the thick of it I lost the ability to even sleep at night. I remember begging God to speed me to recovery. I also remember the clarity in those moments… understanding that this was a trial that would pass and be looked back on from another time with wiser eyes.
How quickly I forgot the pain after those months passed. How quickly I forgot the kindness of my friends and family. And most importantly how quickly I forgot that God delivered me. At one point I was told that when the body reacts this way one can expect to remain in this state for 18 months to 2 years. I recovered in 5 months. Those 5 months felt like 5 years but they were 5 months nonetheless.
I was so quick to forget the pain and the deliverance from pain once the trial subsided. We humans are a forgetful bunch and that’s not altogether okay. I am a firm believer that our trials and stories are to be memorialized as testimonies to the way God works in our lives. I also believe that God is honored when we take time to remember our stories. In the book of Joshua (chapter 4) God instructs Joshua to have twelve men gather twelve stones from Jordan to serve as a reminder and memorial for future generations. Forty years of mere survival and difficulty were becoming history and God did not want them to forget what they had been delivered from. Additionally, during this time, God moved miraculously and rolled back the Jordan river, allowing the Israelites safe passage into the promised land, He did not want them to forget their deliverance… and His might.
And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
I am thankful for the gentle reminder from my deliverer this morning. His kindness in my life is not overlooked, but I did not take the time to set up my own pillar of remembrance. I forget to tell the story of His faithfulness in dark hours. Today and in the future let that not be so. I’m testifying today that I remember what was done for me. I remember when the fog lifted and I walked without falling. God you are great and mighty and active in our lives. You are good even when the answers are not what we want. This is my pillar today, a digital testimony and reminder that You are faithful.
What is your story? In what ways has God delivered you? Take time today to remember and honor Him.