Friday, December 19, 2008

Just One Step

“That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you – every time I prayed I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask – ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory – to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him – endless energy, boundless strength.” Ephesians 1: 15-19 (MSG)

Today I stood on the edge of a cliff. Although the drop from the edge to me looked perilous, I held tightly to the hand of another who reminded me to keep my eyes focused and clearly locked on him. He assured me that all would be okay as he urged me to just step off the edge; on faith alone.

Great preparation has gone into this moment in time. Many things have taken place to bring me to this point in my journey. I keep thinking to myself, “I’m not ready. This can’t be happening. This can’t be how it all ends.”

But the man beside me keeps urging me to just step off the cliff. He assures me that he knows what is best for me. He tells me that if I trust in him all will be fine.

So, knowing that I have done all I can to prepare for this day. Knowing that I can go on no longer as I have been, and being encouraged to learn to fly . . .

. . . Today I turned in the keys to my desk and left a job that I really enjoyed. I will no longer be associated with the title of “Administrative Assistant,” “Human Resource Manager,” “Medical Assistant,” or any of the other titles that I have worn during my employment career.

Today I stepped from the solid ground of employment off the cliff into the unknown future of applying for Social Security disability. My title will now be “Disabled due to Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease.” My future ability to provide financial assistance to my family is no longer under my control. (Nor has it ever been much to my argument with God of said point at times.)

Monday morning I will sit in the waiting room of a Social Security office, with a little white three-ring-binder in my shaking hands and pray that the documentation I will be providing will be carefully reviewed and then my application for disability benefits stamped “APPROVED.” My fate will be placed in the hands of a stranger. The only information that they will have to rule on my application for disability will be what is provided by my doctors and what they see going on in my body for the few minutes that it will take to process my paperwork.

Of course I know that my God has the situation under His perfect control. I must trust Him to work out the details and in the interim trust in His provision and grace.

Yes much has led me to this day; first and foremost being diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease in February of 2006, second, the very rapid decline of health with correlating rapid increase in symptoms. These two things have created many physical, emotional, and psychological challenges. Once my doctors began to speak about disability I realized that soon my life would be changing. I went into prayer mode. I knew that no matter what the future held, I could not make it through even one day without the guidance of my Savior.

I poured out my heart. I gave Him my fears, and my concerns. I specifically prayed that I would not have to apply for disability until our financial picture was such that the loss of my income would not cause missed payments, the need to sell off assets, go into debt, or sacrifice our outstanding credit score.

God answered that prayer and worked out the details in some amazing ways. I could no longer use that excuse. I knew that He was speaking to me telling me that the time had come for me to trust Him. I knew that He was calling me to stand on the cliff edge and jump off on faith in Him alone.

Today I begin this new journey; but I know I will not be alone for He continues to hold fast to my hand! He has blessed me with intelligent decisions and discernment of my situation. Therefore, today with my eyes focused and clear, I know that He is calling me to a life of even greater faith. He wants me to grow in faith in Him as He bestows upon me His utter abundance, so that I might do His work and teach others about His love, through His supply of endless energy and boundless strength.

Today I trust and I will not fall!


Anonymous said...

oh my sweet friend...Joanie I am so sorry that you are at this fork in your road, I understand so well how you feel. You are a woman of incredible FAITH and that FAITH will be what is going to continue to sustain you!

So often we want to take back control, but that is where we must relinquish it to the Lord as you know...he is in the drivers seat, we are the passenger trusting him to get us to the final destination.

I will continue to keep you in my prayers, but I already know it will all go well, as he has it all orchestrated out for you.

God bless you my friend, I am honored to know you and be on this journey with encourage me so much, your unshakable faith is just breathtaking to witness.

Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us, so we can learn from you. I feel honored.
Hugs B'nana

Anonymous said...

The lyrics to this song surfaced in my mind as I read your post today:

He is able more than able
To accomplish what concerns me today
He is able more than able
To handle anything that comes my way
He is able more than able
To do much more than I could ever dream
He is able more than able
To make me what He wants me to be

May God bless you during this transitional change time and new chapter to your wonderful God given life!

L in PA

parkiejan said...

Thanks so much for this entry. It has touched me immensly. I was dx in 97 and went on disability in 2000. The last week I have been crying over the fact that I can't do for myself alot of things that I took for granted once. Humbling to say the least. You have encouraged and blessed my heart with this blog. Hugs,Jan