‘Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.’

Do you ever have times when you just feel defeated? You try this or that to only end up disappointed and disheartened? It happens to everyone.

I’ve been tasting the bitterness of disappointed hopes lately with my recovery. I’ve tried new tasks I think I can handle just to end up once again taking two steps back. These were simple things like climbing stairs, or household chores, things that used to come easily but are now difficult and frustrating, resulting in nausea and fatigue.

That’s the physical struggle, but then there’s the spiritual struggle which accompanies the physical struggle because we are all connected: soul, body, spirit.

In her book ‘Beauty Marks’, Linda Barrick explains the difference between our bodies, souls and spirits like this:

Body: physiological, sense awareness, sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch.

Soul: psychological, self-awareness, mind, will, emotions.

Spirit: Spiritual, God awareness, Conscience, faith, worship, dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.

Just like God is Triune meaning three Persons in One, our bodies are so intricately designed that we can’t separate our broken bodies from our emotions and spirits. When the emotions go low so does our energy levels, and the pain seems to flare up or vice versa.

I’m unable to attend church or listen to sermons online because the sound negatively effects my nerves. Last week I tried reading a sermon on my iPhone (the print was super small) and it resulted in eye strain that left me cross-eyed and hypersensitive to light for days. I severely felt the spiritual battle for my soul just then.

I find it easy to feel discouraged but then God is teaching me to find the grace to carry on while healing from this brain injury and that grace comes from Him alone. We CAN ‘stand’ emotionally, physically, and spiritually by the power of Christ who is our Victor in every battle we face.

My copy of the hymn I rescued after a friend’s boy made it into a paper airplane.

The other day, my 12 year old son was listening to the hymn ‘In Christ Alone’ and the power of the lyrics struck me. We can only stand against the wiles of the Evil One undefeated by Christ’s strength alone. We will never face spiritual defeat because Christ has already claimed our victory in the fight by His victory over sin, death and separation from Himself through His triumphant work on the cross.

Only by Christ’s strength alone, will the fight gain a winning outcome but it won’t be easy. Christ has promised to carry us true but the battle is hard.

The lie that we can overcome spiritual battles by our own tactics is dangerous. The minute we think we are spiritual giants and can handle the world and sin on our own is precisely the minute we must get to God for help.

He doesn’t ask us to fight them alone. He knows how much we need Him and He is faithful in helping us when we seek Him for it.

He understands our physical limitations or weaknesses and can give us physical strength entirely sourced from Him. He can also heal our emotions and I believe as my body heals, my emotions will too. They’ve come a long way and God is gluing my shattered pieces back together again with hope.

The other day I was resting with closed eyes in my sofa chair and it hit me. While I don’t know exactly what is occurring with all the physical changes in my body that are scary, painful and hard, my spirit is directly connected to God who does KNOW. My comfort is this: Resting and trusting in the One who knows every detail of my life and believing that He will heal, and carry my body, soul and spirit to the very end. It gives me a lot of hope to stand in His strength alone and trust him.

Psalm 18:35 King James Version (KJV)

35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

Psalm 44:8 King James Version (KJV)

8 In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.

Psalm 20:7-8 King James Version (KJV)

7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

8 They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.

1 Corinthians 15:57 King James Version (KJV)

57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:14 King James Version (KJV)

14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

Here are the lyrics to ‘ In Christ Alone’.

Lyrics

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! – who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand:
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

Stuart Townend & Keith GettyCopyright © 2001 Thankyou Music (Adm. by CapitolCMGPublishing.com excl. UK & Europe, adm. by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family, songs@integritymusic.com)

A Time To Heal

About one year ago, I went to an eye specialist because of the extreme light sensitivity and pressure in my eyes. After examining my eyes and conducting numerous tests he concluded they were healthy but I was in need of special lenses for the glare and light sensitivities. He also told me from his experience with brain injury that it would take a “long time” for my brain to heal. He said this with big eyes to add emphasis to his words.

I could only think at that moment, “I hope he’s wrong!” I didn’t get it. I didn’t want to get it.

Who has time to heal nowadays? I certainly don’t. There’s too much to do with four kids, a home to run, and every day life with all it’s constant demands. Having an impatient nature and a type A personality wasn’t helping matters either. Yet….

The brain heals slowly.

I’ve dedicated hours of researching and reading information about brain injury and the time required for it to heal. Most doctors say 12-24 months but did my brain get that memo? Some may take years upon years to heal like Jennifer Barrick who is still healing 10 years after her horrible car wreck. She has made huge progress but still requires lots of TLC and therapy for her injury. Also, Michelle Munt from the UK who is still healing three years after her accident that required airlifting to the Royal London Hospital in England, with a serious injury most people don’t recover from. She still suffers from many symptoms daily.

No two brain injuries are like. Because of the complexity of the human brain and the fine tuning required for the neurons to heal, some will heal faster than others.

It’s seems to me in our fast paced society that we AREN’T accustomed to allowing our bodies time to heal. We want bandaids and quick shots of this or that.

The beauty of God’s word says there is a season and a TIME for every purpose under the sun….later it says A Time To Heal. God wants us to know that He has created us fearfully and wonderfully in His own image. We are His works of art, and His masterpiece. Our bodies are beautifully designed to heal. Healing is a gift to us. God says in His word, there IS a time to heal. Sadly, we don’t want to take the time to heal because we don’t want healing to take time.

Some brain inuries may take decades to heal or even a lifetime. Some may only heal to a point.

I struggle with thoughts like, “Am I going to heal? Will I be back to my old self again? I will never be the same.”

I have to give it over to God constantly. It’s too hard to try to glimpse into my perceived scenarios of the future. I must take one day at a time. When I give my worries over to the Lord, it gives me a sense of peace. I can envision a cardboard sign with each and every fear I feel written on it, sitting at the foot of the cross where Jesus calls me to cast my burdens.

Trusting in God’s perfect timing is my hope.

Psalm 31:15 says; My times are in thy hand..

That verse is so freeing to me because my healing and the time my body needs to heal aren’t up to me, but to God. There are plenty of things I can do to enhance my healing but really, it’s in His hands. He wants me to work at eating right, rest, get loads of sunshine, take my supplements, keep my appointments, etc. But actually, He is the one blessing those means which my body is using to recover. He wants me to trust Him and rest in His perfect timing for my brain to heal.

Will my family and friends be around after I’m healed? Some will. Some have already drifted away. Yet Jesus will be here because He will stay by my side during the process and be faithful to complete in me the good work He’s already begun. I’m trusting as far as timing goes that my times and healing are all in His magnificent and wonderful hands.