I love watching God show up in ways you don’t anticipate!

This year has been a year of those unanticipated arrivals, but it shouldn’t have been.  This year my wife committed herself to praying for two major things in 2010.  Both of these prayers were answered.  Man, my wife is good!  One of these prayers I won’t share publically because it involves a close friend.  The other, I can proudly say, was our pregnancy and recent birth of Natalie Faith.

We had been trying for quite some time and due to medical complications (likely stemming from either one of us) it just wasn’t happening.  However, this was the year.  Phase 1 – complete!  Now we just had to figure out the delivery part.  We also anticipated a little more of an issue with her delivery because we had complications with the first pregnancy.  The days and weeks dragged on.  We couldn’t wait.  Finally, on December 1st, they delivered her at 37 weeks.  Our new, healthy daughter was about 2 lbs. heavier than they thought she could be.  Everyone is in good health.  Phase 2 – complete!

I attribute both of these answered prayers to God’s grace and my wife’s prayers.  It doesn’t stop there though.    Over the past few years I have been seeing multiple doctors trying to figure out the cause of my continual headaches.  While we haven’t found a solution quite yet we might be close (looking back, maybe that will be another answered prayer for 2010).  In the process, though, it has been fairly expensive.  As I look back, I am both humbled and blown away at God’s provision for us financially.  I don’t know where the money seems to come from but we have been well taken care of, much more than I would have ever expected.

In light of all of that, why do I get so frustrated at each new doctor’s appointment and each new bill?  Why do I get irritated when circumstances don’t turn out my way?  Why do I question so many things in moments of melancholy? In short, why can’t I trust God’s sovereignty emotionally even when I trust Him intellectually?

Some might say that I really don’t trust Him intellectually at all.  I would have to respectfully disagree with that because I really do believe God’s Word means what it says.  As I’ve thought about this, I think the issue is giving God control over my emotions.  I’m sure some of that will probably require an intellectual approach but much of it will likely be resting in who God is and not what I feel.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Maybe this is you!  If so, take heart because we are in this together.

However, some of you may be reading this and you struggle not only with the emotional but also with the intellectual.  To you I say keep searching out the truth from God’s Word and keep asking the hard questions.  God’s desire is to show himself to you.  God’s very nature is love (1 John 4:8) and he loves all men (John 3:16).  He demonstrated that by sending his own son to die so that we might be reconciled to him (Romans 5:8).  God’s word is true (Psalm 119:160) and he promises to supply every needed thing (Philippians 4:19) to those who call him friend (John 15:14).

If this is you, let me encourage you to look up those verses and consider their implications for your life.

During the Christmas season we celebrate how God, through Jesus Christ, showed up in an unexpected way answering the prayers that many had been praying for a long time.

My continued prayer for 2010 and beyond is that God will continue to show up unexpectedly, bringing honor and glory to himself.

Merry Christmas!

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In my last “headache” post I talked about the food allergies that I was diagnosed with. After finding out that there was a variety of foods that could be the headache culprit I cut them all out for about 5 weeks.

Nothing happened…

Following that I had an MRI after seeing another neurologist. The MRI did not show anything and the neurologist just frustrated me more. I have not been happy with the “medical” doctors I’ve seen throughout this process. All they want to do is give me more medicine to fix the symptoms, not the cause. I wonder if others experience the same frustration.

Since then I’ve been tested for a variety of other allergies. Turns out that I have some significant dust allergies. This may explain the constant (literally) sinus infection that I’ve had since the beginning of the school year. The school room I’m in has to be the dustiest room I’ve ever seen. That is no exaggeration! In addition to the dust I also have allergic reactions to certain types of mold and yeast.

If it turns out that this latest diagnosis is right – and none have been so far – I may be fighting a yeast overgrowth. All of this is pretty new for me right now and I’m not sure I buy it all but the symptoms do seem to fit what I’m experiencing.

Needless to say, my head still hurts and I could still use your prayers.

More updates as they happen.

I’ve been struggling with headaches for a long time. They have ranged everywhere from annoying to downright painful. I’ve seen a wide variety of doctors and other medical professionals. I’ve had church friends pray for me and I’ve sought a wide variety of advice.

Nothing has seemed to work. I find myself asking if anything will ever work.

The other day I got some tests back and they suggested that I did not get along well with several kinds of foods.

There’s a part of me sitting here, even as I type this, and wondering if this will be the right diagnosis. To be honest I have my doubts. There is another part of me that is sitting here and feeling very weak. Actually I feel pretty dumb. How in the world could I have so many problems with food?

It is making eating out (which I don’t need to do much of) and eating at other places very difficult. My wife is also starting to enjoy this as she gets to find recipes that leave out the necessary foods.

I suppose I can live with that but all of this has me confused.

Will this be the answer?

If this is the answer, will I ever be able to eat those foods again?

What if it’s wrong? Where do we go from here?

For that matter, what impact will those foods have on my body if I keep eating them?

Trying to understand this is starting to intrigue me immensely. Maybe this should be my second (or third or fourth) career. My mind wants to know and there is a lot of stuff out there that only makes things more interesting. The more I find out the more questions are raised.

In a few weeks I will know at least one thing – if the removal of certain foods from my diet works.

I also know that God is still in control and I’m learning to trust him more daily.

More updates will follow…