When your nightmare becomes your dream.
Only God can take your checkered past, your mistakes and even failures and turn them into something good. Only God can take the desperate, seemingly hopeless situation in your life, turn it around and make it something valuable enough to draw others to him.
In my last briefing, I referenced how being turned away at a Bible study (because the leader said there was no room) was the impetus for starting a mothers' Bible study group in my home. That group would become 'Women of Passion' a year later which thrived for another two decades, drawing women from all around the area. There would be retreats and Mornings of Serenity, service to others in need and so much more - because someone told me they had no room for me plus one other critical event: Danny's kidney failure. [You can read the first part of this in a previous briefing: https://conta.cc/2WKiBVR]
On a Wednesday night, Danny was in ICU, awaiting a needle biopsy on his kidney to determine cause, prognosis and treatment for the kidney failure, when doctors came to tell us he had a bleeding disorder as well. If he had a needle biopsy, he could bleed to death before it could be stopped; so he would have to have an open renal biopsy. I will never forget that long agonizing night in the hospital, [holding him as he slept, with iv's in arms and legs], crying out to God to do something! Looking up verses in my Bible to stand on, to write out and pray to God, as I pounded on the doors of heaven to heal my son!
My default setting was the same two decades ago as it was on December 9th when my car ran over me: God's heart toward us is good, he is in control, and he is trustworthy. I know that the effective prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much! James 5.16.
The day after surgery, we were once again sent home--no diagnosis, prognosis, etc., with the best we could hope for being a transplant. The kidney tissue was sent out for extensive testing, and days later, the answers finally came. Danny did indeed have a kidney disorder--no, three disorders. The nephrologist remarked, 'well, this case has been most unusual from the start.' He had an infection that went to his kidneys (post infectious nephritis), an allergic reaction to Zithromax, and he had A.T.N. (Acute Tubular Necrosis--4 in 10,000 people). But, listen to this...all three were REVERSIBLE, would leave NO LASTING DAMAGE, and would require NO FURTHER TREATMENT. "What?!" I cried, "Dr. BenNezzer, I would like to think God has done a miracle!" Silence. And then she said, "I would say you are 100 percent correct."
I learned a few things in the school of miracles: miracles aren't necessarily immediate. It would be another few months before all of Danny's symptoms were gone, but at a six-month check, he got a clean bill of health. Praise God!
And now, at 22, a junior at Suffolk University in Boston, Danny is the picture of health and vigor; he is funny as all get out and we simply adore him.
My apologies for those of you who have heard that story too many times, but that story - seeing the hand of God move - irrevocably changed my life. God turned that nightmare into the dream he had in mind for me; he used it to forge my purpose which is to share my faith and love of a great God in whatever way or direction he points me.
You see, after Danny's miracle, my faith was GREATLY increased; I became impassioned with what God wanted to do in, for, and through his people by his great power, which is available to all who believe ... Amen and Amen.
I told God I would go, (I would be so timid at first)
I would tell others, and
I would also pray for the miracle others needed.
And I have, for more than 20 years now.
I do not mean to draw attention to myself, I promise. I use this example of God taking a mother's absolute nightmare and turning it into the joy of sold-out living for God with a passionate faith and hope that knows no limits. What an adventure!
Take heart, Friend. Do not stop praying for the miracle. And if you are being dogged by shame or defeated by failure, overcome with fear, take it in prayer to our loving Father who is always at work. Watch him redeem the situation, transform your life into something not just good, but great!
It reminds me of this song we sang when I was in high school choir: "Something beautiful, something good ~ all my confusion he understood. All I had to offer him was brokenness and strife, but he made something beautiful of my life
If there ever were dreams that were lofty and noble, they were my dreams at the start. And hope for life's best were the hopes that I harbor down deep in my heart . . . But my dreams turned to ashes and my castles all crumbled, my fortune turned to loss, so I wrapped it all in the rags of life and laid it at the cross."
Whoever you are, young or old, whatever you've done ~ God has a dream for you. Take it to him, offer it up in your hands . . . watch him.