Monday, January 13, 2014

The Courage to Change the Things I Can

I was blessed and encouraged when I read this article.  The Lord has been teaching me a lot about keeping my mind stayed on Him in faith so that I can have His "perfect peace".  (Isaiah 26:3)  One thing that really stood out to me as I read this was, "Courage is born to those who exercise it through faith."  I hope that some of you are encouraged by it as well.
The Courage to Change the Things I Can

Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.
- Maya Angelou
Picking up the phone, I heard Michael’s voice on the other end, “I got an interesting call,” he said. “I just got off the phone with your doctor.”
That was odd since I had just been to their office that afternoon. Did they forget to tell me something? Did I leave something behind?
“Uh huh?” I replied. “What did they want?”
“They said that they spoke with you this afternoon, and the doctor didn’t feel like you had a grasp on the situation. They thought that perhaps you didn’t realize the gravity of your condition.”
The heat rose in my face as I listened to his words. Clearly Michael agreed with the choices I had made, so why couldn’t they?
“Your baby,” the doctor said, “if he makes it to term–will likely have Down’s Syndrome.”
I was okay with that. But by the time I talked to Michael, Spina Bifida had also been discussed as a strong possibility.
“Spina Bifida?” I gasped with one hand over my mouth. I wasn’t prepared for that. Life hadn’t prepared me for any of this…
Even so, the choices were clear-cut for us. Children are a blessing from God. Period.
And so we refused to entertain the idea of termination. And we refused to undergo any further testing that could potentially harm our child.
This boy was a gift from the Lord and was to be treated as one.
Several months later Graham was born, kicking and screaming his way into this world. Sure he had his fair share of health problems, but nothing compared to what could have been. In fact other than an allergy to nuts every health problem he had is behind us.
Life doesn’t prepare us for moments like that, which is why we must prepare ourselves for the journey. Courage is born to those who exercise it through faith.
It starts with seeking God’s will for our lives and is exercised through the choices we make.
As parents, we’re constantly faced with choices that call us to exercise courage. We started homeschooling when it wasn’t so cool to do so. It was the early nineties, which brought one of two responses from people. Either they were absolutely confused by the notion and suggested we were breaking the law, or they assumed we were religious fanatics out of touch with reality.
The words of Reinhold Niebuhr come to mind where they nest in my soul:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Courage is the backbone of  faith. Without it we can’t be a light on a hill that shines through the darkness. With it we step out alone serving unpopular truth in a world that can’t grasp who we are.
Back in the day my dad often sang the popular hymn to us, “Tho none go with me still I will follow. No turning back, no turning back…”
And by his example we learned that being different is a natural part of who we are in Christ.
We’re not called peculiar people because we wear distinctive clothing or keep our hair a certain way. We’re different because we don’t conform to pop culture that stands in the way of our faith.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; – 1 Peter 2:9
If it hasn’t happened already, the day will come when you and your husband have strong choices to make. When your only options are to either stand true to your faith or to give in to opinions around you.
Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. – Joshua 1:9
Stand strong in your faith and get ready to take on the world!
You are loved by an almighty God,
Darlene Schacht

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