Time Flies… and I Wasn’t Even Having Fun!
We’re probably all familiar with the quote “time flies — when you’re having -fun” but I’ve also discovered that time can fly by without our awareness when we are just doing life. Recently, I was trying to recall when I had last written on my blog and much to my chagrin, dismay, and embarrassment, I discovered that a full year had passed. In fact, that blog acknowledged the first anniversary of the publishing of my book, “If I Tell You I’m Gay, will you still love me — One Mother’s Journey to Truth and Grace.”
How could that much time pass by and I not be aware that I was not regularly writing my blog? Then I ealized… this past year I was just busy doing life… and not all of it was fun — especially as it was happening. in retrospect, however, I did have to acknowledge — God was at work in all of it.
I’m a planner, and I thought I knew what would take most of my time this past year. In May, I would be observing a mile-stone birthday and recognizing the need to be practical and plan for the future, I knew I needed to sell my condo and move into a one level, smaller rental apartment or duplex. So, aside from selling a few of my books to people requesting them, my plans were to move into a low-key mode for the book and put my time and efforts into getting my condo ready to sell and doing major downsizing of all my accumulated “stuff” after 15 years living in the same place.
But God in his foreknowledge knew that was not all that this year would hold. In March, I received a call from the Herman and Sharron Bailey Television program in Clearwater, Florida. Someone had sent them a copy of my book, and they wanted me to appear on their program for an interview. Recognizing this was an unexpected but much appreciated opportunity from the Lord, I accepted the invitation but asked permission to delay the trip to Florida until July to finalize getting my condo ready to put on the market the first of May.
Within days of that phone conversation, I received a very unexpected and shocking email from CrossBooks, publisher of my book, that as of the end of May they would no longer be printing any of their titled books– that included mine! (Translation — they were going out of business — the sad fate of a growing number of publishers) While that was a complete shock to me, it obviously was not unexpected to the Lord. The development created (in my mind) a crisis for me… how was I to continue to promote my book when it was no longer being printed and how would this affect the July TV interview which typically informed viewers how they could obtain the book. In retrospect, I thought I was delaying the interview until July to give me time to prepare my condo for sale but the Lord knew the time was needed to make arrangements to have books available at the time of the interview!
I never cease to be amazed at the Lord’s foreknowledge and sovereignty and working all things together for his purposes. The previous summer (2014) a good friend of mine had felt a burden to help me purchase another large shipment of books (250). Thus, when CrossBooks was no more, I personally had a good supply of books. Also, through my friend’s many ministry contacts she was able to get some of my books on the website of Hope for Wholeness, a ministry ministering to those struggling with same-sex attractions and their families, which was the source for books we used for the TV interview. Also from this shipment of books she was able to keep books available on Amazon for people who might search for the book on the internet.
Back to the TV interview — I was understandably nervous about the interview since I had no idea what questions Herman might ask. I was also having some voice issues and was concerned that could be a problem during the broadcast. Following my usual custom, I enlisted the prayer support of a number of friends whom I knew would pray for me. My Father faithfully answered their prayers and during the interview kept my spirit calm, my voice steady, and enabled me to give clear answers to Herman’s questions. The interview proved to be another opportunity from the Lord to share the message of my book and hopefully to inform and encourage families and individuals dealing with the issue of homosexuality.
Within days of my return from Florida, I received another shocker email… this time a very positive and good shocker. This email was from one of the producers of Focus on the Family. Somehow Focus had received a copy of my book and she wanted to record a 45-60 min phone interview with me. Their staff would then review the recording to determine whether my “journey to truth and grace” after discovering my son was gay would be an appropriate and helpful topic to families listening to Focus on the Family radio broadcasts. Evidently the recorded interview was well received by the staff because on October 16, I received an email asking me which dates in March 2016 I could come to Colorado Springs to be interviewed for a Focus broadcast!
This unexpected opportunity was more intimidating than the TV interview — not only because of the much broader audience, but also because of some health issues that had developed in the intervening months. Would I be physically able to travel to Colorado and do the interview in March? Again… much prayer was needed to discern God’s will and how I should respond to the latest email. (I have committed to go.)
During my lifetime, the Lord has graciously blessed me with good health with very few instances of health issues. However, this summer, I began to experience some balance problems, some changes in the quality of my voice, and then daily headaches. My primary doctor eventually referred me to a neurologist to see if the symptoms might have a neurological source. The last resort effort to find a cause was a spinal tap to make sure the spinal fluid was clear.
However, during the procedure a very rare complication developed — the abrasion of a nerve — resulting in extreme leg and foot pain with on-going spasms. (Gave me a new appreciation of the word “pain.”)’ This resulted in 38 days confinement, first in the hospital to get the pain under control and then in two different rehab centers for physical, occupational and speech therapy. This was followed up by home health care and then out patient therapy. Thankfully, all that therapy…and the prayers of many Christian friends…brought about the greater stability and mobility that I needed.
I share all this as illustrations of the unexpected events and complications — both positive and negative — that can fill our days and take up our time in ways we had not planned or even thought possible. This year has also been a strong reminder that God is very much in control of time and of the events that come into our lives.
For some reading this blog, this past year may have brought deep pain … the loss of a loved one to death — which God calls our enemy– and even though we may have the assurance our love ones are with the Lord, the separation on this side of eternity is very painful. For many others, the increasing threats of terrorists attacks even in American have brought increased fears. but even the reality of deep pain or realistic fears can and should be wrapped around by the truth of Scripture… God knows… God cares.
This week I was reminded of some mind-boggling scripture verses in Psalm 139 regarding this very truth.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:14-16 NIV).
Even before our physical bodies were being formed in our mother’s womb, God had his eye on us and had already written down in his indelible records what each day of our life would hold for us! I repeat — that is a mind-boggling thought and truth! It is also a very reassuring truth that can enable us to walk in peace and assurance as each day unfolds. God has already written down what that day will hold for us and therefore has already prepared and made available the resources and strength that we will need for that day.
Psalm 31:15 reinforces the truth of God’s sovereignty and his ordering of the events in our lives…
“My times are in your hands,” and because of this assurance, the Psalmist could declare, even when his enemies were plotting against him,
But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”
God reminds us that the days he gives us are a sacred trust to be used for his purposes and glory. The “milestone” birthday I mentioned early was my 80th….so Psalm 90: vs 10 & 12 have taken on special significance for me.
The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty, yet their span is but toil and trouble;; they are soon gone, and we fly away. So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Is that our prayer? — that God will teach us to number or value each day he grants us and that we will set our hearts on increasing in biblical/spiritual wisdom — seeking to know how to live godly lives directed by his Word and his Spirit. Scripture also reminds us that since we do not know what a day will bring (Proverbs 27:1 and James 4:14a) we are submit our days to the will of God (James 14:15).
In my Bible, I gave written by Psalm 90:14 the note “my prayer” and the date “12/24/12.”
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all
That is still my prayer and desire as I close out the year of 2015….and as I close out this blog.
May all the joy and promise of this Christmas Season be yours, and may you face the new year with peace and confidence that our loving Father is ordering our days and preparing the way before you.
P.S. The Lord has confirmed to my spirit that the invitation from Focus on the Family is another opportunity from him and I have committed to the taping of the interview on March 8 — all to his glory!
And… my book is now available at Redemption Press.com and on Amazon.