Saturday, May 19, 2007

Can You Hold, Please? Part II

Since Thursday I've been thinking a lot about this idea of life being on hold, and I realized that there are two major areas in my life where being on hold is difficult.

First is the fact that because of Bobby's immunity (or lack thereof) we have not been able to attend church regularly. We are having regular family Bible study, but haven't been able to gather with other believers and sing, praise, pray, study God's Word, and otherwise edify and be edified. This is really hard for me, as I think it would be for anyone. Even when we were overseas we met regularly with other believers--on Sunday mornings with a larger group for what would be considered a more traditional "worship service," and on Wednesday evenings with a small group for a meal and Bible study. For four short months we shared our lives with this small group, and our fellowship was suddenly interrupted. In fact, we had just begun to discuss organizing/creating more structure in order to form a house church which could then be a model for new believers. Now, we aren't a part of any local body, and this makes me feel very disconnected.

The other area of difficulty is this: because we are in a very stressful time of life, we are being ministered to BY others, but have not been able to minister TO others. Although I deeply appreciate all of the support and encouragement, and in fact believe that it is what has gotten us through this time so far, I miss being in a position to reach out and minister to others. Sure, I've prayed for and with many people since the start of this, listened to problems that some of the nurses and staff are having, and continued to pray for all of our friends and family here in the U.S. and overseas. But I miss being able to minister in more concrete ways. Then again, this lack of opportunity comes from not being connected to a church body.

Perhaps once we find out the results of Bobby's upcoming scan we will be able to plan our future a little more, and be able to join up with some sort of local church body, which will then give us people with which to share life and to whom we can minister.

In the meantime I'll just keep listening to the music while I'm on hold...

6 comments:

ciao babe said...

I don't know if you got my comment from earlier on. But just in case, I just wanted to let you know that you have been ministering to me in many ways as you have shared your thoughts on this blog. My circumstances are different, but I am also experiencing some of the things you write about (especially the mental fog, ha ha).
Miss you lots

Alice C. said...

Renata: Something must have happened to your earlier comment--I always publish you, girl! I miss you a lot, too, and know exactly what you are talking about--having small children is very stressful, and can lead to some of the same symptoms as those I described. Hope to see you soon.

Anonymous said...

Alice -- you and Bobby and your family just went on my prayer list.

I stumbled across your daughters blog, because some of the books I have written are listed as "her favorite books" and followed her link here.

I am amazed at how many things I find in common:

last year my nephew Yoshua (who lives with me) was diagnosed with aplastic anemia -- our whole life changed in the blink of an eye.

He had no immune system. The house church that had been meeting in my home was forced to go elsewhere. We could not have anyone in, and had to severely limit our own social activity.

Everyone had to 'de-germ' before they came back in the door.

I was just picking up the public speaking/travel part of my career. Everything had to be canceled or postponed indevinately.

Yoshua is doing well -- he is off of chemo at last. He is having a blood count done today, and we are praying that all of his numbers are good.

I know exactly what you mean about missing meeting with the saints.

I may be just one step further along this road -- the pain of isolation--of a life seemingly on hold can be so intense.

But I have learned to enjoy each day that God has given me with each loved one. This is a season, and seasons pass.

I have also learned that our heavenly Papa gives grace for each day. Just one at a time.

Hang in there -- oh, and tell Caroline that I have donated two crops of hair to Locks of Love!

salt and light,

Kersten Hamilton

Alice C. said...

Kersten: Thanks SO much for your comment. We will add you and Yoshua to our prayers, as well. I continue to be amazed at God's goodness as we make more connections with people who know exactly what we are going through--who can pray for us with full knowledge and understanding.

Caroline and I have both read your entire Millie Keith series and enjoyed it very much. When my husband and I were considering overseas service, I thought often of Millie and Charles and their adventures! Thanks for touching our lives through your writing.

And thanks for praying for Bobby. Also--if you read this--how were Yoshua's counts?

Grace and peace, Alice

P.S. Our home school's name is "Salt and Light Christian School." I loved your sign-off!

Anonymous said...

Yoshua's numbers were down. He goes back in next Friday for another round of tests to determine whether or not this is a 'trend'.

If it is, we begin round two.

We don't have to fight forever. Just until we win. ;)

I am always excited when I hear that people love the Millie books. I am reading a book by Eugene Peterson right now that captures exactly how I feel about writing.

EAT THIS BOOK is about reading Scripture in such a way that it 'gets into your nerve-endings, your reflexes, your imagination,' is 'assimilated into your worship and prayer, imaginings and writings, and is metabolized into your writing.'

I love the metaphor. That is what I want to do when I write.

Speaking of which, if you email your snail mail addy to Auntybooks@yahoo.com I will send Bobby the first two books of my new series for boys.

Where were you serving on the mission field?

When I wrote about Millie leaving for the mission field, I had two children serving in third world countries. My daughter Meghan (Magilly) was a missionary midwife in Davao; my son Isaac was a leader at YWAM.

Magilly has come back to the states and will be supporting her husband while he finishes his education at Berea college, and then it is back to the third world for them.

Isaac is still teaching and leading teams for YWAM.

Salt and light! (hehe)

Kersten

Alice C. said...

Kersten: I'll e-mail you!