First off, Mandi and I would like to thank everyone for their prayers, notes, emails, messages, and calls. It has meant a lot to us and we have been held up because of them.
Anna is doing well. She is in good spirits and is enjoying the program she is in. Big hugs for everyone when we all met. It was one of those family get-togethers where everyone was happy to be together. We left feeling very good about plans going forward and very pleased about her attitude and determination.
In the midst of all the running around we have been doing as things unfolded I have been reminded about the importance of rest. Not just physical rest, but mental, emotional, and spiritual rest. Today when I visited her I read Psalm 23 to her and marked it for her in her Bible so she could find it quickly.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever (Psalms 23, ESV).
God is her Shepherd. She knows that and trusts Him to be her Shepherd. It was clear from talking to Anna yesterday and today that she sees the place she is at as a safe place where she can get rest and help. Anna is getting rest where she is. God has given her this “green pasture” and “still waters” so that He can give her rest and healing to restore her soul. While she is walking through this dark valley God is with her, and so is her family and church family. While her struggles are serious and the road ahead long and hard, He has set the table before her with the all the help, encouragement, and support she needs—physical and spiritual. And just as surely as God in His mercy and goodness will follow her through this all the way to the end, so will we.
What I have been thinking about since, is how important it is for Mandi and our other two daughters to be getting rest as well, especially spiritual rest. You can only give what you have. Of course, I know that God can make up what we are lacking, but for us to be the incarnation of God’s grace and truth (i.e. love) we need to be spiritually fit and rested ourselves.
Maggie and Rachel are with friends for the weekend. They are getting rest in that way. Mandi and I will have tonight together. Tomorrow we will be in church with our spiritual family. As God is providing all He promised in this Psalm to Anna, He is providing the same to the rest of the family as well. God is good. He is trustworthy. To be under His care is the best place to be.