Higher Ground

Five years have swiftly flown by! Have you felt it? Were there some lessons that will forever be etched in your heart?

We were elated to hear our oldest daughter, who had been married for 5 years, was going to have a baby. However, the Lord saw fit to take our very first grandchild after only 7 ½ weeks in the womb. The fall of 2014 brought a hard blow. In fact, the next nine months would bring testing to the max.

I wrote in the front of my journal at the start of 2015: “Rest no longer satisfied with thy dwarfish attainments. Aspire to a higher, a nobler, a fuller life . . .” (Spurgeon). And more writing, “I want to scale the utmost height, And catch a gleam of glory bright; But still I’ll pray, till heaven I’ve found, Lord, [lead me] on [to] higher ground!” (Lyrics by Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1898). “From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2).

By February, a dear teacher was growing worse in his battle with cancer, and at the same time I tweaked my back. Yet, Rodney and I visited with Mr. Randy even as he got closer and closer to heaven. And while I battled my back, Mr. Randy was made ready to meet his Savior and Lord. My pain intensified until we finally sought out help, which came in the form of potent pain reliever and steroids, however I was now bed-ridden and was unable to attend Mr. Randy’s celebration of a new “pain-free” life at his funeral.

Rodney was working on his doctoral degree through Liberty University and had to make a March campus trip to Lynchburg, VA without me. I wondered what God had instore for all this pain!

After a round of steroids, I was able to hobble to the bathroom. But then on April 2, 2015, I received a phone call from my brother. My dad was gone. No chance to say goodbye, he was gone. Rodney, who was at work, was only a minute away. I’m not sure how, but within two hours, we were loaded and left for the drive to Louisiana. God had written out precisely the timing and the provisions with every stroke of His pen; the marveling at my dad’s homegoing reflected all that the Lord had orchestrated! The unknown timing is much like the Second Coming of Christ (Acts 1:7, NKJV), “and He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.’”

While in Louisiana, my family paid for me to have an MRI. The results were not encouraging. After we returned home, I was able to get an appointment with a specialist, but so far, every doctor said I would have to have surgery. Since it was going to take 2 months to get in to see the specialist, I saw my chiropractor, and then I spent a week with my eldest daughter seeing her chiropractor for treatments. No real help came but I did notice more strength in my leg. But my heart had also gained strength and as a result I began blogging on “The Scarlett Road.”

Unfortunately, while waiting to see the specialist and taking another round of steroids, I developed a pout of Vertigo that my patient, caring husband saw me through. On Mother’s Day, I sat on the couch recovering from such a wicked ordeal as vertigo presents itself, waiting on my daughter (our youngest) and her husband, who had phoned earlier asking if it was a good time for them to visit.

As my youngest, walked around to face me, I will never forget her glowing appearance. She held a picture of a sonogram; Rodney and I were again going to be grandparents. I can’t tell you what all passed through my mind: “I’m an invalid; my oldest daughter will not get to have the first ‘born’ grandchild,” on and on my thoughts raced. How could I be happy? “Lord, I want to hold that grandbaby and be a help!”

My appointment with the neurosurgeon on May 19, 2015 brought much peace. He explained the nerves in my left foot were damaged and he could not say that surgery would help. So instead of surgery, he wrote out a prescription for physical therapy knowing the best thing was building my core (for my back’s sake) and strengthening my leg. Glory Hallelujah! I continue practicing my core building and using those exercises to this day for strengthening my back. And that’s exactly what God was doing in my heart and life (strengthening) for “higher ground” during those long 9 months. (That’s what He continues to do even now with the Coronavirus on the loose.)  

When that grandson came (December 30, 2015), we were all ready! Our oldest daughter, a year after her great loss, was helping give a baby shower to her younger sister. Rodney and I were able to help, and I looked after that grandson for almost 4 years during the time his parents were at work. We even moved so we were only 4 miles from his home.

And now, even during this pandemic, we have so much to be thankful for and praise our Savior and King: our grandson trusted in Jesus as his Savior on April 3, 2020. What a wonderful God we serve!

How has God moved you to higher ground in the past 5 years? For what or for whom can you praise Him?

“Let us learn that in ALL the hard places God brings us into (Coronavirus), He IS making opportunities for us to exercise such faith in Him as will bring about blessed results and greatly glorify His name.” –Streams in the Desert

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