The last few months have been a small test at how our family can make lemonade, and boy have we been thrown some lemons! I looked all over for a scripture to reference lemons and found nothing, but I did find a lot on trials and finding Joy in the midst of them, which has kept us going the last 7 1/2 weeks. (yes I have been counting)! One of my favorites is Nehemiah 8:10b “Do not grieve, for the Joy of the Lord is your strength,” or in my story, it is only the Joy of my God who gives me the strength to make lemonade. 🙂
On July 31,2016, the last day the team from our home church was visiting, I fell and broke my arm. I went through some painful experiences that were not ideal, but God was there and He saw me through. We made the best of life as we now knew it (mommy needing help with EVERYTHING)! We got our school year started, we started making plans to visit briefly again in Oct for a Go conference with our home church, Doug got back full swing into work, and then…. more lemons, more lemonade.
About 2 weeks ago, I had an xray done before having my cast removed. The bone in my wrist was not healing properly. I was discouraged to say the least. I sent all of my info to a surgeon and it was confirmed that the bone was not healing and I possibly needed surgery. Again, downcast filled my spirit as I prayed and wept. I knew that in all this, we had some big decisions to make, and Doug was away. He was home by lunch and we made quick decisions to try and move our dates for coming back to the states. In 48 hours, we had changed flights, prepared to leave for another 6 weeks, packed, and jumped on a plane still stirring our new batch of lemonade! 🙂 Oh yes, I cannot leave out that we also felt our first Earthquake while packing the car.
24 hours after arriving in America, I was in the surgeons office, droggy from jet lag and to be honest, already making my lemonade in my head. I finally got the cast off, (in record time I might add with that fancy saw they had), and determined that I had very little range of motion to my arm and surgery at present was not the best option. I needed to have therapy to even get to a point to where surgery was an option if I even still needed it. Now, this was actually good news, except for the time crunch I am on! This brings us to present day and buckets full of lemonade! James 1:2 “Consider it pure Joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
Though these have been very real and trying times to our family, they are nothing compared to some of the lives we serve daily. Some days, with work, ministry, or life, making lemonade is hard. Finding Joy in the midst of our circumstances is not always easy. Learning to make lemonade in life is a skill. I am not always good at it, as well proven in this story, but I am getting better as I seek to be more like my God, the giver of Joy! All over the world, people hurt. All over the world, people are searching for how to find Joy in the midst of trouble. In some cases, people have joy that I cannot even describe in the midst of their trials. Right now, in Northern Uganda, we are working with thousands upon thousands of refugees from South Sudan. There are so many, that Water Mission, along with other organizations, cannot work fast enough to get close to servicing all of the masses. Everyday, thousands more pour in with nothing. Nowhere to sleep, nothing to eat, and no clean water. It is disturbing to say the least and we are moving at record speeds to try and help them make lemonade out of their many lemons. With so many Lemons, it is easy to feel defeated.
Making my lemonade has been hard. Staying Joyful in the midst has some days been harder, but then I count my oh so many blessings and ask God what I need to learn in this? My lemons may be many but my God is bigger. My lemons may be many, but my blessings are more. My lemons may be many, but there are way more people with lemons than just me, and their basket may be bigger. My lemons may be many, but my lemonade is always sweeter with Jesus by my side. He is always faithful and His mercies are new each day!
Please pray for South Sudanese refugees and for Water Mission relief efforts. If you feel led to give to those efforts, please go to http://www.watermission.org and give. Pray for safety of staff traveling so far and for those people in need there. Continue to pray for us as we make decisions about my arm and for our time in the states.