Endurance – the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.
Oh, how we lack endurance in our generation. We have everything within reach and can get anything we could possibly want at the swipe of a finger – food, products, money, conversation, directions, sex. Anything that takes time is considered not worth it.
I’d like to take a break from sharing about home renovation/decor projects, and share about the craziness that has been our lives the last 2 months.
I’ve heard several talks on endurance this year, and am seeing it as a theme that I need to pay attention to. Specifically, God has given us a race to run, one in which we need to endure through some unpleasant or difficult situations, without giving way.
I shared a bit about our year in 2016– the many trials and odd situations we faced. In January, Evan & I served at the Passion Conference, & it radically enhanced our faith. During the conference, Evan randomly met a student who goes to the University of Florida, but is part of a fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network, called Dance Marathon. The following story is why that is significant to us.
In short, when Evan was 7, he suddenly became ill with what later became known as Viral Myocarditis. He was rushed to a hospital, where they realized they needed to transfer him to Scottish Rite in Atlanta. On the hospital ride, he went into cardiac arrest 3 times. They revived him in the ambulance, but his heart was stopped for 12 minutes total.
At Scottish Rite, they could not get the oxygen into his lungs, so he was life-flighted to Emory to try a new machine, called ECMO. ECMO is a machine that does the work of the lungs & the heart, to attempt to allow the body to rest & recover. This technology was still new at the time, and they were unsure if it would work. Additionally, Evan was placed on the heart transplant list & was #1 in the US for 8 hours. Before a heart became available, they had to take him off of the machine so his body wouldn’t become dependent. He was given a 1% chance of survival, and even if he lived, he would likely be a vegetable, because his brain had such little blood flow to it for extended periods of time.
Well, as you know, he is alive, and has absolutely no residual effects from this horrific time. My mother-in-law prayed with such faith, believing that her son was going to be healed. They saw miracle after miracle happen, including his jugular vein being put back together perfectly and the damaged heart tissue suddenly being perfectly normal. Evan was in the hospital for 2 months, going through rehab, and strengthening his muscles and organs. At the end of their hospital stay, they had over a $800,000 in hospital bills. Through the Children’s Miracle Network, they did not have to pay one bit of it.
So many other details to share, but Dance Marathon has asked Evan to come down to their event at UF to share his miracle story! At the time he shares, there could be over 2,000 people in the arena. He has been given free reign to share whatever part of the story he wants, including the power of God & the miracle that gave him new life. I mean, do you realize the potential of impact that this story could have??
So, around the same time that he was asked to come to this event, our business was also invited to attend a car show- Caffeine & Octane at the Beach. This show will have around 5,000 in attendance, and we will be the main car detailer there. Since Evan is friends with the host of the show, this is a huge opportunity for publicity & growing our business.
With these 2 events in sight, I was feeling a bit bogged down at the end of January. Though they are exciting opportunities, I saw them as being Evan’s opportunities, not mine. I started praying about what I was supposed to do. And I heard, “Help Evan.” Ugh… I wanted my awesome opportunity. But obedience to the Lord is where I wanted to be, so I started researching a shop for us to lease. I called a place that is 2 miles from our house, but had turned us down in August because they didn’t want to lease to a detailer. Guess what? We just opened our shop in that building last week.
We are so excited and caught up in all that is required to make these 3 things happen. We’ve also been doing tax prep, had the heat stop working, and continually had day to day stresses. I was so discouraged one day at the ups & downs of what we were facing. My wise Mom pointed out that a big theme in our marriage has been this: as great things are happening, we are hit with crazy and difficult trials almost immediately. I don’t know if this is the Enemy at work trying to distract us, but I do know that if we lean in to what God is teaching us, we receive the power to persevere.
What if we said, “No, that’s too hard. Too much time, too many unknowns.” What if I said, “No, that’s Evan’s business. He’ll have to figure stuff out on his own. I want to do what makes me happy and what I’m passionate about.”
Friends, we cannot let ourselves get in the way of what God potentially has for us just because we face difficulties or it’s not what we envisioned or perhaps we cannot see the finish line.
Colossians 1:9b-12 encourages us:
“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.”
We would be so grateful for your prayers during these times. We look forward to whatever God is calling us to be a part of and we will endure!