Wednesday, March 9, 2016

fearfully and wonderfully made

[ O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You. Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men. For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. ] - Psalm 139

six simple words in the middle of this beautiful sonnet have forever changed my life.

fearfully.and.wonderfully.made - honestly. they are enough to bring tears to my eyes some days.

psalm 139. a scripture my mama + daddy have quoted often. especially on the hard days. in fact - just the other day mom sat across the bar from me in the kitchen and read the whole thing out loud.

fearfully and wonderfully made..

you all know how much i love words. so i decided to look up the definitions of these precious words. 

biblically - fearfully means [ in awe of or in reverence ] + wonderfully means [ marvelous - excellent - great - astonishing - amazing. ] OH MY GOODNESS! the God of the universe has made each and everyone of us with reverence + He is in awe of us + He thinks that we are marvelous + excellent + great + astonishing + amazing! ] HOW COOL IS THAT!?

however. i have struggled. so often.

how can i be fearfully and wonderfully made and yet this physical body of mine is so mangled. and always has been? 

it doesn't make sense. 

or maybe it does...

i'm 24 now. i was sure by now my immune system would have started working properly. i thought i'd outgrow all of it. maybe be totally healed. i thought maybe i would become a teenager and it would catch up. like everyone around me. or maybe i would turn 22 and the geneticist would tell me that it was all a big mistake + i don't have noonan syndrome + there is no risk to my children getting it one day. i dream of laying in the MRI machine + the techs thinking they have the wrong girl. because my tumor has miraculously disappeared. but that isn't my reality. so many nights i have begged God to take it all away. so. many. nights. tears and yelling in my head kind of begging. but He didn't. it isn't the plan. it was never the plan. but then again. the plan was to have perfect bodies. 

and so i imagine Jesus is just as disappointed as i am.

...and yet even in the dark days of not feeling whole His works are marvelous. and i know that full well. 

[ 11 years + 6 days ago i was diagnosed with a brain tumor. because the story is long + i don't want this post to have you reading until april - you can read about that right here! DIAGNOSIS ...]

[ 11 years ago today i had a 22 hour life saving brain surgery. because the story is long + i don't want this post to have you reading until may - you can read about that right here! SURGERY ...]

each year in march i reflect on what the Lord has done. and this year He has so loudly shouted that what He has done is use my story + He has boldly revealed that He will continue to do so.

something i am so thankful for - but something that is still very hard. 

probably around 2 years ago someone said something to me about being so public with my suffering - and that she didn't think it was...appropriate. for lack of a better word. i was confused. i didn't ask for any of this. and if i'm being real with you - I DON'T THINK IT IS APPROPRIATE THAT SHE SAID THAT TO ME! it was hurtful. so very very hurtful. yes there probably have been times where i could have held back. but the reality is that we have let everyone in for 24 years. and don't get me wrong hasn't been easy to do so.

there have been so many times i have wished we could take it all back - the words i mean. i wish i could have curled up in a ball. locked the door and not told a soul what i was dealing with. keep it all hidden. and choose to suffer silently. but that isn't what we were called to - in fact - from the moment i was born mom and dad knew that wasn't what we were called to. i don't think we could have done it had we not been surrounded by so many people praying. i really don't think i'd be alive.

but...sometimes in the midst of all the suffering. i find peace. knowing that this body of mine is not the final story. and even when i don't feel it - i am still fearfully and wonderfully made. 

one of my favorite pastors said this:: [there are things you learn in the valley that you can't learn on the mountaintop.] - chad veach

amen amen + amen.

the valleys may be dark but oh my heart i have learned so much while walking through them.

so back to what the Lord has revealed this year...

first:: the Lord has used my story...

a few weeks ago i got a facebook message. from someone i haven't seen since i was probably 5 years old. her little boy is currently battling a vicious type of cancer + someone had told her about me. she confessed to stalking my facebook + wrote me one of the most encouraging notes i have ever received. as i sat and read it. i realized ... if my story can help just one person. just one. it was all worth it.

that is just a small example. i believe that i - along with many of my family members have been able to encourage other people with this journey we have all had to walk...

second:: the Lord will continue to do so...

He has so clearly shown me that writing my story + putting it into a book is something that He has had planned all along. and while writing about things i've never told anyone or really discussed is hard - it will all be worth it - because He will use it for good.

so. i guess you could say that i have been...

blessed with a brain tumor.

and so much more.

but i will continue to PRAISE the One who made me.




Blessed by a Heavenly Daddy

Shelby Elyse Taylor