I wanted to introduce you to some of the other authors that contributed to the book. This devotional is all about persevering through life and the difficulties that come up on a daily basis. My first guest is Lauren Sparks.
Lauren Sparks is a wife and mom to two daughters – one with special needs – and one bonus son. She lives, worships Jesus, and teaches yoga in the Dallas, Texas area. She shares her adventures, victories and flub-ups from her laptop at laurensparks.net.
"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4
My daughter Shelby is currently participating in a drug trial. At regularly scheduled intervals we must travel to the children's hospital and spend all day with doctor's appointments, EKG's, echocardiograms, tedious documentation and lab work. I also track her seizures and medicine doses daily in an electronic diary In addition to this drug, my husband and I administer 4 other drugs to her twice a day. She hates them. And yet we still must watch her have debilitating seizures. I find this tiresome, not joyful.
Because my daughter is mentally disabled, she will never hold a job or be able to earn any kind of income. We are grateful that there are government programs in place to help provide for her. But I must be honest - every time I go down to the social security office or wait for an hour and fifteen minutes on the phone to speak with an agent, I want to pull my hair out. I find these experiences torturous, even adversarial at times. I don't find joy in them.
At 18, Shelby still wears diapers and is completely dependent on the help of others to use the restroom. We must bathe and dress her as well. At her size, hygiene is difficult, sometimes painful on my aging joints, and other times embarrassing. She can never be left unattended, which means we never age out of the need for babysitters.
Although in disposition my girl is a joy and a delight, there are many things - more than I have the space to write or you have the time and inclination to read - that are frustrating, painful and discouraging. But I'm not left without hope. And neither are you. The trials and suffering you encounter may be quite different than mine, but the book of James tells us that each one produces endurance in us. And the more we endure, clinging to faith in Jesus Christ, the more God is perfecting us. Every time we turn to Him in our hardships, He drives out the sins of doubt and self-reliance. He makes us more like Him. We may not understand the reason for our afflictions, and we certainly don't have to pretend we enjoy them, but we can find a little joy in knowing that we are being transformed more and more into the image of our savior. "Lacking nothing."
Thanks for hanging out with us and sharing some of your story today, Lauren!
You can reach Lauren:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/lauren.k.sparks
Twitter - https://twitter.com/LaurenRSparks
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sparksbefit/
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/sparksfit/