Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What do we allow to define us?

Talitha picked up a bug that's set up shop--temporarily--in her respiratory system.

Sunday night we heard her start with some congestion and by Monday morning, you could hear it in her lungs. The thought of a hospital trip makes me cringe. So we've been doing everything we can to support her little body in reversing this sickness.

Besides Tali receiving a blessing, we've been praying, keeping her hydrated and filled with good food, good thoughts, and lots of love.

She seems to be in good spirits and plays and follows a normal routine. She tires a little more easily and doesn't resist her afternoon nap as strenuously.

Audrey was quite shocked in going back and looking at pictures of Tali when she was undergoing cancer treatments. Now that she has hair again and is putting on weight and acting so normally, it's hard to see the pictures of her in such a sick condition.

I try not to think about it too much other than to praise the Lord and remember His miracles and to look for His hand in my life. I know God carried us and made it possible to do what we could never have been able to endure on our own.

I've been thinking lately of what we allow to give definition to our lives. This journey with Talitha has of a necessity consumed a large portion of our time. The lessons that have come and keep coming are a blessing for which I'm grateful. 

However, I've noticed that when so much energy and attention is given to one area, unless we are adequately grounded, that part of life can start disproportionately coloring the whole picture, almost like painting a landscape with too few colors as if some of the colors ran out so you start using blue when you should be using yellow.

Part of the challenge then is in facing the trials of life and enduring them well without allowing the problems to define who we are. I know this may sound weird, but I'm starting to see how it could happen that if one particular challenge over-defines who you are, then when that problem passes, you could lose a sense of identity because a large part of how you defined yourself is no longer part of the picture.

A better approach would be to allow the definition of who we really are to be founded upon or closely tied to Christ and His plan of happiness for us. That way, we can build definition around something that doesn't change over time. In fact, we can trace the lines of our character, our self-worth, and what matters most to us over and over knowing that the picture most closely resembling our Lord and Savior will be wonderfully balanced and of enduring value.

In short, a problem can mold a person or a person can mold a problem. The difference is essentially the degree to which Christ is the defining role model.

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