Sweetly broken, wholly surrendered...

To the cross I look, to the cross I cling
Of its suffering I do drink
Of its work I do sing
For on it my Savior both bruised and crushed
Showed that God is love
And God is just

At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

What a priceless gift, undeserved life
Have I been given
Through Christ crucified
You’ve called me out of death
You’ve called me into life
And I was under Your wrath
Now through the cross I’m reconciled

In awe of the cross I must confess
How wondrous Your redeeming love and
How great is Your faithfulness

~ Sweetly Broken, Jeremy Riddle

I have always marveled at the grace God extends me. This is being illustrated to me in a very precious way through this trial. He never takes me from the peak of a mountain to the depths of a valley in one day...it is a gradual process, walking down the mountain together. I am so thankful for that. I think it would be much easier to grow bitter if I fell off the mountain, tumbling all the way to the bottom in just a few minutes. I can see His hand preparing the path before me as I walk down this mountain, into the valley and up the other side, because we are walking slowly. Over the past few days, we have walked a little further into the valley together as a family, continuing to be tested. Amelia came down with Coxsackie virus (the pretty, scientific way of saying "Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease"), which involves a painful, itchy rash, high fevers, sores in the mouth, throat, soles of her feet and palms of her hands. The other children have slowly come down with it as well. So, as I was preparing for my dear friend Sara's wedding to her Caleb, Aaron and I were also busy "nursing" our puking, itching, feverish, cranky, dehydrated children! Throw four sick kids into the mix when you are already contending with a rehearsal dinner, wedding performance, dance, fireworks, and company (luckily, grandparents Thul who helped immensely!)...wow, you've got a big trial on your hands as parents! The song I quoted above was sung at Sara & Caleb's wedding, and it resonated with me. He has me "sweetly broken, wholly surrendered". I've said before that one of the curses of being a strong person under your own power means it takes bigger trials to bring you to your knees. But how tender of Him to give them slowly, to break me slowly, to let me surrender instead of just beating me down to submission. I am so grateful for that! My voice is completely gone again today, just a hushed whisper coming out when I try to speak. I'm sure it is a product of the sores in my throat and overuse this weekend. But I am feeling "hushed", too. Praising God for His mercy in taking me down slowly...

"Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side." ~ Psalm 71:20-21 KJV

Feeling tired
By the fire
The long day is over

The wind is gone
Asleep at dawn
The embers burn on

With no reprise
The sun will rise
The long day is over
~ Norah Jones