There is just something different about having a little boy in the house. I came into my bedroom on Monday to find this...

I immediately backed away quietly to grab my camera and when I came back, he was still unaware and high up on the window sill. The snow sparkling on the hill outside our bedroom window must have beckoned him climb up.

We all need a dose of new perspective every now and then. I get it occasionally when I stoop to my son's level and see the world from a new angle.

Yesterday I got a dose of new spiritual perspective. I know I'm redeemed. I know He says He won't remember my sins anymore. That, theoretically, I'm hid away in Christ.

But it just hasn't made a dent.

I think I saw it for the very first time yesterday. My mom reminded me that she tried to tell me on my 21st birthday, papering the walls with all the words God uses to describe us, His children. But sometimes, in our extreme efforts to block out pain, we toss out the baby with the bathwater. We block out love because accepting love makes us vulnerable. Right at the moment, I feel somewhat like the walking wounded, and there's no way I'm putting my heart on my sleeve.

But the God who formed the universe sees right through every wall I erect to protect myself. I always pictured those divine eyes lasers cutting right through and straight to my sin. What if He sees me, and thinks it's lovely?
I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. I am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. (Isaiah 43:22 & 25)
Why does He blot out our transgressions for "His own sake"? I read 16 different commentaries on this subject, and couldn't find anything much mentioning that particular part of the verse. It seems rational to think He does so because of one of two things: 1) He blots them out so that He can restore us to relationship with Him, thus receiving glory, or 2) He blots them out and remembers them no more because we have received the Holy Spirit as a seal of our inheritance through belief in His payment for our sins, and now, when He looks at us He sees Christ, not our old sin.

Just in case you like Greek and lexicons and the technical information, like I do, look at what Strong's has to say about the word translated to "redemption" from Colossians 1:13-14: For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
629 / ἀπολύτρωσις / apolýtrōsis ("redemption, re-purchase") emphasizes the distance ("safety-margin") that results between the rescued person, and what previously enslaved them. For the believer, the prefix (575 /apó) looks back to God's effective work of grace, purchasing them from the debt of sin and bringing them to their new status (being in Christ).

New perspective, isn't it? The view from this new angle is refreshing...and scary. If I'm going to think this new way, then I have a lot of reconstruction to do in my mind. It's always a bit intimidating to stare straight in the face of your own preconceptions and assumptions and admit, "I've thought it all my life, but maybe it's wrong." How many lies are implanted in our hearts that become so much a part of our life story that we never even give them a second glance?

My soul is weak
My heart is numb
I cannot see
But still my hope is found in You
I’ll hold on tightly
You will never let me go
For Jesus, You will never fail
Jesus, You will never fail

Simply to the cross i cling
Letting go of all earthly things
Clinging to the cross
Mercy’s found a way for me
Hope is here as I am free
Jesus, You are all I need
Clinging to the cross

Even darkness is as light to You, my Lord
So light the way and lead me home
To that place where every tear is wiped away
For Jesus, You will never fail
Jesus, You will never fail

We are at Mayo Clinic in Rochester today for another round of appointments for Amelia. She is having her hearing and vision tested, meeting for a second time with a speech pathologist and ear/nose/throat specialist, and having her throat "scoped". They will give her a tiny bit of sedation for this, but will be asking her to speak to them while the scope is in place. It appears she developed a fistula (a hollowed out space that did not heal properly) between her soft palate and upper pharynx (nasal area) after her tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy last year that preceded her encephalitis. Today they will be trying to confirm whether this abnormal area is still a source for infection, and whether or not surgical treatment would be their recommended course of action (we are a bit leery of that, for obvious reasons!). They will also be scraping her vocal cords for a sample for infection or other problems, as she continues to have polyps (abnormal growths) on her vocal cords.

Mayo has become part of our "new normal" for the most part...but I am a bit tense about tomorrow. Sedation scares me, and I hate to see my daughter in pain. Could you pray for these specific things?
  • Amy wouldn't have pain during the procedure
  • She would be willing/able to cooperate fully
  • They would obtain the necessary samples
  • Wisdom for this new set of doctors
  • Easy travel with the four kids
  • Fun visit with our friends, whose baby is in the NICU there