There is no doubt about it, if you were in my shoes it may look to you that our little family here in Dundalk has had a lousy Summer... but!
Niall has had a tough time with his health, having to stay in hospital for the guts of a week and being on medication that has slowed him down to such a degree that he can barley work. He was in again last night with a complication connected to his problem but thankfully they sent him home with some antibiotics. He hopes to have his procedure done in a fortnights time, where I think they will stop his heat with shock treatment and start it again.
Sean had a very rough time in relation to his friends and when that happens it effects me too. It saddens and botheres me to see him so upset. Thankfully though things seem to be sorting themselves out a bit and it's not so tough on him now. He also had a stint in hospital a couple of weeks ago due to a severe asthma attack.
My step mum passed away last week and that had it's own sadness.
However, I have to say that all these things (and more) cannot compare to the good things that have also been happening this Summer:o)
We (the Church) got over 1,200 Bibles out into the homes in Blackrock. They have been pegged for Blackrock and sitting in boxes in the Church Centre for over two years now and this, in my mind, is a great achievement and a 7 year old dream come true.
The Holiday Bible Club happened this year and once again the children in this estate had the Gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed to them.
Sean's adoption finally came through:o)
On the morning of my step mothers death God comforted and prepared me in a BIG way through scripture. When I got the phone call I was more than prepared for the news and God continued to help me throughout the wake and funeral.
Also, when we had to take Sean to the hospital at midnight, that morning and whole day, I felt God's presence with me in a very strong and almost tangible way. I felt so close to him. He stayed with me and took me through the stress and upset of watching Sean suffer.
It looks like one of my sisters may have been saved by God last week but I am still waiting and praying about it. I will write about that on another day but as you can imagine, just the mere thoughts of her being saved gives me a joy that I can hardly contain.
On Tuesday I received a copy of the Autumn/Winter newsletter from Grace To You/Martin Lloyd Jones Trust that has my testimony in it. Thousands will be posted to homes throughout Europe and it will also be on the Internet for Europe and the US, so this too is a big thing for me, something I am happy about.
Like I said, last night Niall and I had to go to the hospital. I prayed on the way up in the car and then put Christian booklets and magazines in my bag to leave in the waiting rooms etc. I always do this, if anybody needs God's help it is the poor unfortunates who have to visit A&E day or night with sick children, parents, partners etc, not to mention the overworked staff.
Anyway, just before we left at about one in the morning I couldn't help but overhear a nurse talking to somebody asking them if they ever tried to take their life before. I mentioned this to Niall and he reminded me that there was an article in the Christian magazine about suicide so I prayed hard to God and then just popped into the room. There was a young girl lying on a bed and a young man sitting across the room from her. I smiled, said hi and handed the magazine to her, suggesting she read it. God knows... She was just a kid really.
So, the point I am making is that through the tough times God has drawn me closer to Him and that looking back I feel that the problems and tough times are only ant hills compared to the HUGE blessings that God has heaped on me.
Thank you for your prayers, I can tell you that God has been listening and has blessed me over and above anything I could have ever hoped for let alone expected. Once again He has come through, swept me up in His arms and turned a lousy Summer into a great one for me:o)