By Robin Halvorson
When our eldest daughter was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and we were told she would never walk I became militant in prayer and believing. There was no way the God I knew could possibly allow this to happen to my baby. Surely, this was just an opportunity for Him to show off in a miraculous way. I was determined to not accept this diagnosis, God would find another way.
A few months passed, and we gave birth to our second daughter. When she was diagnosed with the same diagnosis as her sister at three months of age, my world crashed in. I could no longer hold my own banner of believing any more. I became acquainted, for the first time in my life, with my need for my Savior to come lift my hands and help me find my song. If I’m honest, I don’t think I knew what it meant to surrender until that moment. Much of my life I accomplished achievements and overcame obstacles in my own strength with a little bit of Jesus sprinkled in. But, when sorrow and grief took their blow to my heart, I realized I couldn’t fix this on my own. I needed Him to fight this battle for me. I needed Jesus to infuse every area of my life with His strength as I had none of my own left.
Nearly two years later, I have found that my strength and faith has gradually begun to restore. However, I have also discovered my heart needs to lean completely on my Savior to survive. I find the moment I try to take matters into my own hands or rely on my human strength alone, my heart can easily take another nose dive into despair. My husband and I live in a tension of waiting for a miracle for our girls. Early in the diagnoses, the Lord spoke to us both saying we would experience many miracles along the way. In the past two years, God has provided not just thousands but millions of dollars in medical interventions for our girls! We have seen God’s provision and favor go before our family over and over again! We are so grateful for His covering. However, we continue to stand in the gap for our girls everyday praying for their ultimate miracle of complete healing to be fulfilled.
The question I often ask the Lord is, “Why can’t you heal them right now, today?” And, the answer of course is, “He can!” However, as the days pass and their moment of healing still remains uncertain, I am learning several things about living in the tension of waiting:
1. There is no doubt God wants to heal disease! Isaiah 53:5 says, “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, and by His stripes we are healed.” The sacrifice of the cross, every excruciating moment Jesus endured, is our assurance that HE WANTS TO HEAL! I don’t have the answers yet or understand why some people are healed while others continue to wait. However, my assurance lies in knowing the character or God – He is a good father that has never let me down before and He won’t let me down now!
2. Eternity brings a different perspective. When I begin to look at my babies through a lens of eternity, my perspective changes. Are they happy? Are they loved? Do they know the love of the Father? Even though our “normal” looks different from other families, their lives are rich and beautiful. In the waiting, we are learning to be grateful for the present moments and see beyond the minutia of everyday life. The “big picture” is so much greater than what I even imagine.
3.TRUST! When I was in college, the Lord gave me a clear vision illustrating Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” In the vision, I was struggling to walk up a large hill on campus, sweat was pouring, I was breathing hard. And, as I got too exhausted to continue I heard Philippians 3:14, “I press…”. As I heard this, I saw myself falling backward off this incline and being caught by the giant hand of God. He said, “Pressing into me doesn’t mean you have to work. You press into me the moment you let go and allow me to raise you above the fight.” This is a picture of trust I’ve held for years now. Trust looks like surrender. Trust looks like weakness. Trust looks like rest.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-
4.My greatest sacrifice of worship is given in the moments when I don’t understand, but I choose to trust in the character of God. I choose to lay my heart out before my Lord who sacrificed everything for me and my family because He is worthy of my praise and adoration. To worship is my greatest privilege here on Earth, especially while we are waiting for our miracle because it is the only time I will get to choose Him while I still don’t have the answers. Worship in the tension of waiting is faith-filled worship! I worship, surrendered, trusting the Lord to fulfill His promises to my family.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. KNOW that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is GOOD and His love endures forever, His faithfulness continues through all generations.” -Psalm 100:1-5-
I believe living in the tension of unanswered prayers and maintaining a soft heart before the Lord is one of the greatest challenges we face as believers. However, I also believe it is a great blessing! It is a blessing because we get the opportunity to dig into the questions of our heart and discover revelations about God that will stay with us for eternity. We get to surrender, even when we don’t feel like surrendering, simply to find He is gentle, kind, and worthy of every sacrifice.
My prayer for those of you living in the tension of waiting, is that you will not despise this season of your life, but rather embrace the unknown territory with God. He is not afraid of your questions, so ask them! He is not afraid of your anger towards Him, so let Him see! He is not afraid of your sorrow, so let Him bear it with you! I pray as you learn to let go with God, that He will begin to show you His heart and that He has loved you with an everlasting love from the beginning of time! You are His BELOVED!
About the author // Robin Halvorson lives in Roanoke, TX along with her husband, Jordan, two girls, Shiloh & Gabrielle, and her newborn son, Judah. She is a member of New Life Worship and leads worship for Tuesday Night Prayer. Although she is currently a stay at home mom, she was a public speaker for nearly 10 years speaking to students across Texas and the surrounding region about abstinence and bullying. With a degree in Communication and Worship Leadership from Oral Roberts University, she hopes to continue speaking and sharing her life experiences with others for years to come.