I know it sounds strange, but when I went through my greatest struggles during our hospital stays, that’s when I felt closest myself to God. Even today if someone calls me from a hospital desperately, I can pray with such joy in my heart, because I have experienced that in complete hopelessness God surely shows His might. But when everything goes seamlessly, I suddenly feel empty. Don’t I have tasks to do? I don’t need to suction Vince’s trach because he is doing well. I have taken care of all the bureaucratic administration. Vince’s bicycle is ready; there is no need for further discussions. My husband has organized the next upcoming hospital checkup. I have been to the rheumatologist, the naturopathic doctor, done a blood test, etc. I go swimming and I ride my bike on a weekly base, I started doing yoga, and I still have some free time. Goodness, is this normal? It looks like I have become a soccer mom who takes her child to a public institution and has four free hours.

So everything goes smoothly, and even though we still have a week of kindergarten and my daily free time is over, I feel something urging over me, wondering what I will do when September comes around.

One of my Bible school teachers brought to my attention that when all is well in our lives, that͛s when we need to take time to build ourselves up, to fill our storage up for the times of need. He was talking about loading up with the Word of God. But when everything goes well, I simply don͛t feel the need to pray, to read the Bible, because everything goes well on its own. I feel that in my prayer I cannot give myself over to God completely, I just pray out of routine. I am not in a bind, and I can͛t turn to God with the same enthusiasm. Instead, I fill my days with displacement activities, I am happy about a program that turns out well, I start piling up my more urgent errands, just so that I don͛t have to quiet down and listen to the gaping emptiness in my heart.

“Here is my heart, a dried-up well. Go down deep, break through: the living water that comes from You!” from Illés Dobner͛s Urban Wanderer (Városi Vándor).

But God has taught me something again, and I would like to share that with you: we always leave out the fact that He has formed us to His own image. We look at God as an abstract concept, but He also has thoughts and feelings, just like we do. He desires to be with us, but not out of habit, but in fresh spirit and with selfless love. He doesn͛t want us to go to church every week as an obligation or kneel down and pray at exactly 9 o͛clock every night and help someone zealously the following day. Of course all these things are given as a bonus as His blessings are present in our lives. But He wants freshness! Freedom! The first love!

“You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” Revelation 2:3-5

But how do you teach someone who has no challenge or hardship in their lives at that moment, meaning they are not thirsting salvation, to love you like when you first met and there was an eagerness within to get to know you as much as possible? You do it by caring for them, by watching their every desire, wanting to tell them something new every day and laughing together. All in all, you fall in love again! But this cannot be done on command! It is a matter of a decision. Did you know that to love doesn’t mean the feeling itself but that you make a decision? I will love him/her!

I hadn͛t been able to go to church for weeks, but I was hungry for the Word. I listened to a passage from a recording which talked about praise. It spoke to me so much, saying I shouldn͛t be so strict in my thinking! I don͛t have a living relationship with God because I sit at church every Sunday. Of course I long to be in this community, but it is much more important to nurse my personal relationship with God. I heard a song the other day that talked about God͛s majestic care and the gratitude connected to it (it͛s called ͚There is nothing more attractive on this Earth than Your Majesty͛ (Fenségednél nincs vonzóbb e földön)). I looked for it on YouTube and started to learn the words. I kept learning, and after a week I managed to sing it under the shower with such devotion as if a whole symphony was playing with me in the background. I was thinking about God while I was singing and how grateful I was for His love. I read Psalms chapters 146-150, and I found that God͛s praise is the greatest thing we can do. In simple words I can already hear our grandmothers͛ saying:”Be thankful for everything my child!”

But I didn’t know that if I give space and time to this praise I will have the kind of peace in my heart that only God can give, and I can be fed from it every day! I can feel blessed the same way as when I feel like I am in a bind and I wait for His salvation. So it’s not only during our trials in the hospital that I can feel God’s intense closeness, but I can experience the same in times of peace. I don’t have to do anything else just praise Him with prayer of thanksgiving, with a song or dance.

“I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” Psalms 146:2

Of course I have been suctioning Vince͛s secretion for a week now, which has come to its peak this morning, because on our way to the kindergarten I had to pull over the car at least seven times. I felt panic, anger, fear, but then I made a decision: God, no matter what happens with me now, and even if it͛s uncomfortable, all the glory is Yours. I know this serves me also (Romans chapter 8)! I love you! Then in the next moment I already received an answer from Jesus what my sufferings were all about. In front of the embassy͛s pretty driveway, suctioning the secretion,
perhaps the security guard of the embassy needed to see this whole procedure at that moment. Maybe he needed to switch from doing nothing to a caring father role and ask if I needed anything. The Lord is so good! Truly, every situation and everybody who I meet is for my benefit; even now I get tears in my eyes as I remember this kind man͛s face.

Glory to You dear God for Everything! For Vince’s bicycle, for my Skype yoga lessons at down, for my soul mate’s phone conversation and our prayers together, for Vince throwing a kiss I could catch from the rearview mirror, for my husband’s care as he organizes the hospital trips, for putting gas into my car on Sundays, for understanding if in the evening a mom would like to pray with me so I won’t spend time with him. Thank you for my parents’providence, for coming all the way from my home town to Budapest to babysit Vince, to mow the lawn, thank you to an ardent friend who comes over to do the ironing out of love, and thank you for me being able to help the old neighbor lady register her prepaid cell phone online, and thanks to everyone who helped us in any way financially to make it to Vince’s surgeries, for having been able to convert our car barrier-free, and finally thank you for always giving a new song into my heart! Oh, I could keep going on and on, but You know how thankful I am for everything! The glory is Yours alone!

“Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious.” Psalms 66:2

There is life in God’s Word! I have experienced this so many times! If you would like join an English speaking Bible group or worship in Budapest, click here: www.bygrace.hu.