Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Finding Joy Amidst the Flames

"Every time fear freezes and worry writhes, every time I surrender to stress, aren't I advertising the unreliability of God?  That I really don't believe?  But if I'm grateful to the Bridge Builder for the crossing of a million strong bridges, thankful for a million faithful moments, my life speaks my beliefs and I trust Him again.  ...Trust is the bridge from yesterday to tomorrow, built with planks of thanks.  Remembering frames up gratitude.  Gratitude lays out the planks of trust.  I can walk the planks - from known to unknown - and know; He holds."  ~Ann Voskamp


Being the wife of a firefighter/paramedic is hard.  Often times extremely difficult.  Several of you know this first-hand.

Not worrying or dwelling on fear when I know My Hero is in the midst of flames seems impossible (especially when I don't hear from him for hours or I see coverage on the news of a fire he is fighting).  Celebrating holiday after holiday and weekend after weekend without him is lonely.  Creating a peaceful retreat for him when he returns home after a full day and night of running calls requires much sacrifice as I am ready for a few moments to myself as well.

                               (Note - Photo taken at a training during Matt's recruit school.)

However, I fully believe that just as Matt has been called into the fire service, I am called to be a firefighter's wife.  I am so proud of my husband and what he does for a living.  He is the dictionary definition of a "hero" at work, but he is also our hero at home.


I am learning not to worry and to place all my trust on the One who is always in control of every situation.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me."  (John 14:1 NIV)

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow" (Romans 15:13 NIV)

                               (Note - Photo taken at a training during Matt's recruit school.)

And I continue to learn from Ann, "And trust is that: work.  The work of trusting love.  Intentional and focused.  Sometimes, too often, I don't want to muster the energy.  Stress and anxiety seem easier.  Easier to let a mind run wild with the worry than to exercise discipline, to reign her in, slip the blinders on and train her to walk steady in certain assurance, not spooked by the specters looming ahead.  Are stress and worry evidence of a soul too lazy, to undisciplined, to keep gaze fixed on God?  To stay in love?  ...Isn't joy worth the effort of trust?"

 She continues, "Count blessings and discover Who can be counted on.  ...This living a lifestyle of intentional gratitude became an unintentional test in the trustworthiness of God - and in counting blessings I stumbled upon the way out of fear."

                                (Note - Photo taken at a training during Matt's recruit school.)

With that, here are a few more gifts that I have recently counted (many of these I formerly would have not considered gifts):

#83  Because of the many days Matt has to be away from home we cherish the moments we do get to spend together and we try not to waste a moment.

#84  Since Matt is right in the middle of life or death situations each day, he has the amazing opportunity to intercede in prayer on his patient's behalf.  I will focus on this incredible opportunity instead of the lurking dangers on both medical and fire calls

#85  Matt has and will continue to save people's lives.

One recent call he responded to stands out in my mind...A little girl (not much older than Addison) was choking.  Matt and a fellow medic responded to the call.  Matt was able to pry her throat open, reach down between her vocal cords (with big "tweezers"), and extract a marble.  If he would have gotten there a minute or two later the little girl would have been in serious condition - most likely suffered from severe brain damage and possibly death.  Thankfully Matt was able to give back an alive, walking, and talking little girl to her trembling parents.  I cannot think about this story (and MANY others just like it) without feeling an overwhelming sense of pride and respect for the man I call my husband.

#86  Matt loves his job.  I have no doubt in my mind that he'd rather be home with us on any given day, but he looks forward to going to work and the challenges that it brings.
#87 The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego found in Daniel 3.  Thank you, God, for being with those 3 men in the furnace.  I love the details You included - the furnace was ordered to be heated 7 times hotter than usual (vs 19), the three men were clothed in layers of heavy materials (vs 21), the flames were so hot that the soldiers who threw the three men in were instantly killed without even stepping into the flames (vs 22), and when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were summoned out of the fire by Nebuchadnezzar "the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them" (vs 27, emphasis mine).  Protect my husband as you protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  You are a powerful God!

#88 The many opportunities I have to fully place my trust in God when Matt is surrounded by danger - my faith is deepened.

#89 Hearing Addison tell her Daddy goodnight over the phone.  Tonight we had to leave him a message because he was on a call.  It went something like this, "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!  HI!  Daddy!  Night night.  Love you (with my prompt!).  BYE!  Bye bye!"  I love that he saves these messages on his phone.  They are priceless.

#90  As completely exhausted as Matt is most days, he never complains about anything.  I have learned so much from his attitude!

#91 Covering my husband in prayer each morning before he leaves for work and continuing to pray for him throughout the day - a reminder of the power a wife's prayers have over her husband because we serve a powerful God.

#92 Seeing my husband in his handsome!

#93 Visiting Matt at the station and bringing all the guys dessert - Addison loves her Daddy and his firetrucks!

 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV, emphasis mine)

1 comment:

  1. What a great perspective Katie! I love your heart- you are such a challenge to me!