Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 085 - An Essential Invitation
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #085 – An Essential Invitation
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me. I am blessed to be back with you to discuss intentional changes that will equip each of us to concentrate on Jesus and live with heart and mind focused on eternity to seek more ways to live with eternal perspective.
For the past week I have worked on and wrote most of a podcast during the cracks of time I found between running to appointments. As I waited for my daughter to have two procedures completed at the local Children’s Hospital, I quietly sat with my laptop concentrating and focusing on finishing the episode I felt would release this week. Although something is supposed to release in just over 9 hours, I do not feel releasing what I have would be the right timing.
Instead, all I can concentrate on is the goodness and mercy of God as it overflows from my heart and mindset. I am filled with so much gratitude this week that I cannot concentrate on anything but sharing what my heart is honestly filled with. Releasing another piece would not feel authentic when praise is pressing to be released!
If you have listened to the “Live With Eternal Perspective” podcast from the beginning, you know a lot about my family. I pray the stories I share have also directed your heart to the Lord in renewed ways as I lift honor and thanksgiving to Him. God is faithful. He is sovereign. Even in the darkest of times, when it seems that good has been stolen from me, He has kept my joy intact. When the world tries to distract or sway me to go a certain way, the Lord clears my path and shows me where and how to travel.
Yesterday we spent the entire day at the hospital. For a total of about 12 hours we wearily allowed our precious daughter to undergo two procedures, and sat by her side and helped her as she had to lie still for 6 hours afterwards. We had no idea how either procedure would turn out. Yet God, in His goodness, allowed our minds to focus elsewhere and rest in a wrap of peace that surpasses human understanding.
The joy of the Lord is my strength. My hope and trust are fixed on Him.
Psalm 28:7 says, "The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him."
After awakening this morning, my mind replayed events from yesterday as my heart rested in remembrance of all the goodness God has graced us with this last month. I wept as I humbly lifted recognition, thanksgiving, and praise to my Heavenly Father.
Life is filled with difficulties and it would be so easy to give up. Yet, those of us who know the Lord have a strength that surpasses any human understanding. It carries us through hardships with a joy and peace and wraps us in a protective shell that stands against the arrows from the wicked one or the hits this life can throw.
I can say that this summer has kept my gaze fixed even more securely on Jesus. My eyes, heart, and mind have not wandered from the presence of the Lord. The peace that He has enabled me to behold as He soothed is a gift I cannot explain or begin to understand. The truth of the matter is that it is free and available to each one of us. I am not special, but the Father who watches over us is.
Peace that carries us despite the outcome of our journey is a gift to treasure. As we are willing to lay down our treasures and place them in His hands He awaits, already working before us to fill any need. I know the balance between this world and the next is delicate. It is but a vapor and so close. Days like yesterday remind me of that truth anew.
Live With Eternal Perspective was started out of obedience. Because the Lord has shown me His love for each of us and the power He carries through any life storm, I was compelled to begin my podcast. If you know anything about me, you know it is not just a program; it is a lifestyle born out of gratitude and surrender. Life is a daily bowing to Jesus with a mindset of thankfulness for every single moment I have, especially with loved ones. Our journey with Brooklyn has been another important piece of surrender to the grace and joys God has in store for us and I am incredibly blessed to share on the episodes just how much He loves His children and the blessings He weaves through our life.
Yesterday felt like one of the longest days I've experienced. When Jaime died, or Brooklyn's first heart surgery with us, the passing and illnesses of parents, they are all up there. When we sent our precious girl off to have her liver biopsy and heart catherization, I was unsure what they would find. Everything truly rested in the hands of a sovereign and holy God. Yet, for me, there was an absence of fear and an amniotic wrap of peace surrounding me.
There was a lot of information given to us yesterday, but honestly, if I could list all of it, the majority would go over the heads of most people. Heart defects are incredibly unique and in the words of the pediatric cardiologist interventionist who worked on Brooklyn for the heart catherization yesterday, "I drew this picture of her heart to show you, but I'll leave it with you because no one else will have a heart like it." Just as each precious person in this world is special, so are the hearts that beat inside us.
There is so much I could say about the miracles God blessed us with through the day, even through this summer, actually. The doctor who worked on her is the same doctor Brooklyn's cardiologist we love so much worked with back in June when the CT scan was performed. He is the one who knew her anatomy and gave recommendations then. He, thank God, has the same mindset as we do. Do not touch anything that is working. He is concerned that when doctors go in to try to make things better they often make things worse, and although he sees conditions that typically need attention through certain methods, he does not think doing anything will make her quality of life better. As Brooklyn is stable, we all want to leave her that way instead of trying to increase her blood oxygenation and other things and possibly make her worse. Of course, I am boiling info down to a minimum here, but his advice was such a blessing. He sat with us for a long time after the procedure, going over her CT scans, as well as the photos and images taken during the catherization procedure yesterday. He professed to be a humble man who bows to God as his strength, knowing that he must remain humble to allow God to work through him. He even said that he does not want harm to come to any of his patients because he tries to rely on his own strength. Please try to pray for him to continue to be a man of God even more every day, as his mother passed away in June and she used to pray for him daily.
We worked with another doctor for the liver biopsy. Those results should return within a few days. There is a very delicate balance with the health of the children, both short and long term, when they live with a heart like our special girl. Especially after the type of heart surgery she had in 2016. The anatomy of her heart is hard on her other organs and although she looks stable on the heart side right now, as I have shared before, the condition of her other organs is a concern to keep in prayer, as well. Sometimes the heart looks stable for the condition the patient is in, but the other organs begin to fail. She will likely end up needing not only a heart transplant, but additional organ, such as liver transplant one day. Brooklyn is very complex, and as my other heart mama friends know, it is exhausting to wrap your heart and mind around so many details, yet alone attempt to share them all.
After returning home from the hospital last night, I needed time to rest in my Heavenly Father, full of thankfulness. My mind and body are still a little weary, but I have a peacefulness that covers all other emotions, thoughts, or feelings.
The best words I heard yesterday are worth repeating on this podcast episode. They were spoken by our girl’s pediatric cardiology interventionist. "God has His hand on Brooklyn. He is not done with her. It is a miracle she is here."
Job 14:5 says, “You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer.”
The Bible says all of our days are numbered. If you are listening to me speak, or are reading the transcript of this episode, you are still alive. While you still have days of life, you have a purpose and you and believe that God is sending you a personal and essential invitation.
What type of invitation? I’m not talking about salvation, although that is the highest invitation and gift God offers through Jesus.
As I rested in the goodness of God to my family this summer, I replayed the gifts He gives each of us daily. Sometimes we neglect them or forget to think of them daily, but as we desire to live a life that seeks Jesus and focuses on a heart and mind set on eternity, I want to list the ways I viewed the gifts of God this morning.
God offers us the following essentials through His invitation to humbly walk with Him. To be honest, there are many verses that I may have chosen for the following points, but the ones below are near to my heart as I bask in the goodness and faithfulness of our loving God.
1. Intimacy – Mark 12:30 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” There is no intimacy like that of knowing and trusting Jesus. No matter the time of day, the feelings pressing against our mind or heart, the emotions we feel, He is present. He cares.
2. Peace – Romans 15:13 says, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Peace that passes understanding is a gift most people in this world are missing. Few carry God’s full peace, yet everyone desires it. They desire Him, whether they know it yet or not.
3. Joy – John 15:11 says, “I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” Without peace from Jesus, one cannot have joy. As we rest in Him and allow troubles and cares to be carried on His shoulders, joy follows.
4. Relationship – 1 Corinthians 1:30 says, “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.” Relationship with God comes through Christ. As we walk and study broken relationships in this world, we do not come near the intimacy and perfection that a walk with Jesus offers.
5. Trust – Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Trusting in the Lord is not natural. We cannot see Him, we speak into darkness, trusting that He will hear and care. Yet when we allow Jesus to fill our hearts as we accept and belief with faith and trust, life changes in miraculous ways we will most likely not understand until Heaven.
6. Grace – James 4:6 says, “And He gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Jesus made the ultimate humbling sacrifice. Without pride, He bowed to the harshest demand God could make and He offers us a life many take for granted. Commit to finding new ways to accept and share the grace Jesus offers and allow it to flow willingly through to others.
7. Security – Galatians 2:20 says, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Through trust, faith, belief, and grace we are offered security that nothing in this world can touch.
8. Love – John 14:21 says, “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” When we mature a walk with God through Christ, we begin to experience and offer true love. Each day offers us the opportunity to grow a love defined and perfected by Jesus. Our humanness falls short of the love and grace only He offers, yet moment by moment He calls us to return to Him and experience life with the fulness He brings if only we respond to His perfect love.
9. Promise – Mark 10:27 says, “Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” Hope births promise. Promise is possible through relationship with Jesus.
10. Identity – 1 John 3:1-3 says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Beloved, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when Christ appears we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as Christ is pure.” God’s word is clear about identity. The book of Genesis begins the Bible with a clear picture of who we are and the rest of the Bible clearly represents a love so great a life was willingly sacrificed.
Through relationship with Jesus, we are made new and become a reflection of who He is and a framework of what we are becoming.
Moment by moment we have the opportunity to accept a relationship that alters each bit of who we are and are becoming. Don’t look back. Respond to Jesus with each moment you have left. Allow Him to craft a new creation daily. Intentionally plan to meet with Him in ways you have forgotten or have not yet started. It is not too late to meet Him as He calls from within you.
Gracious, loving Heavenly Father, how you yearn for us to respond to You. Through all of creation You have called to us, wooing your children to draw nearer to You so that You may draw nearer to us. Father, so often we worry when You stand ready to carry any burden on Your capable shoulders. We see things work for good in our lives, yet do not credit You for the miraculous ways You have gone before us, parting the sea simply with Your breath because You care about every detail we face. God, help us to call out to You daily, to live in union with You, to seek Your face in the stillness of the night, the freshness of the morning, and in the depths of our despair. We need You in ways we have not yet discovered. Whether we are in union with You, our steps moving in perfect unison or as we are carried over mountains and through valleys, we fail to rejoice at the simple fact that You enjoy providing for us and meeting needs. When we do not receive our desires or face uncertainties or rejection in life, or we feel we have been robbed of what is rightfully Yours, we sulk in anger or bitterness. Forgive us Father for forgetting You, who should be our first love, the author and perfector of our faith, the joy of our life. May we please You more tomorrow than we do this day and may our gaze set on You without moving as we face tomorrow as we trust Your word and promises to us. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to this podcast. Please visit terrihitt.com to access podcast episodes housed in one convenient location, read blog posts, transcripts, and access additional resources designed to mature your walk with Jesus through an eternal perspective and encourage you to raise or influence children to choose Christ over culture.
I pray this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.