Wednesday, July 27, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons - 7.28.11

This was the title of the show I did with Patrick Henry Hughes and Jeremy Camp yesterday. Our interviews were featured on Your Family Live! (a Web/TV/Radio Show done by the incredible people at Focus on the Family). Click here to watch. I smiled when I first saw the title of the show in my e-mail this week. It took me back to an experience I had years ago. I actually wrote about it in my book:

I returned to my wheelchair, and as I was taking off my prosthetic legs, a nurse's aide in white scrubs entered the room. "You've got some nice legs there," she said. "How do you like them?" There was no pity in her voice, just curiosity. I shrugged and decided to tell her the honest truth. "They're okay. They're just not like my legs used to be." I didn't want to be negative, but I couldn't be enthusiastic either. "Well, when God gives you lemons, then you've just got to make lemonade," she spouted with confidence. We chatted for a few more minutes, and then she hustled off to her duties. After she left, her words stuck with me. It was the simplest thing, yet it made sense. Is it possible to take all the heartache and challenges I've been through and let them work for the better? It gave me hope for change. It also made me think about something Ruth Ann had told me a year prior. "You're a strong willed person, Kristen. You can either let that work for you or against you," (p. 154, 155).

Making lemonade out of lemons isn't the easiest thing to do in life, but I've found it necessary. It's much easier to hold on to our dreams, or how we think things should have been, but that isn't going to change what happened yesterday or any other day in the past. I couldn't bring my legs back no matter how much I wished I could. It's important to remember that we only have today to work with. As the old saying goes, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift." We might as well make the best of it!

Please, think about what it is that you have to be grateful for. Make a list. Ask yourself what God gave you to enjoy about your life today. And learn from the book of Job. The Bible shows us that Job was a good man, but he lost his family, his livestock, his wealth and his health. He questioned God, grumbled about his situation, and even wished he was dead, but he never gave up and he never lost his faith in God. He seemed to always know that God was still God, that he could always trust Him, and at the end of his life "the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before", (Job 42:10). I hope you know that God is always God and that He never changes. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever," (Heb. 13:8). He will never let you go, He will never give up on you, He will always love you, and He is right there with you.

Feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts on any of this below. I'd love to hear from you! If you're reading this on the Reaching You website, please click the blog title in order to comment.

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  1. Kristen,
    Everytime I hear you talk about your story or I read what you have to say I'm amazed by your faith in Jesus. I've told you many times by meeting and talking to you but your life and your example to me when I was going through "lifes lemons" is a huge reason for where I am today. Jesus spoke through you. You never gave me the speeches that I had heard all my life growing up in church but you really listened, and cared, and you were so genuinely real. Those times when I wanted to give up, you always reminded me to be determined to not stay stuck in my past even if it was only a minute ago. The times when I had failed it felt like you were the only person who wasn't disappointed in me because that was God working through you. Now I am healthy and although times I may struggle I know that when life gives me lemons, God gives me the sugar so I cam make sweeter lemonade. Thank you so much for the impact you have had and still have in my life.
    Love, Becca Macpherson

  2. Thank you for your ministry of encouragement, Kristen! This is a great message. Here's a link to a "Speed Bump" comic that is funny, but makes a good point about what NOT to do when life gives us lemons!

    Blessings, Marilyn Lentz

  3. Kristen, when you read the book of Job, don't miss this precious realization:

    "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you." (Job 42:5, ESV)

    Job went from a casual hearsay-knowledge of God to an intimate fellowship-knowledge of his Father... through intense suffering. Christ's words in Matthew 5:8 tell us that to "see God" we require purity of heart. Suffering and hardship are God's refiners. We may lose it all, but the future is bright - 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.

    From what I have read of your story and testimony, it sure appears as though you're a poster-child for the transformed life. May God continue to draw you close to Him. He is good.

  4. Great interview and great post. Being a dude, I usually don't do the "when life gives you lemons" routine but the more manly sounding "get back up off the mat when you get knocked down." (Hey, grew up in Pennsylvania and we all love Rocky in PA.)

    Job is a book I know all too well. And I'll be honest...many times in the last few years I've related to Job's gripes. One of the hardest things I've learned through Job is that while God gave him back double what was taken, there's no promise God will do that for us. Our restoration could be when we reach the other side and see His face.

    Of course, that blows away anything we could get here. :)