Guest Post by Donna Bontrager for the #Live2015 series

It was a sunny Saturday morning. I was doing the normal chores, laundry underway, dishwasher loaded, and on my second cup of coffee…wondering how far the boys had made it on their drive home from Florida after spring break. I was in the living room and was just plugging in the vacuum when my cell phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and saw “Adrian,” one of my son’s best friends.

You know those seconds between seeing who is calling and answering your phone when your stomach starts to hurt? You get this overwhelming sick feeling, and also feel the need to pray. Well, it was after those seconds I picked up the phone.

“Donna, it’s Adrian…Parker’s having a seizure and we have pulled off beside the road. Conrad called an ambulance but we don’t know what to do.”

I was able to walk them through it, having them get his emergency information ready for the first responders as well. I stayed on the phone until he was loaded into the ambulance and they were ready to follow it to the hospital.

They were in Tennessee.

His dad and I were in Indiana.

This was the first of many epileptic seizures his friends would witness, and not my last phone call.

What I didn’t realize, until years later, was how the Lord prepared me years before to be ready for that phone call.

You see, I’ve had more than my share of phone calls in my life that haven’t had the greatest of news.

At age 21 that call brought the news of my father’s accident, which is a story all in itself.

Another phone call at age 22 said my brother had an accident, which hours later lead to the Lord and I telling his wife of his death.

Another call six months later telling me that my nephew just died of SIDS and I needed to notify my family.

Now friends, that will make you want to change your phone number.

Many of you’ve had similar experiences with a phone call. The news isn’t anything you wanted to hear. You were glad you were there to take it, but wish it never happened at the same time.

Each of those calls, every interruption, there was one thing in common…we are never alone.

God knew what time it would happen.

What time we would need His strength, wisdom, and (1)

He knew what time it would end.

James 1:2-4 says “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Now that’s a hard one if you are being honest. Pure joy, in the middle of a phone call, that could change your life. Really? The answer is yes.

James says WHEN you encounter various trials, not IF.

As I mentioned above, I’ve walked through more than this one phone call. It was Faith in those other moments, God’s word, His promises that gave me endurance. The Lord knew I was going to need endurance for what was to come. I thought I had already had my fair share.

I know a lot of you probably feel that way. “Why is it always happening to me? Why don’t THEY ever struggle?”

Will this ever end?”

Don’t let the enemy creep in during those times. We all have these moments.

Wishing you could take your child’s illness from them. Begging God to allow it to be you and not them. You don’t see the big picture. You don’t understand what He is teaching your child and you through it all.

You don’t understand the lives He is touching by allowing your childHis child…to grow in their faith and relationship with Him. Building perseverance, not only your child, but in you and your family.

It is so important to be in the Word and Prayer! I can’t say it enough…Pray, Pray, Pray! It’s not just a thing we say…it is us communicating with our Father. The God of the universe lets us talk to Him. Philippians 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer & petition, with thanksgiving, let your request be made know to God.” 

It doesn’t get much plainer than that.

If I have learned anything, it is that nothing catches God by surprise. He is in control and will carry you through whatever you are going through. The more time we spend with Him and in His Word, the more you will have His promises to hold onto when those tough times come.

We were never promised it would be easy, but we do know our God is Faithful and will “never leave us or forsake us”. Deuteronomy 31:6 is one of my “go to” verses. I have a lot of them. I read them often. I also try to use them to encourage others.

The Lord has walked with me through a lot in my life. When I don’t share what He has done for me, I don’t give Him the glory He so rightly deserves.

The way He arranges every detail, when you can SEE the whole picture, it is nothing short of a miracle.

You remember that phone call I got at the beginning of all this? That was only 3 months after my son was diagnosed with Epilepsy.

He was a senior in high school.

What we thought was going to be a short road to travel has turned into a journey that is now going on Year Three. God has been with us every step. With every step, we can see His guidance, protection, love, and faithfulness.

Of course with every step, there is another story of God’s faithfulness.

The next time you get a phone call, or your life is interrupted in some way, cling to the verses I have listed below. 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

 donna christnerFrom Donna:

I am a wife and mother of 2 adult children and live in Shipshewana, IN. I’m active in Women’s Ministry and also serve on the Tech team at my church. God has allowed me to travel a road He has already seen and I know I have NEVER been alone and I will NEVER be alone no matter what may come. God has given me many verses in my time of need and His Word is hidden in my heart. He has also blessed me with the best family and church family a person could ever ask for. Their faithfulness and prayers have been with me and my family for many years and they continue to hold us up. I am living proof that the Lord can use “the least of these” to tell others about Him. I didn’t go to college, I have no degree. I write like I talk and need a lot of help with grammar. I am thankful for spell check and for the encouragement of others. One thing that I want to make perfectly clear…all the Glory is God’s…because if it wasn’t for Him…I would be a complete mess! To God be the Glory – Donna

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