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How to Have Hope in Tough Holidays

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
December 9, 2021 9:00 pm

How to Have Hope in Tough Holidays

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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December 9, 2021 9:00 pm

Facing disappointment in a hard holiday season? FamilyLife President David Robbins & his wife Meg grapple with how to have hope through grueling realities.

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So Christmas is coming up so exciting. Christmas is you.

You really do you get into why would you remember our first Christmas in California yes what you remember that we are all they are sound out words and Mario we moved to California from your group in Ohio and we literally run staff of athletes in action in Nebraska decided that got a call this long-term to ministry. So we should go get trained so in a seminary in California, so we had two friends Bob and Judy ever again said they invited us to their house when nobody with nowhere to go for Christmas. It was like so lonely they said you guys we feel so bad you can be alone come with us to our families Christmas we cook. It's amazing year in a love that SSO airbags were all excited sitting by the front door lady and they said they'd be there like 9 AM. They never showed.

We sat there all day and then we get a call exhibited eclectic like we're so sorry forgot welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and will they will soon and you can find us@familylifetoday.com or on our family life. This is family life today.

Christmas is coming up and it can be a high could be a little like that. This can be an statistically speaking, one of the hardest seasons because of depression expectations that are met can be really hard because your assuming everyone is having this wonderful Christmas and you're alone, and the truth is this is one of the things I love about family life to his. We are here for you and you're not alone. Yes, a beautiful thing is we get to meet you right where you are, which is really Jesus meeting you right where you are and your I hope as you come to year-end and think about your life and in the future. I hope you feel like I need family life. You know, God meets me through this broadcast and what you need to know is we need you as well and we're inviting you to join us prayerfully and even financially make a donation at your on the great part is that this time of year.

Every donation you make is can be matched dollar for that means doubles because of some generous donors that believe in this ministry. Hopefully the same way you do. So I invite you to join us. This is the kind of help and hope we bring to your home and other homes as well and the man we invite you to join be our partners and here's how you do it. Just go for my life today.com make a donation. There you can call us at one 800 FL today and that money will go to impact in families all around the world and let me say thank you because it really means a lot to us and for you to be our partners and we, at the present family life David Robbins and his wife Meg. With this you guys welcome to family life today your team. You guys have you here and you know David's a present of family life and you know we love it when we get you to another in the studio because we get to hear a presidents perspective not only on your life. But on the ministry of family life.

So let's talk about this Christmas or holidays. You know, we just had Thanksgiving were moving toward Christmas. Do you remember any seasons you started talk about story I immediately thought of our very first Christmas together with spotlight as a stat that you also bring your list and we love you so first Christmas we married the week of Thanksgiving, so we were under heading for Thanksgiving, but our pre-marriage counselor knew my family really well and knew that David family, your parents, all of your parents love you a lot to their cell their very family oriented with both sides of the families involved like this is your challenge is to be leaving and cleaving well leaving in a healthy way and your family and wise she celebrate all of the first holidays on your and kindness that forever, but just the first being completely under like don't go over even later in the day just okay. It was either we were there we were for everybody around thinking this is great show you both have amazing wonderful families that you love is first year to help us leaving Cleveland premarital okay very first interaction with family life was preparing for marriage church pastor Jews prepare for marriage by family life. What associated with family life at all. That was her first interaction. By the way, we saw that product is Nelson. This advice we thought we would never have thought family and family.

This is great sale we just means you are.

Should we tell, we inform our counselors that work in Christmas we Christmas we were with mixed family which you have five siblings and it's raucous and it's amazing. Christmas is a really big deal. Is there an earlier date we we were with them on Christmas eve so we were altogether, and then something cracks open while you are getting ready to leave everybody else is going be together, and the youngest of five.

Several were married. There were some grandkids involved myself like reaching behind the tree and all for presence, letter and ordeal at some point in the sand that he is liable if you were leaving.

This wouldn't be such a problem and like little content start coming like happy so we have a MICRA family meeting and I cry say here you are, your new to the family just to show you know you were crying why well, that's true, it was felt like it was my fault. The whole family.

We have a family meeting after all the stupid comments were like they tell their pleas were holding serval more doing them.

I was just a horrible and on the site.

Well, I don't mean to be turned we had not thought about it from their perspective.

They had not said anything so weak they might feel we didn't need any blind sided, which was ridiculous. His vision without expectation equals conflict middle of it and we decide let's do the right note, we are willing to stay so we packed up all of our presents from everybody and we set out we left.

You decide. We talked about Everett then refining another person's perspective we get in the car. We get about a mile down the ramp and the card guys like that little bit of our car died and were all just car you can take back to like this be the Lord things with her family and your family respond.

You know they just laughed at us.

You know they were fire it what it was like that's just lawyer was just a layer that they were able once they knew we had a discussion about.

I think they felt more freedom to say okay yeah we will reset my you know, we all know the how they sort of bring out the highs and lows.

It can often be a really stressful time for you families going through the summer minutes. Alaris is hard or not you. Years later, we had a baby at Christmas and made all things better for a man feel like they forget all grievance expectations around holidays and all things in life can be so hard when there is expectation will turn out differently than what you thought they would be like our first baby is a story of totally different expectations.

When he came it was a amazing gift to us and God created him exactly like he intended to create him and shape them in no Meg's womb, but he was created with a genetic disease called cystic fibrosis that affects multiple things including lungs and reproductive system and digestive system and it's it's a full Lord thing that really send this into a trusting season combined with our whole life's about to change everything changes with the birth of this kid that got gifted as well. Do you remember when you found out he wasn't early in a pregnancy or is it the 20 week ultrasound we went just seeming like regular scan. See all the things that are super excited to find out where girls that we were looking for that miscarriage before just a year before and so yeah, chances are better hopes are getting very taken the first few ultrasounds had been nerve-racking yeah and this one felt like where were at the middle. This feels a lot better and we can just tell by looking at the ultrasound tech space that something wasn't quite right, and she didn't say a lot, but our doctor came in and just said we see something that isn't exactly what we expected to see Scott academic Powell something in his stomach is more solid than it should be.

This could be listed off five things in a big deal.

There's a small chance it could be a symptom of cystic fibrosis herded viruses, but I wasn't at all and he just said you know don't go home in Google things. I was glad that he told us that because I probably would have that lets you know I had to be tested. If I was a carrier that David would have to be tested and member getting in the car that supercars take us back. David where you in there for the ultrasound was there totally remember when cystic fibrosis was mentioned only contacts I had today was Boomer Esiason about his son had cystic fibrosis as part of that. Just seeing the look of the technician's face of the doctor saying these words for just a euro. Within this one was different and it was a kind of a flood of what is there was a mystery involved instead of a finality involved where you had to process grief. There was a shifting of expectation, the mystery, and we didn't like when sky looked at each other. Okay all we can do is Meg's going to tested blood work done by our members get in the supercars. That's when it, both of us getting in the car and it was like the Lord just whispered to my heart. I don't make mistakes, and it reminded me as actually a year before we had been at a conference and some sweet friends, Brad and IHOP had been sharing about the pregnancy that they had that had their child. It didn't seem like had any brain matter and they had been told, you know you need to abort this baby were in another country at the time and they just really felt like well were not gonna do that we really believe God has written a story for our child and she went on to share that God had really put on her heart.

Psalm 1830. As for God, his way is perfect their child went on to be born. She's beautiful. She still living to the state and not let us think she's probably about 18 maybe older now they were wrong. She does have complications that she brings so much joy to their family and as I sat in the car. The Lord just reminded me of that verse. Psalm 1830.

As for God's way is perfect and I didn't know what the future held.

I didn't know you know if Ford would have CF but they just felt the Lord give me a sense of confidence that he was making for it exactly the way he wanted to make and it was scary in the next several weeks of getting tested and David finding out he both carriers and realizing okay probably this baby is not have CF and there were many downs and had been through the years, but like the Lord just whispered that to me from the beginning to let me try that this is part of his plan and part of the story that he's writing for Ford and for our family and be able to clean when things got really hard and scary for me. I remember the next day walking to work and just first coming to my mind about how God numbers our days and just, felt the Lord's promptings of there's no shortened life. There's absolutely no shortened life.

He numbers every one of our days and in the 24 hours. I've been processing a lot around. Not just challenges we may face was alive, but how long will he live. And God met me right in that moment of he numbers our days. There's no shortened life. Enjoy every day you get in and really we got to trust in that but yet for 2/24 hours out of the gate. The Lord really spoke to us in specific ways.

It's been a foundation to build on is what you trusting. I think his parents fear and worry are two components that are always at the forefront of our minds like we can worry we can be fearful and especially with the situation with the sun that has a diagnosis like Ford that could just dominate your feelings and your saying that was at a constant surrender because now Ford is how old he's 15 just turn 15 has his drivers permit and is thriving. I mean it is so encouraging and he does a lot of unseen things that most people you meet him, you wouldn't even know he has anything going on but he doesn't seem he is an hour and 1/2 at least two treatments that he doesn't days.

The first one awake in our house.

Very rarely, and in God's given them this gift to wake himself up, you know, I'm very rarely having to go wake him up. He's he's up a little bit before me doing his treatment and the best that shakes up mucus in his lungs and he has to do a lot of unseen things and you takes 32 pills a day is about allows them to digest food yet those things, along with a few breakthroughs that have happened medically in the cystic fibrosis community.

That's a really big deal has some thriving currently but we have had to trust through unknowns and even moving to a major city like New York City will the smog affect him, but God with you since your call.

Like there's been inflection points of trust will even with coven and that's scary. That was very scary, especially in the beginning when we didn't know anything about it. All we knew was this is super dangerous for anyone with complicated lung situations and Ford was sitting right in the middle of that category and I just minutes having like he said and is having to deal with the fear that came with reality. Reminds me of when people say, faith is not the absence of fear. When we choose to trust the Lord. It doesn't mean that all the fear is gone and it's just giving that fear to the Lord and being honest with it and I think for even how to be honest with each other like I'm scared sometimes I don't quickly fearful or starting school again. We were at home for a while and getting back in school with coven and then this summer. Ford actually got it and that was definitely very scary. We were actually in Colorado and altitude was affecting him. He was having a hard time breathing again coming. The Lord was so present and so faithful and Ford actually was much less fearful we were and he did really well after the first three or four days. He was fought it off and got really protected him and were so thankful you think to keep embracing often that God can handle or fear honesty actually invites us to come to him like little children that he wants to comfort us.

He wants to meet us in the place, but once the state and nobody done was to hide it in and try to do with it on her own. He actually says okay David and Meg together as a couple disclosed that to one another and then bring it to me to meet together and individually, and it's a way to cultivate intimacy and I just talking millionaires go forward and have that much fear in the covert situation compared to us, and we learn from them all the time. This kid teaches us so much older kids to just share but he teaches us so much, day in and day out as parents. There's things that our kids are facing or were facing that trouble last I remember even when our son was diagnosed with ADHD. I can remember thinking and saying to God I don't get what's the point, why would this happen. It seems like he struggling school. It's affecting his identity and what he feels and I've shared this before but I thought Lord, I need an answer like I don't understand why you would do this so I said I'm in a fast and pray until I hear from you, Lord.

And so I start fasting you guys on Monday. Six like their determines on day seven I'm just reading Scripture, and this is the Scripture.

I had read this so often because I read the Bible through every year but it's in Exodus 411 when God is talking to Moses, and Moses is saying I don't want to go in lead the people he keeps saying to God not know it's not me. Don't send me the Lord says to him, who gave human beings. Their mouths because remember Moses is saying. I can't speak can't do this.

And then God said, who makes them deaf or mute, who gives them sight or makes them blind is it not I the Lord and I had never considered that that verse in terms of what our kids are dealing with what I'm dealing with my my weaknesses, my strengths or even my physical disabilities and I started thinking I mean I felt like that. Just that assurance of God knows what he's doing. He's not surprised, and not only that but he can use the circumstances as you guys are saying it is change you initiate Ford and even for our son. He is amazing, brilliant, I feel like he's taught me more as I watched him deal with this and figure it out on his own and yet I would add that I think it's harder for us as parents to do with our kids struggle. So yeah, I just, it becomes your life you love him so much and you'd rather take it on yourself than watch them struggle. I think Christmas I think that's why sometimes we're supposed to Christmas because maybe our kids are struggling say what Meg when you're talking about Psalm 1530. I thought you read that in a while.

I wonder how it starts and I'm sure you know this is lived out how it starts. David writes I love you Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold, I just want a great passage for any husband-and-wife any mom and dad who maybe you know we know there's listeners right now in the Valley right now I just got my car and I wept because I was just told by the doctor about me or about one Mike my kids and my husband just set her my way. I'm in there so many valleys we walk through your reminder Psalm 18 is you lived it out. The Lord is our strength. There is no other strength you'll never find it. Even a good diagnosis.

Your only to find it in the Lord. So I would say manager struggle right now.

Read Psalm 18, get on your knees and say go to get in the mirror here and he will your story is a story of God met you and actually out of ashes has brought incredible, I can't type. I wonder what God can do afford you know what the future's going to be this funny.

You went to Moses because when he was 3 1/2 we were reading a kids book around Moses leading the Israelites through the Red Sea and you know the application is kids book was in God made a way for his people and he will make a way for you and Ford asked.

You think God will make away for me the title of the booklet is will you make a path for me and Ford turned to us and said do you think I will make away from me and something about cystic fibrosis and elements, and that became what we pray for hand God we need to use his cystic viruses to make him see more and show him that this is the path that you made for and I just think our answer could be just by faith because of Christmas because of Jesus coming because he will come again because his commitment to his people to make a way for them. I was thinking of Psalm 46 as I was listening to the Wilson's of the Robbins, the psalmist says that God is our refuge and our strength are ever present help in times of trouble. Martin Luther took that Solomon wrote the great him a mighty Fortress is our God. He is the rock on which our marriage, our family, our lives rests, and when the storms come and they will come if were not attached to that rock. Then we can expect to get tossed about. But when we are planted firmly on the rock we can stand strong. If you find yourself facing a storm in your marriage or in your family.

We want to recommend to you a book called together through the storm's biblical encouragement for your marriage when life hurts by Jeff and Sarah Walton. We've got copies of the book in her family like today resource Center. You can find out more when you go online at family life to deduct, order a copy of the book by calling one 800 FL today again. The book is titled together through the storms order online@familylifetoa.com or call to order one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and the word today what we have David Robbins still with us here in the studio Dave Libby. We pull you back into the conversation here. This is a critical time of year for us here at family life were hoping family life today. Listers will stand with us and consider making a year-end contribution to support the ongoing work of the ministry of family life here at the other 20 21 were nearing the end of December were watching generous partners give and donations coming in and it's so encouraging but we are running behind where we need to be in order to meet the match that friends or family life have given so that your gift could be doubled and the impact of your gift could be doubled and when I think about the impact of what family life and family life to a does I think about Diane who wrote you, Bob.

Recently I just love hearing what she told you she said.

I started listening to family like today when my kids were babies. I was a fairly new Christian, trying to figure out new ways of parenting and working to change broken patterns from the past and she keeps going. She says therefore I saw family life to date out many of the guest you've had on, to strengthen me and my faith walk relationships and parenting and also found that the more I learned, I was able to have healthy conversations. My husband and we grew in our love for one another and in our marriage.

That is what were about growing in oneness with the Lord and oneness with one another in our home and thank you for the ways that you can give today that can help more homes experience oneness with Jesus while in David, you mentioned the during the month of December. Every donation or listers makes is being matched dollar for dollar. We got the matching gift fund of $1.5 million. We've already been hearing from listeners. Thank you to those of you who have gone online or called us and said we stand with you. We support what you're all about. You helped us in our marriage. Our family and we want to stand with family life going forward, we need to hear from a lot more folks over the next few weeks so today would be a great day for you to go online@familylifetothe.com or call one 800 FL today make a urine donation. Your donation is going be matched dollar for dollar and will send you a copy of Dana Portland's book in the Lord. I take refuge, a devotional book from the book of Psalms 150 devotions for the year ahead.

That's a way of saying thank you for your support here at your end. We look forward to hearing from you and will say thanks in advance for partnering with us and helping us effectively develop godly marriages and families and we hope you have a great weekend. Hope you and your family are able to worship together in your local church this weekend and we hope you can join us on Monday when Jefferson desk is gonna be here to talk about how we make family the priority it needs to be in the midst of a culture that is trying to pull us away and focus on other things that we take back our family from Jefferson Becky about that on Monday. Hope you can join us on behalf of our host Steven M. Wilson and Bob Payne. See you Monday for another edition of family life today like today is a production of family crew screen helping you pursue the relationships matter most


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