8iRWeiXjcKj9kUz5Tebo4_k_FtY Life with Two Special Needs Children: Life Interrupted - Priscilla Shirer - Part 1

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Life Interrupted - Priscilla Shirer - Part 1

Back in March I read the book "Life Interrupted" by Priscilla Shirer, which looks deeply at the book of Jonah.  At the time my Woman's Bible study group  at church was doing her study "Discerning the Voice of God."  I picked up "Life Interrupted" when Tony and I went to Lifeway on a weekend getaway we took to Kansas City.  The book just really spoke to me!  When I learned that one of the studies that was going to be offered this fall was "Jonah:  Navigating a Life Interrupted" I just knew that that was the study that I was going to do.

Tuesday morning we met for our second time and watched the video for the first session.  All I could do was sit there and say "WOW!"  This study is really going to challenge me in a good way!

In the first video session and even in the book, Priscilla talks about various life interruptions (i.e., infertility, having a baby when you thought your family was complete, raising a special needs child, being single longer than you were wanting to, plus many more) and I felt like she was talking directly to me.  You see, Tony and I struggled with infertility and built our family through the miracle of adoption.

Now, when I was growing up, I thought I'd get married and have babies.  I never had any indication from any of my doctors that I would not be able to get pregnant, even though I always had difficult and non-regular cycles.

Shortly after we got married we attended a True Love Waits program (I think that was the program) that the base chapel we attended was having for the youth group.  It was very good.  We watched videos and the one video that really spoke to both of us was of a woman who was telling her story about how when she was young, unmarried and pregnant, she went to have an abortion; however, the abortion did not work and her baby was born alive.  Even though she was very small, she survived and has defied all the naysayers that she would not be able to function on her own.  The baby's name is Gianna Jennsen.  She has an amazing story, which you can find here.

While we were listening to this program, these verses from Psalm 139:13-16, NIV were quoted, that really spoke to both of us:

13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.

So when Priscilla mentioned infertility and special needs children, I felt like she was talking directly to me, as I have experienced both.

Priscilla's studies are a lot like Beth Moore's studies in that after you watch a video there are five days of homework to be done to dig further into the study before your next meeting.  

As I sat down to do my study this week, I was constantly being interrupted by dogs, phones or even kids - seeing as how Caleb and Cassidy were out of school Thursday and Friday.  I tried to do my study during nap/quiet time; however, the dogs and the phone didn't get the message!

As I turned to begin day one, the following was one of the first things I read:

I am Jonah.
I want to serve God ...
as long as it is convenient.
I desire to do His will ...
until it is a tad uncomfortable.
I want to hear His Word ...
as long as its message is one I'm supposed to pass on to someone else.
I don't want to have my plans interrupted.
Oh yes.  I am Jonah, and I suspect that in one way or another, you are too.

Yes, I AM JONAH!!!!  Are you?

One of the big points in Day 1 and the video, Priscilla was trying to get across was that we need to have a change in our perspective of life interruptions.  Instead of thinking of "life interruptions" as interruptions in the negative sense, we need to redefine interruptions "when it comes to our relationship with God."  (Jonah:Navigating a Life Interrupted, page 12).

Instead of having a negative connotation to interruptions, Priscilla is trying to teach us to think of "God's plan is a 'Divine Intervention.'"  (Jonah:Navigating a Life Interrupted, page 13.)

I love the equation that Priscilla gives to drive the point home:

Insignificant Person + Insignificant Task = Interruption

Significant Person + Significant Task = Divine Intervention
(Jonah:Navigating a Life Interrupted, page 13)

I'm going to have to do this in multiple parts as it's gotten very long already and there's still four more days!  

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