How do you spell R-E-L-I-E-F???

Happy New Year, Friends!  May 2014 bring to your family grace and peace and a renewed understanding of God's love for each of you.

If you are anywhere close to my age, you might remember the commercial asking the question, "how do you spell relief?  I actually found it on youtube from 1981 - Roger Staubach was the emcee interviewing people on the street receiving the same answer from everyone.  R-O-L-A-I-D-S... 

According to the commercial, Rolaids does relieve "100% of acid indigestion and heartburn". 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if all the "things" we needed relief from were relieved by chewing on a couple of chalky tablets!

I've done a little research, and depending on which "list" you look to, there are several common stressors that beg relief:  major change in relationships (death of a spouse, divorce, separation from spouse), financial challenges (including economic concerns, loss of job, change in financial circumstances), health issues, move, concerns with children, work related stress, etc.  I found extensive lists that caused me additional stress even as I read them!

Some of you have heard our family's story.  The short version, please, my husband always says!  In 2004 Frank had a first, and what we expected to be, only back surgery.  In the past ten years he, honestly we, have endured numerous surgeries, various treatments, loss of business, loss of home, loss of ability to work, endured 7 moves (yes, I said 7 different residences in 3 years), and still he lives with constant pain and the side effects of an internal pain pump along with oral medications.  The extremely ambiguous diagnosis - failed back  syndrome resulting in chronic pain.  I am beginning to feel stressed this very moment. 

Our family has traveled a challenging road.  I can honestly say sometimes the biggest stressors are the simplest things - like driving a car.  You know, when we want to go someplace, we get in the car, turn the key, and off we go.  Because of medication Frank rarely drives for obvious reasons.  He loved to drive - I hated to drive... Hmm...

So, what stresses you - family, work, loss, uncertainty.... and what DO we do - how DO we find relief? 

FIGHT OR FLIGHT - That is what experts tell us is our response to stress. Do you agree?  I think there might be one additional word that we should add - P-E-A-C-E or maybe add R-E-S-T - well, neither of those seem like a response, they seem to be almost a nonresponse. 

I have come to believe that the response to the stress is the key, and honestly its not so much how the stressor actually turns out... it is where and to whom we turn to...

There are verses after verses that we can all quote, and I believe them all -
 "Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you."
"And our God will supply all your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus."
"Ask and it will given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you."
"He will give relief to you who are troubled".

And so many more.  For me it has really just boiled down to one pressing question -

Do I trust HIM or not?

 Hours of ongoing prayer surround that simple question.  I can say without reservation a resounding YES, of course I trust HIM.  My reality of that answer is a daily decision to remind myself that HE is sovereign, HE is my loving Father, HE has promised to never leave me.  In every moment, in every decision, in every frustration, with every tear, with every disappointment, with every joy, with every celebration, with every pain.... yes, I trust HIM.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you.  2 Thessalonians 3:16.

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