My Boundary Lines Have Fallen In Pleasant Places

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IMG_0292Psalm 16

“Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”

Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.

 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.

I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.

You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

“My boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places.”  I had already decided that this was the title for this post, regardless of the outcome of Allistaire’s bone marrow test.  It would be a willful believing, that such is true, regardless of my circumstances.  I wanted to take possession of such truth whether the news was what we have so hoped or what we have most feared.  I thrust a marker in the ground and say that here, this is where the Lord, out of His infinite kindness, has chosen to direct my life.  Sten and I long ago, when Solveig was just a wee baby girl, decided that rather than saying, “No,” all the time to her, we would use the phrase, “out-of-bounds.”  As skiers, we are well acquainted with the dangers of being out-of-bounds.  You are told to stay within the bounds out of care for your wellbeing.  As humans we revile being told we cannot go somewhere or do something.  The line or the law, makes the rebel in our hearts rise up all the more.  We are just licking our lips to cross over – to test the waters.  We don’t really believe our wellbeing is what is at stake – we are confident something is being withheld from us, something that we should have, something we have the right to have.  Paradox is part of what spurs on my faith.  Over and over I find that the truth of God defies our logic, our reasoning.  God says we are slaves to sin, so He wants to free us from that but then He says, hey – be bound to Me.  Why would I want to escape from slavery just to be enslaved all over again?  According to God, being constrained to Him is the source of all goodness and life.  So – you’re tired and weary?  Take this yoke, this implement of hard labor – put this on your back.  That makes no sense.  Oh wait, until I see that I am bound to the Living God whose strength is made perfect in my weakness.  Mysteries.  Beautiful.

Over the years this 6th verse of Psalm 16 has been settling its way deeper and deeper into the cracks of my heart.  My boundary lines – those ways that my life is contained – those ways my life is not – they have fallen in pleasant places.  So often I look around at my life, and think, “Nope, not pleasant, not appreciating these defining lines you’ve set up in my life Lord.”  I have spent so much time worrying and contemplating how to get over these wretched walls that close in my life.  I have beaten at the wall and roared at them in fury.  I have cried in a heap against these monoliths.  I have despised my constraints.  Two and a half years ago, nearly a year before Allistaire first got sick, the Lord first said to me, “This is your life, Jai.  Right here, within these walls.  This is where I have you.  Stop spending all your time and energy trying to knock down walls.  Look at the life I have given you.  It is no mistake.  It is not some accidental alternate path.  It is not an oops or a second-rate option.  It is my beautiful intention for you.  This is the place where I will turn darkness into light.  This is the place where life will grow up out of the muck of death.  This is the place where I have called you to love and to have eyes to see me.  This is where I want you to expend your energies.  This is where your boundary lines have fallen.  Trust me.  If and when it is time to remove one of these walls and move you away from this place – it is nothing for Me – it is no effort or challenge.  I will accomplish my good plan for your life.  Rest.  Crumple into me.  Wait on Me.  Watch for what I will do.”

The Lord my God has given me many walls – walls that have closed in and seemingly cut off the sun.  But just as there will be no need for the sun in heaven because the glory of the Lord will illuminate all things – so I can turn my back on the walls and fix my gaze on Him.

Today, God was pleased – No, I think He is pretty much probably down right giddy – My Father knocked down a wall.  A wall that felt insurmountable, impenetrable, unyielding – got a hole busted right through it!

Around 4:30pm, I was curled up around Allistaire in her hospital bed.  I napped while she napped for the very first time since entering the hospital in February.  My mental, emotional and physical exhaustion warranted a nap with my little sweets.  Without even attempting stealth or quiet, Dr. Burroughs burst into the room and through the curtain.

“Hematopathology Report:  Interpretation:  Bone Marrow, aspirate:  No abnormal myeloid blast/monocyte population identified.  Comment:  There is no immunophenotypic evidence of residual acute myeloid leukemia by flow cytometry.  Correlation of these findings with morphology is recommended.”

Did ya get that?  There is no detectable cancer!  We still await morphological and cytogenetic tests, but they are highly unlikely to contradict the flow cytometry test.  Zero percent.  An unbelievably small number.  An impossibly small number.

Glory be to God in the Highest!  Check you out – knocking down a wall like it’s nothing.

83 responses »

    • So happy for your family, A member of BSF, Jai, I haven’t met you but you are a very strong to deal with this, and to put God first and trusting in his answeres, Just shows he can will work miracles. Kathie McGrath

  1. Jai, You don’t know me but Im a friend of Kai Mcqueens. She told me about you and I have been following your blog for the past 2 months. My family has been praying for your family. I am so overjoyed at this wonderful news. God is so good!

  2. Jai that is wonderful news. I cant imagine how over joyed you must be. Thanks to God and research you can take your daughter to Montana to enjoy life with your family as it should always have been. Cant wait to see pictures of when that happens. Will pray that she can be done soon with hospitals and enjoy life in her own home and bed. It will be so nice for you too to be a family again all living under the same room. We have all prayed for this outcome and God has granted all our wishes. Will continue to pray for your family that you may never have to go through this again.

  3. Bawling my eyes out at my computer in complete joy! Thank you Lord and so happy for you guys. Thank you Jesus!

  4. AMAZING GRACE! How sweet it is! Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude for what the Lord has been pleased to do! He not only has done a healing work in Allistaire’s body, but He has stretched, and tested, and grown the faith of myself as well as many of you reading Allistaire’s story. To Him be the glory, forever and ever and evermore! Thank you, Lord Jesus, for undergirding Jai and our family with your strength! Thank you for the many brothers and sisters in Christ who have faithfully prayed for us day in and day out! And oh, how we thank you for zero cancer cells in Allistaire’s little body and for making available new donor cells from the beautiful young woman who allowed God to use her!

    Mom

  5. Beautiful words! How awesome if our God to grant us such joy. Blessed is the one who delights in the Lord and He delights to give us the desires of our hearts! Love you, Pops

  6. I have been crying off and on ever since I read your post last night. I CANNOT imagine living through what you and Sten have had to live through these past years. This is truly a miracle given to you from the Lord. PRAISE God….rejoicing with HAPPY tears this morning!!!!

  7. What a truely Amazing God we Serve, For he is always in control! Praise be to God for this wonderful miracle! So Happy for you and I Will continue praying for you!

  8. Sounds like I’m not the only one who is a complete wreck, I had to reread the post a couple times before I even knew what to comment. This is such great news! I am so happy for you and your family. Yay for sleeping in a normal bed! Please keep updating us on Allistaire and your family. God is good.

  9. I’ve been following you for the last few days, Holly told me your story. I’ve been praying for you and your little girl. Such wonderful news!!!

  10. Praising…praising…praising…praising our precious Heavenly Father who heals!!! Thanking God for this amazing beautiful gift of zero cancer cells…for Allistaire’s life…for your unshakable faith and trust in God…for your ability to share with others what God so desperately desires His children to know..,that in Him is all good things and He is Able to save. God bless you sister and thanking God for this wonderful praise. Love Terry

    • Oh praise the God who created us, sustains us, forgives us and gives us hope. So incredibly grateful and thankful. Thank you again and always for sharing yourself and Allistaire with all of us. Big hugs are floating in the wind to you from many, many here in Montana!

  11. Kicking myself for putting on mascara before I read your post. Such joy here at the Olson house! “The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy!” -Psalm 126:3

  12. Tears of Joy are flowing faster than I can wipe them off, I am so happy, so filled with joy for you all. Thank you Jesus for this awesome news for Jai and the family, thank you Jesus for Allistaire, Thank you Jesus Praise you Jesus..

  13. Talked with JoMarie this morning, been Praising the Lord all morning your Joy must be unexplainable
    but we all prayed for a Miracle and God has been so Loving—Merciful and Good!!!!!!!!!

  14. God is SO good!!! I am so overwhelmed by his loving grace and mercy. I love these sweet tears of joy. I can’t wait to see you all back in Bozeman.

  15. *

    1. HOW MANY WAYS CAN ONE SPELL ‘HOORAY, OR WOW?’ What a thrill to be ‘on board’ as we see our LORD working so wondrously!!! Praising the LORD with you all! Sheila Dean of Bremerton (in Kathy’s Monday PM BSF class!)

    *

  16. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow. Words are hard to express how awesome our God is, no matter the outcome God would have been faithful, but our heart is overflowing with praise and joy for your family at this time. God you are totally awesome, and we love you!

  17. BLESSINGS, BLESSINGS, BLESSINGS! Our God is so good, and I am crying many tears of great joy for your special news. Hug that adorable child for all of us who want to but cannot. She is MUCH loved.

  18. God, you are so good! How can we even even begin to fathom your ways? You have stooped from on high, answered our fervent prayers and taken away the sting of death! Praise You! Thank-you Lord for choosing, in Your infinite wisdom to spare this sweet child. How great are You? I will sing Your praises all the day long!!

    Jai… What an amazing and stirring post. Thank-you for sharing your journey. It has been life-changing for me. Sending lots of hugs your way!!

  19. What more can said, that hasn’t been spoken… Praise God, You are definitely an AWESOME GOD! Continued prayers for you and your special little one…

  20. Jai, thank you for sharing of the faithfulness of our God. Faithful in the dark, and faithful in the light. But, oh, praise Him for the joy and the tears and the laughter that cannot be contained at this moment.

  21. What wonderful news!!! We celebrate here for you all! We praise the Father of all good and perfect gifts! Amazing, thrilling news for this day!

  22. We have been reading your story and praying for you all for months! Thank the Lord for hearing the cries of His children and coming to the rescue!

  23. Praising Gid with you! I went to bed crying lady night. We recently went through a difficult trial with my youngest daughter. She’s 31 years old now, but always my flesh and blood. God spared her too and I know how God traces us in the waiting. He’s still bringing her through. And, as you have learned, He is always near. He holds us firmly and will never let go. Praise Him for His loving kindness. There is none like Him. Rejoicing with you!

  24. Autocorrect changed some of my message and I was too excited and didn’t proofread! Anyway, I’m sure you understand. Praising and praying! You have amazing faith.

  25. Praising God with you (and everyone else!) for this miracle in Allistaire’s body and the miracle he’s worked in your heart the past few years. I long to know the reality of God’s presence the way you do, but balk at the thought of having to go through something so horrific as your family has. Thank you for your words about accepting God’s boundaries and for your faithful choice to continue praising, no matter what the outcome. I can’t wait to tell my kids God’s answer to our prayers! 🙂

  26. Sooooo… where are you ordering your fancy take out? We’ll foot the bill:) Praise the Lord, Jai! We are continuing to pray for you all!

  27. Woohoo!!!!! Amazing, wonderful, blessed news! Praise God for His overabundant blessings in ways we dare not even hope for sometimes. ((hugs)) to all–and continuing prayers as Allistaire and all of you continue on this road God has put before you.

  28. We are so happy for you! What an intense journey and we’ve only been reading it! You have lived it with such honesty and grace! Thank you for pouring your faith into the words of this blog! Our girls would likely be in the same BSF class and I know my daughter asks to play with Allistaire all the time bc we pray for her so often. I really hope we get that chance! Praise GOD!!

  29. Oh what sweet words!! “Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” We’ll keep on praying and consulting Him at all times!!

  30. I have only come to know you through this blog, but I check it every night and have been praying for Allistaire for months. Reading these words gave me goosebumps and tears. Thank you, thank you, thank you, God.

  31. Oh Jai…. I am almost sick to my stomach I am so ….. so happy for this news. Nah, happy is a dumb word to use… and I really can’t think of an appropriate word. Over joyed…… overly full of joy, abounding in joy, overflowing, bursting, overwhelmingly overjoyed. Praise God Praise God Praise God. We love you!

  32. Hallelujah! SO joyful with you over your nap and the crashing-in of good -no, GREAT news. sweet relief. so happy to hear it after praying through the night hours. ( you don’t know me, but I read of your waiting and trusting last night…and was waiting and trusting with you.) 😉

  33. No Evidence of Disease is a joyous, miraculous declaration. Praise be to Him, along with Pollard and the team. Let the enjoyment of this celebration we call life be renewed for Allistaire and your family.
    Bring on day +100
    The Hamlins

  34. Praising God with you! Your post has been so compelling to me over the past months as you’ve shared your honest journey. Thank you for leaving the window open through the good and the bad and the unthinkable. Today I can almost hear the angels rejoicing in heaven with all the praises of God’s people responding to this news. Allistaire and your family have become precious to all who have read your blog. It felt a little like becoming virtual living stones in that caring body of Jesus as we prayed, wept and celebrated with you. I praise our living hope with you today!

  35. Is there a word in any language that really describes our GOD……. WAIT MAYBE………….
    SUPERCALAFRAGILISTICEXPEALIDOCIOUS! !!!,,!!,,,, THANK YOU, THANK YOU GREAT JEHOVAH, EL SHADDAI, EL ELYON, JEHOVAH JIREH,. WE LOVE YOU LORD, O’GREAT I AM, THAT IAM. LOVE YA JOETTE. GOD IS YOUR BLESSING TODAY AND YOUR EVSRYDAY.

    • Your diligence to paint with words a mother’s heart has created a portrait of the Glory of our God. I think of Queen Esther when I think of you, … having been lavishly prepared by God ‘for such a time as this.’ Technology, orchestrated by you, has allowed us into the life you and Allistaire have lived during her cancer treatment but God has revealed to those who have the eyes to see what it looks like when a child of His has made the choice to dwell “Near to the heart of God” come what may. Thank you Jai for your honesty of heart. The “Reply’s” declare that God has been Glorified.

  36. Glory to God!!!!! I seriously teared up when I read that your beautiful little girl is truly on the road to complete recovery! We’ve been praying for you a lot over the past 48 hours and I’ve been very humbled and encouraged by your attitude of joy and trust in God’s sovereignty. I’m just so ecstatic that God was so merciful to answer all of our prayers. Just overwhelmed by His goodness in your life and in my family’s as well. 🙂

  37. What a Mighty God we Serve, he has given you such good news and we praise God for his grace and love through these many ups and downs. I know he will have mighty plans for you as you continue to seek him and my prayer is that you will be used to come along side someone else who is facing some of the same things and that you will encourage them and point them to our Awesome God.

  38. As with a few others, I became aware of your blog through a friend who posted on facebook. I felt obligated to let you know just how big of an impact your story has had on me. Your complete and absolute faith, along with an upbeat attitude, during this trying ordeal was refreshing and made me examine my own attitude towards issues that were beyond trivial in comparison to those that you faced. I’m not normally an emotional person in the slightest. It takes a great deal for me to cry. Yet, when I read the blog entry above, I sat at my computer with pure, unadulterated tears of joy streaming down my face. I couldn’t be happier for you, and I truly thank you from the depths of my heart for sharing this. Glory be to God!

  39. Dear Jai and Family, So thankful to our Great God for your news. He is good and His mercy endures forever. Joe and Bethel

  40. YYYYAAAHHHOOOOO!!! I must admit that I skimmed the first part of your entry to get to the test results and like everyone else with tears in my eyes!!! We have been worshiping Jesus for the past two days!!! Sounds like a big worship fest going on all over the US!!!! Then I read the entry and have read it over agian three times…Thank you!! My little world and faith needed that scripture!! You are changed. You asked us to pray for that and I hear a new creature!!! Rejoicing with you!!! All our Love!!

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