Friday, December 11, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I've quit all sorts of wonderful things: school, relationships, jobs, etc. It's like a gross little self-sabotage trick that I pull over on myself. I've ducked out on multiple friendships to the point that I don't regard myself as a good friend whatsoever. I know, I know, you're thinking that I'm too hard on myself, but that's only because you don't know me. Really, I'm just being honest.
So now I'm in nursing school and it's tough and that grating little voice is already starting up in the back of my mind and it's saying, "Quit! Surely you don't think YOU can do this, do you??? You'll never make it! You're not smart enough or dedicated enough or whatever enough." And you know what? That voice is probably right. Actually, it is right. But quitting isn't the answer. Nope, not the answer at all.
See, for some reason I feel like I MUST have control and the minute something is too big for my hands I think that I've failed. Really that's not it at all. My hands are only so big, but what I fail to remember is that I'm not alone. Not at all!
I think that sometimes God allows really BIG things to come my way so that I can't even TRY to hold onto them and instead I'll lean into Him and let Him take the reigns. I think He's wanting me to give up some of that control and trust Him to be the controller.
Nursing school is absolutely crazy. It was a crazy idea from the beginning. It's crazy even now. And I can't do it. I can study and study and study and read and read and read, but when it comes down to it there are a million reasons why I can't possibly get through school. And sometimes I'm guilty of looking at those million reasons and maybe even adding to them. BUT there is One (reason) why this is possible. One (reason) why I can actually finish something. One (reason) that ever even made me come this direction in the first place. And if I can just focus on that One (reason), and not those million other insignificant ones, then I'll be just fine.
Hi! My name is Jessica and I'm not giving up!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Lately I've felt unhappy. All around me, I've watched as sickness, hurt, anger, and a slew of other dealy missles perneated into the walls carefully guarding the lives of those I love. These toxic missiles have jabbed into the hearts and souls of their victims and threatened sure ruin.
And to be honest, the smoke from the hits has clouded my vision. Somehow along the way, my eyes have become focused on the crumbling stones of each wall. But thank God that He loves me so much, He sees me glaucoma and He clears up my vision!
Yes, sometimes, life is though. Being blasted by missiles is painful. Sometimes we've invited these shots by letting sin creep into our lives. Sometimes these shots are unwelcome intruders that catch us totally off guard. But for each and every one of these painful blows, our God is bigger and mightier than any attack strike.
When I was really sick, one of many scriptures that brought me comfort was John 9:3, "Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, not his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him". There was this blind guy. Sounds like he'd fallen victim to some of these uninvited missiles. But guess why? So "that the works of God should be made manifest in him"!!! I guess that's an easy one to grasp because this guy, blind from birth, was miraculously healed. Sounds like the works of God were definately manifest in him, right?
Let's look at someone totally different, and my personal favorite guy in the Bible. Let's look at Job. Here this guy was a good guy. The Bible calls him "perfect" and "upright". So Job's a good guy, minding his own business, when suddenly - he loses it all. Job loses his children, his servants, his livelihood, his health, and the stability in his marraige. I don't think there was anything left for Job to lose but his life! And as the story goes, Job still praised God and didn't turn away from Him. The Bible says that God blessed the latter years of Job's life more than the beginning. And that may be so, but still he'd lost an awful lot. He still lost his children... He still endured some really rough times... Why? So that Job's love for God was proved to be just as strong in the horrid times as in the good times. Again, it sounds to me like the works of God were manifest in Job.
You know what strikes me? In either case, it was okay to be sad. It was okay because neither lost sight of who God is. God STILL heals, whether He spits in clay and heals your blinded eyes or not. He STILL cares about you whether you lose absolutely everything or not. God is STILL God, no matter how many missiles come our way. No matter if one stone crumbles in our lives or ten stones crumble, He is STILL God.
So I said all that to ask this: Maybe I'm sad. Maybe there are situations that I'm unhappy with. So what am I going to do? The ball's in my court, you know. He's already told me who He is. He's already told me what He can do. So it's really just up to me...
Thursday, July 23, 2009
So I felt like maybe I was a crummy Christian because I didn’t see that miracle. Maybe my faith was in a bad state? Maybe I just had too much sin stacked up against me? Whatever the case was, somehow I felt that I must have done something not to “earn” His touch…
I remember several months ago having a day of feeling really horrible, new test results looking grim, and enjoying my little pity party when suddenly God hit me with a thought. “Remember Gethsemane…” Frantically, I remember looking up Jesus’ last prayer in Gethsemane. Jesus didn’t want to die… In fact, He prayed if there was anyway possible for Him to avoid this end, let it be! But we all know the story, Jesus still ended up marching up to that cross to be crucified for you and for me. Did He get a “NO”???
Recently a friend has received an answer to a prayer that just seems all wrong. I’ve been reminded of all this above, and then I’ve also thought of something else. Of course we are accustomed to how long God seems to take sometimes. Poor Sarah! How long did she pray before God finally gave her the answer to her prayer??? Or Moses. How long did that man wonder before his people ever reached the promise land??? Look at Job! That poor man lost EVERYTHING before he ever saw restoration! Stories like that were comforting to me when I finally received that miraculous healing, but sometimes… well, sometimes our answer is still just a plain ol’ “NO”…
Apostle Paul is a perfect example. If there is someone that is definitely NOT a crummy Christian in my eyes – it’s Paul. I can’t see him lacking faith and any sins in his life were obviously outweighed by the grace and mercy of God. And yet the Bible records not one… not two… but three times that Paul prayed for something and do you know the answer he got back? “NO.”
That just erases all feelings of ownership that I’ve ever carried around because I’m not the only one that has heard a “No” before. And just because His answer can be “No”, doesn’t mean that I lack faith. Remember what the 3 Hebrew boys said before they were tossed into that fiery furnace?? I’ll paraphrase, but they said, “There is no way that we are bowing to any idol. We believe that our God CAN deliver us, but if He chooses not too – He is STILL God!”
And I can agree with that wholeheartedly. Maybe God doesn’t always answer the way I want Him too, but He is STILL God.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Fear not, cause I'm not alone. Maybe there are times that everyone (but me-LOL) seems bonkers, or maybe there are times that I feel like I can't breathe... But I'm not alone...
Fear not, don't be dismayed. Why? Because He is MY God. My God!!!!! He alone is comfort and peace, which are the complete opposite feelings as being dismayed. And He is MINE!!!! Comfort and peace and all that He is belongs to me!!!!
Fear not, cause HE will strengthen me!!! I am so weak... Sometimes just feeling my own weakness is enough to make me want to crumble, and that's okay! Wasn't it Paul that wrote about decreasing so that He can increase? That being said, maybe I need to be reminded of my weakness because it is then that I truly remember (and need!!!) His strength.
Fear not, cause He will help me!!!! He'll help me!!!
Fear not, cause He will hold me up! More than that, He will uphold me! Do you know what that means?? He'll ensure that I keep my sanity! :-D (Said half joking!)
Maybe there is every reason to fear. Me, my flesh, totally wants to freak out. Loss of control, maybe. Loss of knowing the future... But not only has God told me there is no reason for me to fear, but there isn't anything my fear, or worry, or stress will accomplish. I can worry myself into a frenzy, but that's not going to suddenly shed light on all that is to come.
So how smart is my God? :-D
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
What a perfect scripture for me! I do feel afraid! I do feel dismayed. I feel really weak and it’s funny cause I’m scared I might slip. Yet He tells me that it’s okay. He’ll hold me up… He tells me not to be afraid… Because He is God! He is MY God!! And He will never leave my side.
Strange how I felt more at peace when I had that crazy brain tumor then I do now. That was a situation of life and death, but this isn’t. No one is dying! It’s going to all be okay, and yet my heart feels so broken …
And again I’m faced with faith. Real faith. Not just saying that I have faith, but it’s actually time for the rubber to hit the road.
Once again it’s time for me to live out Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths.” That is a beautiful scripture to say, but living it is a little harder… Trusting in God, in a plan that I can’t see or touch – a plan that I have no control over, isn’t so easy… Leaning not unto what I can see or what I can comprehend is hard… In all my ways to acknowledge Him??? Guess that means I can’t camp out in bed with the covers pulled over my head and a tub of cookie dough my companion. (-: Because if I can keep on keeping on, if I can continue to trust my God and follow Him and acknowledge Him, then He WILL direct my path… See, everything will be okay. Even if it doesn’t feel like it now… Even if it doesn’t look like it now… It will! He’s promised that it would be okay. And I do trust Him… I don’t understand Him, but I trust Him. (-:
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I've not always been in love with Him... Didn't even know it was really possible and even if it was possible, I was too busy trying to "hide" from Him... Sometimes I think that if I don't make eye contact with people, then they can't see me. Dumb, I know, but if I'm having a bad hair day or something, I find my eyes resting most comfortably on the ground. Just like a baby playing hide or seek, I feel like by covering my own eyes and vision - I'm covering up everyone else's too. Such has been the case with my relationship with God.
I've always known that I'm undeserving of His love, and sometimes "church" or other people would be quick to remind me of how many faults did riddle through me. Flaky and a failure, I never thought that He could love me and I was horrified at the thought of Him seeing me... Maybe like Eve in the garden, when she hid behind the cover of leaves...
But how delighted and awed I am that no matter how undeserving I may be, I am HIS and He loves me! I have been dirty and untouchable like Mary Magdalene; disobedient like Jonah; irrational and short on patience like Moses; blinded by doubt like Peter; maker of some pretty bad choices like Saul (aka Paul); simple and poor like Joseph; a strange misfit like Ezekiel; lonesome like Noah, BUT thankfully that doesn't make His love for me any less! In fact, knowing that I am undeserving and unworthy just reminds me of how incredibly wonderful He is!!!
Sometimes I've welcomed in a pity-party and sadly pointed out all my faults... I've blown up all my shortcomings so big that I've lost sight... I AM a failure! I AM sin-riddled, but I don't have to be guilt-ridden because He is above any fault and shortcoming that may be in me! His requirements aren't that I earn His love... They aren't that I be good enough to lie at His feet... He's better than that! He's so amazing that He is STILL God no matter who or what I am! AND HE LOVES ME! Certainly He wants the best for me, but His greatness and mercy isn't contingent on me at all!
So I gaze out the window and there is a slight smile on my lips as I think about Him... As I think about His unfailing love... As I rejoice in the fact that He will NEVER leave me and He will NEVER forsake me! I am His, and He loves me! Maybe He shouldn't. I mean, lots of people haven't or don't, but God isn't like anyone we know... He is GOD! His standards aren't even close to those of men!!! It's so hard to comprehend sometimes... Sometimes it would make more sense if I could neatly file Him into categories that I've learned from people, but He's just too grand to fit in any of them. (-; And man am I glad...
My Knight in Shining Armor... My Prince of Peace... My Savior... My Counselor... My Comfort... My HEALER... My Restoration... My Lord and My God... Oh!!! How I love You!!!
Monday, May 18, 2009
Last night, I dreamt that the brain tumor was back. I was older, but not at all old, and I remember so vividly lying in the hospital bed... I remember the feel of the stiff sheets against my skin and the sterile smells floating through the room... And most of all I can remember the grim faces of my mom and my husband.
I was dying, and I was completely aware of that fact, yet I felt no fear. Maybe because I've already faced that monster. Maybe I was just too drugged up to feel anything. I find the latter hard to believe though because I did feel. I felt sad that my mom would have to bury her only daughter and I felt sad to be leaving my husband and my two beautiful children. Yet the feeling that was the strongest was joy!
There I was, dying in a hospital room, and joy was racing through my veins. Joy because I had come to know and fall in love with my Savior. Me! Unworthy pitiful little me... Joy because while my life has been like any other with its' ups and downs, it has been full of wonder and amazement! Joy because my crazy split up family is MY family and somehow God has restored all the many cracks and thinking of them causes love to surge through my heart. Joy because I have been lucky enough to find and marry my very best friend. Joy because of every laugh that I've laughed and every smile that I've smiled. Joy because I was chosen to care for the two most beautiful most perfect children in all of creation.
And when I awoke from my dream, it left me feeling so grateful for every reason that I have to rejoice out of sheer joy. Is life perfect? Oh of course not. But there are so many reasons to dance! And that is exactly what I'll do. I will dance for all the joys in my life!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Perhaps I find accountability in sharing my thoughts... perhaps it is some level of understanding that I gain... or perhaps there is someone out there thinking or feeling the same things as me... Whatever the case may be, I find answers and I find solace in seeing my feelings typed out across the screen in front of me.
So right now I’ve been drawn to the Book of Ezekiel… I’m only about halfway through really reading and searching through it, but there is one thing that has really stuck out to me big time… God is disgusted by the actions of Israel, and yet, more than once He says that He is acting on who He is rather than how He feels… (Chapter 20 has 4 different mentions of this!) To me that is massive!! There are multiple times in my life that my actions must have totally disgusted God, and yet instead of acting out in disgust or anger or disappointment, He treated me with who He is… He treated me with love because He is love… He treated me with patience because He is patience… He treated me with kindness because He is kind…
And then I am convicted knowing that I allow my hot-temper to get the best of me at times and I totally act out in how I feel and not who He has allowed me to become… Just recently I verbalized my disappointment because I was expressing how I felt instead of holding my tongue and expressing who it is that He has made me… And for whatever reason, He has chosen to make me into someone drastically different than the girl I was before, yet I have been guilty of not allowing that change to shine through me by acting out with my emotions rather than the person that God is molding me into.
And so, I am eternally grateful that He speaks to me… That His word is ALIVE! It lives and breathes and if we are still, we can hear it speak directly to us…
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Ah, but God's vision isn't limited like mine! He knew that my pain was only temporary and that the hike up the mountain might be hard, and lonely, and exhausting, but once I reached the top the view would take my breath away. How right He was (isn't He always)!
Today is the 2nd birthday that I've been given since my brain surgery and it's amazing to look down at the long hike we've (God and I) climbed. Not only have I learned so much, changed so much, but I have seen blessing after blessing.
30 days have passed since God miraculously and graciously granted restoration to me. In those 30 days, I have been radically healed and pain-free; relationships that I thought were long gone have come back to life; and promises from long ago have come to my rememberance and are beginning to come true... My faith has also been restored because everything that I always believed that God is, He proved to me that He is.
And so today, on the most glorious day there is (j/k), I am lifting my hands and praising God for the hardest longest trial that I have ever endured. The climb was really hard... really painful... really discouraging... Sometimes, I felt all alone... Like Job, I looked everywhere and couldn't "find" God. But that was okay. He knew right where I was. Like the Casting Crowns song says, "You are who You are no matter where I am..."
And now the view is absolutely amazing and I am humbled that He said, "Have you considered my servant, Jessica?" He thought a lot more of me that I do/did. I would have NEVER thought that I'd make it through such a battle, but He had such a faith and confidence that we'd (Him and I) get through and I would be all the better for it!
God, I thank You more than words can say. I thank You for holding my hand when times were tough and for holding my hand and dancing with me now on this mountain top. I know trials will come my way again, because such is life, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that Your word is true! You will never leave me and never forsake me. Over and over Your Word tells me to fear not, because You are with me!!!
Friday, May 1, 2009
Today I bought some heels. ME!!! I bought high heels!!! I was told that I would never regain "full" balance and thought that I would forever be in flats and tennis shoes, but today I bought some gorgeously fierce shoes with heels on them!!!
Okay, so maybe that doesn't excite you. How 'bout this: I am also peeling! I am peeling because I swam on Tuesday. I SWAM!!! I was able to put my head under water and everything!!!! I haven't been able to do that in almost 18 months because of the pressure difference and all, but there I was too busy doing cannon balls and yelling to put sun block on!!! Two summers have come and gone with me just longing to be able to join my kids in the pool and now I can!!!
Oh how TRUE my God is!! How awesome and mighty is His Word!!! Everything in those leather pages are real! They are true! And they still apply to you and to me!! We are all undeserving, but that just makes Him even greater!! That He loves us still. *happy sigh* I love Him.
The End - for now!
Monday, April 20, 2009
My therapist told me that she would love to keep seeing me, but honstely can't justify a reason for me to keep coming in. I'll finish the week out and then discharged on Friday (I was scheduled to go until my next MRI appointment in June)!! Then, she asked if I would mind if they used me as a case study because no one in the building had ever seen such a radical "improvement". How awesome is my God???
17 long months... 17 months of pain, and medication, and sleepless nights, and worry, and misery - and there isn't a light at the end of the tunnel because the tunnel has been blown up and I am in full sunlight!!!! How precious is the God that I serve?? Of course, He didn't have to touch me at all. I could've died 17 months ago when death looked me in the eye... But to radically heal me?? I mean, RADICALLY??? It's so hard to explain how WONDERFUL I feel, because it was hard to explain how horrible I felt before.
But when God touched me, I wasn't promised healing. I was promised a restoration - and you just don't even know how TRUE that has been!!! Being healed is just the beginning!!! Relationships that I never thought could ever be revived again have began to breath... Promises that were made to me so long ago are beginning to be fulfilled... Parts of me - my personality, my desires, my prayers - have resurfaced and are becoming a part of me again... For so long, I was in a famine... So lost... So confused... So hurt... Oh but that famine is over!!! I am dancing in the rain! The wonderous rain is washing away all that I had settled on and restoration is budding and blooming all around me...
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Showering in the morning and feeling the warm spray on my skin... lifting my head up towards the ceiling and allowing my eyes to rest upon the ceiling above while I lift both of my hands high to my head to rinse the shampoo that I've been able to lather there...
Being able to complete a thought without my mind feeling foggy and desperately grasping at words right as they erase right beyond my reach... And having the confidence to once again make friends and speak to those that already love me...
Listening to the cheerful laughs and yells of my children playing as their youthful voices pierce the heavens and never once clentching my head in pain...
Racing my dog around the yard and then joyfully falling on the ground laughing and rubbing her head with glee as the crazy girl barks in my ear and licks my face...
Skipping to answer the high-pitches of the ringing phone and smiling ear to ear when I hear the warm voice on the other end asking me how I am... And truthfully responding...
Curling up beside my husband and hearing his voice saying my name as we have a conversation because I'm not too exhausted or in too much pain...
Making it two full weeks with the only tears that stream down my face being those of complete and utter joy and not curling up in complete and utter pain and dispair...
Hearing my prayers that are now full of such gratefullness and wonder of my God instead of sorrowful wimpers asking Him why He spared my life if each and every day would be sheer misery...
Waking up each and every morning feeling the way that I always knew was possible, but have only actually felt for the past 2 weeks now...
Having my God prove to me that His word is not a lie and everything that I've always thought about Him is absolutely right... He IS my healer... He IS my provider... He IS my EVERYTHING!!!
Having the physical therapist ask me to repeat excercises because she's in disbelief of what I am able to do instead of me struggling and panting for breath unable to finish each task...
Walking across a clean bedroom floor because I have the energy to clean my house or excercising in the gym more intensly than I have in my entire life because I am now able...
Looking forward to another birthday to celebrate life and all it's wonders...
And each day praising God over the seemingly simple things that I have missed for 17 loooong months....
Once again enjoying to listen as my daughter talks my ear off about her friends and her favorite games and boys that she thinks are cute... Actually enjoying myself at her soccer practices because I'm not doped up on pain medication to half-way function or because the bright rays of the sun split into my head....
Once again playing with little toy cars in my sons' room making "Vroom-vroom" sounds or watching the same movie with him over and over again enjoying the scent of his hair as he snuggles in my lap...
Having my husband turn to me and say, "Babe, I don't want to be rude, but I would really love to go home and spend some time with you..." Because it's been sooooo long.... So long since we've actually talked about anything other than "it" or "it's" consequences...
Such simple things I took for granted until I couldn't do them, and now... Well, now, each time that I can lean over the sink and brush my teeth without leaning onto the counter because of dizzyness; every time that I can listen to the music in the car turned up loud; each and every night that I sleep with no interruptions; each morning that I arise without the dred of facing another day... Every tear that warms my cheek NOT because of pain but because of sheer JOY - I just can't thank Him enough!!
God did what I always knew He could do. He healed my body. But He did so much more than that! My Shepard provides my every need... He led me beside still waters... He restored my soul... I have walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and He held my way the whole way through it. He is my Comfort! He has annointed my head... My cup runneth over! Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I DO dwell with Him forever and ever and ever.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Everyone tells me not to overdo it, but I'm so curious as to what I can do. Like, I haven't been able to put my head under water because the pressure difference just killed me, and now I am just dying to "test" it out.
It's sort of odd and surreal to go from such extremes... I felt so horrible, and now I feel better than ever! I mean, I love it!!! It's just a little odd. LOL
It's after midnight and I used to complain about being up all night because of pain, and now I'm up all night because I'm too excited to go to sleep!! I've been trying to cram in all the little things that I've wanted to do for so long... But it's funny, because I wake up at 7 and don't feel all sluggish... It's great!!!
May is National Brain Tumor Awareness month, and I really want to do SOMETHING. I've let it creep up on me... Anyone with ideas?? I know that I'll use the power of the Internet to share little facts and stuff every day through the month, and I'm going to talk to a couple doctor's offices to see about putting up a little display. I would really like to get little grey awareness bracelets for my friends and family... On my self address labels I have a picture of an MRI with the words "Proud Brain Tumor Survivor" at the bottom of it. Guess that's a start.
And even though I have been touched and feel so great, I haven't at all forgotten those of you that are still struggling. I haven't forgotten the pain and fear that I lived in for over a year and a half. Saturday I actually get to visit with someone living with an inoperable brain tumor. His tumor is benign, but it's in his spinal colum. I hope that our visit is as uplifting for him and I am excited about it.
So my brain is just jam packed with all that I want to do that I haven't been able to do in so long. It's just absolutely amazing to feel so wonderful!! I can't even describe how great I feel!! Before I would dread when people asked how I felt because I either lied and said "fine" or I just felt like a broken record. Now when people ask how I am, I just want to cry and twirl and jump up and down! LOL I should try that like in the grocery store tomorrow - the cashier would think I had lost my mind! If only she knew, I've just gotten it back!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Before I could sleep because of pain - now I can't sleep because of excitement of being healed!
I have believed that God is a healer for 21 years out of just blind faith. But now, I KNOW that He is a healer!!!
Monday, April 13, 2009
The pain was too much for me to make my PE class, and I BARELY made C's in my Microbiology class. My nursing entrance exam was coming up, yet I was in so much pain that I didn't even study for it. I just couldn't.
I didn't understand why God hadn't healed me because I believed with my whole heart that He IS a healer. I know many don't believe that and I know many of you are going to begin to think I'm crazy as you read on, but I don't care what you think because I know what I know.
So 42 days passed... I didn't give up on God. In fact during that time I prayed for healing to fall on a young girl in the middle of Lowe's (complete with crazy stares and all). Maybe God hadn't healed me, but my Bible says that He's the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). I did not understand why He hadn't touched my body, but I still knew that if He could heal back then, He can heal now.
On April 1st, I had an MRI. 38 days into the pain. On April 5th, we had a visiting Pastor at our church. I was so exhausted, and weary, and hurting that it's a miracle that I kept dragging myself to church, yet I tried very hard to act as "normal" as possible for my husband and kids. I had been looking forward to our service because the visiting Pastor is a younger guy and draws some younger people that don't normally come to church. I had been praying for the service because I wanted God to speak to them, but I was in a shock when God spoke to me.
The title of the message was, "In Case Of A Famine", and it was really good. I knew for sure that I had been in a "famine". Not feeling good totally interupted my life - including my spiritual life. I felt so totally alone and like I was just walking circles in a desert. I felt hopeless. But In Case Of a Famine...
Towards the end of the message, the visiting Pastor started talking about a "young darling" that had battled one infirmity after another. I knew in my core that he was talking to me. I mean, there was the brain tumor, then all that the post-surgery brought, the swelling build-up, and now this constant pain. I began to sob and stepped forward and he allowed God to speak to me in ways that I can't even explain. And I felt the heaviness on me lift and I felt like life had been breathed into me again...
Today is day 8 that I have been pain-free. I don't care what anyone says, God touched me. I didn't change medicines, I didn't change doctors, I didn't change anything. I just woke up Monday morning with no headache. I slowly turned my head to the left (and was able) and felt no pain. I slowly turned my head to the right (and was able) and felt no pain. Slowly I sat up, and there was no pain!!!
So today, April 13th, the results from my MRI came back. Due to where the tumor was and where the fluid likes to build up, the MRI showed a bulging disk in my neck that had more than likely been pinching a nerve. So I wasn't crazy!! That explained the 42 days of neck stiffness and the pain in my head & neck. But get this, I got the results of the MRI 8 days AFTER the pain has completely gone away. 8 days being pain-free and there hasn't been any treatment of the bulging disk because we haven't even known about it!!!!
Proof that my God touched me! Here is more proof. Remember how I've barely made 'C's in Microbiology? Remember how I couldn't even study for the nursing entrance exam? I took the test during the days of pain, and was one of the first ones done because I did an awful lot of guessing. Well, guess who got a letter congratulating them for their acceptence into the nursing program this summer.... ME!!! I know that God had a hand in that because there are people in my Micro class with much higher GPA's than me and that made MUCH higher on that nursing test than me that have been put on a waiting list.
So see, Jesus Christ IS the same Lord that was written about in the Bible. And you know what's mind blowing about that? If He performed all those miracles then, just think of what He can do now...
Saturday, April 11, 2009
must I pray to You?
How long must I wait
Must I wait for You?
How long till I see Your face
See You shining through
I'm on my knees
Begging You to notice me
I'm on my knees
Father, will You turn to me
One tear in the driving rain
One voice in the sea of pain
Could the Maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart
One life, that all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You're everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart
I've been so afraid, afraid to close my eyes
So much can slip away before I say goodbye
But if there's no other way
I'm done asking why
I'm on my knees
Begging You to turn to me
I'm on my knees
Father will you run to me
So many questions without answers
Your promises remain
I can't see but I'll take my chances
To hear You call my name
To hear You call my name
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Registration is free and, when you select the National Brain Tumor Society as your cause, any purchases you make through the iGive mall will help support our programs nationwide.
So visit www.iGive.com right now and register! Pass it on!
I lay on this table, and she starts to massage my neck, and then - ouch! She pulls my head. Then she twists and turns and I felt neck muscles stretching that I didn't even know existed! LOL However, she did say that what we did today they weren't planning to be able to do with me for another couple of weeks. :-D
So the lesson learned is - be prepared for a little pain when you start rejoicing and showing your excitement!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
You know, during this time of my physical infirmity, people have said that God doesn't heal anymore. People have said the things we read about in the Bible are only for the Biblical times. I have refused to believe that. Hebrews declares that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever more. But I must admit that I started to question God. I believed He could heal out of faith, but now I know He is still a healer because I have been radically touched. And a "professional" has even taken notice - yesterday my physical therapist was shocked at how excercises that I couldn't even do last week I was able to do yesterday with no problem at all! Tomorrow the physical therapist that specializes in nuero patients is going to re-evaluate me. I cannot wait to see her reaction!
And while I am happy and rejoicing for myself and my children and my husband, my heart feels a little heavy tonight. My brother is deployed right now and I just have him on my mind a lot. Pray for him and all of our soldiers and the families left waiting on them. I can't wait to see him. Last time he saw me, I was a miserable sickly sister, and now I have a silly grin on my face and can't stop dancing and skipping around! He needs to see that...
Monday, April 6, 2009
In the car, my son and I popped in a Casting Crowns CD, cranked the volume up, and sang along!!! And I never cringed!!! The loud music didn't bother me and his 3-year-old screaching in the back didn't bother me!
I won't lie and say that I have been healed completely because I haven't been, BUT that's not what God said anyway. My neck is still stiff and as the day goes on I'm losing energy; however, I can honestly say that I feel the best that I've felt in way too long to remember!!! Unless you've been in constant intense pain, it's probably hard to relate, but I have danced and waved my hands in the heavens all day praising God for a day of relief!
Yesterday, one of the things spoke to me was that I'd have some "Thus saith the Lord's" and ironically enough, this is the scripture that I came to today to meditate on:
"Isa 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste."
In Isaiah, God said He was looking for a foundation stone... a tried stone... How would stone be tried? I'm honestly not sure, but I do know when gold is tried, it's put in fire... Tried... Diamonds go through being all cut up and stuff... Tried... Sounds a little painful...
I think that it's a fair call to say I've been tried in the last 17+ months... I've been physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially "tried". There have been days that my faith in a God that hasn't relieved me of my pain has been questioned by others and there have been days that death has taunted me. There have been days that my family seemed totally expanded and days that this infliction has cost me relationships... There have been days that we've had ramen noodles for dinner and there have been days that the bank account looked dangerously low. There have been days that bill collectors call all day and that the mailbox overflows with medical bills. There have been multiple nights that I've laid awake and cried in pain and there have been days that I've laid in the dark of my quiet room in pain. Oh yes, I think it's fair to say that I've been tried!
But He doesn't stop there. This same stone He calls precious... He calls sure... Whoa... (Ain't my God good?) Cause I don't think I'm precious and I'm not so sure about being sure, but if I know I've been tried then the other two descriptions just come along with it...
Then, notice the last part of that verse - if you believe, don't make haste. Believe what exactly? One chapter before and you'll note that Israel had been destroyed, demolished, held captive, etc., so maybe that believe is to believe that Israel can be restored. How can that be applied to today? Try this (totally my own words), Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I am looking for a foundation stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: and if you believe that I can restore an entire city with just one stone (cause His promise was to restore Israel), then you believe that I can also restore you...
WHOA!!! So Sunday morning, something that was spoke to me was that some of the things that I've lost... some of the things held captive and destroyed... that those things would be restored unto me. You don't even KNOW how much I'm praising God right now.
My health has just been a little piece of His puzzle. I'd been destroyed long before my brain tumor. I'd watched some things be demolished years before my surgery. So here He is, my God, that cares so much for me that He sent along this seemingly horrible thing to allow me to be tried... because all He needs is a tried stone to rebuild... to restore...
Sunday, April 5, 2009
2Kings 7:1 Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.
Alright, so I'm not going to even try to repeat the message that I heard today in which God spoke to me, but I will share some of what I got out of the scriptures that were read from and the things that God personally said to me.
First off, the first verse tells us there was a famine in the land. In church today, the visiting Pastor broke this scripture down and talked about what a famine actually is, but my focus isn't so much on that first verse because I know that I've been in a famine. I've been in the desert, in a desolate lonely place for quite some time now. I've felt alone like no one could hear my pleas for help. I've felt like I was just wondering in endless circles.
But God has been with me, of course, yet my eyes have been blocked by the infirmities that this tumor has brought my way to see any light at the end of the tunnel. I've believed in the light, but sometimes my faith has wavered. Sometimes, as the pain overtook my body, it was hard to believe in anything other than the truth of my infliction.
Oh but that second verse...
Thus saith the Lord, tomorrow about this time... the famine will be over. Maybe it's just me, but the hope in that has rejuvenated me and wiped my weary eyes so that I can once again see the light at the end of the tunnel!! Friday night I prayed for God to wrap me in His strength so that I could go on, and today, He did that and even more. He wrapped His strong arms around me and kissed my cheek and whispered His love for me. At first I thought He must have me confused with someone else. Why would the God of Abraham, the Creator, the King of Kings love me? But then I remembered that God doesn't make mistakes. And so for whatever reason, He loves me.
This will end. Thus saith the Lord, about this time tomorrow... This pain will not last forever. The dizziness won't last forever. And while I'm enduring this trial, I have been drawn ever closer to my Father. I can honestly with my whole heart declare that He is my everything. I can honestly say that I love Him more than anything. I can say with complete sincerity that He is my I Am.
On the way home from church, my husband and I were talking about how my relationship with God has definitely changed in the last 17+ months, and so has his. So see, I always said that "this" was not just about me, and I don't believe it is. If my husband has been drawn closer to God because of my trials, then I am humbled and grateful. And I'm not at all proclaiming to be worthy of anything because I am not, but I don't believe that it will stop there. I believe that God will take what looks like such a hopeless situation, what seems unbearable at times, and use it to shine His glory on the lives of others. And that makes all this worth it!
I don't know why He picked me, but I am so incredibly honored! I told Martin on the way home today that sometimes I think He must have me mistaken for someone else. I mean, me??? Ugh! I wouldn't even pick me! I have ALWAYS been the last kid picked. But even if I haven't always believed in myself, God looked at me with a smile and saw something that no one else could. The headaches still hurt. My desk is still littered with thousands of dollars worth of medical bills. But He never promised that this would be easy. In fact, He said to pick up our crosses to follow him. That doesn't sound very easy to me.
But oh that light at the end of the tunnel... I haven't gotten there yet, but the glimpse that I've gotten is the most beautiful thing that my eyes have ever landed on.
God, I trust in you with my whole heart. Thank you for listening to my breaking heart. Thanks for seeing my brokenness. I feel like just a pile of rubble now, but I can feel Your hands sifting through and picking up the broken pieces of my heart and soul to put them together again. You are so worthy, Lord! I don't matter for a minute, and yet still You'd take the time to listen to me and to heal my hurting soul. And You chose to do this because You are my Father and I am Your child and Your love for me is beyond my understanding. So thank you. Thank you.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Like, I sort of feel like David must have felt when he was on the run and hiding in those caves. I don't doubt in my God. I still believe that He is a healer and a deliver. Heck, just today I prayed for His healing and comfort to fall on a girl I've never met in the middle of Lowe's. I can honestly say that I trust Him. I don't have any idea what He is doing with me, but I still believe in Him. What I'm worried about is ME.
Oh God, hear my cries! Is this pain forever? Do I just need to quit fighting it and learn how to live with the headaches and dizziness?
Here is something true: "Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy."
I know that He is with me. I know that He hasn't forgotten me. I still repeat the beautiful words of Psalms 23 every single day. He is my shepard. He did not create me to live in anything but peace and stillness. He leadeth me. He guides me. And yet believing that He's here with me doesn't make the pain any less intense. Knowing that He's here holding my hand through this doesn't make it any easier. I'm still walking through that "valley of the shadow of death". The only difference is, that I don't have to fear evil. But there is no where in that beautiful Psalm that says, "You will feel no pain and endure no hardships." And THAT's what's hard.
God, I believe that your grace is sufficient. Let me wrap myself in your grace and wear it like a cloak. Grant me the grace to get through this, Lord. I don't want to be down. When others see me, I want the joy that you have given me to shine through my pain. God, obviously this is what you've orchastrated for me, and I will walk through FIRE if you want me too, but I just need help holding my head up high. I just need you to wipe the tears from my eyes and reassure me that WE will make it through this...
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I’ve zeroed in on all the things that my current health status doesn’t allow. I’ve mourned all the things that I’ve temporarily “lost”. I’ve worried about the future and fretted about the present. All the things that I want for myself seem nearly impossible to achieve, and I find doubt as my latest companion.
But Wednesday night at church, a fellow brother taught. He talked about where the Holy Spirit dwells, and that is in our innermost being. Thinking of layers, the Holy Spirit is our core, with our soul wrapped around it, and emotions wrapped around that, and then our physicality wrapped around that. Lately, I have allowed my “layers” to completely overshadow the Holy Spirit living within me. Maybe I am sad right now. Maybe I do hurt. But that doesn’t change the fact that more than anything I desire for God’s glory to shine through me. I don’t want to be like a filthy window where the rays can hardly peek out. Instead, I want His glory to shine so brightly in me that there is no confusion that Christ lives in me.
I think lately when anyone has looked at me, my pain and discouragement has been the primary thing that I’ve displayed; yet that’s not at all what I want to display. No matter how I may feel, no matter what I may be going through, no matter the place I may find myself – God is still worthy and His love and grace should be shined upon all men. He is our hope and I am humbled at the opportunity to shine that love and grace to those around me.
So instead of dwelling so much on the negative parts of my current state, I will praise God for all the many blessings in my life. I praise God that I have a husband that cares about my every aspect of living and listens and wipes away every tear. I praise God for a mom that is my best friend and listens to me and loves me through it all. I praise God for children that are so smart and well mannered and that love me and think I’m great even though I’m really not. I praise God for the friends that I prayed for years to come, and He brought them along at just the right time. I praise God that although I am not able to work, He has provided Martin with enough income to financially take such wonderful care of us. I praise God that I have hope in Him when there are so many that are lost and don’t have a clue as to who He is and how great His love is.
And you know what’s even crazier? I praise Him for this tumor/surgery. I praise Him for the ability to honestly have empathy and compassion for others in my shoes. I praise Him that He’s allowed my circumstance to be a witness. I praise Him that being forced out of working has given me more time with my children. And I praise Him for all that He plans to do with this whole thing, because I don’t believe that He’s done yet. So I praise Him that He chose me and found me worthy of undergoing such a tragedy to shine His glory and touch the lives of others.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
With this scripture in mind, I will try to bite my tongue when sharing about today’s neurology appointment.
Surprisingly, I woke up today feeling better than I’ve felt in a long time. Now I didn’t say that I felt good, but just that I felt a lot better than I have in weeks. I slept better last night than I have in a long time, and I was just in pretty good spirits. The night before, Martin helped me prepare 3 pages worth of questions and observations we’ve had over this last month, so I felt prepared for my appointment and even excited at the thought of some answers and possibly some relief.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get either of those. The MRI that I’d had just days ago only included a scan of my brain. This is the part where I need to remind myself of the above scripture and bite my tongue, because the scan did not include my neck or any portion of my brain stem. So, much to my dismay, my neurologist had to make me yet another appointment for another MRI in which he very clearly stated that the scan is to include every inch of my spine with focus on the upper neck where the tumor fingers were once located.
So, I don’t know much of anything right now. He agrees that physical therapy is a wonderful plan of action and that, in time, I will see some relief from aggressive treatments. Currently my visits are only 3 days a week, but he may increase that to daily for a while. Oh what fun.
Basically, I don’t have any news to report. Today was sadly a waste of time since there wasn’t a complete MRI for us to study.
Martin and I have both been reading and thinking about Job a lot lately. I don’t compare to him at all, but one thing that does bring me comfort is that Job didn’t like his situation just like I don’t like mine. The Bible is sure to mention that he never sinned, but he did curse his own life and birth. Sometimes, I feel guilty for hating the place that my health has brought me, but there isn’t sin in that. As long as I don’t take my eyes off of God… As long as I don’t let go of the Hand that is holding me up…
Woke up today feeling a little better. I got more sleep last night, which is something to shout about! Not so stiff right now, and my headache is tolerable. Did break down and take a pain med last night, so that count has to start all over.
I was an entire day early yesterday for my physical therapy appointment, but my all-time favorite PT worked me in and worked on relaxing my neck muscles. I must admit, I felt pretty relaxed after that. Could have helped with the sleeping! I go back Thursday for the "rough" stuff and it's probably not gonna be too fun. But anything to get me better!
So I feel well enough that I'm thinking of taking a shower and heading over to Wal-Mart to grocery shop. My family would be beside themselves to open the fridge and actually see food! LOL
Monday, March 23, 2009
Tomorrow is my appointment with my neurologist and I've got a list written down for him! :-D
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Previously, I had stated that old familiar saying, “God won’t put more on you than you can bare”, but a friend reminded me that is not really true. Sometimes we face more than we can bear, and that’s how we are reminded that even though our problems may be too big for us, they are never too big for God. When we can no longer bare our situations, we truly rely on God because only He can bare them.
Today, I went to visit the graveside of a little friend of mine and ended up pouring out my heart to God. I won’t share all that I cried, but I did ask Him for something. I asked Him for a renewal of strength and for grace to accept my new life.
Job 2:10 has stuck with me lately because Job is quoted as making a statement that has been so profound to me this week. He was responding to his wife’s plea that he curse God and die. And he tells her, are we to accept the good from God and not the bad? How true that is… Often, we love all the blessings of God, but the second life is shaken up a little, we flip out.
So anyway, I’ve gotten off topic. So this morning I sobbed and sobbed. I think that I’ve grown accustomed to the headaches and the sleepless nights… It’s no longer a surprise when medical bills come each and every day… I don't mind that there are more doctor visits on my calendar than anything else. All that is okay with me, but I cannot accept this discouragement. And yet I am not strong enough to save myself from it. I need God. It’s funny, I’ve learned to lean and trust Him with things like our finances, yet I still felt like I am supposed to be strong and encouraged on my own. It seems so silly now. Doesn’t He call Himself the Comforter? Doesn’t He promise that He is our Shepard? And yet here I thought that I was tough enough to comfort myself. Crazy, I know!
I came home with the same headache that had me up since 2 a.m. this morning. No seas parted. No miraculous healing. But when I came home, I checked my mail. Instead of the unending medical bills, there were two cards from people that I have never ever met before. Both senders attend Sunday School with my mom and wanted to let me know that I was in their prayers. Such a simple little thing, and yet I cannot even express how those two simple cards offered me comfort.
Exhausted, I took my routine nap, and when I woke up, I still had the headache. But instantly I noticed that something was missing. That discouragement that had started choking the life out of me was gone.
Then, my husband came home and had a beautiful basket of flowers for me. Before I could say a word, he told me that some friends had sent them. As soon as I read the card, I knew he was right. Friends had sent them with a simple note that said, “Thinking of you.” They were from my three former managers. I haven’t worked in nearly a year, and yet they are my friends and they still care.
When I read the card with the flowers, I just cried and cried. Martin smiled and hugged me and I know that those gestures were God speaking to me and assuring me that He hears my cries. He heard my pleas earlier today and even if I don’t have the strength to keep on walking, He’s sent people my way for me to lean on. It reminds me of when Jesus was walking with the cross and He fell to His knees and another man picked up the cross for Him and carried it. Just like that man shared Jesus’ cross, others have stepped in to shoulder my burden.
You know, for those people that sent me those cards, I bet they have no idea how in line they were with God. I bet they had no idea that stepping out of the boat, and sending a card to someone that they’ve never even meant would be such an answered prayer. I bet the three women that sent me those beautiful flowers today had no idea that when I received them, I cried out all the discouragement that I’ve felt.
God didn’t burn any bushes to talk to me today, but His message was loud and clear. I can’t do this. And I don’t have too. Because He is my God and that means that He is my EVERYTHING. When I am weak, He’ll hold me up by sending along wonderfully obedient people for me to lean against as we (not just me alone) continue to walk each step at a time.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Earlier this week, I became very annoyed with myself and quite frankly, with God. I’m sure that no one else has ever felt annoyed with God before, but I will be honest and admit that I was thoroughly confused. I prayed, well, half yelled really, to God. I asked Him if He was a healer, then why oh why haven’t I been healed? If He is a prayer answering God, then why have my prayers gone unanswered? Maybe I had Him pegged all wrong, but something in me tells me that He is all power and all might…
And today, I think He answered me. After my little visit to the hospital Thursday, I am back to taking pain medication. I absolutely HATE taking pain medication because I hate how I feel. So, much to my husbands’ dismay, I will pop a pill and then stay up doing SOMETHING for as long as I can stand. Cleaning the kitchen, laundry, sweeping the floor, anything to keep from that drug from washing over me and making me a zombie. My mom is probably going to be as upset as my husband about that, but I can’t just lie around my whole life and do nothing.
So anyway, back to Him answering me. I cleaned Martin’s truck out today (that was the point of the little explanation above - ha) and started thinking about Bible Hero’s. First I thought about Joseph, probably because my Pastor has mentioned him a lot recently in church (see how wonderful it is to have a Shepard in tune with God). Joseph had it kind of rough. Genesis 37:5 tells us that his brothers hated him. That would be hard! I love my brothers and can’t imagine them hating me. I think that I would be devastated. But it didn’t stop there for Joseph. Genesis 37 goes on to tell us that his brothers stripped a cloak given to him by his father and then dumped him in a pit and sold him off to be a slave!
Now I’m about to use my imagination here, but I do know that Joseph had a relationship with God. I just can’t imagine him being cool with his brothers hating him, dumping him in a pit, and then selling him off to be a slave. Surely he prayed for God to soften the hearts of his brothers… I would imagine that he longed to have a good relationship with them and pleaded with God to make that possible. And yet, still they hated him, dumped him in a pit, and sold him. Now we know that it didn’t stop there for Joseph. Genesis 39 tells of how Joseph was bought by an Egyptian and made ruler of his house. Yet still he was a slave. Still his prayers seemed to go unanswered… If things weren’t bad enough, the Egyptian’s wife had the hots for Joseph and when he wouldn’t give in to her advances, she lied and had him thrown in prison. So here Joseph was hated by his brothers, stripped of his prized possession, thrown in a pit, sold as a slave, lied against, and thrown in prison. As Joseph sat behind those steel bars, I can only imagine what must’ve gone through his mind…
So – did God answer his cries? Did He hear Joseph’s sobs? I’ll leave that for you to answer…
Then I started thinking about Job. Job had it so rough, he even had a whole book written about him! First off, he lost his children and his property (or possessions). If that wasn’t enough, Job 2:7 tells us that Satan attacked his health. So then his wife talks crazy and three of his best friends talk crazy. Ol’ Job… Surely he was thinking, “God, are you still there?” In fact Job 17:1-3 reveals that Job prayed for relief. But chapters go by and Job still has it rough… Was God ignoring his prayers of relief??? Job 42:12 (NKJV) “Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning…”
As you can probably imagine, I was already feeling pretty encouraged by just being
reminded of these two guys, but then God laid the whammy on me. And I thought about
Matthew 26:38-39 “Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto
death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face,
and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless
not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
So – did God just ignore the exceedingly sorrowful soul of our Lord?? It would have
made a great story if the soldiers came to arrest Jesus and suddenly angels baring
swords swooped in and slaughtered them all saving our Lord from his unjust arrest and
crucifixion… It would have made a great action packed story, BUT where would we be??? The blood that Jesus shed wasn’t fun. His flesh was not excited about the pain and the death it
would endure, and yet that blood was freely given to pay for our sins…
God doesn’t answer us when we think He should or how we think He should, but that
doesn’t mean that He doesn’t hear our cries and it doesn’t mean that He doesn’t answer.
What would have happened if God had given Joseph the answer that he wanted back in
Genesis 37:5. Just when he might have prayed for a better relationship with his
brothers… Before he was stripped, thrown into a pit, sold as a slave, falsely imprisoned,
Or what about Job? What if God gave Job the relief that he was looking for in the
first chapter of Job when he lost his children and possessions? Before his wife got all
crazy… Before his friends turned on him… Before his health was attacked…
And then, what about Jesus’ prayer? What if the cup passed from Him??? Where, oh where, would we be?
So I’m thinking that God reminded me of the “unanswered prayers” of these three to tell
me that He is a prayer answering God. He does hear my prayers, cries, pleas, moans, etc.
But just because He doesn’t answer me when I think He should and how I want Him too
doesn’t mean that He’s not answering…
And as I’ve been writing this all kinds of people have come to my mind… David, Sarah and Abraham, Paul, etc. He heard every one of them, just like He hears me and you and anyone that calls to Him… And we can all rest assured that He will answer because He is a prayer answering God.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Monday I got pretty annoyed. Well, really I got VERY annoyed. Next Tuesday will be 16 months post surgery and still I'm having problems. I thought all this would be over by now and I have way too much to do. This pain is totally interfering with my life. Maybe I sound a little facetious, but I'm being honest. I've been slipping in school, having a very difficult time working out, and am so worn out once I get home that I feel like I'm a walking zombie – and I’m not even working!! I am 25 with a family and friends and goals and dreams and this is not part of my plan.
So anyway, Wednesday the pain was probably at its' peak this go 'round, and I got very down. I don't normally get discouraged, but by Wednesday I was just tired and hurting and tired of hurting. So mom and Martin got pretty concerned, and long story short - I ended up in the hospital yesterday. I had an MRI scheduled in 2 weeks anyway, so the doctor that saw me went ahead and ordered one last night. I normally despise MRI's, but this one took less than an hour, which is a record for me. Plus it's the first MRI that I was given a shot of Demoral before hand, so I was pretty relaxed and laying perfectly still wasn't too difficult.
My MRI came back pretty good (according to the radiologist, my neurologist is out of town until next week). The scar tissue around my scar is nearly gone, but in it's place are very weak muscles. I was told that my neck muscles are nearly too weak to hold my head up, thus causing the neck pain and headaches. So starting next week I'll be going back to physical therapy for neck strengthening and massages. The massages totally make up for the fact that I'll be back in physical therapy. (-: Plus I really like the physical therapy assistant that will probably be working with me again.
The doctor did confirm a fear that I've had and that is that this is my life. These "flare-ups" will most likely occur for the rest of my life. Lovely, right? But having that confirmed is only making me think, "Okay, figure out how to deal with this. If this is my life, figure out how to make it 'normal'." What I don't have to figure out is what God's up too. I may not enjoy this "trial", but I know that it's not in vain. I may not understand why He has given me this new life, but I trust Him.
I've heard a million times in the last year and a half "God won't put more on you than you can bare". At first, that sort of annoyed me. I mean, I'm feeling like the last 16 months have been PLENTY, but this morning I was thinking about that statement, and I started to feel very honored and humbled and had to apologize to God for feeling annoyed. He has put this all on me because apparently He thinks that I'm one tough cookie. Now I don't necessarily agree with Him, but since He's God - He's right. So He's allowing me to go through this because He knows that I can. And He's right, because I'll grip His hand and He'll lead me even when I can't see. He'll be my strength because I am so weak. For whatever reason, He has given me this obstacle and whatever the outcome, His glory will be shown. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to be a part of that!
Romans 5:3-5 "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. "
Monday, March 9, 2009
Duet 3:24 “ Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?” (The correct answer: NONE!! There is NONE like God!!! None that can do what He can do!)
Joshua 4:24 “That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.”
Job 36:5 “Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.” (Job said this!!! The Job that lost everything, endured sickness, was told to just curse God and die – but he didn’t because he knew that God is mighty no matter what life might throw his way!)
Psalm 24:8 “Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.”
Isa 42:13 “The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.” (This scripture excites me because THE Mighty King of all Kings shall roar a victorious roar as defeats His enemies!)
Jeremiah 32:18 “Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name” (I feel some serious worship! God has shown me lovingkindness… The word ‘recompensest’ here means: to make peace; make amends; (bring) restoration. Whoo-hoo!!! He brings restoration!!! He is Great! He is Mighty!)
Luke 1:49 “For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.”
(He is mighty and has done what??? He has done great things!)
Ephesians 1:19 “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us - ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,”
(Again, His mighty power was set into action and proving itself by works… and get this – His exceeding great power is to us!!! His mighty power is to me!!! Wow!)
So what does mighty mean anyway? According to dictionary.com, mighty is defined as showing superior power or strength; huge; exceptional.
I can’t help but to think of the hand of cards life has dealt to me. Granted, I certainly wouldn’t have chosen these cards for myself, but they’re what I was given. So I could have a defeatist attitude and say “Whoa is me”, and there are days that I feel that way, BUT when I remember that My God is MIGHTY!!!! I don’t have to have a pitiful attitude! There are days that I don’t feel like rejoicing. There are days that I don’t want to get out of bed, much less praise God for His mighty power, but He is mighty whether I feel like He is or not. Whether I agree that He is mighty, or whether I have a pity party – He is still exceptional! He is still huge!! He still holds all strength!!
I bet each of the writers of the above scriptures faced times when situations in their life almost seemed to overshadow His might, but they were able to take a step back and see the magnitude of His glory. And not just that, they knew that they had a mighty Daddy walking hand in hand with them.
And so do I. My Father is bigger than any situation in my life and He’s stronger too! I can cling onto His hand and know that my Daddy can beat up any obstacle I might face, even The Terminator. :-D
Friday, March 6, 2009
If you’ve been around Christians long enough, chances are you have heard someone proclaim that Christ is their everything. He is certainly my everything, but coming to that place where He’s all I’ve got and He’s all I need hasn’t come easy.
See, we have to come to a place of realization that our strength, wisdom, education, money, health, friends and family are nothing because everything we have and everything that we are comes from him. We have to become nothing to allow Him to be it all…
· Strength: Psalm 20:6 “Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.”
Just the strength in one of His hands is enough to save!....
· Wisdom: 1Corinthians 1:24-25 “But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
At His most foolish point, God is still wiser than men!
· Education: Exodus 3:11 “And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”....
Moses was surely well educated – he was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter, and yet he knew that he couldn’t rely on his own education…
He gave power to get wealth (and He can take it away too).....
· Health: Jeremiah 30:17 "For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD;"
3 John 1:2 "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth....."
So you know I had to list 2 scriptures for health, HA. But if He restores health, then obviously we have little control over some of our own health issues. And I know first hand that health can be taken away in a minute. I was young, “healthy”, never had any health problems – and then wah-lah! (-: But oh how sweet Jesus is that He WANTS me to prosper and be in health.
· Friends: Job 16:20 “My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.”....
· Family: Psalms 27:10 “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” ....
Matthew 18:21-22 “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” ....
So your friends and family may scorn you. They may turn their back on you. They may sin against you, but
Deuteronomy 4:31 “(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.”
God will never let you down.
It’s so easy to say that God is our everything, but is He really? In order for someone to be everything, they must be ALL (that’s by definition alone). Is He your all?? Cause if He is, then that means you are nothing... Are you cool with that?
Thursday, March 5, 2009
2 Corinthians 12:9 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me..."
So I know that things could be worse (they have been) and I know that I shouldn't feel aggravated, but I'm having a day like Apostle Paul was having where I'm just annoyed. So let me vent in peace. LOL
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I could go on and on because today Psalms Chapter 91 is the perfect passage for me. If I can just crawl into that secret place and dwell there in the shadow of the Almighty... What peace can be found there! What a wonderful place of rest.
The Lord is my refuge! He is my protector from fear and doubt. I can envision him whipping out His sword and keeping those creeping feelings away from me. I trust Him with all that is within me because I know that He loves me. And even though He loves me, there are still some things that life throws my way that bring hurt. I can imagine that He's shed just as many tears over my pain as I have, but He's promised that He'll be with me every step of the way. And He has been.
I don't understand why I'm feeling this pain... But I choose to trust Him. I choose to trust that He is perfect and that no matter the outcome of my situation, there is a much bigger picture at stake here. I am merely a piece in this giant puzzle and He will place me in the perfect spot because that's who He is. He is perfect.
So God, thank you for loving me! Sometimes I think you must have me confused with someone else... Why waste your love on me? Don't You know how unworthy I am? But of course You do, because You are God. And that is grace. You love me no matter how unworthy I am. You are so wonderful because dispite of my bumps and bruises, You call me Your own!
Thank you for allowing me to be in Your hands. I might not be comfortable and I might be in pain, but it's such a relief to know that I am in perfect hands. How humbling to know that my life is just a piece of Your giant puzzle! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of Your plan, even if it means uncomfort for me. Because even though I might not be the most comfortable, You have graciously given me a place to rest. And so I will rest in your shadow.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Tried mentioning my thoughts to my husband, but people think that I'm being negetive or that I'm depressed or something. Needless to say, he didn't want to talk about it. LOL I really don't think that I'm negetive and I don't think I'm depressed. Of course we are all trying to be positive about a clean MRI, but why do we have to ignore that the MRI might not be clean? And why does it seem like I'm the only one that can accept that as a possibility? And how come I have to be negetive just to acknowledge that there is just as good of a chance for a clean MRI as one that shows some growth...
Is there anyone out there that can relate?
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Haven’t said much lately. Mostly cause I’ve been too tired. My wonderful weekend in Savannah was followed up by a weekend trip to California to visit my brother and sister-in-law with my mom. My brother is in the Navy and about to be deployed to Afghanistan. Anyway, traveling two weekends in a row must have just taken its’ toll on me.
But even though I’ve been quiet, my mind has still kept reeling. I’ve been thinking about a book that a read a couple months ago called “The Shack”. I wasn’t expecting to like it at all, but it definitely touched me. The part of the book that I’ve recently been thinking about was when the main character, Mack, was crying and Saraju (a portrayal of the Holy Spirit) swept his tears in a bottle and told him that she collects tears.
Maybe I’m the only one, but it seems that I’ve cried a lot of tears in my short lifetime. I’ve shed tears for numerous reasons: some have been out of joy or awe; some have been out of empathy; some have been out of desperation; some have been out of confusion; some have been out of pain. Writing this and I realize that the majority of the reasons for my tears are sad, but not to be dismayed! I have found THE COMFORTER. Here are just a few scriptures concerning His comfort:
* Psalm 119:50 – “When I am hurting, I find comfort in your promise that leads to life…”
* Psalm 119:52 – “I find true comfort, LORD, because your laws have stood the test of time.”
* Isaiah 49:13 – “Tell the heavens and the earth to celebrate and sing; command every mountain to join in the song. The LORD's people have suffered, but he has shown mercy and given them comfort.”
* 2Corinthians 1:3 – “Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort.”
* 2Corinthians 1:4 – “He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share that same comfort with others in trouble.”
* 2Thessolonians 2:16 – “God our Father loves us. He is kind and has given us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope.”
A couple points stick out to me in these passages:
1. The writer’s obviously needed comfort. You would only need comfort if you were hurting and lost; if your life was upside down; if you were crying in your pillow; etc. What is interesting to me is sometimes we assume that once we give our hearts to God, all of our problems will be solved. I think that we think any need for comfort will dissipate at the altar of repentance, but not so.
· Matthew 5:45 – “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
2. God has promised us comfort, but He has not promised to radically pluck us up from the circumstance that has us troubled and “fix” everything the way we imagine it needs to be fixed.
In Bible Study last night, we had much conversation about a portion of scripture in Proverbs. Here it is first of all: Proverbs 11:8 – “The righteous is delivered out of trouble…” Our conversation was centered on one word – DELIVERED. Plainly, God has promised deliverance to the righteous, but what is deliverance? I think that our idea of deliverance and His idea of deliverance are not always the same. For me, they are hardly ever the same! But that doesn’t mean that I have not been delivered. That doesn’t make His word a lie nor does it mean that I must be living an “un-righteous” life.
Ex. When I was diagnosed with the brain tumor, in my mind deliverance was to be radically healed or to have a radical recovery. Neither of those things happened. So did God skip over me? No. Did I have the brain tumor because I was “unrighteous”? I don’t think so…
I received the deliverance that He had promised, just not the way I had it all planned out for Him. Funny how He has a mind of His own and does things His own way and not mine! My deliverance came as a peace and a strength that I didn’t have before. It came as I searched for Him and our relationship became so much stronger. My deliverance came as my family being blessed enough financially that we don’t need an income from me to make it. Maybe we had to make some sacrifices, like selling my car and having a slim bank account, but here we are making it on just my husband’s income so that I can have time to rest, recover, finish nursing school, spend time with my kids, and have time to visit with family like my cousin, and my sister, and the weekend with my brother.
If God had listened to me, if He had of delivered me like I thought He should, none of that would be possible. I would be back at work full-time with no hope of finishing my college education, I wouldn’t have the time to spend with my kids and do little things like enroll my daughter in soccer (for the first time in her 10 years of life by the way), I wouldn’t have had to depend on Him with every aspect of my life and watch Him deliver building my trust and faith in Him, and I wouldn’t have ever experienced a peace that passes all understanding…
3. My third point is that GOD LOVES US. There are no stipulations, no little clauses, no conditions. Nowhere does it say, “I’ll love you and be your Father IF you do this and this and this…” Does He desire for us to live sinless lives? Sure. But His love isn’t contingent on that. He has just as much love for the saint as He does for the sinner. That’s what grace is – undeserved, unmerited, unconditional love.