February 26, 2013

Encouragement Through This Storm

I had a slight break down today.  It didn't last long though... The devil was once again trying to get a foothold and get me doubting.  I was tired, not feeling well, and emotional.  So I cried.  And cried.  And then called Danielle.  I am SO thankful for her friendship!!  She isn't just my best friend, though; she's my sister, counselor, accountability partner, and mostly, one of the deepest Christian women I know.  I know that I can always count on her to lift me up!  So, I called Danielle...

After admitting to her my fear of tomorrow and admitting that I just didn't feel as strong as I needed to be, she comforted me, provided me with the wisdom that I needed to immeditely turn to God's Word after getting off the phone, and we talked about something her and I both separately have been feeling.  Just a bit of background that only Danielle and Travis know- over the past year or maybe even longer, I had been thinking about women's ministry as a career path.  I love getting up in front of groups of people and presenting a great message, I love encouraging women and helping them realize their full potential, and I knew deep down that God was calling me to do something.  So a few months ago, I started a young women's Bible Study at my church.  We've had decent attendance and it's a wonderful blessing to facilitate this.  But I've always felt God calling me to do more; I truly believe God is calling me write a book and/or travel and share God's Word at women's conferences and churches around the country.  Danielle and I have talked about this often and I've always come up with substancial excuses: what could I possibly have to speak to these women about that will challenge them in a new way?!  I didn't have a 'platform.' Financially, we just needed me to have a consistent, full-time paycheck.  We didn't have enough faith to allow God to work.  The excuses went on and on... Well, after this health experience, I would say God might have a perfect plan; I now have a platform and enough faith to immediately say "yes, God" rather than "let me see what I can do, God."  This provided me with such encouragement!  God is in complete control of this situation, and because of this experience, I will be more on fire than ever for Christ! 

After I got off phone with her, I dove directly into God's Holy Word.  As I prayed and worshipped God through studying, all I could do is cry out and raise my hands to a Holy God.  Confessing my sins and devoting my whole being to His servanthood, I felt God's presence in the lobby of our hotel!  I flipped my Bible open and started reading the first thing I could find...

"No on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border bwetween Samaria and Galilee.  As he was going into a village, ten men who had leporacy met him.  They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice.  Jesus, Master, have pity on us!  When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yoursevles to the priests.  And as they went, they were cleansed.  One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him- and he was a Smaritan.  Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed?  Where are the other nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?  The he said to him, 'Rise and go: your faith has made you well."  ~Luke 17:11-19
Rise and go: your faith has made you well. 
Then I read: "Then they came to Jericho.  As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside begging.  When he heard that is was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"  Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus stopped and said, "Call him."  So they called ot the blind man, "Cheer up!  On your feet!  He's calling you."  Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.  "What do you want me to do for you? Jesus asked him.  The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."  "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately, he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.  ~Mark 10: 46-52
Go, your faith has healed you. 
Finally, I read: "While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, 'My daughter has just died.  But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.'  Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.  Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.  She said to herself, 'If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.' Jesus turned and saw her.  "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you."  And the woman was healed from that moment.  When Jesus entered the ruler's house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, he said, "Go away. The girl is not dead, but asleep."  But they laughed at him.  After the crowd has been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. News of this spead through all that region.  ~Matthew 9:18-26
Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.

I've heard it said that God never gives you more than you can handle.  But wait, I'm here to say that maybe He does...  You see, I'm a stubborn, independent woman.  I like to be in total control.  I'm talented and educated and it's easy to lean on my own understanding.  I think that maybe God had no choice but to give me more than I can handle.  So I admit it, I can't control this situation; I am unable to do this one on my own.  I have no choice but to rely on God!!  :-)  I'm thinking He knows what He's doin', how about you?!  So, I'm awake to His awesomeness now!  He's got my attention!  And now I'm giving it all to Him.  I have complete faith that He is alive and moving and has a huge plan for my future.  And like I read in my study, I know that by that faith in God, I will be healed of this! 

Thank you to all of my supportive family, friends, church family, and community for lifting me up in prayers!  I appreciate all of your encouraging words and thoughts.  I'm going to come thorugh this with a wonderful testimony to share, so look out!  :-) 

God bless,

A Bump in the Road

I can’t sleep.  I woke up with those pesky little doubts in my head; I know that’s Satan just trying to get me down.  You see, I’ve had headaches for the past few months and what I call “spells.”  I get dizzy and lightheaded, can’t see very well, have a weird taste in my mouth, and just have to sit down and let the time pass.  Then the headaches come.  For the past couple of weeks, I’ve had about 2 or 3 spells a day and the pain from the headaches were almost unbearable enough to go to the ER.  Last Wednesday, I had an MRI scan on my brain, to see if something was wrong.  They found a mass growing in the right side of my brain.  At this point, we don’t know what type of tumor it is; cancerous or not, fast-growing or slow, etc.  So we have little idea on what to expect.  Tomorrow morning (Wednesday), the neurosurgeon will complete a temporal craniotomy tumor resection.  Man does that sound fancy!  I guess it kind of is… it’s brain surgery after all.  J  I can’t lie and say that I’m not a bit nervous for this.  But due to not knowing what kind of tumor we’re dealing with, I know that this surgery is our best bet.  So here I am, sitting in our hotel room at 4:00 in the morning, unable to sleep. I’ve done research on this type of surgery, know the risks, understand the benefits, and am putting my faith in God and my surgeons. 

I feel so normal, but I’m just not.  I have a tumor growing inside of my brain.  It’s kind of surreal.   But I have faith that this too shall pass.  You see, I’m a young mommy and wife.  I love Jesus more than anything.  I like laughing and thoroughly enjoy life.  I have an amazing family and support community; we are so blessed to have Danielle and Caleb, Tanner and Ashley, and our church family.  We also have the best family ever; they might be crazy and overwhelming at times, but they are the most giving and caring people in the world!  I know that I will have a testimony to share when I’m through this bump.  People will listen to how Jesus was able to work through this situation; how He carried me through it and how I was able to hold onto Him.  Jesus is right here beside me.  He has already carried my ultimate burden and is now willing to carry me in my physical body.  I have lots of life left to live.  I must raise my son to know Jesus and to walk daily with Him.  Lucas will one day do amazing things for Christ.  I must be a strong faith example for Travis, so He grows in wisdom and faith in Christ.  One day, Travis will be a strong leader in Christ and lead not on his own understanding but on Christ’s.  I know that God has placed me right here beside him to be his helper.  Mom has bounced back and forth in her faith life; I know deep down she has always believed and held to Christ.  She’s just not sold out.  I know that I can make a difference in her Christian Walk, by encouraging her and showing her God’s strength. 

My life has been hard, but I’ve always bounced back.  I have always looked up at those beautiful twinkling stars and remembered that I am a servant to a huge, powerful God.  I serve a God who knows exactly how many hairs are on my head, but created gravity and turns a tiny cell into a human being.  What do I seriously have to worry about?!  This tumor is so tiny and insignificant compared to my God!  God will give my surgeons skilled hands and my recovery will be speedy, for I have a testimony to share.  I am ready to be more fervent than ever in my faith life; to speak out and up about Christ’s Truths and to show love those lost.  It’s our jobs as Christians.  So I’m viewing tomorrow as the first day of the rest of my life; to speak more loudly than ever about Christ and to live a sold-out life for Him!  He is alive and working and I am proof!! 

God bless,