HOPE*ann*FAITH

Living and Writing on Purpose: God * Life * Love * Realtionships * The Important Things.


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Embracing the Simple Life


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I’ve decided to be the authentic me. I’m weary from grieving my husband and son. I’m weary of being who others want me to be.

I’m even working slowly returning to my authentic hair color! Pulling out the red and looking for the gray.

I realize I cannot be who others want me to be, because the events of my life have me in a place of transition. I cannot make it faster. I cannot slow it down. And I certainly cannot go back. Oh, if  I could but go back . But that’s a fairytale and this is my real life.

I’m weary.

And when I think about finally embracing the authentic me, the honest and simple me, I feel peaceful. I feel like God, Himself is embracing me – the real me, the daughter He created.

My life has been utterly shattered. My little family literally cut in half in a year and a half’s time. Yet, here I stand.

Unashamed that I haven’t showered today. Okay with the fact that I was honestly relieved when our church’s game night was cancelled, so that I can remain home and embrace the solitude. Finally content to be me, finding who I am while gently shedding the mother and wife.

I am okay to stop the constant need to improve, strive and acquire. I won’t compete and grasp for those things that I don’t even really desire anymore. I don’t believe that their must be pain to gain – acquire – acceptance in this life. God said to be still. He said He would fight for me and I could keep my peace. (Ex.14:14).

This is my life. I desire humble (simple) and safe. Quiet but not necessarily alone. My husband and I did quiet together, he was a soft spoken, intelligent man. I desire to enter into that safe quiet and embrace the humbleness of solitude.

The Word says: Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). Be still in this verse literally means: desist, cease your efforts. This is Jehovah Rāpha – The Lord your healer urging you to allow Him to be my focus, my exaltation of Him in my life. This exaltation of God heals us. It’s His child reaching for her father in her weariness.

STOP – Five Minute Friday   

 

I desire to be still. To not rush to those decisions that exalt themselves above my peace. The peace that God promises me in His Word. To not worry about cleaning my house, because everything/one tells me it must be “clean”; that my comfortable clutter and the dishes on my counter make me less than … I’m okay with my way of just maintaining the order of my house right now.

I desire a whole and healthy body, spirit and soul. And that means slowing down. Being still. Allowing God to order my life. Embracing who I really am. Passed the widow, the wife without a purpose. The mom, the mother without a child to care for. The “whoever” others expect me to be, when I just want to be me.

I’m embracing the peace of God.  It’s where I want to spend time getting centered and balanced in this 52 year old broken woman. The authentic me.

Thank you for taking the time to read my musings.

2Andrea


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Begin … 2015


prayer.begin WELCOME TO 2015

At midnight we ended the old year and began the new one simultaneously. Many of us spent a week in review of some kind, possibly planning what not to repeat and what new plans and goals we were headed for.

Good old Resolution Time!

Well resolutions are not for me. I am not into setting unrealistic goals that I cannot manage to complete or even remember at the end of January! =)

Resolutions are truly a hindrance to one’s life progress. They create a sense of failure at the beginning of every new year. At least that’s how I see it.

So if one doesn’t indulge in resolutions for the new year what is it one does with the vast 365 days laid out before us in the vastness of that thing called the future? What is the plan?

For me, I quasi participate in the My One Word movement. This year I may sign up for the 1st level accountability group, but I don’t know. This will be my 4th year picking a word for the year.

I chose my word a few days ago: Self-Discipline(d) – I find it funny that my words are always either hyphenated or compound words. Like chips … you can’t just have one!

To begin my plan is to obtain self-discipline in all areas of my life. And when I say self-discipline, I mean this:

Self-discipline: is the ability to control one’s feelings or emotions and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.

Synonyms: self-control, restraint, self-restraint, self-command, willpower, purposefulness, strong-mindedness, sound-mindedness, resolve, moral fiber, doggedness, persistence, determination and grit!

I intend to purposefully control my emotions. I have a great friend, mentor and now my pastor, who when we met, I decided in my heart to become her. I wanted to be able to conduct myself with the class and composure that she possessed. I wanted the peace and self-control she has as a person, wife, mother and leader. Since that meeting we’ve become very good friends. I’ve taken over her post as church secretary and armor bearer to our pastor and now I am her secretary and armor bearer. I tell you, it’s an honor to be her friend and to have her in my life.

And over the years I’ve found that God intended this for me and that He had given me the tools to succeed on this particular path.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 7:1

The NIV translation says, ” … power, love and self-discipline“.

The world tells us that we cannot control how we feel. We cannot choose who we love. Our feelings and emotions are out of our control. NOT SO.

Romans 8:9-11 basically tells us that Holy Spirit lives within us, giving us life over death (or control over our sinful nature). Sinful nature sounds awful I know but what that means is that we actually have control over our carnal or natural nature. We most definitely control our feelings, as well as our emotional reactions and actions in all areas of our lives.

And in Galatians 5:22&23 the Word tells us that Holy Spirit produces in us the fruit of His Spirit.  It is His emotions we experience in the circumstances of our lives. He produces His emotions within us so that we exhibit the benefits of His presence in our hearts – love , joy, peace, patience, kindness , goodness, faithfulness, gentleness , and self-control.

So why did I choose self-discipline?

Well for the last three years my word was Wholeness. A good goal and I’ve come a long way in becoming whole in Christ. So a the beginning of 2015 I changed it up, but not by much. After all, self-discipline is a major part of walking in the wholeness of one’s life.

As many of you know I have A LOT on my plate these days. And 2014 went out with quite a blow to my spirit. Please pray for my youngest son, if you would. And 2015 came in with me HAVING to control my emotions.

Pick a word for the year … I promise you that immediately you will be challenged by your choice!

We began 2015 with a kiss good night and in the morning we began the year in prayer at our church. We were reminded to pray the solution, not the problem. Periodically we review how we should be praying so that the blessings and promises flow in our lives and ripples out into our community. It’s a great reminder not to fall into that wordy, self involved prayer style where we think because we see the circumstance as huge we much add many words to get our point across to God. How silly that is, but I do it too, sometimes.

So this morning I was in a position to keep my composure amongst my church family while praying for our particular situation (that cropped up last night before the new year was rung in). There was that challenge proving within me that I had chosen the correct focus for this year.

So this is the plan:

1. Deepen my relationship with God with prayer and structured time in the Word.

2. Devotional: Jesus Calling ( I got it for Christmas!) and following her purposeful time with God – we’ll see how that works for me; but the daily reading comes with scripture to read – keeping me in the Word.

3. A Blessing Box – an attitude changer … a tool to purposeful positiveness.

That’s how I began my day. That’s how I began 2015.

How did you begin 2015? Did you make a resolution or set a goal? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading my friends. And Happy Happy New Year.

ASignatureby your words ... FWThTuesday


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My Journey


Hi. Welcome to Hope*ann*Faith blog where I share my day to day journey.

TuesdayToday I am participating in Tuesday at Ten over on Karen Beth’s blog. {Follow the link in her logo to the left.}

T@T is a word prompt for Creatives, each week where the writers, photographers, artists share their interpretation on a single word prompt. Karen can correct me if I’m wrong here … The prompt she gives us each week is to stir in us a heart post based on our lives and experiences. Karen and Finding the Grace Within blog are all about healing and getting connected. So join us, using any creative style you like and share your heart.

This Tuesday prompt is:    Journey.

So about My Journey. The journey to continuous Hope and Faith.

My Journey is probably my most used Category and Tag on this blog, because blogs are simply a virtual diary of one’s life, and life is certainly a journey.

So much is involved in one’s journey through this life. Mine is no different from yours. However the circumstances of our journeys are unique, giving us the illusion that my journey might be more intense than yours.

I. Think. Not.

There is a misconception among Christians that God will not give us more than we can handle on this journey. This is not true. I believe God does give us much more than we can handle without Him so that we choose Him.

The following scripture is often misunderstood/

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Nowhere in this scripture does it say God does not give us more we can handle. Like I said, I believe God gives us more than we can handle each day so that we will Call upon Him!

My journey has certainly come to a place where my pride {though it often rises to say, “you got this Andrea”} bows to God and I call upon Him daily; many times a day.

My walk, my journey is with God. When I remember to walk with Him, that is.

So if you’re new to my humble little blog here you may have an idea of what my journey is today. Me and mine are being tested in many areas of life these days, hard and simultaneously. We deal with normal things in life like:

Family – Bills – Jobs – Lack of Jobs

But we also deal with some extra things like:

Cancer

Heart Issues

Heroin Addiction

Extended Family Issues that deal with: Age, Mental Illness and other addictions.

Sounds rough, yes?

It is. No doubt, but we rely on God and He has been faithful.

Recently I was reading Psalm 23 … an oft used Scripture for those who are on harder journeys. And I saw something in verse 4 that I hadn’t truly understood before …

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[a] in the house of the Lord
Forever.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;

Our journey is not through the valley of death!

On our journey we travel through the valley shadow of death! A shadow is just an ether … it’s harmless, unless we add fear giving the shadow body and the ability to harm us, because we allow the shadow more power than it is capable of without our permission.

This scripture assures us that God is with on this journey. He is there before we know Him, protecting us. He is there when we decide we are going to do these things on our own, watching over us and waiting patiently until we call on Him for rescue. And He is tangibly there when we trust wholly in His constant presence in our lives and on this journey.

Dear God

Dear God

My journey is a rough one. One that often requires me to pray in a warring fashion against fear, because I refuse to give that shadow any power.

My journey is about endurance, as is yours. We all battle and war and endure, but I encourage you today! DO NOT tolerate that which is not of the Lord.

It is said of journeys:

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ~ Lao Tzu

Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson

The only journey is the one within. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

The second two really speak to me on the spiritual level. I truly believe that the journey, though it feels as if it is external, is truly one within. I believe there are tests in our lives that build our faith and endurance . Let me remind you of my beginning Scripture …

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear … though we will be tested beyond what we can bear … because God is faithful and will provide a way out, so that we can endure the test … with His assistance.

God knows the end of our journey from the beginning of His time … we are equal to the challenge of our personal journey in this life; we just need to trust God and rely on Him, then we will not be overtaken.

Because, in all these things we are more than conquerors

through him who loved us. ~ Romans 8:37

Thanks for stopping by and reading. Blessings to you.

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Trying to Be Still in Overwhelming Circumstances |Few Words Thursday


christmas box

Just this week I participated in a word prompt exercise on Fear, you can read it {here}, if you haven’t already. That was Tuesday. It’s Thursday and what I began knowing was going to be an over full week has become more full! Isn’t it just the way of the enemy to attack just as you think you’ve come to a place of rest. Well as versed as I am in fear, and how I handle, it a whole new version of an old foe has reared it’s ugly head.

Anxiety.

Anxiety about the holiday. Anxiety about the clinical trial. And anxiety about this illness getting in the way of our family’s happiness and joy, especially at this time of year. It’s The Hubs’ favorite season, Christmas!

The research doctor at RCI called about needing The Hubs to have another CAT scan; the original biopsy was not big enough to get what they needed, so they need to start with a CT scan. Well that said, he had a CT scan a week after we saw her, so they used that. This morning the research nurse called about scheduling the biopsy. Next week is out due to his work schedule, so that leaves the week before Christmas.

THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS! I HAVE ABSOLUTELY “0” DONE!

Now anyone who knows me knows that the hoopla around the Christmas Holiday doesn’t usually appeal to me. I’ve never liked the music or the decorations. I do, however, LOVE the meaning, the family and the togetherness with people we love. But all the hoopla … I always preferred to avoid, as in “I” didn’t touch the tree and things like that, the decorating, lighting and background music of the holiday. Let’s just say that the holidays were always  a source of chaos and anxiety, or worse, when I was a child.

The last couple of years (and I mean like 2) I’ve been feeling more “into” the celebration and decorations part of the holiday.

This year I’ve actually been feeling quite festive. Albeit a very new feeling for me.

I know it’s because I am so grateful for my time with The Hubs and our little family here in Hutchland. =)

And who deserves the honor and glory for that “new” feeling? Jesus. Yes, he does.

Then the calls … We were in a holding pattern of perpetual waiting with this clinical trial possibility, and it’s still only a possibility! The holding pattern was frustrating, I was going to call them Monday about where we were; then they called.

Now I’m feeling like that chaos and anxiety are invading again. All of a sudden I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to get this Christmas up, festive and complete with all this going on in the only two weeks we have to do it all in!

Anxiety makes being Still very hard. I have to force myself to pray and trust God. For some odd reason my heart and head are spinning again and I’m having issues getting it under control.

So what to do?

I’m praying in tongues, in my head and out loud. I am thanking God for His hand on and plan for our lives and resisting the urge to beg Him to fix all this.

He will. He is. I know this, but right this very moment I just need something concrete to know that my world isn’t rushing off on some chaotic run away roller coaster!

So I’ll read the bible. I’ll study for the Bible Lesson I’m giving tonight at bible study. I’ll continue to pray and hopefully I’ll be able to get something constructive done today.

I wish, I pray for answers, to know why I’m feeling like this. Why the anxiety after all this time (15 months).

I have a sound mind … I have power and love; everything to conquer this unfounded fear. Now I just need to remember how to use them.

So first, here, I’ll work on my memory verse and meditate on what it means when God is my fortress and stronghold!

Hiding-Psalm-27-in-My-Heart_DoNotDepart

Psalm 27:1-3 (with the Productivity501 tool in front of me.) While praying in tongues. The red is where I had to check the psalm for the right word and the cross outs are self explanatory. (Got that word, or run, incorrect.) The purple is my “commentary”. 😉

1. The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

2. When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. (Thank you Lord! feeling better now.)

3. Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this (God, God’s Word) I will be confident.

{Psalm 27 is such an amazing Scripture to be memorizing at this time in my life. I thank God that I stumbled upon it in my blog hopping!}

In this circumstance of our lives cancer and addiction are certainly our enemies and foes; but I need not be afraid, If God is with me of whom or what shall I be afraid?

Romans 8:28-32

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

After writing this diary-esque post, I feel better. I think I am just overwhelmed with all of the hubbub around the holiday and this clinical trial. I am purposefully going to keep my mind on the REASON FOR THE SEASON and try to not be overwhelmed by getting it all perfect. Because frankly, this girl has NEVER been perfect, especially around the holidays, nor have I ever striven for such a thing.

I’m going to remind myself that God perfects what concerns me … and I am going to be confident in Him and what His Word says about all of this hoopla!

Psalm 138:7-9

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand
Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

 

Christmas is about celebrating our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All the rest of it is just frills that we created to make us happy. I’m going to sit in the hay with my pups and rejoice that Jesus came to save me and that He is working with Father God, right now, to bring about the perfect results for our lives here in Hutchland.

joy

I know my words weren’t exactly few (but I did add full scripture)!

Thanks for reading my diary of woe. It’s wonderful to know you’re here listening (reading, ha.)

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Trusting God in the Face of Fear @ 10


God's Got This Welcome.

Today I’m joining my writing/blogging friends over at Karen’s Finding the Grace Within’s Tuesday at Ten writing prompt.

Here writers creatively represent the word prompt that Karen gives us at 10 am and then we all connect with one another {HERE}. There aren’t any real rules, no word limit or time limit … just one heart connecting with the prompt and sharing their thoughts with the others.

Today we ponder what the word FEAR means in our lives, right here and right now …

So join us by following the link above or the one at the bottom of this post.

Fear. We all encounter it in our day to day lives. From the little worries like being on time or not missing that call from a friend to the larger more daunting fears that involve life and death!

For me it’s no longer about the fear … In the past I feared everything from making someone mad to really doing something very wrong. It created a vicious cycle of anxiety, which my family sees as an illness. It’s not!

Cancer is an illness. Addiction is an illness. Fear is NOT an illness, we control fear. It says so in the bible.

There are two types of fear described in the Good Book of the Good News! Remember that … it’s the GOOD News, you can always trust it’s guidance.

Fear of the Lord.  

Fear of the Lord gives us authority and allows us to trust God in the face of the spirit of fear, which strips us of our authority and is brought by the enemy of our soul.

The spirit of fear is NOT of God.

Fear, or REVERENCE {to have a reverential awe of (fear God)} of the Lord, is about respecting God, as you would a father.

[Now if your earthly father wasn’t the greatest, or you were actually afraid of your biological dad, stay with me.]

God, Himself, was His original template of who and what a father was supposed to be. All loving, strong security and steady guidance for His children.

This Fear [of the Lord] is beneficial to us and brings with it promises and blessings. The bible says it is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding to all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever {Psalm 111:10}. It leads to life, rest, peace and contentment and evil will not visit {Proverbs 19:23}. This Fear [of the Lord] is the fountain of life {Proverbs 14:27} and provides security in a place of safety {Proverbs 14:26}.

Good News, right!  =)

If we respect God as our Father Creator, and follow His guidance for our lives, we benefit as any child who accepts guidance and correction from good parents. Think about it, we only fear what our parents feared, for the most part. If time and appearances were of concern {a type of fear} to our parents, then we grow up to be concerned about time and appearances. But dig this!

Our Father God, repeatedly, tells us to FEAR NOT, because He has given us the tools of authority over fear.

We control fear. Fear does NOT control us.

Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident. {Psalm 27:3}

The second kind of fear in the bible is described to us in guidance.

We are told that God didn’t give us this spirit of fear.

 God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. {2 Timothy 1:7}

There it is, the guiding reminder that we were given: Power, Love and a SOUND mind.

(remember I said that fear leads to anxiety and people see anxiety as an illness today?)

We have a SOUND MIND.

Fear is a real thing. It is what we do in the face of this fear that matters most. Do we conquer or fall in defeat to fear?

I choose to conquer fear, and trust me, today, this very moment, I have enough going on in my life that if I allowed the fear [of the unknown results] of my circumstances I could easily curl up into a ball of tearful fear and anxiety and never see the light of day. In fact, when I think about this, even at this moment, I feel fearful of that possibility.

I prefer my Sound Mind!

How do I conquer these fears? Fear of cancer, of addiction, of my happy life changing severely, of not knowing what my life could possibly look like if the worst happened?

I. Trust. God.

I. Pray. ~ and I pray scripture.

1 John 4:18 says: Perfect Love casts out all fear. {God is Love.}

God promises me; ‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed {another form of fear}, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’.{Isaiah 41:10}

The overwhelming truth is that I must FEAR NOT.

Did you ever notice that when we are spinning with fear we don’t allow anyone to help; that we resist those that would be with us and uphold us! God knew we would do this and clearly instructs His children not to fear … to …

Be Still … and know that He is God. {Psalm46:10}

Isn’t it interesting that the “scary Old Testament” God continually told His creation to FEAR NOT. He clearly wanted us to ALWAYS know that He was with us and was our protector, even from the very beginning.

So, as Franklin D. Roosevelt said, in his First Inaugural Address: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,”

Do not fear God, reverence and trust Him. Only fear fear; it’s not from God.

It is said, much too often, “give it to God”, and I must say it took a lot for me to completely come to an understanding of that Christian cliché. When I finally came to a true understanding of and relationship with God I changed how I used that friendly, if not dismissing, cliché to …

Bring it to God. If you are afraid today. If you harbor what seems to be uncontrollable anxiety in your day to day life. Bring your cares to God. Compare what you are afraid of to what God says about that thing in His book. Present it, as I do, to Him in prayer and just watch what He does to quell that fear within you. He will wipe it away, I promise.

BE STILL.

FEAR NOT.

BE COURAGEOUS.

GOD’S GOT THIS.

Come walk with me, and fear not, God is always with us!

Thanks for reading and God bless.

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Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten

Hiding-Psalm-27-in-My-Heart_DoNotDepart

 

 


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I.Pray. | A Wife’s Testimony


Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

when we don’t feel safe where do we go?

The shadow of the almighty

Go …

This is the testimony of the wife and mother of two who are seriously afflicted with life threatening illnesses. Honestly I am writing this in preparation of the teaching/testimony I have to give tomorrow morning at my church’s Women’s Fellowship Breakfast. And it’s not been the greatest of months for me.

I don’t think people, even those closest, notice that things are as bad as they are or can be, some days. They see me weathering the storm at church or bible studies or family gatherings and they either express that I am so strong or they just ask how my husband is. And for some, I can see that they hope my answer is quick and doesn’t require much from them. That sounds harsh, but it is not meant to be. I am well aware that they don’t know what to say or do and frankly there is nothing they can say or do. They just don’t know that that is okay.

And some days I notice that I need to talk, and some days that means me talking to God. Because, he’s the only one who can do anything about all of this …

STOP … This post took way more than 5 minutes and edits. After all it’s the draft of a testimony presentation on a really hard subject.

My testimony.

I am the wife of a wonderful man, who is battling cancer and the mother of a hurting man, who is battling heroin addiction; and I do this simultaneously and not always well.

I am simply doing the next right thing on a moment to moment basis, sometimes. Definitely the last month.

My husband has been through 2 different, months long, rounds of chemo. Taking up what is slowly becoming 2 years.

The first round to eradicate a mass that had infiltrated and completely blocked his left lung; which was found to have rendered the lung nonfunctional. He didn’t even feel it not working until he caught an upper respiratory illness, which started this season in our lives. From September 2013 to February 2014 he had chemo and radiation every two weeks. The mass decreased with each CAT scan and he came to the end of this round with full use of the lung! Success! Right?

Not according to the doctors. Because a VERY little piece of the cancer had “escaped” to the liver. With this the treatments were rendered a failure.

REALLY?! But … he has full use of the lung! Really. According to their protocol.

NOT our GOD though!

So in June, after a biopsy,  he went back into chemo; radiation was not an option for the liver. So from March to September 2014 my husband endured some very hard chemo treatments.

All the time he only got ill twice with nausea and once with something he caught. He lost his hair twice and suffered most from fatigue and feelings of weakness; oh and frustration driven moodiness!

He came out of the last round of chemo and the CAT scan showed that the “original” spot(s) were smaller, but that other lesions had developed.

Another fail, according to the doctors and the protocols.

And all the while this man of mine was vibrantly himself except for a few naps here and there.

So now he’s [we are] setting up for a clinical trial.

And with all this our youngest son is having a daily battle with heroin and he fell.

So that’s the story … what’s my testimony? I still don’t know how to put that into words.

I’m having trouble telling my story because I don’t feel as if I’m doing anything extraordinary. I’m just flexing with the new needs of my wife-hood and motherhood. Like I said, I try to do the next right thing and sometimes I fail miserably.

I started out with the boy being an addict. Something we’ve been dealing with for the last couple of years. At first it was just drug use, then it turned into what it is today; full on addiction to one of the worst drugs on the street. I learned to deal in the “tough love” arena. Tough love, I think, is harder on the parent, because it feels not only as if you are doing nothing, it feels as if you are abandoning your child. The good thing is that the boy is clean and doing well, so the love isn’t so tough when cancer entered and life got a different kind of  hard.

So I’m doing this thing by rote and …

The doctors say cancer and they are acting as if they are delivering a death sentence. Cold and clinical … cancer, here’s a referral.

Head spinning, heart breaking and tears like a waterfall gushing out of control … I start this new season. I pray. I cry. I wake up in the middle of the night and pray while I lean over to see if my husband is breathing.

Before the diagnosis his breathing was a given. I didn’t think about it, like I don’t think about my own. Now all of a sudden I have death in my head! And I hear (now) …

Be careful what you hear …

This doesn’t feel like faith to me, so I pray more.

I.AM.A.MESS.

But then things take on a routine … The Hubs is doing fine, he’s feeling okay and we get into this new groove. But the groove doesn’t feel right. It feels like acceptance of something that is not of God. And I hear …

What you tolerate you accept. And I pray.

So I pray and The Hubs and I talk about it. We talk about a lot of things. Somewhere we begin to discuss the fact that he is going to refuse anymore chemo.

I.AM.A.MESS. … Again.

DO NOTHING?! What!? Can we really do nothing?! Is nothing what we should have done all along??

A.MESS.

I just need this all to stop and then the boy falls down. He’s using.

I.PRAY.

So what’s the testimony? Hey, I still don’t know if this is even a testimony! Maybe it’s a lesson on the reality of what a wife/mother does during a health struggle of a loved one.

I.Pray.

That’s what I do. I go to every appointment, I drive the boy to every court date and P.O. meeting. And I pray.

I go to God at the end of everyday. Because I don’t always hold it together well some days. In fact my comfortable day to day no longer exists.

I get depressed. I get angry (not at God); angry at doctors, protocols, cancer and heroin. I yell and I cry and sometimes I reject the encouragement of others trying to help me, when they don’t know what else to do.

I am often A.MESS. And you know what?

That is not a lack of faith. It is not a crisis of faith. It is not anger at God.

It is reality. And it is normal and it is okay! Even God accepts it, after all He knew what He was asking me to do when He created me. And He knew how I would handle it.

So … I pray.

What do I pray? Well if you read this blog regularly you know I am really into praying God’s Word. Can’t go wrong praying God’s promises or what He says about things. Yes. It’s the easy way. It may even be cheating … but hey, God gave me the answers so …

I.Pray. the answers.

I’m going to post a list of scriptures I use to keep me from trying to make deals with and/or manipulate God and His will. Because if there are a few things that I REALLY believe it’s …

God’s got this.

God has a plan.

And WE WERE healed.

These are scriptures that I, and our friends, regularly pray over my husband and son. These scriptures can be used by anyone for anything, obviously! 1 John 4:4; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 54:17; Psalm 118:14; Psalm 103:2; Jeremiah 30:17; Nahum 1:9 and Luke 5:17.

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O’ Lord this man.
We declare and decree the Word of God.
“Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.”
“By His stripes you are healed.”
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
“You shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
“Don’t forget the benefits of God. He heals all our diseases.”
“The Lord will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds.”
“Affliction will not rise up a second time.”
“The power of the Lord is present to heal you.”

The Power of the Lord is present to heal you! Isn’t that wonderful?

I also rely heavily upon Psalm 91, because it contains EVERY promise God made to us! EVERY.ONE. It reassures my heart and clears my mind.

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a] And from the perilous pestilence. 4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. 5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, 6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. 8 Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. 12 In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. 14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

That’s my testimony! That I know, no matter what has taken place on any day, at any appointment, that the Power of the Lord is present to heal! That’s how I do this … that no matter my level of fear or anger …I.KNOW.GOD. and I.Pray.Thanks for reading. God bless.

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I Tell YOU the Truth |Tues. @ 10


Happy Tuesday … Where we, a growing group of creatives get a prompt word meant to spark creativity in the heart of the writer, or the photographer, or artist, in them. Just about a week is given for the creator to create from this word and all that is asked is that you share and check out what your neighbor in the link up list did with the prompt. You’ll be surprised at how often we are all led on the same path!

Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten

 

Today’s Tuesday Prompt is …. Truth.

“I tell you the truth …”

Jesus is quoted as saying that phrase 78 times in the New Testament! 78 … that’s a lot of truth, but that is part of why he came to earth as a man. To testify to the Truth of God. More interesting: 30 of those truths were recorded just in the book of Matthew.

To tell you the truth, we need healing in our house. A lot of healing. And today I am having a very hard time with the information we got from the doctors at The Hubs’ last two visits. In  my head, and usually in my heart, I know and cannot be moved away from the knowledge that we WERE healed by Jesus’ sacrifice, for US, on the cross. This is knowledge in our home.

It is Truth in our home.

Lord, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! Mark 9:24 (my prayer, taken from the same story but in the book of Mark.)

Matthew 17:14-23

The Healing of a Boy with a demon: also — Mk 9:14-28; Lk 9:37-42

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” 17 “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” 22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.
*****
 This causes me concern about my faith. And if I’m having a crisis of faith right now, it’s not my faith in God’s promise of healing! It’s about my level of faith being hammered at almost daily for over a year. I thank God that it is His faith that works in and through me and not a faith that I must maintain on my own!
I said to my husband last night, in heartbroken, absolute truth, that it is so hard to hear these things and look at him vibrantly himself. It rocks me that he can be virtually well yet this thing can be inside of him trying to kill him! I told him that I wouldn’t be having such a hard time with his decision to NOT do anything about what they were telling us (he’s decided to refuse anymore chemo; but is willing to consider clinical trials for experimental drugs.) if he were ill and suffering. Somehow it would be easier to just quietly sit back in my sorrow about his refusal.
But, like he says, the chemo doesn’t seem to be doing anything (reminder to self: chemo is poison, not medicine!) can doing nothing really be worse?
And my wife/mother screams in my head … WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING! Yet, the truthful questions is: Do we? or Does God?
The amazing truth is he looks great! He feels and functions almost at his norm, except for some fatigue.
It’s amazing, as much as the schedule and the chemo stressed him and fatigued him, I’ll say it again, he did not experience what we all hear about and see on TV, or what others seem to have experienced with their loved ones.
No days of pain and suffering. No horrible, wasting illness. No vomiting and not being able to eat. None of that.
And it is for those very “NOs” that we remain faithful to God’s assurances of The Hubs’ healing.
And then the doctors tell us “their” truth. So when we were told what we were told yesterday their truth rocked my truth. So to decided to do nothing is beyond my scope right now.
The truth is, though, that it is ultimately my husband’s, and God’s, decision. Though I did honestly tell him that while I support his decision he needs to keep in mind that he [they] is making life altering decisions for both our lives.
Truthfully. I believe God. The Hubs looks and feels great, though right now, today, he is angry and frustrated that all this year’s work and treatments seem to have been for naught. We believe, we know, that God has healed him. That God is bigger than the doctors reports and tests and protocols.
Yet today’s Truth is that I am spent. I posted for all our loved ones and friends in the faith and prayer that we were home and were moving forward for the possibility of the clinical trial, and most took that as the good news that it is. But like the chemo (which isn’t curative or even really a medicine) the trial medications are unproved and may be non-curative either. It’s a clinical trial. The doctors and manufacturers have high hopes and so do we.
The truth is …. I am ready for the manifestation of healing in Hutchland. I am ready to stop feeling like I have to be waiting for the next report.
I am ready for the doctors and the world to understand the Truth, that …
Only God heals. Jesus is the only cure.
Like The Hubs says and stands by: The doctors are not curing him, God is. The doctors cannot heal him, only God can.
So today I will continue to recite that … Only God. Only Jesus. He is our cure. He is our doctor. He is our healer.
Hiding-Psalm-27-in-My-Heart_DoNotDepart I’m going to add here today’s attempt at my memorization of Psalm 27: 1 & 2 … here goes!
1. The Lord is my light and my strength; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
2.When the wicked came against me The to eat up my flesh, My enemies all fell  and foes, they stumbled and fell.
Not too bad for the second day of adding verse two!
I thought that Psalm 27 fit this post, truthfully. These two verses are a big part of what I am and will be focusing on in regard to our current circumstances here in Hutchland.
I refuse to allow the enemy to kill my two men (the second being my youngest. I wrote a post on Sunday about my son’s struggle here.)
Quite frankly it’s been a very trying couple of weeks for this wife and mother.
Thanks for reading. Blessings to you, all.
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