HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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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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Thursday Morning Praise … Let My Words Be Few Thursday!


A while ago, over a year, I tried to create my own blog link up. Few Words Thursday. But I didn’t have much of a following. That being the case I love the thought of that concept. A day of Few Words, just pressing into the presence of God. Being still and waiting on Him. I want to do that today, and maybe each Thursday, again. I want to create in quiet … honoring Him.

So here’s what I have for today. Join me if you want to, I’d love that. At first just share with me, in the comments, your best to God in the shortest and most concise manner: Words, Prayers, Poems, Worship or Praise video, pictures or however you need to express your desire to spend this little bit of time quietly, in the Lords healing arms. And when I am moved by God I will ‘reblog’ your offerings here, on Friday or Saturday, for others, like a guest blogger. =) Then if there’s enough response, I’ll create the link up.

But until then I’m going to spend my Thursday quietly with Father. And if the following doesn’t come, then I’ll know that this is my special time with God, alone, and I will post when I am moved to.

Blessings to YOU, my friendly readers.

 

Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2

A Few Words Thursday @ HOPEannFAITH

A Few Words Thursday @ HOPEannFAITH

In my day to day I’ve learned to be quiet, at some point, and listen for God. Whether that moment is one of peaceful waiting or crisis,  I long to hear only from God. On my worst day, in the darkest shadows, I come to know, and expect, that God will speak and guide me in that time, whether it’s for hours or just a moment.

I expect and long to hear from God, alone, for He is GOD alone. So this morning I started with praise music entering into the expectation of His presence for today. There’s no immediate crisis, only the wide unknown in front of me as The Hubs and I wait for him to be accepted into some clinical trial or for the tests to show what we already know. That God has healed Him. I long for the doctors to tell us that The Hubs is healed, but they’ve almost vowed never to tell us that.

So instead of waiting on the doctors with this longing, I choose to wait on God to prove to them that He is the Healer! With that let me stop my words and praise Him.

ASignature

 

Thanks for reading and listening. If you’d join me, I’d love that. =) Leave it in the comments.


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What I Hold onto ~ Psalm 91 | FMF Post


 

Psalm 91

Psalm 91

It’s Friday, almost, again and I’m joining the Five Minute Friday group again. Just five minutes of writing what’s on my heart, from my heart, without worry about the perfection of my words. No edits, no spell checks just my heart and this blinking cursor in this WordPress box!

You can join us! If you need the skinny on the hows and whys check here.

This weeks prompt is … Hold!

… and Go!

Holding on is what I do these days.

I hold onto my emotions and my faith. I hold onto The Hubs, for dear life. I hold onto the memories we have and the memories we are making each day.

I hold onto a lot …

While I let go of much. We all do, hold on as we journey through this life letting go of the excess and the unneeded and undesirable of our old selves. It’s an odd thing to become aware of the holding on and letting go simultaneously. Yet we must do both simultaneously, I find.

I let go of who I am today as I hold on for dear life of who I have become into tomorrow … with those mercies God gives us new each day. Mercies I believe relieve of me of who I was yesterday as I become the WHO God intended me to be, even as I get to know her today. And as I journey through the who-s of who I have been and come to terms with the who I am right now I HOLD ON to God promises!

Promises of hope and future and prosperity and abundance. Promises of healing and mercies anew in the mornings. His promise of His peace and His grace!

And there is no better place to find these promises and repeat them eternally to hold them within our hearts than Psalm 91

Psalm 91 holds every single promise God has ever extended to us as His children!

EVERY.SINGLE.ONE. … Amazing right? And  there’s more! Verses 14-16 are a personal letter from Father God to us, each, individually!

A love letter to hold in your hand and in your heart!

Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

Psalm 91 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

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.”

Now my friends … in verses 14-16 replace the “he” and “his” with your name and realize how dearly Father holds you! He holds you so dearly to Himself that He honors YOU … it’s right there in verse 15! Now hold onto that!

STOP!

This is my go to scripture … I’ve had a few over the years but was introduced to the reality of this Psalm by my pastor at a very scary time in my life [at the time]. Since then much scarier things have occurred so I continue to HOLD onto these scriptures, these promises that are for me and for YOU and for EVERY.ONE.

Thanks for stopping by and reading, again. What does the prompt this week hold for you? I can’t wait to find out. Now, go on … join us and share your heart. =)

Andrea

Andrea

 


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Be Quiet…Hearing the Lord (FWTh)


Let My Words Be Few Thursday…

Happy Thursday!  Here are my Few (hahahaha) Words…

 
Hearing God takes training…
          In our FAST and FURIOUS lifestyles we rarely take the time to slow down and just QUIET our minds, STILL our bodies…REST IN THE LORD.
 
…then we wonder why we are so stressed, why things don’t work.
 
Do you know God’s voice?
Have you listened for Him..have you WAITED on HIM?
 
Be still and know that I am God…Psalm 46:10
Lean not on your own understanding…Proverbs 3:5-6
 
The consequences of thinking are…worry, reasoning, and anxiety. We know that these can be things that are good or bad…but the world views them as “normal” everyday thing…
 
Not so if we take God at His word according to the scriptures above…
 
In the original Hebrew the word Worry is translated from the word Thought.
Worry means a divided mind, an interest in, a matter of consideration…a concern.
 
To decipher God’s Word properly we also need to know that the words soul and heart often refer to the mind.
 
Leb – Heart in the original Hebrew refers to a concept of the mind.
Psyche – Soul in the original Greek – also refers to the mind.
 
Concern becomes worry…and when we worry we cannot hear…deep worry drowns even our everyday thoughts, not to mention any chance for us to Hear God!
 
To learn to be STILL…to be QUIET…we must filter our thoughts through the Word of God…
To learn to HEAR GOD and properly DISCERN HIS VOICE we need to filter our thoughts through the PROMISES OF GOD.
 
FYI: there are 750 promises from God in the New Testament! …follow the link above!
FYI: the fullness of all of these promises can be found in the gift of Psalm 91; in their entirety.
God speaks to us through THOUGHTS. Our THOUGHTS… this is an issue because there are many voices throughout our lives…
TV…RADIO…INTERNET…PEOPLE…
                                                                          OURSELVES!
 
We must be able to discern God’s voice from all others…
God speaks to us at ALL TIMES.
Always…
GOD, the HOLY SPIRIT speaks to us from within us; where He resides.
He is our INTERCESSOR.
 
INTERCESSION IS A RESCUE MISSION…Romans 8:26
 
We must put OURSELVES ASIDE  to be able to hear God.
 
We must be QUIET…We must be STILL
WE MUST BE WILLING TO LEAN ON GOD’S THOUGHTS…not our own understanding of a thing…
this is where we often miss it and misinterpret whose voice we are hearing…
Often we ask for an answer and decide immediately on the easiest and quickest likely solution. Often this is us and our own reasonings and desires in a circumstance.
On the humorous, or ironic, if you will, side of the coin, God’s answers and solutions are rarely what we would reason or desire. So if it feels good and comes too quickly…consider WAITING ON GOD…
 

Habakkuk 2 in the Amplified bible – says it well..

 [OH, I know, I have been rash to talk out plainly this way to God!] I will [in my thinking] stand upon my post of observation and station myself on the tower or fortress, and will watch to see what He will say within me and what answer I will make [as His mouthpiece] to the perplexities of my complaint against Him. And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by.Habakkuk, seeing where he has missed it, changes how he listens for God…

This change is not an easy task for us…but with a quiet time of praise; maybe in the early morning, when it is easy to be Quiet, more natural a time to be Still…we can make time to listen for God…

…and in time we will be like those found in…

John 10:27-28 (Amp)

The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand.

 

Please enjoy this video…a song that helps to quiet the mind in praise…

 Blessings Loves ♥

I pray you hear God’s Voice in your Quiet time today!

I’d like to thank, with all of my heart, our Elder/Pastor John Augustine for the inspiration for this post; from his sermon last night April 27, 2011. Love You Elder John.  ♥

 

Please go over to Holly’s Blog and check out her amazing contribution to this weeks Few Words Thursday! And Withoutado…hehe