HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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Living life is emotional!


Wow … what a night we had here in Hutchland, last night!

Emotions all over the place, messy and loud. With tears and sarcasm … and maybe a raised voice here and there. But …

It wasn’t an argument. It was a venting on both The Hubs’ part and then my devastated, emotional response. I ached all night from it and I woke up aching and tried … OH how I tried to keep it hemmed in, and failed miserably.

Then well …

The Hubs let go last night. I expressed a desire to spend time together. To make have some quality time, to “do something” together. And … he lost it! Going on about how it’s not reality to want a romantic moment like in France before the “end”. It was worse than that all together … there were regrets about his life and our life and oh … it’s just heartbreaking.

He must have been holding this in forever. And yes, he’s a man, and he did. It breaks my heart that he cannot see the blessings we’ve received, how he’s touched so many people, how his children adore him, how I adore him …

He apologized in his angry way, blaming a really bad “feeling sorry for myself” day and that I caught him at a bad time … but … all those words, all those emotions …

I took it to God. I took him to God. And in my heartbroken self I prayed until I slept and then I woke up, and like I said I tried desperately to hold it in, but the hurt was so deep and I failed and off to work he went. So I sat on the couch and took to the mattresses (Haha … The God Father!) and prayed for my man.

Dear God

Dear God ….

And then he returned home from work early, not feeling well and slept. When he woke we got into another discussion, this one better and more productive (prayer works people, it’s really the only way) and we’re both feeling better about things. And he ate and is resting again … the first several days after a week of chemo is very rough.

I know how I feel after 18 months of chemo and sickness and weariness and traveling and trying the next thing. I cannot imagine (well now I do know) how he has felt all this time. Like I’ve mentioned over the years he’s not much of a talker. And he has every right to feel frustrated and angry; and I believe that one must get those things out of you.

(I firmly believe that stuffing these things makes one ill!)

That said, I went directly to God. It’s been repeated in various forms over the last several weeks that going anywhere but God is futile. He is the solution. I knew that, we Christians are taught that; but I’ve come to a KNOWING.

Two weeks ago my pastor and friend taught on it in her sermon … Who do you run to? and it’s shown up in scripture and e-mails and FB posts over that time period!

Our focus, here in Hutchland, needs to be GOD … because the enemy comes to Steal, Kill and Destroy! And cancer destroys much more than one’s cells. It beats at your body, your mind and your soul, if you’re not diligent in your faith. The fatigue and sickness keeps one from church and your fellow believers … one become isolated by the cancer; the sufferer and the wife/caretaker and family!

It’s a brutal test of one’s faith. One we, here in Hutchland, intend to conquer! At least I intend to.

If you followed the link and were able to read the sermon notes on “Who do you run to?” then you may know where I’m going with this post.

I’m going to the SOURCE … the ANSWER … the world does not hold or have the answers; the world’s response to all of this do the next popular thing … and then there are our friends.

I know it’s the truth for me, that I (used to) have certain friends that I know I can get specific responses from according to what I want to hear … not necessarily what I need to hear. There are specific friends I go to when I NEED to hear what God would say! Today those are the friends I go to when I need to get things out; but I, now, always go to God first.

Like I said it’s the only real answer.

Our friends … Christian or not, mean well but their listening skills have filters, their advise is humanly flawed and when we are reaching for those friends who commiserate and tells us what we want to hear … well as well meaning as they may or may not be, that is not good at all, for anyone.

And as for the ways of the world? Well, that’s just another name for the friend who commiserates, but the advise and guidance has nothing to do with God or His plans.

Life is a hard and emotional thing and we need to be able to get past those emotions that dull our hearing of Holy Spirit, who has the answer and quite frankly the comfort we need …

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17

God cares about what you are going through. And when we go to Him regularly we begin to feel His presence even in the hardest of trials. I can attest to this. Quite honestly last nights conversation had me spent and numb by bedtime but I went to God in prayer even when, at the start, I felt nothing. My emotions had overtaken me. My self doubt had me traveling back in time to a not so great past and relationships there. I felt hurt and worthless and like God wouldn’t bother with me. I had heard 99% of what my husband said emotionally, as an affront to the 26 years we had put into our life together.

(cancer’s effects are simply evil from hell!)

But soon … those prayers broke the emotional numbness and I was able to evaluate the conversation logically and through the eyes of God. And then my heart broke for The Hubs and once again what all of this is doing to him. And I prayed for Him.

*When we pray for others in our time of need it is an offering; sweet and cherished by Father God. Cherished because we are being obedient in prayer and because it tells Father that we are surrendered to Him and His plan and it frees Him up to work on our behalf. The blessings are enormous.

So I’d like to give you a few go to scriptures and encourage you to take your cares to the Lord before anyone else. For me and for our current situation, it was the only way to get things expedited. I trust it will do the same for you, what do you have to lose, except for the emotional pain and the delay of misguided advise and counsel. =)

These scriptures will begin to cause emotional healing in your life and body. When used regularly they will mend and bring your relationship with God the Father to an intimacy that will forever change how you deal with life and your emotions.

Enjoy the peace of communion with God. I certainly did by the end of this day.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:17-18 (NIV)

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Psalms 23:3 (NIV)

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:15-16 (NIV)

You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this: “God, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!” That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Psalms 91:1-5 (The Message)

‘But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord. . .  Jeremiah 30:17a (NIV)

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

As always my sweet and faithful reading friends, thanks for spending this time with me. Blessings to you.

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Patience: The Reality of a Believer


PrayerPatience:

Not one of my natural traits. Frankly I am convinced it is not a natural trait for any human, and I’ll tell you why.

Because we ALL have a plan in our head and when that plan is usurped by someone or something we lose our patience; whatever infinitesimal  patience we were born with or taught.

Naturally, humanly, we do not have much patience.

We live in a fast food, right now, instant gratification world; like veritable infants. We want what we want and we want it now!

Correct me if I’m wrong.

Over the last 13 years I’ve learned and studied a lot about patience. Studied my live, other people and God’s word.

Really early in my walk with God I learned NOT to ask for patience … Why, you ask?

I learned quickly that if I asked for patience God would quickly give me an opportunity to use what patience I thought I had. And when I say quickly I mean immediately!

I learned I had very little patience.

The Merriam Webster definition of Patience: :  the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient. (Not very extensive, you see). The people, in the world we live in today, simply have little to no patience; and the definition has little or no information.

The biblical definition of Patience: The quality of forbearance and self-control which shows itself particularly in a willingness to wait upon God and his will. Believers are called upon to be patient in their expectations of God’s actions, and in their relationships with one another. (This is just the first sentence of the page!)

In the last, going on 16 months, one of the trials or tests, if you will, that we’ve gone through as a couple and a family, and as individuals was a testing of our patience.

And today ( or the last week!!!) has been NO different! I have written, erased and rewritten this post multiple times, seriously! Talk about impatient! I have been trying to write this post since Thursday of last week, and that was after pondering where I come from in light of the prompt. Then the weekend changed where I was coming from!

That’s just the way of life. All those desires, wants and needs that we believe are for RIGHT NOW change. Who and what I was last week is vastly different, again, than right now.

Amazing wonderful things happened over the weekend! Our dearest friends and mentors became the Pastors of our church! Big things are ahead in the Kingdom of God!

And others are leaving. Our pastors of the last 4 1/2 years are onto new things in the Kingdom, as are some very important others in my life. It makes the celebration bitter sweet and wears on the patience a bit.

It’s a difficult thing being patient in times of growth and loss. I want the good of the growth to begin and I want the pain of loss to STOP!

Change wears on my patience. It sometimes renders me paralyzed for a short time, like today.

Right now my one overwhelming desire is to know what’s next. I don’t mean with the ministry; we’re on board with the good changes, though they can be overwhelming if I try to think ahead of myself.

Yet when everything happens all at once {and my life keeps doing that} I get the overwhelming need for control!

I feel an uncontrollable need to please the people around me, no matter what they are doing right or wrong [in my opinion] and handle everything I can on my own! In this way I’ve lost my patience today.

In this time of total im-Patience I’ll certainly get things done, but I’ll be exhausted and spent and possibly ill for the next few days. And ain’t nobody got time for momma to be ill!

So how do I stay in that Biblical definition of patience?

I do my level best to remain still and wait for God.

I. Pray. {and I know I’ve exhausted that one, but it’s the only real way to deal with all of this!}

I. Pray.

Intentional Prayer: Sitting still and quiet and praying in tongues. Allowing Holy Spirit to take my petitions to the throne of God untainted by my impatience and control issues.

I. Pray.

God’s word.

Reminding myself and God of His promises of Life and Life More Abundant.

Reminding myself that I am more than a conqueror! Thankfully praising God that He’s given me His peace and that I’m to hand Him my burden.

I. Pray.

Reminding myself that God’s plan for the situation that is causing me to be paralyzed and impatient is far better than anything I can even fathom or devise on my own; and as always, it takes me {too much} time to remember to do that!

God says: “Andrea! Cast your cares upon me, the Lord of your life. My yolk is lighter.” and I say, quietly, even meekly: “But … God, Father … please …”. And He remains patient with me, when I cannot even remain patient for a second for Him when I get this way.

He waits for me …

TO GET STILL, in Him. {It’s the only place I can remain still and at peace, I’ve found. And I think that is true of all of us.}

TO BREATH and wait on God’s PERFECT timing.

Here’s what keeps running through my mind today …

Change … It’s going to happen!
Best to smile and endure until everything feels right again.
Because it’s God’s plan and He knows what’s best.
{Me.}

Jeremiah 29:11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.

{You see that in verse 12 of Jeremiah 29:11 there is something to be done while we wait on God. Pray.}

Romans 8: 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

So where are you today in reference to Patience? How are you handling your day? Share with us over on Tuesday at Ten at Karen’s place!

Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten


Thanks for reading my chaotic life! I feel comforted by your presence and fulfilled by your friendship. Blessings to you, sweet reader.

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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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How God Assures Me He’s On It :: A Much Needed Sunday Healing


Sweet, Sad Eyed Boy

Sweet, Sad Eyed Boy

This is my sweet boy. My youngest. My sad little guy. And OH how he had reason for that sweet, sad look. And OH how I sometimes, still, ache for my blindness.

The Man

The Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the man… angry and battling his demons. Very scary demons. And OH how I dreamed of reaching that sweet boy who was hidden in that angry man. I was incapable of reaching into him, to the boy. He wouldn’t let me. I wasn’t, still am not allowed to even hug him. It’s truly heartbreaking for me. And I’m sure his heart is broken. But He battles daily with his illness, his addiction. Heroin. And even when he stumbles, slips and falls flat out; he gets back up to battle. He’s superman in his head. He still thinks he needs to be I think. Because, I couldn’t protect him, because he couldn’t tell me … until they did, when they were barely in grade school … and the man (teen) you see above hid the sweet boy. Seemingly forever.

He fell this week. Wasn’t able to recover from an apparent stumble and now he starts over again. And my heart is broken watching him be sick. Very sick as he starts to stand back up to this illness, this craving, whose whole intent is to kill that sweet boy he has hidden in his heart.

Shane light editThis is him at the beginning of the last run of sobriety. Tired but strong. He’ll be there again.

And I know this because God and I met in worship this morning at church. I started the day very worried about my sweet boy, who hasn’t been so sweet these last few days. He was sick and in pain and irritable. I mean who wouldn’t be when they felt sick; I certainly am not fun when I am ill. But this is different.

There’s nothing I can do. And if I do something I am jeopardizing his life by enabling him. He has to walk out the withdrawl himself. He has to want to feel better. He has to choose between sobriety  and oblivion.

Unlike the cancer his father battles, the boy chose his illness. Chose oblivion over the demons of something he had no say in and I had no knowledge of. The demons who continue to tell him it was his fault. The demons that tell him I should have known. The demons who tell him he’s superman and he can live through the dangerous choices. The demons who tell him no one loves him because he’s unlovable now. This monster heroin quiets the demons I imagine. But then they begin to rustle again and bite … I cannot fathom the pain, though I experience his pain and suffering while he battles the withdrawl and fights for the breath of air that sobriety brings him.

As I sang praises to God today. As I worshiped the Father that promises to heal us. I cried out and from the depth of this mother’s heart and soul I sought my God’s assistance for my sweet boy. And God assured me that with that relinquishing, once again, of my boy to His care, that the boy, the man, would be healed.

During this song, as the lead singer of our worship band and assistance pastor sang this favorite, God met me in my aching for my sweet boy. I quieted and prayed for him and for The Hubs and was assured that He had them, that their healings were imminent, promised. And I quieted into the precious peace of the music, in Father’s presence.

You see, I’ve realized that the enemy has put a hit out on this family. Two of my men are battling grave illnesses, and the boy does not know the promises we believe! So I, WE, as a family must believe for him. He does not know that heroin addiction cannot kill him, as his father knows the cancer cannot kill him, though we tell him.

The boy does not know, as the father does, that because we believe, he is saved from his illnesses and cleansed of his sins, sins that are not even his own, but believes to be. The boy doesn’t believe that Jesus loved him so much that he took the heroin needle for him to the cross and died there with that illness upon Him! So we must believe and pray until the boy understands his worth to the Father.

And what mother, father and brother wouldn’t do this for a boy, for a man?

Oh how I wish the boy believed that he would live. Oh how I wish the boy believed he is loved beyond his mother’s ability to put it in words. Oh how I wish he knew the joy I get when he is well and smiles and is a participating member of this family. A participating member in his own life.

So I leave this post as another prayer to God. It holds no scripture, only a song of worship and praise to our Father God expressing my love and honor to him. I leave it as proof that I acknowledge His response to my need, my boy’s need, this morning. And I thank him again and again, without end that my sweet boy is starting to feel better and is two or three (I’m not sure) days back on the road of sobriety.

To every parent of a child who battles the illness of addiction, or any illness for that matter, I sing this song for you and your child. I pray that God vanquish this demon and send it to hell from whence it came, and I put the enemy and heroin under the feet of Jesus.

We are healed. Our children are healed. Our land is healed. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thanks for listening to this outpouring of a mother’s heart.

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The sweet boy’s mom. =)