So, Can I Tell You About My Week?

 

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Was that really a week or did I just wake up from a bad dream?  I started out Monday morning in the Emergency Room by orders of my doctor.  I won’t go into the details as to why.  However, the visit resulted in a colonoscopy being ordered for Friday morning.  If you’ve ever had a colonoscopy, you know that there is preparation one must do the day before.  I rushed home from work on Thursday to start my first dose at 3:30 as ordered.  I started drinking my meds and half way through this horrible tasting stuff, Jim walked in the door early from work exhibiting signs of a heart attack.

I took his blood pressure as a good nursing school dropout should.  Then I Googled his symptoms.  Oh, yes, we need to get to the Emergency Room!  I’m going to be a little blunt here, but I don’t think there’s a reader who can’t relate.  I put him in the car and prayed all the way there that I didn’t poo my pants.  I had no idea how long it would take the meds to start working!   We spent the remainder of the day in the ER only to determine that he needed to be admitted for more tests.

I didn’t get any sleep that night and arrived at about 6:30 am Friday morning at the hospital.  I wanted to see Jim and drop him off some clothes and a toothbrush before going to my test at 7:30.  While I was undergoing my colonoscopy, he was somewhere else in the hospital having a stress test!  Nothing like supporting the local medical center with everything we’ve got…and probably some we don’t have too!  I got a clean bill of health and was very happy that I don’t have to repeat that scenario for another ten years…or never if I have it my way!  Jim on the other hand remains undiagnosed; however, they did decide his heart is fine.

When I walked into church today someone said, “You look so good for all you’ve been through this week!”  After all we’ve been through in our lifetimes, not much affects us anymore.  Yes, I was concerned about what they might find for either one of us.  Yes, I hated to think my husband might have something major wrong. Yes, the situations exhausted us.  However, there truly is a peace that can’t be explained when your eyes are set on Jesus.

Then quite appropriately, the sermon today at our church was titled, “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?”  You see, a young couple in our church are pregnant with a child they may never get to know in this lifetime.  Unless God does a miracle, their baby’s brain may not be formed enough to even tell it how to breathe when it is born.  It doesn’t take long for your perspective to change when you realize that maybe your problems aren’t all that bad.  As I watched this young couple talk about their unborn baby with a peace that only God could give; I recognized the same strength we were experiencing in our trials.  The same Holy Spirit that was getting us through our week was also getting them through theirs.  No matter what we might be facing in this life; God’s peace can be there if we will just seek Him and keep Him first in everything that comes our way.  He is the same from one person to another…His strength and peace never change.

None of us know what tomorrow brings, but we can rest knowing that the Lord who created us has it all under control.  What have you been going through this week?  Have you asked for God’s peace?  It really is real and can be yours if you trust and believe that God can.  In the meantime, please put Jim and Ella (the unborn baby) on your prayer lists this week.  I’m praying for some good things ahead!  Be blessed and don’t forget to get out there and be a blessing!

Isaiah 54:10 (NIV) Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

What’s Brewing In Your Life Today?

coffee potDid you ever have a day that nothing went right?  It is now 9:01 am and I am declaring that today has been a hard day.  Today would have been my brother’s 65th birthday if he had not passed away in October.  March 11 to me is a big, fat, reminder of what I have lost.   After realizing what the date was, then accidentally breaking a glass, and knowing a few other struggles in my path today, I was beginning to feel sorry for myself.

Then a good friend called.  She said, “Lori, The Lord has put you on my mind this morning and I don’t know why.  All I know is that He asked me to call and pray with you today.”  I was quickly put back on track to know that no matter what trials and tribulations, heartbreaks, disappointments or fears we might face; God is always there for us.  He might come to us through a song, a scripture, or even through a stranger that crosses our path.  Other times, He might just come as the peace that passes all understanding.  That’s like when we know and can feel that He is calming our spirit and giving us strength to face another day.  Today He chose to come to me through a friend.  So today, I’m not going to feel sorry for myself.  Rather, I will once again choose to praise Him through the storms!

You’re probably wondering why the picture of my coffee pot fiasco a few days ago?   I once again forgot to put a cup under it when I pushed brew.  I laugh and I like to say, “That’s my brain not on caffeine!”  However, I know now that it was God, once again, giving me the perfect illustration.  You see, we can load our brains with scriptures and head knowledge, just as we would be loading the coffee pot with coffee.  However, if we don’t open our hearts and allow them to be filled with God’s Spirit, as a coffee cup would be filled with coffee, we never really can understand the fullness of God.  Because you see, it first requires us providing a vessel for Him to fill and then secondly, we have to drink from the cup.  Psalm 34:8 (NKJV) Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Just know that whatever you are facing, God wants to be there for you.  As a matter of fact, He wants to fill your cup to overflowing.  Pray and ask Him to be Lord over your life and your struggles then expect to taste and see the most magnificent expression of love from the Creator, Himself.  Perhaps you’re too tired to pray or don’t have the words.  Ask a friend to pray with you.  You can even send me a private prayer request at justtryingtobeablessing@gmail.com and I will pray for you this week too.

I want to keep it short this week because in closing, I want you to have time to enjoy this song that was sung a few weeks ago in our church.  May it speak to your heart and help you to find strength for another day no matter what your circumstances might be.  Then don’t forget, once you are filled…go out and be a blessing!

Please take the time to Listen…You won’t be disappointed!

Psalm 118:24  This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 147:3  He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.

Happy Birthday, Mike.  I love you.

Happy Birthday, Mike. I love you.

God Heard My Prayers and Rescued Me!

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I can’t lie.  Last week I hit an all-time low.  I was recuperating from surgery and instead of my pain getting better, it was becoming worse and more widespread.  I called the nurse on Thursday to make sure this was normal as my healing seemed to be going in the wrong direction.   She called me back that evening and said unfortunately, the nerves were waking up and all of the extra pain was very normal.  Then she proceeded to say, “Oh, you’re six days from surgery, your pathology reports should be in.  Let me see what they said.”  Then she started ho-humming around about the computer being slow and not working, then she delayed a little more and then I started to worry.  Could it say something bad that she doesn’t want to tell me?

She was already deep into the fact that the report should be there and she could give me the results so at that point she was committed.  Eventually, she said, “They took three lymph nodes and the good news is that two of them looked good.  There were just a few cancer cells found in the third one.  It’s a very small amount it probably doesn’t mean anything.  They will probably take care of it with a little extra radiation in that area and maybe some chemo.”  At that point she had lost me.  In my mind, even just one cancer cell in your bloodstream is one too many.  As I tried to stay positive and focus on the baby shower we were having here that weekend for my daughter, I was struggling to stay on top of things.  I found myself curled up in bed more often trying to sleep my cares away.  I could tell that Jim was beginning to worry about me as it really isn’t my nature to be down for long.

I knew in my heart this was a job for God. Sunday I went to church and found a few friends who I knew were prayer warriors.  I asked them if they would please pray with me after the service.  By that point I knew that I was allowing my focus on God to wane while my focus on my worries grew.  The sermon highlighted the scripture from Proverbs 3:5-6.  It reads Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.  I memorized that verse over twenty-five years ago so it didn’t strike me as anything new.  However, as the service went forward the Holy Spirit showed me over and over how I had taken my eyes off of God and put them on my fears of things that may or may not lie ahead.  I was not trusting in God at that point.  I was leaning on my own understanding.

After the service my friends swooped in to come pray for me as I had asked.  They probably saw me crying through most of the service and knew they were on a God Mission to pray for me!  I was a mess!  We all prayed but my pain and sadness didn’t disappear right away.  It wasn’t some miraculous and immediate change.  However, as the night went on I eventually felt the burden of my illness leave my shoulders and the Holy Spirit take His place once again in my life.  As I’m writing, it’s been three days since we prayed and my pain is becoming much better too.  I’m giving God the praise and glory for this huge change in me physically, mentally and spiritually!

I won’t know what the oncology team has to say about my lymph node until tomorrow. However, for today I am no longer a blubbering mess.  I am at peace with whatever lies ahead.  No.  I’m not going to like it if because of this new finding I am faced with more diagnostic tests, more surgeries and/or extra chemotherapy that I was not expecting.  I will probably see more down days if this is the case as I am only human.  However, moving forward I will be making sure that I’m focused on God.  I’m trusting Him that whatever comes my way is the path that He has ordained for me to travel.  I’m no longer leaning on my own understanding.   I am putting Him in control once again for that is where I find joy and peace.

I know I’m not the only one facing hard times right now.  What are you worrying about that shouldn’t be?  Are you leaning on the Lord or on your own understanding?  Take time today to tell God of your fears and worries and ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life and give you peace over your circumstances. Get into the Word and seek encouragement from its pages.  Perhaps you have a friend that needs prayer like me.  Maybe this week you don’t need the blessing but need to be the blessing to someone else.

Many have sent me scriptures of encouragement over the last several weeks.  Please enjoy the greatness of our Lord as you read God’s words below.

Psalm 94:18-19 (NIV)  When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Psalm 71:14 As for me, I will always have hope: I will praise you more and more.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.  For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

Isn’t God good?!  Have a blessed week!

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