Thursday, August 8, 2013

Come this far by FAITH

I know it has been a long time since I’ve posted. I’ve contemplated many times about updating. To be quite honest there is so much pain surrounded by my last post; I get sort of stuck after reading it. Reading it has a paralyzing effect on me. I usually read the last post in order to know where to start up again because I am not to the point where I am posting daily. It has taken me some time to process it all and allow God to move me on forward. Of late He has been reminding me of the reason why I was created to bring Him glory, according to Isaiah 43:7 “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” We are all created to glorify Him. I remember asking Joshua (my husband) how in the world my body unable to move from my shoulders down give glory to the God I love dearly. My mother and my sister tried many times to convince me that no matter how things ended God would still be glorified. I’ll admit I was so confused and stayed that way until my condition seemed to change. I wish I could say that my faith was stronger than my anxiety, but the truth is I was miserable for a long time. God has been reminding me for some time of how much He loves me as well as how He cares about my least issues let alone this epic event going in my life. It should have been evident when He led me to the Clinical Trial information but I was so caught up in getting over this all, and how I could get on with what I thought my purpose was. Rather than getting in tune with Him to know what His purpose was for me. Pathetically I went on, He wanted me to know what I meant to Him when He raised up men and women all over the United States to freely give 30,000 necessary for me to be able to have the transplant. He worked out the details small and large from who would accompany me, how I would get to Chicago, and who would take care of my family while I was away; concerned about what concerned me uh I think so. Right down to what I would wear by way of Stevette’s. I’m a tough ole Texas girl, and although I’ve been in some really cold climates I usually don’t need layers upon layers to survive. Picking up some boots I had in layaway Stevette ask me if I had an overcoat I said I had a heavy jacket I thought I’d take she took me in the back of her store where she keeps sale items, and there was a coat with my name on it within my few dollar budget. On my way out of the store she followed me and gave me her gloves, and said you are going to need these too, you are all ready to go now. The Lord goes before us making our crooked way straight. You can believe me I had to wear the coat, boots, gloves, and scarf (all of God’s provision) thanks to the bitter cold weather awaiting us in Chicago. That is just one of many instances, which come across my mind sitting here today. When I think about what I have been through, and continue to journey through currently, I know that it is my faith that has brought me to where I am, and my faith that will keep me. Hebrews 1:11 speaks about the faith necessary to endure difficulties along this journey of life. I remember a minister explaining faith once like this, he said “faith is a two-step process, step one involves believing God is who He says He is, and step two is believing God will do what He said He will do.” For me, it was not much of a problem when all affairs seem well, however I found faith to be a lil bit of an issue after finding out I had a life threatening, incurable, rare, wicked disease. By the time I was properly diagnosed, I was experiencing problems from the medications I’d been taking for MS (misdiagnosis of MS is the case for most people, in reality they have Neuromylitis Optica NMO) while NMO untreated wrecked my optic nerves, and spinal cord. There was a very dark period in which I find difficult to talk about. As Christians, we are taught “don’t question God;” Christians are solid saints able to stare affliction in the face, faith intact, marching forward. I took some time arriving, but I praise God my faith in God continues to be the momentum driving me forward. Back to what the minister said about faith I mentioned before, being honest with myself during this time really was the breaking point for me, I was so broken by what was going on physically with me that it was difficult to understand what God was doing with me spiritually. I really wanted to know understand what was happening (thinking that if I knew all the answers than I would go through it better) only to realize that was not faith. It took me a long time before I begin focusing on the good that God was doing, and how God was still God through it all. A good friend of mine Rhonda and her husband visited me and left me with one verse Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life (NKJV).” I thought this was a strange verse to leave with someone ill, but I wanted to understand what was in that verse for me, pursued God and found out that I had to deal with doubt, and the pain I was feeling in order to trust Him completely. I had to rid my heart of negativity, in order to focus my attention on the positives. Another thing that was beneficial for me during those truly dark days was when I found the strength to allow my inner being to ring out praises to God. This encouragement came by way of my long-life sister and friend. She received a word during altar call at her church and was so excited to share it with me. Upon arrival at the hospital where I was she announced that I should begin to praise the Lord with everything I had, not for my benefit but for the benefit of others, and the fact that the Lord loves the praises of His people. I reminded her that they were moving me to ICU to be intubated because I was having difficulty breathing and she wanted me to sing. When I did catch hold of that nugget she dropped I was being transferred from the rehab center to a nursing home and I could not understand any of what was happening. However, I found strength, and I continued praising Him. Psalms 103:1-6 is a passage of scripture very dear to my heart. God tells us to put Him in remembrance of His word and this is a good passage to do just that, as well as help me to go back down memory lane and see just what the Lord has bought us through. “We’ve come this far by faith; leaning on the Lord, trusting in His Holy Word He never failed us yet.” After being at some of the most reputable hospitals, I end up in a nursing facility where the attendants and staff treated me as if I was related to them. I had no reservation and my family had a peace of mind, that I would be taken care of. This is an example of the provision of God. I know that God really loves me (and you too), and everything that concerns me (large or small) He is able to, and He will take care of. Another thing that happened to me just a few days ago that I want to share that speaks to this very thing. I was taking care of some errands and left from one place back into my car, and I happened to look at myself in the mirror. You know your “chemo hair” is growing when you can see the back hair by just looking at it from the front. For a month or so the only way I have been able to see the back of my hair is to hold a mirror in front of me and look at the back with another mirror. I was so excited to see my hair by just looking at it from the front until I looked down and saw my neck there was no hair line just white fussy stuff (look like cotton) down my neck. I jumped out of my car to find a place where I could get that lined nicely. I look up see a place I don’t know a thing about, walk in and am greeted by a sweet young lady another one working on the side. She comes and brings me over to find out what I need. She compliments me and I begin to tell her my story. She does a great job, and we are both feeling so fortunate that I ended up there. I know this was in the Lord’s plan, He was so moving in everything that took place there. As I said He is concerned about everything that concerns His children. I pulled my wallet out to pay for my hair trim and she said “oh let me take care of that for you.” God is so good that was such a blessing that I know He did just for me. Yes, Jesus loves me the Bible tells me so.

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