Tag Archives: death

1 in 1,000 in Whose Ratings?

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Just recently I have been through some medical procedures such as a partial hysterectomy with the removal of a fibroid, an upper GI and two (yes 2) back to back colonoscopies.  I will start this blog with stating I am fine now.  God is healing my body so medical procedures is not the basis  of this blog.  The purpose of this blog is to show you the faithfulness of God and His continued pursuit of us.  I have been debating on where to start this story so I guess I will begin at the beginning.  I will apologize now that this may be a longer blog than most only because God did so many things in 96 hours I don’t want to leave out any details.

My medical issues started about 5 years ago and I have been to several doctors and tried several things to find solutions to the symptoms occurring in my body.  It has been an interesting journey to say the least but it led me to a miracle of a 4 day weekend which I will not soon forget.

In March it was decided I would see a gynecologist and a GI doctor to get to the bottom of my extremely low iron level which was discovered in February.  The result of these two appointments was a hysterectomy, an upper scope and a colonoscopy.

Now this is a key to my whole story.  As I sat in the GI office I said to God, I really do not wish to have a colonoscopy and I CLEARLY heard Him say in my spirit, “You will be having a colonoscopy.”  Was I happy with that plan? Nope.  Was I going to go through with it? Yup.  If I have learned anything in 48 years of living it is to listen to God the first time and be at peace because He knows every detail of my life.

Hysterectomy was a huge success which cleared up so many issues and the upper GI showed no signs of bleeding which would cause low iron. Only thing left on the list was the dreaded colonoscopy and this is where the story really begins. (yes there are some gory details but all medical I promise) And just for the record I tried getting out of having the colonoscopy done but the Lord quickly reminded me of our earlier conversation.

I will do this day by day so as not to miss anything.  Keep in mind as you read the rest of this blog:  It was never about me.  It was always about what God wanted to do through me and my obedience.

THURSDAY:

2:30 pm Arrive at the hospital after 2 days of liquid diet and prepping for the colonoscopy.  I was not nervous because I knew God was in it.  Happy I had lost 5 pounds in two weeks.  Laughter broke out among the nurses and doctor as I was being prepped with the IV and such, so I knew God was there.

3:45 pm Surgery was over.  Doctor removed 4 polyps and explained it was a good thing I came in now rather than at age 50 as they could have grown quite large in 2 years.  (At this moment I was thinking this was the reason I heard God say I was going to have the colonoscopy.)  Doctor said there may be some bleeding at first only because of the removal of the polyps but nothing to be concerned about.

4:30 pm I was home and resting.  Ate dinner at 8:30 pm.  First bowel movement and there was blood.  I dismissed it as I figured it was to be expected.  Went to bed!  Crossed colonoscopy off my not-bucket list and looked forward to returning to work in the morning.

FRIDAY:  

6:10 am  Went to the bathroom and it was mainly blood.  Still no panic.  Went back to bed only to need to go two more times with significant blood.  Read through my paperwork and it said if there is more than a tablespoon of bleeding call the doctor.  Woke my husband up and explained the situation.

7:00 am Emergency room visit.  45 minutes later it was decided I would be admitted to the hospital with another colonoscopy to be done on Saturday.  Nurse proceeded to add a second IV port in my hand just in case I needed a transfusion and I was informed I would have blood drawn every 6 hours to check my levels. (UGH  I had needles)  At this moment I am not sure what I was thinking, however, this peace came over me as I made the realization if God said I was going to have a colonoscopy then He KNEW this would happen and there is a reason for it.  Perhaps something was missed.

11 am to 6 pm  Continual trips to the bathroom.  Every time I tried to drink water or chicken broth or eat jello it would just go right through me.  I stopped eating at 1 pm trusting the nurse when she said I would be fine with just the IV.

Got to share with the nurse a bit about John and I’s testimony.  Shared my personal struggles with her to which she opened up and shared as well.  For a moment there I thought I was there for her but God had MUCH bigger plans than just one person.

So to set the scene where it stopped being about me, after all I am in the palm of God’s hand and I trust He knows what He is doing.  I am in a room with another lady.  Her curtain was pulled all the way around her bed.  She was coughing continuously.  I felt bad for her and this is where compassion had to become the path I would choose.

6:45 pm  Start drinking the stuff for the colonoscopy prep.  Starts working almost immediately and I can no longer handle the IV and get to the bathroom in time so I am reduced to using the commode and it’s pretty much where I sat for the next 3-4 hours.  I kept trying to move farther and farther away from the curtain so as to be a bit hidden.

7 pm  My roommate’s family comes to visit her for a little while.  I over hear the conversations and the final conversation she had with her husband before he left for the night was that she thought she was dying.  His response was “Please don’t say that, you are scaring me.”  He stayed a little while longer watching televison with her and then left.

8:30 pm  My husband comes up to say goodnight and felt strongly compelled to pray for my roommate.  Somehow he had met her parents on his way up to see me and he felt God was asking him to pray.  As he was praying with her I prayed too.  I thought I heard her say, “You are so kind”  but later I found out she said, “You are just in time.”

9:30 pm – 10:30 pm  I can’t really explain what happened next except there was an atmosphere shift.  Things just felt eerie.  As the cleaning out process was raging through my body I was unable to move so I began to text my husband.  We prayed for strongholds to be broken and for the comforter to come.  We prayed for ministering angels to come as well.  Things started to wind down and peace came.

10:30 pm  Lights out!  Okay this is the part of the story when I knew this whole ordeal was about compassion.  This was my chance to pass a test concerning bitterness and selfishness.  Now remember, I knew God was in this and medically I would be okay so obviously this was not about my health completely.  At 10:30 my roommate got up and asked the nurse in the hallway if there was a “Lights Out” time to which the nurse said no and then proceeded to ask me if I would mind turning my light off.

Ummmmm…WHAT?  Here is where the offense and bitterness could have really taken hold.  I am immobile at the moment, yes, however, you really want me to sit in the dark and continue this cleaning out process?  I felt that check in my spirit and told the nurse she could shut off the light.

In that very moment I knew that my suffering was temporary and that I was going to be okay, I did not know that for sure for her.  Compassion arose as I put myself in her shoes.  She had been sick since January and awaiting test results concerning her liver and kidneys…I knew my outcome would be favorable..she did not.

10:45 pm “Do you mind if I shut the door?,” she asks through the curtain.  Sigh!  At least I had the light from the hallway and now if she shut the door I was reduced to the light under the bed and a security light.  My reply, “Nope, I don’t mind at all.”

11:00 pm  Restlessness.  Snoring.  Tapping.  More and more coughing.  I texted my husband and prayed some more.  Felt like we were battling for her.  She used the restroom and then after what seemed a long time she returned to bed and took her last few breaths.

11:30 pm Dead silence and then a whirlwind of activity arose in the room.  Lights were flipped on.  Code blue was called.  They began CPR and were trying their best to bring her back.  As I sat there on the edge of the bed (my cleansing was just about over it seemed)  I overhear a nurse say that they needed to get me out of the room.

Here is yet another chance for offense.  My phone was almost dead.  My charger was in the wall and I cannot reach it.  I am still not sure I am done cleaning out.  AND now I have to leave my room, walk past my roommate without looking in that direction and go to a different room.

I chose compassion.  Even as they left me in another room with yet another roommate, with no commode and a phone which was almost dead I knew this was not about me.  It was probably at least 45 minutes before they checked in on me and all I could say when the nurse asked if I was okay was , “I am fine.  I want to know that you are okay.”

**side note..my husband asked me why God let her die to which I said we don’t get to decide Jesus does.  Perhaps (not knowing what her test results would have been) taking her home to heaven was Him healing her.  I remember hearing her say Jesus several times as she was struggling in that last hour.  If this medical issue had to happen so that my husband could pray the love of the Father over her then nothing was in vain.  Jesus left the 99 to come after her and what an honor that He chose my husband and I to be His co-labors.

My friends this is compassion.  Putting the needs of others before yours in any circumstance KNOWING God is in control and you are in the palm of His hand.

SATURDAY

8 am  Colonoscopy #2  Discovered I was bleeding around one of the clamps.  Doctor said I was 1 in 1,000 cases.  Boy did I feel special knowing that only 1 in 1,000 people have to do two colon cleanses back to back….

9:30 am  Back in my room still a bit groggy.  Since I had not slept at all Friday I thought this would be a great opportunity to get some much needed sleep.  I thought wrong.  My new roommate was this very sweet lady who was going to have her second stomach cancer surgery in the morning.  At first I thought we were just going to be roommates but my compassion kicked in again and we began sharing stories.  Then just as I was about to sleep she began to call everyone on her phone list to let them know when her surgery would be and where she was.

Here again a chance to be offended especially since now I am sleep deprived.  I still chose compassion.  She was facing cancer.  I was fixed back up.  So I put my headphones in and turned up some worship music.

10:30 am  Roommates entire family shows up…I have decided sleep is drastically overrated and just give up.  BUT then I have to use the restroom..ugh..there goes any shred of dignity I may have had left as I proceeded to parade to the bathroom in my beautiful hospital gown amongst all of her closest freinds and family.

So the rest of my day consisted of attempted sleep, clear liquid diet, chatting with my roommate and blood draws.  AND THEN the crushing news came that I would not be able to go home when my husband got out of work.  I cried.  Literally sat there and cried as the doctor left the room.  I was just devastated.  I just wanted to go home.  I just wanted sleep.  I just wanted all of this to be over.  I argued with God for a bit and I knew I was not going to win.  He had one more assignment for me.

12 pm blood draw

(clear liquids only)

6 pm blood draw

(liquid diet..lol  pretty much the same as clear liquid)

I was beginning to let fear arise in me every time it got close to a blood draw time.  They were having difficulty finding a place to draw.  I was also becoming fearful of eating anything because I was not absolutely positive the bleeding had stopped.  Now everyone who knows me knows I do not have panic attacks or allow fear to run rapid in my life.  I am sure part of it was being over tired and hungry but I am a feeler so I am sure I was picking up some of the fear which lingers in hospital settings.

9:30  My husband comes to tell me good night.  My roommate had taken a sleeping pill and was sleeping soundly.  I FINALLY feel like I can sleep.  I did!  Woke up feeling like I had won the lottery.  I thought I had slept for like 6 or 8 hours and I had missed the midnight blood draw only to discover is was 8 minutes to 12 and anxiety erupted as I heard her coming down the hall.

I drifted in and out of sleep counting down the time to my last blood draw and banking on the promise from the doctor that I would be her first stop and I would be able to go home.

7:20 am  Doctor says I can go home!  I have to order breakfast first and then I can get dressed and call my husband.  Man, I could not get to that phone fast enough to order breakfast!

7:30 am  Calling down for breakfast and start chatting with the lady about what I would like and one thing leads to another.  I discover her husband had a heart attack that Monday and they were facing a great deal of testing in the near future.  I was able to speak life into her situation and give her some encouragement.  My final assignment.  I could go home.

 

In conclusion God did so many amazing things while I was in the hospital.  I learned what true compassion was.  I learned to put myself last and others first.  I was able to pray for a dying woman, the nursing staff, the lady with stomach cancer and the kitchen staff all while I was dealing with my own emotions and health issues. I learned Jesus comes for the 1.  He will always come for the one.  I was not 1 in 1,000 I was 1 in 100 and He left me to go search out the others.  He knew I was okay right where I was and came seeking those who were lost.

One last thing which I call the icing to my cake….I was a bit worried because now I had lost two days of work.  Things were already a bit tight and I was not looking forward to seeing how low my paycheck was.  As I opened the envelope to discover the amount could not have been figured correctly…it was way more than I expected.  I flipped the check over to discover we had received a bonus. There was enough to cover my two missed days with some left over.  God is so faithful to those who follow after Him.

God is so good.  God is so kind.  His love is overwhelming.  He will leave the 99 to find the one every time!  I encourage you to listen to the song “Reckless” by Cory Asbury.  Tune out everything else and just listen to this song.  I believe God will speak to you through the lyrics.  

Reckless Love

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Worthless Words

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In LIFE we create so much DEATH.  It almost does not make any logical sense.  Everyday we speak MANY worthless words which actually create the environment in which we live.  How many times have we said these phrases?

“My back is killing me!”

“My kids are driving me crazy!”

“I am going to go insane!”

“It’s going to be a terrible day.”

These among several other phrases are spoken by God’s chosen people everyday and we fail to see the weight our words carry.  Let’s take this concept all they back to the very beginning of time when God created the earth.  “And God said, let their be light.  God said, let there be stars in the heavens.  God said, let there be life!”  Our very existence here on earth began with a spoken word, therefore it brings me to the conclusion that we can speak life or death into our everyday lives.

Let me share a story with you from my work.  Several years ago I worked with a boss and every time she went on vacation our computer would crash.  So it became a “tradition” for us to speak the same words each time she went on vacation, “Have a great vacation, we will handle the computer crashing!”  Finally after the third time of this happening, my mentor mentioned to me that perhaps we were speaking death to the computer each time we did that.  So I tested it.  The next time she went on vacation I did not utter the words, “Great!  The boss is going on vacation, the computer is going to crash like it always does.”   And guess what?  I never did again.

My Sunday morning Bible study is currently reading a book entitled ” Does Your Tongue Need Healing?” by Derek Prince and I would recommend this book to anyone who needs to see just how powerful this little body part we have called a tongue can be.  It has been quite the eye opener to seeing that what we speak from our mouth comes to pass.

How has this changed my mindset?  It has made me slow to speech and has gotten me to actually think before I speak.  Even simple statements that are meant as joking can carry weight.  I know that we all can recall a moment in time where someone said some nasty remark and it never left us.  One of my inner woundings is that nothing is ever good enough.  This wound was created by someone in my life always nit picking about things I did not do according to their standards and now as an adult it still stings when someone says I am not doing my best, when I know that I am.

Words hurt but they can also heal and change atmospheres.  They can make or break someones day.  They can keep you from moving forward or they can propel you into the next great adventure.  Choose today to begin a new journey with words.  Be slow to speak and make sure what you are saying will benefit you and those around you.  Start out small, when you first wake up in the morning, declare, “Today is going to be a great day!”    If things start going wrong, remind yourself that you declared it was going to be a great day and move forward.

Changing your life begins with choosing the right words to change your atmosphere.  Once you begin to  see changes in your daily life, you will want to continue to choose your words wisely so that they will have worth.

He Died

Isaiah 53 The Message (MSG)

53 Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?
    Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?

(I would encourage you to read all of Isaiah 53)

 

 

 

 

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Ever notice how things with God can sometimes be backwards?  He gave death to bring life.  He sent His only Son Jesus to die so that we may live.  There are times when I just don’t understand the whole deal, yet I am ever grateful for this opportunity of life.  I am thankful for the life I have been given so that in turn I can give life to the death in other’s lives.  From the moment I knew that I was to be a writer for Jesus, my one desire is to mend the hearts of the broken.  As I myself have healed from many hurts and wounds I want others to be made whole in His presence.  His grace is what pulled me out and it is by that same grace I write.

 

We were given life so that we can bring the revelation of life to others.  Today my husband and I visited a regular customer of mine who had recently been hospitalized.  Her and her husband have been in my drive thru every morning for the past two years and I felt compelled to visit her.  I brought her both copies of my books and we sat and chatted for awhile.  Then we prayed over her.  She was ever so touched by the mere fact that we stopped to see her.  This is the impact God wants us to make on the world.  I can’t tell you what compelled me to visit this person I knew nothing about, yet I know it brought some life to her day.

 

It’s always the little things that matter the most when it comes to showing love to someone.  Take for instance when my hubby picks one single flower and places it in my hair it is much more special than a dozen roses.  When someone just simply smiles randomly as you pass by it is way more appealing than just rushing right on by.  When someone stops to pick up something you dropped when they could have just walked away means more than them just ignoring it.  Do see what I am trying to say?  It is the little things which matter the most and those are the things I like to partake in.

 

So where am I going with this when Jesus dying on a cross was such a huge act of love?  Because with one death, the world gained life and for those who choose Life in Christ, they will see so much more come to pass in their lives than the ones who deny His very existence.  In death we find life.  In darkness we have found Light.  When we find death in our situations we get the option of shinning the Light of Jesus on it and moving forward.  We have the opportunity then to speak life into other’s darkness.  This is who I was designed to be through my writing.  I am able to shine a light where maybe only darkness brooded.   

 

Can you be a Light to those around you?  What can you do to share Life?  Are you willing to allow Jesus to enter into your very own darkness?  Are you ready to let Him shine through you so that others can see just how much life they can have?  Everyday I strive to shine, some days it is not easy, yet it is by His grace I am able.  With His grace I can smile.  With His grace I can stop and help someone.  With His grace I can be a Light in such a darkened world.  If what I write changes one mindset today, God will have used me.  The key to all of it is…are you willing to be used?  Are you willing to let God bring life to your death?  Are you willing to be changed so God can use you to change others?  It’s tough at first I know but what joy comes when you see someone surface from darkness.  Are you somebody’s only Light to Life?

 

Noticed Beauty

1 Peter 3:4
You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

Surrounded by death.  Fallen to the ground in silence.  Here lies a leaf still wearing the brilliant colors of its’ once vibrant existence.  It lies now lifeless on the floor of the forest.  Having lost its’ ability to shine, it lies dormant, losing its life.  No longer feeling worthy of being noticed. How does this make any sense?  Why would God create such a great beauty just to put it to death? Anyone see a pattern here?  God has a history of creating and then bringing death, however in the process all things are made new. Beauty rises from the ashes over and over again.

Where I was just a short time ago was like this lonely leaf.  I once was vibrant and filled with color, but as the seasons of my life took their toll, I faded.  I lost my focus on who I really was.  The beauty I had once known began to fade.  I decided it was no longer worth it to even try to look the part of who I was, what did it matter?  Who would even notice?  I was stuck in a relationship of insanity, no reason to change who I had become.  But God in His awesome grace, removed me from the dying tree and gently let me fall to the floor, allowing me to die.  Allowing me to rest.  Letting me go through a process of renewal.

As I laid dormant for a season, I was allowing God to remake me.  He was changing me from the inside out, creating in me a clean heart.  He wanted me to forget about being a leaf and to set my eyes on becoming a tree.  A tree which could provide shelter.  A tree which could produce fruit.  A tree that could bend with the storms of life and not break.  Though the process may have seemed painful to those around me, it was cleansing and brought me to a place of surrender like I had never felt before.  I now stand firm on solid ground knowing that I am beautiful.  I am filled with life.  I am happily bending in the wind.  I am finally where I need to be.

God noticed the beauty in me and He certainly sees it in you.  Are you willing to be plucked from the tree and let loose from your painful circumstances? Surrender it all.  Let God have His way in your seasons.  Allow Him to change you from beauty to beauty so that you  will become a tree planted firmly in the hands of God.  A sight to behold in every season.

Blowing In the Wind

Matthew 8:26
Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.

It has gotten very windy here in Michigan as a winter storm looms ahead of us and as I saw this tree rolling in the wind down the street it gave me pause to reflect upon how I was feeling last night as I looked through all the news-feed statuses on Facebook. I saw every range of emotion from happy to sad, ecstatic to depressed and laughter to pure anger at the world.  So many different views of the year ahead of us and of the one left behind.  For those of who are dwelling in Christ, we know that a new year brings new challenges but also new blessings.  As I look forward to moving into a new home, I know the only way I will obtain it is through faith in God.  Nothing is too big for God and even though I cannot see a way right at the moment, surely Daddy has a plan.  The main thing I felt as I read through some of the statements and knowing who had written them, I sighed, knowing how much more God has for them if they would only lay it all down and call out to Him in faith.

As in the last two things I needed to move through in my life, getting my smile remodeled and getting a new home, I had to go through a period of letting God know how I felt and then letting it go.  Yes I screamed into the darkness.  I lost my temper and just let it all out.  I begged and pleaded.  I did everything but bargain with God (I know that is not how it works) and now in the moment where I am just letting things go and my focus in only on God in my life, things are happening.  Know how I did it?  Once I stopped complaining, God could hear my true pleas.  I was living under my circumstances and not above,  I seemed to have just assumed my position as the victim and accepted my surroundings.  Um, excuse me?  Who was I fooling?  I am a child of the King and He wants the best for me but if I keep SPEAKING myself into this pit, this is where I will stay.

I am not sure where I am going with this blog at the moment, as it has taken a turn from where I thought I was going, must be a God thing.  We have all lost hope at some point or another and allowed ourselves to just blow along with the wind.  We play the “woe is me” game everyday and begin to speak “unlife” into our situations.  Gee, every time I go to get gas they raise the prices.” Every time I check my bank account there is less money than I think.”  “The gas bill will be too much to pay.”  “Every time I go to the store I don’t have enough money.”  “I get sick every time I go to that restaurant.”  ON and ON, day after day, we speak life right out of our lives.  Aren’t you tired of that?  Am I speaking to anyone?

Okay, true example of a lesson I learned about speaking the “every time” phrase, well actually two of them.  One was at work concerning the computer.  When our boss would go out of town the first thing out of our mouths would be, “there goes our computer” and I am not kidding, something major would happen.  As soon as I learned the principal of not speaking such things, our computer has been fine. My other life example concerned our cars.  The first time my husband totaled one of our cars was just after we had filled the tank completely full.  Not having a lot of money we never filled the tank to full. Well, the next time he crashed, guess what?  It was just after we filled the tank to full.  After that we NEVER filled any of our cars to full.  I lived under this “curse” until I separated from my husband when I had run out of gas because I was too afraid to put a full tank in. I learned to rise above this and have since been filling my gas tanks without hesitation because I have learned how not to speak such things into existence.

I am praying for a change of some minds in 2012.  Nothing is impossible even though the world would like you to believe so.  I challenge you this year to speak LIFE where once you were cursing your life.  Stop yourself the next time you begin to say, “Every time…..” and evaluate what you are about to speak into your life.  As for me and my family, we ARE moving this year.  We WILL be turning our finances around.  We WILL be healthy.  We WILL have enough of everything because God will provide just as He promises in the Bible.  Will you choose to live above your circumstances or stay blowing in the wind?  Now I am not promising you a bed of rose or an easy road, but I know for sure God wants you to have abundant life in Him and the only way it will happen is if you start to speak life not death in your very existence.

Start today.  Don’t know how to start? A friend of mine had a very good idea of starting a Thanksgiving Journal.  Begin to write down the things you are thankful for.  Be basic.  Your car, your house, your wife, your clothes, your food….anything God has provided for you.  Do this everyday.  Today the pastors wife shared she is writing on the calendar each day “Today is a Good Day”, this is a great way to start claiming life!  Whatever you choose to do, do it with prayer.  Begin to rebuild your relationship with God.  I know you will see a difference in your life in a very short period of time.  Just keep in mind it will take discipline to accomplish this and that’s where it all begins.  Faith leads to renewed hope and I have enough faith that those who need to read this blog are reading it right now and God is stirring up some emotions and desires to change.  I pray each of you find something in every moment of life to be thankful for.