Walking with Jesus

My husband and I were about to go to another doctor’s appointment and this one was with a thoracic surgeon. A growth was found in a CAT scan and this was the next course of action. The growth is behind his sternum in a very difficult place to get to. I had been talking with the Lord, trying to remember that faith conquers fear, knowing from many past experiences that I can trust Him always.

As my Father and I visited, I asked Him if He would please carry me as we rounded another corner of this medical journey.

I have always known that, as a child of God, I am welcomed into His arms anytime. I believed I needed that security and comfort now. I envisioned Him carrying me as He had done so many times in the past. I have always envisioned Him carrying me when the going got too rough for me to handle.

This time, my Father spoke to my heart, saying, “I have given you the strength to walk with Me through this.” Immediately, I envisioned myself walking beside Jesus, taking sure steps knowing He was with me.

I was delighted!  He was giving me the strength to walk with Him! At 65 years old, my God was allowing me to understand that, yes, I am His child, and yes, He often carries me. This time, though, He was blessing me, His mature daughter, with His strength so that I could walk with Him. Not only was I comforted by His words, my faith increased, knowing that, no matter what trials or situations we face, God knows exactly what we need and provides for us. This time, He was giving me strength!

Note: The surgeon was a delightful blessing, saying she isn’t sure what the growth is, but she isn’t going to cut until she knows more. She ordered a PET scan and we’ll meet with her for the results and to determine the next move.

 

Posted in Still Learning | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Loving Answer

Once again, I am awed by God’s loving answer.

During a conversation with my aunt, I realized how only our Heavenly Father knows the best and the perfect and the most timely and comforting answers of all.

For many months now, I have been praying for my aunt and her husband. He has a dreadful lung disease. She has been taking care of him, along with Hospice care, at home. According to his medical team, his disease is particularly painful and definitely deadly. He has already lived longer than expected.

 I know, from talking with my aunt, that her husband is a Christian who is not afraid of dying; believing all the promises of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord, of being welcomed into a heavenly eternity.

 My prayer for both of them was to be surrounded by our Heavenly Father’s comforting peace. My prayer for him has been for God to take the pain and let him be comfortable. My prayer for her has been that she will have a good support group in place so that she can have time to rest and keep her strength up to continue to care for him.

 Recently, she had time to call and we had a nice, long visit.

 She told me that, although the medical team had warned them that this disease is horribly painful, in the last few days, he has been more comfortable and even needed less oxygen than before. She said that her prayer has been that he wouldn’t have to suffer, and she is so grateful that God has answered that prayer in such a merciful way.

 I cried; I told her that had been my prayer, too, that he could be comfortable. She said many others had also told her that was their prayer for him, as well.

We all know there will come a time to leave this earth and claim our place in heaven. We all would probably prefer to just go to sleep, and opening our eyes again, realize we are there. In this world, there will be illnesses, accidents, and pain. Also, as promised, we believe that God never leaves us to endure anything alone. He is with us, always.  While we pray for physical healing, our Father’s plan is even better – to give us an eternity of wonder with Him.

For God to take away the physical pain during the progression of a normally horribly painful disease is extraordinary to me, amazing to the doctors who are caring for him, and such a relief to the wife who loves him so very much.

 Our God is truly awesome – and loving, and merciful, and kind, and good, and able to do exceedingly above and beyond anything we can imagine.

 Ephesians 3:20 NKJV Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

 

Posted in Encouragement, Gratitude, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

True Worship

During a conversation with my Heavenly Father, I was reminded that we are all called to worship Him.

Questions raced into my mind: “What is worship, really?” “How do I know that I’m worshipping Him in a way that is true and pleasing to Him?” I know that we are to praise His Holy Name. I know that we are to have a heart of gratitude. I know that we can sing to Him, pray to Him, lift our hands to Him, and kneel before Him and all of that can be included in our worship. I was wanting to know a bit more; I wanted to know how to worship Him in the truest sense of the word – when it’s just me and Him together.

This is what I learned: True worship is total awareness of being in God’s presence, basking in the warmth of His love, knowing we belong to Him, understanding that we can trust Him and embracing the joy only He can give. An outflowing of this holy time together might be tears of gratitude, hands raised in praise, knees bowed in reverence, songs softly sung, or a calm quietness in our soul…whatever the Holy Spirit pours onto us and overflows into that moment.

True worship is not something we manufacture, or practice, or perform. It’s a state of being, not of doing. It’s a moment in time when our bond with our Heavenly Father is so strong that all we can do is glorify Him.

 

 

Posted in Sharing my Walk, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Vision – Bigger Than I Can Comprehend

I often sit in my backyard gazebo actively seeking a deeper awareness of God’s loving presence in the moment.

One early morning,  sitting in the gazebo, I was talking with my Heavenly Father, asking Him to visit with me. (There are still so many times I would really appreciate seeing Jesus sitting across from me, eating chocolate chip cookies and having a visit like I have with my other friends.) I was going over the issues in my mind, giving them to Him, asking for wisdom and guidance as the day continued to unfold.

Finally, when my mind was able to be quiet and my body still, the Lord gave me this vision:

I had always pictured myself running to my Father when I needed comfort. He would wrap His arms around me and hold me close, allowing me to rest in His loving care, feeling His majestic strength, and knowing He is my refuge. His appearance, in my human mind, was maybe a bit like a devout patriarch, like Moses.

The Lord gave me these words: “I’m bigger than that.”

Immediately, I was given a vision of a huge, loving cloud-like entity that I knew to be God, my Heavenly Father. He was showing me quite clearly that His love is so much greater than the human love I know and His presence, His being, is all-encompassing, not able to be contained, but continuing on forever and ever, eternally.

When I say God is awesome, I mean it, but the word itself is not able to convey the ultimate power, the limitlessness, the eternal sovereignty of our mighty God.

To know that we are loved and called beloved by our Heavenly Father is a treasure beyond our human mind’s ability to comprehend.

 

Posted in Sharing my Walk, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Day Unfolds

A pretty piece of folded cloth lies before you, and you know there is something special folded inside that cloth. You have a choice. You might hurriedly tug, pull, and maybe rip the beautiful cloth (a treasure in its own right) to reveal the hidden treasure inside, or you might take your time, appreciating the feel of the cloth and the sheen of the fabric as you gently unfold it to find the treasure inside. The choice is yours. You can stress and hurry to get to the “goal” or you can enjoy the moments along the way.

That’s what I’m learning during this period in my life. I’ve been retired for more than a year now. The first year, I worked on a book with my son and a friend, published, it, and looked for ways to share the book. I went from being “busy” in my employer’s office to being “busy” in my home office.  It was an amazing, joy-filled time.

Then…I waited, thinking the Lord would show me the next goal. I waited and waited. I talked with my Heavenly Father and waited some more.

I learned that sometimes it’s best to let the days gently unfold. Being ever mindful of God’s loving presence in the moments of a day reduces anxiety and stress. It’s like the difference between a raging river and a gently flowing stream.

I learned to relax, just a little, and not feel too guilty for not knowing the next step in this journey of my life. During prayer, the words, “Be still” were often ushered into my thoughts. (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 46:10 NIV)

I didn’t understand why it was so hard to wait on the Lord, to be still and trust in His plan. I thought maybe it was because I was not accustomed to quieter, calmer days and maybe I was missing the “busyness” of a routine day with a list of tasks to accomplish.

Talking this issue over with the Lord, I remembered some of the words and phrases my parents said to teach my brother and me how to be responsible adults. You might have heard some of these in your childhood, as well.

“Get up, Sleepyhead, we’re burning daylight!” Dad used this phrase when we were traveling to visit our-of-town relatives and he wanted to get an early start.

“Let’s get ‘er done!” These were Dad’s words when we had a task or project to complete. Getting it done was not something you put off for another time. No, you got busy and got done.

“You can’t sleep the day away.” Mom said this if we wanted to sleep later on the weekend than she thought we should.

“Get up and get around. We’ll have breakfast with Dad.” During the summertime, Mom expected us to help with household and yard chores. Everybody had to do their part; no lazybones allowed.

Perhaps even more than their words or phrases, though, my parents taught by example. They worked hard and taught my brother and me to do the same. They also taught us to make time to enjoy our family and friends. I’m not sure why the “working words” settled deeper into my brain than the “making time for family and friends” words. I do know, though, that “being still” and “waiting on the Lord” didn’t come easily to me.

I’m beginning to understand a bit better after the past few days of watching my days unfold instead of hurriedly running from one task to another, taking “control” of the minutes in the day. This is what I’ve noticed: When I awaken, thank the Lord for the day and ask Him to make me continuously aware of His presence, I get more done in less time. The day gently unfolds. I take care of the day’s tasks, or meet the day’s challenges, knowing I have God’s presence with me. I may sit still for a while, visit with my husband, pet the dogs, read a book, or watch the birds eating from the birdfeeder outside the kitchen window. There are many moments in a day and every single one is a gift from the Lord, whether we are praising Him as we work to accomplish a goal or just being still and gratefully enjoying our blessings.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Just a Thought

sharing the truth from Wally Fry – thank you, Wally.

Truth in Palmyra

Philippians 4.8

My brain has limited room.

What I let into it matters.

View original post

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hope Returns

With my husband’s current medical issues, fear started overtaking hope. I know fear is not God’s plan for an abundant life. He gives us hope – always – in the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Understanding and trusting in God’s promises is our privilege as His beloved.

Sometimes, during difficult circumstances, it seems as if I invite fear to settle into my heart, bringing all the worldly negatives with it. I continue to pray and ask for my Father’s help. He hears every single prayer. He has never failed me.

Today is proof of that.

This morning, hope returned. Finally, after more than 2 months of medical visits and with lots of help from medical personnel, my husband was fitted with a BIPAP mask that may be able to help him with his sleep apnea.  Having proper sleep will help as he adjusts to his new pacemaker. There’s hope that he will continue to heal and will have more energy once everything is monitored and adjusted.

He has been weak for so long. He was getting discouraged. I couldn’t be of any help other than going with him to medical appointments. I was getting discouraged.

I know God is in control. I also know we do have valleys to walk through, and God promises never to leave us. Still, the waiting and not really knowing how it will all work out causes me to have anxious, fearful thoughts.

Discouragement, for me, means a lack of hope. I knew that wasn’t true because Jesus is our hope, but I did not have that feeling of hope. Being without that feeling made my shoulders slump, my heart heavy, and my emotions swirl.

Today was the day! In His perfect timing, my Heavenly Father took the heaviness of the feeling of hopelessness away. In its place, I felt the joy of the Lord, and the return of the faithful hope that only He can give.

We have hope again and a happy dancin’, THANK YOU, DEAR LORD heart full of gratitude! So excited, I texted our sons as I watched their dad sleeping peacefully, wearing his mask, and actually getting good rest after so many stress-filled nights of sleeplessness and anxiety.

I am reminded, too, that even when our circumstances seem hopeless, and the answers we seek are not the ones we are given, God is still in control and ultimately, His perfect will and His undying love for us always restores our hope!

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Posted in Sharing my Walk | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments