Archive for April, 2012

Encouragers

Posted: April 27, 2012 in Uncategorized
I have unfortunately found myself up late, once again, waiting for my oxycodone to do its thing. I’m even on a higher dose…I’m feeling no relief, yet. After a week filled with more health issues, “trying to get into a house that we were supposed to be in a few days ago” saga, packing…well, it’s not exactly hard to get a bit discouraged. 
What? Discouraged? But God took your tumors away!
I know. 
I believe some people have this idea that once the visual sight of cancer is gone, then the energy will swing back, my hair will suddenly grow back, I won’t need my cane and pain-free of course! 
Nowhere close. Complete opposite actually. 
But I have been encouraged every day this week by a card. You see, I have this “encourager” that attends our church and when I have a rough week of treatments, she hands me a bag the Sunday before, FILLED with cards for each day of the week. Last Sunday, to my surprise, I got a bag. I’ll be truthful…I didn’t get it. Perhaps she hadn’t heard the news! No, she heard. Perhaps she thought I was having treatments…nope. 
I think my encourager knew something I didn’t. It’s those times right after we experience God the most, that come a time of trial. This week has been a trial…and more. I thought I’d be on cloud 9…but I still feel much the same…just a lighter head I guess! I’m still in pain. I’m still having trouble sleeping. I’m still sick. I’m still using a cane, trying to hope my hair will grow back at all…still trying to get over the effects of chemo. Almost as if satan is around the corner asking, “I bet you thought everything was going to be better now didn’t you?” 
My encourager has reminded me through the daily cards this week that I’m still valued, still loved…I’m still His. It’s so easy to buy into the lies (lies that the enemy puts in our minds through our own assumptions, our own feelings and by the circumstances that surround us)…but God knows what He is doing. I need to define myself by Him…not the way I feel…or even want to feel, but rather by Whose I am. 
I’m reminded of a song by MercyMe called “Beautiful.” The lyrics are below. I’ll end here because, well, I can’t say it better than they can!

VIDEO:

Beautiful lyrics

Days will come when you don’t have the strength
And all you hear is you’re not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart
They’d see too much

You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You’re beautiful

Praying that you have the heart to fight
Cuz you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you’ve held inside so long
But they are nothing in the shadow of the cross

You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You’re beautiful

Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You’re the one He madly loves
Enough to die!!!

You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
In His eyes

You’re beautiful!
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful!
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You’re beautiful!
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful!
You are treasured
You are sacred
You are His


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Quick Update

Posted: April 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

The last post is still sending tons of emails and quite a few comments as well! Today, I even got a few emails asking when I was going to post next. My response, “How in the world do you follow-up from a post like that?” Answer…you don't. I'm not defined by my life events, but by Who gave me life and by Who allows me to live it to the full. Good thing too…this could all really go to my head (figure of speech of course).

This picture was taken last Thursday right outside of our house here in Florida. Dark clouds, yet a spark on white clearness in the distance.

I got a rough update on my CIDP yesterday. long story short, there is permanent muscle damage that has been done to my feet and lower legs. My cardio issues are continuing to stem from the CIDP making my pacemaker work overtime. My neurologist wants me on prenisone and IVIG now where as Dr A wants absolutely nothing to interfere with my last chemo treatment. I have a prescription that is meant to simply slow down the muscle deterioration process CIDP has on my body, but again Dr. A doesn't want me taking any chances…at least for 2 weeks…and of course this frustrates my neurologist and cardiologist to no end. Mondays appointment ended with my neuro telling me to take the meds and Dr A threatening against it. At this point I have been following Dr. A's advice…not easy, but I can have the script filled at a moments notice as well.

We are moving on Saturday and still don't know where! We are STILL waiting to hear from the seller regarding legal issues and if we can move in early. We have decided if we still have not heard anything by tonight, we will be moving into an apartment on Saturday and walking from the house being it was scheduled to close tomorrow (and that is definitely not happening!).

What a mess! Sometimes I wonder how we got here! Looking for a place to live, STILL fighting health junk, Steve starting school in a few short weeks….this is pure INSANITY!!!!!

Yet, after being a privileged part of Gods plan, only through His grace as displayed last Friday, I'm kind of…well, excited in the midst of this ever hanging storm. I'm beyond frustrated and angry…disappointed, tired….BUT hopeful. I think I lost that temporarily before Friday hit. What a way to gain it back…I can use that jolt again.

Since Friday, I have learned about a friend recently diagnosed with cancer and a dear friend of my parents that was also a huge part of my life – passed away early Monday morning battling cancer. Sitting here, right now, cancer is still part of my life. It physically may not be with me in my body, but the chemo is. Friends are battling it's effect. Families are fighting its grip. It doesn't just go away. You can't simply move on. You can fight for yourself, fight for others you love and learn to live life knowing “it” will be there.

…Also knowing God is bigger than cancer. God beat cancer. There is no cancer in His presence…thank You God!

So, that's where I am. The clouds are still dark here, just in another form. I still struggle trying to believe that cancer will not return in my life. CIDP is my next battle…in a few weeks…after we find where we are living and before Steve school starts.

One foot in front of the other…

This Sunday, Tracy shared this passage and I have put it to memory. It is keeping me going and putting meaning in my chaos:

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others when they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 NLT)

Clearly God Is Here

Posted: April 21, 2012 in Online Bible Study

EDIT – JUNE 13, 2013 – I decided to include this post in the Online Bible Study Blog Hop for chapter 10 of the book “Stressed-Less Living.” http://www.melissataylor.com. Funny how quickly I forget how amazingly blessed I am. Still cancer and tumor-free.

A little background to this post…I wrote this post while at chemo on Saturday, April 21st. I saved it as a draft to edit later (I’ve learned that the iPad loves to correct words…just not the words I want). I edited later, but left the majority of the post untouched.
This post has been my most challenging to write. Perhaps it’s because I’m sitting here in chemo and the effects are clouding my thoughts. Perhaps it could be due to my overwhelming exhaustion…constantly feeling gravity sinking me down with every step I take. But really, I think it’s due to the fact that when the God of the universe intervenes in your life, it’s really difficult to put it into words.

But I wanted to post, mainly because the news of my clear scan from yesterday is traveling all through Facebook, I wanted to shine a bit more light into how this came to be and other ways God has been moving in my life. So, brace yourself…this may be a longer than normal read!

First, let me start out by saying that I truly believe God works in the lives of every human being, in one way or another. Some see it easier than others. But there are times that Gods presence truly is visible, even to those without a relationship with Him. I’m not going to try to determine how or why God displays His presence and power in the ways that He does…but all I can say is that I’m sitting here now going, “God, I know it was you. Is this permanent or just a break before the next storm?” I have more questions than answers, yet I’m celebrating in my confusion. It’s a really weird place to be.
Here’s my story…

Last Sunday night, I started experiencing mild leg pain caused by my CIDP. This is a normal routine for me at this point being that I have not been able to take prednisone or IVIG to help with my CIDP symptoms (as an effort to give the chemo and radiation a fair, interference free chance to have some effect). I knew that my scan was scheduled for Monday, April 23rd (it was changed later) and I admit, anxiety was building. The doctors had already sat down with me about the reality of the situation. I have 2 malignant brain tumors that have not responded well to treatment. I have CIDP that is such a rare condition, no doctor in our area has had experience with it directly. My heart is reliant upon a pacemaker and my muscles from this operation has still yet to heal correctly. Nobody wants to take the risk of surgery…nor were there any other doctors that had experience with all of these areas that felt confident to take on my case. I had just signed a release of records document up to John Hopkins center in Maryland that was interested in looking at my case (and has a neurologist on staff that has dealt with CIDP directly as well as various types of brain tumors…just not both at the same time). My records had been sent to several other locations, each denying the case due to lack of knowledge or treatment options. Medically speaking, our family was preparing for the storm to continue. I knew God was with me…His presence is obvious to me now in these uncertain times more than any other time in my life.

But, I was scared. Being I don’t know anyone with 2 malignant brain tumors, CIDP, cardio conditions and Charge…it’s just fair to say that nobody really understands what I was feeling, thinking and going through. Maybe that’s why I felt God more during this time? Eventually, my pain would lessen or I would finally get to the point where I drifted off to sleep. Starting Sunday night (Monday morning) I had the most unexplainable dream. It would start by a dark, clouded sky, filled with rain, thicker and hard…it appeared like solid ice pouring down. I literally felt like the storm was pressing down on me. The thunder was loud and vibrated my entire body, head to toe. I was drenched and I remember looking up to the sky with my arms stretched out…I knew I was asking God, “Why” but I never said anything. Then suddenly, the clouds broke apart, the rain stopped and the sun poured down. It was silent…I felt my heart pounding hard. Then I heard, “Trust ME Bethany. I will make everything clear in time. You are not a mistake. You are Mine.” Literally right after that last word rang out I would wake-up to Josh’s voice or Steve trying to wake me up again.

This dream occurred every single night. Every time the dream ended, I felt uneasy, almost like God was going, “Do you really trust Me?” Reality was…no. I was tired of trying to trust God and going into chemo and radiation with no real results. I was tired of the pain I was going through. I was tired of trying to adapt to all of these lifestyle changes. I was mad watching my son Josh literally freak out when I can’t be with him. I was angry that we are still not sure where we would be living next week because of our home search saga. Everything seemed like it wasnt making sense. I believed in God. I felt God. But I didn’t really trust what He was allowing to happen with my life…and He was calling me out.

Tuesday afternoon I got a call that my scan was being moved to this Friday. With the dream on the back burner I was silently questioning if this had any connection…no, I really need sleep.

Around Wednesday I finally snapped. This dream was occurring no matter what I tried to do to avoid it. Then after it happened, I was stuck dealing with the reality that I really had lost my trust in God. It wasn’t the greatest place to be…and who in the world would really believe this dream? I really believed it was coming from God, but my mind has become so foreign to me lately…I have been second guessing myself…a lot. Perhaps I had finally gone off the deep end? I found myself shutting my eyes and just describing everything that was going on to a wise friend of mine…I couldn’t even look at the reaction…I just blurted it out and held my breath. I literally felt like I was going insane.

I was advised with the reality that this could be something due to medication, or it could be from God. (What? No…not me. that only happens in the Bible…not to people like me…I’m already weird!!). Then I was asked this question, “What if this was from God and you believed it. Would you lose anything?” My initial thought was…ummm…YEA! Hello…since August I’ve been going through medical chaos with no real options. I’ve felt pain that I never thought possible. I’ve missed family moments because I’ve been so sick. I hate having a cane and a walker. I don’t know how any of this will end…and you want me to trust this dream…as in try to trust God with my life? Look where that has gotten me! I had accepted God in my life. I knew He was controlling my life. I had completely given up trust that He was going to end this storm…it’s been constant for 9 months and now I’m supposed to believe that He will suddenly end it. Wait a second…end the storm? He never really said how exactly…just “Trust Me.” Yea…I’m not liking where this is going.

I was challenged to “lay my cards out” before God. Really go to God and open up my fears, concerns, what I believe He can do through me if He would help me…so, Wednesday night I did just that. I journaled. I prayed. I laid everything out and finally told God that I will trust hIm…just needing Him to teach me how to trust again. I needed to renew my trust in Him on a daily…sometimes hourly basis. It’s not just something that can be said or done once and then move on. It truly is a renewing commitment to Him. I’ve never felt so scared and comfortable in my life. Putting your life in Gods hands is never the safest place to be…but it will allow you to experience His presence like never before.

I had the dream Thursday morning…but woke-up smiling and at complete peace. It was really weird…but satisfying too. Josh had a bad morning, so I ended up picking him up early and taking him to the movies. He wanted to sit on my lap. He wanted time with “just mommy.” Kids can read when something isn’t quite right…it was so nice just blocking everything out momentarily with him. That night Steve woke-up around 1AM and spent some time with me…I was wide awake scanning Craig’s List for free stuff. He turned on Netflix and we caught-up on a few shows we missed. We talked, laughed…it was so much fun! I don’t remember what time he made it to bed…or I made it to bed…but I’ll never forget just laughing with him at like 2AM in the morning!

FRIDAY…Got woken-up to the dream, threw on jeans and a t-shirt and booked it to my appointment…an 8 AM appointment is hard enough…without sleep makes it even harder. I get to the building and I remember looking at my watch going, “Man…I got here too early…they are going to think I’m anxious.” Wobbled in, signed-in and took my seat. Bored. Looked at my phone and saw a message from a friend that simply read, “Praying.” I smiled. It hit me that not a lot of people knew about my rescheduled appointment. I thought about blogging about it just to ask for prayer…but, what if it was bad news? The hardest part about having this blog is bringing a load of people with you through your adventure. It’s great when you have good news. It’s not so great when you have bad news. I decided to just remain silent (that should give you a hint that this dream really was getting to me a bit).

I was called back to prep. Took earrings, watch and rings off. I have a special box for my hearing aid that’s within an arms reach after I get done (the doctors always start talking to me as soon as I get done…it’s nice to have it close-by). Knowing the drill, I lay back, shut my eyes and start making deals with God. “If the storm could stop now, I’ll do anything…umm…well, not anything…maybe anything…If you make the storm stop we will work out the details later…” While I was still trying to come up with something to offer, I get pulled out of the doughnut hole and reach quickly for my hearing-aid. Dr. A says, “Bethany, I’m sorry…” I’m thinking “Oh crud.” Then he continues, “We need to restart the machine and verify that it is functioning properly.” Ok…so, I grab a seat in the internal waiting room right outside the CT scan rooms. I’m sitting by a lady I met a few weeks ago, also with a brain tumor. She was talking on the phone about how she would give “him a call back” when she knew something. About a few minutes later, I get called back and my friend gets sent back to the other scanning room at the same time. Leaning back, again. Goung through the doughnut hole, again. Talking to God, but this time I gave up trying to bargain…at this point I’m praying to get a result…I don’t want to wait for another machine. Just give it to me straight and I’ll figure out the rest later.

I remember thinking, “I think they found something.” I was in there for a while, but usually they scan and start radiation (with MRI). I didn’t want to fall asleep…I remember thinking, “If I fall asleep here, I would be really out of it. I could drool all over this table and what would these guys think!” I started laughing…which prompted the red light which reminds me to lay still. I smiled. This really isn’t how this should be going…something is wrong and I’m laughing. Wow…I’ve lost it.

Finally the table moves back to the original position, but no doctors…yet. So I quickly grab my hearing-aid and brace myself. Dr. A emerges slowly shaking his head. “Well Mrs. Boring, we couldn’t find the tumors anywhere. I thought the machine was returning false results. It’s as if the tumors were never there.” My mouth dropped. He was still talking and I just sat there…finally he stopped. “Bethany, you have a clear scan for now. I want to schedule you for chemo as a preventative measure. You still have over a 65% chance that this cancer will return. I want to do everything I can to make sure it doesn’t.” I agreed and Dr. A left.

RIght before I got to the door, the guy from the computer room got my attention. He asked, “Bethany, you got the scan I sent you from 3 weeks ago, right?” This guy told me 3 weeks ago that he would send me the last scan, which was from my last day of treatment, right before the radiation. They got a CT scan but also a MRI. He sent me the CT scan on…ready for this…Easter! Seriously, Easter morning right before the service my phone pulls up his email…with this huge blob, another weird blob and I start thinking, “Jesus has risen from the dead and I get two tumors in my inbox…Happy Easter to me!” I was nice to the guy and responded, “Yep…got em…thanks!” Then he asked, “Want to see the scan from today? I’ll show it to you!” That was a no brainier…I always wanted to go back behind the glass. I make my way back and I peer, timidly, at the screen. He showed me the old scan first. At first, I didn’t realize it was the old scan and thought Dr. A was really off today. Eventually, I realized where this was going when he said, “Okay, so I sent you that scan so you could see what Dr A was talking about. Sometimes you just need to see what you are facing, you know? But today’s scan is so different. There is really nothing there.” Then he showed me this:

My mouth dropped, again. You can see there are dark spots and the more he magnified the more uneasy I got…it was swelling, he assured me…but the tumors, they were gone. He went on to tell me that he had been doing this for over 20 years and has never seen a scan go CLEAR like this. “It’s not possible in just a short amount of time to go from where you were to this. That’s why we reset the machine because we thought we were getting the wrong image.” By this time I was sitting down again. I remember shaking my head and saying, “I don’t believe this!” The tech answered back, “You must feel like your storm just cleared up out of nowhere, huh!” Mouth dropped again and enter Dr. A. He got one word out before his phone started ringing…his ringer went, “I can see clearly now the rain is gone…” The tech and I just started busting out laughing. I couldn’t quit…it was all too good, too perfect…too good to be true.

The tech told me he would email me the new scan with a before and after picture included. Technically I guess I’m not supposed to be sharing these pictures, but sometimes I think for some seeing is believing. So, it helps.

I ended up going to register Josh for VPK and while standing in line I called Steve to share the news. I went through the very shortened version of the story. He knew about my weird dream too. I remember him saying, “What? They can’t find the tumors? What?” Then I had to tell him that after I got through this line, I’d be headed for chemo. He agreed that would be smart. I get off the phone and people around me are smiling. I pretend not to notice…but yea, I did. I was even allowed to cut line to get to my next appointment….I took it. Got Josh registered and checked-in at chemo.

The friend I saw earlier sitting outside of the imaging area was in the sitting area, again on the phone. I just heard part of the conversation, “I know. I don’t want to do more chemo and radiation…but it’s growing and we have no more options.” I swallowed hard. Just a few hours ago her and I were in the same place. I knew her story and she knew most of mine. We met eyes as my name was called back…I stopped and gave her a hug (I’m not a hugger…but I felt like I neeed to do something) and tears filled my eyes. It didn’t really hit me until right then…this is far from over. It was right then that I heard Dr. A reminding me, “You have a long road ahead…this is far from being over.”
Was this permanent?
Is this a healing?
Will this cure my CIDP too?
Will I jog again?
Is this just a break from the storm?
Why me? God, can you “clear” her tumor too? Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it!

Getting hooked up for chemo really put me back to the reality that this was far from over. I passed out twice and my heart monitor went off at least 5 times. Usually I get on Facebook or watch a movie…but today I just sat there, talking to God. As I asked the questions on my mind, it’s almost like He reminded me to renew my trust in Him every step of the way. One would think after getting a scan such as mine that everything would suddenly make sense, the pain would end and it would be happily ever after.

Not so.

I wonder (and now wish) we had a record from the Bible about the lives of people Jesus healed and how they were changed. The blind man that was healed was a beggar…did he ever get a job? Lazarus was DEAD…how long did he live?

I feel overjoyed that these tumors have been “cleared” and I’m giving God the credit…His fingerprints are all over this. But now I’m going, “Why?” Not everyone gets this. I’m sitting here in chemo today and every single person here would want what I got yesterday. What makes me special? How can I minister to those surrounding me? God has given me this gift allowing me to truly understand what they are going through. Is God putting another calling on my heart?

So far today, chemo has been uneventful (they even accidentally gave me nausea drugs…I was going to say something, but it was already in and going so yea…I deserve it. sssshhhh….). Yesterday (Friday) I threw-up multiple times and went to bed around 4:30PM…stayed there until around 8AM this morning. And my dream is gone.

So…I’m not sure where all of this is going. Perhaps this is the beginning of yet another adventure God is calling me to. But I’m taking it one day at a time, one step at a time, renewing my trust in Him each step of the way. Prayers still needed. I have a feeling that God ain’t done yet.

(Edit) Chemo ended up taking longer than expected due to the heart monitor and vital checks. But I was sent home and hoping I can rest a bit s I can attend church tomorrow!!

On The Outside Looking In

Posted: April 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

A week ago, I was up late in steady, mild pain after hitting the floor Monday and allowing the doctor’s dose of reality to really set-in. Perhaps I allowed myself to block reality out a bit…okay, a lot. But my biggest struggle was really describing how all of this was hitting me. If someone asked me how I was doing, I literally had no real, tangible answer. “Good” just seemed to work for most, but few dared to question further. It was through those people I got my thoughts together very early one morning last week…and the following poem emerged. I really didn’t even need to try…it’s as if everything just flowed. It made sense. Even after this was written, I found myself going back and reading muttering, “Yep, that makes sense” like I was reading my current life for the first time on paper. 

The beginning is a bit rough…but if you plunge past the true reality, you will see the optimism through faith. It’s there…I promise! 
Enjoy. 

From The Outside Looking In

Life used to be a book I dreamed to write,
Until this storm invaded and took over my life,
I did nothing to deserve what I am now going through,
Leaving me stuck here struggling, dazed and confused.
Like someone decided to play with my life,
Flipping everything upside down – turning day into night,
Leaving me not quite finding my place,
A new life of challenges I don’t want to embrace.
I don’t want to be on the outside looking in,
Seeing my life destroyed from sickness within,
I am so tired and I just don’t understand,
Why You have me on the outside looking in. 
This must be someone else’s life that I’m now living,
Drowning in pain and sleepless nights unending,
Misplacing thoughts that once came so easy to me,
Most days I feel like I’m slowly  running on empty.
My once life dreams seem so unimportant now,
Taking pictures hoping to slow time down somehow,
Questioning constantly how this trial will end,
Wanting an escape from this reality Ive been sent. 
I don’t want to be on the outside looking in,
Seeing my life destroyed from sickness within,
I am so tired and I just don’t understand,
Why You have me on the outside looking in. 
Yet I am still Yours God, my identity in You is defined,
Fighting harder and crossing old fear-stricken boundary lines,
The reason so many times I smile from the outside looking in,
Is because I see Your transformation burning a new fire from within.
In this time when there truly is no solid landing ground,
I will follow You even into this unknown new me I’ve found,
Even from the outside looking in I have no doubt,
You are the lighted fire in my life burning from the inside out. 
You still use me though I’m on the outside looking in,
Seeing my life destroyed from sickness within,
You know that I am so tired and I just don’t understand,
Why You choose to use me even when Im on the outside looking in. 

Good Day…FINALLY!

Posted: April 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

(Posting a few minutes before midnight on Monday evening).

I know it's a bit late, but I'm celebrating an entire day with no major set backs! This has been the first entire 24 hour period in a VERY long time that has gone smooth for me! I woke-up with a headache and the usual leg pain and fatigue throughout the day…but that was it! No passing out! No falls! No intense pain waves! No major intense headaches! No needed calls to the doctor! Everything went smooth at work and even made it home with energy to spare (and the boys noticed!).

I like posting updates like this because I know you out there are smiling with me right now! Raise your virtual kazoos and make a loud noise with me…thanking God for a break from the storm.

An Award!

Posted: April 16, 2012 in Blog Issues

Ashlee Cooper over from the Pink Pineapple passed this award on to me over the weekend. I’ve got to say…never recieved an online award before! Funny thing is, I have 3 followers, but a very large email subscription list (to me, that is incredibly insane). I discovered that many of these email subscribers have heard my story from prayer lists from various churches and groups distributed by email that link back to this blog. It never ceases to amaze me how fast something can grow (and really, how many crazy people out there like reading my crazy story!).

Heres the qualifications for this award:

The Liebster Award is for up and coming bloggers (200 followers or less) that you think deserve recognition for their fabulous blogging abilities.
Here’s how this award process works…
Each nominee should:

Choose five blogs to give the Liebster Award to.
Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
Post the award on your blog.
List the bloggers you gave the award to with links to their sites.
Leave the bloggers you gave the award to with links to their sites.
Leave a comment on their blogs to let them know they’ve received the award.

Share five random facts about yourself.
But, here’s my problem…Im really only truly reading one blog at the current time. I do read a few others, but they have way over 5 followers! However, the 1 blog I am reading right now hasn’t come at a better time. I truly believe God brings people into your life at just the right moment…and this blog has a person behind it that I’m gradually getting to know better every Sunday (though we are still trying to get our act together to grab a coffee sometime!). What I love about this blog is the verse and heart behind it drives its readers to not only grow in their relationship with God (which is where most leave us), but it encourages growing in Gods Word (through memorization and projects) as well as relationships with those around us. This is a new project, so if you want to jump on board, I can’t think of a better time! I just completed the last project that involved collecting shells…just that alone forced me to change my week, but for the better. Crystal, thanks for your heart, sharing your journey and bringing other women along for the ride!
As for the 5 random facts about myself:
1. Ive been skydiving (and Id do it again if Steve let me). This video was posted 5 years ago!
2. Ive been on the radio several times (spoken at three radio stations in three different states actually…not counting calling-in and getting on the air!).
3. Though everyone believes I am working on getting published I haven’t even thought of the idea…though countless people are greatly influencing change in this area!
4. Im turning 30 in May…eeeewwww…OLD!!!
5. I enjoy writing poetry and playing the drumset…both which I learned to do completely by myself (and through youtube).
Hopefully I will be able to pass this along to 4 more blogs…ummm…anyone have a blog they would like me to read?

The Lions Den

Posted: April 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

One of the nightly bedtime routines that Josh and I share involves a story. Not a book, or an iPad story…but one I either make up on the spot or from the Bible (but told from a 4 year-old point of view). Tonight I told him the story of Daniel and the Lions Den. I told him how Daniel loved God and talked to God all the time. But, some of the Kings men didn't like Daniel and wanted him to go away. So they tricked the King to say that anyone praying to God would be thrown into a big hole filled with hungry lions. Do you think that stopped Daniel? Nope! He went right home, opened his window and prayed to God asking Him for help! Daniel was SO brave! But some of the Kings men saw Daniel praying and said, “He didn't obey the King! He still prays to God! Arrest him,” So, Daniel was arrested and had to be dropped into the hole with a bunch of hungry lions! But Daniel prayed and God shut the mouths of those hungry lions so they couldn't eat Daniel! When everyone heard Daniel was alive, they knew Daniels God was the only true God!”

Then I paused just for a second and Josh ended, “Then they threw the bad men into the lions hole and the lions burped!” I cracked up…truly, we all want that fair ending, right? The good guys win, the bad guys are lion bait and everyone lives happily forever. In reality, Daniel 6 records this story and yes, these “men” we're given to the lions…as well as their wives and children. The Bible says they were pounced upon before they even hit the ground and torn apart. There is no room for imagination there…but seeing wives and kids reach this fate, well, it begs to ask, “Is this really fair?” We won't answer that, but I ask that question…and I'm sure you've been there too.

Gods fairness is beyond me. Perhaps that's why He is God and I'm not. Yet, this is my BIGGEST area of struggle with God right now. I look at the storm hitting my life and the lives of my family and I shout, “It's not fair! Make it stop! Do something to make all of this end!” And the storm gets worse. I feel God and I even see God…but He isn't doing the obvious healing, house-securing, moving faster dream that I really wish He would do. Yet, I don't see the bigger picture here, because these things I want God to do are really all about me. the world and time is way bigger than just me…a spec of a spec really. Yet He does more than notice me, He walks with me and continues to show me He is here and He is working…but again, not in the way I'd like. My “Happy Ending” isn't there…yet.

So…what to do with all of this? Well, I keep praying, keep watching God move and remember that He is in control. IT'S NOT EASY…but it's a mindset that I have taken on because I know it's True. Am I frustrated? Heck yes! Have I experienced pain? More than I ever thought possible! Have I felt alone, discouraged, hopeless and confused? Yes…but I fight these feelings with the knowledge I have in Christ that He does all things for good and that this story is just a small part in His story. I lose sight of that too…but friends (especially readers of this blog) guide me back to the Truth.

I lost sight of that this last week. It's just been a REALLY rough week…and lack of sleep just makes everything worse. Monday was the whole “passing out” saga, Wednesday was my extremely tired and really in pain day, Thursday I actually slept a few hours in a row missing getting into work…it was my day-off though…but Friday…BY FAR was the worst. My throbbing headache started around 7PM Thursday night. I had tremendous leg pain that radiated my entire body all night, all Friday morning and didn't end until 3″ish” in the afternoon on Friday. This is what happens with a brain tumor and un-treated CIDP. The pain got so bad, I literally begged my doctor for medication. I made a deal with him around noon to wait until 5PM before going to the ER for morphine. Guess he won (I forgot to call him back!). It's not that my medical team ignore my pain, but anything I take can disrupt the treatment from weeks ago…it's not worth it (I type that even now with hesitancy). When the oxycodone doesn't make you tired anymore, you have clearly entered in new territory. I'm there. I hold my breath as next week starts…this is the first time in my life I haven't been eager to really start a new week…yep, it's that bad. Yet, it's closer to my rescan and answers. Just a lots of chaos and question marks between here and there.

So, wherever you find yourself upon reading this post, don't lose sight of the Truth and surround yourself with friends who can listen but ever-so-carefully re-direct you when the rain of the storm is a bit too thick and you lose your focus. It's ok…it happens to all of us. God never leaves us…good thing because man, I don't ever walk in a straight line anymore!

Until the next post…let God use you!