Monday, June 30, 2014

Learning to Live Life

So I was talking to someone the other day who said she read my blog (hi, Jessica) — I really didn't think anyone did that! Her mentioning of the blog got me thinking that it has been a really, really long time since I have actually blogged. I decided it might be good to go ahead and try to post at least 2 blog posts this year. Here you have it, the second one.

I honestly had to go back and even see where I left off from the last one. That's just sad. I am clearly not the best blogger. But one of the things that I have loved about being able to blog is to let people see that this is real life. It's funny because a pastor spoke yesterday at church and that was a big part of his message. As Christians, we are to share three things: love, the Good News and life. I pray I have been able to do that here, and I am thankful for those I get to share life with.

He also said some really other good things yesterday (see his message here). One of the things he talked about is how we try to make our lives look perfect...hello, Facebook. But sharing real life is what helps others grow. Sharing struggles, that's real. So I am thankful that's what I have gotten to do over the last year with people. Live my life...the good, the bad, the ugly. 

Since my last post, I have had another surgery, gotten out of medically induced menopause (praise Jesus), have had to deal with not being healed and have had to accept living with chronic pain. One of the things that's neat about all of this is that I can be real about it. Yeah, going into another surgery (the 4th) stunk; coming out of that surgery with new growth, though still a successful surgery, also stunk; not being able to get out of bed and go to work because the pain is crushing sometimes, yep stinks. You know what doesn't stink? Knowing that through it all God hasn't changed. He's still the God who is in control, the one that knows best, the one that loves His children and wants good for them. I probably would not have chosen this journey, and often times I still don't understand why this is my journey, but I KNOW God is using this for His glory, for His plan. 

I'm thankful that I can strongly proclaim that, yeah, this isn't always fun and I don't understand why healing doesn't happen, BUT He is faithful. That doesn't mean every day is easy because there are days that are very hard, but I have to cling to Him and be real about my struggles. I hope that can encourage you. He is good and He is constant. 

"Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass." 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

For Eternal Glory

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16–18 


I have this verse posted at my desk, and it's been a great encouragements over the last few months. In all honesty, I haven't really felt like I "needed" it lately. I know it sounds bad; it's not that I don't need Scripture, it's just that as I have been feeling better, I think I haven't paid as much attention to this verse. But it caught my eye earlier, and as I read it, I was reminded that our life here isn't for us. What we do here, what happens to us, whether good or bad, are not for our glory but for the glory of God. Even in the midst of affliction, our faith and obedience in it is for Him. One of the commentaries says that the things we are afflicted with on earth are light in comparison to the eternal glory that we get to experience in Heaven. 


 So whether you are in affliction or not, remember that your life is for God's glory, and remember that the glory we get to experience in Heaven far outweighs this life.  


"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you." 2 Corinthians 4:8–12

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18 

"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:6–9 

Monday, December 23, 2013

God is good all the time

Sorry it’s been a while since I updated. I am finally starting to feel back to normal, which is a huge blessing. The surgery went well, they removed the left ovary and the doctor said it didn’t look like the disease had grown more elsewhere — praise the Lord! The idea of a hysterectomy has been taken off the table at this point, and I am very thankful. I will continue to finish out my treatment, have another surgery in March to remove any additional disease spots, and then continue to manage the disease with medication. I am so thankful and this news was an answer to prayers.

It’s been almost six weeks since I had surgery, and I have to admit, until the last couple of weeks, I hadn’t felt any better. It’s hard to have gone through surgery but still not feel much relief and be in chronic pain. I am continuing to see a specialist to help diagnose where else this pain may be coming from and seeing a physical therapist. Because of the trauma my muscles have been in from surgeries and from the stress of having been in constant pain for months, my muscles are constantly clenched. This has been causing a lot of pain in my hips and back, but we are working on things to help, for which I am thankful. But I can’t say praise the Lord enough — in the good and bad days!

God has been so good through this — even in my doubt. It’s funny because I don’t feel like I struggle as much with trusting God in the big things like my future and His plan for my life. But I struggle with trusting Him in the day-to-day, like how I am going to pay medical bills, buy Christmas gifts or pay for another surgery. For a few months, there were specific things I had been asking God for: a roommate, someone to talk to who has been through this and for provision. And you know what? In two weeks, He answered them all. These were specific prayers that I had been praying for, and honestly having a hard time with why He hadn’t answered them, but He did — He is so good!

God has put people in my life to bless me. I spoke with a woman who has been through this, for years, and has gone through multiple surgeries and the medication and the whole thing. It was such a blessing to sit with someone who can say, "I understand what you are going through." God has also blessed me hugely through people in my church and through friends. He prompted them to give and through the giving and generosity of others, I was able to pay three medical bills! That is such a huge blessing and beyond anything I could fathom. God also brought me a roommate at the perfect time to help with additional cost as well. Shout out to Millie! She's is awesome, and I love having her living with me. 

Through December, we have been going through a series at church called "Miracle." God did a miracle that first Christmas with the birth of Jesus, and He continues to do miracles around us every day. He gives us hope, purpose, forgiveness and joy. It's been really neat to see how our church has asked people what the miracle they need is and then pray for them. It's important to see the miracle needs around us and also see how God is doing miracles every day. (You can learn more about Miracle here and you can listen/watch the sermons here.) I have seen miracles take place in my life — He's given me peace through trial and provided specific needs. He does miracles!

God continues to remind me of His goodness. I was worried about all of these things. Why I worry about those things I don’t know. God has always provided what I need. I can look back at specific moments like that in my past where He has done the same things and answered my prayers. I think a big part of it is because He is teaching me to completely trust and rely on Him. And in those moments when He answers those prayers and provides in ways I could have never imagined, it’s like He is saying, “I am here. I am taking care of you. You are mine and I love you.”

I know better too. I know not to worry because God loves me so much and cares about the details of my life. 

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:25–34

God is so aware of the details of our lives, and He cares about them. Whatever you may be going through, I pray you will hold to that promise and know that He cares for you. God loves you.  

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thank you

Thanks for all the prayers and encouraging words! My surgery was moved to Monday at 7 am.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How do you trust God’s plan?

There are a lot of questions about what my future family will look like? Who will I marry? How will we have children? Especially right now.


If you’ve kept up with my blog at all, you know I have been going through a lot of female issues (sorry guys). Well there has been yet another development. Since I had surgery and even started the treatment for Stage 4 Endometriosis, I have yet to feel any relief from the pain of the disease. I felt like I had to be getting better three months into the treatment, but I wasn’t. Last week, I had reached my max of dealing with pain. It was rough. I had a sonogram done and despite the aggressive treatment I am going through, two more masses have grown back. My doctor was definitely surprised and visibly disappointed.


We came to the conclusion it was time to remove the left ovary (it’s the one that clearly hates me). My doctor is sending me to have a second opinion on Wednesday, which I am thankful to him for that, but he felt pretty sure we have done all we can do and that the ovary will have to come out. After the surgery, I will still continue to finish out my last three months of treatment. Unfortunately the endometriosis isn’t just on my left ovary, so we hope that in continuing the treatment, it will help to get rid of what’s left of it elsewhere. If the endometriosis is still there after the surgery and three months of treatment, I will have a full hysterectomy (they will remove my female organs).


So, not only did the initial diagnosis leave me with a high risk of infertility, but now I will also have one less ovary, possibly still have the endometriosis and potentially a hysterectomy. I believe God can do all things and that He is the great physician, but I also feel pretty sure my future doesn’t include me having children naturally. I say that because I am okay with that. I know it’s weird. But I feel like God has given me a peace in it. And His Word says He can do that!


Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:4-7


Trust me, my heart is to be a momma. And I do not doubt that it will happen! God knows the desires of my heart and I trust His plan.


“Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.”
 Psalm 37:4


“’For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’” Jeremiah 29:11


Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean it is always easy. But I take comfort in knowing Him and in the promises of His Word.


God knew this day would come.


“Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.”

Psalm 139:16


I know there will be tough days. There will be emotional days. There may even be moments that I won’t even feel like I can breath, but God is good. He is my strength and He is with me always.


“Behold, God is my helper;
    the Lord is the upholder of my life.”
Psalm 54:4


“But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me.” 2 Timothy 4:17


Thank you to all of those who have walked this journey with me, encouraged me and prayed constantly for me. I feel it! Please continue to pray. Pray for wisdom for the doctors, continued peace for me, for my future spouse because this affects him hugely, for my family as they process this with me and most of all, that God will get the glory.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Feeling Through Song

I heard this song today and the words spoke so true in my life. I am thankful God continues to remind of Himself, His promise and His presence.

Kari Jobe
“Love Came Down”
If my heart is overwhelmed
And I cannot hear Your voice
I hold on to what is true
Though I cannot see

If the storms of life they come
And the road ahead gets steep
I will lift these hands in faith
I will believe

I'll remind myself
Of all that You've done
And the life I have
Because of Your son

Love came down and rescued me
Love came down and set me free
I am Yours
Lord I'm forever Yours
Mountains high or valley low
I sing out and remind my soul
I am Yours
I am forever Yours

When my heart is filled with hope
Every promise comes my way
When I feel Your hands of grace
Rest upon me

Staying desperate for You, God
Staying humble at Your feet
I will lift these hands in praise
I will believe

I'll remind myself
Of all that You've done
And the life I have
Because of Your son

I am Yours
All my days
Jesus, I am Yours

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Spiritual Strength

I warned you that there would be some days that were harder than others. Well the last couple of weeks have been those days. It pains me to think of people who go through trials in life who don't have our Savior Jesus Christ. I can't imagine. The only possible way I am able to get through this time is by relying on the Lord, His Word and believers around me who constantly encourage me.

I knew, and prayed, that God would use this time to refine me and draw me closer to Himself, and He has. I have a new found hunger and thirst for His Word. Mainly because it's my greatest source of encouragement. It's where I go when I have the tough days, when I am feeling a bit emotionally crazy (or a lot if you ask some of my friends ... sorry, y'all!) and where I find Him speaking truth in my life. 

God works in wonderful ways too. It's funny how often what I read in my daily reading is exactly what I need in that moment. His Word gives me the Words to pray when all I can do is cry out. They encourage me and give me hope.

Here is a passage from my reading today: 

It was exactly what I needed. This is my prayer for myself and for others who are may be going through a difficult time. I am so thankful for Jesus — He is my rock, my salvation, my comforter and healer. I pray He is those things for you as well. If He is not, I am praying He will begin to draw you closer to Himself and reveal who He is to you. Your life will never be the same. 

A big THANK YOU goes out to all of my dear friends. You will never know how grateful I am for you, your prayers and encouragement, and for putting up with me! I love y'all!