and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Three Hairs Left; Don’t Give Up

       It was Feb. 2007.  As I sat talking to the nurse, she suggested that I get my hair cut off, shaved actually.  The chemo would make it fall out anyway and they found most people were more upset to watch it fall out than getting it shaved.  Occasionally I had cut my long hair because I wanted to, but I wasn’t about to cut it when it wasn’t my desire.  For me, it was important to keep any hair that remained as my ‘in your face’ to cancer.

       I remember clearly the week it started coming out in brush and handfuls.  I tried not to touch it too much in hope that some would remain.  The next Sunday morning as I stood at the back of the church before service, the pastor’s wife asked about my well being and then mentioned that my long hair hadn’t started falling out yet.  I said, “Actually, it has,” and ran my hand through my hair once to show her the handful that came out.  She just gasped as I shrugged and tossed it in the garbage.

       Within a short time, the top of my head was bald, except for three stubborn hairs that remained at the bottom back of my head.  (I wish I would have got a picture of them!)  It used to be funny when we were going out and I said, “Wait.  I have to go brush my hair, all three of them!” or “Will you please braid my hairs?- I still have enough!”  Eventually I lost most of my eyebrow hair and all my lashes.  I was finally able to stop plucking my uni-brow, but of course I still had to shave my legs!  Go figure… In spite of the treatment, those three hairs stayed firm in my scalp to shout out “I will not give in to you cancer!”

       Giving up can be easier than fighting back, but with two preteens and a loving husband, it wasn’t an option even when each treatment made my body feel worse.  With the help of my family and full support of my Lord, I made it through… and my three hairs stayed on my head until the rest of my hair had grown back about an inch, and then they decided to leave me L .

       Life is never easy, at least it’s never been for me, but we can’t give in or give up- God has a purpose for us on this earth- and nobody I know wants the devil to win.  So, here are a few scriptures to remember when times are tough.  And if it helps, you can remember my three hairs still falling down my back right through the chemo.  “In Your Face cancer!”

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Rom. )

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. (Ps. 37:23,24) 

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,… (2 Tim. 4:7,8) 

…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Heb. 13:5)

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. (Ps. 139:17,18) 

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Josh. 1:9) 

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:37-39)

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Ps. 55:22)

Friday, September 02, 2011

Three Bears

       For over ten days I had traveled the back country trails near the cottage hoping I’d catch a glimpse of some bears.  Yes, I was by myself because no one else in my family is crazy enough to hit the all natural (bumpy, sandy, rocky) trails for hours like I wanted to.  I’m sure I scared all the bears off because my bicycle rattles so much they probably heard me a mile away.  So my hope remained unfulfilled.

       We had tried to go to the ‘best fish and chips’ place on the Monday after we arrived only to find it is closed on Mondays.  By the time we could try again, it was nine days later!  We left earlier than I would have liked for supper, we took a wrong turn once, got to the place before the crowds that showed up on our tails, and ate our delicious meal.  I decided to drive the others around to see the area (‘cause I’d biked it so much), but first we drove to a town we hadn’t seen.

       Later on our drive, Amy insisted we travel a particular road and half way down we were looking for a place to turn around when, 30 feet in front of the car, was a bear sauntering across the road.  We stopped to watch and saw two cubs following the momma.  Tears started to fall as I realized all the individual events and timing (most I don’t have written here) that had to fall into place for me to finally see some bears.

       My God allowed me the pleasure of seeing his beautiful creatures in their own environment.  We watched as momma ate some berries growing at the side of the road, and they all scuttled off.  My heart was pounding in my chest and I had to wipe my eyes so I could see to drive.

        How do I know that my God loves me?  Because He sent His only Son to die for my sins so that I could have new life in Him.  How do I know He cares about me?  Because He meets with me whenever I want and spends time with me so I can know Him more.  How do I know I am precious to Him?  Because He continues to bless me in ways I cannot imagine just like the exact timing to allow me to see my bears.

       How awesome, loving and personal a God we have, who goes beyond all our minds can conceive to be the greatest Father we could ever have.  Lord, we love You and praise You for who You are.  Thanks for loving us so much!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Unwelcome Visitor(s)

       The itching was so intense I couldn’t stand it anymore.  In my sleep induced haze I reached down with both hands and scratched away at my feet and legs.  In the back of my mind I knew this would only make it worse but I couldn’t stand it any longer.  Of course, the relief was extremely short lived, and so I scratched again and again until I woke up enough to deal with the problem appropriately.  I used Benadryl spray on the bites and a pill to help longer term, and went to sleep on the couch where I could put my legs and feet up and outside the covers to help.  Eventually I fell asleep again.

       It wasn’t until I woke up in the morning and remembered that I’d been fine before bed that I realized the bites could only come from spiders in my bed.  That meant laundering all the bedding and cleaning up.  With no access underneath our bedframe I had to pull/ unscrew it completely to vacuum all the pieces, put it back together, clean and vacuum the other parts of the room all to protect me from more bites.  It takes a lot of effort and time to accomplish this task, and I was exhausted by the time I was done.

       My feet and legs still itch like crazy today.  When I have to put on shoes it gets so intense it’s hardly tolerable.  Right now I am close to being desperate enough to scratch again, so I’ll have to- just a minute…  …okay, it’s minimally survivable again- spray them up again and hope for some relief.  What did I do to deserve such nasty visitors in the night?  Typically it takes over a week before spider bites stop irritating me.  Maybe I did something wrong…  why didn’t God protect me or tell me it was time to pull the bed apart again to clean?

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  (Matt. ,45 KJV)

       Things just happen here on the earth, sometimes because it’s part of nature which we cannot control, sometimes because of Adam’s sin bringing death into the world (Rom. ), sometimes due to the enemy of God and man (Eph. ) and sometimes just because sinful men do sinful things.  If the sun shines here it shines on the ‘good’, the ‘bad’ and everyone in between.  If it rains here, it rains on the good, the ‘bad’ and the ‘tweens’.  Could God stop the sun or rain on any particular house or field?  Yep, if He wanted to for His own purpose, but generally good and bad happens to those ‘good’ and ‘bad’.  That’s life.

       So my unwelcome visitors are gone again, hopefully for a very loooooong time.  And I’m glad that if spiders will be there in heaven (I’m sure SOME people want them there) they won’t be biting me anymore.  I mean, logically if Heaven is my place of rest (Job ) and spider bites keep me from rest, then I won’t get bitten there!  Makes sense to me J !

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lesson of the Vacuum

       Dust clouds were forming around the carpet power head of my vacuum as I raced to clean the basement up before my son’s friend with allergies showed up.  After trying several times to figure out the problem, I gave up and attached the floor brush to the hose.  It managed to do the job but took more time and effort than I wanted.
       After hefting the vacuum back upstairs to the closet, the tube disengaged from the power head and I noticed it looked a little odd where they connected.  There was tape closing the end of the tube!  Why anyone would put tape on the bottom of the tube, I had no idea, but I suspected my eccentric son.  Later when I asked him about it, he said he’d done it because he had sucked up some spiders and didn’t want them to get back out!
       A vacuum without air flow isn’t very useful for its purpose, but neither are we when the flow of the Spirit is hindered in our lives.  Eph. says to be filled with the Spirit.  Gal says If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Rom talks about being led by the Spirit of God.  Both our active and passive actions are to be in the Spirit.  Let’s see what Jesus had to say about the Spirit.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (The Holy Ghost John ), that he (the Comforter) may abide with you for ever;  (John KJV) 
In John 16:7, Jesus leaves in order to send the Comforter to us.

       Jesus thought the Holy Spirit in our lives was important enough to leave us.  Paul also reminds us of the Spirit’s part in our lives: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. (1 Cor. 6:19; also 3:16)  Walking in the Spirit is important to each Christian life as He dwells within us.  There are many things that can hinder that ‘flow’ of the Spirit.  Here are the basic ones that I see:

   -Not understanding the Holy Spirit, His place in the Godhead and His place in our lives.
   (lack of knowledge) Hosea 4:1,6;  Is. 5:13;  Jer. 31:34;  Col 1:10
   -We feel unworthy, don’t believe He can use us, or are afraid for varying reasons.
   (pessimistic attitudes) Eph 4:23,24;  Rom. 12:2;  Pr. 4:23 to help
   -Other people’s beliefs and disapproval of our attempts to follow the Spirit.
   (fear of man)  not to: Heb. 13:6;  Matt. 10:28;  Ps. 118:6

       There are at least 250 verses of scripture on the Holy Ghost, Spirit and Comforter yet many find it difficult or uncomfortable to think of Him as a real person in the Godhead, yet how can that many verses be ignored?  Since He dwells within us (Jam. 4:5) it must be pretty painful to Him when we ignore Him.  It effectively cuts off our ‘flow’ in the Spirit.  We’ve been warned:

   -Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God."--Eph. 4:30.
   -Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost"--Acts 7:51.
   -Quench not the Spirit."-1 Thes. 5:19 

       Do we want to be a taped up vacuum that cannot fulfill its purpose, or do we want our lives to flow in the Spirit and thus fulfill God’s purpose in us?  No condemnation here, we just need to do something: make a decision, learn all we can, and increase our intimacy with God so we know His voice and try our best to follow it.  At the very least, we should remove the tape off our tube!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Healing Testimony

       It was a quiet Friday morning and I was face down in the company of my Beloved One enjoying His peaceful presence.  I stopped singing to listen for His voice, and heard Him whisper, “I am healing you; just rest.”  Being a logical minded person, I began to question which part He was healing, this, or that, or the other, etc. or perhaps all my ailments… and then I realized I just needed to accept what He said so I continued, “Okay”, laid my head on my arms and fell asleep.

       Three hours later I woke up, and for the first time in my life, I breathed deeply.  The sensation of full lung expansion is amazing when you’ve never felt it before. Now, this requires some clarification.  I have never been diagnosed with a lung problem other than allergies, so I didn’t even know I had a problem.  As far back as I could remember I would consistently take five or six shallow breaths and then a deeper one at which time my lungs would feel like there were fingers gripping them at the side to keep them from expanding.  For me this was normal, so I never thought to seek help for it.

        As my lungs expanded fully for the first time, I began to cry at how wonderful it felt and I marveled at God’s brilliance for healing a part of me I didn’t know needed healing.  For the rest of the weekend I kept breathing deeply, each time tearing up, laughing, or thanking God.  A small part of me wondered if it would last, and another part wondered if anything else, like the allergies, would be helped.

       That was more than two months ago.  My nose still gets plugged with allergic reactions and I still struggle with all my other issues, but I can breathe!  Also, I finally understand what people mean when they say to sing from your diaphragm; before that never made sense to me.  And so I will continue to testify as to God’s healing in my life.

       What did I do to deserve His healing?  Let me be perfectly clear.  Absolutely nothing!  I didn’t pray (didn’t even know  it was a problem), I didn’t beg, I didn’t do great and mighty acts for Him, I don’t even know if I’m always in His will and I still act selfishly with my time sometimes.  There are no secret words to speak or steps to take and I don’t have outstanding faith.  It was simply that God in His sovereignty chose to heal my lungs that day- and I am forever grateful.

       I will testify of God’s healing every chance I get.  Though I have no proof, yet I will not remain silent.  Still, more important to me than giving testimony of my healing is to testify what I consider to be the greater miracle. 

That the Creator of the universe wants to meet with us every day;
He wants to hear us and wants us to hear His voice. 
He wants to spend time with us and He wants to be with us...
because He loves us so much. 

That, to me, is more precious than life…

…or breath itself.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


       Every morning I’d leave early for my morning jog or bike ride.  Every morning the neighbour’s dogs would start annoying me by barking and continue to wake up the rest of my family at the cottage.  It was the end of the first week before I was able to leave without their barking, but the more surprising thing was returning to quiet.  I went around to the lake side of the house, stretched, pulled off my shoes and socks, and laid out on my lounger to relax and enjoy the view.

       Peace overcame me as I watched the water softly lapping at the shore; I felt the warmth of the sun kiss my skin and the gentle breeze caress my shoulders.  Occasionally crickets chirped in my yard, and in the distance I could hear birds singing their peculiar songs.  I gazed out at the water enjoying the heat of the morning as it settled in.  It was so quiet I could hear the hum of a fly as it made its way across my position.  It was the perfect morning.

       The next morning I went out for exercise, those nasty dogs continued barking loudly once again destroying the peace… but isn’t that just like life?  We have occasional moments of peace in our lives amidst the trials and struggles of most days.  Peace can be elusive because we think it can only exist within ideal circumstances, but that is not so.

       Often we hear about peace in the context of 'world peace' and every nation and people getting along with other nations and people.  Our God of peace (Rom. ) didn’t come in the flesh to give us world peace, but rather to divide (Luke ) the righteous from the wicked.  Here are a couple scriptures:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have (hold, keep) peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John   KJV)

       Notice Jesus gives peace to us, His believers (Ps. 29:11), not as the world gives which is temporary and conditional based on beliefs of the day and what is going on in our surroundings (there is no true peace for the wicked of the world*), but to us in our hearts (Php. 4:7).  In Him we can hold onto peace no matter what is going on around us- despite our tribulations, for Jesus has overcome the world!  What a great and precious promise! 

*Isa 59:8  (about the unrighteous) The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
Isa 57:21  There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.