christianity

Near to the Broken-hearted

Why is it easier to pray for healing for other people rather than for yourself? Recently I had to come face to face with this when I received the cancer diagnosis. We put out a call for prayer and I knew I had several prayer warriors praying for me.

As the days wore on and emotions were raging, I felt like I should pray for myself. Sounds simple enough. I’ve often prayed for things in my life. But, this time was different. I struggled. I couldn’t find the words. I had fears and doubts. Thoughts crept in, “What if I pray and God doesn’t heal me?” Is it because of sin in my life? Is it lack of faith? Or the hard truth that maybe my time on this earth is finished?

I didn’t know where to even begin. So, I cried out. The tears flowed. How many times have I prayed for people with cancer without a second thought that God could heal them? So many times…but this time I lacked the strength. The desire was there but I was fumbling.

As I cried verses began to come to mind, “Jehovah is near to the broken-hearted; and saves those who are of a contrite spirit. “ Psalm 34:18…

And immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” Matthew 9:24

Then the reality hit me. God was just waiting for my true heart to shine through. It wasn’t about a grandiose prayer full of scripture and flowery words. He wanted the tears. He wanted my anger. He wanted my thoughts-the good and the bad. He wanted to exchange my fear and anxiety for life.

The words began to pour out of me. Yes, I prayed for healing. But, just like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, I ended it with “Not my will Father, but Your will be done,” Matthew 26:39

A few weeks ago I went in for another test to see where we were at with the cancer. I had my surgery back in October and this was the first glimpse of my left breast since then. Did I have scanxiety? (Its a real thing.) Yes, but somehow I knew the results were going to be good.

Sure enough, there is no more cancer! I am cancer free! Some would say it’s because of the surgery, or changing my eating habits. I believe God healed me as a result from everyone praying. And I give all glory to Him!!!

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8

marriage

Refreshing Springs Through the Valley of Weeping

With our daughter’s wedding upon us and friends and family are beginning to arrive, our house is quickly being filled with chatter, laughter, and a little chaos.

Although I am extremely blessed and excited for this marriage to happen, I can remember a time when going to weddings was extremely painful for me. I was going through my separation and divorce and even the thought of going to a wedding made my stomach turn.

I tried to be happy for the couple, who were so in love that nothing could hold them back. But, I wasn’t feeling it. I struggled. A lot. I remember being at a small bridal shower and crashing to the floor because I had a grand-mal seizure. I was rushed to the hospital, where my friends stayed with me for hours to make sure everything was okay. Well, I wasn’t okay-mentally or physically. I just ruined a fun party and I felt horrible for the bride-to-be as her special day ended up in the ER as a result of me.

Now, many of my friends have experienced the loss of their spouse. I feel for them. Even though I haven’t been through the pain of becoming a widow, I do remember feeling alone and seeing joyful couples all around me and wondering if I would ever be happy again. Through all of the pain, I had to hold on to biblical truths. I love Psalm 84:2 “I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD.”

This is not our home! This sin-filled, selfish world is not our resting place. Oh, how I so look forward to the day when I get to see my Savior face to face. No more sorrow. No more suffering. Peace and love will fill me every moment.

It’s through the difficult times that we get our focus off of us and turn to the one who brings joy unspeakable and we experience Christ in a way that we couldn’t fathom.

In a few days I will stand with my daughter and watch her marry the man of her dreams. This is a time of rejoicing! I am no longer sad at weddings. I am joyful that God created a union between a man and a woman that would cause us to no longer be alone and to walk out the trials and joys of life together. I am especially thankful that God gave me my current husband, who is my soul-mate. We would not be having this wedding without God, who healed my epilepsy, gave me new life in the way of three children, and has given me streams of living water through the trials.

“What joy comes for those whose strength comes from the LORD…when they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs.” Psalm 84:5,6

family, marriage

Day 7 Prayer: Dependence on God

I want to bring up the importance of dependence. It’s a topic I have learned quite a bit about living off-grid. I even wrote a book on it called Beautiful Dependence.  I am not talking about being dependent on vices in our life, such as alcohol, drugs, or food. The dependence I am speaking of is true dependence on God for everything that we need.

When we become too comfortable in life, we often forget about our need to go to God daily. We become complacent. We think Life is good – until it’s not. Then we have a trial that comes our way and we quickly realize how weak we truly are. Jesus is our example. He woke up early every morning and prayed before He did anything else. He went to the Father for direction, guidance, and companionship.

In my own life I fought for independence. I wanted to be the strong girl who could conquer anything set before me. In many cases I succeeded. However, after living on a snow-covered mountain, with a vehicle that wouldn’t get us up the hill any longer, I suddenly realized how important my neighbor was to me. Or, seeing how wonderful my husband was to get up every morning and start the fire, so my kids and I didn’t have to wake up to a cold cabin. Trials became something to expect on the mountain. I knew in order to make it through those trials I had to cry out and depend on God to get me through them.

I have never liked trials. At one point in my life, I was willing to be a lukewarm Christian because I noticed the more I grew in the Lord, the more tribulations came my way. I wanted nothing to do with hardship. I wanted things nice and cozy. Until I realized you can’t stop bad things from happening. We are in a fallen world and its a promise. Jesus says it in John 16:33 “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 

Now, I am not afraid of trials. I know I will be refined and grow into the person God wants me to be as a result. I will also have compassion for others going through similar circumstances.

Day 7 Prayer: Dependence

  1. Pray your family would become more dependent on God and less dependent on the things of this world.
  2. Pray for a humble heart for you, your spouse, and kids. When you see someone struggle to ask for help on a task, pray that they would be able to get rid of pride and ask for the help they need.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5