Here we are, at Part 7 in the 8-part series on Perseverance that myself and three talented friends have put together. This week I just so happen to get to spend time with these same friends when we get together for a meet up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I am so excited I can hardly wait. …
“Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.” Psalm 22:2 NLT
Have you ever found yourself in the same place as the Psalmist, feeling abandoned and hurt over prayers that have gone unanswered?
I firmly believe that God delights in answering our prayers and yet . . . when the answers are long in coming, and the situations more painful than I feel I can bear, I’ve been known to ask the big “WHY?” How do we cope when God remains silent in response to our cries? Click To Tweet
“There is nothing I can say to make you feel better.”
These words were a jolt to my heart.
I was pleading with someone dear to me about the poor choices she was making, telling her I wished she’d get help, how much she’s hurting those around her, how terribly my own heart breaks for her.
Shock came at the thought that perhaps she was telling me she had no intention of stopping her self-destructive behavior, which left me despairing and absorbed in my own pain.
Lying flat on my back, arms stretched high above my head, the paper covered table beneath me hums as it begins it’s steady movement into the heart of the giant hollow tube. Once inside a mechanical voice speaks in my ear, “Take a deep breath and hold it”. I breathe in, hold, and only release when the voice instructs me to do so. Breathing as normally as possible I wait as strange clicking noises sound all around me. The voice comes again, “Take a deep breath and hold it.”
When the CT scan is finished the table exits the machine where a technician waits to help me back on my feet. I go into the dressing room, remove the hospital gown, dump it in the laundry bin, and put my street clothes back on so I can go about my day. A normal day filled with greetings, and smiles, and thankfulness for all of the beautiful people in my life.
This is the second time this year I’ve been inside this machine and it won’t be the last. You see last Spring, when I was having medical tests for other concerns, evidence of asbestos exposure was “accidentally” found in my lungs. This was actually no great surprise to me. In fact, I had mentioned my asbestos exposure and family history to past doctors, but none ever seemed concerned enough to order x-rays.
My dad worked with asbestos his entire life. Asbestos materials were thrown into the back of our family station wagon to haul from job to job, asbestos fibers covered his work clothes and clung for dear life when my mom would shake out his clothes before placing them in the washer, asbestos dust flew through the air as my dad used his saw to cut the edges of the asbestos squares which he installed on the ceiling of our lake cabin. As a young child I was my dad’s little helper so asbestos also made it’s way into my lungs.
In 1975 my dad was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer which at that time was pretty much considered a death sentence. Survival wasn’t anticipated. My dad had portions of his lungs removed, suffered sickness from the chemotherapy, became weak from too much weight loss, and one-by-one his best friends, those he had worked side-by-side with throughout his career, also succumbed to lung cancer and eventually death.
But MY dad survived and it was nothing short of a miracle! If you’d like to read about his miracle you can do so HERE!
If you’d like to read more about mesothelioma THIS is an excellent source.
I’m writing this post today because September 26th is Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Click To TweetAwareness has been raised for a lot of other diseases but most people still don’t understand what exactly mesothelioma is. They don’t realize that There is no known cure for mesothelioma and the prognosis for a person diagnosed with the disease is very poor Click To Tweet They don’t realize that Once people are diagnosed with mesothelioma most don't survive beyond 15 months Click To Tweet. They don’t realize that Early diagnosis of mesothelioma is key to a better chance of survival Click To Tweet
Heather Von St. James is another survivor of mesothelioma. She has turned her pain into her purpose by making it her mission to raise awareness of this deadly disease and I’m coming alongside her today to help spread the word. So instead of talking any more, I’m going to share Heather’s story with you. I’m asking you to please take the time to listen to her short video by clicking on her picture and then come back so I can wrap this post up 🙂
Thankfully, the evidence of asbestos in my lungs was found and I will now be monitored on a regular basis to make sure things don’t change or progress. I know that x-rays are expensive but since early diagnosis of this disease is critical I wonder why my reports of asbestos exposure weren’t taken more seriously. Perhaps even our doctors will benefit from raised awareness. By the way, I’m not getting down on doctors as my hubby is one.
So what about me? I could spend a lot of time worrying about where this might go but honestly, I have no fear.
If you feel so inclined I’d love for you to share this post on social media. Who knows, there may be someone out there who, like me, knows they’ve had asbestos exposure but has never pushed for an x-ray to see where they stand. This is important stuff. Your sharing could save a life!
Thank you friends and blessings to you,
For more information about Mesothelioma THIS is an excellent source.
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My oldest daughter recently came home for a two week visit carrying 53 pounds of clothes in her suitcase. She is a little girl (at 36 years of age) so THAT my friends is a lot of clothes! You should’ve seen us lugging her gigantic suitcase up the front stairs. Pushing, pulling, falling, laughing. When we finally got the suitcase to her room I sat on the bed and watched as she hung one pretty thing after another in the guest room closet. It was so good to have her home.
This got me to thinking about the spiritual clothes we wear. Especially me. Especially lately.
Welcome to FREEDOM FRIDAY – A devotional, emotional, spiritual and sometimes hysterical series that I will be sharing on occasional Fridays, in addition to my regular Old Things New posts. Why? Because though once bound in chains Christ has set me free – FREE to live, to love, to dance, to sing, to be who God created me to be!
Much has been going on in our lives these past few months that I haven’t shared here in my hopefully upbeat blog space. A slew of medical tests for myself, heartbreak with family members, ageing in-laws across the country, and seeing my husband so ill that he was admitted to the hospital for 30 hours of testing symptoms that still haven’t fully resolved. Stress seems to be a constant lately.
Trials or disappointments in life can cause us to put on cloaks that we as Christ followers have no business wearing. Robes of fear, insecurity, worry, inadequacy, angst. I don’t know about you but sometimes the cloak becomes so heavy on my shoulders that it distracts me from hearing God speak and prevents me from being able to find the words to cry out to Him when I most need to.
This is where I found myself the other day when I picked up my Bible and my journal and cried out to God. His answer?
Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line mature, complete, and wanting nothing. If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking. James 1: 2-4 The Voice
“Embrace hardships,” or as the KJV version reads, “Consider it pure joy, . . . whenever you face trials . . .” Really? I knew this passage was speaking to me and to the discouragement, worry, and pure overwhelmedness (spell check tells me this is not a word but I like it) I was feeling.
Right then and there I knew that I had to surrender, ask God to forgive me for picking up and putting on the dark cloak of worry and anxiousness that was weighing heavy upon my shoulders. I had to tell Him how sorry I was for not trusting Him when I know, that I know, that I KNOW He holds the future and He cares deeply about every detail of my life. I agreed to let go and trust Him with the thoughts and feelings that consumed me.
He met me right where I was as the dark robe of the enemy fell away and His mantle of peace covered me. Click To Tweet I don’t have full joy in the trial yet but neither do I have the anxiety. Just for today I can say with confidence that I trust Him completely. No matter what is going on in and around me I know that He is doing a new thing and I’m excited to see what He has in store as I step forward with boldness onto the path He is clearing before me.
Do you wear the weight of the world upon your shoulders? Are you trying to control circumstances to no avail? Do you feel depressed or anxious? If you have given your life over to Jesus He loves you and He will walk with you through the hardships, feeling every hurt right along with you. He will grant to you all that you need for the battle as He “gives lavishly” to those He calls His own. If you haven’t yet accepted Jesus as your Savior He is waiting to lift off those garments of insecurity, sadness, or fear of the future and clothe you in perfect peace.
[He will] provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isa 61:-2-4 NIV
I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isa 61:10 NIV
I am reading a book right now called Hope Prevails by Dr. Michelle Bengtson. She writes from a doctor’s personal perspective about depression. While this book is written for those who are depressed or have people they care about who are suffering depression it has also helped me to stave off the heaviness I feel as I face some of my fiercest spiritual battles in years. Dr. Michelle’s book releases on August 16th and I will be sharing a complete review with you soon. Right now though, you can pre-order the book and receive a free gift by going to Dr. Michelle’s website.
God’s richest blessings to you sweet friends,
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