March 16, 2008

1 Timothy 2:8 I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.

That verse really sums up what I want my life's testimony to accomplish. Some could look at what I have gone through in the last few years and say I would have every reason to be angry. I could have every reason to dispute God's love and faithfulness. But I can tell you that just the opposite is true for my life. I believe that what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I would not trade my situation for anything in this world. This world is just temporary... and what has happened within my heart and soul are eternal. I felt His touch... something I never thought I would experience. I prayed for it, but never thought I would physically feel it. There is so much truth in the power of prayer. I believe that God wants to pour out His power and His love, He is just waiting for us to call on Him. I want people everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer. Not just words, but truly believing in the power there is when we call on Heaven.

When I saw the scan of my cervical spine in September, I mentioned that all the little bones were bright white except for one. My C5 vertebrae was gray, almost as if there was a shadow over it. I really felt satan's oppression... it seemed to be the worst at night for me. I would lie awake in my bed and just feel a presence of fear and darkness... so much so that I would not want to fall asleep. Someone mentioned to me once that the scan of my neck sounded like the "shadow of death". This really made me think. Satan does not have the power over life and death. When cancer shows up on scans, often times it looks like a shadowy area. As much as he wanted to scare me with that scan, it was just a shadow. We are told when we are young not to be afraid of our shadows. I used to wave at mine and take big steps to watch it and see if I could outsmart it. But there it was... I could not seem to get it to leave me alone. It seems as though these kinds of shadows should be a lot scarier than the kind we saw as kids. I wanted to share what David wrote in Psalm 23:4. It says this: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  David says that despite walking through the dark places, he was not afraid because God was with him. Often times, the rod and the staff are one in the same. They were used by the shepherds when guiding their flocks of sheep. The staff has a curve on the end that can be used to pull the sheep back from danger, and ultimately guide them into green pastures. There is no where that the sheep could go that the shepherd would not see and be right there to keep it within his sight and out of danger. Although I am having to walk with this shadow of death following, it is only that... a shadow. And I know that I can walk through and not be afraid because I am not out of my Savior's sight. He will do all that He can to guide and direct me, not into harm, but ultimately to a place of abundance, and there is so much comfort in that.

I am not saying that this is an easy thing to do. I made my mind up years ago that all I had was my faith and my attitude. Even so, there are many days that I feel like I am trying to walk up an escalator that is going down. Making it to the top is not impossible, it's just a challenge that you have to continue to work on or you can get behind very easily. I find so much comfort in God's word as it seems to come up out of the pages and embrace me.

My mom and I are leaving in the morning for Chicago. This will be my 10th treatment. I did not end up having to have the blood transfusion; my blood counts seemed to come up quite a bit over that weekend. That was such an answer to prayer. Trying to schedule to go in to have it done seemed like confusion. That is usually how I can tell that it is not what I am supposed to be doing... God has always been faithful in clearing a path that I have a peace about walking down.

I will continue to keep all of you in my prayers.

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