Monday, October 5, 2015

The Sling, The Ram's Horn, And The Seventh Day

I have shared before that I often spend time going into the "garden of my heart" as part of my morning devotions.  I sit back, close my eyes, asking Holy Spirit to control my thoughts and also pray for a hedge of protection around this garden of my heart.  In the garden is where I meet with Jesus mostly and sometimes God and Holy.  It is a time that I hear God's voice speaking to me and see images and /or  "videos" of these moments with God.

On September 28th while going into the garden, I came marching into the gate blowing a horn.  I was not sure what kind of horn it was at that time, but I was blowing it and also singing, "Praise Him, praise Him, all ye little children...."

There is a "burden area" in my garden where I leave things that I need not carry that day when I asked Jesus if I needed to leave fear there.  I had been challenged by fear while waiting for the breast tissue pathology report.

When I asked Jesus that question, I saw myself holding what later Joel told me sounded like a sling.  It was carrying a very very heavy rough, but round metal ball.  I twirled it a few times and then tossed it over a cliff into the burden area, but when it hit the ground it split the earth and I heard a voice say, "It is shaking hell".  I then felt and saw it shake hell.

After absorbing this information, I asked Jesus another question and heard one word from Him......"Joshua".  Later I looked up the book of Joshua and in Joshua 6 is the story of the walls of Jericho coming down.  It is a great story of obedience to God.  For six days the Israelites marched around the walls of Jericho with the Ark in front of them blowing the ram's horns.   On the seventh day they were to blow the ram horns and march around the walls with the ark in front and then give a loud shout and the walls would come down and Jericho would be destroyed.  That is exactly what happened.
I related this story to my journey with breast cancer, and waiting for the results of this last pathology report.  I believed that on the seventh day the  walls of cancer would all come down, cancer (Jericho) would be destroyed and I would have another good report.

I thought that the seventh day was Tuesday the 29th so I was all excited and waited all day.  I waited and waited....and no phone call.  I was pretty disappointed and began to doubt.  And then on Wednesday morning, the 30th I talked to the breast center advocate, and afterwards I realized that the seventh day after my surgery  was actually Wednesday.  I felt a sense of peace come over me knowing the doctor would call that day.  And he did call around five that evening with all good news!

Getting back to the sling that shook hell?  I heard later that day a teaching about slaying giants.  I connected that to the sling I was twirling in the garden of my heart and the images and visions God was giving me.  That same Wednesday evening, after the doctor had called, I was asked to give my testimony of my healing journey from breast cancer.  The shared the way God showed up over and over.  I was also asked to come up and pray over a woman in deep need of healing.  I also shared briefly our healing stories from Lyme and other conditions.  How the healing power of Jesus came through prayer and healed us both.  Later that evening I realized that sharing about God's healing power was the sling I tossed over the cliff that actually shook hell.  Hell shakes when we give God glory and adoration!!!

I am humbled and amazed by how God has shown up in my story.  This is not my whole story.  It is only a paragraph.  But what is my whole story is how God shows up in His healing touch, the medical world, the love and prayers of others.  Over and over again He shows up in my life, in your lives.  That is how much He loves us.  And when we share what He has done for us, when we declare it and the promises in His Word, it shakes hell.  So let's keep using our "slings" to slay giants, lets keep blowing those ram horns and shouting praises to our God!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Saturday's Scribbles

It is a beautiful fall day here in our corner of the world.  Oh how I love Fall....all the colors, smells, and sounds.  I have been able to walk farther and farther each day, but overdid it on Thursday when I walked a mile! Yesterday I walked less and today I am taking a break.  Still it is so wonderful to be outside in the fall.

Speaking of outside, Joel is off to his one day a year at Rendezvous Days in MN.  It takes place only an hour from us so it is easy for him to go just for the day.  He loves going back in time, experiencing the music, food, events, etc. of the past.  It is crisp and cold this morning but by noon it will be warm. He has gone for the past 15 or more years with an exception or two.

I am enjoying a reprieve from doctors for the next 12 days.  Thursday was the final report from the surgeon and officially it was a Stage 1, Grade 2 tumor. Very very small.  The tissue surrounding it was all clear of cancer cells and so were the 6 smaller lymph nodes removed.  (6 filled up a space of where 2 should have been so they took all 6 to be tested.)  On the 15th I see the medical oncologist and on the 21st the surgeon again and then the radiology oncologist.  Radiation starts probably the first week of November and will be 5 days a week for 6 weeks.  No chemo.

Last Wednesday night we went to the church to listen to a teaching on healing.  It was powerful.  To my surprise the pastor asked me to give my testimony on my healing from breast cancer.....and I also shared a bit of our healing through prayer from Lyme and more.  Later he asked me to come up and pray over a young woman.  It was so great to do both, but I admit it tired me out!

The suffering families are going through from this latest mass shooting is almost palpable.  When one suffers we all suffer.  I am disgusted with the political agenda on BOTH sides.  I am appalled by the lack of help for those with mental illness.  I am confused by the levels of violence in our country on TV, in movies, in games kids play, in our communities.

For some reason, this event made me think of what we went through as a family in the early 80's when a parish member of our church threatened Joel's life.  He shot up his brother-in-law's house and then told his wife he was coming for Joel, his pastor.  The police called us late one night and told us a man was coming to try to kill Joel and that they were on the way to help.  We woke all our children and gathered them into one bedroom where we had them lay on the floor.  Joel sat out in the living room with a loaded rifle because, yes, he would have defended the family if necessary.  The police arrived, guns drawn, filling our house with their presence.  One helped our oldest daughter get clothes for everyone,  Once 4 squad cars were in place, they escorted us into our vehicle, had the kids lay down on the floor and escorted us out of town towards the Twin Cities just 50 miles away.  It was terrifying and it affected the lives of our children and us greatly.

For 6 years we lived with the knowledge that this man was still talking about killing Joel.  He used to idle his car out on the road away from our home watching us.  He would call and not talk, or call and threaten us.  There was a restraining order against him but little else to do.  We had plain-clothed policemen in our congregation off and on to protect Joel and the church.  And yet, there was nothing more that anyone could do UNTIL he would actually attempt to kill Joel.  This was the law.  I think when we left there and moved across the state, we all breathed a sigh of relief.  Phone calls continued for a year or two, but eventually he moved on and so did we.  Once we made the decision as a family to stay,  for the next 6 years it was a season of trusting God for protection.

 It is frustrating to me that the rights the nation demands, also protect those who threaten harm or actually beat someone up, etc.  The police have their hands tied often when it comes to preventive measures because it may infringe on the rights of some.  I understand, but having lived with 6 years of a violent man's rights being more important than a victim's rights?  I believe that the victim's rights should outweigh the rights of those who cause harm.  Something is broken in our system on so many levels.  Something is broken in us as a people.  Okay, time to move on...........

Joel and I celebrated the good news this week with a Cabin Coffee cinnamon roll :).  Next Tuesday friends are coming over to have a "count it all joy" party with us.  I had decided that no matter what the medical report,  we were going to have a count it all joy party, because I believe God wants us well all the time.  But the cancer is gone and we are going to celebrate.........and celebrate.........and celebrate.

Joel brought home these beautiful flowers for me
the day before surgery.

Love the fall colors and they are still
fresh to look at!

I have 6 exercises I do twice a day for my arm to avoid getting lymphedema, PLUS I need to lay for
45 minutes 3x a day with my shoulder higher than my heart and my elbow higher than my shoulder and my wrist higher than my elbow for the same reason.  I read, watch TV, or nap during these times. I have been told not to carry my purse on my right shoulder, sleep on my right side (for 4 weeks) I cannot let my blood pressure ever be taken on my right arm, or have blood drawn from that arm either.  Interesting, don't you think?

I have been re-reading a favorite book, "They Speak In Other Tongues" by Guideposts writer John Sherrill.  I have also been catching up on teachings online and listening to praise music.  The new fall schedule has started which means we are watching a bit more TV when home at night.

Until next time...............

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Praying Surgeon, Angelic Nurses and Sheltered Wings

I wanted to share in detail my experiences on this journey because God has shown up in such amazing ways.  He is a God who sees us (El Roi) and a God who loves us.  Our Provider, Protector, and Healer.

We headed to the hospital before 7:30 last Wednesday morning.  Joel and I had spent the evening before visiting with two of our daughters who came for their mama's surgery.  It was a nice distraction.  Early that next morning we applied the numbing cream.  Liberally.  It would need close to 4 hours to take full affect and I wanted nothing less when they put 4 needles filled with nuclear radioactive dye into the most tender area of my breast.  Seriously.  This procedure was not fun to think about, along with the wire insertion so I had asked for specific prayers concerning both.

I was taken into the pre-surgery area where my nurse could get me ready for what was ahead.  She asked me specific questions, including the Lyme damage, etc.  It is written everywhere in my chart, and being the strange bird I am in the medical world...(I prefer the word unique) medical staff are curious.  She applied lidocaine to insert the catheter in my hand and checked vitals.  We talked about Joel's healing story and then briefly about mine.   She was very interested, it turns out she is a member of a church in a nearby town and we discussed how important our faith is.  She patted my arm and told me "Jesus is with you today."  Yes, God's presence came to me right away with an angelic nurse to prepare the way.

Soon I was on my way to the first procedure and after getting adjusted unto a table that had my body twisted and distorted,  the radiologist, who had done my first biopsy, came in to inject more lidocaine into my breast so he could put the wire in.  He told me it would prick and burn.  I waited and waited and then asked, "Have you done it yet?"  He replied....."Yeeeesssss.  Did you feel it?"  I said no.  Soon he put the wire in and said, "It went in perfect the very first time!!  Sometimes we get things perfect".   I said, "Yes, and prayer helps too!!"  I never felt a thing in there.  Nothing.  God showed up once again and guided the Dr.'s hands, and kept pain away.

On to the next procedure.....way early!  We sat and waited a while in a cold cold room but when I went in to lay down on yet another table, the nurse brought me warm blankets.  Nice.  The same doctor came in and I said to him, "We have got to stop meeting like this Dr. ____"!  He laughed.  The first injection burned a bit and hurt, but the other three did not and he kept me distracted with talking about  Lyme disease.  He treated for it twice when finding ticks attached.  After the procedure they talked to me more about it and later I realized it was to make sure I was not the 1 out of no one who reacted to the dye.  I did not.  Thank you Jesus!  When the Dr. left I told him I did not want to see him again, and he said, "Yes, unless it is at Target!"

**FYI:  I had lidocaine and prilocaine for the numbing cream....I had lidocaine when the catheter was put in and I had lidocaine for the first wire insertion procedure.  Joel noticed I was a bit "loopy" when waiting for the second procedure and I kept wanting to sleep while sitting up.  This relaxed state stayed with me until I went into surgery.  Five days later I googled it and discovered it is a reaction for some to when the lidocaine hits the brain.  It can be serious, like you can go into unconsciousness. I did not, of course, but was only sleepy and then just "laid back" before surgery.  It is something to remember if it ever happens to you because the report said to tell your nurse or doctor if you get drowsy.

While waiting for things to proceed, Joel opened a text for me from my friend Linny.  She prayed for us again, and shared all of Psalm 91 with me, which made us smile since we had been reading that aloud nearly every day since this journey began.  Another confirmation that God was in the midst of it all.

The doctor was an hour late for my surgery due to complications in the first he did, but soon enough he arrived and talked briefly to us.  Three of our kids and Joel were in the room with me.  As the Dr. was leaving I patted his arm and said, "God bless you Dr. ____" and he stopped and asked me if I would like him to pray!  I said, "Yes," and he prayed for the surgery and for my healing.  Then he was out the door to get ready and the nurse came to take me to the operating room.  It gave me such a sense of peace to have him pray.

A colleague of Joel's came up to see us before surgery and stuck around for part of it.  The lead pastor from Praise came to see me and pray with us on Thursday morning, and two other pastor friends came up on Thursday but I had already gone home.  Blessings from God.

Going into the OR would have been problematic for me in the past, but I had decided I was not going to live in fear but walk through it.  I got up on the table and laid down after saying hi to everyone, looked around at the sterile room, and then I was put immediately out, waking up in the recovery room.

God provided me with the best nurses while I was there.  Oh, one was a bit crass and rough, but I saw little of her.  I had a sweet angel of a nurse who chatted with me, cared for me, walked with me in the hallway that night and even mentioned to me that the best course of action in all circumstances is to pray.  Yes!

I was home the next day by noon.  I did sleep a lot the first three days, heading to bed by 8:30 pm the first night and sleeping 12 hours~  NO pain.  I felt no pain, never took any pain medicine or even ibuprofen because I did not feel any pain.  My sister Kay said it was the same for her a year earlier. No pain.

Recovery continues to go well.   Saturday night someone from Praise brought us a great meal which we ate for three meals!  The woman who came is an RN who also has bi-racial children like we do. She was fascinated with our healing journeys and made sure we met her family on Sunday.  Yes, Sunday I went to church and sat on a chair for worship and the sermon.....hitting the sofa for the rest of the day when we got home.  Monday the church brought us another meal which is still feeding us.   Today we went to the grocery store and then we walked 1/3 miles.  I get tired fast, but recover after.

It still amazes me how much God showed up and still is.  In calls from old friends, words of encouragement and love from our kids family and friends, cards in the mail, texts, prayers, and so much more.   He kept us in the shelter of His wings.  He showed up in the many people He has created, in a praying surgeon and angelic nurses.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Resting, Napping, and Giving Praise

I was thinking about how I let my Facebook buddies know I was home and doing well, but did not post it on my blog.  Thought I best write a bit of an update while I am actually upright and on the laptop.

Surgery went very well, there was no cancer found in the lymph nodes and after one night in the hospital I am home and resting, napping, doing all those post surgery things, and giving praise to God!

I plan to write more in a few days..........Thank you for your prayers~

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

No Ocean Can Hold It Back

Tomorrow I go in for surgery.  We are humbled and blessed to have so many praying over this journey with breast cancer.  People praying for me to be cancer free, for the procedures to go well with no reactions from my body, for the surgery to go well and all medical staff involved to make good decisions, etc., for Joel as he walks with me.  Yes, we are blessed to have so many praying across the country, around the world, in our community, in our family.  We want to thank you for your prayers.

We are a praying family.  Our extended families are praying people.  Our friends are grounded in prayer.  It is a core value of our faith.  Papa God holds us in the shelter of His wings.  Jesus died for us.  Holy Spirit lives in us and empowers us.  The angels guard over and fight for us.  Most importantly God fights for us.  Yes, we are blessed.

"Rejoice always, pray constantly...."
I Thess. 5:17

Soon after the diagnosis friends of our oldest son and his family, Godparents to three of our grandchildren, and people we are blessed to call friends, sent a beautiful card that has encouraged me along the way.  I wanted to share it with you today.  It reminds us of the power we have when we pray in the name of Jesus.  The power in prayer!

"  No ocean can hold it back......
    No river can overtake it....
    No whirlwind can go faster
    No army can defeat it, 
No law can stop it.
    No distance can slow it....
    No disease can cripple it
    No force on earth is more powerful or effective 
    Than the power of PRAYER. " 

Monday, September 21, 2015

His Wings, His Shelter

NOTE:  Pretty honest post here friends.  My goal as I heal in many ways and areas of my life is to openly share with you readers.  It may help someone else on their own journey.

 "He will cover you with his feathers. 

He will shelter you with his wings.

His faithful promises are your armor and protection."

Psalm 91:4

Since the call back for a biopsy and before the diagnosis, I have received verses about resting in the shelter of God's wings.....It began when I went into the garden of my heart where I go to visualize meeting with Jesus.  I sit back, close my eyes, pray protection over this anointed time, and ask Holy Spirit to control my thoughts.  One day as I meditating in the "garden" I decided I really needed to Sozo (an inner healing ministry) all the terrible things that have been spoken over my breasts over the years.  It sounds strange, but it really is not.  You see, I have never felt comfortable with them to be perfectly honest.  Nearly 40 years of doctors speaking negatively about them, 3 biopsies, endless mammograms, etc., and that all created fear.  I also went through intense sexual haraassment with a classmate while in Junior High and it affected me deeply.    I felt it was time to let go of all that and be at ease with how God had created me.  So, I visualized giving Jesus all that stuff that was said and done, I forgave those involved and myself for believing any lies.  It was a big bundle of stuff and when I handed it all to Jesus He acted like it was really heavy to hold all the weight of it....and then He smiled and chuckled.  Nothing is too big for Jesus.  I then visualized Jesus giving me a gift back (again, part of Sozo) and He handed me a feather.  My thought was, of course, a feather is light.  I am not carrying those burdens any longer, but then I heard the words   "Feather from God".

I immediately Googled it and up came an article about Bill Johnson, pastor at Bethel (who actually started Sozo miniistries) and in the article it talked about the "healing feathers of God".  I thought,
Yes, this is a healing feather."  The verse that was used came from Malachi 4:2.  The last part speaks of healing.  "with healing in His wings".  Yes!  This was a healing feather from God.  It truly gave me hope that I was cancer free.  I was not, but I still stand on His promise of finding healing in His wings.  Then we read Psalm 91 one morning and there it was again....the shelter of His wings.

Soon after the diagnosis I shared it on Facebook and a friend sent me a picture of a beautiful mama bird protecting her babies.  The same one I have here.  I printed it off along with portions of the verses and have it up in my bedroom and kitchen as a reminder of Who holds me close.  When I get something in threes I pay attention.  God was letting me know I could find peace, healing, and shelter under His wings.  It is a place of rest, isn't it.

So a couple of days ago I asked for a feather to appear.....I saw in my head the image of a white feather but would take any feather to confirm all God has been sharing with me.  While out walking I would look at times on the ground or even in the house, but no feather.  And then yesterday I went on Facebook and what popped up first was a picture of a white feather on a black background!  It was for a blog post of an online prophetic friend.  She was speaking about angels coming unaware into our lives and felt led by God to use this particular picture she found of the white feather.  Only God.  When I shared with her about what this meant to me, she wrote back how God had told her to use this feather, even though she was looking for something more angelic.  She said, "God really loves you!"  Yes he does.  He loves ALL of us.

It has not stopped.....the references to shelter, to healing.  God loves us so much and wants us to know we are never alone.  We are never without protection.  I love that scriptures say HIS PROMISES are our protection and armor.  And we find those promises in His Word.  What has He promised you?  Stand on it.  Remind Him of it.  Remind yourself. Grab hold of the truth we find in His Word.  The truth found in Psalm 91:4.  And stay in the shelter of His wings.