Monday, June 29, 2009

The Gift

I've got nothing deep, nothing that God is saying to me. But I have a heart that is full and it needs to "get out". Think I'll just write about us tonight. It's been awhile since I've given you a real update on what is going on around here.

A year ago I had the privilege of meeting some Christian women online to do a Bible study. Friendships were formed and we loosely talked about one day meeting. It was hard to hear all the talk because of how sick I was. I knew it wouldn't be possible for me. Fast forward...I have just returned from Tennessee where I was able to meet several of them in person. GOD IS SO GOOD!! We had a riot. I witnessed God moving in my life so that I could be there. Thankful!!

My health is still a day to day journey. Some days are very decent and I can drive around town, do some grocery shopping (always accompanied by someone), eat out, clean house...all things I love. I have even been able to go to a friend's for Bible study once a week and you know I've been to church a few times! God has brought me so far in the past two years as far as my health goes. Even though each day presents me with challenges, I am trying to be grateful for how far I have come!!

God continues to ask me to pray for restoration of my family. Healing. Beauty from ashes! My "gut" still says that it will happen one day. When I see my kids and the pain they are going through. When I hear the pain in Don's voice. When I miss being married. In those times, it is easy for me to pray for healing. But when I get caught up in the selfishness of being alone (hard to explain that) there are times when I do not want to pray for restoration. Trying to be obedient. Trying to keep my heart softened to what God wants!!

I am so grateful for all of you and for your prayers. Please pray for my kids. David breaks my heart. I want to be able to make it okay for him. I know I can't. Ellie is in denial that her heart is hurting. It's not that I want the wound to bleed for her, but I want her to understand her need to deal with the loss.

I am hanging on and believing that God really does bring good from all things. He ALWAYS has in my past and I know He will continue to! There is so much good that has come already. I wouldn't change it for anything. The sickness has been a gift.

No greater gift than to be pursued by our Savior in order to know Him better.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Worry Not...

This may be written just for me. So that I have a record of what God is doing in my life. He continues to amaze me in how intimately involved He is in my life.

In my last post I mentioned that I had stopped memorizing scripture this year after getting through nine of them. On Saturday evening I was able to attend church again even though I was feeling very symptomatic. (sometimes you just have to push through things even though it's hard) I was thrilled to be there. Once the sermon began, we were asked to turn Luke 12:22-31. So I get out my Bible, turn and begin reading to myself.


It's the birds again. If you've been reading, you might remember I wrote a post titled For the Birds. I was memorizing from the Matthew passage, but it is the same principle. Don't worry! If He takes care of the birds, how much more will He take care of us.

Would you believe that is the last passage of scripture that I memorized. I wondered why I had stopped and I think on Saturday God gave me my answer. I am camping on those verses for awhile. There are a lot of worries in my life. I'm not one to stress out, complain or spend my time in worry. But I am realizing that my life is full of stress, whether realized or not.

Money - there's not enough, I can't work, how will we make it?

Health - I have some really great days, things are better than before, but I am far from healed, will I ever be?

Family - will the kids ever have a good relationship with their dad? What are they stuffing? How rejected do they feel? What more can I do to help bring healing for all of us? (Don included)

Ok, I will not bore you with all the details, but you get the idea. You have your own life, your own worries. He, God, is reminding me that He has always provided in the past. He shows up. Actually, He never leaves! He has performed miracles in my life. He will again. He is the same God, He cares deeply, I am never out of His sight.

Lord, you know my heart. You know what is weighing heavily on me. Show me when I am worrying and help me claim your promises in my life. Worry not!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Have Your Way

Remember how I was going to memorize a new scripture every 2 weeks for the entire year?? I would have 24 new truths to be able to quickly draw from. Well, I got through the first 9 and then stopped. Quit. I am really good at that. My follow through is less than stellar.

Honestly, in this case I am okay with that. When I start to paint something and never finish, that is a completely different story. The reason I am okay with this is because I haven't heard God really telling me any more verses to put to memory for now. I don't want to just complete the task for the sake of saying I finished. I want to hear God and do what He says! (kinda)

And boy has HE been talking!! How much you wanna' bet that He is talking a lot and I just don't bother to hear and listen? He is talking in themes right now. Like I said in my previous post, He is preparing me. Actually when I read back through several posts, there is a lot I could relearn. Remember that most of the time I sit and type while God is telling me what to write - so often I have no idea what I have written. It would probably be helpful to go back and read them again!! (wow, i am quick)

Since God started talking with me after I became ill, the theme has been Know...Trust...Love. If I know HIM better, I will trust Him and I will love Him more. That has been my heart's cry for several years that I would really love Jesus. And I finally do! And because I do I want to be obedient because I can trust Him and I know He loves me. If He is asking something of me it's because He knows what great things will come to my life (on earth and eternally) if I will listen and obey.

It's that simple song many of us learned as children. "Trust and Obey". It really is easier to obey Him, if we trust Him. Lord, I KNOW that you have exciting, scary, wonderful things in store for this family. Each one of us. Keep moving me out of the way when I am hindering your perfect will in our lives. Have your way!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I Am NOT Listening

I was able to go to the Saturday evening service at church last night!! This is only the 5th time I've attended church since I got sick. Sure do miss being there. I love it!

Sat down and started to look at the bulletin. My last blog post was titled "From the Inside Out". Guess what the sermon series at church is titled? YEP. "From the Inside Out"...freak me out!!! So, I thought, "how cool that God has been preparing me already."

And then.....

Our pastor asks us to turn to Luke 6:27. Flipped my Bible to that passage and immediately decided that I better stick my fingers in my ears and loudly say "LALALALALALALA". (of course, I didn't really do this) How could I have thought that God had been preparing me and then get this passage thrown at me. Shoot!!

Here are the verses - But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you."If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:27-36

As our pastor pointed out, many of us don't like to think in terms of having enemies, but we have that person that we would say is an "antagonist". Obviously I knew immediately who my "enemy" is. And I really did not want to hear what God was asking of me.

The passage is full of action words. It's not enough to say we love our enemies, we have to take action. Do good. Bless. Pray. Give. Be merciful. Last night was the first time I have been able to take communion in almost 2 years. I knew that I couldn't participate in the Lord's Supper without first surrendering my agenda to God. Do I want to do good, bless, pray for and give to my "enemy"?? NO, but God wants me to.

Who is it for you? Ask God to show you ways to put your love for HIM into action. And feel free to ask me how I am doing in blessing and showing mercy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

From the Inside Out

So, I started a new Bible study today. Guess what we're studying? The BIBLE!! Nothing else. We are going to read through the book of Mark and just discuss. I love that. This is a first for me. I've done countless different studies. Surely I've read every page of the Bible. But I am usually reading in order to fill in a blank or to do a devotion. This time, I will read the words that God has written and just see what HE has to say to me.

Today we talked about the first two chapters. The part that made the biggest impression on me is the story about the friends who take the paralytic on his mat to see Jesus. It is a story that I am very familiar with. Maybe too familiar with and would tend to just skip right through it. Not this time. This time I read it as if I hadn't seen it before.

By the time they got to the home where Jesus was, there was no more room. Did they give up and go home? No, they climbed on the roof, dug a hole through it and lowered their friend in. They chased after Jesus, knowing that He was the answer.

When Jesus spoke to the paralytic, He told him that because of his faith his sins were forgiven! Did He not notice that the man was paralyzed? Of course, but Jesus knew what the more important healing was. Healing from the inside. Forgiveness that would lead to a relationship with the Father and eternity in heaven. HE wanted the man's soul. HE wanted to be sure that the man received the best gift possible.

As a bonus...the man was also healed of his physical limitations. AS A BONUS!! I need to really know that. It's not about our comfort. It's not about how much are we enjoying our life. It's not all about the here and now. Does God care about those things? Sure He does, but not as much as He cares about US.

I want to be like those friends. Tenacious. Willing. Full of faith.

I want to be like the paralytic. Healed from the inside out.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

525,600 x 2

One year ago today I wrote this post. (did you go read it? - ok, good!) I had no idea that I would spend another 525,600 minutes without full health. Good thing we don't know what's ahead sometimes.

Here is the part of that post that kind of gets to me...

I'm wondering what the next year has in store. But I hope to take it minute by minute. I believe there will be restoration. Restoration of my health. Restoration of my marriage and family. I don't know how it will look. It may not be the way I would choose it. But I am letting go and letting God have this year. Without Him, I don't know where I'd be. Literally!! I pray that the next 525,600 minutes will be measured by "Seasons of Love".

This past year ended up looking nothing like I thought it would. I truly thought there would be healing for me physically and that my marriage & family would be back together. Instead I still struggle with my health, my marriage ended and the kids don't have a relationship with their dad.


There has been restoration. Healing for me has come spiritually in a way that I cannot fully describe. Issues, addictions, unresolved grief - healed!! I told someone the other day that I believe wounds do heal, but you are often left with a scars. Honestly, I am glad for the scars. They make me who I am. They remind me of God's mercy. In speaking with my counselor I said that I didn't want my past to define me. However, I stopped myself and realized that my past is my story and I'm glad for the story I have.

It's been a rough 525, 600 minutes but I live a life pretty full of joy. Not a day goes by without God amazing me with something. Not a day goes by that we don't die laughing. Not a day goes by that my kids and I don't say "I love you". Not a day goes by that I take health for granted. A day does not go by that I am not reminded that God has chosen/allowed this path for me for a purpose!!

I don't know "why me", but why not me? I pray that He trusts me with another year of minutes and that He will find me faithful to do what He is asking.

Looking forward to experiencing the next year with each of you. Cannot wait to see what God has in store for you as well. Let's spend the next 525,600 minutes being measured by "Seasons of Love".

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pray Believing

The past couple days have been a struggle. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually.

Had a pretty good run where my symptoms were manageable. I am grateful for that. It will be a long time (hopefully forever) before I take for granted the ability to walk to a car, get in it and drive. However, when the symptoms come back, it does get me down. I know that's ok to be disappointed. Just wish it was different.

The physical always brings out the other two. Emotional and spiritual. Being sick and alone is hard. It is an "in your face" reminder that I am doing this alone. (ok, I know that God is always with me, but you know what I am talking about) I do not want to be someone who complains about my circumstances either. However, when life is hard, I think we need to be honest.

So, when I get symptomatic again, I start having a hard time praying. Well, that's not entirely true. I've been struggling with my prayer life for awhile now. Sometimes I wonder, "why pray"? God is going to do what He's going to do. Do I even believe that He performs miracles any more? Do I dare ask? Someone said the other day that one of the purposes of prayer is to be able to listen more closely for the voice of the Lord. I liked that. Not about the asking, pleading, begging....but about having a conversation. Hearing HIM.

What is He saying to me these past few days?

Get on your knees, Sheryl and PRAY. Talk to me! Do not shut me out. Keep praying for healing in your body. Keep praying for the healing of your family.

Really, Lord? Are you sure?

Part of me wants to say that our family is fine. And for the most part we are. But when you look deep down, deep within, we are four hurting people that don't really know how to live in this new life. God promised me "beauty from ashes" in my marriage many years ago. I really believed that to be as an intact family. Why have I given up praying for that?

Because I don't want to be disappointed!!

Let us all ask for what God has placed on our hearts to pray. Pray believing that He is able. Pray believing that He is listening. Pray believing that above all else He is interested in the health of our souls! I am going to start praying again. With a new passion. I am going to take back the ground that satan has tried to steal from us.

I would love to pray for you. Let's pray....BELIEVING!