"today" part 4

I didn't know if I was gonna get time to do this last one. But I woke up this morning with an impulse to do it. I go in at 1:00 today to get the MRI done and will sleep at the hospital tonight. Then they will perform the surgery tomorrow morning. 

As all of this is coming to a crux I am remembering all that has happened up to this point. There are SO many things that I haven't even written about that God did. I seriously feel like I understand what the apostle felt when he said at the end of the Gospel he wrote -John 21:25 25Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

He was faithful in my conversation with Elly and Lucy, He has been faithful teach day till this point and I know He will be faithful in this next step on this journey...because that is Who He is- FAITHFUL. 

He is the strength and sustinance we need till the day He redeems this whole earth and takes away the effects of our sin and wipes away every tear, pain, sickness and all difficulties. Till then He is redeeming our hearts and the situations we trust to give Him now.

"POEMA" My Journey Part 4

About 2 weeks ago this is where we were at in the insurance, surgeon search, phone call circus. I had visited the neuro optic surgeon that was under my insurance to get her opinion on what to do next. She told me she couldn't do the surgery and very highly recommended a neurosurgeon at Rush, but my insurance only covered Loyola or UIC. So I called my PCP's (primary care physician) office to get a referral thinking that the neuro optic surgeons recommendation would have a effect on my insurance approving it. I also talked with her about the MAYO recommendation. She told me that she didn't see the need for that since we live in a city that has so much available. That was a bit of a relief, but also I was worried about the long road ahead of finding a surgeon that I felt was qualified that my insurance covered since I had to jump thru so many hoops already! As for the Rush referral, that was to no avail. But my PCP told me I should at least pay out of pocket to go to the Rush surgeon to get his opinion. She also gave me the name of a surgeon at UIC that was under my insurance, but he didn't specialize in what I needed. She said my only hope to get into Rush was to go see this UIC doctor and have him say he couldn't do it. So I scheduled appointments with both. 

I went to Rush first. He was amazing. Very confident and had just done a similar surgery on a 19 year old from Holland who's vision came back and was doing very well and getting ready to go home. He offered for his office to call the insurance and try to work something out. I was so jaded at this point I didn't get my hopes up. I had 2 or 3 others call about getting this Rush doctor approved on top of myself calling a few times. I also asked him about the surgeon at UIC. He said that that surgeon was very good, but he wasn't sure how experienced he was in what I needed and actually gave me the name of ANOTHER surgeon to go see. Meanwhile, I went to UIC. Josh and I actually really liked the UIC surgeon. He was fully confident he could do the surgery. My only hesitancy with him was the unsureness of everyone else in him! Now just to wait to hear what the insurance said about the Rush surgeon. 

Around this time I get a text from a friend telling me that a church here in the city wants to lay hands on me and pray for me. I was so moved that a group of people that don't even know me wanted to do this. I was there that following Sunday ready to be prayed for. Almost anticipating something to happen. They were so full of faith. I walked in and the Pastor's wife and I immediately connected. I felt like I knew her for years. She was so loving and kind. They had a guest speaker. R.T. Kendall, he spoke on forgiveness and the power of it- it was a rockin' sermon. the sermon

After service she and the elders came over to pray for me. They were expecting me to be healed. They prayed 4x's and after each time one of they would ask me how my eye felt......nothing happened. I was so moved and blessed by there love and care for me. They offered to come to my house and pray for me again later on. 

I went home encouraged AND discouraged. I was like, "Lord, you TOTALLY could have healed me right then, why didn't you??" You spoke to me about showing Your glory in our life. Jesus clearly asked you to glorify Him so that those around would see Your glory. What glory are you getting from my situation? I think that was a great opportunity to glorify Yourself if you ask me."

I was talking...wrestling with the Lord about these things. 

REWIND again!!! A week or so previous to this Josh had been teaching in Ephesians 2. He spoke of how Jesus came to save us because of His great love with which He loved us. And how we are to walk in the works He prepared for us beforehand. He had our days planned out.  Ephesians 2:10 "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." But what hit me so hard that morning was the part that says- I am His workmanship, Josh expounded on the meaning of that- I am His beautiful poema. He is specifically moving, molding, shaping, orchestrating something that is from HIS HEART. Something that is an expression of Him. Another word for Poema is MASTERPIECE. Each of us are something that He has put love, time and thought into. I wrote POEMA on my hand that morning. Labeling myself as His Poema. My life is a poem He is writing.

Fast forward...bzzzzzz (sound of a VHS fast forwarding- yes I AM an 80's child). I'm sitting at my desk wrestling with why the Lord didn't heal me. Josh texts me a Psalm he clearly thought was for me Psalm 54.

Psalm 54

1 Save me, O God, by your name;
       vindicate me by your might.
 2 Hear my prayer, O God;
       listen to the words of my mouth.
 3 Strangers are attacking me;
       ruthless men seek my life—
       men without regard for God.
 4 Surely God is my help;
       the Lord is the one who sustains me.
 6 I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you;
       I will praise your name, O LORD,
       for it is good.
 7 For he has delivered me from all my troubles,
       and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.

The part that stood out to me was:

"I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you;
       I will praise your name, O LORD,
       for it is good."

I knew I needed to be at the place of surrendering all to Him out of a freewill! To truly know and be able to say from my heart that He is GOOD! 
I wasn't quite there yet.

I prayed for no more fear but trust. No more anxiety but rest and peace. I still hadn't sat down and talked with Elly and Lucy about all of this. They of course knew. But I hadn't sat and told them how I was or asked to see how they were because I wasn't at the right place yet. I didn't not want to discourage them by my wavering and I also did not want to generically say the "right thing". I honestly didn't know what to say. I wanted to give them something to hold onto, hope, some sort of foundation when I talked with them. 

I decide to read......yes- JOB. Those last 4 chapters again. This time I see God coming to Job revealing His omnipotence, He tells of how He knows His creation intimately, created everything specifically. He stores the lightning, He put the limit on the waves, He cares for the place no man dwells, He is in charge of wild animals we can not tame and on and on. 

Job has 2 responses 2 different times:

Job 40:1-5
1 The LORD said to Job:
 2 "Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?
       Let him who accuses God answer him!"
 3 Then Job answered the LORD :
 4 "I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?
       I put my hand over my mouth.
 5 I spoke once, but I have no answer—
       twice, but I will say no more."

Job 42:1-6
"Then Job replied to the LORD :
 2 "I know that you can do all things;
       no plan of yours can be thwarted.
 3 You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?'
       Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
       things too wonderful for me to know.
 4 "You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak;
       I will question you,
       and you shall answer me.'
 5 My ears had heard of you
       but now my eyes have seen you.
 6 Therefore I despise myself
       and repent in dust and ashes."

What do you say to that? All I could say was "I put my hand over my mouth, I speak of things I do not understand, of things to wonderful for me to comprehend, I repent in dust and ashes." 


Then He told me. Aiyana "You are putting your hope in the outcome, in a promise from me to heal you or if not healing then what is gonna happen.....Aiyana, stop and put your hope in who I AM."

And regarding all the times I asked Him to heal and He didn't,  "I didn't heal you because my plan is bigger then that, That would be settling, you don't need to know the plan....I WILL be glorified."

My response, "As Job said, My ears have heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you, I cover my mouth, I repent in dust and ashes."

I can not save me

Man can not save me
My savior is the Lord, king over all that is proud
He give wisdom and understanding to the mind (Job 38:36) So any wisdom the doctors have (or lack there of) is from the Lord

After about 20 minutes of reading all that scripture and talking with God I could for the first time in this situation (if not possibly in my whole life with with THIS much depth) say- I am yours- do whatever you want to do- I trust you!! I am a free will offering! Glorify Yourself with my life! 
The freedom I felt was indescribable. Freer then I have ever felt. 
I wanted to share this goodness of God will everyone I could. What HE and HE ALONE had done in my heart was a miracle!

What can man do to me?!?

I could fully read Psalm 84 with no hesitation or fear.

 1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
       O LORD Almighty!
 2 My soul yearns, even faints,
       for the courts of the LORD;
       my heart and my flesh cry out
       for the living God.
 3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
       and the swallow a nest for herself,
       where she may have her young—
       a place near your altar
       O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
       they are ever praising you.
 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
       who have set their hearts on pilgrimage
 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
       they make it a place of springs; 

       the autumn rains also cover it with pools. [b]
 7 They go from strength to strength,
       till each appears before God in Zion.
 8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty;
       listen to me, O God of Jacob.
 9 Look upon our shield, [c] O God;
       look with favor on your anointed one.
 10 Better is one day in your courts
       than a thousand elsewhere;
       I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
       than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
 11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
       the LORD bestows grace and glory;
       no good thing does he withhold 
       from those whose walk is blameless.
 12 O LORD Almighty,
       blessed is the man who trusts in you.

I am HIS workmanship....if that work He did in my heart just that morning (not to mention everything before and all that is to come) thru this situation is not a beautiful POEMA I don't know what is!!!!

I now felt fully confident and actually excited to sit down and talk with Elly and Lucy......

"He is a good PAPA" My Journey Part 3

I have to say I am not a regular christian radio listener. I am not against it, but there are a few programs that are hard for me to swallow. But every once and a while I will turn it on while I am driving to get the girls from school. My radio channel of choice is the WBEZ. But this day I was craving something beyond this earth. On the way to school I do have to say there is a good preacher that is usually on and every time I listen to him I am encouraged and challenged. And I REALLY needed someone full of faith to just tell me how it is!!  Pastor Tony Evans does not fail to deliver that! If you could only hear the passion in his voice when he PREACHED this message. Typing the words doesn't give it justice. So here is is if you want to listen to it-
The Message. The opening cracks me up, it is such a classic generic christian radio opening. Just persevere thru that till you hear the Tony, that voice fell on a tired, fearful lady that afternoon.

Here are a few of the MANY awesome things he said:

"God allows affliction to weaken us so we can experience supernatural strength!"
"Paul was acquainted with affliction."
"Our greatest growth comes thru affliction. It allows us to see God in a way we never saw Him before, because we have a need that we never needed before."
"God is the God of ALL comfort! He wants you to lay down on him so He can pull the Comforter over you."
"Jesus met Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego IN THE FIRE!"

Now jump ahead a bit to where I know it is a tumor that is in the orbit (eye socket), on the optic nerve and I am in the midst of a ridiculous amount of phone calls trying to get into a surgeon that specializes in my case that my insurance covers. I hit so many walls! It was about 2 weeks of phone calls and waiting to hear back. In the midst of this. I decided to read Job (doesn't sound like the best idea, but I felt SO COMPELLED). And in the midst of reading Job and all the phone calls, our house is in upheaval getting fixed, guys doing the fixing are in our house throughout the day, I get the stomach flu on Lucy's birthday, then Atticus gets the stomach flu and has his birthday, and our first week of showing the house is the coming week!!! Then Josh gets the flu I am still not totally 100%, cleaning vomit in the house we are trying to sell and my kids birthdays are not what we planned. So we get the carpets cleaned (thank God!) and the house goes up, then Elly's bday comes and she gets sick the day before and Atticus is STILL not fully better!
At one point I had just vacuumed and Atticus hasn't thrown up for 2 days so I am thinking we are in the clear, he is sitting on a rug we had just gotten for the showing and I am really tired, all of the sudden THROW UP!! All over the new rug and even sadder I am wondering what is going on with my little boy!! Seriously?!?!?! I call Josh and say, "God has abandoned us! Why is this happening??? I think we need to take the house off the market, God didn't give us the $ for a house, it is for my medical bills!". Josh does his best to console me and get me to calm down and not make rash decisions. Little did I know....Atticus being sick so long made me go to the Dr. so I would be able to talk to my PCP about my case and she is the one God uses in a major way in the future.

Ok, so back to Job! I hadn't finished Job, I was currently reading how Job's friends are telling him all the reasons they think these paroles are happening to him. Maybe it is some sin in his life, maybe it is God just doing His bigger plan, God is testing Job etc. There is no consolation, just basically God is God and your not! I felt like a pon, insignificant, I was a piece of grass- here today gone tomorrow. I came into the world with nothing and will leave with nothing. I am a small thing in a much bigger plan.

As you can see I had some low days! At one point Josh asks me, "Are you ok?? I am really worried about you." As I am crying and telling him all the things mentioned above, "I am just a pon, a piece of grass....."But deep down under all of these thoughts and feelings I knew these struggles, questions and wrestling's were ok. They needed to come out and be said. God was telling me,"I am the author and finisher of your faith." He was in charge of my faith. He was stretching it and dealing with fears and doubts that had always been there.

Josh was totally worried (and I don't blame him- I would be worried to). When he told me he was worried I told him (in the midst of serious crying--like fluids coming out of every portal of my face) I told him "I'm (sniffle sniffle) fine, I know God is (2 short sobby breaths) gonna swoop in at some point (grabbing a tissue wiping the rivers from my face) and correct me of all these thoughts, this is just where I am at right now!!" I really knew in my heart that He was ok with where I was at.

That night I thought- maybe I shouldn't read Job....it is so depressing. But I really felt like I was pulled to it for a reason, there must be some consolation at the end! I knew God spoke to Job at some point so I skipped a few chapters of Job and his friends ramblings and read the last 3 where GOD SPEAKS. The whole book had been Job and his friends talking- (a lot of things that sounded right- but NO PEACE). God comes to him and speaks in a whirlwind. He is God and we are not, BUT I need to take comfort in that, not feel insignificant because of it! At the end of Job God restores what He tore down in Jobs life to rebuild it BETTER then before (7x's better).

I talked with Josh and cried that night again. God was so patient- He had given me so much to hold on to and so easily I crumbled under the weight. I was a big roller coaster of emotion! That night I read Psalm 84 again and tried to cling to what He had promised. Still not totally feelin' it, but i tried. Then I kid you not I woke up the next morning and all I could think of was Joshua and how God told him to "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9. I felt a strength and courage that was clearly not my own.

So you would that would get me thru the next few weeks. Well it got me thru about 2 days! (going from strength to strength). I went to get a 2nd opinion about my MRI from a Dr. in the suburbs. The Dr.  is my neighbors father and he is great at what he does so i was anxious to see what he said. Josh was planning on going with me, he hadn't been able to go to any of the Dr. up to this point and I was excited he was going with me. Sure enough the night before Elly got sick so she needed to stay home from school and it was to late to find a sitter, he ended up not being able to go. I was on my own. It was a 45 minute drive out. So I get there and he does some usual vision tests and then he looks at the MRI. He is gone for about 10 minutes. When he comes back he tells me the tumor was bigger then thought, was inter cranial (in the area where the brain is) so it would have to be neuro surgery! He encouraged me to go to Mayo (a hospital in another state) or another hospital even father. I was so overwhelmed. Once again- hit by a train- discouraged, afraid, worn down. Brain surgery?!? And I might have to go out of the state???? What if i loose my eye, surgery goes bad, God doesn't want to heal me??? what if??? So I had the 45 minute drive home to sort thru all this information just dumped on me. I told Jesus I wished he was was sitting in the seat next to me so I could hold His hand and ask Him to heal me. I put my hand in the seat imagining i was holding His hand and put it up to my eye, begging Him to take the tumor away and fix me!! .......He didn't. I get home and talk with Josh. He calmed me down and we decided to get another opinion from a neuro-optic surgeon that had been approved by my insurance and then decide if MAYO is necessary. 

Meanwhile,  my mom text me from my DAD'S phone (which she never does)- randomly telling me they are at downtown Disney talking about us and thinking about us. So about an hour or 2 later I was pretty down and struggling, having a hard time trusting God and His plan and fearful of the future. So I text back asking them to pray for me because I was having a hard time (and mind you my parents are not big texters-especially my dad). But I get a text back immediately asking what I am struggling with. Long story short as my dad was encouraging me one thing he said was how much he loved my mom,  my brothers and I and would do anything for us. I had the thought- "if my dad were God I would feel much better". Then the Lord reminded me  of that scripture 
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
 9"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matt 7:8-11
If I could trust and feel so safe with my earthly father who is imperfect, how much more more should I be able to trust my Heavenly Father who loves with perfect love?!
Not to mention, just the fact that my dad randomly went upstairs to clean off his desk, had his phone on the desk next to him so when the text came in he was alone and could text me uninterrupted for about 30 minutes showed me that God had orchestrated that whole thing....once again!! He a good PAPA so patient and gracious!!

OK, 4th and final part will be up soon!

"He already knew" (My Journey part 2)

So I am not the best at timelines, and last night as I was thinking about the blog I remembered that Psalm 84 was given to me earlier.....I found out my vision wasn't correctable with lenses, it could be anything from MS to a swollen optic nerve treatable with steroids. That night God gave me Psalm 84.
Then about a week goes by and I have my appointment with an optimologist and an MRI. A few days later I got the phone call from the Dr. that it was a tumor and I read the Psalm again that night to remind myself of what He told me. So now we are up to speed......

So one night I was falling asleep and picturing myself as the woman that Jesus healed who has the issue of blood for 12 years. I was crawling thru a crowd just to touch the hem of His garment so I could be healed! Praying please heal me! The next day I had a phone conversation with a dear friend who has known people who have been miraculously healed. During our conversations some things I had been learning thru the small bible study I was having at my house were brought back to memory.

Over the past few months we had been reading different passages of scripture together and discussing them. I had different passages from Old and New testament picked out and I would give one passage for the girls and I to read over 2 weeks then we would meet and discuss the passage. It was such a sweet time. There are some  things I learned that were very pertinent to the situation I was now facing...
1. John 17, where Jesus prays for himself, his disciples and the believers to come. It is one of the most beautiful portions of scripture. (I encourage you to read it!) There were some amazing truths that impacted me the night we all read it together. First, Jesus is talking to the Father before He is going to face the cross and He prays for the Father to glorify Him. That part really hit me that evening, thinking about the typically humble Jesus asking His Father to glorify Him. 

"After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son....." 

Why was He doing this?? Then as you read the rest of the passage it is clear that He wants His Father to Glorify Him so that The Glory of the Father will be shown!  

1After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you."

He was here to show His Father to the world, "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father." (John 14:6-9) Just as we are to glorify the Father, His sole purpose here was to glorify the Father. Not as some big distant God, but as a Father that He loved dearly and wanted the rest to see how amazing His Father was. He wanted the glory of the Father to be poured on Him so the world would see the glory of His Father!!

And in my situation. I can ask Father in heaven will glorify Himself in this situation, in ALL areas of my life. So that the world can know who He IS! That is my whole purpose- our whole purpose in life- to know our Father and to want Him to shine thru us so that others can see how amazing and faithful and awesome He is!

"Glorify Me so they may see Your glory!"

2. Mark 7- we read this totally RANDOM chapter. I had picked out all the portions of scripture and this was the first one. Then when I went to read it the week prior to meeting - I was like "why did i pick this chapter?!". The discussion that night was rocky at first and then some AMAZING truths came out!!!
The one that came back to me for this situation was the part about Jesus healing the deaf and mute man!! 

31Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.[i] 32There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.
 33After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. 34He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!" ). 35At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
 36Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

This story stood out to me not only for the obvious reason- that He can and has healed before (not to mention that He healed EVERY sick person that came to Him while He was here on earth). But also we discussed the randomness of Him using spit and sticking it in the man's ears and mouth! He could have just said the word and he would have been healed, but he chose spit. Why?? All thru His life He healed in different ways and we talked about how He heals according to the induviduals needs...maybe that man needed the physical touch of Jesus not just a word? Another thing we noticed was that Jesus always took the time to stop and be with the induvidual person and talk with them, be with them. It says, "After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears....".
It was Him and that person when He healed them---not a big show, not Him, the person and the crowd! Our God is intimatley aquainted with us and takes time for us induvidually!

So to see that He had been preparing my heart even before I knew about the tumor was a comfort! Because He already KNEW what was coming and was preparing the ground of my heart. Part 3 coming soon (probably will have 4 parts- its been quite a JOURNEY)

Part one- "The Journey Begins"

Where to begin? So much has happened in the last few months!!! We (as in my children and I) booked a national Walmart Commercial that got turned into 6 different spots, got paid an amazing amount for this/these commercials. So we decided to put our house up on the market. It has been almost 2 years of wanting to sell our house. We put it up on the market to no avail. I have been trying to be content and continue to seek and ask the Lord if He wants us to have another bedroom as our 3 children are currently all sharing a room. We have been in our sweet 2 bedroom home for almost 4 years now and it has been a place of wonderful memories we will have forever.....our first adventures in Chicago, our new friends that are now our dear friends, bbq's, prayer meetings, play dates and the great neighbors we have. So many good memories, but we are ready to make new ones in a place that we can have 3 teenagers!

After deciding to put the house up on the market (due to the random provision of money thru the commercial) and being in the process of getting some work done on the house before we put it up I went to the optometrist to possibly get glasses because the vision in my right eye was bothering me. Thus I found out I have a small benign tumor on the optic nerve of my right eye that is causing the vision in my right eye to go bad!

Those few weeks that all this happened was a season of high high's and low low's to be frank.

I started writing this blog entry a few weeks ago and couldn't get past that first paragraph because i was really not fully grasping or ok with all that was happening and I didn't know where i was going with the entry. Since then so much has happened in my heart. I am amazed by the things God has shown me and I have to share it.

I am going to put it up in parts since I discovered it was QUITE lengthy! 

I'll start at the beginning......
It's a monday and I am driving to pickup Lucy from her ballet class. As I am parking the car I get a phone call. It's my optomologist, he is gonna tell me the results of my MRI. He tells me I have a tumor behind my eye in the optic nerve that is effecting my vision. He tells me it is in the orbit (eye socket). It is a high percentage that it is meningioma, thus benign. I can't fully express how I felt in that moment. It was numbness, disbelief, like being hit by a semi that you didn't see coming. I didn't want to talk to anyone. After I hung up the phone. I sat there in silence for about 5 minutes. I have to go get my daughter from ballet class!!! What the heck do I do?? Tell her?? - no way- not ready-......I call Josh and say, "The Dr. just called me and told me I have a tumor behind my eye on the optic nerve, it's most probably benign." I couldn't say anything else. I had to go. I hung up the phone. I got out of the car and went to get Lucy. I looked at my daughter a totally different way. My precious baby! Oh what I have taken for granted EVERYDAY. Getting my girls from ballet, seeing them, holding them....I dont hold them enough or tell them I love them enough!! She runs over and starts skipping and chatting as she always does- totally aloof to the circus of emotion and thoughts running thru my head. I smile just hearing her little happy voice. I want to protect her from any fear or sadness that may come from the news.
"Just enjoy her Aiyana", i say to myself, no need to say anything.
I get home with Lucy and Josh has to head out the door to drop off Elly for ballet (Thank God we live so close to the ballet studio). He hugs and trys to console me, I start to tear up, then I freeze and tell him "Shhhh, I dont want the girls to hear! Just take Elly to ballet."
We got thru the rest of the day. After all the hussle is over and I have nothing to distract me from the reality of what I have to face, what my husband has to face, what my CHILDREN have to face!! My Children!!! Why would God do this to my kids??? I have a tumor?!?!? Am i gonna die?? Am I gonna go blind??? Am I gonna be able to see my sweet elly get married? Be there for Lucy when she is a mother for the first time with so many questions?? Kiss my little boys face? I don't think I could handle not being able to see my children's faces!!

I was longing and aching for something from God to hold on to!! Everything is falling apart...I need something to stand on! I went to read some scripture, I need some promise, some hope! I was supposed to read Hosea, but didn't feel right about that so I turned to Psalms. David has difficult times. Maybe there would be something there.  I went to Psalm 84 not knowing what it was about, but knew as soon as I saw it that that was the one.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
       O LORD Almighty!
 2 My soul yearns, even faints,
       for the courts of the LORD;
       my heart and my flesh cry out
       for the living God.
 3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
       and the swallow a nest for herself,
       where she may have her young—
       a place near your altar,
       O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
       they are ever praising you.
 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
       who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
       they make it a place of springs;
       the autumn rains also cover it with pools. 
 7 They go from strength to strength,
       till each appears before God in Zion.
 8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty;
       listen to me, O God of Jacob.
 9 Look upon our shield, [c] O God;
       look with favor on your anointed one.
 10 Better is one day in your courts
       than a thousand elsewhere;
       I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
       than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
 11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
       the LORD bestows favor and honor;
       no good thing does he withhold
       from those whose walk is blameless.
 12 O LORD Almighty,
       blessed is the man who trusts in you.

From it came a bit of fear of what He was calling me to, but also peace from the promises and beautiful things in it.

For example:  I looked up Valley of Baca and it means "Valley of Misery" (ok that is encouraging...NOT!!!) Did i just say NOT like I did when I was in Jr. High?!
Anyways, there is an example of a place that caused fear -"valley of baca". What misery is He calling me to?? But peace in it saying "they will make it a place of springs! This misery will be a place of refreshment, sustainance, strength and pleasure even for those who's strength is the LORD.

The whole Psalm starts out with sparrows finding their nest on His altar...sacrifice! But how lovely it is, it is a home, it is a home even for her young! 
God is calling me to lay it ALL at His feet. Surrender ALL! 
SO NOT READY FOR THAT. You would think as a pastors wife I would already be there...but I so was not!

Yet still the promises of:
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
       who have set their hearts on pilgrimage

They go from strength to strength

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
       the LORD bestows favor and honor;
       no good thing does he withhold
       from those whose walk is blameless.
 O LORD Almighty,
       blessed is the man who trusts in you.

These were what I clung to amidst the fear of what was to come, didn't quite grasp them all with my whole heart yet, but knew it was truth:
-I have to put it ALL on the altar, but His altar is a safe place-lovely and a home, better to be in His house then any other place on earth.
-It will be a pilgrimage (a spiritual journey)
-I will go from strength to strength
-He will be my Shield
-He will not with hold ANY good thing
-Blessed am I if I put my trust in Him and find my strength in Him

This is the beginning of a long journey. A journey of high's and low's. I am gonna be totally honest. The sweet parts would not be as sweet if you didn't know how bitter the bitter times were. Part 2 coming soon!