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Monday, September 5, 2011

Jesus Meets Us Where We Are



As Fall begins this year I have so very much to be thankful for in my life and my walk with Jesus Christ.  The end of this month marks a two year anniversary for me.  As of September, I am two years cancer free for lung cancer.  Praise the Lord!!!  As a born again Christian I experienced many ups and downs in my walk with the Lord.  I noticed that I was in a place in my life where I was putting the things of the world before the Lord Jesus.  I had just come back to Hawaii from my mother's funeral and was so sad and felt like a piece of me was buried along side her.  I prayed and spoke to God daily but I wasn't spending time with Him through His Word and I was missing out on so much. I wasn't aware that I was starving the Holy Spirit inside me.

 Then a few months later a nagging cough that wouldn't go away was the first signs  of my getting lung cancer and the redemption of my soul through the Lord Jesus Christ.  I am continually amazed at how Jesus meets right where we are.  We don't have to go in search of Him.  He is right there with us through everything.  Cancer had become my road to Damascus.  Like Paul I needed a reminder of what was truly important.  Jesus was giving me another chance to recommit my life to Him and serve Him.  Instead of the bright sun causing blindness, mine was a PET scan.  When the tumor lit up and looked like the sun blazing inside of my body, I knew that there was no place to turn except to Jesus.  I can tell you that He was right there with me through every single second of it.

The next phase was when we had to speak with the surgeon. He told me that he may have to make a 12 inch incision that would take out the lat muscles. I told him that I loved to swim and if he cut that muscle out it would make it impossible for me to swim again. He then told me that possibly if every single thing went perfectly he may be able to use a scope and then the incision would be much smaller.  I was sitting in that chair listening to a man tell me how he was going to carve my body up very much like I would butcher a rib roast.  I felt completely numb.  Like I was on auto pilot and in a very real sense I was, Jesus was in charge now and I was just along for the ride of my life.  My husband Peter was terrified and he was asking about getting second opinions.  I just told him no we need to take care of this right now.  We scheduled the surgery for the following week.  I went home and prayed with my husband.  My faith was being tested to the limit.  I knew that even if I died as a result of this killer inside of me, how I shared Jesus would determine if my family would come to the Lord in the event of my death.  I am blessed with some of the best friends in the whole world who prayed and fasted for me.  Colleen you mean the world to me as a cherished sister and I will never forget what a truly loving friend you have always been to me.

On April 27, 2009 I had my surgery.  I prayed with my husband before going into the operating room.  I was so terrified and I was waiting for them to get everything ready.  I was sitting on the gurney shaking and I heard this voice and it was audible.  It told me "The Breath of Heaven is holding you in His arms"  I looked around to see if anyone else heard this voice. That phrase was from a song I sang as a young girl. I think Jesus said that so I knew it was Him. I stopped shaking and felt such a peace come over my body and mind.  I knew in that instance that no matter what the outcome was I would be fine.  I opened my eyes around 8 hours later and my surgeon was right there.  He told me that I was incredibly lucky and that someone up there really liked me.  He told me that I had two types of cancer in my tumor.  Non-small cell and small cell cancer.  He told me that the small cell cancer should have spread throughout my chest, but it didn't.  He said it was like my tumor was encased in glass.  He then went on to tell me that I was also very lucky that he didn't have to cut into any of the muscle tissue.  That my ribs bent very easily and he was able to go in and scope out the tumor.  I have a 3 inch scar under my right arm.  My Jesus had given me every single thing I asked for in prayer.  My doctor told me that when I healed I would be able to swim every day if I wanted to. I just started to praise the Lord in thanksgiving!  They had me take an MRI to check to see if any cancer had spread to my brain.  There was none!!!  Then I had a bone scan to see if there was any cancer in my bones.  There was none!!!  I felt so  humbled before the Lord.  Jesus was showing me that when He does something it is complete.  I went home in three days.  I had to get ready for the storm that was to come.

When people talk about cancer, you listen with a dread hoping against hope that you never ever get it. It is a very exclusive club that you never want a membership to. It was June and it was time for me to begin my Chemo Therapy.  I had Cysto Platinum  Chemo therapy.  It is very strong.  Lung cancer is the number one killer in the United States of both men and women.  There is only a 15%  chance of making it through this dreaded disease. My Oncologist was Dr. Ian Okazaki who is one of the greatest doctors I have ever had. The Lord really blessed me by giving me this amazing Physician.  he is one of the most caring doctors I have ever known aside from being very skilled he has the gift of gentleness like I have never ever experienced.  He told me that my chemo was going to be rigorous and could be very hard on me.   Unlike many other people I was heading into my chemo with Jesus. There He was right by my side helping me to get through what would be one of the hardest times in my life.  When I was getting the poison put in my IV I could feel it.  There was a slight burning.  Each day for me started early and went for about eight hours.  I would have an IV of  water, then chemo then  water.  The sickness was bad and it was during one of these days that The Holy Spirit filled me was such joy that I wept.  In the midst of all of this suffering the Lord was showing me His love, His Comfort and His joy.  It was unlike anything I have ever felt in my life.  Again Jesus was meeting me right where I was.  He was teaching me how to love through His actions.

As the weeks of chemo went on while taking a shower I noticed huge clumps of my hair in my hands while washing my hair.  I looked like a monster and I just sat in the tub and cried out to Jesus.  When I was done crying I got out of the tub and asked my son to buzz my head.  The Lord was again teaching me that I was beautiful to Him no matter what I looked like.  I was amazed at how freeing it is not to have to worry about doing my hair.  When I was out with my scarf people would know I had cancer.  They would look at me with the "Oh you poor thing" look.  I was so happy to be alive, that I was beaming!  I was able to share Jesus with everyone.  No one was mean or nasty to me because I had cancer.  I think that people know in their deepest part of them that there is a God whether they admit it or not.  Facing death is a great equalizer.    It clears the table of all the intellectual clutter and it becomes just me and my Maker.  All of a sudden the Bible becomes more then just a book that collects dust on the shelf it becomes your manual for real life.

As I was reading the Bible on day shortly after going through my chemo therapy the Lord gave me this scripture and it has become my life scripture.  I think each Christian has or will get a life scripture and this one is mine.
4 When Jesus heard that, He said,  "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God,  that the the Son of God may be glorified through it."  John 11:4
The Lord was letting me know what He wanted me to do.  He wanted me to share the love, healing, comfort and joy that He was giving me with everyone I met.  He was letting me know that there was a reason that He didn't take me home right away.  Jesus has a plan for each and every one of us.  Sometimes if you are a hardheaded stubborn knucklehead like me you have to have something drastic happen to open your eyes up much like Paul did on the road to Damascus. All of us have this little piece inside of us that we try to fill with things that we think will satisfy the longing in our soul.  Sometimes it is sex, drugs, education, money, position in life, and material things.  Nothing satisfies that longing in our soul except for Jesus!!! Jesus loves us all so very much and he doesn't want even one of us to be left behind.

 If you want to have a new life in Jesus Christ ask Him to come into your heart today.  Simply pray this:  Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you took the pain of the cross to give me a new life.  I ask you to come into my heart and give me your peace and joy.  Please forgive me for all of my sins I receive you now as my Lord and Savior.  Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit.  Help me to love you and serve you all  of my life.  Thank you, in Jesus name I pray, Amen!  If you prayed that prayer you are a new creature in Christ!!! You are born again!  If you ever need to talk to me please feel free to comment.  I try to answer all of my comments  May the Lord Jesus bless you and keep you safe even until the end!!!  God bless you! :):)
 

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