Monday, November 18, 2013

{ " time is priceless. " }

I was able to have a wonderful chat with a lady at church who is very dear to my heart. We were talking about how amazing it is that the time has gone by so fast this past year.

 Dad is almost at day 100 post transplant... and it has been 10 months since his diagnosis of Leukemia. I can't even believe that. I feel like it was just yesterday that mom told me to call Mrs. Kinney, because she was calling 911 when she couldn't wake daddy up. It was absolutely terrifying. I remember it all clear as day. I don't think I've ever tried so hard to pretend I wasn't terrified. I stayed in my room with Abigail and Truman, quietly packing as they played as if nothing was happening. Truman noticed the police officer at some point and we talked about police officers being good people, and that they were here to help daddy. They weren't here to hurt anyone, and he was going to help us out. I can still feel the fear that was welling up in my heart, I don't know if that feeling will ever go away when I remember that night. Amelia and Kyle came as soon as mom and the EMTs were heading out the door with dad. They stayed with us for a little bit until the Kinney kids arrived to pick us up. Pastor Kinney was on his way to meet mom at the hospital, and Mrs. Kinney was waiting for us at their house. The ride to their house was somewhat torturous. I held myself together for as long as I could, before at their home, in the bathroom, I finally broke. I was scared. I don't think I had ever been that scared in my life. It had taken all of my being not to burst into tears as soon as we arrived at their house, or as soon as I got in the car for that matter. I couldn't sleep that night, but I don't think anyone could. When mom and Pastor Kinney returned to the house at about 3:00AM I had only been sleeping for a short time. I switched beds, and headed into Alyssa's room. I was so tired I didn't have the energy to be afraid. I barely had the energy to cry. So I prayed. I remember silently crying out to the Lord, pleading to Him, begging Him to let me keep my daddy longer.

The next day was long, but we made the best of it. Everyone had brought their school to the Kinney's house, so all of the kids were schooling. Alyssa had the little girl she babysat over, so Truman and Abigail were preoccupied with her. We had Prayer Meeting that night, and I struggled to get through the evening. When we arrived at the Kinney's after Prayer Meeting mom told me about the fact that the doctors suspected dad had Leukemia. All I had known about Leukemia was the movie, A Walk To Remember in which the girl passes away in the end (sorry for the spoiler). So having that thought in my mind I thought that was all that was going to happen.

Praise the Lord that's not always the case, and I have my daddy becoming stronger with each passing day.

Through these months I have learned more about life that I had ever known. I not only learned about Leukemia, and physical life, but I also learned that life is truly beautiful. I don't think I had a real appreciation for life. I think I just lived it. When you're young you don't really think about time. You just live. Then all of a sudden you grow up (or grow older in my case ;)), and time is just the blink of an eye. Maybe some days feel long, but when you look back and 10 months have gone by, in a flash... You realize in reality the days were short. I have watched my family grow, and felt myself grow.

The fact that time goes by so quickly should cause us to want to truly live, and live right. We should not just want to live however we want. We should want to give our whole being to the Lord, and trust Him with every aspect of our lives. Sometimes we wish we could have yesterday back, and today seems to slip away faster than we can grab a hold of it. But, tomorrow is brand new. Every breath we breathe is a gift so don't waste it. God is the one who supplies our every breath, supports our every step, and keeps our heart beating. We need to remember that, and in turn give our lives back to Him, because He so mercifully gives them to us. You wouldn't just throw away a beautifully wrapped gift from a best friend, so why would you want to throw away the life the Almighty Creator designed especially for you?

Looking back on this year made me realize how quickly time goes by, and that life is truly just a vapor. We need to live for Jesus while we have the chance to live. Don't hold back in proclaiming His name, and telling people what He has done in your life. He's still allowing us to breathe for a reason, and that is to proclaim His great name.

Life is beautiful, so enjoy every moment!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

{ " my friend, you are never alone. " }

This post is for a friend who is very near and dear to my heart.

Sometimes in times in our lives we feel lost, we feel lonely, and we feel broken hearted. Sometimes we feel completely alone, as if no one in the world is on our side. At times it seems like we don't fit in, and we are part of a totally different planet. No one seems to understand how we are feeling, or why we keep our heartaches to ourselves. But, we do. We do it all for a reason, and it stinks to have that feeling... that lonely feeling that settles in our hearts. Sometimes we are put somewhere we don't quite understand, we're given trials we don't really want to bear. Sometimes things seem like they're falling apart, and everything seems to change in the blink of an eye. We once again get that lonely feeling, like no one understands. Maybe no one does, maybe our heartache is something no one we know has ever experienced before. It might be something we never want anyone else to feel, no one wants to feel lonely, and no one ever should. Even though we're surrounded by people, we still have that lonely ache in our tender, humanly hearts. It hurts. But, sometimes feelings lead us astray, and they aren't true.

Guess what... We're not alone. We are never alone. We have the greatest, most powerful, most loving Friend anyone could ever ask for. There is no one on earth who can understand us like this Friend. That Friend is our perfect, all knowing God. He loves us beyond measure, and is the only one who can fully understand the pain that we've been feeling. He made certain things in our lives seem as if they were falling apart, but He is building something incredible with those pieces. He is drawing us closer to Himself with every heartache, every trial. Through our loneliness we cling to the One who is strong in our weakness, and who loves us no matter how much we feel like no one does. Feelings are not always true, but God is always true. He is always there, and always does what is right.

Just remember, even though you might feel alone, you're not. You're never ever alone. There is always that Friend who hears your every cry, knows your every heartache, and loves you beyond measure. He has a perfect plan for your life, and though it may take a while to figure it out... You will. Just hang on to the One who will hold you beneath His wings, and keep you in the shelter of His love.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

{ " His Pain, Should Have Been Mine " }

I was able to attend the Women of Faith conference with a group of ladies this weekend, and I had a great time. I was completely overwhelmed by the thousands of ladies that were there, but at the same time I was astonished. I don't always remember that there are so many Christians around us! I probably walk by women (and men) in the store all the time that are believers, and we just don't know it.

At the end of the day I was exhausted, but I enjoyed spending time with the ladies, and having good Godly fellowship. The closed the day with the last session that was all about the life of Jesus. They showed some clips from the television series, The Bible, then some of the women read some scripture to go along with each scene. So, they started out with the scene of Jesus' birth, then followed with him raising Lazarus from the dead. Next came the crucifixion scene. Hearing about the crucifixion of Christ is hard. But, it should be, shouldn't it? I wanted to close my eyes during this scene, and plug my ears, ignoring it when He struggled to carry the cross, and when they beat Him, and He cried out in agony it echoed in my ears. It was graphic, it was realistic, and it was so painful to see. I felt my heart breaking as I watched, something I had never seen laid out before me. I had read, and heard about His crucifixion, but I had never seen it like this, right before my eyes. All of those lashes, all of that humiliation, all of that pain was meant for me. It hit me like a bullet, straight into my heart. I couldn't stop the tears, I couldn't stop the way my throat was filled with sobs, or the way my heart ached mercilessly. I felt this conviction wash over me as I was reminded once again that He shed His innocent blood for me. He died on that tree, for me. He willingly gave His life, and lived on earth being rejected, being despised, and being humiliated on that tree, for me. Jesus paid it all, and I owe everything to Him. He took that crown of thorns, He took the beating, He took those three wicked nails... and He took them all for me. He took them to give me the most incredible gift anyone could ever give. He took so much suffering to give me life.  He did His Father's will, and He took my punishment upon Himself, when I am sinner who deserves nothing but hell. I fail Him every day, and everyday He loves me despite my sin. He forgives me, He pours His mercy out upon me, and He carries me when I'm weak. He loves me, and He loved me so much that He gave His life for me. We can never be thankful enough for this gift.
My perfect all powerful Lord and Savior, died for imperfect little me. He died for a wretch like me.

"26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. 28 And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.
32 Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. 33 And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull,34 they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.
35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.'" -- Matthew 27:26 - 35

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, 'It is finished:' and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." -- John 19:30

But, He didn't stay dead. The next scene was when Mary found the empty tomb. At that scene tears of joy flowed from my eyes, because He conquered the grave for me. He rose again on the third day, just as He said. Isn't it amazing? The perfect Lord of Heaven loved you enough to die for you.

"But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre. And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, 'Woman why weepest thou?' She saith unto them, because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, 'Woman, why weepest thou?' She supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have carried him away, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, 'Mary.', She turned herself and saith unto him 'Rabboni;" which is to say, Teacher. Jesus saith unto her, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my breathern and say unto them, I ascend unto my father, and your father; and to my God, and your God." -- John 20:11 - 18

Knowing this should motivate us even more to live for Him with every single ounce of our being. He made Himself a ransom for us, so we should seek to serve Him in every way possible.

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." -- Mark 10:45