The Big C, PD and Following Through

Posted by admin on March 27, 2014 under Encouraging Words | Comments are off for this article

274I hated P. E. (Physical Education) in high school.  I hated the baggy shorts and the goose-pimples on my cold, blue legs.  I ran with leaden feet, broad-jumped as if I were glued to the ground, and ducked when balls flew my way.  

Finally a senior, I signed up for some non-competitive, no-sweat P.E. classes:  Golf and Bowling.

But in Golf, I swung and missed, swung and missed.  When I finally made contact, the ball fluttered skyward, only to drop like a dead bird.

The instructor frowned and said, “You need to follow through.”

In Bowling,  I  probably set a record for consecutive gutter balls, but no one checked with Guinness.

The instructor grimaced and said, “You need to follow through.”

Unfortunately, I had never been taught to follow through.  I didn’t know how to get from A to Z in most things.  When I saw kids doing things I longed to do, I simply felt inadequate and left-out.  No one was there to encourage and cheer me on, so failure meant instant retreat.

In my life, things just seemed to happen–sad things, unpredictable, and frightening.  The only constant in my life was my fledgling faith in God.  At age eight, I opened my heart to the Lord.  I did my best to follow through–getting baptized (though I was afraid of drowning), praying, reading my Bible, going to youth group, and singing in the choir.

My self-image and situation did not improve, but somehow I knew that God my Father was taking care of me.  Even when my Nana died or my favorite uncle broke my heart with verbal abuse, I cried to the Lord and trusted Him to take care of me..

As an adult with that kind of history,  I have had to work hard to follow through, figure things out, stay organized, and keep my promises.  Breast cancer, the Big C, reduced my multi-tasking to nil.  I had nothing more to prove; I just concentrated on getting through another day of chemo, another day of radiation, and another sleepless night.  Chemo brain set in also, a fog of forgetfulness.  Difficulty concentrating,  difficulty staying organized, and trouble following through made life complicated and sometimes chaotic.

Now, five years down the road of remission, I am so much better.  But life still comes in and out of focus, depending on my anxiety level.   This past year or so was very stressful.  My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and had to retire from a ministry we loved.  It was one of those “one thing after another” kind of years.  I wish I could forget it, but then I would also forget the Lord’s merciful and gracious answers to our prayers.  To sum it up, just as we were sliding over the edge, He caught us!

In all this, I hoped to follow through with a promise I made to my friends on line–to Journey through John, to send out some encouraging words from meditations on the Gospel. But I let myself get discouraged and overwhelmed.  My worship was riddled with worry, and my brain was shorted-out with stress.   I stopped writing and composing.  I went into survival mode once again.

The Lord, however, has a gentle way of nudging with comments and emails from family and friends, along with strangers who ask permission to produce Pilgrim’s Progress in their Christian schools.  My husband, in particular, told me I should start writing again, even if only one person is encouraged.  So despite the Big C and PD, I am not closing up shop.

After all we have been through, and in all that may come, let’s thank the Lord and encourage one another toward the finish line.  

“You will have suffering in this world,” Jesus said, “but take courage.  I have conquered the world.”  John 16:33b

 “Wait for the Lord; be courageous and let your heart be strong.  Wait for the Lord.”  Psalm 27:14

Thank You, Lord, for being Faithful and True.  Unlike me, You always follow through.  You haven’t given up on Your children.  You began a good work in us, and You promised to complete it.  Thank You, Lord.  Your will be done in me.  Amen.

Zero to Sixty and Upside Down

Posted by admin on August 16, 2011 under Encouraging Words | 3 Comments to Read

 

Roller Coaster

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened,

And I will give you rest.

All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me,

Because I am gentle and humble in heart,

And you will find rest for yourselves.

For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30 (HCSB)

Zero to sixty and upside down . . . I rode California Screamin’ and lived to say I’ll never do that again!

People talk about the roller coaster ride of life.  But life is not always “zero to sixty” acceleration.  It’s more like a car trip across Texas.  The desolate roads stimulate speed but don’t seem to take you anywhere. 

Thank God, life doesn’t deposit us like a roller coaster where we began.  Nor is life a Road to Nowhere.  This is the King’s Highway–He knows every peak and valley, every monotonous plain. He set speed limits, posted instructions, and planted oases along the way.  He has gone ahead to prepare a destination beyond imagination for those who love Him.

Jesus didn’t live like I do, sometimes sluggish, sometimes driving myself faster than the speed of life.  He didn’t walk on water to please the crowds or multiply lunches for the masses every day. He contented Himself with doing only what His Father wanted.  Jesus paced Himself with prayer.

Now He invites me to walk with Him every day.  His command is light, not burdensome:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) Love stops to listen.  Love delights to stay.  Love walks hand-in-hand.

My life was upside down before Jesus saved me.  As a lonely teenager I remember walking beside the highway, wondering what would happen if I stepped into traffic.  Now by His grace I’m heaven-bound.  The Lord has brought me safe thus far and will lead me home!  

Father, I can’t extend even one minute of my life by multi-tasking.  I am tempted to go faster and do more, but I choose to wait on You.  I choose to spend time with You, to listen to Your words, to know Your love.  I choose to trust You when I can’t see the road ahead.  I walk in Your light.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

I find my Rest in You. 

 

      1. Kids Sing I'm Walking in Sonlight
 

from the kids’ musical Pilgrim’s Progress: The Joyful Journey, live performance ages 6-13, May 2008