The word for you (me)today

Walking by Faith

When you don’t understand what’s happening in your life, start with what you know for sure. Namely, that God is good all the time, and His “love for those who respect him continues forever” (Psalm 103:17). He’s not fickle. His “mercies…are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Hope is a powerful force. It’s absolutely essential to the life God wants you to live. It’s the fuel your heart runs on.

What does it mean to walk by faith? It’s not rooted in human effort. It’s rooted in God’s unlimited power and unchanging Word. Walking by faith requires action. The moment you act, your faith springs to life, inviting God to move on your behalf. Today, He’s waiting for you to act, so He can respond to you.

Walking in the unity of the Spirit means you can’t fully enjoy your health while your brother or sister is sick, or fully celebrate your success while they struggle. There’s something about receiving God’s blessing that when fully understood makes you want to say to oth­ers, “The God who brought me through, will bring you through too!” And you’ll work and pray toward that end.

One of the greatest things a believer can do is intercede in prayer on behalf of those who need healing. The Bible says that the “heartfelt prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available” (James 5:16). As a believer in Christ, you have the authority to pray, and to lay hands on the sick and see them recover because the Spirit of God lives in you!

Surviving almost dying

It was Monday, 12 August. I have no memory at all left from that point on. The only memories I have are those told to me. Tuesday I am told somehow I was to go to a doctors appointment. And had arranged for a girlfriend to take me. I’m not sure of the details but for some reason either on the phone or in person she felt I was way too sick for her to handle she called my son Austin and then my husband John. By the time they got to me I was throwing up, not able to walk and not lucid. They went ahead and took me to the doctor appointment only to have the physician say this “woman needs to be in the hospital emergency room.”They called 911 and the ambulance came and got me at the doctors office.

They took me to the emergency room at Hoag Hospital Irvine. I have absolutely no memory of any of this. There I was incapacitated and incoherent. I was saying strange things, scaring my husband my son and my friend.

For the next five days I was unconscious and unaware of what was happening to me or my body. As I finally became conscious and aware of my environment it was confusing and scary to me. For some reason I knew something must’ve happened. I had some peace that obviously I was being taken care of regardless if I knew what happened. My hubby says that I called him and he was so excited to get my call. UnFortunately the first words out of my mouth were “why did you leave me here and where are you!” A nurse was in the room and it was able to tell him not to worry that she would take care of everything and when he was ready to come on in to see me. He was recovering from a shoulder surgery he had about 12 hours after I was hospitalized. The reason why he had it done was no one had any idea what was going on or how fast I would recovery. He of course thought I would betaken care of at the hospital and that he would be able to come on in and see me and they could take care of me while he was healing. I totally agree with this and I’m glad he did it. He needed the surgery and waited over a year and a half in pain. The only thing we did not prepared for was that I would come home without the ability to process information and to walk. Having someone with one arm taken care of me was more than we could handle. That is when my girlfriends stepped in along with neighbor, family and more. I’m so grateful to my daughter Madi for setting up the schedule and calling people plus making sure there was someone here to help us. Honestly without the help there’s absolutely no way we could’ve done it. We’re still in the midst of it and have people come in this week and hopefully the following week.

This post is explain how I could in the midst of this horrendous trauma still hang onto the Lord. Maybe I know no other way. In the darkness of my hospital room when I was alone, it was only me and God. I never felt totally alone because through prayer I felt connected. I also knew that God had a reason for everything he did and eventually we would find out what the reason was.

I’ve had an incredibly adventurous life. Traveling the world, teaching photography writing books, the things dreams are made of. On the other hand I’ve also had quite a bit of trauma. I totally feel that I am beyond blessed that at one time in my life they were people like my girlfriend Pj, who told me about God and about the peace he can bring you. Today everybody talks about finding peace, serenity and harmony but we can’t find it in things we can only find it in our Creator. And through this wildly incredibly rare situation that put me in the hospital, kept me from walking, and put me some of the worst pain I’ve ever had, I know I will get through it and I will be better for it! Because Jesus is my Lord and Savior, Jesus was God here on earth and when he walked here, he walked with such peace serenity and harmony. And that is the example we are to follow.

Terminal

It’s been three years since my diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer metastasized to my bones. During that time I’ve had radiation twice, extensive spinal surgery, and a third attempt, through chemotherapy, at stopping the cancer from growing.

I’ve barely had a chance to reflect or grieve what has happened to me; it’s been all about keeping me alive.

Not too long ago we went for a consult at City of Hope. They have a team of doctors that specializes in metastatic breast cancer, breast cancer that has moved from its original site to other areas in the body. We had a consultation with one of the specialists who was very informative and explained to us the chemotherapies that I can try. Each chemotherapy has its own average amount of time that it’s effective at stopping the cancer from growing. Unfortunately cancer is smart. After a while it figures out how to get around the chemotherapy and continue to grow. At that point the cancer patient moves on to another chemotherapy. Unfortunately, I have only one chemotherapy left. I’m hoping and praying that the one I’m on will keep me alive long enough for a cure.

Where does this leave me now? I’ve been so focused on staying alive and managing my pain that I haven’t thought about the future. When we were at City of Hope, we asked the doctor my prognosis and how long I’ll live. She gave us her honest estimate, three years. Wow, three years! That is not what we wanted to hear. We had no idea. We thought I was doing really well. It turns out I was doing only average. Average. And average for metastatic breast cancer is five years.

This took a while to process and accept. Now that I’m on the chemotherapy that has stopped my previous terrible cancer pain, I’ve had time to think. I’ve had time to process what’s happened to me and how much my life has changed. One real loss is that I’m no longer working. I no longer have my identity as a photographer. I no longer see the numerous people I saw every single day that I was working. I’m now home by myself every day.

I’m creating art now. Painting, drawing and mixed media. It gives me some sense of purpose and the activity helps to pass my days.

We moved to a new area to provides me a place where I can to walk and see trees and parks. And I have a little garden that I attend to. But it’s not enough for this type A personality!

It’s time for me to start my serving purpose. Maybe it’s been my purpose along and it took the cancer to get me to start. I have some things to share. Stories, life advice, and daily life survival tips. Because I’ve been through it all and I need to share it all.