Two weeks in and this new year is barreling ahead already! For us it started with sadness as we rushed to the emergency vet in the wee hours of New Year’s morning – our fifteen year old cat, Gunther breathed his last. Amidst the upheaval of boxes and re-arranging furniture after selling our mountain home and finally merging our belongings under one roof – our weiner dog needs leg surgery. Anxiety, tears, loss and weariness came knocking. It was time to take a quiet moment and breathe. Dig deep for strength and courage. My book needs completion, publishing, within weeks – focus.
Two of the steps in focusing for me are to take time out and be still – pray, read, contemplate and listen for God’s voice. I add to this inspiring and motivational reading. During one of these moments this past week, I read and was deeply moved by my mentor, coach and friend – Pam Wolf’s blog post. I am compelled to share it with you – may it meet a tender place within your heart and breathe courage and strength to you . . .
You plan…life happens.
You might even feel like you have a crystal-clear vision of the future you are trying to create…. and it is all unfolding just the way you hoped.
For me…life seemed to be going pretty well – just the way it was planned.
Then – on October 15, 2014 – everything changed.
On October 15 2014, “that call came”…
You know, the kind of call that makes your head spin…makes you sick to your stomach…puts you into a state of “mental shock”.
If you don’t know…I hope you never do!
For me “that call” came when I was on the golf course…a rare Wednesday morning outing with my girlfriends. Yet, I did have my cell phone with me, because I knew Amanda was going to the doctor. But surely at 28 … it would be nothing.
In disbelief, I heard her saying the antibiotics had not worked. The symptoms were not better…they were worse. They wanted to do more tests in the coming weeks.
My mind was numb as I hung up…but standing there on the 6th tee box – I heard God speak! Not in an audible voice…but clear as a bell in my spirit I heard him say, “You need to move quickly…and I mean, do it now!!!”
Trembling, tears beginning to fall – I headed for home…to make calls…to see how I could get her from Auburn to Tampa to do the tests that were needed – NOW!
As only God can do…he began swinging doors wide open…making things happen…getting her in to see people we could never have gotten to without his help.
Arriving on the last flight that night…we began with appointments early the next morning…by that afternoon…the diagnosis.
My daughter…Jonah’s wife…mother of two little girls…has advanced stage Inflammatory Breast Cancer…known to be one of the most aggressive, fast-moving, treatment resistant cancers around.
Wow…just 24 hours before, God had said, “move fast!!!”.
He knew what I did not.
And as I look at it now, I see how He blessed my obedience when I simply did what he said.
In the natural I could have said…she’s too young…this can’t be…trust the doctors.
This little sheep (thankfully!!!) has spent a lot of time learning to know the Shepherd’s voice…and for such a time as this…I did not question…I did not hesitate…I simply knew it was him…trusted…and acted!
Thank you Jesus.
Treatment and the journey to Amanda’s complete healing is well underway (thus my absence from this blog…) And for those who want her full story and want to follow her honest, faith-filled journal entries… let me know by reply to this blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you an invite to follow her on Caring Bridge.
But most importantly I tell you this story because I know you too have your stories of pain – lives interrupted by tragedy – and the whirling chaos of the unexpected.
Many years ago God have me the phrase…
“There is hope in the hard places and purpose in your pain.”
For such a time as this…that is what I believe this blog is supposed to be.
A place of prayer…a place where we can come share those stories…let our hearts been known and share them with others who really “get it”. While – together – finding our way to places of hope and purpose that can redeem and restore those parts of life – that hurt and frighten us so deeply – we wonder if we will ever get “over it”?
Most of all – I want this to become a place where we can help one another not lose heart. A place where we can share what God is doing…the Word we are standing on…how we have seen him move… and how we have heard him speak into our lives.
For this I know:
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2Corinthians 4:8-9 and 16-18)
For Christ is the One I know:
“…because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” (2Corinthians 4: 14-15)
Yes, Lord let this be “The Place” to come 4 hope – 4 peace – 4 purpose.
Will you join me in this place?
Will you open your heart and share… “so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God” ?
Pam’s powerful life story is in my soon to be published book, Teatime Stories. To discover more about Pam’s work and purpose: http://identityanddestiny.com/