Monday, August 31, 2009

Minute Angels

If you have heard my testimony then you know about my “tissue angel”. The lady at my church who followed the leading of God and handed me a tissue during my first service that let me know that God had heard me. I have spent a lot of time lately looking back over my life at different times that these “minute angels” showed up and I’d like to share a story with you.

After I had moved back home with my daughter we had bought a house and were slowly getting back on our feet. I was in a deep pit and very depressed. Overwhelmed and feeling very lost and alone. My daughter had started getting sick a lot and was very lethargic. She even went back to bed on Christmas morning in the middle of Santa. That, for a young child, is practically unheard of.

By February she had had a nose bleed that wouldn’t stop and had broke out in, what I thought, was a rash and was covered in bruises. I took her to the doctor where they did some blood work. Two days later they called me at work and said that I needed to take my precious daughter to Duke, right away, that they were waiting for us at the hematology/oncology floor. I had no idea what was going on. When we got there, one of God’s minute angels was waiting for us. She was with us longer then a minute, she was there more then 2 years, my daughter hematology doctor. Dr. P. was amazing. They did a bone marrow biopsy right then and found that my daughter was very sick little girl. She had very few platelets, very few white blood cells and very few red blood cells. The good news was it was not leukemia, which was what we had feared, but that she did have aplastic anemia. I had no idea what this was.

And so begin a trip down the road to doctors, hospitalizations, and tests that I didn’t know or understand at the time but became very familiar with. There were many days that my daughter was unable to go to school because her immune system was shot. She would get very sick quickly and wind up in the hospital for days. It was one of the scariest times in my life because I could not fix her, I could not help her, and I was alone. Totally alone, at least, I thought I was.

I had gotten so mad at God when my second marriage ended. I was a stay-at-home mom, a good Navy wife, and we were active in our church. I was doing everything right I thought, but the marriage ended and the wounds still hadn’t healed so I turned my back on God and now, God was, in my opinion, going to take the only thing I felt I had ever done right, my daughter, away from me.

But there were minute angels all around me. My daughter’s nickname is Boo. I have called her that since she was 10 seconds old, and much to her dismay now, she will always be my Boo, but there is a reason now that that name means even more to me.

When she was at her sickest, I was working part-time at a local hospital, I was making very little money and was afraid that we were going to lose everything, our home, our car, everything, I went to work one day and went into the bathroom. I was so angry and hurting so much, and I went into the stall and just started to cry. I wasn’t praying to God I was fussing at Him. I was letting all the hurt and the pain and the frustration out onto Him because I couldn’t tell my parents how scared I was, I couldn’t tell my ex-husband, and I had no one else at that point that I felt I could turn to and they weren’t the ones doing this, in my mind, God was and it was punishment for me because of mistakes I had made in my past.

I sat in that stall with my head in my hands and just cried out in anger and frustration, begging God to heal her when I looked down, and there, on the floor of the stall, was a little cut-out piece of cardstock, a three letter word, BOO. This wasn’t Halloween. I had never seen anything like that before, but there it was, on the floor in that bathroom right at my feet. I was still hurting, and I was still mad, and I still didn’t think God wanted me, I had a peace that my daughter was going to be okay.
I don’t know how it got there, well, yes I do, it was God, but how many times do we miss those minute angels? How many times do we get in such a hurry or so caught up in our own stuff, that we don’t stop and see where the God of the Universe has stopped for us? Leave a comment and tell me about your minute angels. It will only take a minute.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stepping up to the microphone.

This past weekend I gave my testimony at my church. It was an amazing and an extremely humbling experience. There were so many men and women who came up to me afterwards and talked with me about their lives, mistakes they had made, and struggles that they had overcome. It felt like I had been preparing myself for this my entire life. I used to joke that "God had given me the gift of gab." but it's true, I love to talk and God has given me that passion. I love to be on fire for something and I have never been more excited about anything like I am about my heavenly Father cause see, He made it all clear. He answered all the questions that I didn't really even know I had. His Word has given me a weapon that I can wield to fight.

A woman walked up to me, words lost to her, as she wrapped her arms around me and buried her face in my neck. The sobs wracked her body as she struggled to achieve some scrap of her decorum, but I knew, oh my friend I knew what she was dealing with. I held on and just rocked back and forth. I have been there and while the journey is hard it does get easier and I just wanted so much to let her know that. The pain that she was feeling finally overflowed into the tears that were pouring down her cheeks. I understood that pain, I had been there, and this was why I took that step up onto the stage and exposed my scars for the world to see. So that if even one woman can find her way out of the dark into His light, then all of it was worth it. We have to help though. There can be no more secrets. There can be no more shame.

Many have kept the secrets of their past buried, a wound that has had a scab over it. A lot of times those scabs keep others from seeing the damage, but like any wound that is not allowed to heal properly, the infection and poison will go down, inside, if it cannot come out in the open and be allowed to drain. The wounds from sexual abuse are like that. We cover them up, we apply a band-aid onto something that needs to be lanced and cleaned out.

My testimony I pray, will give women who walk in the darkness and silence, and opportunity to remove the scab, and allow the wound to start to heal like it should. That does not mean that we don't carry the scars. But our scars are beautiful! They are an opportunity to grow stronger. God is there to help us heal those wounds but we have to be willing to open up the wound and clean out the infection with His help. It is possible, but it is painful and sometimese it hurts more in the beginning, but afterwards, once the healing begins, you don't realize how much pain you were walking around with and how it was impacting the life God has planned for you, until the pain stops.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stepping onto the narrow road..

It is time. Time to step off the wide road and through the narrow gate. It is so easy to follow the wide path. To follow others, to give into culture, "the world" and just go with the flow. I have done that for many years. I have worried about what man thought and placed God on a shelf that I only took down on the weekends, or at holidays or in an emergency. I didn't understand that choosing God was a daily, hourly, minute by minute decision. One that required my active participation.

This blog is a step through that gate. An opportunity to share with others not only how awesome God is (as if that wasn't enough) but also how God is real, God works, and God can work for EVERYONE. Will you join me on this path? Will you chose to walk through that small gate into a relationship with the One who loves you.