Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘healing’

On Fridays I post FFF to intentionally recall blessings of the previous week. Suzanne sponsors this exercise at Living to Tell the Story and invites you to participate too!

1.Small town I love living in a small town. It’s not perfect, but people tend to look out for each other, greet each other, and rally together to support local causes. This week a very popular restaurant in town posted on their facebook page that they would trade baked goods for any extra mint from area residents’ gardens. How fun is that! Since my summer has been rerouted from regular activities to recovery, I have not been able to poke around in my garden, and had plenty of mint to share. Even though the baked goods were not gluten free, my family enjoyed the delicious breads, rolls and muffins given in trade for the mint.

2.More local stuff Two of my daughters are involved in the local arts council, one representing drama and one voice. Recently my daughter became aware that even though there are many families with young children in our town, there is no community children’s choir. She has taught voice lessons and coached musical theater for several years and decided to start a kids’ choir this fall. The local newspaper did a full-page piece on her which has generated even more interest than what she was already getting. This is very nostalgic for me as most of my kids participated in a community choir years ago.

3.Drive in the country Yesterday my husband took me for a drive in the country. I haven’t been out much since the surgery, which made this jaunt particularly enjoyable. We capped the drive with a take-out meal from Edo Japan. Though I could not get out and walk around, I was able to get a few photos from my seat in the car. What a refreshing afternoon!

4.Short lived flu Our youngest daughter had a flu last weekend which I picked up mid-week. Because I am still recovering from surgery I was concerned at first that the pounding headache was some sort of surgical side effect, but after talking with my daughter I realized I had identical symptoms that she did. Thankfully the headache dissipated after 24 hours.

5.Paring down on meds The past few days I have been able to significantly cut back on my pain meds. Though they have been necessary, they affect my mental state and I will be very glad to be off them altogether. Yay for clear thinking and a healing body! My next post-surgical check-up is Wednesday and I am praying for a good report.

Here are a few of those photos from yesterday.

Summer on the prairie

Roadside purple

Fading canola

Anybody home?

Prairie simplicity

Read Full Post »

I have been home since Monday evening. I cannot remember a time when I was more exhausted than I was on Monday night. My meager post-surgery strength did not match the demands my body required of me. That night I deeply second-guessed coming home instead of going into rehab. I could barely move, much less properly engage the specific mechanics required of me to consistently keep the weight off my right leg.

My week was filled with focus, practice, adjustment, and caution. I had little to no pain in hospital, but as my previous painkillers worked their way out of my system and I reduced the amount of new painkiller I was taking, my pain increased slightly. Was this a bad sign? Was I doing something wrong? Should I cut back on physio? Increase it? More meds? Less? Not sure.

The surgeon wanted to see me two weeks after my surgery. After returning home I called to make the appointment. I discover that the ortho clinic will be closed two weeks after my surgery, and closed for the entire week. My follow up is now 3.5 weeks after surgery. Will this be ok? Will my dressing last? What about my staples?

As the meds work their way out of my system, I struggle with fatigue, ennui, enervation, and depression. I hesitated to write about this, but it is my reality. When we share what is going on in our lives with the body of Christ, we do not share only the blessings, but also the struggles. The love and prayers of God’s people are a great encouragement in times of struggle.

Slowly I am seeing improvement. I am better able to hop using my walker and keep most of the weight off my injured leg. I discovered I tend to hold my breath when I am concentrating. I need to talk myself through the steps. Remember to hold in my abs, breathe, hold my arms straight, and move forward, keeping my foot barely on the ground for balance. And again. And again.

How did my appliance fail? How did I go so long without knowing it? Did the doctor do something wrong? Was it something I did wrong? Am I doing something wrong now? Is it even possible to find the truth about this?

Why hadn’t my hip itself hurt? The last month before the x-rays I felt crooked and was unable to stand straight. I felt the tightness in the muscles of my back and in the thigh of my right leg, but when I poked the hip area, nothing hurt. I thought it was my fibromyalgia. I now realize that not every muscle pain is fibromyalgia.

I become aware of many others who are struggling physically, emotionally, spiritually, and I pray for them. Sin has touched and cursed us all. We all need Christ and His truth and His salvation. We need to speak truth to each other in times of sorrow and in times of joy. We are family. We rejoice and we weep with each other.

Today as I heal and continue to work to strengthen, I am enjoying some special blessings. My family has arrived from China and I get to hold and talk with my grandchildren, listen to their dreams, join in their imaginings. This morning my grandchildren picked the first of my garden peas to share with me. Well-formed, sweet and delicious, they are consumed with gratitude and satisfaction.

I am abundantly blessed through this ordeal to have my daughters living nearby ready to sacrifice to help in any way possible. God has also blessed me with many children of the heart who visit and write and stop by to help. They bring their little ones, my ‘adopted’ grandchildren, to visit Purple Grandma and hand me sweaty fistfuls of flowers or grasses or other treasures selected just to cheer me.

Truth is, just like many others who suffer unexpectedly, I may never know why this happened. God chose it for me for His glory and my good. I do not understand what that looks like right now or how it helps me and the body of Christ overall. I struggle to rejoice in infirmity. I struggle against self-focus and negative thinking. I struggle to rejoice in the Lord always, but by God’s grace, I am not content to be disobedient.

The prayers and love of God’s people are very precious to me. Thank you to each of you who have prayed for me and continues to pray with me. I pray God will bless you for your love and concern.

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Read Full Post »

FFF spring

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

This has been a crazy busy week full of blessings and faith-stretching moments.

1. Our son is healing Sunday morning we received word that our son had been admitted to hospital in Shanghai where he ministers and works. It’s at these times that it’s hard for this mama to live on the other side of the world. Many friends joined with us in praying for David and he is now back home recovering, but still having to be treated with IV antibiotics. I’m so grateful that God watches over His own.

2. Sweet chirping of birds How wonderful it is to have the windows open and to hear the sweet chirping of birds outside! The magpies will swoop in soon enough with their raucous demanding noise so this little respite from their clamour is lovely. Yay for Spring!

3. New friends This week I met a new ministry sister and had a lovely visit with her. I’m thankful for my fellow pastors’ wives and the blessing and encouragement each one of them brings to my life.

4. Hi Grandma! I love it when the little ones run up to me and greet me with, “Hi Grandma!” When I was visiting my ministry sister a little neighbor boy told me he would hold my hand to help me down the front stairs because “You always need to help old people get places.” He was so kind and delightfully honest and thoughtful. I chuckled all the way home.

5. A partner in my health journey About two years ago I started a journey to improve my health. The year prior to that I was in so much pain and had such brain fog that my response to “How are you?” was simply, “I’m alive.” And some days I even questioned that. Every day I would drag myself through the day thinking, “My body is killing me.” God lead me to a caring family doctor who has partnered with me in this health journey. I am not a list of symptoms, but a person to her. She listens to me when I tell her about any medical research I have done, she asks for my evaluation after sending me to a specialist, and she supports me in making changes or using alternative remedies that others in my situation have found helpful. That blessing, that freedom of partnership in caring for my health, has allowed me to slowly improve and gives me great hope for continued success.

Read Full Post »

Cancer???????????????????????????????

Cancer.  We hear the word and recoil, thinking of the destruction these rogue cells cause.  Several of my friends are currently enduring the ordeal of cancer treatments.  Both of my parents died of cancer.  Most of us have friends, colleagues or family who have been touched by this terrible disease.

We are all blessed when Christians choose to glorify God in diagnosis and treatment for cancer.  Louise has been a wonderful example of this. Though very much wanting to live, she has sincerely and openly confessed that, “For me to live is Christ; to die is gain.”

She wished she hadn’t looked

Louise has been extremely ill this past year.  Miscarriage claimed her first child then later in the year, her twins.  Illness, dizziness, infections, and fatigue followed the second miscarriage.  By the end of November all the tests results were in:  stage 3 bladder cancer.  Further tests revealed the cancer had spread to her ovaries and uterus.  Louise’s doctor showed her the images and pointed out the cancer.  She wished she hadn’t looked.  Prognosis was 6 months of treatment in hopes of stopping the spread with the possibility of surgery afterward.

Brian and Louise grieved, and cried out to God.  They questioned, they wept, they turned to the Scriptures and they prayed.  Their physical families and the church family circled around them and lovingly helped and provided for them.

Chemotherapy

The prescribed chemotherapy was in pill form, taken at home, two weeks on, one week off.  Extreme fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and dizziness ensued.  The food that would stay down smelled foul and tasted terrible.  Louise shaved her head.  She slept a lot.

Through all of this she would text friends about the things that God was teaching her.  She told everyone of God’s goodness to her -doctors, nurses, and anyone else who would listen.  Most people will at least politely listen because who wants to discourage someone struggling with cancer?

Test results

After the second cycle of treatments Louise had a good week.  She felt stronger.  She could eat.  Her abdomen was pain-free.  Louise went in for her next set of testing.  The doctors were concerned about something and put a rush on the results.

Tuesday night the oncologist called Louise.  “Oh no.  Something must be wrong for the doctor himself to be calling me in the evening.”

The voice on the other end was incredulous.  “Louise, I can’t explain it, but we find no trace of cancer in any of your tests.”

Louise gasped, “Praise God!”  She wanted to be sure.  “Are you sure it is me? Please read me the health care number.”  He did. “Yes, that’s my number.”

The doctor continued, “I examined the results very carefully and asked two of my colleagues to give me their opinions.  We are in agreement.  There is not a hint of cancer anywhere.”

God has done this!

Excitedly Louise exclaimed, “This is God!  God has done this!”

“I need to read that paper you gave me,” her doctor replied.

“Paper?  What paper?”  Louise was puzzled.

“It was called, ‘God’s Bridge to Eternal Life.”

“Yes, God is the one Who did this and that tract will tell you about our wonderful God!”

Brian and Louise quickly spread the news.  They are keenly aware that God does not always or even often answer prayers for healing this dramatically.  Her doctors want to quadruple check the results.  So far the tests have all shown the same thing:  no trace of cancer.  The doctor showed her the cancer-free images next to the first ones.  She’s glad now that she had looked and could see the difference.

Thank you and give God the glory

To those of who have been praying, thank you.  Brian and Louise want to give God the glory.  They don’t want to squander this opportunity to point others to God.  They approach God with open hands and continue to give Him their lives to use as He wishes.

Brian and Louise do not know what the future holds; none of us does.  But today, and with gratitude, we praise God for healing Louise.

Read Full Post »

“We have done all we can do.”Edinburgh (18)

Several of us were gathered around the crib in our baby son’s hospital room.  There was a somber and surreal atmosphere, as if we were observers of someone else’s drama.  “We have done all we can do,” our doctor told us.  “David’s kidneys have shut down.  Unless his kidneys begin working, I don’t think your son will live through the night.”

Pouring out his heart in prayer

My mother-in-law and our Christian doctor stood with us as we looked on our son’s listless form.   My husband clasped my hand and began pouring his heart out before the Lord. “Lord, this child was a gift from you.  You formed him, You gave him life, and You have a purpose for him.  We love our son, Lord, and we don’t want him to die.  But Lord, we want Your will, even if that means our son will go to be with You.  Please God, make David’s kidneys work. You are the Great Physician and can heal him in an instant.  But if you choose not to heal David, please give us the grace to glorify You in our sorrow.”

Quiet prayer

Medical personnel quietly moved in and out of the dimly-lit room taking vital signs and checking the IV. Someone removed even the diaper from our son’s fever-ravaged body in hopes that the air would help cool him.  We all continued to quietly pray.  We tried to figure out if we could have taken action sooner.  We went over the details of the day and we prayed some more.  Someone pulled a chair up to the bed for me, “You’re pregnant and need to rest.”  Someone else offered to get us something to eat.  Funny thing, in all of the urgency of the day I wasn’t at all hungry and had never once thought about the fact that I was indeed halfway through my second pregnancy.

“Please God, would You spare our son?”

The ward had several other pediatric meningitis patients.  We asked a few questions and learned that some children diagnosed with symptoms as severe as David’s have permanent disability such as deafness or brain damage, and, as we knew was possible, some die.  “Please God, would You spare our son?”

Answered prayer

Weariness set in as the strain of the day began catching up with us.  Our conversation dwindled to an occasional murmured comment or prayer.  Our doctor walked back in to the room.  As he checked David’s IV, a stream of urine shot up from the bed.  We began to clap and cheer and cry with joy.  God had answered our prayers and caused David’s kidneys to work!

Our son was in hospital for ten days.  He slowly began healing and we were finally able to take him home with us.  He was neither deaf nor brain damaged – God had returned him to us and we did not want to take that lightly.

Standing at death’s door brings a reality check

Even though we mouth the words, “Not my will, Lord, but thine,” many young people retain a feeling of invincibility because of the vigor and stamina of youth.  Standing at death’s door brings a reality check and forces us to acknowledge that our times are truly in His hands. We learned much about faith, prayer, surrender and grief those days.  We had a new understanding of the verses which tell us that life is a brief vapor.  We developed a deeper appreciation of the gift that life is.

Practical help

During these days of hospitalization, treatment and recovery we were blessed with the prayers of many, both friends and strangers.  Following my continuing theme of practical help in times of suffering and grief, I want to mention some specific things which were a help to us during our son’s hospitalization.

  • A lady in our church came to visit me in the hospital.  Several years earlier her daughter had contracted meningitis and recovered from it.  This dear woman’s willingness to share her experiences was a great encouragement and helped me know I wasn’t alone in this trial.
  • We needed someone at the hospital with our son around the clock.  Family and friends signed up to take shifts so my husband could return to work and so I could get some rest.
  • Meals, laundry and cleaning were taken care of by others.
  • Some provided money for hospital parking.  This can be expensive when you have to park every day for a prolonged period of time.
  • We lived in the States at the time and were without medical insurance.  Though the hospital initially wanted to transfer our son out of the hospital because we had no insurance, our doctor and family members spoke in our behalf so he could stay.  It took several years, but God gave my husband and I both work so the debt could be repaid.  Sometimes you need an advocate in the midst of a critical illness.
  • We received many notes and cards of encouragement.
  • During the crisis I felt totally calm and my husband was agitated.  It was a great help when our doctor told us that in his experience, one parent often is stoic at first and falls apart after the crisis has passed and the other is anxious first and very calm when their loved one is out of danger.  After we brought David home from hospital, I would sit in my rocking chair cuddling him and crying and my husband joked and played with our son.

“Why crying, Mama?”

Shortly after we bought David home from his hospital stay we learned of another seminary family whose baby daughter had just died of meningitis.  As I rocked David and prayed for this family, tears flowed down.  David reached his little hand up and wiped my tears saying, “Why crying, Mama?”  We prayed together for this bereaved family and I told God I didn’t understand why our son was spared while this family experienced such loss.

Hold the loosely

So we asked God for wisdom in rearing this recovered child believing that God had a particular purpose for our son’s life because this child had been returned to us.  Thus began our understanding of holding our children loosely because they are God’s and He has loaned them to us for an indeterminate period of time.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: