Friday, July 19, 2019

Huge PRAISE REPORT - Thank You, Jesus!

"Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the people."
I Chronicles 16:8

When my family and I started out this year, seeking God about His word of the year for us, we found that the word was to be "favor."  I wrote about it HERE.  At first glance, the word "favor" brought wonderful things to mind, and I envisioned a year full of blessings and void of trouble.  How carefree 2019 would be!  We would glide along and everything would fall right into place, right?  Surely favor meant no worries and fun times all around.

It didn't take long to come down out of the clouds and realize that I had it all wrong.  Favor meant nothing of the sort.  Deep trials descended one right after the other, and it felt like satan had pulled out all stops and unleashed a rampage like we'd never before seen.  The fiery darts were coming thick and fast from so many directions, I could barely keep up.  The job outsourcing that happened in early February of 2018 turned into months-long loss of income, Kevin's health problems escalated rendering him unable to work, Zach's and my health issues worsened, things we had counted on staying the same started falling apart, carefully laid plans crumbled under our feet, and we reached the utter end of our own ability to fix anything at all.  God had told me in 2015 that HE wants to be our all in all.  Funny, but I thought He was, and if I remember correctly, I told Him so.  As I look back over the past 4 1/2 years, I realize that we were far from the position of God being our all in all.  Gradually, He has stripped us to that point, and quite frankly, it has been a painful process.  (Read more about it HERE.)

BUT, back to our "word of the year," even though God has allowed us to be severely tested spiritually, physically, financially, emotionally, and mentally, ALL THROUGHOUT each fiery trial, He has extended unbelievable and miraculous FAVOR upon us.  Over and over and over again, every time it looked like we would go completely under, He miraculously answered prayer, and HERE CAME JESUS, right on time.  

"They sent for Jesus, your friend's about to die,
But tarried He still on behind,
So, they laid Lazarus in a tomb, and said their last good-bye,
But coming down the road was Jesus right on time.

Just hold on, my child, because He's not too far away,
And He knows your need before you pray.
So, when your feet are weary, from the mountain you have climbed,
Look ahead, here comes Jesus right on time!

I've struggled through life's deserts, they were so hot and dry,
'Til it seemed all hope was gone, and I would die. 
I wondered where was He, is He still a friend of mine?
 Then coming down the road was Jesus right on time. 

Just hold on, my child, because He's not too far away,
And He knows your need before you pray. 
So, when your feet are weary from the mountain you have climbed,
Look ahead, here comes Jesus right on time."
Written by:  Charles P. Bosarge

I have been walking through some of the darkest, scariest health situations of my life, and this week has been brutal.  Honestly friends, I did NOT know how I would make it through.  It has felt like a 1,000 pound cloud has accompanied my every step for so long.  On Monday, came a long-dreaded biopsy that ended up being worse than even the dreading ahead of time, and before I could get any answers concerning the biopsy came another medical test yesterday.  Physically, I have been pretty uncomfortable, but the waiting is the absolute WORST.  The mental anguish and torment has been unbearable.  As I waited, still groggy from anesthesia yesterday, the doctor walked up to the side of my bed, and I could not hold back the tears as his words dispelled the lies satan has been screaming for so long.  How I praised God right there in the presence of everyone within the sound of my voice!  One hurdle down, but what about those biopsy findings?  Unanswered questions hung over my every move like a lead balloon.  We returned home to a phone call from the surgeon telling me he wanted to see me to discuss the biopsy results.  Can anyone say full-blown panic?  If it were good news, wouldn't he just want to talk to me over the phone?  Why ask us to make the drive there to get the answer?  Let's just say fear took it to a whole new level.

This morning, Kevin and I sat in the surgeon's office, and as he sat across from me, he spoke these glorious words, "Everything is good.  Everything is BENIGN.  Sorry to worry you.  I just like to tell my patients in person."

BENIGN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The word we have been pleading to God for and pounding the doors of Heaven about for so long.  There it was.  Handed to me like a most precious gift.  Oh, that word!!!!!!  THANK YOU, JESUS innumerable times over and over again!!!!!!  I do not know how relief could be felt any stronger than what washed over me in the seconds following the hearing of that six letter word.  Several hours later, I am STILL in total AWE of our awesome GOD and the abundant mercy He lavished on me today.  I know, and I told the surgeon so, that this could have turned out so differently.  But, GOD, rich in mercy!  Today, He spelled favor —B-E-N-I-G-N, and I feel like He graciously and so kindly handed me a new lease on life.  How I thank Him!

God did not promise that we would not be sorely tried in 2019.  What He did speak is favor.  Though we are called to suffer, and the full healing has not yet come, we are alive, praise His wonderful name, and this song has become my anthem.  

"But God, rich in mercy
You came to save me
Now I'm alive!
My God, strong and mighty
You reached down for me
So I could rise.
Now I'm breathing in, breathing out
I was in the grave, but God you called me out
Now I'm breathing in, breathing out
I was in the grave, but God you called me out
Now I'm alive!"
Written by:  Zach Williams

When satan went before God and asked His permission to test Job so severely, God put limitations upon what satan could do and told him he could not touch Job's life.  I am SO thankful we serve the same God Who is in absolute control, and satan cannot do anything that God does not allow.  How comforting to know that our dear Lord walks before us and winnows our path, and HE decides what to leave in and what to take out.  "And the LORD, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed."  Deuteronomy 31:8

I want to thank each one of you for your faithful prayers, loving friendship, encouragement, emails, cards, and gestures of kindness through our many struggles.  I cannot begin to express what it has meant to us, and I trust God will richly bless each one who has helped to pray us through these trials.  One of you has given up meals and fasted for me this week, and I tell you, that just humbles me and touches my heart more than I could ever put into words.  THANK YOU seems so inadequate.  I am so very grateful to God and to all who prayed.  

Whatever you are going through, God is there.  You do not walk alone.  I am praying for each one of you, also, and trusting God to pour out His richest and best blessings upon you and your life.