Brief Update

Thank you so much for your prayers. I have an appointment on August 13. It is still going to be expensive, but I was able to find a female doctor a lot quicker than expected. The clinic is about 40 minutes away, but considering we live in the country, it is a reasonable distance. Thankfully, I have a family member willing to get me there and back.

I’m still pretty nervous about the appointment. I’ve never had to have an exam of this nature done before, the lump/spot on my breast is continuing to grow, and it is now also becoming more painful. None of this is helping my nerves. However, this is an exercise in continually giving all of this over to God and trusting Him with it. I don’t know what’s going to happen or why this is happening, but He does know and He is in complete control.

Prayer Request

Photo Credit: Flickr

“Oh no. Please, no,” I thought.

I was taking a shower and had come across a lump. It was under my armpit, on the left side of my left breast.

“Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe it will go away.”

But it hasn’t. It’s been at least two months since I first found it, and it’s still there. It’s firm/hard. It’s raised. It’s discolored. It’s a little painful. And I’m scared. I don’t have a regular doctor. The last doctor I saw wasn’t mean, but he was simply all business, didn’t listen well, and didn’t seem to really care. I felt like a number to process and move on rather than someone with complex health issues that needed more attention than the average patient. I decided I wouldn’t be going back to him.

I also don’t have health insurance and don’t meet the requirements for Medicaid. And I know an appointment of this type would likely mean special testing, which is expensive.

I’m not sure how to proceed. I know I want to see a female, but that’s about it. Not sure where to go, who to see, what to do, what it will cost … what the diagnosis will be. And all of this is overwhelming me.

Right now I am trying to meditate on the truth and peace that Proverbs 3:5-6 holds for me, but I am having a hard time accepting yet another health issue and with not knowing how serious it may or may not be.

Your prayers would be greatly appreciated as I try to figure out what happens next. Thank you.

God Knows What He’s Doing

The stained-glass window at a church that I’ve been considering becoming a member of.

In July of 2019, I left the church I’d been attending for 10+ years and have been church hunting ever since.  It’s been a difficult process for a few reasons: 1) There are not a lot of good churches out here. 2) My health makes it very difficult for me to attend regularly.  Still, by March, I had finally narrowed down my choices to two that I liked.  I decided to attend one of them as often as I could for the next several weeks/months to see if it might be where God wanted me. I really like the church and the pastor, and I was just starting to feel comfortable there when Covid-19 happened and all churches shut down.

Three weeks ago, churches started opening up again, including the one that I’d been hoping to start visiting more regularly.  They said they would be following all health-guidelines.  I prayed about whether to try attending.  I wasn’t sure if it was wise or not.  I asked God to guide the situation. 

I was feeling especially bad – more so than I have been lately – on both of the first two Sundays that they had in-building services, so I stayed home and watched online. 

Last Sunday, their third week of having in-building services, I again woke up knowing I wasn’t well enough to attend in person.  I was extremely discouraged and complained to God about it.  Then I turned my computer on to watch the live stream.  I then heard some very sad news: Within the last two and a half weeks of having in-building services, the Senior Pastor as well as members of 6 different families have tested positive for the Coronavirus.  Services are going back to only live stream starting next week as a means of trying to keep the rest of the church family safe.  They also shared that our area and the neighboring towns have seen a sudden rise in covid cases since businesses and churches have reopened.

God is good.  He knew I should not have been at church for in-building services.  I am very at-risk (diabetes, asthma, vocal cord dysfunction, adrenal fatigue, low immunity, etc).  He kept me away from a situation where I very likely would have picked up the virus (I usually sit with one of the families who now have covid).  Despite my at-the-time discouragement and complaining, I am now thankful that God allowed me to feel so rotten these past three Sundays.  He kept me safe.  Thank You, Father! 

I’m sharing this as an example of when God allows something we don’t like or understand in order to do what is best for us.  We don’t always get to see how God works for our good, but this time, He let me see. In my case, I went through more pain, exhaustion, and weakness than has been normal for me lately because God was protecting me from going somewhere that I’d likely pick up a virus that would be deadly for me. I pray this serves as a reminder to me in the future when I am struggling and don’t understand.

I’m also sharing because my heart is aching for the people I’ve come to consider friends and a potential church family.  Please pray with me for their healing. Thank you.

My Hope is Jesus

Between the coronavirus, the murder of George Floyd, the protests, the looters, the violence, the destruction, the anger, etc., I’ve been very overwhelmed lately.  It’s affected my health so much that I’ve started avoiding social media and the evening news. It’s just too depressing.

However, even after I halted the incoming of these things, the issues keep swirling in my mind and heart.  It makes my head hurt and my heart ache.

I know what isn’t the answer to these problems: panic, selfishness, bitterness, anger, violence, destruction. No, these things only serve to make the situations worse. But what does help?  What is the answer to these problems?  You know what? I don’t fully know. I don’t know what the right-now, best-thing-to-do is for each individual problem. But I do know one thing.

God is the solution.

These situations have made me realize more strongly than ever before how much our world needs Jesus and salvation.

Jesus is the answer to the sinful, selfish heart of every human. Jesus is the answer to the hatred and anger. Jesus is the answer to the hurt.

In a time when so many things – both personal health and the world around me – is unsteady and unknown, there is such comfort in being able to place my hope in Jesus Christ.

Consider a few verses that I’ve been meditating on:

Revelation 21:4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

Psalm 62:5 “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.”

The solutions are not found in humanity or social reform but rather are found in a relationship with Him (personal, heart-transformation) and in our Heavenly home where He will make everything right.

My hope is Jesus. Is yours?

Be Safe — Commissioned by Him

Fellow blogger, Kim, from Commissioned By Him has kindly allowed me to share this thought-provoking, recent blog post of hers. I hope it will be the spiritual bolster to you that it was to me.

As I prepared to end the phone call, the salesperson said, “Be safe.” I thought this was odd since I hadn’t heard this phrase used in impersonal conversations. However, it is now common to my daily life, including the plethora of emails I receive each day that close with “Be safe.” I find myself wondering […]

Be Safe — Commissioned by Him

God Understands and Cares

Attribution: CHURCH4U on Flickr.com
Edited with permission by license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I walk out of my room towards the kitchen, needing to get some breakfast in me before the nausea hits.

My brothers are talking up a storm. One of them laughs loudly — too loudly. The other brother is finishing up breakfast, clanging dishes in the sink. Every single light in the kitchen and dining room is on.

I’ve talked to my brothers about this before. I need quiet and calm in the morning. I wake up struggling; the added noise, lights, and chatter makes my body hurt more. Can they please be quieter? Not clang dishes around? Not laugh so loudly? Not turn on every single light?

We are all adults. We should be able to live peaceably with each other. But no. Both of my brothers get agitated with my requests for quiet. They tell me it isn’t fair to hush them. One brother tells me to get over it. The other tells me that the noise “cannot possibly hurt you as much as you say it does.” They both think if I want a quiet morning, I should just get up earlier, before they do. They don’t understand how difficult that would be for me. And then there’s the conflict of me trying to explain that, yes, the noise and lights do hurt me a great deal and, no, me forcing myself up earlier is not the solution.

The noise. The lights. The conflict. And my family wonders why I spend so much time alone in my room with the door shut. It’s the only place I can control my environment.

I stop talking. Arguing about it is only going to make my feel worse. I get through breakfast quickly as possible, go back to my room, crawl back in bed, and pull the blankets up over my head.

“God, they don’t understand. They don’t even care,” I cry.

“Maybe not. But they’re human,” God answers, “They’re never going to perfectly understand or always care. But I do understand, and I will always care. Why don’t you spend some time with Me and let Me tend to these wounds?”

One of my favorite passages for when I’m feeling misunderstood or not cared about is Psalm 139.

God Understands

Verses 1-4 read, “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thoughts afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.”

Verse 13 states, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.”

Verse 15 and 16 note that “my frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret…” and “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.”

God truly does understand. He even understands me better than I understand myself.

God cares

Verse 5 says, “You have hedged [or protected] me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.”

Verses 7-10 say that no matter where I am or where I go, “You [God] are there” and “Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.”

Verses 11-12 remind me that even the darkest times will not conceal me from God’s presence because “the darkness and the light are both alike to You.”

Verse 17-18 state, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.”

How precious this chapter is to me! Humanity, even my own family, may falter in understanding and care towards me, but God never does! The truth of Scripture reminds me of His deep love for me.

Thank you, Father, for understanding and caring.

Then Came Sunday

I know it’s been several months since I’ve last posted on here. I’ve been focusing on my health. After a few emails back and forth with another blogger, I became convinced that I have Adrenal Fatigue. Got some advice from her, and then contacted a close friend who I went to college with and who also has Adrenal Fatigue. My friend has been a big help as I’ve navigated through this, and I’m pleased to say I’ve had some improvement. I’m not to the place where I feel able to write and post regularly, but I did want to share an Easter cantata with you all. “Then Came Sunday” is a cantata that my family listens to on our old record player every Easter. Amidst the traditions, it helps us remember the true and real reason behind Easter/Resurrection Sunday.

I’ve linked/embedded the first video in a series of 12. Since it is a playlist, it will naturally progress to the next one automatically after each video ends.

A Time to Heal

I’ve been thinking. And praying. And I’ve come to a decision.

I want to blog. I really do. Writing has been a huge chunk of my life since I was 9, and it really is a part of who I am. Writing is also how I process events, trials, thoughts, and emotions. You wouldn’t believe the number of diaries I’ve filled up over the years.

But I just can’t keep up blogging/writing with my health the way it is right now. I can hear your response: “But you just started! You’ve only blogged for a month.” I know. But what I didn’t expect was for my health to come crashing down in September. It wasn’t a typical flare up of a few days or even a week that eventually settles down to normal pain levels. I’ve been crashing hard. Really hard. Much harder than I am used to. And it hasn’t let up. My “semi-good” days are becoming fewer and farther apart, and I’m fighting an intensity level of emotions that I haven’t had to battle in a really long time.

After talking with another blogger about what she’s had to do in order to recover some of her physical and emotional health back, I decided I need to make some drastic changes. I put it off at first, but considering the last few days I’ve had, I need to do it now — before something even worse happens.

Along with other things, I will be taking some time off from blogging to focus on resting and letting my body and mind recover.

I will be gone for at least the month of October, perhaps longer. It will depend on how I’m doing come November. I hope to return at some point, so I’m going to leave everything up on here. But except for an occasional checking of notifications, I won’t be on WordPress for a while.

Thanks for the follows, likes, and comments. They’ve meant a lot to me. It would mean even more to me though if you would pray for me while I try to rest and heal.

Love in Christ,

Rebekah

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven … a time to heal … a time to build up. Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 3

A Sister is Born for Adversity

It was the middle of the night. 

I had hit rock bottom. Hard. And it hurt. Excruciatingly.

I was way, way down in the pit. So far down I couldn’t even see the light at the top anymore.  No Bible verses came to mind.  No lyrics from hymns.  Nothing.  My emotions and mind were so dark and turbulent … I was in trouble.  I could barely utter the prayer, “God, help me.”

“Melanie.”*

“What?”

“Call Melanie,” He said again.

That wasn’t a typical answer from God when I was crying out for help.

“No. It’s so late. She’s sleeping.”

“Call Melanie, daughter. Do as I say.  Do it now.”

I felt like a horrible friend – calling her in the middle of the night.

Her phone rang only once.

“I’m here for you, Rebekah.  Take your time,” were the first words out of her mouth. Turns out Melanie had wakened suddenly with me strongly on her mind, knew that something was wrong, and was praying for me at the exact moment that I called.

I could barely speak, but, somehow, I got a few words out here and there.  And over the next two-and-a-half hours, Melanie spoke gentle words of compassion, care, and love to me. She cried with me. She read Scripture to me when my tired eyes wouldn’t focus well enough to read the words myself.  She prayed over me through the phone.  And she stayed on the phone with me until I saw the light again – until my shaky mind and spirit went from rock bottom to finding footing on the Solid Rock.  She even stayed with me until I fell asleep, exhausted from pain and crying.

This morning, I woke still in physical and emotional pain, but I was no longer stuck at the bottom of the pit.  I no longer felt enveloped in a crushing darkness.  I stayed in bed longer than usual to dwell on the previous night and to thank God for sending Melanie when I needed to hear God’s truth and love audibly.  For sending her when I needed a friend.  As I slowly stretched and started to get out of bed, two verses perfectly describing last night came to mind.

Galatians 6:2 ~ Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Proverbs 17:17 ~ A friend loves at all times, and a brother [or sister in Christ] is born for adversity.

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*Name changed for privacy