Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

please don’t take it personal

If you had walked past our house yesterday afternoon you may have thought someone was being beaten.  I am grateful that it is winter so the windows are shut.  Since it is cold that means people weren’t working in their yards.  That is a good thing too.

Yes there was screaming and lots of tears.  No, no one was being beaten.  In fact, my husband was there softly telling me to breathe, it would be over soon, and it was going to be ok.  In between all of those comments, he would pray.     Hmmm, you might think I was having a baby.  There are certainly some similarities.   Sadly when it was over, it was just over and all I was left with was pain.  There was no beautiful bundle of joy.

I would  start the whole healing process all over again.  Why?

thoughts

understand

I bought this when my son and our family were going through a most difficult and life altering trial.  When your world is turned upside down, it is good to remember that we don’t have to know why — we just trust that God is with us.  (Psalm 40:1)  This sign has proven to be a wonderful reminder when I would find myself heading down the “why” road.

I was traveling that road yesterday afternoon.  Why?  What possible good is there in this?  God is this really part of your plan?  I just don’t think I can head down this road again.  Plllllllllleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaassssssseeeeeee, God!!

The first time it was nine months (hmmmm again the baby similarities) before the pain was gone.  Six and half months later it would return.  This time it was not as intense but still very evident.

Just last Sunday the pain had finally left.    It was a glorious week.  Then yesterday it returned with a vengeance.

Did you know that when you cough or sneeze  it affects your sphincter muscle?  You probably  did not because unless your muscle is angry you don’t even know you have one.  Trust me, you have one and when it is angry you know it.  No medication will calm it and it will not be ignored.

I have strongly believed that  my health issues have been more of a spiritual thing.  A very small similarity to the boils that Job dealt with.  I have pushed on and refused to let it stop me from moving forward.

I am a firm believer that in my weakness He is strong.  I have proven that over and over again.  (2 cor 12:10)

I still hold to all of that but I am sensing a change in my direction – in how I handle this. I still think it is a spiritual thing.  I believe God gives us grace for what He leads us to and that He has a plan and a purpose for each day.  However, the drive to push through is diminishing.   It is my hope and belief that this is God leading me down a  different path in how to respond to this latest development.

I have discussed this with my husband – who is also my spiritual leader.  He is on board and very supportive.  More than anyone, he knows what this has cost me.

Here he is last night — making me smile!

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It just so happens that (counting today) in 40 days it will be Good Friday.   For the next 40 days I plan to do some serious schedule elimination not revisions.  (I know one friend that will say “it is about time.”)

Today, for instance, I had a great opportunity but it would require three or so hours.  I declined.

So, I will be immersing myself in study.   I will be taking at least four sitz baths a day and be diligent with my food intake.  (I have found that a crazy busy schedule does not work well with a closely guarded food regiment.)

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It is my prayer that people won’t take it personally when I decline or eliminate things from my schedule.  Yet, I must leave that in God’s hands.

What is God asking of you?

til next time

click here for part 1 of this journey

 

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February 15, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

fear or faith – you choose

Fear cripples faith.  Faith overcomes fear!

Fear will try to keep me confined in my comfort zone.  I have come to realize that ‘comfort zones’ are really just a way to avoid embracing life.  It seems God is always nudging me to step out in faith and what an adventure it is!!

Fear is controlling.  It will try to limit what  a person does.  Bad decisions are often the result of fear.    Being afraid will create distance, both in our relationship to God and to others.  Fear will cause people to try to control or manipulate a situation/person.  Truth is the only person we have control over is ones self.

fear not

 

I am a firm believer that I have nothing to fear because truly my God is an ever-present help in trouble, (Psalm 46:1) I am His and I am safe in His embrace. (Proverbs 18:10, 29:25)  Yet, I have become aware that I have let fear sneak in the back door of my life.

I love that about God – how at just the right time, in just the right way,  He spotlights an area that needs attention.

Chronic pain is a cruel friend.  Last March I started a journey with pain that has been like no other journey.  Chronic pain will change a person.  There was a point where I was well aware of fear trying to control me.  The pain was constant and at times it would be excruciating.   There was no pill that would help with the pain.   I found myself crying out “oh no, no, pleeeeeaaassssse no!”   Fear had stepped in.  I think fear tops chronic pain in the cruel friend department.

Fear cripples faith.  Faith overcomes fear!  

When I realized this, I changed my words to “Jesus, Jesus help me!”  The pain was still there but I was changing.  I believe in the healing power of God.  Until then, in acceptance there is peace – accepting that God, for reasons I could not figure out, had allowed this in my life — accepting that God will use it for good and accepting that it is what it is.

Slowly the pain diminished.  I  would start to get better and then I would have a set back.  I would make plans and have to change them.  The day finally arrived when I could sit without pain.  God was indeed walking me through this ordeal.

Now the muscle is no longer angry and screaming for attention.   Pain is pretty much all gone, but I know that it could come back.  History tells me that I am one small step away from reoccurring  chronic pain.  That knowledge has allowed a fragment of fear to cause me to check for the telltale signs and breathe a sigh of relief when they aren’t there.    I didn’t realize that fear was the underlying cause of that action.

God doesn’t want me (or you) to live with fear.

Faith in God overcomes fear.  Is fear trying to grip you?  Maybe it is a health issue (yours or someone you love dearly) — maybe it is financial,  it could be job related, fear knows no limit.  Don’t let fear sneak in.  I encourage you to trust God, to let your faith rise up, to hold fast to the knowledge that God is for you and with you.

“We walk by faith and not by sight.”  (2 Cor 5:7)

til next time

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January 22, 2015 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment