Life Has New Meaning

And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. Revelation 12:11 NLT

This photo is a testimony by itself. “How does it feel to be working again,” my son asked. “I’m so grateful to be here,” I replied.

The last time I served, I had a seizure. It happened in the middle of me talking to someone. Imagine talking, losing your train of thought, stuttering when you normally don’t, mouth twisting, then suddenly not being able to breathe.

Sidebar: [My husband sends pictures to my mom in love when we are volunteering. He just so happened to walk into the hallway moments before the seizure to take pictures per usual. He saw my face through the camera lens and walked towards me. Because, I could not speak I just looked at him, with fear in my eyes and tried to make my way to him, before collapsing in his arms].

I thought I was having a stroke because of my mouth twisting. Then, I thought I was dying because I could not breathe. LOL. I can laugh at how dramatic I am now that it’s over. I remember saying, “Jesus help me,” in my mind. At that moment, my husband grabbed my face and calmly said to himself I was having a stroke when I didn’t respond to him. He called for help and immediately began praying. I became unconscious and started having convulsions. It’s great to know that when I can’t pray, there are people around me who will.

The next thing I remember is being confused about what happened. Apparently, I was laughing hysterically during questioning. I was incoherent and unable to provide any information. I did not even know that I was on the stretcher. It did not register that the paramedics were there for me until they started wheeling me out of the church.

That day, my church was having a partner celebration to thank members for their contributions and highlighted all that the ministry had accomplished to date. I was excited about sharing my testimony that evening. So, with me having a seizure right before the celebration began, I could not understand why God allowed it to happen.

Let me be very clear: GOD DOES NOT CAUSE SICKNESS.

I spent the following week searching myself. Did this mean I was not supposed to speak? Then, I started worrying about a  mysterious, underlying medical problem since I never had a seizure before. I was faced with constant flashbacks of the experience. It was extremely traumatic. To make matters worse, a week later, I had another seizure while sleeping.

This week, I realized that it was all spiritual. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 NLT

The enemy did not want me to speak. Duh! I’m always talking about how great God is and all that He has done for my family. My husband has called me the testimony queen for years. I thought my faith was solid, but it actually hit a plateau. I got comfortable.

I was confused after the seizure. I experienced brain fog and short term memory loss. It was difficult to formulate my words. It also caused the inability to focus or think clearly. Confusion is a side effect of the medication I was prescribed after having the second seizure. After prayer and mediation, it became very clear what was going on.

God is not the author of confusion.

Earlier last week I wrote in my journal about being chosen, since I am considered a rainbow baby. I reminded myself that I just have to weather the storm to reach the promise. Sunday, morning during Bible class,  I wrote how God changes you before changing your circumstance. Both CHOSEN and CHANGED were mentioned during the sermon! This was instant confirmation for me.

Earplugs for my MRI Brain Scan

I had an MRI Brain Scan today. This was the last test I needed to have for my doctors to come up with a prognosis. All of the tests I’ve had so far, have been normal *insert praise dance.* The machine is narrow and loud. If you are not claustrophobic, you probably will be with this one. I know I was.

The technician gave me a panic button in case it became too much for me and earplugs for the noise. Not a coincidence that I was feeling anxious on that table. There was a cage-like helmet over my head that takes the pictures. I thought about the helmet of salvation. I began to drown out the noise of the enemy, the lies, the taunting. I tried singing but could barely remember lyrics to my favorite songs. I recited several verses then I prayed the rest of the time. The entire procedure was 18 minutes, but the lesson I learned will last a lifetime.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Phillippians 4:8 NLT

I do not know how much time I have to live, but I do know that I do not want to die with all of my dreams, gifts and unwritten books inside of me.

I don’t know what you are going through, but I pray that you have the mind of Christ and remain faithful no matter what. YOU have all power over the enemy. Find your purpose and stay focused on things that matter. Life is short.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I planned to testify about my journey with lupus. Then, this happened.

Good Samaritan

I love to tell stories through my writing. Did I ever tell you all about that time I thought my husband was crazy for getting in the car with a complete stranger, while I helplessly followed behind them? No? Well, I wrote a story about it. Like to hear it, here it goes.

I got off work late one night and insisted on going to Wendy’s. Judge me, if you will. My husband and I talked for a little while before heading out to the restaurant. Upon arriving, we kept hesitating about going inside or the drive through. This caused us to drive around the parking lot, before finally deciding to go inside since the line was shorter. *Laziness never pays off.

After we placed our order, one of the employees yell to his coworkers that there’s a medical emergency outside. Initially, I’m thinking that we should’ve stayed in the drive through line, because we would have been done. The man would have been two cars behind us. At the same time, I know that everything happens for a reason and that we were exactly where we were supposed to be.

I just worked twelve hours, so the last thing I want to do is work for free. I’m still in my work clothes with a big ole emblem on the back that says ER lol. Great. I stand there as if I was waiting to turn
invisible and my husband nudges me, “Get out there.” What the heck am I supposed to do? Wait. Is he seriously making me go out there alone? Alright, God…this one is on you.

I go outside to see an older Caucasian man standing up against the building in agony. Pause. No, everything is not about race. But this is Georgia. The deep south. During a time when racial tension is high. Resume. My husband was a few steps behind me. Sigh of relief. The man told us his name, but to protect his identity, I will call him Sir Sweat A Lot or Sal for short. Just wait for it. Sal had already given his keys to the employee that came inside for help. That employee parked his van and kind of gave us the “good luck with that” look. In fact, everyone that drove past us did the same. One person even gave us a thumbs up, but the look on his face was a complete contradiction.

I introduce myself and ask what his problem was while scanning his body for blood, injuries, etc.
Sal tells me that he just finished a several hour long tennis match and now has crippling leg cramps. Honestly, I’m thinking really dude? You seriously held up the drive through for leg cramps?  Get in your car and go home. Suck it up. Grow a pair. Call your wife. My fries are getting cold. If I had stayed in the drive through we would be at home. Sarcasm to follow: However, God has such a great sense of humor. The way our marriage is balanced, my sweet husband blurts out, “Do you want us to take you home?” Wheeeeeeet?! [Insert ‘are you kidding me’ obscenities here]. Sir Sweat A Lot says that he would love for that and was about to ask us. He went to his trunk and grabbed a banana. He even tried drinking water with a ton of salt packets. He said that when he sweats a lot, he needs to ingest salt. I had never heard of that before, so I asked about his medical history. I was so desperate to get out of this situation, I even offered my fries since they’re loaded with salt. I’m standing there trying to figure out the reason for this not-by-chance-interaction. [cue Matt 5:13, Mark 9:49-50]

My husband doesn’t even have his phone and all I have is a crappy 30 something percent with  no charger. Sir Sweat A Lot says that he lives a few miles from where we were and gave us the address while explaining the direction we were going to take. Unfamiliar, with the area, I said a prayer. Actually, I never stopped praying. I did not like the discomfort of losing control and seemingly handing my husband over to who knows what. An ax murderer? A secret clan member? The enemy had a field day in my mind. Finally, I casually walked over to my husband and told him, “Pray.” He said, “already did,” then kissed me. Duh. His eyes told me not to worry.

“but my prayers are 
more powerful.”

Sal called his wife and I sat in the car with 911 already dialed on my phone. We head off and I frantically pray: This doesn’t make any sense. Lord, are you really leading in this situation? Please, cover my husband and keep us both safe (followed by a whole lot of begging). I should be happy that he has such a big heart, but why does he have to risk our safety? Then, I snapped out of it and got an attitude. Wait a minute.

YOU have not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love and a sound mind. We have all power over the enemy. We are courageously helping your child. I am boldly proclaiming victory. My husband WILL return to me. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. You said the fervent, effectual prayer of the righteous availeth much, so I’m here praying for his safety. I’m believing you for his safety. I declare and decree that all is well. Besides, my husband aint no punk. I know how he rolls. Who am I to think that I have to protect him?! I thank you for this test. For showing me how important it is for me to pray as a wife. Even though he is the head of this family, I can pray that you continue to order his steps. If necessary, I can run Sir Sweat A Lot over should he try anything crazy, but my prayers are more powerful.”

The whole time, we are driving a lot further than Sal said his home was located, but I eventually have an overwhelming sense of peace. I begin affirming things. I’m locking in landmarks and paying attention to street names. My phone still has 911 on standby, so all I have to do is press CALL. But I’ve already called on God. We finally arrive to a house and the front door opens. I’m waiting for a family of cannibals to come out. Ya know, just in case. Watch and pray, right? Because, NOT TUH DAY! Instead, a loving wife runs to her husband and simultaneously thank us. She told him that he needs to stop playing tennis. Sal can’t imagine life without his beloved sport but he promises his wife that he will go to his doctor appointment later that week. We chat with them briefly, then get out of there, because it was literally in the middle of nowhere.

God will take you to unfamiliar territory to see if you really trust Him. It will be against your better judgment and will oftentimes not make any sense. You will even have to walk alone sometimes. That’s the purpose of it, though. In it, you will find your strength.
People oftentimes talk about the leap of faith. I always say that my walk consists of many leaps of faith. The beauty of this journey is that you will not always know where you are going, but if you hold fast, know that it will always be for your good.
You may not receive an actual turn by turn list of the route beforehand, like Sir Sweat A Lot gave us, but with your GPS (God-Purpose-Steadfastness) navigating the way, you will surely arrive at your destination better than you were when you first started.
You may even have to give up some things, but the small sacrifices will be nothing compared to the blessings that will be released on your life in exchange for your obedience. 2 Cor 5:7