I was thinking about a precious lady I met years ago on one of my singing tours who had just been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Her heart was broken, she was paralyzed with fear. I remember during ministry time she came up to me and fell into my arms sobbing...she then whispered in my ear....”I don’t know how to pray those big worded prayers that God hears, so what do I do?” I remember holding her face in my hands and telling her those tears were her prayer, her hearts cry was a prayer that went straight to the heart of Jesus. I am always taken back to that time when no words come....only the cry of my heart. God has never failed to hear that cry and come running to my rescue. Some of the greatest miracles in my life came when all I could say was “Jesus help!”, or when tears took over and words couldn’t come. Those tears were all I had.....God knew. Oh and did I mention that the precious lady I got to know that evening is serving God today....cancer free! ....He hears the cry of your heart, and He will coming running....He will answer....a miracle awaits!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I treasure my morning talks with my sweet Mother. My Mother had such a special relationship with her mom. I remember growing up knowing that at around 7:30 every morning they would be on the phone, making sure the other was ok. I never thought much about those daily conversations until my sweet Grandmother went to be with Jesus. I missed those calls, and I know my Mother longed for that phone to ring, and to hear my Grandmother's voice. I thank the Lord that I now have that same relationship with my Mom. Our calls are like clockwork, every morning I hear her voice, and her encouragement for the day just blesses my heart. The journey of her cancer has made those calls even more special to me. Her faith has never wavered, her passion for Jesus has only grown...and she daily inspires me. Today we talked about how much we have learned through this journey together. We have learned more than ever that life is truly a gift. Everyday is a gift to be treasured. When I got off of the phone, in my spirit I saw wrapped presents everywhere! Beautifully wrapped gifts with delicately tied bows of all colors. And I ever so gently heard the Lord say to my heart....."It's Christmas today!"
Do I wake up every morning anxiously ready to open up a new gift hand delivered by my Savior, or do I just sit on the side of the bed looking at all the gifts and go on about my day not receiving what He gave me that day.... a gift...a new gift! How many gifts have I missed because I was too focused on things that were so petty. How many times did I say "Why Lord?" when all the time He had the answer right there in front of me....I just didn't open it up and find it! Do many of my gifts have dust on them? Isn't it amazing what we learn in the hardest times of our lives? I have learned so deeply during this incredibly challenging season of my life.....that life IS a gift! I don't want to leave one gift unopened.....He put them there just for me, to help me, to guide me through each and every day of my journey.
His passion for me is indescribable. It reminds me of how I used to be on Christmas morning when I wanted the kids to hurry and wake up so I could give them their gifts and see the delight on their faces. I couldn't wait to hear the squeals of delight! I think I got more joy than the kids did! That is how Jesus feels about me!
It may be July 16 but in my heart it is December 25th. It's Christmas! A day to open up with excitement, with delight, with passion! This day is to be savored....as if it were my last. Life is so very short....so fragile. So today as I unwrap the gift of today that is before me, I hope you will join me! Let's be like kids on Christmas morning, let's enjoy this day and all that God has waiting for us! I can hear the giggles now, and most of all I can see the indescribable joy on my savior's face as we receive from Him all He has for us. What a wonderful Savior I serve!
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God's gift, that's why we call it the present.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
As I sit here in my bed, recovering from major surgery, I am reflective, and grateful. Grateful that I just got the great news that all test results, biopsies, and pathologies came out perfect. I love the word benign! It is from heaven to hear those words! This rest time has given me time to write, to put down on paper thoughts I don't want to forget. Thoughts that have shaped my year.
This year has been filled with many life changing events that have affected my entire family.
One of my favorite phrases is "I may not like what I am going through, but I love what I am becoming because of it."
This year has taught me things that will forever be etched into my spirit. I have learned to never say never. As I sat by myself in the waiting room with the doctor telling me that my mom was filled with cancer....I felt God's grace holding me up. As I had to be the one to tell my father, that his precious wife had cancer...God's grace held me up. As I was told I would need immediate surgery and it was the same surgery my mother had only weeks previously....God's grace held me up. Those of you who know me know how precious my mother and father are to me. In my mind they would live forever. When I got a glimpse in a split second that life was so very fragile, and what I would walk through with my mother would be a difficult journey....my first thought was "Lord, I can't do this!" His response to me was "Lisa, not only do you have the strength to do this, but you will find joy in this journey that has been placed before you." What? Are you kidding me? He wasn't. Not only have I found joy in some very hard places, I have found laughter....much laughter. I see the things that matter in life, and have learned to focus on those things. Life is short. Getting caught up in petty issues takes away the time that really matters...focusing on what is important.
I have also learned to quit asking the Lord, "why?" Some things I may never know the answer to, but I know His plan is good, and I know that what He sees as the entire picture, may be very different that what I see. His puzzle pieces of my life fit perfectly in place. My use of hammering each piece into place doesn't cut it. His picture is perfect. So I have learned to lay the hammer aside, take a deep breath and trust. Little by little I get a glimpse of the amazing puzzle He is creating in my life. The pieces of my life that were the hardest are some of the most important pieces in my life puzzle.
I have begun to catch a glimpse of the vastness of God's greatness this year in more ways than I can even begin to express. I have been blown away by that glimpse and realize I have only scratched the surface. He is my passion!
So for today as I am on my 3rd day after surgery, recovering....I am finding joy in the very deep place of His presence. This joy doesn't come from people, or things, or circumstances....it comes straight from the heart of Jesus. I pray everyday for those who are hurting to be able to tap into that life sustaining joy and walk boldly and freely through the journey that awaits.
We were not promised that we would never face hard times, but we were promised He would be right there with us, holding us, loving us, and filling us with the grace we need to walk through the journey.....with joy! The joy of the Lord truly is my strength! Neh. 8:10
I hope you have a joyful week this week, and I pray that you belly laugh! Oh those belly laughs just feel so good! Laugh away!!!!