Joy in the journey!

Joy in the journey!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Choose Happy!

I gave her a big kiss as she was taken back for yet another test. Before she went in, we had the conversation that no matter what happened, what the results, she would be fine. She chose to remain in that “happy place” with Jesus, and not miss a second of what He had in store for her. My Mom lives in that “happy place” every day of her life.

As I sat in the waiting room, I began to think about my Mom, and the things she instilled in me. I began to thank God that I always saw her choose that place of happiness, no matter what. My Mom has been through so many trials these past 2 years in her battle with cancer, and if ever there was a time to go to the “pity party” place, it could have been these years. But she refused. And the result? Joy, peace, blessing, trust, grace, ministry, miracles.....and the list goes on.

I don’t think it was by accident that a precious 84 year old man came over to me in the waiting room and sat beside me. He was tall, and thin, and very frail. His hands trembled as he shook my hand and introduced himself. His name was Bob. Bob was one of the kindest men I have ever met. In the course of the 2 hour wait, we talked. He told me about his life, and my mouth was open in awe of all he had walked through. His full time job now? Taking care of his very ill wife who was in surgery while we were talking. With all the adversity Bob had gone through, he kept saying over and over....
“but you know? Life is a choice, you can be happy....or you can be miserable...I choose happy” He had a sparkle in his eyes, and it was very evident he chose “Happy.” He had been married to his wife 60 years, and adored her. The only time he teared up was when he talked of possibly losing her. But then he followed it with “But Miss Lisa, I will choose happy even then. And when I can’t humanly choose Happy because of a broken heart....God will choose happy for me.” OK, by then....I am going for the kleenex. Bob became my dear friend during this 2 hour wait. I pray for him everyday and his sweet wife, and am so thankful for our time together. When I left the hospital I passed his room and he was kneeling over the hospital bed where his wife was. He was kissing her hands and stroking the hair out of her face. Yes, he adored her, it was obvious. “Bob chose “Happy”, and love oozed out of that man to all he encountered.

I am glad he encountered me!

As I drove home that day, my heart was so full. I reflected upon the events of my summer.....some good, some not so good. And what I realized is that on those “not so good” times, when I chose “happy”, God gave me such strength, such favor, and such grace. It was like a gift He poured down for me. I felt His favor on me as I chose to go the high road, and delight in Him in the hardest of circumstances. It’s a simple thing to say and yet at times very difficult to do. But the reward is amazing! Life changes, things change, the future changes, God opens doors, and it’s astounding what happens!

No wonder the enemy tries to divert us with trivial things that trip us up from day to day! He wants us to miss this amazing gift God has waiting for us! He knows how powerful “happy” is and he wants us to miss it all!

Through Mom’s cancer, to my own health struggles.....perspectives change, priorities change. I have learned to savor every single second of life like never before and not waste a minute. There is no time to stay in a cloud of negativity. I want to run from it. I know what it does. It feeds like a cancer, and blocks what God wants to do in our lives. When I see friends or family there, my heart breaks because I know what they are missing. LIFE! HAPPINESS! MIRACLES! JESUS! Yes, even through the darkest of times.....there is a happy place. It was that happy place that saved my life when it was so dark I couldn’t see light.

I encourage you to find those arms of Jesus and snuggle in to that happy place that only He can give. No matter what you are going through.....that happy place leads to freedom and miracles you never dreamed possible. And when you can’t do it on your own....He can do it for you. He’s good at that.

One of my favorite quotes is “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. God, may we all see things through your eyes, and love with your heart. You delight in a life of cartwheels and fact I feel a cartwheel comin’ on now. See you in “the happy place!”

And for those wondering about Mom’s test results....benign! Tests came back great! Isn’t God good!!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

China, Emergency Surgery......and Jesus.

As I stood there pouring my cup of coffee and going over the long list of things I had do get done that day, I heard that still small voice, not so still and quiet saying.....”Go now Lisa, Go NOW!” Go check on Kerrigan!” Kerrigan had been through what was supposed to be a routine tonsillectomy but it turned out to not be the case. After a week of struggling she finally was resting....I thought. I had only on a few occasions felt the prompting in my spirit to this degree. I dropped my coffee, literally, and ran. I found her on the couch in a pool of blood. It was coming out of her nose, out of her looked like a crime scene. I remember at that very moment just saying outloud “Oh Jesus, help me.” It was all I could get out. In a few hours after that moment she had been rushed through surgery and was in recovery. An artery had not been cauterized properly and opened up...the bleeding was horrendous. Seeing her frail body lying there so pale, was something I will never forget.

On this same day, I was to see my oldest daughter off for the rest of the summer, to Beijing, China. We had planned a time that afternoon to say our goodbyes and spend some time together. I literally in a 15 minute span of time was saying goodbye to my oldest as she left for her trip, and another goodbye to my youngest as she was wheeled into emergency surgery.

I can only tell you that this journey today took me once again to a place with Jesus that no words can describe. It was a deeper place of trust and rest. I remember many years ago, in a bible study, being told that during times like these I should stay strong, start quoting scripture, and have faith. I memorized mountains of scriptures, which I am so thankful I did, and was prepared. But as I stood there today seeing my daughter helpless, all I could say was “Oh me”. I couldn’t remember one of those scriptures. Just “Jesus!” And you know what? That was all I needed. I cannot begin to tell you the presence that filled that room as I cried out His name for help. He knew what was in my heart, He knew how desperately I needed Him. I truly believe the most elaborate of prayers is just the name of Jesus. I didn’t have to quote a long passage of scripture, I didn’t have to start praying a big worded prayer to be heard....all I needed was Jesus.

Was I strong? It depends on what you define as strong. I stayed strong throughout the whole ordeal, and then I let myself fall apart. I have a place in my closet that I reserve for “ugly cries”. You know, those cries where your soul just lets go and it comes from your belly? (Groanings to deep for words: Romans 8:26) Yep, one of those cries. Jesus always meets me there, and I never feel guilty for letting go. I have felt so close to Him in that prayer closet at times it is like I can feel His breath on my face.

I have had to release my children to God in a way like never before. From China to Emergency surgery....they are in His hands. It’s easy to say, hard to do. But as soon as I completely release them....there is a peace like never before. What greater hands could I place them in?

Kerrigan is resting peacefully, Laura made it to Beijing. I made it through another journey with Jesus realizing more than ever that there is such a freedom and peace in walking this journey with Him. There is no bondage in this walk, only freedom and miracles waiting. If I forget to quote some scriptures during a crisis, or if I fall apart and cry in His arms...He is there regardless. I have never felt His presence more strongly than when I just cry out His name. Oh the precious name of Jesus. No matter what journey awaits me today, tomorrow or the next. He will be enough..........

I can still hear my sweet Grandma’s voice singing as she sewed in her chair......

Jesus Jesus Jesus, there's just
something about that name.
Master, Saviour, Jesus, like the
fragrance after the rain
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all heaven and
earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms will pass away
But there's something about that Name!