July 4th is Independence Day in the United States. As Americans, we have thought about our country’s past, present and future. We enjoy being off work for the day, food, family and fireworks! WOW…but that wasn’t for me this year. I was grumpy, irritable, unpleasant, resentful, and angry. Not at America, but about my life. I was far from happy. I told Terrie, “I have never been this sad before.” That is quiet unlike me. I usually optimistic, while being a realist.
Since 2006, I have had oral cancer twice, colon cancer once, and currently have two .7cm tumors in my lungs. I have had several surgeries (one twenty two hours long), which has left me scared and disfigured. I have done several rounds of chemo (infusions and pills). All of which, I seemed to manage fine, because I knew so many of you had helped me and prayed for me. Terrie has had her own health issues. Knee problems which creates mobility problems, heart problems, and she is currently going through Bell’s palsy. Her last immediate family member died just days before my big surgery. I love her dearly and desire to care for her in the very best way I can. Because of her mobility problems, we have not been able to socialize as much as we might have liked too.
Through all of this, God has been faithful to us and has allowed us to recover, to relate to others, to share what the Lord has done in my life with doctors and nurses from around the world. God has brought medical people from Peru, Spain, Belarus, Russia, Africa, India and throughout the United States to work on me. Two of the best oral cancer surgeons in the world were my doctors. God sent me to them so that I could tell them about the faithfulness of Jesus Christ in my life. But I forgot that for a while.
I was mad because my blood pressure was too high, Terrie had Bell’s palsy, and I didn’t have anyone to go out to eat with after church. It sounds very mature doesn’t it? So I went to bed that night, mad at the world and at God. After an hour or so, I had had enough! I started to pray and let the Lord know I was not happy. I itemized each thing I could remember. Then I discovered what I was missing! The Holy Spirit reminded me about the “joy of the Lord”. I turned over and turned on the lamp and my ipad and looked for the joy of the Lord. Nehemiah 8:10 said in part”…do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” ESV. I was mad (grieved) because I was working in the flesh and had lost the joy which only He can provide, therefore I was weak in the faith. So I confessed that I was wrong and He was right. I surrendered and acknowledged He was the one who could lower my blood pressure. I surrendered Terrie’s health to Him and asked Him to allow me to take care of her through Him. And I said if I never get to go out again, that was alright with me. I just wanted His joy in my heart again.
The next morning, my blood pressure dropped to within the range the doctor wanted (at one point today it was 120/60). We are seeing improvement in Terrie’s face and speech. And I joined Facebook to try to be friendlier. The Lord has never left me. He has been patient with me. He has been kind to me in so many ways. I hope that this may encourage you and draw you closer to Him.