Monday, January 30, 2012

When God Moves

Ever been standing in a room and felt the spirit of the Lord move all around you? Well, I did this past weekend as we had our Women's Retreat, "Clinging To God's Promises," and what a great time we had! God moved and needs were met. Our praise and worship was led by Matt Treherne from New Life Baptist Church in Brent, Alabama and it was amazing. It is so funny how God works. I had not shared with Matt the theme for the weekend, however God led him to the songs that went just perfect with our theme. The words that we sang were never more true than they were this weekend.

Our first speaker, Ginger Jacks from Montgomery, had an amazing testimony how God can and will get you through some of the darkest days you could ever image going through. She lost her daughter to a car accident at the young age of 18 years old. Her daughter, Virginia, was so full of life and in love with Jesus. She shared some things Virginia had written just weeks before her passing. They were so inspiring to others and such comfort to this grieving mother. One thing I remember Ginger sharing was when they had to tell their youngest son that Virginia had been killed. She said that he looked at her and asked, "When Virginia was born, did God know then when she would die?" WOW! Our Lord and Savior knows everything about us. I think it is amazing that He allows us the opportunity to live here on this earth and all He really asks is that we be a witness for Him. Is your light shining?

I put my friend Alison Cottingham on the spot and asked her to share her testimony of how God had moved in her life. At the age of 3, Alison's little girl, Carys was diagnosed with a Wilms Tumor. She talked about how God had been preparing her for that diagnosis and the road they would travel as a family for a long time. I can't help but wonder what He is preparing me for? How does God want to use me? Will I be ready? Praise God! He healed Carys and she is now a healthy 7 year old...a sassy 7 year old if you ask her mama. It is amazing to see prayers be answered. Some are the way we want, some are not. You see, Alison, lost her father to cancer at the early age of 40. She has been on both sides of this disease. She has seen God heal and restore and she has seen Him call his children home. Lessons were learned when she lost her dad that helped her face Carys's illness. Lessons were learned throughout Carys's illness and treatment that she will carry with her forever.

Our last speaker of Saturday was my amazing friend Jamie Cagle. Jamie is 34 years old and is fighting a very aggressive form of cancer. She has 8 tumors in her liver and her options are few. Throughout Jamie's testimony, she shared how God had planted "special people" in her life to help her through this trying time. You never know whose life you have been placed in to be a guiding stone from time to time...whether it be a listening ear, a car rider for a medical trip, a hand holder or a prayer warrior. Are you asking for God to show you where He wants to use you to help others? Her message to us was not to take one moment for granted. To live each moment for the moment because you don't know what the next holds. Jamie is a fighter and I have no doubt that God was smiling down on her this past weekend. She gives Him the glory for each day. Please join me in praying for this dear friend. She is fighting a battle where the odds are stacked against her, however she BELIEVES that God will heal! She is praying for a miracle! Will you join us in this petition?

Hearing women cry out to Jesus to meet their needs, physical, emotional and spiritual is like nothing else. To be in a room where you are able to feel vulnerable enough share your hurts, your hearts desires and your tears is a powerful thing. The prayers of God fearing women is amazing. To know that you have sisters in Christ lifting you up is an overwhelming feeling. God has called us to lift one another up, to love one another and just simply be there for one another. This weekend, new relationships were formed and I know there were some mighty prayer warriors praying. God has heard our cries and I can not wait to see how we choose to move. No matter where you are, no matter what you are going through, He is a God of forever. He designed and created you to be you...just the way you are. He wants to be the one you turn to, He wants to dry your tears and take away your hurt. Oh how He loves you!

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

When life hands you lemons...Give them to Jesus!

Man! What a roller coaster ride it has been over the past 2 weeks. The headaches returned and medication had to be adjusted and adjusted again. I was rather saddened over the increase in the Diamox for I know that coming off of that is the only way James and I can move forward with having another baby. God knows what He is doing...we just have to trust in Him. I guess my heart was not fully doing that since the headaches began after being taken off of one and reducing the other medication. Knowing and doing are two different things. Maybe we are entitled to be 'upset' for a day or two until we can come to grips with the fact that there are worse things out there. I am sure God understands.

This past weekend was really tough. I had a headache the entire weekend and nothing was a remedy. It would be nice if these pesky things were like normal headaches and an Aleve, some chocolate or a nap would fix it, but nothing does. The pain behind my eye was so bad on Saturday, I told James it would feel better just to pop my eyeball out with a fork...sorry for the details! That sounds pretty gross doesn't it?!

Sunday came and as my eyes opened, I remember thinking, "Is it there?" YEP! The headache was there! Most of the day it was just a dull pain behind my eyes. These headaches this past weekend were different than the others, they lasted pretty much all day. Typically, they would be gone by lunchtime. I had too much to do to have a lasting headache! An awesome day of Sanctity of Life at church that I did not want to miss, an interview for a summer babysitter (she is awesome by the way!), meetings and then a seminar. Too much to do to be down with a headache. God gave me the strength to get up and get going! Life can't stop because of a pain- no matter how much we want it to for a while-we must carry on!

Yesterday morning James reminded me to call Dr. V and let him know that the increase in Diamox and no migraine medication was not working. I called and spoke with Dr. V (may I just interject that I LOVE it that when I call, I speak to him...not his nurse, not an assistant, but HIM! God knew that I needed for this man to treat this disorder. He had a plan!) and he was on board with us decreasing the Diamox to 250 mg/day and adding the migraine medication again. This was a medication combination that we have not tried yet and guess who woke up this morning WITHOUT a headache...that's right! I did! I am not going to put too many eggs in my basket just yet, but this may be the right dose for me for now. Thank you Lord!

I am so thankful that I have a doctor who will listen when I call and say something has to change, for a staff who makes sure that he knows I have called and works to get him to the phone as soon as possible, for this medication and even though we have to play with it from time to time, it works, for my family who cares enough to pray for me daily, for my church family who loves me and wants to see me healed and medicine free and for James who puts up with me when I don't feel good and somehow knows when to call "just to check on me." God is so good and He never ceases to amaze me! My new motto is going to be "When life hands you lemons (and you know everyone's does) GIVE THEM TO JESUS!" He wants them. He knows what we need way better than we do! He wants to see us happy and pain free and oh how he loves us!

Until next time...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Even if but for a short while...

Isaiah 40:31 "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint."

I've had to go back, read my last post and pray over the words that flowed from my heart. A couple of hours after I posted yesterday, my medication dose was increased back to 500mg/day due to headaches. I had put off calling the dr. thinking that the headaches were just my body trying to adjust...wishful thinking! When I spoke with Dr. V he told me I had two choices. 1)Go back to the migraine pill at night (which made me grumpy) or 2)Increase the Diamox back to 500 mg each night. I feel like I can tell a difference in my mood since coming off of the migraine medication, so I chose the Diamox (not happy about it, though!).

I am sad to report that I woke up with a headache again this morning. Maybe the increased Diamox is not what I need...who knows?! This is all a trial and error case I guess and we have to play with it until we have the right combination.

Everyone is telling me that it could be worse and I know that in my heart-these small setbacks just don't make me a happy girl!

I guess today's prayer request is that I will be able to see the bigger picture and stop focusing on the here and now. God has a plan, I just must be patient enough to allow it to unfold. I have to remember that He holds me in His hand and oh how He loves me!

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

There is always a silver lining...

Sorry it has been so long since I've updated. Last Tuesday, James and I traveled to Birmingham to meet with Dr. Vaphiades for my first re-check since being placed on my medication. For some reason, I was very nervous about this visit! I don't know if it was because I was afraid the scales would not give me credit for losing the weight (15 lbs!!), if it was because it was my first visit back or if secretly I really wanted good news-like getting to come off my medication! Before we left, I had already decided that at least a decrease in the meds would be a good thing!

They called us in and asked some questions, then off to the scales we went. The first scales gave me a number I was not so pleased with, so the nurse took me to the set where I had first weighed back in October! Much to my pleasing, those scales read much better!! We then were off to see Dr. V! He came in and gave me a good look over and said that my eyes looked good. He noted that the swelling of my optic nerves has gone down!! YEA!!!! He commented on my weight and told me to keep up the good work! He then looked at me and asked: "Would you like to come off some of your medication?" Well, hello! That is a no brainer! This girl wants a baby and needs to be off the meds for that to happen! With a huge, I mean HUGE smile on my face, I said "Yes, Sir!"

We talked about the migraine medication I was taking at night and I told him I thought I could do without it. I really feel like it had changed my mood for the worst and it may be best that we not continue with that. He agreed and told me he was comfortable with me decreasing my Diamox to 250 mg at night (from 500 mg). This made for one happy girl! I don't know how much I heard after this point! I do not have to go back until May. What a relief! I have 4 more months to get more of this weight off and pray over these optic nerves!! God will continue to move and work-in His time!

Sweet James treated me to dinner afterwards and then to Target! Fun date time with the hubs!

It is so hard NOT to see how God has had His hand in all of this from the beginning. He allows little curves in our paths to deter us from time to time. Maybe we need to gain sight of His plan and realize that our way is not the best way. Little bumps in the road only heighten our dependency on Him. They cause us to grow in ways that we may never had before. He pulls us closer to Him and teaches us to lean on Him for all of our needs. Then, He helps us to see the people He has placed here on earth just for us! I must say He has blessed me with the most amazing family, friends and prayer warriors ever! All because He loves me so! Oh how He loves me. He continues to show His love for me every day. I don't always stop to realize it, but the love is always there. My God is amazing and His mercies are new every day. My prayer is that everyone is able to see the silver lining in their situations and circumstances. That silver lining is Jesus. He is the good when there seems to be no good. He is the love that helps us endure. He is the everlasting protector that has our best interest at heart.

Our Women's Ministry is preparing for our annual Women's Retreat. This year, the theme is "Clinging To God's Promises." We must do that each and every day. Cling to his promise of love and mercy! Cling to Him!

Prayer Requests:
1. Please remember my friend Jamie Cagle. She is fighting cancer and needs a lift from the Lord daily. She is in her 30s and facing tough decisions. Her faith is strong and she knows that God is still working miracles. She is waiting patiently for hers. Her husband Brandon is a rock, but I can't imagine the toll this has taken on him. She has 2 girls who she adores and her parents still she her as "their little girl." Please lift them up with me!
2. Please continue to pray that the weight will come off. This seems to be the trick to "fixing my head!" haha If that is even possible!! :) My appetite is better some days than others, however my taste buds have not returned to normal. This could be a good thing. Since my favorite things don't taste as good as they once did, it makes it a lot easier not to eat the things that are not so good for me. I still have not had a soda since October. Some days (most days) a Mt. Dew sure would taste good!! I am learning to adjust!
3. Please continue to pray that the headaches, as mild as they may be some days, will stay away. It is frustrating to have these pesky things that will not seem to go away some days-no matter the amount of Aleve that I take and I don't want to have to call the Dr. Going back to an increased amount of medication is not what we want. I am learning that what we want may not always be what God sees that we need.
4. Please join me in praying for our Women's Retreat. God is all over this and He has prepared a wonderful weekend of spiritual renewing for us! He is ready to meet us. Please pray that our hearts and minds will be ready to receive him. Please pray for our speakers and for those who will be attending. Let's cover this weekend in prayer together. We will join together January 27-28. I can't wait to share with you what took place!

Until next time...