Purpose

This blog is mainly my devotional thoughts and musings about life, parenthood, marriage. I want to leave this as a legacy to my children so they know what their mother believed and thought. My life purpose is to know and love God and to serve Him whole-heartedly. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5, 6

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Thankful

Starting before Christmas, for several months leading up to my hospitalization, and for awhile afterwards, my liver was so swollen that it was pressing into my stomach, intestines, and lungs.  I also had a lot of fluid built up that was pressing into my organs as well.  This made it difficult to breathe, eat, or function properly.  I was winded just walking a few steps and had to sit down frequently to catch my breath, and I was using a wheelchair to get around if I had to go more than a few steps anywhere.  After I got out of the hospital, my legs were so weak, I still needed a wheelchair for awhile as I worked to regain my strength.  Slowly over the past two months, I have been getting stronger.

Well today, my family went to West Edmonton Mall, and I was able to walk from one end of the mall to the other with no breaks!  Not only that, tonight I was able to exercise on my elliptical for 20 minutes straight on a medium tension!  I am praising God for the healing work he's done in my liver.  It is still a bit swollen and gets agitated, but the fluid is gone.  For now, it is functioning well enough even though there are tumours in it, and I am so thankful.

To think that two months ago, doctors thought I would be dead within the week, and now I am eating, walking, exercising, and able to do a few things around the house (like some laundry and light cleaning).  This is a miracle!  Praise God for what He is doing!


Tuesday, 9 April 2019

He's Still the God of Miracles

We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about His power and His mighty wonders. ~ Psalm 78:4

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness.  Let the whole world know what He has done. ~ Psalm 105:1

I am here to proclaim!

About two-and-a-half years ago, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, which is incurable.  I have metastases in my liver, and now my spine and ribs.  I have gone through several different treatments, all of which stopped working.  Then in January of this year, I began a clinical trial of immunotherapy and a chemo-like drug.  After two months on that treatment, we realized the treatments weren't working.  We saw my oncologist at the beginning of March, and he told us that my liver had doubled in size, was riddled with tumours, and was shutting down.  My spine was covered with lesions.  He basically told us that I didn't have much time left, and to prepare for the worst.

Along with my oncologist, we decided to try a harsh form of chemo in an attempt to slow the growth of the tumours and buy me a little more time.  I had that chemo treatment three days after I stopped taking the clinical trial drugs.  The result was that all the drugs in my system, combined with my failing liver, just about destroyed my body.  When I saw my oncologist the following week, on Friday, March 15, he had me admitted to the hospital at the Cross Cancer Institute immediately.  My liver enzyme levels were at 769 (normal range is under 40).  My white and red blood cell counts had plummeted, and my minerals were all out of whack.  I was severely jaundiced.  I had a sore throat which we thought was strep, but which turned out to be mouth sores, from the chemo, that had gone down my throat.  My liver basically couldn't handle the drugs in my body, and my body was shutting down.

That weekend, I had two blood transfusions and innumerable minerals and antibiotics and other things pumped through my IV.  I was unable to really move very much.  My abdomen and legs were filled with fluid.  Some of you who saw me in the weeks prior to this may have noticed my ballooning stomach - I looked pregnant!  This fluid and my enlarged liver, which were pressing into my stomach, lungs, and intestines, made eating and breathing difficult.  The doctors were talking about do not resuscitate orders and basically preparing us for the worst.  My husband had to tell our sons that I may not have much longer to live.

Then on Monday, March 18, our church held a day of fasting and prayer for those who needed healing, and many people were fasting and praying for me.  Early that evening, my doctor told my husband that I was at a crossroad.  I had to either show evidence of improvement and start getting better or they would begin palliative care, which is preparing for the end of this life.  He didn't tell me about that conversation at the time, but that night at about 7:30, I decided to get out of bed and take a walk around the hospital hallways.  We later learned that that was about the time that the fasting and prayer service at church was just ending.

Over the next few days, things started turning around.  The medical oncologist drained my abdomen twice, taking out almost five litres of fluid.  I started eating a little bit, and I continued taking walks around the hallways.

One thing I have done for years is during my devotional and Bible reading time, if I feel like God is speaking a word to me, I make a note of it either in my Bible or in whatever devotional book I'm reading at the time.  On Wednesday evening, as I was becoming more lucid, I felt God impressing upon me the date March 18, which had been the date of the prayer meeting.  I told my husband to go look in one of my devotional books when he got home and to send me a photo of the March 18 page.  Here's the photo he sent me (notice what I had written at the bottom):

Devotional: Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Two years ago on March 18, God gave me a word of healing for exactly this time!  It's no coincidence that the prayer meeting was held on that date and that I started recovering right afterward! We don't know if this means God is going to heal me of cancer (which we would love!) or if it was a word of healing for this specific incident.  Either way, He has graciously given us more time together as a family.

By Friday, March 22, my oncologist, who had been away for a week, came to visit me.  He had been checking my progress on Netcare while he was away, and he said he couldn't believe it as he saw my liver enzyme levels dropping every day to where they were back within normal range.  My jaundice cleared up, and I was able to eat and move better.

On Saturday morning, I was given a weekend pass to come home and see how I did there.  I went back to the hospital on Monday, and they discharged me that day, after having been in the hospital for only nine days.  I still had a lot of fluid, and my oncologist suggested putting in an abdominal drain so that they could get rid of the fluid as it built up again.  I didn't feel right about that, so I declined, mostly because I didn't want to be poked with needles anymore!

That was on March 25.  Now there are more amazing things that have happened:
  • Over the past couple of weeks, almost all of the fluid has naturally drained from my body.  I've lost 25 pounds since I got out of the hospital two weeks ago - all fluid.  I am eating normally again, and I can breathe properly.
  • I saw my family doctor on March 29, and she couldn't believe I was out of the hospital.  She said most people who have liver failure are in the ICU for weeks and weeks, if they recover at all.
  • I saw my oncologist on Thursday this past week, and my liver enzymes are back to normal range.  He felt my abdomen, and my liver is back to its normal size!  I had scans done a week-band-a-half ago, and the tumours in my spine are shrinking!  There are still tumours in my liver, but it's functioning well in spite of that.  He even said that I had a "Lazarus moment" - almost literally rising from the dead!
There is no medical explanation for me to be alive today or for me to have recovered so quickly.  We are so thankful for our doctors and nurses and all the care I received.  Absolutely, their intervention helped with my recovery, but it is truly God who brought about this healing.

The God of the Bible is alive and well and working today. The same Jesus who healed the sick in biblical times is still healing today.  "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).  I am so thankful for the love of my Saviour.  It blows my mind that He loves me so much that He cares about my life and would intervene to bring healing to me.

But the greatest miracle of all is His gift of salvation and the promise of eternal life in Heaven that He gives to everyone who chooses to put their trust in Him.  I can honestly say that while I was lying in the hospital bed thinking I was going to die soon, I wasn't afraid.  I felt God's presence and peace.  I know Jesus has prepared a place for me in Heaven and that I'll spend eternity with Him.

In John 14:1-6, Jesus says, "'Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.  And you know the way to where I am going...I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me'" (emphasis mine).

The beautiful thing is that this offer is for everyone.  When we acknowledge that we have made mistakes and that God offers forgiveness for these mistakes through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we can receive the free gift of eternal life in Heaven with Jesus.  Romans 3:23 says, "For everyone has sinned (made mistakes); we all fall short of God's glorious standard."  Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages (punishment) of sin is death (separation from God), but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord."

How do we get this free gift?  Romans 10:9-10 says, "If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved." Basically, we just need to believe that Jesus paid the penalty for our mistakes by dying on the cross for our sins.  He then conquered death by rising from the dead, so death has no claim on us.  Then just tell God that you would like to receive His gift of eternal life and thank Him for it.

A dear friend of mine gave me this passage a few days ago, and it sums everything up so well:

"I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.  He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see what He has done and be amazed.  They will put their trust in the Lord.  Oh the joys of those who trust the Lord, who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols.  O Lord my God, You have performed many wonders for us.  Your plans for us are too numerous to list.  You have no equal.  If I tried to recite all Your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them" (Psalm 40:1-5).

He is still the God of miracles.

image credit: Queen the Prophet

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Run With Endurance

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted." ~ Hebrews 12:1-3 (ESV)

This has always been one of my favourite passages of Scripture.  There is so much in there.  You can dissect it word by word, phrase by phrase, and find such a wealth of wisdom and information.  I could write a book on this passage, with a chapter on each little phrase!

The part I want to focus on here is "let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."  This phrase has taken on new meaning for me.  Based on this verse, I always pictured the Christian race as a marathon - with the runner just cruising around the track with the "great cloud of witnesses" cheering her on from the stands.  But what if our race is more like a combination of American Ninja Warrior and Survivor instead of a marathon?! 

Up until a couple of years ago, my "race" was being a mother, wife, and teacher. My job was to impart knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual understanding to my children and my students.  It was a fun race!  I love being a mom, and I loved being a teacher.  I was cruising around the track, dropping pearls of wisdom on children and guiding them as they grew.

But I've been fighting cancer for over two years now, and my "race" feels more like crawling through the jungle, hacking away at different obstacles and climbing over mountains.  It's not a very fun race anymore.  I'm no longer cruising around the track. I'm on my hands and knees scraping through the gravel.  This is the race that is set before me now. 

The challenge of this verse is to run this race with endurance.  That is the hard part.  Many days, I just want to quit.  I feel useless and tired, and I'm not particularly enjoying my race.  So how do we run with endurance?  I love that God gives us the answer in this passage as well: Look to Jesus.  I need to take my eyes off the racetrack (or obstacle course in this case!) and lift my eyes to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of my faith. 

Jesus also had a race to run, and His wasn't much fun either.  He was whipped, mocked, scorned, beaten, nailed painfully to a cross, and died in one of the most cruel ways possible - not to mention the shame that came with being crucified as a common criminal. And why did He endure that?  For you and me.  He took the punishment for sin upon Himself so we don't have to face it.  He triumphed over sin and death when He rose from the dead, and now He is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Surely I can face my obstacles with hope because He did that for me.

This life is so short, and the struggles we face are so temporary in light of eternity.  Second Corinthians 4:16-18 says, "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (NIV).

I need to remember this when I struggle with endurance.  Honestly, I'm so tired of fighting cancer, but I can't give up.  Jesus went through so much more than I am going through, and God is with me in this fight.  He fills me with joy, peace, and patience as I run this race (even if sometimes it's a crawl).


Friday, 23 November 2018

Visions of Encouragement

"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. " ~ Joel 2:28

"Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between the spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one just as He determines." ~ 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

There is a dear lady at my church who has become one of my prayer warriors.  She sees visions from the Lord, and she shares them with me to encourage me.  I wanted to record them here so I don't forget and so that others can be encouraged.

Her first vision came about a year ago.  This lovely woman, Gill, sits a few rows behind my family at church.  She came up to me after church and said that as we were worshiping in song, she saw a vision of a dove above my head, and that it meant that God's peace was with me.

Her next vision was a few weeks later.  She said that as I raised my hands in worship while we were singing, she saw God reach down and hold my hand.  It brought tears to my eyes to know that God is so near.

Another vision she saw of me was again during worship.  I was raising my hands again, and she said she saw God kiss my forehead as I sang praises to Him.

Another time, she said that I was playing the piano, she saw a vision of a cross behind me. The cross was empty because Jesus was sitting beside me as I played.

Recently, when I received news that my oral chemo had stopped working, she told me she had a vision of me in a boat, and there were many people in the boat with me, rowing it.  She told me I had a crew of warriors with me as I fight this battle.  Later that week, I was at the ladies' Bible study at my church, and another lady said she felt that everyone needed to pray for me.  I sat in the middle of a group of godly women as they laid hands on me and prayed for healing. Afterwards, Gill came up to me and said, "There's your crew of rowers in the boat with you!" and I started crying!  I have so much support from my church family and from God Himself.

About a month ago, Gill brought me a meal after I had gone through chemo, and she said she had a vision of a rainbow.  Then as she was driving, a sermon came on the radio about Noah and the ark, and she knew it was for me to go along with her vision.  She did some research, and she said the ark is a symbol of God's protection and that I'm safe in God's arms.

Gill recently left for Florida for the winter, but she's keeping in touch with me via email.  A few weeks ago, she sent me this message:


"I have been praying for you daily. This morning I had a new experience. God gave me glorious colours as we talked about you. First there was an amazing blue, followed by a rich purple. Then came blue and purple together.They swirled about each other like the Northern Lights. It was quite breath-taking. Slowly a deep red joined the pattern before they faded into a warm light.

I understand that in Scripture these colours symbolize Holy Spirit, royalty/authority and Jesus.  I know that Jesus loves you dearly and Holy Spirit is very close.  I promise to keep praying for you and your family."

How beautiful is that?  What an encouragement from the Lord!

Then last week, I received this message from her:

"I am so sorry that you and your family have to go through all this. My first reaction was tears, then anger at the scourge that cancer is, but that pushed my Faith and Trust Action buttons.

I believe that there was a reason God led you to recommend the Elijah Bible Study to the group. I feel I am to be like Elijah's servant. In obedience to Jesus, I will go daily to the mountain top, stand on the Rock of my Salvation and look heavenward. 

7 is the number of completion in Scripture. I will stand and look in expectation for the raincloud of Abundant Provision as many times as it takes. All the rowers in the boat are, like Elijah, praying.

In my mind I see you in a blue mantle, the colour of Holy Spirit, swaddled in His love. I also believe in the absolute goodness and faithfulness of our God - and miracles.

I pray "Shalom" over you and your family and  send you a "virtual hug".   Keep reaching up, remember God is reaching down."

I am so grateful for this godly woman who is praying for me and sharing her visions with me.  

Thursday, 16 August 2018

One Crazy Year!

One year ago today, I was taken by ambulance to the hospital because I had a pulmonary embolism.  This had begun a week before when I had already been in the hospital for a week with gallstones, and had been discharged after a cholecystectomy to remove my gallbladder.  This began a chain of events that led to me stopping my cancer treatments for a time to recover from the embolism, learning that that treatment no longer worked, starting on a harsher chemo treatment, and resigning from my teaching position because the side effects of chemo made it too hard to work. You can read the details at this previous blog post and this one.  Needless to say, it has been a crazy, difficult year!  As I approached this "anniversary," I was nervous.  Would I end up in the hospital again this summer?  Would I feel anxious?  While I wouldn't want to go through the things I went through last summer again, I did learn a lot this year, and I'm grateful.

So what have I learned over the course of this year?

1.  Rejoice, Pray, Be Thankful - First Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  That's a tall order!  Is it easy to rejoice always?  Is it easy to pray continually?  Is it easy to give thanks in all circumstances?  NO!  But that is God's will, and when we submit to Him, He gives us joy, peace, and thankfulness.  I am learning to commit everything to God in prayer.  I still mess up sometimes, but God is gracious and forgiving!  I have no idea what is going to happen, but He does, and His Spirit fills me with inexplicable joy.  Am I thankful for cancer?  Not particularly, but I am thankful for what God is teaching me through it, for the friendships that have grown from it, for my family who cares for me, for every opportunity God gives me to serve Him or share His love with someone.  While it is not always easy to be thankful or joyful, it is always possible to find something to be thankful for, and joy stems from that thankfulness.

2.  Let God Be God - Job 2:10 says, in part, "Shall we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?"  Isaiah 55:8 says, "'My thoughts are not like your thoughts,' says the Lord. 'And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.'" I don't know why I have cancer, but God does.  Even if I never find out in this life, I need to trust that God has a plan and a reason for this, and He will use it for good (Romans 8:28).  I need to just rest in Him and trust that He's in control because I certainly am not!

3.  Be Still and Know that He is God - This ties in to letting God be God.  It's so easy for me to take back the reins and think I can steer my life better than God can, especially when I've been waiting for test results or things aren't happening as quickly as I would like!  Waiting on God is hard - honestly, it may be one of the hardest parts of this cancer battle - but I need to be still in those waiting times and just know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).

4. Remember Why You're Here - There have been many times when I've felt useless, especially since I resigned from my teaching job and I'm too tired to do much around the house.  My husband and kids have to do all the dishes and cleaning with water because I can't let my hands get wet for too long or I get hand-and-foot syndrome as a chemo side effect.  I often slip into asking myself why I'm even here when I can't do anything.  Those are the times that I have to remember that I'm not on this earth to work. I'm here to serve God and point people to Jesus. I used to be able to do that through my job, but now I have to find other ways to do that, and I have to focus on what I can still do, not on what I can't do anymore.  What can I do?  I can pray for people, I can still cook and do laundry, I can serve in worship ministry at my church (I won't be giving up playing the piano even if my hands bleed while I do it!), I can encourage others, I can volunteer at my kids' school for short periods or time, I can play the piano for the school's glee club, I can mentor youth in worship ministry, I can scrapbook and make cards, I can rest. And hopefully as I do those things, people will see Jesus in me and know that He is good and that He loves us.

5.  This Life Isn't All There Is - I have a good friend who always says that this life is boot camp.  It's hard.  Some things really suck.  Thank God that He is preparing a place for me in Heaven. John 14:1-6 says:

       "Don't let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father's home.  If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.  And you know the way to where I am going." (Jesus speaking)
   
       "No, we don't know, Lord," Thomas said.  "We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
   
       Jesus told him, "I am the way the truth, and the life.  No one can come to the Father except through me." (NLT version)


Doesn't that fill you with hope?  This life isn't the end, and compared with eternity, it is so short.  So no matter what trials I have to go through here, and no matter when God chooses to call me home, I know that when I go, I will get a new, healthy, eternal body (see 1 Corinthians 15:45-57, which says, in part, "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" - v. 55).  I will also be reunited with those who have trusted in Jesus and have gone before me.  And I will also get to see those who come after me who know Jesus.  Can you imagine the reunion in heaven - the praise, the worship, the hugs?  What a blessed hope we have in Jesus that this life is not the end.

So while I wouldn't want to relive this past year, especially last August, I am so grateful for the lessons God is teaching me through this season of my life.  And I know that this isn't the end.  Whether God heals me here or in Heaven, my hope is in Christ alone.

(Image from David C. McCasland)

Friday, 18 May 2018

Why I Shaved My Head

I wanted to document my head-shaving, so here goes!  Some people have asked me why I shaved my head when I still have hair.  Here's the short answer:

This is what my hair looked like just six months ago:


This is what my hair looked like right before I shaved my head:


The chemo and other meds had completely fried my hair, it had broken off, and I had lots of bald spots.  You can see how it was thinning at the front, and I also had some bald spots on the back of my head.  I couldn't curl my hair anymore because it was just frizz.

Shaving my head was a way for me to take control.  I thought I might cry, but I actually felt very relieved as it happened.  I brought my friend, Sherri, with me for support, and we went to see my friend, Jackie, who owns Fusion Salon and Spa.  We were the only ones in the salon, so it was nice to be able to do this without any gawking strangers.

Jackie is always funny and upbeat, so she made the process fun.  Here we are about to begin.  We called Jackie "Crazy Eyes!"



I was surprised by how quickly it went.  I had been building up to his moment for so long, and it was over so fast!  It felt really nice to have a little bit of control over something when cancer has taken so much away from me.

And here's the final result:


I'm so grateful for all the support I have.  My friends are awesome and have given me lots of encouragement and compliments!  And I'm actually really loving my bald head.  It is so easy to get ready in the morning.  I can nap during the day without worrying about messing up my hair.  In the wind and rain, my hair doesn't get ruined!  There are so many benefits!

So even though my hair didn't fall out completely, it felt really good to just get rid of the scraggly, thinning mess that I had and just be free.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Letting Go of My Plans

I recently made the tough decision to resign from my teaching position.  I would love to be able to go back to work in the fall, but I really don't know what my health will be like in five months.  I had to base my decision on what is going on now, and right now, I'm too tired from chemo to work. It looks like I will be on chemo indefinitely - for as long as it keeps shrinking my tumours.  I also wanted to be fair to my boss so he has the time to hire someone to fill my position.  This was a very tough decision - not because I didn't know it was the right thing to do, but because I LOVE my job.  Like, I really really love being a teacher.  If it was any other job, I would have said, "No problem!  I'm quitting!"  But this is a tough good-bye. My colleagues are my friends, and they have been so supportive of me and my family through this whole cancer battle.  This year away has been rough, and I always assumed I would be able return to work and get to be with them all again.  But God has other plans.

When I resigned from my teaching career 14 years ago after I had my first son, I was also sad, but excited for the future because I would get to be a stay-at-home mom.  I missed teaching, but I had another calling, and I loved it!  When the opportunity came about four years ago for me to go back to work at the school my kids attended, I felt so thankful and blessed.  It really is an amazing place to work - the kids, my colleagues, the community - they are all so wonderful.  This time the good-bye comes not because I have something better to do but because I don't have the strength to work and I need to take care of myself.

But here's the amazing thing: God has promised that He has plans to give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), even if I don't know what that looks like.  I have always been a planner, and I like to know what is happening today, next week, next month, next year.  Cancer has really thrown that out the window!  I have no idea what is going to happen, how long my current treatments will work for, how much energy I'll have each day, if I'll ever get to go back to teaching.  I just have to take it one day at a time and be thankful for each day that God gives me.  And isn't that how we're all supposed to live?  None of us really knows how much time we have here on this earth, so shouldn't we be looking at each day as a gift?

God knows my heart, and He knows how much I love being a teacher.  If I'm meant to go back to teaching one day, then He will provide that position for me when it is time.  I can't worry about that right now.  There are so many other things to be thankful for: a loving God who sustains me, gives me peace, joy, and hope, and provides for my needs; wonderful family and friends who encourage us and take care of us when I'm too tired to function; disability insurance so I still have an income while I'm unable to work; amazing health care so my medications and doctor visits are covered; the list goes on and on.

So I need to let go of my plans and trust God's plans for me.  And aren't His plans infinitely better than mine anyway?  So often I forget that.  In Philippians 3:13-14, Paul encourages us to "...focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."  For now, being a teacher is in the past, but God has called me to do other things during this season, and I will be obedient to that call.  My prayer is that God is glorified in whatever I do.  Even though my energy and strength are limited, I can do the things Christ gives me to do in His strength (Philippians 4:13).  Daily I surrender my plans to God and ask Him to show me how I can serve Him that day.  Each and every day is a new chance to bring Him glory and honour in my submission and obedience.  Psalm 25:10 tells us, "The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep His covenant and obey His commands."  He won't lead me astray even when I can't see the path ahead.