Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Something I need to share...

Matthew 9: 1-8 (ESV)

And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven." And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming." But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"—he then said to the paralytic—"Rise, pick up your bed and go home." And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
I have been wanting to share this passage with all of you for a while. I gives me great hope, joy and peace to know that we serve a loving God who has already done so much for us. And yet he continues to pour out blessing upon blessing everyday. This little interaction between Jesus and the paralytic has given me a greater vision for what is really important.

Stanton and I weren't sure how much of my brain function I would have during all of this, so he started reading the bible to me when I couldn't really do so for myself. By the time we got home from the hospital, I could follow along in my Bible and start getting more out of it (I'm a visual learner). And by the next week I could read, understand, and felt more empowered to continue my walk with Jesus. All of that to say, Stanton just started in the New Testament with Matthew and so, that's where I have continued to stay.

Reading through Matthew is simply awe inspiring. Things take on a new meaning when you are hit with a life threatening cancer. I was amazed and a little embarrassed at how little I had appreciated these stories before. Jesus healed a lot of people! And with each story of healing, I became more and more assured of his grace and mercy for his children. Not only did he heal people, but he fed thousands, multiple times with only a few loaves of bread and a couple of straggly fish. That's right, God is the ultimate provider too. He cares for us on such a deep level, that he is even concerned for our most basic human need - food.

But, then amidst all of the miraculous healings, feedings, walking on water, etc. He reminds us of what He has already done. "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven." Amen! The paralytic does not need to be healed, his sins have been forgiven. He has a ticket to the kingdom of God! Any trials on this earth pale in comparison to the joy it will be when we reach heaven. Jesus has provided a way for us to enter into the holiest of places despite our wretched sin.

He goes on to say, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"—he then said to the paralytic—"Rise, pick up your bed and go home." The words couldn't have hit me harder if the Bible literally smacked me in the face. Which is easier? Option A - forgive all of your sins so that you can one day enter heaven or Option B- heal a man of some piddly little paralyzation. In my desire for God to heal me and leave me on this earth for a few more years, I had lost sight of how much he has already done for me. God sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross and bear the weight of our sin. So, that by believing in Him, our sins would be forgiven, and we can spend an eternity in the presence of the almighty God. WOW! And I was worried about some brain cancer. Even if God doesn't heal me, the end result is that I get to spend an eternity praising and worshiping the great I AM?! That's not a bad second option for me.

The extra good news is that Jesus does heal the paralyzed man. After forgiving him of his sins, he still performs another miracle and relieves the man from his earthly physical disability. Because Jesus was completely man and completely God, he knows both sides of the story. He knows the pains that this earth can bring. He knows the emotions of being human. And while on this earth, he felt the physical pains of beatings. His death was absolutely gruesome. So, he understands completely what it is to live on this earth. And, he continues to pour out his grace, peace, and mercy every day for those who believe in him.

As I have said, this passage has focused me in on what is really important. A miracle has already been performed in my life beyond any physical healing. I believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary, was crucified, dead and buried. After 3 days he rose from his tomb and ascended into heaven. I believe that Jesus' blood shed at his "death" was payment in full for all of my sins. I believe that the only way to enter the kingdom of heaven is through a personal relationship with the one who took away my sins.

Lord Jesus,
       I pray that if there is anyone out there reading this who has not accepted You as their Lord and Savior that they would do so right now. That they would fall, broken and repenting of their sin, before Holy God, creator and sustainer of the universe, the author of life. That they would come to know you and the love that you have for them. Soften hearts this very day, this very moment. Continue to pour out your grace, peace, and mercy upon all of us. Let the Holy Spirit blow through the souls of everyone who reads this so that they may hear your words speaking to them.

Lord, I thank you for the many blessings that you have given me. I am thankful for this affliction because of the many blessings that have come out of it.  I thank you for each and every person who has prayed for my healing. I am so overwhelmed by your power and might. I am in awe of how vast your kingdom is on Earth. Lord God, I pray that you will hear the prayers on my behalf and just remove the tumor from my brain. I praise you Father for blessing each new day here on Earth with a new opportunity to live for you. Amen.

Thank you all for joining me on this journey. If there is anything I can do or pray for you, please don't hesitate to ask. Feel free to email me at

Friday, July 22, 2011

Nothin' but the Blood of Jesus

So, a pretty big event in my life occurred this Sunday. I was baptized! I have been saved by grace for over 13 years, but I had never done the outward display for the world. It was in a word, AMAZING. Let me share with you a little about my journey.

I grew up in the Catholic church. We attended mass and Sunday school regularly. I was baptized, had my first communion, went to confession, and eventually I was confirmed. I also spent a fair amount of time on the weekend with my moms parents, Granny and Papa Wurst, who went to a Church of Christ. Growing up, it's all about learning about Jesus and the other Bible stories, so I didn't even really know the difference between the two, except for the styles in the service. I loved VBS at the CoC, because they picked us up from the house and we got to ride a bus and sing songs along the way. But I digress. Overall, I felt like I knew the story of Jesus, the miracles he performed, how he died on the cross, and all the typical people of the Bible stories. And I knew a lot of hymns. :)

Then I met a boy in the 9th grade who stole my heart. But more than that, he cared about me enough to ask questions about what exactly I believed and if that was different from what the Catholic church believed. We talked about everything the Catholic church believed. From the big issues to the little issues, he was curious and I didn't have the answers. More than finding the specific answers, I felt like I had been in a church for my entire life and realizing that I didn't even know what I supposedly believed was quite a shock.   As we started learning more I realized that I couldn't really say that I knew Jesus and that I believed that he was living in me. So, in February of '98 after many long conversations and a powerful revival at that boy's church I accepted Jesus in my heart.

Over the past 13+ years that boy became my husband and I am so very thankful for the man he is for my family. As my husband and as a friend, he told me on many occasions his opinion on baptism. He thought it was something I needed to do a long time ago, but I never felt like it was necessary to be baptized again. While I realized that the significance of the baptism was different between the Protestant church and the Catholic church, I wasn't convinced that it was right for me. Honestly, I think a lot of it was in the fact that the baptism would be the official last break from the Catholic church and I wasn't ready to let that go.  But, I wasn't afraid of the conversation when it came up. I came to the decision a long time ago that God would let me know if he wanted me to do it and that I was ok with waiting for a sign or a moving in my spirit. After all, God's timing is perfect.

Well, at 3:00 AM on July 5th, I woke up with a vision and a clear direction that it was time. I was in a white dress in a lake. And so, that's what I did. Pastor Jay was very accommodating. He was on vacation when I shared the news with him via email. And was excited to help me make plans just days after his return. He picked a beautiful spot on Lake Waco and we did the dunk at sunset. It was amazing!

I want to extend the same thanks to all of you who have been with me on my journey just as those who were able to physically be there.

I thank all you for joining me here (in blogland) and celebrating with me. I have grown more spiritually during my time at Grace than I had in the previous years combined. And I feel like over the past 2 months that growth has been accelerated beyond measure. I thank you for all your prayers. For the prayers for healing, for the prayers for my family, and just the constant outpouring of supplication. I have felt like God is carrying me in his hands every day. Thank you! I can't say it enough.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A family day

I had an amazing day today. It was practically perfect in every way. First thing this morning we went as a family of four to go have breakfast with some friends. This is a big deal all by itself. I haven't eaten breakfast since elementary school. Before I started on the steroids, the smell of food would sometimes make me nauseous. Not any more. I have to have breakfast in the morning. Aside from the fact that I can now enjoy breakfast food at a restaurant, it was simply amazing to just be out functioning as a family unit again. I felt more like a mom and a wife than I have in a long time. And to top it all off, the friends included my dear friend MA, her family, and another sweet friend from Baylor, Denka. The company was the best part of the morning. Well, the food was pretty good too. But, the people definitely made the meal.

After we finished breakfast, we came back home to play. I decide that today would be a day full of surprises, so I went to my room and got out the 4 pairs of shoes that I had stored in my closet for Chaselyn. The girl loves her some shoes so I stock up at the end of the season planning ahead for the next year. Chaselyn liked all the shoes, but she obviously picked the pink, sparkly Disney princess flip flops to wear right away. Unfortunately, her little feet are so chunky, I'm afraid that she'll only be able to wear them around the house for short periods of time. Because she got new shoes we had to say goodbye to some old shoes. One pair in particular I was a little emotionally distraught over getting rid of. Her little red sparkly shoes. These were worn so often they were like her trademark. I think I may have to do a post just about these shoes so that I can properly grieve them. On that note, they are Old Navy brand if you see them in any kind of resale shop in any size toddler 7 or above I will be at your mercy and pay whatever you want for them. So, anyway we cleaned out her shoe box. Out with the old, in with the new.

After that, it was time to go get zapped. Stanton and I left the kids with Ducky and Granny and made the trip to Temple. It was nice to get to have some alone time with him, although I must say that we have had plenty of private conversations and opportunities to pray together and grow together. But I still appreciate every single nugget of time I get to spend with anybody these days, so spending time with my best friend is pretty awesome. Stanton dropped me off at the door and I went ahead and got checked in while he parked the car. I didn't even have time to sit down before they called me back for treatment. When I came out Stanton was talking with Chris, a kind of gruff older gentleman that has struck up conversations with pretty much everyone who would listen. A very nice man indeed. Likes to give the nurses a hard time, but he's just messing with them. Today he mentioned something that absolutely broke my heart. His brother had just been diagnosed with lung cancer, but his brother lives 45 miles from the hospital. He may not get treatment because of the cost of gas to drive in every day. There's also a general distrust of doctors in the family too. Chris mentioned that the doctors will just keep finding things wrong to get your money. So I am not sure they are taking the diagnosis seriously, but to say that he shouldn't come because of the cost of gas. I was speechless. How blessed are we? Oh God, thank you. We are going to try to help the situation, and see if there is some kind of cancer society program to help get Chris' brother out.

Upon returning home, I got some of my moms leftover manicotti for lunch, took a nap, and woke up refreshed for the main event of the day - Chaselyn's first theater movie. We have been looking forward to this for months. We figured Cars 2 would be an appropriate movie to go see because she was already familiar with the characters and regularly asks to watch the first Cars movie. My friends it was amazing! I didn't watch much of the movie because I was watching her. She was so excited she was dancing to the music, she was smiling, she loved the special movie treats of Sprite and popcorn. The Sprite was an extra special treat and she couldn't get enough. I tried to regulate how much she was getting, but I'm pretty sure she got more out of the Large drink than Stanton and I combined. We were in the theater for over 2 hours. So obviously, with about 45 minutes left in the movie, she got ants in the pants. Fortunatley, ther wasn't anyone in front of us so she was satisfied to just stand and walk in between Stanton and me and dance with the chairs and play with the cup of ice and straw. She really did do great. And like I said, at the beginning she was just mesmerized and I pray that I can remember those faces.

After the movie, we took Chaselyn for another special treat. On Wednesday, Jacob accidentally broke one of her favorite headbands. She was very upset. We told her that we would take her to pick out a new headband at the store soon. So, off to Claire's we went. She picked out 2 headbands, because of a sale. The first one she picked has sparkly pink flowers. The second is rainbow colored with circles. They are very typical Chaselyn.

Upon returning we were greeted by MA and family, dinner served by a loving church family member, and we got to share the joys of the day with everyone. And then we got another surprise family of four moment. People just vanished for various reasons and we realized that it was the first time since about 6 am on May 24th that it had just been the four of us in the house together. I appreciate so much the job that our moms have been doing. And I don't want to sound like I am bothered at all by their presence, but there is just something about being just the four of us that made things seem normal. And I haven't had a whole lot of normal in a while. Stanton and I were able to play with the kids and put them to bed. And then Stanton finished a movie he had been watching, and I started blogging. Like I said, we have had enough alone time.

And that my friends is one of the greatest days I've ever had. Also the day was predisposed to be a good one because last night we had surprise dinner guests. My brother Josh and family are making a tour through TX tosee family, we didn't expect to see them until the 4th. But, it worked out that they got to come by and have dinner and some play time.