Monday, April 14, 2014

For the times that require you to be still

My devotional the other day was perfect. God knew exactly what I needed.
Here is what it said.

"Thank Me for the conditions that are requiring you to be still. Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again. Some of the greatest works in My Kingdom have been done from sickbeds and prison cells. Instead of resenting the limitations of a weakened body, search for My way in the midst of these very circumstances. Limitations can be liberating when your strongest desire is living close to Me.

     Quietness and trust enhance your awareness of My Presence with you. Do not despise these simple wasys of serving Me. Although you feel but off from the activity of the world, your quiet trust makes a powerful statement in spiritual realms. My Strength and Power show themselves most effective in weakness.

"Be still before the Lord, all mankind, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling.” Zechariah 2:13

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength" Isaiah 30:15

 "But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ may rest upon me!" 2 Corinthians 12:9

Wow. I think the reason I haven't posted much in the past year is because I want to come here and have answers. I want to say that I can see the exact purpose in all that's happening, and I just can't. But I'm learning that that's okay. God's plan does not always include us knowing why something happens. When we don't know why, we cling to Him harder. We pray more. We use HIS hope when there is no hope anywhere else. 

During the past year especially, I have spent a lot of time being still. You see, I had my 4th abdominal surgery last May. That caused me to be still. On July 30th we flew to Reno, Nevada where my Lyme doctor is. We planned to stay for 4 weeks while I received treatment, but 4 weeks turned into 10 weeks. The treatments were really hard on me and in the middle of August, I got a staph infection that started in my port. I was admitted to the hospital in Nevada and had surgery to remove my port. I stayed in the hospital for about a week while on strong IV antibiotics for the staph infection that had spread throughout my body. It was just my mom and I at the hospital since my dad and brother were at home in Oklahoma. I was scared and didn't understand why I had gotten so sick in the middle of intense treatments for the Lyme. In the hospital in Nevada, I had my 2nd PICC line placed so that I could continue IV antibiotics out of the hospital. I was discharged from the hospital and went back to the clinic where my Lyme doctor is. I was on IV antibiotics every 8 hours. I finally started getting stronger once I was out of the hospital, and on September 8th, I got to come home to Oklahoma! We were in Nevada from June 30th until September 8th. That time required me to be still. I spent most of that time in a hospital bed at the clinic and in the hospital. 

Once home, I continued on the IV antibiotics for another couple of weeks. I was on  IV antibiotics for a total of about 7 weeks. I had my PICC line taken out when I finished the IV antibiotics! For the first time in 4 years I didn't have a port or PICC line! 

During the fall last year after we got home from Nevada, I started having more problems with my stomach that required a couple of ER visit. My primary care doctor sent me to a GI doctor. He did many tests and in January of this year, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis. That means that the nerves and muscles in my stomach don't work as well as they should. These stomach problems have caused me to be still. Weeks of nausea and vomiting will keep even the strongest in bed. 

This year I also saw a cardiologist who is working to try and fix some things with my heart rate. 

I wasn't able to be in school last semester or this semester due to all of these problems. All of these things have required me to be still. 

I'm doing better right now, thank God! But I still struggle with these problems every day. 

Being still is not something we as a culture are very good at. We want to go somewhere, do something, and see people. But it's during the times of quietness and stillness that we draw closer to God. In the Bible, God put the stories of Paul making a difference from jail and David and Job from their sickbed because it shows that God works during the hardest times. He uses us even when we feel unusable. Those times that cause us to be still are not bad. They are not useless, even though it seems like that. I can't tell you how many times this past year that I've wished I could do more. I want to go make a difference in the world. I sometimes feel like being at home and going to the doctor is not accomplishing anything. Sitting here in my house for so long is not okay! But God assures us that there is a purpose. I've realized that those long nights when I don't sleep are some of the most powerful times to talk to God. Everyone else is asleep and quiet. Maybe God wanted a little extra time talking with you. And during the day we don't give him time to talk because we too busy not being still. 

This is my story...I have no idea why all of this is happening. I don't understand why there is so much pain in this world. But I'm standing on God's promises because life has brought me to my knees. Maybe we need to slow down and be still for a while. 

My devotional last night said this:

"Be thankful for quiet days, when nothing seems to be happening. Instead of being bored by the lack of action, use times of routine to seek My face. Although this is an invisible transaction, it speaks volumes in spiritual realms. Moreover, you are richly blessed when you walk trustingly with Me through the routines of your day"

"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always" Psalm 105:4

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

21st Birthday!

    (My brother and I on Christmas     morning this past year - 2013)

Today is my 21st birthday!!! 

I am working on a blog post that I will post later today so be watching for that! 

I'm so thankful for each one of you. Whenever you leave a comment on my blog, or if we're friends on Facebook or twitter and you "like" or comment on one of my posts, I pray for each one of you by name. Please let me know if there's anything you need specific prayers for. I would love to pray for you more specifically!! 

I will post again later today and I would love to hear from you to see if anyone still reads this! 

I hope everyone has the best day today!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I'm back!

Happy New Year!! 

I'm so sorry that I haven't posted in so long! I've started probably 20 or more posts, but haven't been able to finish them or post them. But, I'm so close now to finishing an update on all that's happened since my last post in May! 

I will post that update in the next couple of days, so be looking for that! I've missed blogging so much because it's really therapeutic for me, and I hope it helps other people as well! 

I just got home from the hospital because I had a procedure done today to try and figure out the cause of some problems I've been having. I'll explain more about that in another post! 

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I'm back and will start posting regularly again! Thank you so much for you prayers, support, encouragement, patience, and understanding! It means so much to me!!! 

I would love to hear from you to see how you all are doing and if you still read my blog! So if you want to, you can leave a comment on this post and let me know
how you're doing and if there's anything that you need prayers for! I would love to pray for you! 

Hope to hear from you all soon!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Surgery This Morning

This morning at 9:30 I had another abdominal surgery (my 4th) and it all went well! The surgery was scheduled a little over a week ago, so thankfully they got me in fast because I've been in a lot of pain for about a month or more now. Sometime, hopefully very soon, I'll update as to why I needed another a abdominal surgery and where we are going from here. We are hopeful about some new options we have. But tonight I just wanted to let you know all know that the surgery went well and there weren't any complications! I'm doing as well as expecteded after abdominal surgery  

Thank you so much for your prayers! Please keep praying for my recovery from the surgery! 

Hope you're having a great week and have a peaceful rest of the week and weekend!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Finally an update!

I'm so sorry for not posting sooner. Thank you so much for being patient with me. I hope I haven't lost any of you because I haven't posted in so long. I've started probably over 20 posts and just haven't been able to finish them. I'll explain why in my big update post, which I am almost done with. I'm hoping to finish it today, and if not today, then tomorrow. I'm really trying to get it done today though. I really, really miss blogging, but there have just been things going on that haven't allowed me to finish the posts that I've started. I REALLY appreciate your emails to check on me and make sure that I am okay. They make my day and I absolutely love hearing from you, especially those of you who I haven't heard from before! So thank you so much for the encouragement, prayers, and emails to check on me. So how am I doing? I'm doing okay, just worn out and like I said, I haven't been able to finish all the posts I've started, which is very frustrating. My brain has been very overwhelmed lately, more than normal, which makes it hard to blog and figure out how to put my thoughts into words.

I had to go to the ER last weekend, while my parents were out of the country visiting missionaries from our church, for severe abdominal pain and we found out that I have more endometriosis, but I'll explain more about all that in my big update. Because of the endometriosis, I've had to have my pain medicine increased, and have also been put on Valium because my abdomen is so tight and swollen from the endometriosis. Because of my pain medicine increase and the Valium, I feel out of it which also makes it difficult to express my thoughts. But I'm slowly making progress. One step at a time.

These past several months I've been so frustrated that I'm still sick and missing out on a lot, and now I'm even more frustrated that the endometriosis is back and causing a lot of pain again. I've already had 2 surgeries for the endometriosis and tried several medicines to stop the endometriosis, but it's not working and our options aren't very good ones, but we're not giving up and we still have hope, but it's so frustrating. I'm trying to stay positive and remember that God is carrying me and my family through all of this.

The past several weeks, the sunrises and sunsets have been incredible. They make me stop and realize that GOD, the same God that makes these breathtaking sunrises and sunsets is holding ME in His everlasting arms, and promises that He has great plans for ME, and that through His son's sacrifice on the cross and because I accepted Him in baptism for the forgiveness of my sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, that one day, when God calls me home, I will be safe in His arms forever! And God promises all of this to everyone who believes in Him accepts Him in baptism! When I look up and see these sunrises and sunsets that take your breath away, I'm reminded that I can say "It Is Well" because one day in Heaven, all will be well, and I will be healed from this disease that is destroying so much and causing so much pain. It reminds me of such a great old hymn that we sing in church.

"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, because He lives, all fear is gone, because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives!"

This first picture was the sunset right as we were leaving the hospital last week when I had to go to the ER for severe abdominal pain, when we found out that the endometriosis is back. I was so upset but felt a peace when I saw the sunset.

Beautiful sunrise one morning

The sunset Saturday night. This picture is not edited at all! How great is our God?!

This sunset was just after it rained, so the storm had just cleared and turned into a beautiful sunset!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm working on an update to post so it'll be done in the next couple of days! I've just been exhausted since my grandma passed away 11 days ago. I didn't realize how much goes info planning a funeral. For about a week, we didn't get home until very late after being gone all day to plan the funeral, so we are all very tired! Some nights we didn't go to bed until 3am! But we are doing okay, just missing my grandma a lot. It still doesn't seem real to me most of the time. But I'm so thankful that she's safe in Heaven with God, not hurting. I'll post a real update as soon as I can, which should be in the next day or two! Hope you're having a great week so far!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Grandma, Anita

"May 1, 1930 - Feb 15, 2013 Edmond Anita Jackson Hall passed away February 15, 2013. She was born in Madison, GA to S.E. and Lois Jackson on May 1, 1930. Anita attended Stetson University the fall of 1948 and then transferred to Harding College in Searcy, AR in the fall of 1949. She married Elmo Hall on August 10, 1951. She and Elmo became members of the Memorial Road Church of Christ in the spring of 1977 and have remained active members until her death. She is survived by her husband, Elmo Hall, of the home; two daughters: Janet Hall, of Edmond; and Teresa Wilguess and her husband John, of OKC; two grandchildren, Victoria and Landon Wilguess; brother, Harold Jackson and his wife Lois, of Sarasota, FL, and their three children. The family will be available to greet friends during visitation, Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Baggerley funeral home. Services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, February 20, 2013, at Memorial Road Church of Christ, with interment to follow at Memorial Park Cemetery."

Like the obituary says, the visitation with our family is tonight and the funeral service, followed by a graveside service is tomorrow morning. Thank you so much for all your prayers and words of encouragement during this difficult time. We find peace and comfort knowing that she is with God now! We also love hearing memories about her so if you have one, please share them with us! We love hearing them.