I was talking to God the other day . . .

I was talking to God the other day, the night before the big snowstorm hit the Midwest and the night before this head cold took me out for a few days.  It was after 2:00 a.m. The house was quiet, the Christmas tree still stood tall and magical in the living room, the pup was warming herself on the rug in front of the floor vent in the kitchen.  My beloved was fast asleep in bed down the hall.  Here I was prowling about the house as usual in the wee hours of the morning.

Usually I head to the kitchen for a snack before my 3:00 a.m. bedtime and read the Bible verses for the previous day from the Android Bible App.  After that I’ll finish perusing any garden catalogs that have come in the mail, clean up the kitchen and head to bed.  But something gave me pause.  I believe it was the leading of the Holy Spirit beckoning me to come dwell before the throne of grace before retiring for the night.   And so I did.

I sat in my favorite little chair in the living room and looked out over our home.  Gratitude overwhelmed me as I realized all of the blessings laid out before me.  The Lord had restored the years the locusts had eaten (Joel 2:25) and provided nice furnishings, my husband’s shiny kayaking trophies, beautiful hardwood flooring and more for our lovely home.  Laughter and activity filled these spaces just 6 days before as all of my husband’s children visited with their loved ones in person or via Skype.  I was blessed to be able to serve them with treats and home cooked meals before turning in early to rest and recover for the night (sight unseen).  All they saw was the good stuff and that is o.k.  Sitting before me were opened gifts still gathered under the tree:  sweet and thoughtful too.  My Lord has been so good to me!

Then I heard a whisper, a presence as if my Counselor, Friend were sitting there right with me in the twilight.  He reassured me that everything would be o.k.  He allowed me to fill my heart with memories and reminders of His goodness that would be needed in the difficult days ahead.  He made it clear that He would always be with me and have my best interests at heart.  My Jesus filled me with His love that night.  It was a sweet treat indeed.

Taking time to be alone with our Heavenly Father, our Heavenly Husband, our Immanuel makes the days, the nights more meaningful.  I know that when I stop for a moment of reflection, I can see His hand leading me, holding me, carrying me, protecting me.  I trust that you will see Him too as this Christmas season draws to a close.  His omnipresence reassures me that He will be there with you in your time of need just as He is here with me now and the other day.  If you don’t know God personally, I pray that you will spend some time with Him and His Word alone somewhere meaningful to you.  I tell ya, it’s a really cool thing to do!

*******************

13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.   Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

Keeping Calm

Jesus Calms the Storm

22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”  (Luke 8)

This is such a great story isn’t it?  The newbie disciples did not know that there was no way that they could drown with the God of the universe in the boat with them!  And further, the story illustrates the omnipotence of God, that even the raging seas obey Him.  This story also reminds me of a message from Pastor David Jeremiah in which he taught the truth that a person in the middle of God’s will cannot perish until the Lord’s work is completed in him or her.  “Cannot perish!”  Wow.  Sure makes my fears and worries worthless.  If I could just remind myself of these truths in the midst of my own storms then surely I would be a better instrument for the Lord . . .

I might have made some progress last night.  Allow me to explain.  When reeling from 1 1/2 hours of relentless seizure attacks, I eeked out to my husband, “I need help.”  Within moments were on our way to the emergency room of a local hospital.  All I could think about was, “thank you” to Steve and, “I’m going to get help.”

Getting that help took a long time.  First there’s the registration, then the review of the bazillion supplements, compounded medications, and meds, and the $100 emergency room co-payment.  The ER Doc asked a few questions, called my family doctor, and a nurse started an IV.  200cc of fluids and some pain meds began to flow through the sore IV line in my frail forearms.  And amazingly within about 20 minutes, the seizing stopped.  Praise the Lord!  I actually started to feel sort of normal.  Even the neck headache from the thrashing of my head went away.  Wow.

What I did not expect was the diagnosis.  While I am not going to go into the details here, I will say that I was shocked.  Both Steve and I did not agree about what was written on the page.  Sensing the anger rise up within me, gratefully, I started to pray instead:  Lord, help me to handle this as you would.

I asked to speak to the ER Doc and expressed my concerns.  He said that to change the diagnosis would be fraud.  I believe that I respectfully disagreed and stated that as a licensed healthcare professional myself, I understand both the responsibility of medical documentation:  to get it right and to respect the future implications for the patient.  I thanked him for the treatment that stopped the seizures.  Later I chose to “qualify” my signature on the discharge instructions in a way that indicated that while I received the discharge paperwork, I did not agree with its contents.  Then we left.

It is now 28 hours later and I have not had another seizure-like episode!  Praise the Lord!  The “seas” remain calm and I was able to get some restorative sleep; I even caught up on a few errands this evening with my pup in tow.  I have begun some online research related to my experience of the past day and started pounding electrolyte replacements to keep myself hydrated.  My Lord is the only one who knows what the next day holds for me . . . will I make it to an unrelated doctor appointment tomorrow or even a quick outdoor outing with my hubby mid-day?  Or will the attacks return as I lie on the bed a few minutes from now?  The latter has been my life for virtually all of the past 1 1/2 years . . .

Keep calm.  Keeping calm.  Trusting that the Lord who calms the seas can not only get me from this evening to the morning, He can get me through all of the stormy days of my life.  Oh Lord, care for my beloved Stevers as well and restore Him from the stress of riding things out in the rocky boat with me.  May we both keep our eyes fixed on you with amazement for all that you have done and all that you have yet to do in our lives.  Thank you for the help.  I will entrust you with the details as I lay them at Your throne of grace.

Goodnight all,  Just Julie

Psalm 121

psalm 121 3