THE JOURNEY BACK….

“My Story” by Big Daddy Weave

If I told you my story

You would hear Hope that wouldn’t let go

And if I told you my story

You would hear Love that never gave up

And if I told you my story

You would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine

If I should speak then let it be

Of the grace that is greater than all my sin

Of when justice was served and where mercy wins

Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in

Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

If I told you my story

You would hear victory over the enemy

And if I told you my story

You would hear freedom that was won for me

And if I told you my story

You would hear Life overcome the grave

 

This is my story, this is my song

Praising my savior all the day long

My Journey of Praise…

My last CT scan on January 18th showed that my God has kept me in the palm of His hands. The result of my CT scan was a blessing. The scan showed that everything was clear in my abdomen and pelvic. As for my chest, the two nodules that were on the external cavity of my right lung, one of them disappeared and the other shrunk a little.

A quick flashback to three months prior when I had my last CT scan, the image showed that a second nodule had developed on my right lung. There wasn’t much reason to be alarmed because Dr. Diaz said it was the size of his pinky fingernail.

I told myself that I was not going to allow this surprise nodule to steal the joy I was experiencing from the results of the previous CT scan.

You see, when your life is committed to following Jesus, it should be at all cost. No turning back, no turning back!

Try not to be double-minded in your faith. When life is comforting and copacetic and you are smiling from ear to ear, at any moment, the unthinkable can happen. That smile becomes a frown and suddenly there is a downpour of doubts, fears, feelings of despair, and questioning of why God is allowing you to experience the unexpected. Be reminded, that in this world, we will have tribulations, but we are to be of good cheer; God has OVERCOME. God is up to something and He is doing a new thing in our lives.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

Let your faith be like the roots of a tree, securely grounded, not easily shaken, and despite how strong the wind might blow, it will not be uprooted.

As BIG as I believe my faith to be, Satan still tries to be invasive and aggressive in his attacks to persuade me that I’m not healed.

I find that if we are not careful, the devil can allow our minds to go on that journey to a place of doubt, fear, and worry.

If you ever find yourself on that path….DETOUR QUICKLY!!!

A week leading up to my CT scan, I started experiencing a lot of nausea. It was unusual because when I was on the full dose of chemo drugs, I hardly experienced nausea and even now being on the maintenance drugs, it never gave me that side effect either. So it seemed odd that a week prior to my scan, I was feeling like this.

But every time Satan tried to convince me of the unthinkable, “What if the cancer came back?” I would turn up the speakers loud in my head to drown out the devil’s lies and scare-tactics. This is a scripture my sister-in-law Marlene gave me of Jeremiah 17:14, that she told me to read often:

“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.”

So, whatever circumstances you are facing, don’t give your mind permission to allow thoughts of defeat, doubt, fear, and worry to linger…rebuke them in the name of Jesus and recite His promises over your life. The moment you allow negative thoughts to hang around, allowing themselves to feel at home, they will surely consume your mind. Remember, they are not welcomed and you need to turn them away immediately. Shut the doors of your mind and secure the lock with the promises of God.

Do you remember what Philippians 4:8 says?

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

 So that’s exactly what I did! I began to conduct a Praise Party in my head. I was singing those good old gospel hymns I enjoy singing with my mom and I was reminding God of all the ways He’s been so faithful and true.

My battle with Ovarian Cancer was not one for me to fight. My God showed me victory when the devil wanted me to face defeat. He took me on a Journey of praise when the devil wanted to bring sorrow. He brought healing when the devil wanted to destroy. He gave me life, even though the devil wanted death. My God is worthy of praise; He is an Awesome God!

This is what I call praying my way to victory. The victory is in Jesus name!

You have to remember that unwelcome guests will present themselves (bad thoughts), but never forget that it’s your residence (God’s Temple) and you have the authority to turn away every uninvited guest (thoughts), rather than allow your mind to entertain them. Allow the presence and peace of God to dwell in your mind and the evil one will have no choice but to leave. Where there is Light, darkness must flee.

 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. John 1:5

 Jesus is the Light of the world and our source of Hope. Whatever journey you are on in this life, you don’t have to face it alone. God promises to ignite your path and to be your Way-maker.

Lord Jesus, I lift up every person who is reading this post. Father, I know it’s not by coincidence because surely they have other things they could be doing. I pray that they will feel hope in the midst of the unknown. That Your Light will shine through their darkest moments. Lord, I’ve seen You move in my life in so many ways and Father, I know that just one taste of You, a troubled heart will experience Your goodness. In my own journey, when doubt and fear present itself, I’ve tasted and seen that You are good and Your grace and mercy endures forever. Father God, allow their minds to go on a Journey of Praise, glorifying your name. Amen

My Journey Back to the Authentic Me…

My Dr. Diaz…What a wonderful OB-GYN Oncologist! I am so happy to have him as my doctor, truly! I was sharing with him that I started back exercising and I am really trying to take it easy and not over-exert myself. After listening to his recommendation, basically what it all summed up to is that he wants me to “Just Live”. He told me to try not to put restrictions on myself. The goal is to get back to normalcy. If I feel like I’m able to jog for a longer distance, go for it. He said he doesn’t want me to hold back because I’m thinking that I should be taking it easy. It’s called living life to the fullest and being my best me despite what my body had to endure and is still enduring with being on the maintenance chemo.

God has wired us with an inner strength to be warriors. Our bodies are a work of art; intricately designed and wonderfully made by the hands of a Mighty God who miraculously blew the breath of life in the nostrils of the man he formed with His bare hands. We are a masterpiece, created with precision and made to operate efficiently. He created our bodies to heal itself.

When you know by Whom you were created and for Who, we can be brave to live life to the fullest and be our authentic self who God has created us to be.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14

My Journey Back to a Deeper Devotion…

After being home for so many months, lets just say I could have easily gotten accustomed to this life. I would say the best part about being home aside from waking up and going to bed at any time, was making my Quiet Time with the Lord meaningful. I wasn’t rushing to read my Bible or pray. I was able to slow down and breathe in all that He had to share with me as I meditated on His Word.

When God grants you a safe return from a journey that could have ended prematurely, you not only realize the extent of how vast His love is for you but that we are fully known personally and intimately by Him.

When your journey takes you through hills and valleys, it’s reassuring knowing that God is there, waiting for you at the mountaintop. The journey of faith is what brings us to the passage of peace. Despite the hardship life’s journey can bring, it can develop or deepen our relationship with God.

My Journey Back to Work…

My first day back at work was a whirlwind of an expression of love.

My administrator Mrs. Wright-Mullings so graciously allowed me to give a big shout-out on the PA during the morning announcements, expressing my love and gratitude to everyone.

In my building, the walls had beautiful student-made banners saying, “Welcome Back Mrs. Moolah” with all the 4th and 5th grade students’ signatures. It was definitely a heartfelt moment.

My Cutler Ridge Elementary family was so warm and welcoming. My friends in the intermediate building had a celebratory gathering, welcoming me back. Wow! What an amazing team! The best part was that three 4th graders performed a dance in recognition of me being cancer-free.

 

With the downpour of love, prayers, and support that I had received from my C.R.E. family: administrators, teachers, students, parents, clerical staff, custodians…EVERYONE…I know it was the unity in numbers by the power of their prayers that brought me back.

My Journey to Write…

On Saturday I got a text from my friend Martha and she wanted to know if I was blogging. My reply to her was:

Actually, I’ve been so busy, so I haven’t gotten around to it. My last post was “Fear You Don’t Own Me” and she responded, “I read that one.”

Well… I should have never told her I had no time in my schedule to write a post. Especially when every post I write affords me the opportunity to exalt God for His wondrous works in my life.

It was five something Sunday morning (1/27/19) that I suddenly awakened; wide-eyed and the one thing the Holy Spirit put on my mind was…”You have to write your next post”. I grabbed my phone off the nightstand and I created a reminder that I had to write another post. Putting back the phone with the intention of going back to sleep, the Holy Spirit said, “Start jotting down some notes.” All I kept thinking was that I had to get up in a couple of hours for church. The funny thing is, I didn’t feel tired at all.

As I started praying, “Lord, all I have is a title but I have no idea which direction I’m going with it.” All I know is that what I wanted to write was materialized in my notes and a few hours later, my alarm was going off. This was my wake up call for church. By this time, I had finished writing the majority of my post.

I tell you…that’s my Lord. He’s a jealous God who does not want us to become so busy that we push Him to the side and not make time for Him. After all, He always makes time for us.

The humor in all of this is that, my excuse to Martha was that I’ve been so busy that I didn’t have a chance to write a post, yet I had time to do all the other things I wanted to get done.

I felt that God was showing me that if I wasn’t going to make the time, then He was going to allocate “A” time. The Holy Spirit woke me up a few hours early so I could get my post written, and He kept me awake, alert and attuned to what I must write.

Then, if that wasn’t enough, the sermon at church was so appropriately titled, “Simplify Your Schedule”. We are to de-clutter our schedule so that we can make time for God. “It’s not about having more time, but rather about making the most of your time. Good things can clutter your schedule. Your schedule is shaping you into someone.” WOW!

I can’t help but smile at God’s sense of humor!

We are to make God our highest priority so that the busyness of life does not cause us to push God to the side. We should not overbook our schedule that we end up placing Him on standby. As we make our reservations for our daily things to do, our time with God should be on First Class.

He is our Great I AM and we can trust that our time spent with Him will bring our minds to a comforting place of rest and awareness of Him.

The Journey Ahead…

I don’t know where this Journey will lead me but I’m willing to follow. I know My God will never lead me where He hasn’t already prepared the Way.

My Journey ahead could take me through more hills and valleys, but I know He will carry me because my steps are ordered.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23

The Ultimate Journey…

God has a Journey for every one of us. As you go through life, track out a path that your footprints show that your steps were ordered and you are walking by the light of His Word. Our decision to live for Christ should show our track record of how we lived a life that honored Him. The life we choose to live on this Earth will be the determining factor of our ultimate journey, our final destination to that glorious place called Heaven.

Jesus also had to go on a Journey, one that led Him to the cross where He laid down His life for us. So don’t ever think that He doesn’t understand the hardships we will face in this life. Our journey will be justified in the righteousness of His love.

God bless you ALL and may you experience the love and peace of Christ as He leads, guides, directs, and carries you through “The Journey Back” from wherever life might have taken you.

Author:

Young, vibrant, and physically fit...Patrice is living life! Married to a devoted, God-fearing man, who not only loves the Lord but loves his wife just as Christ loved the church. Keeping Christ interwoven at the center of our marriage, we are reminded that, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves, but a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” With a very fulfilling and rewarding profession, teaching is my passion. I absolutely love and adore my fourth grade darlings. Seeing the sparkle in their eyes when they are ecstatic about doing a fun project or their expression of excitement when they have done well on a test. But the truth is, nothing warms my heart more than when they tell me that I’m the BEST teacher they’ve ever had! Let’s just put it out there that going on a memorable and unforgettable vacation makes life worthwhile. Experiencing the food, the culture, the scenery, the people....now that’s living! This was the year we were going to Spain and Portugal. On a past summer vacation, we enjoyed 21 glorious days with our daughter and son traveling throughout Italy. As my vacation planning was on the way, my hubby suggested that we skip a trip this year and focus on the renovations we had already started on our home. Reluctantly, I had to agree with him. With the kitchen completely gutted and confined to living in the family room as a result of the whole house being retiled, junk foods and take outs became my specialty. During this time of renovation unrest, the various symptoms I began to experience all seemed like just the regular ailments that resulted from poor nutrition and diet. After all, Cheetos, Crunch and Munch, and Goobers were all my cravings of choice after a long day’s work. Symptoms of gassiness, constipation, and gas pains that I started experiencing, I figured would have gone away once my unhealthy eating choices changed. Well, it was not until I witnessed my stomach bloating up and that unbearable feeling of abdominal fullness that my husband suggested I go get it checked out because something didn’t seem right. The sight of my stomach was enough proof that this was MORE than just gas pain! I figured I would confess to the doctor that I haven’t been eating healthy as of late, hence the reasons for my discomforts. Instead, “You have Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer” became my new reality. I was bombarded with treatment plans, appointment dates, endless procedures, and the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial. I decided after hearing my diagnosis that I would stand firm on the Word of God and not on the word of man and their statistics for my recovery. No fear! No crying! No self-pity! No questions asked, “Why me Lord?” Instead, I lifted my hands to Heaven and said, “Lord, I surrender this sickness to You because in my weakness You are strong and this battle is Yours to fight.” With God fighting my battle, I knew I was already victorious. I was ready to put on the full armor of God in order to stand firm with the belt of truth. I must be geared with the breastplate of righteousness, having my feet planted and fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace. I would pick up my shield of faith, take up my helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit; the Word of God. Come with me on my faith-based journey to cancer recovery. I hope you will find courage to face your own “giants” and be encouraged by the strength I have found in relying solely on the Healer and not the healing.

2 thoughts on “THE JOURNEY BACK….

  1. Awesome birthday present. I read each and every line. You are so right, GOD will never lead us anywhere he hasn’t gotten ready for us. I know that you are truly blessed the best our LORD and Savior. Continue to be faithful and know that I love you. God bless you and your family….Kriby too.

    Liked by 1 person

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