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.
I exhaled a sigh of relief! Praise God, cycle 2 chemo….Done!
What will the next two to three days be like as I wait in anticipation for the pre-meds to leave my body, were my thoughts.
The drugs are actively circulating through my bloodstream and seeks to destroy those bad cancer cells. At the same token, because chemotherapy is effective at killing cells that are rapidly dividing, sadly, it doesn’t know the difference between cancer cells and the normal cells.
So after every treatment, I find that my best line of defense is prayer. I’m gonna pray my way through this battle so that God will give me His all-sufficient strength to withstand the treatments.
Prayer 🙏🏽and Praise 🙌🏽 works every time!
It was day 2, post chemo and the song by Elevation Worship continued to resonate in my head, “See a Victory.” So, I decided that I would save it as the title of my next post because obviously the Holy Spirit was using this song to bring me a sense of peace.
This Song = My Message to God’s Revelation
The equation 106 – 30 = 76
Now 4 days post chemo and the unpredictable became the determinable.
Putting my belongings down upon entering the house, my Hubby says to me, “Hey, I have good news!”
My thoughts…Oooohhhh! I love the sound of that!
“Ashley (who is my nurse practitioner), called and she said your CA 125 dropped from 106 to 30,” exclaimed Pete. Wow babe! To think it all happened so soon and without the mystery drug from being in a clinical trial.
Hallelujah, thank You Jesus
Hallelujah, thank You Jesus
You did it AGAIN!
This was the made up song of praise I sang aloud as my expression of gratitude to the Lord for His faithfulness. 🙌🏽
Q: The weapon may be formed, but it won’t prosper
When the darkness falls, it won’t prevail
A: When there seems to be a dark cloud hovering over your life and the troubles you face seems unrelenting, you need to rest in the power of the God we serve, who reigns over your struggles and is all powerful to rescue you from it.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
Q: ‘Cause the God I serve knows only how to triumph
My God will never fail
A: When you are suited with the full armor of God, then you will be equipped for the battle. There is no failure in the Father, and His faithfulness is what you can depend on.
The Lord is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.
~ Nahum 1:7
Q: I’m gonna see a victory
For the battle belongs to You, Lord
A: This fight is not your fight. Our troubles are bigger than what we are capable of handling. Why not not surrender it all to Him by unclenching your fists from fight mode and clasp them to pray instead. The fight begins on your knees and your eyes not on the problem but on the Solution.
You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great.
You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.
~ Psalm 18:35-36
Q: There’s power in the mighty name of Jesus
Every war He wages He will win
A: If He allowed it, then embrace it. His Word tells us that in this life we will face tribulations but we are to be of good cheer for He has overcome. You need to know that the victory is not whether God saves you from your suffering or heals you of your illness, it’s about the victory in what He did for you and me on the cross. ✝️
He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame,
by triumphing over them in him.
~ Colossians 2:15
Q: I’m not backing down from any giant
‘Cause I know how this story ends
A: What giants are you facing?
Giants, such as, sickness, death of loved ones, failure of your plans and hopes, questions without answers, and pain without reason, can weaken your defenses when you are not suited for battle.
We are reminded from Ephesians 6:10-12, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Don’t back down, suit up!
Q: Gonna worship my way through this battle
A: There is definitely something phenomenal occurring in our spirit when we worship. It is an awakening of His Holy Spirit being stirred up within us. God uses our worship to do an uplifting of our spirit which causes us to take the focus off ourselves and point it to Him.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
~ Psalm 63:3-4
Q: You take what the enemy meant for evil
And You turn it for good
A: You have heard it time and time again, God has a plan and a purpose and it’s for our good! But, do you believe it when you are treading through deep waters?
I think the issue becomes, is what you consider for your good aligned with God’s purpose and plan for your life. He does work together all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose you know.
But to comprehend His righteousness and goodness, you have to look beyond your earthly crisis and envision your victory from a kingdom perspective.
When you understand that the solution to the struggles you will endure in this life was already accomplished through the cross and at His final breath, when He said, “It was finished,” translates to triumph.
If your prayers go unanswered, the sick your praying for don’t get healed, bad things continue to happen to good people you know, the experience of broken marriages, continually facing temptation, the attack of doubt, fear, anxiety, depression, suicide, abandonment, persecution, financial loss is all you see around you, find solace in the fact that the cross brought us redemption for this and so much more...
When we begin to look at the cross as our victory through every battle, we can truly understand why His Word forewarns us that though we will experience much struggles in this life, we are to be of good cheer because He has overcome death. So once you have been reconciled to Christ, this life is not the end, it’s the beginning.
I love this song, “See a Victory” but it only scratched the surface to what Christ’s death on the cross gave us. His crucifixion was our resolution.
I found a revised version to this song which the author, Cam Hyde calls it, “The Cross isthe Victory.”
Because Jesus Christ is the Author and Finisher of your faith, you will indeed see the victory someday!
I shared this song as an expression of hope and reminder that no matter what difficult time in your life that you might be experiencing, it is my prayer that you know that God is indeed on the move. The expression of His love that He demonstrated on the cross, by giving up His life freely so that you could acquire freedom from bondage and eternal damnation was certainly an indication to show that He was on the move to save us all.
Yes, it’s a direct way to start off this post, but if you are reading this and don’t know Christ, then I pray that this outpour of truth and my fear of you dying a part from Christ is what gives me the courage to share with you God’s unrelenting love for you.
I am experiencing an illness that could shorten my mortality but thankfully provides me with instant eternity❣️
Come with me as I take you on my journey and experience of cycle 2, and how I witnessed God being on the move.
Imagine this: What Would Be Your Move?
Living Waters interviewed several college students about their battle with depression and suicide and if they have been born again. It was sad to see that everyone of those college students that he spoke to, were lost, found themselves in a pit of destruction, yet not knowing that Jesus Christ was their escape route.
In his sermon, “You Are Not Alone: Hope for Your Depression,” he shared the following: “So what’s the difference between a Christian and a non Christian when it comes to death? You are standing at the edge of a plane 10,000 feet up. You are going to jump without a parachute. Are you scared? Yeah…terrified! But if I gave you a parachute would that change things? You say, ah yes! I’m saved! I’m saved! And you grip that parachute with your very life.
So you have the Non Christian person without faith, facing death. That fear would be without control. But when the Christian passes from death, when I have my day the biggest day of my life, my fear will be in direct relation to how much faith I have in the Savior.
A Choice Move!
He gave them the choice to make a move of salvation and one girl expressed her desire to accept Christ immediately, yet with his profound analogy of the parachute, many others were just not ready. They were willing to risk it all and not make a move for Christ. Scary right? The truth is, whether you are ready to make that move for salvation or not, Jesus has already made the move for you. He took all your sins to the cross so that you didn’t have to carry your crosses.
The choice become yours, but what will you do if you still haven’t made that move for Jesus yet, like He has for you?
God Moves In Mighty Ways!
Laying in the infusion room I started to think about what my nurse practitioner said regarding my white blood cells still being a little low, but that I’m still within the range to do infusion. She said right now my CA 125 is 106 and we will see what happens when the lab results come back. I said, “I hope it makes a dive and she was like, “Yeah, me too!”
I thought…Lord, It’s Your Move!
So, as I was lying in the infusion suite texting, the Holy Spirit interceded and I felt the sudden urge to stop what I was doing and pray. Even more specifically, it was to pray Psalm 116, a scripture reading my friend Lupi sent to share with my DiVine Women Small Group. Her text read:
So as I read, I paused to pray. Lord, save me from this cancer. Give me a long healthy life to be with my hubby and to see my children get married and have a family. Father, heal me from this cancer once more. Please raise my white blood count and significantly drop the CA125 levels that the doctors will be shocked about the sudden decline and Your name will be lifted high. Then I continued my reading of Psalm 116...
Position Yourself For When He Moves!
Fast forward, it’s now 30 minutes later. It’s about that time for the IV line to be connected to my port when suddenly I remembered that I forgot to numb the area and by this time it’s too late to do it except to just sit there and feel the needle as it pierced my skin.
In that moment, I was alert and observant of everything that was going on around me and thinking about the needle piercing my skin to connect to my port, paled in comparison to the piercing Jesus endured as described in Isaiah 53:5, “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
When Does God Choose to Move During Our Trials?
Well, there’s certainly no definitive answer to that because our time is not on His time, however, we can be assured that He is indeed an On-Time God and when He allows us to wait, it’s for His plan, purpose, and praise!
Wilmert, one of my nurses, connected the IV line to my port. Then Ely, my other nurse tells him that my Potassium level is high so they were going to test my blood again. He says to me, “Patrice Moolah, you been eating a lot of bananas?” With the evidence in hand, the bag of Maduritos (Sweet Plantain Chips) slowly dropping the evidence to my lap, I looked up at him with an “I’m busted” expression, saying, “Wilmert. Aim… these are banana chips, as I held the bag up to show him.” We couldn’t help but bust out laughing.
Eli came back not long after to let me know that eventhough the Potassium level is high, they can still proceed with the infusion but they will have to keep me back for a little longer.
He’s an On-Time God: Watch Him Move!
The Potassium decline occurred within such a short time period. My lab was initially taken 9:30 a.m. and my Potassium level was 5.8 and then it was retaken again 10:45 a.m. by Wilmert.
Explainably, it was God and God alone acting speedily on my behalf after reading Psalm 116 and trusting Him to move on my behalf that Ely told me my Potassium level had dropped drastically to 3.7 within normal range. Hallelujah 🙌🏽
I couldn’t hold back to share with Pete and Ely about my prayer and the scripture reading I did. “You see why we gotta trust that God is in charge,” I said to her.
As I laid there watching my nurse fill the syringe up with the drugs, I started to become more aware of everything that was occurring. The beeping of the IV machine, the medicine as it made its way through the clear tube and into my body, the weird taste of the drugs as it hit my throat, and as I looked up at the red bag of chemo drug, I thought, “Jesus, Your my healing”❣️ I envisioned it as the blood of Jesus running through my veins. Then I was reminded of Psalm 116:8, that He has delivered me from death and verse 9, I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
The Comforter Is On The Move, Giving Comfort!
On my previous post, God Your The Healing Running Through My Veins, I received this text from one of my VDC Reunion Group Victorious Sisters that God is not only using my words to share the love of Christ with cancer victims but with anyone who is hurting.
So as I reflect back on the sermon from Living Waters, He gave 3 school of thoughts for anyone feeling heavy-laden and crippled by the thought of depression, sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, mental issues, anger, the grip of death knocking on their front door as a result of an incurable disease, the unknown feelings of defeat questioning their worth, should know that:
YOU HAVE WORTH. As a child of God, you need to know that the Spirit of Christ took residence in you. Therefore, your self worth should never be in question once you have made the best decision of all to invite the Most High to live in you, because greater is He Who is in you. So, there should never be a question of your self worth when God tells us we are worth everything and He has created us in His image. “Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.” (Isaiah 43:4) He goes on to say, “Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7)
THERE IS HOPE! There is a song that tells us that ALL, not some, but ALL our hope is in Jesus. You choose to be a prisoner of your struggles. Why? Jesus provides freedom for whatever struggles we face. When we choose to hang on to the things of this world that causes us to live in bondage, we are living for self and denying the importance and priority Christ should have in our lives. We can’t serve two masters. We have to either choose to live for Christ, dying to flesh or choose to live for the world and endure the struggles of this world apart from Christ, denying that He should be preeminent in our lives.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. ~Romans 5:13
3. HELP IS AVAILABLE. Instead of picking up a self-help book, open the sacred Book, the Bible. It provides divine inspiration for every area of your life in order to develop a closer relationship with Your Heavenly Father as a Friend. Instead of paying for advice, why not turn to the One who already knows the thoughts of those professionals before they even share them with you. There is no one better to turn to than Jesus. He is a Friend in deed, whether you are in need or just want to share with someone all the things you may feel. He listens without judgement and forgives us even when we fail Him. He empathizes better than anyone and extends His grace beyond what we deserve.
God Moves Through Us!
Where He leads me I will follow. We are called to be the Hands and Feet of Christ. We can follow in His footsteps by doing what’s pleasing to Him. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it (1 Cor.12:27) And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Rom.10:15) Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.(1 Tim. 4:14)
It can become very intimidating to tell someone something as simple as “Jesus loves you.” I get it! No one wants to hear, “I’m not into that Jesus thing. I don’t believe in God. Or even worse, yeah, I believe in God but I don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God. I believe there is some higher power, but I just don’t know.”
When you choose to take on the name of Christ to call yourself a Christian, you have to be ready to not only claim Him as your Savior, but also proclaim the Gospel of the Good News to the lost. When you get past what others think of you and strive to surpass the way Christ sees you, then you will choose to take a bold stance for Him.
Demonstration of Being God’s Hands and Feet On the Move!
Our DiVine Women Small Group visited a terminal cancer patient in the hospital. Our primary goal was to encourage her of Christ’s love, uplift her broken spirit, let the Presence of The Holy Spirit permeate the room, remind her of the hope she has in Jesus, confirm her faith in Jesus, be a demonstration of God’s Hands and Feet by going where He led us and laying hands on her to bless her through prayer. It was such a God inspiring moment because she was so receptive to us being there, and she acknowledged that she accepted Jesus Christ in her heart as her Lord and Savior. 🙏🏽
Talking about being God’s Hands and Feet! I want to extend a huge Shout Out to CF Homestead (Palmetto Bay and Redland) for demonstrating that act of kindness through the Meal Train by providing meals to my family. These people have blessed us with a meal throughout the month of February as an expression of God’s love. Pete and I are truly grateful. Warm thanks extended to the following:
It is my utmost prayer that the presence of Jesus Christ will be stirred up in you to be moved by His love. If you are still in that waiting season of your life for that God defining moment when you feel that your life is finally right to accept Him as your Lord, I say don’t hold out. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.
My friend, you might miss the opportunity and your life could be cut short prematurely. Why wait much longer? Take that move of faith. Recognize that you are a sinner, you are lost without Christ, in need of a Savior, and the only way is through the acceptance of Jesus Christ.
Once you are in a relationship Him, your burden is not for you to struggle over. He wants you to surrender it all to Him because He loves and cares for you. He doesn’t ask for perfection my friend. Just trust Him enough to perfect in you the areas of your life that only He can forgive you of, by removing that defiant will of the flesh that keeps you in bondage and robs you of your spiritual freedom.
God doesn’t need your perfection because His power is made perfect in your weaknesses. He is perfection at best, yet He knew no sin and became sin for us, so that while we were sinners, He died for us. Why don’t you just stop holding back, make that move of faith, and come to Him as you are, with all your imperfections, brokenness, stuff, hurts, hang ups, struggles, weaknesses, and sicknesses. He’s waiting with open arms and will never turn you away. So like the song says:
*Anytime a heart turns from darkness to light = God is on the move❣️
*Anytime temptation comes and someone stands to fight = God is on the move❣️
*Anytime in weakness someone falls upon their knees = God is on the move❣️
*Anytime the choice is made to stand upon the Word = God is on the move❣️
*Anytime the gospel stirs a searching soul = God is on the move❣️
God is on the move and He’s unstoppable, so position yourself accordingly to be on the MOVE with Him. 🙏🏽
Just arrived at the Miami Cancer Institute’ suited up with the full Armor of God. Inside my bag was my red chemo cape as my reminder that God’s blood covers me. I was rocking this special t-shirt from Michelle to remind me that I can do all things through Christ who is fighting and strengthening me through my battle with ovarian cancer.
When you get a cut, what’s the sign of healing? Well, for most, the outward visible sign of a scab covering the wound, right? In my case, I want to look at it from a different perspective. Though I can not see the healing taking place within my body, I know it to be so because scripture reminds us, “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.” Jeremiah 17:14
Now, let’s go a little deeper to say that, though I pray for physical healing from this ovarian cancer, the true healing that I have assurance of is being spiritually healed within, thanks to the precious blood of Jesus.
This time around with the chemo, I was asking Dr. Diaz if he had another research trial to put me on, and he said not at this time. I mentioned to Pete that I wished one would be available soon. But you know what the Holy Spirit ministered to my heart, that I don’t need a mystery drug for my healing to happen, my healing will come through the mighty name of Jesus.
So when my principal and friend sent this song to me on June 25, 2019, I clinged to the words reminding me that God, You ARE the healing running through my veins. I wanted to share the verses Jeanette Bayardelle sang, entitled, “Healing Running through My Veins.”
You are my health, my power my strength
You are the healing running through my veins
And You help me do what I must do and owe it all
I owe it all to You
My wounds, my pain, my sorrow, my shame, my grief
You are the balm that covers me
Rivers of life, green pastures I see
And through the storm I still have peace
So sickness, disease you can’t have your way
Cause God is the healing running through my veins
And no bad report can steal my joy away
Cause God Your the healing….running through my veins
Check out the song:
On Thursday, January 23rd, one day before my treatment, I received this text from Michelle and what a message it was because ironically her devotion was exactly what we have been studying in our Women’s Small Group.
There are times in our faith walk when we struggle to see ourselves the way God sees us. Mighty man of valor, that’s what the angel of God referred to Gideon as, yet he struggled to see himself as such. But little do we realize that how God sees us and who He says we are is far greater than what the world sees in us, and that’s because we fail to see who we are in Christ.
In Lauren Daigle’s song, “You Say,” she asked the Lord to remind her once again just who she was because she needed to know.
“You say I am loved, when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong, when I think I’m weak
You say I am held, when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, Lord You say I am Yours….”
Her song goes on to say that the ONLY thing that matters is everything God thinks of her.
My friends, that’s what really matters at the end of your life, is how God sees you. God is our all in all. He is truly all that we have and all we will ever need. Humankind will fail us, but God my friend, He never fails!
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3
So when I received this early morning message from Michelle, what a great reminder it was that as I prepare for my second round of chemo, my Yahweh Shalom will continue to sustain me with His peace that surpasses all understanding.
What a beautiful picture to wake up to as my reminder of my BFF’s love and support. Her devotion is a reminder that the same unchanging God who fought for Gideon will continue His fight for me. He had to dwindle down Gideon’s army of men from 32,000 to a measly 300 to show Gideon it’s not how many in your army but Who fights for you in the battle. The same message my Lord wanted to share with me through Michelle’s devotion is that it’s not about the clinical research I was apart of or the mystery drugs I would take, but that He IS the chemo running through my veins.
After receiving my text from Michelle, notice my response to her was for her to “Have a great day at work, while I chill out at the hospital, sipping on my chemo juice 😋🥤because after all…Jesus is the chemo running through my veins.”
Well, the day of treatment I had to attend an education class before my infusion and it’s funny to reflect back on the emoji I chose to use was red juice in a cup that I would be sipping on (which I meant intravenously, being my chemo juice). I only used that emoji to say to her that the red juice represented the blood of Jesus.
My God never ceases to amaze me, and He loves to put a smile on His children’s face as a reminder to say, “Heyyyy….I hear your thoughts and I never stop listening. I’m with you always!”
Well, how funny because when I sat with the nurse who conducted the chemo education, she says to me, so the Doxil drug you will be taking is RED. “Oh yeah I thought, the Blood of Jesus!” And I smiled to myself and was reminded that God chooses to speak to us through the simplicity of life just to remind us that He hears our thoughts and He knows our heart. She went on to tell me not to be alarmed when I go to the bathroom and my urine is slightly red. My thought was, “Ohhhh, I won’t be alarmed, because my Jehovah Rapha will cleanse and heal me!”
Well after the education nurse finished saying everything and reminding me of the importance of taking the necessary precautions, like eating right, hydrating my body, staying moisturized, monitoring my temperature, staying out the sun, and a host of other things, she asked me if I had any questions. I said, ”You know, all I want to say is that people come here expecting to be healed from the medicine, but what works for me is prayer. Knowing that the One who truly does the healing is God. It is He who has the final word” and it was so refreshing to hear her reply., “You are so right, it is God who decides what happens to us, so we have to trust him.”
The love and support from a few of my Prayer Warriors.
Michelle showing me her support of Ovarian Cancer with her teal rubber bands. That’s not how she really smiles. 😂😂
She didn’t know that two days prior I had also chosen teal for my rubber bands.
More love sent my way from Alexa, Liz (teacher & friend), and Michelle, after their Walkathon.
God’s love and His sacrificial blood is our saving grace and He extends Himself to all who would call upon Him for His free gift of salvation. All that truly matters is what God says about us, because His names defines who we are in Christ since His Holy Spirit lives within those who declares Him as their personal Savior.
How beautiful my friend’s words were to me, as the Holy Spirit laid it on her heart to remind me that not only am I loved by my Lord, but I am fully known as well.
“I’m fully known and loved by You
You won’t let go no matter what I do
And it’s not one or the other
It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known fully known and loved by You
I’m fully known and loved by You”
Lyrics by ~Tauren Wells~
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. ~Jeremiah 29:11-13~
Job is the homophone for job. What this tells me is that Job had a job to do. Though he was a faithful servant of God, God wasn’t done writing his story. He wanted to bless his life in inexplicable more ways. And I say more because Job had so much already.
Job stood the test, endured the suffering, and was blessed immeasurably more than he could ever imagine.
Think about it…how do you respond when your life has fallen in the pit of destruction, spiraling out of control?
Is your initial response to Look Up Child or to give in?
Job could have easily thrown in the towel and cursed God and die like his friends told him to, but he knew that he served a Good Good Father who allowed him to experience the pain of being in the valley so He could, in His timing, give Job that mountaintop experience.
My friends, I’m here to support you and love on you and tell you…
Don’t give up…Look Up!
Don’t give in, be spiritually fed from within!
Live like, Fear You Don’t Own Me because faith IS your story!
Grace got you my friend! No matter how hopeless things might seem, you climb to that mountaintop daily to be recharged and Reboot so that you are able to fight past that sadness, pain, disease, loneliness, depression, abandonment, suicidal thoughts, anger, divorce, etc. as though you are a Champion for Christ!
Too many times we go through valley experiences and we think, certainly this must be an attack on our lives from Satan, when in actuality, God allowed it.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” ~Luke 22:31-32~
In another instance in the Bible, we read that Satan came in the presence of the Lord, after roaming back and forth to the earth, probably to reek havoc. Notice what the Lord said to him, “Have you considered my servant Job…?”
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” ~Job 1:6-22~
It’s so much easier to blame it all on Satan and think that he orchestrates every bad thing to happen in our lives. Yet, I’m not saying that all our sufferings are directly caused by God either, but the truth is that we serve a sovereign God, and NOTHING passes through His hands without His control.
But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. ~Job 2:10~
Going back for my follow up visit to get the results of my CT scan, surely I had hoped to hear that those three nodules had gone away. However, that wasn’t the case. Not only are they still very much there, but there is an interval increase in peritoneal carcinomatosis. The images show that there are representative soft tissue in the anterior left mid hermiabdomen measuring 5.1 x 1.6 cm as well as representative conglomerate soft tissue in the anterior right upper quadrant measuring 3.0 x 2.9 cm. There is also an enlarging soft tissue nodule in the subcutaneous tissues overlying the anterior abdominal wall in the midline upper abdomen measuring 1.0 cm, previously 0.6 cm. And finally, trace free fluid in the pelvis, similar to prior.
I would have loved to hear those three words, “They are gone!” but that wasn’t the case. So what do I cling to in the midst of this new revelation and my journey back to the chemo suite?
Well…I’ll tell yah!
Those three words, “I’m Born Again!”
That’s right! That’s where my hope comes from. Knowing that I’m born again, washed by the water I’m clean.
I’m reminded time and time again that I’m commanded by scripture “that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33~
So like my friend’s letter reminds me, that my God loves me, He made me, He knows me, and I am His and He is mine. I am fully known by Him and there is nothing through this cancer journey that I will have to go through that my God’s righteous right hand isn’t in control of.
Be blessed and be reminded that God IS in control!
I would like to dedicate this post to a sweet friend and former student of mine. Reminding her that as she journeys down this road of heartache and sadness, continue to be strong in the Lord. I know it is so hard right now to see through the tears, how the Lord can use all your trials and turn them into triumphs, but find encouragement in Psalm 56:8 that the heartache you are experiencing is fully known by our Lord and they don’t go unnoticed. Not only will He bottle your teardrops, He will one day wipe away every tear from your eyes.
“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” ~Psalm 56:8~
God sees past your pain and will comfort your heart. ❤️
This song resonated in my head as I danced through Miami Cancer Institute September 2019, with my penny-filled 16 oz. water bottle tambourine, making my grand entrance to my chemo suite, where I was welcomed by a room filled with over-joyed staff, in celebration of my last day of a long 22-cycle treatment.
Today was the day I would ring the bell, in victory of what God had done for me. With the onlooking crowd of family, friends, co-workers, and a caring staff, I was in full anticipation mode to strike the bell THREE times because victory that day was mine. But before I struck the bell, I shared with everyone where my healing came from, how far God had brought me, and attributed all glory to Him.
This day just couldn’t come quick enough predating back to that well anticipated moment when I would hear Dr. Diaz say, “The cancer is gone!” After your last cycle of chemo, you will be done, and you will only need to come back every three months to see me.
I said to him, “Wow! Your done with me? You mean no more lab visits, clinic, or chemo treatments every three weeks?”
Must I say it felt freeing not just to know that I no longer had to leave work early to rush to Baptist all the time but most importantly, that this disease that has taken the lives of so many, was finally out of my body and I was finally done!
During that month of cancer freedom, God began to give me revelations in THREE’S.
1) On my way to work, my hubby text me three of his devotion questions that he wanted me to answer so he could make comparisons. Well, I went into this long, lengthy response, directing it to myself rather than him, because I completely misunderstood that he was asking me to write my answers based on what I thought were from his perspective for himself. LOL
It was actually after proofreading “my” responses, that it hit me. “Lord, are you telling me to start a small group?”
In conversation with my hubby later that night, laughing about it, that I made it about me rather than him, I expressed to him that I was beginning to wonder if God was calling me to lead a women’s group. I shared with him that I just haven’t been able to find a Women’s Small Group that I felt a sense of unity and cohesiveness; of women who not only shared in the Word of God, but also experienced life together.
His response to me was, “Well babe, maybe the reason you can’t seem to find one it’s because God is calling you to start your own.” Needless to say, I gave him the side-eye and quickly dismissed the thought that God would really be calling me to lead a ministry. He tenderly said to me, “Just pray about it!” I thought…”Ohhh, oh ok, yeah!”
In my sense of humor, I said to the Lord, “Father, if you really want me to start a Women’s Small Group, then I need You to let Michelle tell me so.” Well, the joke was on me! God giggled at my request and must have thought, “Ok…Done! That was easy.”
2) It was just a few days later after having that conversation with the Lord that I was sitting on the bed after finishing my “Quiet Time” that I received a text. Guess who? Yep…it was Michelle. In conversation she randomly says this…
I sat there dumbfounded saying, “Lord, You are really telling me to do this!” Not only had He provided the confirmation I needed, He responded the way I had asked Him to. Incredible!
Did I mention earlier that God was making Himself present to me in THREE’S?
3) A few days later, towards the end of the school day, I received this random text from one of my parents asking me if I have ever heard of VDC (Via de Cristo)? Immediately I googled it and learned that it’s a Christian Retreat. Where the conversation led to after that was strictly God preparing me for what He had in store.
My three month CT scan was Monday, September 30th and I was supposed to leave for VDC on Thursday, October 3rd. The irony of it all is that I would not receive the results of my CT scan until Monday, October 7th, just one day after getting back from the THREE day retreat.
The theme scripture for VDC, October 3rd through October 6th weekend was:
The moment my eyes focused on the scripture, I instantly felt the Holy Spirit being stirred up in me that He was directing His Word to me. I am to rise up, because He had already made known to me the task He has for me. I was to take courage in the spiritual journey I was about to embark on, which was to lead a women’s small group. Yet, He was also preparing me for the news I was about to receive once I went back for my follow up visit regarding my CT scan results.
During that retreat, I experienced a spiritual awakening as well as a spiritual recharge. The Lord knew I needed it because the news I was about to receive was not what I had expected.
Unfortunately, the cancer came back.
I just remember seeing the somber expression on my doctor’s face as he skipped the small talk and went straight to the results with compassion and sympathy. I knew it was not good news so I reflected on God’s word, “Lord, You promise never to leave me nor forsake me. You are with me.” I tuned back in to Dr. Diaz as he said, “After getting the CT scan report from Imaging, I called to confirm their findings. After they confirmed, I told them let’s sit together and go over it again to make sure we are seeing the same thing.” At the conclusion of the report, and after hearing that THREE new nodules had appeared, I looked at my doctor and said, “Dr. Diaz, I know the God I serve. I will be ok!”
Beloved, do you know what the take away is from all this? The truth is that we are not forgotten, grace knows our name. Tauren Wells sang that truth so well, reminding us of such:
God’s not done with you Even when you’re lost and it’s hard and you’re falling apart
God’s not done with you It’s not over, it’s only begun So don’t hide, don’t run ‘Cause God’s not done with you!
He’s got a plan, this is part of it He’s gonna finish what He started
God’s not done writing your story No, He’s not done God’s not done with you.
Henceforth, I decided to refer to these THREE nodules as The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If this cancer was brave enough to return, then I was going to label them with a force to be reckoned with….The Trinity.
It’s comforting that when we are walking in the light of His Word, He bestows upon us a peace that surpasses all comprehension, and He uses others in the faith among us to impart spiritual wisdom and confirmation.
A friend of mine shared with me that she has been praying for me, but specifically praying about the three nodules. I was so astounded by her revelation. “Patrice, those three nodules that I’ve been praying about, the Lord is telling me that they represent The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” “No way Norma,” I said. Are your serious! That’s exactly what I referred to them as.
God, You are simply amazing!
Everyone has a journey. For some, that journey might take them through twists and turns, up hills and valleys, through bumpy terrains, or down paved roads where the path ahead is clear. God might allow one chapter of your life to come to a close so that you can start a new beginning. In some instances, your journey might be unpredictable, not knowing what lies ahead for you. Yet for some, it might very well be a happy ending. Whatever your journey, just know that God’s not done writing your story. He’s got a plan and He will use every part of what you go through to see it to completion for His glory.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. ~Philippians 1:6~
So, as I strive to share my journey of my continued battle with ovarian cancer, it continues to be my prayer that I will be a voice of encouragement; reminding you of God’s faithfulness. Encouraging others to hold steadfast to their faith, and trust that God is doing a “new thing” in your lives.
Let your faith be unsinkable as you trust God to do the unthinkable.
I read this statement in one of my devotionals that I thought was so profound and I hope it will deepen your reality of who Jesus is in your life.
“The greater our awareness that Jesus is the Healer, the more we will witness God’s miracles.”
Just be encouraged and know that, whatever you are going through, God has a plan and what you might see as the end, it could very well be the beginning of something only God can orchestrate, turning things around in your favor.
But, as it is written,“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” ~1 Corinthians 2:9~
And so, I’m thankful that God’s not done with me because what an exciting journey it is to be on when I have the assurance of the ultimate tour guide and His name is called Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, and He uses His Word as my GPS to light my path and direct my steps.
How many times as a child your parent was speaking to you, trying to get your full attention and you heard the words “look at me?” Then with a gentle hand, your parent lovingly moves your head a bit to capture your attention. It’s not a matter of them trying to scold you, but rather to make eye contact. This was their way of reminding you who is in control because they require of you, your undivided attention.
Our Heavenly Father desires the same from us. As His children, He reminds us to “Look Up Child.” He wants our eyes set on Him.
Laying in bed one morning and asking my Savior what He would have me share about my journey thus far, and as I laid there attentively listening, I could hear the tune in my head to Lauren Daigle’s song, “Look Up Child.” Immediately I thought, “Yes! That’s it!” Then I was reminded of the number of times when my circumstances just seemed hopeless, but then scripture assured me otherwise.
Isaiah 40:31 reminds us of His promise….
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Lauren Daigle’s song says….
“You’re not threatened by the war
You’re not shaken by the storm
I know You’re in control
Even in our suffering
Even when it can’t be seen
I know You’re in control”
ATTENTION ALL READERS!!! This is a public announcement.
Don’t waste your energy worrying about your circumstances when you already know that God is in control of whatever struggle you will have to go through.
Don’t you know your strength comes from the Lord?
These people, and many others, in the midst of their trials, knew that they had to Look Up!
Elijah called down fire from the sky. He called upon the One most high. He Looked Up!
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego…in the fire they would go…They Looked Up!
Daniel thrown in the lions’ den, whose body should’ve been ripped from end to end. He Looked Up!
His body covered in soars, yet eyes on God, Job implored…He Looked Up!
Jacob had every intention to flee, confronting his brother he didn’t agree. He wrestled, but God dislocated his hip. With a firm grip, requesting a blessing is all Jacob could utter from his lips. He looked up!
The Philistine giant went on the attack. With only a sling and a stone, David had strapped on his back. One stone is all it took for Goliath to fall. There was no competition. David knew Who he had to call…so he Looked Up!
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Where my life is now and where I’ve been, resulted in a feeling of nostalgia, reminiscing about where I was mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually in 2018 to where I am 2019. All because I knew I had to Look Up!
May 29th, I was sitting in my chemo suite, waiting for my vitals to be taken but there was a delay. I had to have the urine analysis repeated because there was some error when it was taken the previous day. In that moment of waiting, which seemed forever, my mind couldn’t help but stray. Wondering if something was wrong with the results and why the lab was taking so long, but then in the midst of my wondering, I could hear that still voice reminding me, “Look Up Child”! Remembering that God is in control and it’s gonna be ok. It was as if He was saying to me, “Keep your eyes fixed on Me!”
My journey has been long, but it’s been one of victory and praise.
As I got up to go use the bathroom, having to maneuver the infusion stand, I had a sudden flashback that I shared with my chemo nurse Eli of when I was so sedated by the drugs that my steps were too unstable to make it to the bathroom on my own and I had to look up for help as she extended her arm in support, holding me and pushing the infusion stand as I walked.
It was in those moments I knew God was calling my name, calling my name, “Look up Child. “
A couple reminders of what happens when we “Look Up.”
*God takes notice. He sees that your full attention is on Him.
*You are acknowledging that in your weakness, He is strong.
*You are reminding yourself that He loves you so much and cares about what you are going through and He promises that when you draw close to Him, He draws close to you.
*When you “Look Up” you need to know that you look with an expectant heart, waiting on His timing, and leaning not on your understanding, but rather on His.
*It’s a reminder that you ought to cast your eyes upon Jesus because His plans are good!
*What about those plans of His? Well, they are to prosper you, not to harm you, so Look Up!
Take a moment to re-examine how you respond and react during your suffering. Is it one of…
Praise or Pity?
Confidence or Condemnation? Hope or Horror?
Where do you look to when the struggles of life begins to wear you down and the disappointment, suffering, heartache, and pain leaves you with feelings of defeat? What about when all hope seems gone?
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” —C.S. Lewis
Listen to His still, quiet voice, reminding you to always look up. Whatever your case is, look beyond your circumstance to your breakthrough because we know that when we look up, there is victory ahead.
On June 4th, I had the privilege to participate alongside my Gyn Oncologist Dr. John Diaz, as we cycled together as part of an Ovarian Cancer Fundraiser. This event was set up by a spouse whose wife lost her fight to Ovarian Cancer. So, in tribute to her, this was held in her honor: “Tour for Nor”
As my legs pedaled to the beat of the music, my heart beat to words of praise for all my God has done. I was riding with vitality and energy. My God had poured His strength upon me and filled me with the endurance to remain spiritually, physically, and mentally strong for the challenge.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure. Psalm 16:9
Quick video of me cycling. Watch for my excitement when I suddenly spotted Dr. Diaz in the crowd.
After the event, Dr. Diaz kept asking me how I felt and commending me for how well I looked.
Update: As of June, over $41,000 has be raised towards Ovarian Cancer research.
Whenever the time draws near for me to have my follow up CT Scan, it serves as a great reminder of the greatness of my God. His grace extends beyond my comprehension. He has not only healed me, but also restored my health to a place of optimum state.
On July 1st, my follow up CT Scan was beyond words of praise. All that was in my heart could not be adequately expressed of all that my God has done for me. From a diseased abdomen, cemented together by cancerous cells and lesions, but by His spoken words, my God erased every trace of them. From the precision of Dr. Troy Gatcliffe’s hands, removing organs that was once diseased by cancer cells, right down to the chemo (my Happy Juice), which annihilated any microscopic residue of the cancer. I am healed in Jesus name.
Well for me, the ringing of what I refer to as Baptist’s Victory Bell that is rung once a cancer survivor completes the last session of chemo is only a couple months away.
As I continue to do like Lauren Daigle says, “Look Up Child”, I will faithfully pray for those that are still battling cancer, those gone on to be with the Lord, and those that have been healed but still receiving treatment. I extend recognition and tribute to the following people and many others for being Champions for Christ.
Rest In Peace…Those special souls that have gone on to be with the Lord who lost the battle to Ovarian Cancer:
2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
The beginning lyrics of Daigle’s
song questions the whereabouts of God, as if He’s hiding when we need Him most.
Where are You now (where are You?)
When all I feel is doubt?
Oh, where are You now
When I can’t figure it out?
Well, I assure you that you never have to look for Him. He is never hiding, because He is always there. I promise you that when you seek Him, you will surely find Him. Jeremiah 29:13 promises us this, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
Are your eyes fixed on Him? Or does He have to constantly remind you to Look Up Child?
My God, I pray for everyone who is facing difficult trials ahead. Those that just need to hear Your soft whisper reminding them that they need to look up and turn their eyes upon Jesus. That when they look full in Your wonderful face, that the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of Your glory and grace. Amen.