FULLY KNOWN!

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. ❤️

GOD’S NOT DONE WITH YOU!

Victory is mine!

Victory is mine!

Victory today is mine!

I told Satan,

Get thee behind.

For victory today is mine!

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!

 

Michelle’s texts goes on to say this…

 

She even shared with me the text she sent to her brother.

 

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.

 DiVine Women Small Group          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOOK UP CHILD!

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!

Psalm 121

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.

Patricia Rodriguez

Susan Johnson

Michelle Mazin

Jackie Aviles

Kim Schirra

Norma Zick

Rest In Peace…Those special souls that have gone on to be with the Lord who lost the battle to Ovarian Cancer:

Donna Price

Jeanett Chambers

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.

CHAMPION FOR CHRIST: BLESSED BY THE CAPE

CHEMO STAFF PLANNED A

CFC embroidered on my chest

I’m a Champion for Christ, none can contest

I continue to sport my chemo cape

Advertising I’m blessed

Jesus, my reason, I must confess

My stride is long and my faith stands strong

As I stroll through Miami Cancer Institute, I’m reminded this battle wasn’t lifelong

Jesus has healed me so trusting in Him, I couldn’t go wrong

This cape has set me apart from the rest…

I’m a Champion for Christ, so wearing my chemo cape is how that’s expressed

The “S” is a symbol of hope Superman wears on his chest

His red cape makes him stand out as though he’s the best

But once he’s exposed to the red sun, he becomes weak

He needs the yellow sun to keep him up on his feet

Well, I am no superhero, but I know where my strength lies

The Holy Spirit is my power and in which I abide

Unlike Superman, my strength isn’t dependent on the Sun,

It’s proclaiming the Son of God with the confession of my tongue

Superman’s energy is depleted from Kryptonite and his defenses fall weak

Yet, I got the strength of the Holy Spirit, which keeps me grounded and complete

My birthday celebration, the chemo staff gifted me a red cape

It’s my reminder of Jesus’s shed blood that covers all my mistakes

There’s no magic in me wearing a cape

It’s believing that Jesus Christ is my only escape

The woman who touched Jesus’s garment in Mark 9:20 was made whole

Her blood ceased and her spirit consoled

So I wear a cape as a reminder that my God is in control

By His grace, He covers me and makes me whole

I’ll remain a Champion For Christ

despite all my test

God chose to use me…

I believe He knows what’s best!

MY THOUGHTFUL AND CARING CHEMO STAFF
ONE OF THE CHEMO STAFF HAD HER MOM

MY REBOOT… I’M BORN AGAIN!

Mercedes Benz 5K Run

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, “all things are become new.”

2 Corinthians 5:17

For the past 12 months I’ve been poked and pricked

My body operated on and then stitched

A variety of medicines I can’t even name

The infusion of chemo continuously running through my veins

Despite my ordeal, I have Him to claim

Jesus my Healer is who I maintain

I’m reboot, recharged, and feeling so alive

Born Again, Jesus’s blood is the reason I survived

🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽

In a recent conversation with my Survivorship doctor, she wanted me to share with her how I was doing from our last visit three months prior.

My heart poured out to her expressing my gratitude of what God has done for me. I expressed to her that I feel fantastic. I am living as though cancer was never apart of my life.

She went on to share with me about a seminar she attended that spoke of the importance of speaking positive affirmations and the difference they saw in people’s lives when practiced by patients who experienced cancer.

Her doctor’s orders were that she wanted me to verbalize aloud everyday that I’m healed from this cancer.

I felt so good to be able to tell her that I do that quite frequently. That I utter those words in my prayers, thanking God for healing me and that I also thank Him aloud.

“Thank You Jesus for healing me of this cancer” were my words to her.

Her face lit up!

Most importantly, God’s name lit up in that doctor’s office.

The emotion I expressed to her about feeling as though I never had this cancer is the J.O.Y. (Jesus Only You) I feel in knowing that only Jesus could have cleansed me with His blood. He removed the cancer cells from my body and revived me by His Spirit.

The more exciting news in all this is that I’m not just healed from this cancer, but that I have been BORN AGAIN!

It goes beyond being free of this cancer and having a second chance at life. It means the promise in knowing like Pastor Rick says, God is leading me to a whole new beginning.

The truth of it all as Pastor Rick said is that we will have to go through tribulations in this life, but we don’t have to live in the midst of our troubles as though it’s the end. We can live THROUGH it, being guided by God’s GPS, to a place where the old order of things will be no more.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

~Revelation 21:4

God sent His Son Jesus, our WayMaker, as a revelation, to map out the road for us; not directing us to the end but to a new beginning.

People go through life feeling this persistent sense of emptiness, despite all the money, power, possessions, accolades, and fame, yet nothing seems to fill that void.

Can I say, nothing ever will, until one comes to the realization and truth that only Jesus can replace that momentary happiness or chronic sadness, suffering, and pain with eternal JOY.

Just like a device might require a reboot when the software is not functioning, so do our hearts. It’s simply making a change in our hearts in order to establish a new beginning.

This requires stepping out in faith to experience a spiritual awakening and transformation in the heart.

As a sinner, we are spiritually dead until we choose to reboot our hearts and receive spiritual life through faith in Jesus Christ.

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.

~Ephesians 2:1

Many people’s hearts are still closed off to this truth and don’t seem to understand what it means to experience a rebirth. Take a look at the Bible story when Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again or he will never see the Kingdom of God.

“Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus saith unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Jesus answered, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be BORN AGAIN. “

~John 3:1-7

The lyrics of Austin French’s song professes just that, the freedom that salvation brings in knowing that our lives may be broken and we may experience traumatic things such as disease, illness, financial loss, abuse, depression, divorce, death of a loved one, etc., but we don’t have to hold on to the bondage of our pain and sadness. Jesus has broken our chains, loosened our shackles, and given us a new lease on life.

Like Nicodemus said to Jesus, for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. John 3:2

Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews, so one could obviously assume he was an intelligent man.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?~John 3:10

Just like many people today who struggle with this truth of who Jesus is, Nicodemus was no different.

Nicodemus answered and said unto him, how can these things be? ~John 3:9

Nicodemus too struggled with comprehending that Jesus was the Son of God, the sacrificial Lamb, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. The One who came to save us; our rescuer.

Jesus was NOT just a teacher like so many professed Him to be, but most importantly, He is God, the Beginning and the End, our Savior. The One who came to save us from our sins and to set us free.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. ~John 3:17

Jesus made it very clear to Nicodemus that ANYONE who believes in Him shall be saved.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~John 3:16

Could Austin French have sang this truth any better in his song “Born Again”?

I was down on my luck, I was stuck

I was running ’round broken-hearted

I was sinking so fast

I couldn’t last falling apart

And You could’ve ran away

Leaving me there in my shame

Leaving me fighting my pain

But You made a better way

I’ve been saved

Goodbye to the sinner, I’m held by the Father above

No more shame, for

I’m out of the desert and drowned in the power of love

Amazing grace, my soul set free

Ain’t no grave, got a hold on me

I’m born again, born again

Washed by the water, I’m clean

My eyes have been open

You’re showing me all of my life in a new light

Every step, every breath

Like it’s the first time

You could’ve ran away

Leaving me there in my shame

Leaving me fighting my pain

But You made a better way….

💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕

Thank You Jesus! You made a better WAY. It’s called the cross.

When this cancer came upon my body, it caught me off guard. But it wasn’t a surprise for my God. He went to the cross for everything we would face in this temporal life. He made a better way through His blood.

God uses our pain and heartaches for His purpose and His glory. Nothing He allows us to go through in this life is ever in vain.

I’m thankful that He allowed me to go through this cancer because if that’s how He chose to use me, I will continue to praise Him because of it. He didn’t leave me to suffer alone, He carried me and saw it to completion…which was my REMISSION!

I’m glad having gone THROUGH it!

The irony in all this is that a month after returning to work, my partner who I worked closely with, shared with me that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. You can only imagine my shock to hear this devastating news, especially because it’s someone I worked so closely with.

What are the odds in all this I thought. I was reminded that nothing God allows us to experience is random, and it’s all part of His plan and purpose.

Once again, this might have caught me by surprise, because it definitely caught my partner by surprise. However, it’s so comforting in knowing that this did not come as a surprise to God. He knew she would have to experience it and would have to trust Him in order to get THROUGH it.

He granted her peace that surpassed all understanding, kept her in good spirits, and helped her to maintain a positive attitude.

There was a point when she questioned why she hadn’t shed a tear or felt moments of sadness. J.O.Y. is what I told her…Jesus Only You!

She recently underwent surgery and she’s doing well. Praises to our God!

What could have meant death, Jesus gave her life.

The Beautiful Face of Courage!

Cancer can’t rob our smile! 😃

Our feelings about Cancer! 🤪

💕Dedicated to Michele Mazin 💕

Nicodemus struggled with the idea of what it meant to be born again, but it doesn’t have to be the same for us. I think anyone who has survived an illness that could have potentially led to death, by God’s mercy and grace is given another chance at life. I believe God spares our lives for different purposes.

The believer gets the opportunity to rejoice in God’s saving grace, being able to continue doing the work in furthering His Kingdom, and sharing the good news of His love and what He has done. For the unbeliever, God can use His healing power to open one’s eyes to a spiritual awakening of what He desires to do if only faith and trust is placed in His Son Jesus.

Are you born again? Are you washed by the spirit and cleansed by His blood?

I recently had my 3 month follow up CT scan and the results of the scan was all God. All I can tell you is that Jesus’s blood has cleansed and healed me. Dr. Diaz asked me how do I feel and I told him I felt awesome. He said, “And you’re still exercising?” He told me whatever I’m doing to keep it up because I’m doing great and my CT scan is looking really, really good. EVERYTHING WAS NEGATIVE!!!!

It’s now a little over a year since I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and 8 months since Jesus has healed me. My decision of faith many, many years ago to accept Jesus Christ as my One and True Savior was the best decision I could have ever made.

No matter what I may go through in this life, I can maintain my smile and walk in the promise of knowing like Austin French says,

“I’m born again, born again

washed by the water, I’m clean!”

The Love of my Chemo Crew! ❤️

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.

FEAR YOU DON’T OWN ME!

image
“FAITH OVER FEAR”

“Sick and tired of being sick and tired / Had as much of you as I can take / I’m so done, so over being afraid.”        ~Lyrics by Francesca Battistelli~

Has fear ever taken a hold of you? Has it gotten the copyrights over your life? Maybe you have even allowed it to bookmark or crease a few pages as reminders of where life had you stuck in fear. When will you get to that point where you say enough is enough, I’m tired of rereading the same story.

Instead, put that story of fear to rest and begin a new chapter of your life called faith.

Say it… fear, you no longer own me and I won’t allow you to continue making me the main character in what was once my story.

Today, will you choose Faith OVER Fear?

My Latest News….No Fear, just Faith!

I had scheduled an appointment to have my annual Pap smear since it was not done earlier in the year due to my diagnosis.

Even though I no longer have a cervix due to my complete hysterectomy, my nurse practitioner recommended that I still have a Pap smear done since there could possibly still be cervical cells.

A few days ago I received a message from the nurse at my gynecologist office to call her. In the past, when I have had my Pap smear, I never received a call. If the result of the Pap smear was good, they never contacted me.

Why was this time any different?

I didn’t make a big deal out of it so I figured I’d just call the nurse back once I had the chance. But after leaving her a message, then attempting to contact her a hour later and in the interim still not hearing back from her, I decided to speak to the lady who schedules appointments.

I explained to her that I had my Pap smear done a few days prior and the nurse left me a message but I still have not received a call back, and considering my history with Ovarian Cancer, I don’t want to wait to find out why she called me.

Since she didn’t have my file with her and she was unaware of the reason the nurse contacted me, all she could do was take my message again and assured me that she would let the nurse know.

At this point, I wasn’t concerned if her call was to give me bad news because there is a peace that only God gives and a sweet reminder to “be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

So I went on with my daily affairs and it didn’t cross my mind until a few hours later, the nurse called back again. She explained the results of the Pap smear, that it came back showing abnormal cells and they are not sure if it’s something to be concerned about because the HPV results was negative.

She said typically, if the results of the pap smear comes back showing abnormal cells and the HPV results is negative, then they would wait 6 months to retest but considering my history with ovarian cancer, the gynecologist wanted to do a Colposcopy. The doctor wanted me to notify my Gyn Oncologist at the Miami Cancer Institute to get his feedback if his office should go ahead with the Colposcopy, wait, or have it done at MCI.

When the Holy Spirit reminds you “my yoke is easy and my burden is light,” (Matthew 11:30) then you can’t help but give it all to God. So no matter what tests or trials come, just remember and feel good in knowing that God will continue to take care of the situation.

Later on that day, my hubby asked me how I felt about hearing the results of the Pap smear and that it’s like going through the ups and downs. Things are going good then now this; that it changed his mood.

My dear hubby! There I go again, being told this news and not considering how he must have felt hearing it because my world was not shaken by it and neither was I concerned about what the results of the Pap smear could mean in terms of my health and my previous diagnosis.

Nope! I’m not worried actually, I told him. I’m not even thinking about it. I refuse to live my life in fear. I know all that God has done for me and that He is over all this and He will take care of me. I will not live my life worrying if I’ll make it to the 5-year mark. I’m going to live life one day at a time, one year at a time. I’m going to live in the moment and enjoy the life Christ has given me and for the time He has given me. I’m going to live my best life knowing that God is on my side and I’m His child.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

After contacting my Gyn Oncologist to inform him about the results of my Pap smear, he said he wants to hold off on the Colposcopy. He explained to us that since I don’t have a cervix, the abnormal cells could be residual cells post surgery. He said he’s not concerned about the results of the Pap smear right now because he wants me to complete chemo cycle 10, followed by a CT scan in January. After all that, then he will repeat the Pap Smear and perform the Colposcopy.

Because I know God is sovereign over all things, He continues to replace my fears with faith, my persistence in prayer with praise, my weaknesses with willingness to trust Him, and my uncertainties with understanding that His will be done.

When you change your mindset of what the world sees fear as, you change your thoughts of fear to a Christian perspective of the promise that Jesus gives to those who are His:

F-aith in facing
E-ternity
A-nd the gift of
R-edemption

No matter what curve ball this life may throw at us, we can live it with Faith OVER Fear because when you are a child of God, you have the promise and assurance that Jesus’s death brought us redemption. His death was our debt on the cross. Paid in full!

Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe. He exchanged our place with His so that we may gain Life not Death. He cleared our debts so that we can live this life in Faith NOT Fear knowing we will face eternity with the assurance that His free gift to us was redemption for our sins.

No matter what fears you face, I want you to know that God reigns supreme above them and you never have to allow fear to take hold of you, but rather, allow God to withhold those fears and build up your faith in Him.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:6

Society, social media, all have the formula of how to live your best life. Even Joel Osteen’s book “Your Best Life Now” provides a lists of seven steps to living at “your” full potential, BUT do we really need this when the Bible is our ultimate resource, which directs, guides, and instructs us on how to obtain and secure “THE” best life through the confidence we have in knowing who Jesus is and where we are going when we die? We can live our lives, no longer a slave to fear.

What will you choose? A life where society says you can have it all or a life knowing that Jesus gave it ALL for us?

No matter how much we may think we have things under control, there is a certain level of fear we face with uncertainties of the future. The unpredictability of life can bring about a level of fear in not knowing what the future holds, so we need to depend on our sovereign Father who has domination over our existence to remove lives’ fears and replace them with faith in Him.

In the book “A Place Called Heaven” that I’ve been reading, Robert Jeffress speaks about when you die, only to learn that you are at the wrong gate and subsequently being turned away. He further stated, how devastating if you hear these words: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  Matthew 7:21-23

I think anyone who has lost a loved one or friend develops a level of fear due to the unsurety of not knowing if that person went to Heaven or Hell. There is a parable in the Bible of a Rich Man and a Poor Man. I will share a part of the story, which you can read about it in Luke 16:19-31.

There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment. Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent. But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead’

I wanted to share this parable to show that even the rich man, while living a life of eternal damnation in Hell, was subjected to a life of fear that his brothers would end up where he is if they refused to give their lives to Christ.

So I ask, why would anyone want to live their life with the fear of not knowing where they would end up when they die? Think about it…Jesus paid the price for us already. He made the way and removed the fear of uncertainty through the cross.

I was recently speaking to someone and I asked him if he started going to church yet and he said no, that though he believes in God, he didn’t feel that right now he needed to be going to church knowing that there are so many hypocrites in church. Plus, he thought he too would be considered a hypocrite because he’s not living the way he should.

A response from another person I spoke to said he believes in God but doesn’t speak to him much…as He’s often forgotten/set aside at this point in his life. He said he kind of threw him into the “To do list” section of his laterrrr life.

Can I just say, without any thought of judgment or condemnation, that in this sinful world we just can’t “wait” or put God to the “side” or even put Him on “hold” until we live out what we consider to be our “best life” and then when we think we have exhausted our worldly pleasures, we turn to Him.

In this life there is no guarantees and none of us know when we have reached the end of the rope and suddenly left trying to hang on, only to realize there is no time left.

Fear disguises itself and can appear in your life in different forms to rob you of the joy, peace, happiness, contentment, assurance, security, love, self-control…..

Fear can even give the false sense of missing out on what life has to offer if you decide to turn your life around and live for Christ. Just like the person I spoke to, he’s aware that he’s not living the way he should; yet, he wasn’t ready to give up being in the world and not of the world.

But the truth of it all is, it’s so wonderful for the grace that Jesus gives. Scripture reminds us that “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 and “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. 1 John 1:9

We don’t have to live with fear of being judged by other believers because with what judgment we judge, we too shall be judged because “the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.”  Isaiah 33:22

Wouldn’t you want to live this life always being ready for the moment God says it’s your time?

And…

Wouldn’t you want that assurance that if you lied down to sleep and it’s the end for you, that you will arise with Christ?

Why don’t you experience spiritual freedom to live this life with faith, freed from the bondage of fear, knowing that your life is redeemed because Christ paid your debt and took your penalty?

I wanted to share this letter that one of my sisters recently wrote me, expressing her fears when she learned that I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Overcome by her fear of not knowing if I would survive, she realized she had to be strong in the Lord and turn to Father God in prayer. She quickly came to the realization of what fear would do if she succumbed to it, but instead reminded herself that fear had no place in her life.

The paper she printed the letter on is a reminder of Christ’s blood (red), His holiness (white), and His peace (blue). I love the title she chose: “And So God Did!”
-God removed her fears of my illness and brought her comfort
-God healed me from Ovarian Cancer
-God did it all on the cross for us by paying the price for our sins

The results of my Pap smear may be abnormal, but I refuse to let fear be the foundation of my faith. Fear has no place in my story. I did not allow fear to interfere with my faith-based journey to my cancer recovery.

I absolutely love this song by Francesca Battistelli where she goes through this difficult break up because she no longer wanted to be identified by fear. So she packs up her fear in a suitcase and made it clear that she was ending that relationship.

Come on…sing along with me…

Fear, you don’t own me
There ain’t no room in this story
And I ain’t got time for you telling me what I’m not
Like you know me, well guess what
I know who I am
I know I’m strong, brave and I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here
Goodbye, goodbye fear
You will never be welcome here

Click link “The Break Up Song” by Francesca Battistelli

https://youtu.be/H0wpP5o7xpI

Don’t allow fear to own you! No longer should it be your companion. End your relationship with fear and renew your connection with faith.

~~~~🙏🏽✝️🙏🏽✝️🙏🏽✝️🙏🏽✝️~~~~

Hanging out with our good friend Roberto at the hospital who flew from NC to spend Thanksgiving with us.

My chemo team surprised me with a gift just to say they love me and how much JOY I bring them.

A very heartfelt farewell to one of my nurse practitioners (Cristina on right) who’s leaving MCI for a career move and one of my clinical trial team members (Brittney on left) who is moving to London to further her education. It was a bittersweet moment saying goodbye.