Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Back update

     I went to the doctor yesterday for a second opinion about my back.
    
     About 3 years ago I was going to a doctor who recommended surgery but at the time we had lost our insurance so I couldn't afford the surgery.  I chose to do the injections while the injections only lasted 8 weeks and 2 weeks.
I no longer could do those as the were expensive so I continued to pray and trust in the Lord for His healing in HIS perfect timing. I know that one day he's going to heal my back;  it may not be here on earth but I do know that there will be
NO more pain no more suffering in heaven and that is a promise I'm holding onto!!
    
      While at the doctor yesterday  for a second opinion,  he did some tests on my legs & feet and watched the way i walked.  He was very concerned as I've already started losing abilities and strength in my right leg because of the massive herniation that is pressing on the nerves, which is also causing nerve damage.
   
      I know that the doctor said he was concerned but I have a GOD that can do big things and I'm trusting that HE is using this for HIS purpose.
    
     After hearing my story the doctor had compassion and blessed us by only charging us a fourth of what the shot would have been, not only that but I didn't have to wait to schedule the injection for a different time. I was able to receive it   yesterday right after my consultation....
It was very painful however I am slowly feeling some relief from the pain in my back. I was hoping it would be quicker but I will take what I can get!!
    
     He wants me to limit several activities and be careful because he is concerned of me becoming crippled.  He also wants me to work at trying to get insurance & to consider having the surgery. We are praying that this injection works long enough to tide me over as we investigate different options for insurance.

Please pray that we can find affordable insurance?!!  In the meantime, Please pray that this injection works to give me  relief!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mercies in disguise~

Have you ever looked at the situation you are in and changed your perspective to look at it as a gift rather than a curse??

     I started doing that with my back situation.  I mean everything that happens to us has to have permission through the Lord to begin with. I always think of Job. Satan and Jesus had a conversation about him.
 
It is powerful to know that I am important enough for the Lord to have a conversation about. In his loving, compassionate way he gives permission for that situation to happen. HE already knows everything that happens to us is All part of His WILL.. That means good or bad.

     My husband and I do that with our children.  We discuss the situation;  consider any consequences of actions and whether or not it would be beneficial for them to go through the certain situation. IF we believe that it's not in their best interest We give them the answer NO. But if we feel that it would be a life lesson or teachable moment then we allow it and say YES.  Just like our Heavenly Father does for us; he knows he's going to allow situations to happen even if that means we are in a waiting season as I mentioned before.
I started thanking God for the pain he has allowed me to endure. I have learned many lessons from this; although there are moments when I  am weak, these moments allow me to:
Call upon Him
Trust in Him
Hope in Him
     IT allows me to build character, striping me of pride, humbling myself so that I can call upon friends who are trustworthy,  who will go before the throne and pray for the situation. 
Not only that but then everyone gets to share in the waiting so that when the time comes and God chooses to relinquish the situation we all can see the hand of God working miraculously.   OR... if he doesn't choose to relinquish it we can watch a faithful servant believe in the faithfulness of God when He says:

"There will be NO More Pain & Suffering.. He WILL wipe away ALL your tears!!!"

    Just like Job he made him go through much pain; he lost everything, he also endured persecution from his friends. In the end because Job persevered through his pain & brokenness God blessed him! And that is a huge gift!

     I also think of Daniel when he was thrown in the pit of the Lions Den and how Jesus sent angels to shut the mouths of the Lions and all through the night Daniel trusted in the Lord for his deliverance and not a single scratch was laid upon him. So that's another gift he gives- the gift of deliverance.

     And then like Naomi and Ruth how they lost their husbands and they went on to share in that pain together and how through friendship and their trust in the Lord, God protected them and had a plan for their lives. They each had different lessons to learn, but they faced it together. So God gave the gift of friendship to endure in that lesson together.

And I think of that song by Laura Story
"Blessings"

We pray for blessings,
we pray for peace
Comfort for family,
protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand
to ease our suffering
And all the while,
You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much
to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings
come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom,
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger
when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness,
we doubt your love
As if every promise
from Your word is not enough
And all the while,
You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It's not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

~My mind and heart become overwhelmed with joy knowing that the Lord has given permission for me to go through the pain that I endure. I may not always feel as if I am persevering but I am growing enough to be appreciative of the many gifts he gives that may not look like gifts at all.

I may not always get the answer I want.... But what I do get is an endless supply of gifts; even if it is His MERCIES in Disquise!!!!

Waiting & Hoping~

      It was nice to be in church yesterday. As I began to share with the congregation my gratitude for their prayers a feeling of thankfulness came over me. I shared how there were times where I truly could feel the prayers.  We truly can not comprehend God's timing, but He WILL heal in His timing. As I am waiting for that day, my deepest desire is to bring God's name glory through the pain while I wait.
     I began to search my heart. I do not want any doubts of unthankfulness in this journey of healing. OH, how I appreciate & covet each and every one of your prayers as well!!
     I know we all have seasons of waiting although your situation may look different.. The struggle is still the same. We long for the thing we are waiting for to the point we almost give up. In fact sometimes we do give up. But, there are lessons to be learned during this time.
God truly wants our hearts in whatever the situation is. He desires us to call upon Him so that he IS ABLE to use His Strength. 

Mark 9:23 " Everything is possible for him who believes"

("Our faith is being disciplined to bring us to the knowledge of Christ, and only thus are we fitted for the position to which God calls us. These hours try our souls, but hours of spiritual growth & development " - Mrs.Charles E. Cowman)

     I can rest assured that if each time I am thrown into a season of waiting; knowing that it will try my soul, develop spiritual growth, and cause me to have more knowledge of Christ, then I can take comfort that while learning these lessons I will not be alone.

Isaiah 41:28-31

"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
THE Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth
He will not grow tired or weary
and his understanding no one can fathom
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary they will walk and not faint"

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Keep making me~

~The pain robs me of my day, it overwhelms me, it steels my thoughts and focus. All I can think about is the excruciating & undescrible pain that I am tormented with.. I cry out for help, but there is no relief. I struggle with my thoughts. Do I not have enough faith?  Will those around me get exhausted and tired of praying for me? What is the purpose of all of this?  Am I bringing His name glory? I can't focus on any of the answers, the pain take a my breath away.. I clinch my teeth, my jaws hurt.. my face swollen from the tears! My stomach upset from the emotion... Embarrassment is swept over me as I rely on anyone around to help me walk... I must concentrate to get my leg to move.. slowly, one step, then two, then three....
I am back in bed, alone, tired, exhausted my body winches in pain.. I cry... What am I doing wrong? How much longer must I suffer?... THEN, in the quite of the room I hear a whisper.... A SOFT, GENTLE WHISPER..... "Shawna, I love you"
Although I am crying, I cry harder knowing that my heavenly Father is with me... Unexplainable peace comes over me... I reach out to a friend who sends an encouraging scripture...

"Ephesians 1:11-12"

"In him we were also chosen having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his willin order that we who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory"

~I have been chosen to bear this pain.. it is according to His plan who works everything out for the purpose of His will so that we may praise him through it..
I am often reminded of the apostles Paul and the "Thorn that was in His side" what was it? I don't know but it was something he struggled with... 

~Just like I don't have the answer to when I will be free from this pain, but I do no know it is a STRUGGLE. . A struggle the Lord has chosen to use to help ground my faith, as I run to him in my deepest desire.. As hard as it is sometimes, as weak and vulnerable as i become I must look at it as a gift because I know that:

 in this brokenness, in this lonliness, in this pain will come a greater blessing!!!!

If this is what it takes for me to believe that HE IS MY ONE DESIRE, MY ONE LOVE, MY ONE BREATH.... THEN LORD I ASK THAT YOU KEEP MAKING ME~


SIDEWALK PROPHETS 

"Keep Making Me"

Make me broken

So I can be healed

'Cause I'm so calloused

And now I can't feel

I want to run to You

With heart wide open

Make me broken


Make me empty

So I can be filled

'Cause I'm still holding

Onto my will

And I'm completed

When you are with me

Make me empty


[Chorus:]

'Til You are my one desire

'Til You are my one true love

'Til You are my breath, my everything

Lord, please keep making me


Make me lonely

So I can be Yours

'Til I want no one

More than You, Lord

'Cause in the darkness

I know You will hold me

Make me lonely


[Chorus]


'Til You are my one desire

'Til You are my one true love

'Til You are my breath, my everything

Lord, please keep making,

I know You'll keep making

Lord, please keep making me





Thursday, March 5, 2015

Part 2: Moving our Feet





 
Image result for i lift my eyes up to the hills
 
Our family is so appreciative of everyone who has been praying for us as we have carefully considered the next step in our path.  
 
As mentioned before Mike had a vision about building small homes to create a village for the homeless.  As we prayed about what this would look like we began seeking out locations for this specific ministry. Before long our hearts were drawn to the Tennessee area. Our family had an opportunity to travel there this past weekend to seek out some possibilities that could be beneficial in pursuing this vision.  We definitely ruled out a few areas during the weekend.  My hope was by the end of the weekend we would have all of our questions answered, but that was not what the Lord had in mind.  One of our specific prayers was that our whole family would have peace about making a decision to relocate. 
 
After, prayerfully giving this decision much attention Our family is announcing that at the end of May we will be relocating to Tennessee.  We will take the same leap of faith we took 3.5 years ago to move out to Nebraska. Our time here has been a huge blessing that I can not begin to count.  However, during this next two months as we begin to prepare for the transition; count on me using each of the blessings as remembrance to lay down memory stones to cross our Jordan~
 
Transition can be difficult, it brings the fear of  the unknown.   When we take our focus and eyes off of Him we begin to get scared.  The waves can be overwhelming.  We begin to ask what, where, how and why but the questions are left unanswered; so that our trust is completely in Christ to provide, protect and prepare a way. Transition can be exciting, as we continue to wait upon the Lord  he continues to reveal His Plan for our lives one step at a time. Transition can be sad, we mourn the loss of our comfort, our surroundings, our friends, families and the jobs or ministries we currently play a role in. 
 
Regardless of how we look at Transition; it is an emotional roller coaster.
 
We will spend the next two months implementing and organizing basic plans.
Mike has a blue print of what "The Village" will look like.  Although these specific houses are not ours, I thought I would post a few pictures so that you can have an idea of what we will be doing......
 
  


 
 
 
 If anyone is interested please email us, or face book us,  we would be happy to share with you our vision.  As a start, Mike and I decided to take out our pension so that we can invest what money we have into this ministry. The reason we share this is because we want to be transparent so that WHEN God works we can GIVE Him the Glory.  We fully believe
that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves; in doing so we must be the hands & feet of Jesus to provide for those who can not provide for themselves.  When we moved to Nebraska, we were shown that same love, by several people who were examples of Jesus' hands & feet. This is our way of giving back. By doing so we can show compassion and love to a broken world that is hurting. Mike and I can not do this alone, We are just a small piece of the puzzle.  Would you please PRAY??
 
****** Pray to see if YOU will be a part of this puzzle... It could be that you help provide financial support, prayer support, or both?   It could be that you help provide items that will be on our donation list. (which will be a new column on the side of my blog)  It could be that you know of land in the Knoxville/Maryville, Tennessee area? It could be that you know of an R.V. that could be donated or purchased to our family? 
 
You may not feel as if you are apart of the puzzle at all;
but would you pray for us??? *********
 
1) Pray for our family that we obediently follow HIS WILL
2) Pray for our family so that we finish STRONG before the move
3) Pray for our family that we will find the proper piece of land so that we can start preparing "THE VILLAGE"
4) Pray for our family, and if the Lord lays it upon your hearts, to provide support: either financial support, prayer support, or both. 
5) Pray for our family as it will be extremely difficult, once again, to say goodbye to dear, sweet friends that we have come to LOVE~
 
 
 
******************************************************
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Part 1 "Moving our Feet"

Image result for habakkuk 3:2


 
 
Have you ever asked a question receiving an answer, but to make sure you ask again, again... and yet again?
This is what I have been doing with the direction and timing of what God is calling us to do.  Even though I get an answer in different ways, the result is the same.   Actually the "asking" isn't the hardest part, the "doing" is! And this is where I am at right now.
The church we visited this week had an amazing message. I can't help but  marvel at the timing and know with out reserve that this is yet another way that the Lord is speaking to us.
 
So the verse was Habakkuk 3:2.. He talked about how we read about the miracles in the bible and how each of them had to be willing to be molded, to be the putty that God uses to shape and form.  But, that in our day we can experience the same miracles and presence of God, when the prayer of our heart is to renew them in our day. The experiences that we can have by being willing and ready to already have an answer of YES upon our hearts to do what God asks us to do before we even know what it is he is requiring of us to do. When we are in a place of willingness we are able to do big things to advance the kingdom having an opportunity of being the church. The church is not a specific building or a denomination but the hands and feet of Jesus. 
 
Then the played a song by Jeremy Riddle called
 "God Moves in a Mysterious Ways" 
 
 God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform
He plants his footsteps in the sea, and
Rides upon the storm

Deep in unsearchable mines of
Never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs and
Works His sovereign will

And Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take
The clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings, yeah, in blessings
And in blessings on your head

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan his work in vain
For God is His own interpreter
And He will make it plain
In His own time, in His own way
In His own time, in His own way
  
The words Reflecting upon my heart is
"HIS OWN TIME & HIS OWN WAY" and how he works in "MYSTEROUS WAY"
 
 So as we were driving around  in Tennessee reflecting on what we had heard; we were radio surfing and came upon a sermon with Chuck Swindol... He was talking about the 5 results we get from when we WAIT on God and HIS TIMING.....

                  1) We gain Perception Psalm 27:14 :Image result for Psalm 27:14
 
2) We gain Provision  Psalm 121: 1-2
Image result for scripture on provision
3) We gain Protection Psalm 37:Image result for Psalm 37:7
 

 
4) We gain Perspective Lamentations 3:25
 
Image result for lamentations 3:25
5) We gain Power  Isaiah   40:31   Image result for isaiah 40:31 running
 

 
 
 
 
 Image result for scripture on protection            Image result for scripture on protection
 
 
Through this time of waiting; I have gained perspective, provision, power, perception, & His protection. It is amazing to me to see the hand of God work so perfectly.  The fear of the unknown can cripple us, we can loose our focus easily when we begin to look and see situations through the eyes of the world around us. We can miss opportunities and most importantly we can miss drawing closer to the very one that withholds us in his RIGHT HAND....It is challenging none the less to seek Gods' Will and say with a willing heart ; "I will say YES, to whatever you call me to do"
But then actually Move your feet to do it.                     
 
 Image result for we need to move our feet
 
Visiting Tennessee this weekend was just that.   We have been asking God for direction, to guide our footsteps.  Traveling there was important to us for many reasons.  Although, for a moment I was discouraged as we didn't get some of our questions answered... A friend quickly reminded me that if we Had all the answers we wouldn't need to rely on Gods strength!!! As I reflected on that statement I was  reminded that all we were doing was moving our feet!!  God is going before us to prepare a way for what he is calling us to do. Our job is trust him and continue to be a willing servant ready to MOVE OUR FEET!!
  
                                         Image result for God goes before us