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Perseverance

In an effort to learn the island and try and fit in as best as I can with islanders I had my friend Stephan take me around on the West side. Being that he is ex-marine and has a reputation on the street it was a fun day. I saw some other sides of my friend that you never would guess existed if you just looked at his appearance. One being that he loves espresso and he can get one for free by flirting with the espresso maker. Let’s just say the espresso maker was not a girl and that Stephan can really blend in with any crowd. Regretfully I did not capture much of these moments with my camera since I wanted to kinda not look like a tourist. Although wearing bright pink and short shorts kinda makes me stick out next to a black dude.

I started my day not knowing what to do and also feeling very sorry for myself. Another night missing Andy and crying, I’m not sure what is up with this week but the wound seems wide open again.

When I first came to the island I met Stephan at the lighthouse and for some reason God was saying that he was to be my guide if I were to come back. I don’t know what for exactly but as I talked more with Stephan today I learned he has an interesting skill. He was trained to gather information on areas before troops were sent in. So this means he automatically will scope out an area and figure out where is the bad spots and what are safe. If somehow he can teach me how to do that, who knows what God will use that for, wherever I land after this island.

I am being trained for something. For now I am supposed to write and share my story. Figure out how to not let grief consume me and figure out how to get Sarah back.

Andy would be proud of me today. I jumped off the pier with some others encouragement. That was fun! I may stick out like a sore thumb but for some reason it doesn’t really feel all that awkward being so different here. All the others on the pier counted down for me to jump..1..2..3..Go! Oh who am I? I do not recognize this person in front of the mirror. Faintly she reminds me of college Sarah, fearless and curious.

Good news! I had my poo tested and I have no parasites! Yay! Ok yea gross…but I guess that’s needed for a health card, which I need to get tomorrow as well as my police record. Thank God I had someone with me when I went to the police station today to fill the paperwork out. Tomorrow I drive all the way back to the West side to get my report and hopefully there is not blemishes on it, haha.


 

“Pain is weakness leaving the body” –Stephan

 

Romans 5:3-5

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope.

Healing Eyes

Second guessing

Jumping into the whole God world head first is proving to be difficult.

I am not ‘Godly’, I am just Sarah. A wife, businesswoman, car lover, dog lover, writer, artist, and pianist. I crochet and enjoy gardening. I do not play with kids and I am not a teacher of kids. I can’t even have any kids biologically…Andy and I tried and there is no little Andy running around with his hazel eyes.

I know how hospitals work, the ins and outs of cancer centers, how to use an IV pole, how to set up a feeding tube bag, medication doses, nausea remedies, eating without a stomach, and watching someone starve to death. Those are my skills!

I can work on computers, lead projects, and communication with global teams, travel, play video games, bike long distances, rollerblade, and even teach dog agility. Those are my assets.

I am tired and ready to give up, to realize my grief stricken mistake of moving to an island believing in something bigger to escape grief. Move back to Michigan and renting an apartment and working in an office is quite suitable to my skill set. I could even take up a medical career since I have 2 years experience in care giving.

It’s acceptable!
I miss Andy.. I want my life back!

The Caribbean sea is a prison and my mind is the torture device to keep me in a fog. Over and over I see who I was and long to have it back. The Emergency Room visits and all the nurse questions I can handle. I have notes and records for all of that. Every bit of that old life I would gladly take back if I could just see Andy again. To hold him in my arms and see his smile. I am a wife with a ghost husband.

What so called ‘God’ takes a 34 year old man and gives him a disease and lets him starve to death. While allowing his wife to watch him die, and in the end makes the necessary requests for the final narcotic pain relieving drugs to be given to him so that he can die in peace. Why do Christians always say, ‘It’s God’s will’. … ‘It’s God’s plan’.  When really its just cuz cancer sucks and we are stuck on this earth where there is nothing you can do but suffer thru it.

We can choose to cling to words in a book. We can choose to drink the pain away…take pills..exercise a lot..or just ignore the pain by shoving it deep down in the abyss.  Hundred of outlets and different religions are at our disposal. Is there really one magical answer? I don’t think so. It’s going to take several tools to get past the pain of death…deciphering which ones to combine is the age old question. Why does God allow so much pain for the ones he ‘loves’?

I remember how I avoided ‘God’ blogs because I didn’t want to hear the cliché over and over about it’s God’s will and God gives me strength. Now it seems I have turned into that cliché and it irks me. Andy and I did not find our strength in that. We talked thru things, we discussed our problems, and we worked as a team. Before Andy died the drugs took that side of him away. He wasn’t coherent enough to be my partner anymore. He was a shadow of Andy’s personality. I lived with a ghost already dead.

I find it really hard to turn to God for everything. 14 years of the opposite mind set is hard to just reverse in a matter of months. I am not even sure if it should be entirely reversed because there is some validity to living outside a bubble of faith. Dose of reality and pain can give different perspective on things.

Now what to do…? Stay on this island and still test this ‘God’ theory out and see if it’s for real by studying the bible. Or. Go back to the states and figure out what I want to do and what I am good at now that I am a widow. Or maybe there is a middle ground.

Either way cancer sucks! And Grieving sucks even more! Us elite cancer caregiver survivors wobble between guilt and pain and loss. What could have been done differently? What did I do wrong? Why cancer? What now?

Healing Eyes

Prison

I am being dangerous and typing outside by the salt air. Most likely damaging my laptop.. sometimes you have to sacrifice precious things to get more. I like the sound of the waves anyways and inside its muffled.

So I’m laying outside trying to get over my night of nightmares and lost memories of Andy. I tossed and turned last night between my reality of an island to the memories of Andy. Sometimes I confuse the two and feel my dreams are my reality.. or perhaps its wishful thinking.

I woke suddenly from a voice in my head that said, “Shmookie Poo I love you”. Over and over it was said in my head and I couldn’t shake it. Andy used to call me that in his high pitch cute voice. He used to be such a goofball before cancer robbed him of his very personality. Sometimes in the midst of pain you can’t see what is being taken away from you.. instead you slowly ache and feel an emptiness taking over. Looking back I know that Andy was dying mentally and I couldn’t stop it. The pain of that was far worse than any physical pain I saw. The physical pain was easy enough, you go to the hospital and the nurses pump him with drugs. Then you get released and you keep pumping him with drugs. The effects of the drugs and physical pain will then take away the very personality you fell in love with. I missed my Andy and I couldn’t do anything to pull him back. As a last result I pulled myself back in order to break from the pain and breathe. I pulled my heart back in order to save it from the pain. Foolish me since I still am in pain and it didn’t save me from anything. I could look ahead and I knew he wasn’t going to make it long, I knew I was to become a widow. How was I going to survive if he took me down while his ‘body’ was still alive. His body alive, ha, that’s so hard to even type because how can you call a skeleton with skin a live body. He was robbed day by day of his ability to live, oh the misery he must have endured inside. Stuck in his jail of a body, screaming to get out.

Yesterday I was able to walk around an old penitentiary on the island, it was long over grown with trees and grass. The walls were falling apart and the ground was rubble. If I think about it, that place was full of ghosts long gone. Andy was trapped in his body as if a prisoner in a earthly body. So much suffering.

 

I’ve been reading C.S. Lewis’s book “A grief observed”. I read it once before Andy died and it affected me but reading now after his death it feels more real. The words in it speak stronger to me.

Maybe Andy and I had become all that we could be and God chose to end it so that a new lesson could be taught. We had reached our high and it was time to break us. “His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down”.

My heart is ash – my bones are broken – Grief consumes me and I can not breathe. I trust no one and I let no one in again. I did that once and that trust shook my walls and broke my love. My love once lost is lost forever.

Bit bitter? Perhaps, but what are words if not to be spoken and felt. Maybe honesty about how we feel is important.

Am I holding so tight to Andy’s memory to prove some loyalty? To raise our love onto a pedestal too high to be true? There is no perfect love! Only perfect dreams of that love. It doesn’t exist like we imagine, just as the American dream is a fantasy. No one is truly happy or content because we are all sinners and broken. We lie about our feelings, we put fake faces on to hide the reality of our heart. There is no security  in this life..It can all be break and fall in an instant. Why put our faith in a world that is broken…

Repeatedly I wish for the grief to end..the tight hold grief has on my heart is unending. Time stands still as if I am waiting for something to change. When in all likelihood I am stuck. Perhaps I am in the prison cell curled up in the corner with no hope, or maybe I am knocking the steel door begging to be released. I’m innocent! Whatever did I do to deserve this pain? The prison guard silently walks past to hear another say the same story of woe. When will we ever learn, our peace and happiness is not to come..wait and breathe for another crack in the chains.

Amazing Grace…Chains

Healing Eyes

Tea anyone?

How do I even begin to explain my last 2 days back on the island. I get back and instantly I’m put to work. Some of the events that have taken place I can’t fully explain because I need to protect a close friend that it all revolves around. The nicest person and has the most selfless attitude, this person will go above and beyond to help others while suffering themself. This person has gone so long helping others that now it’s time to help themself and get help from others… So that’s where I have tried to fill a bit of the gap. I am not the best at it and I don’t have many connections to really do everything that’s needed but since returning I am trying the best I can with what I have. It’s all a learning experience for sure with dealing with high stress and even some police drama. All I can say is that it’s not over yet and I pray and hope it gets better for my friend. Whatever I can do I will but my resources are limited. With the help of another friend last night I drove in the rain with my missing car window in a downpour of rain (of course, everything will go wrong when it matters).. so I was a bit wet but we succeeded in getting our friend a safe place for the night. Tonight who knows and tomorrow will worry about itself I suppose.

Very vague I know but pray for my friend that she has safety and that all the legal stuff will work itself out tomorrow. We can all at least come together in prayer to help a faithful servant of God who just needs a break and some peace and rest.

But on a another note I made it to see my friend Stephan again and handed over the precious Earl Gray Tea from Starbucks (the same tea that helped my day of discovery on the 10th when I met the ladies from the cancer center at starbucks). Let’s just say he was happy, lol, to see a scarey, tattooed, skinny, rough looking guy jump with giddy over some tea is amazing. I mean the silk bags the tea leaves were in was an added bonus I didn’t even know about. OH so fun.

Earl Gray Tea Happy

Earl Gray Tea Happy

Tea time

Tea time

My meeting with Stephan led to connecting with the owner of Tan Tan Jeep tours on the island and me asking if he had any work for a skinny little white girl that looks whimpy but isn’t. Me at a construction site with guys all around and sticking out like a sore thumb but it was actually fun and I enjoyed my time hanging with my new friends. So tomorrow I am going to learn to drive a 4×4 Off road Jeep! Yup! I might be doing Jeep tours for tourists, lol, little white girl behind the wheels of a jeep on an island. I just need some white t-shirts I guess for the uniform.

 

A funny connection here is this..if you can follow my bunny trail:

First time to the island I went to the tide pools and ran into a lady who drove jeeps for Tan Tan and was out with a group, I chatted with her and she said they always were looking for drivers, ok I logged that away in my head.

Return to island to live and after a couple months I end up befriending Stephen and then end up at Tan Tan where he is doing some odd work and then bam I a now talking to the owner of Tan Tan about a job. Now wait for the kicker! Wait for it! Wait for it!……  He lost his parents a few years back and is grieving but also he recently had to have surgery for a similar illness Andy had right before he died. Not cancer but still major and he had a similar scar as Andy. It’s not the same but I’ll say this, God puts people in your path and when he does PAY ATTENTION cuz the conversations that come out of it are great. I was able to talk to another person in pain and get encouragement from him and a connection.


 

So my journey is not just kids and homeless… it is larger.. it is now to infiltrate the parts of the island where most ‘white’ girls won’t go. I don’t mean to use ‘white’ a lot but it’s used quite freely here and that’s what I am known as to the local street guys.

It seems Stephan is also one of my keys in to his real life experiences… no way would I go where I am going without a ‘Champion’ (as he also calls himself, which isn’t a bodyguard cuz that’s just silly sounding).

Who knows maybe someday I’ll look back at this and laugh and mistakes I might be making but I would rather try and do what I normally wouldn’t in order to live abundantly.

Soo I’m tired and my brain hurts.. my heart hearts for my friend’s struggling..and my heart hurts for others in pain.

In closing here is a ‘God’ ‘Invisible Friend’ moment for the day

“My guidance for each of my children is unique. That’s why listening to Me is so vital for your well-being. Let me prepare you for the day that awaits you and point you in the right direction. I am with you continually, so don’t be intimidated by fear. Though it stalks you, it cannot harm you, as long as you cling to my hand”
~Jesus Calling  devotional book.

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Healing Eyes

Faith Walk

This morning I woke up from a bad night of druggy sleepiness and a heart grieving my Andy. It was early morning and I was just in time for my first sunrise. I finally saw the sunrise over the ocean!

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I splurged and made scrambled eggs with tortilla shell for a wrapper. I flipped open my bible and followed a few verses around that talked about bringing the good news to others and coming down from the mountain with beautiful feet to share God with others. Eventually it led me to the book of Nahum, which I never knew existed. So I figured why not read it, it was a short chapter so pretty easy. It turns out it is a story about a little prophet named Nahum who went to Ninevah. Hmmm Ninevah? Ok that is a theme I keep hearing lately with Jonah and how he didn’t listen to God and ended up in a fish. For example, I was having the feeling of me not listening entirely to what God was saying and feared I would end up in a fish myself. I asked God this morning to let me in on the secret a bit more on if I am to leave my job and if so maybe a date would be nice. Instead he talks to me about mountains and pretty feet and then Nahum. Ok, well Nahum did what he was told to do and wrote about the destruction of Ninevah. I don’t know what happened to Nahum but he did do what he was told to do and didn’t end up in a fish like Jonah.

We will leave the story there for now… and get to my morning activities.

I volunteer on Thursdays at the Catholic church since my other place doesn’t serve breakfast on Thursdays. On the way over I asked God to please let me get a hold one particular girl’s mother and also help me with my Jeep.

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So this morning I got the courage up to talk to a man that has been trying to get my attention. Previously he said he knew a mechanic and that he also wanted to show me more of the ‘real’ islanders. I was dragging my feet on that since I was scared and worried about going out of my comfort zone. This morning though since one of the versus I read said, “Don’t be afraid”, I tapped him on the shoulder and asked about the mechanic. So after breakfast I walked with him to my Jeep and we drove off to the mechanic on some side street in a ‘shady’ side of town…and it was across from his house with his four dogs.

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Now this is where the day goes to two words, ‘Holy S**t’. Seriously those are the only words I can use to express how unpredictable and unplanned the day unfolded before my eyes because I said, “Alright God, lead me”. God really does plan out his plan in the details. I can’t even begin to put in words how everything is making more sense to me now. But I have photos of some of it:)

Now yesterday I was really angry at my Jeep and not having Andy around anymore to play cars with. I told this to Rodney the mechanic and we had a great conversation. Just imagine standing in the hot sun in a little street by a garage and he is telling me about how I can’t let my grief control me and that if I do it will destroy me. He found it cool when I said I played on cars and enjoyed it, not many females work on cars on the island I guess. So this might be a door that just opened to still work on cars and make an island friend. He offered to teach me to work on cars again. God is soooo crazy!

So I might just have a mechanic now:)

Moving on…I then went downtown with a friend and he took me to the projects (low income housing). The goal here was to let others know that they shouldn’t mess with the White Girl because I know the ‘Major’ (that was my friend’s street name). So I don’t know all the history behind this but I do know that you don’t mess with the Major. Anyways, he introduced me to this wonderful old lady that sells these ice pop drinks for .25. She had the cutest dog! I also got to use her bathroom. So not only did i get a safe introduction to the projects but I also got an amazing cold drink for free. She didn’t charge me since I am a new customer. I could go on and on how this new connection will benefit my time here but you’ll have to keep reading my journey to see how that unfolds. I just know that now, some of them know who I am, and WHO I know, that way when I work with the kids there that might just work into God’s plan (yea God knew that was coming).

To finish off the story he then takes me for ‘lunch’. Little do I know its at this other soup kitchen the locals go to for lunch time. The food was ok, not anything to write about. The people that visit this establishment are, well, interesting because some of them are the same ones that go to the Lighthouse but HOLY COW are they different. I am sooo glad I had a body guard with me. Imagine reality tv shows where everyone is screaming and cussing at eachother for no reason. Well that was my lunch environment. God wanted me to be out of my comfort zone and so he definitely succeeded! However, after you get used to the strange behavior of the slightly intoxicated and drugged up guys it wasn’t that bad. They are actually pretty nice guys and have some core values. RESPECT is huge in this group. If you don’t have respect than you are considered dirt. There is a high respect for treating a white girl there too.. first of all you don’t touch the white girl! That’s forbidden fruit! I guess I am known as the ‘New Whitey’…so that’s an interesting fact I learned after eating lunch and then ‘liming’ on the street corner. ‘Liming’ i slang for hanging out and doing nothing.

If you decide to follow God and he has a plan for you…and this plan is something that will open your eyes and heart to people you never ever ever imagined to be in contact with…then by the end of your day you will be exhausted. Between the heat, adrenaline, and fear my body is wasted. I know that God wants me to see every aspect of this island and when I agreed to coming here I never imagined what that might mean. I am sitting in my little apartment by the ocean and feeling very safe and secure but I can’t help but feel a heartache for the people I saw today, broken and real people that are sharing the same island with me. The ‘down islanders’ like the mechanic Rondey are amazing people…yea I just met him but what a great spirit he has and what a contrast between him and street guys that are strung out on crack and filled with such pain.

I can’t promise my blog posts will be all happy times by being on an island.. I can promise they will be honest and I hope as the days go by start to unravel with God’s plan.

I forgot one thing! I found that special girls’ mother!!!!! She was at the bar/restaurant working and a friend translated for me how I loved her daughter and wanted to help. She was shocked that a white girl would come all the way down looking for her daughter, I guess that’s not normal for people to CARE. She has my phone number and here’s hoping she calls me.

I also learned the fist slam handshake..you bump knuckles and then hit your chest. Yea, this will be an interesting ride!

Healing Eyes

Moments caught

Moments from the Lighthouse Ministry on St Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands…my new home.

How do you rebuild a life after death? Get up each morning and breathe…then a whole lot of faith since most likely your strength will end the minute you step outside into the light of day. I wouldn’t be living where I was right now and making the choices I am making if I didn’t give up my needs first. Each day I wake up and decide again to not do what I want but what I should do. If God wants to still use this broken heart for others than I’ll follow. It’s not all smiles and it sure isn’t easy. Almost a year ago I was on a plane with my husband to enjoy a week in Jamaica for our 13th wedding anniversary… 6 months before he was to die. And next week it will be 6 months since he died on December 15, 2013.

Healing Eyes

Peaceful

I was angry when Andy died.

I was angry when Hope died.

I was angry when Adoption failed.

But this morning as I awake on the island at my friend, Beth’s condo by the Sea…I hear the waves crashing on the rock wall and the wind blow the palm tree on the window. I smile! I smile so wide because the pain is easing. The tears are slowing and my heart is thawing. I am not as angry as I was about losing Andy. I am not as angry as I was for losing Hope. How can I be when I have a new love that is slowly taking hold where all the empty was. The dark pit that consumed me and threatened to pull me under is getting smaller and smaller. Tomorrow I could easily fall back in, or the next day, or the next day after. I’ll let tomorrow worry about itself! Right now I realize how much God loves me…it’s crazy to say after so many years of living my own life. Living for myself and feeling the need to control the outcome of life. 

Let go to live!
Let go to BREATHE!

I have kids now. I was motherless but now I have several kids that like me.. dare I say Love me? Last night at kids club Gracie ran to me and latched onto my waste. Literally! She wouldn’t let go. I was walking around with an 8 year old girl strapped to my waste. It was nice to be hugged even if it still is a bit odd for me to surrender to a love of a child. Maybe it was God hugging me thru Gracie saying it will be ok Sarah. stop worrying about tomorrow or even today…isn’t it enough that you’re here doing what I asked you to? Let me work on your heart and teach you a new skill. Or perhaps its an old skill buried way down that I suppressed…maybe I’ve known how to be a kid all along.

The kids were playing on the field and Gracie and I went down there. Well I mean I walked down there with her attached to my waste. I tried to encourage her to play with the other kids but she refused. She is very stubborn! hmm reminds me of another person i know, Me. The other girls called out my name, Miss Sarah! A very small girl named, Magalina, hugged me:) She always falls asleep during the lesson, perhaps from the heat or maybe its because she is so thin and tiny.

I’m going off island for a week and I am sad about that. I just was getting comfortable and adjusting and now I have to be ‘business Sarah’ again. The look on Gracie’s face as I said I was going away for a week touched me. The look on Carla’s face when I said I would be gone on her birthday made me sad. It’s nice feeling wanted even if it is such a small thing that I bring to their lives. However, I think they like knowing someone loves them and wants to be around. It seems people come in and out of their lives often and they never know who is sticking around long term. I pray that God will keep me here a bit longer to build those relationships up and to learn all their names…maybe watch them grow a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not setting up roots here, but maybe just maybe I am learning some new skills about kids that I can take wherever I land. 

 

Healing Eyes

Heat stroke

It appears I might have been affected by the heat today which is odd since I wasn’t hanging out in the sun today. I think it’s a mixture of humidity and staring at a computer all morning.

My day today went better than expected. I got some work done for my Michigan job and then let the day unfold as God wanted it to. I ended up getting a ride from a new friend to the insurance agency to check out prices for my Jeep to come. Had some tacos for the first time since coming to the island and bought another crucian bracelet. This bracelet simplifies ‘Gratitude’…which is fitting since I need more of that lately. I have been moaning a lot and complaining soooo it’s time to try harder on that one. So the bracelet will remind me to stop it!

Gratitude: Readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Gratitude means thankfulness, count your blessings, noticing simple pleasures and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. I just means we are aware of our blessings.

The other bracelet in the photo means ‘infinity’. I got that on my first trip to St. Croix in memory of Andy.

Infinity: Reflects the endlessly great feelings invoked by the Caribbean blue sea and the local color of its people. Wear as a symbol of everlasting friendship, love or memories.

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In the afternoon I went to the Good News Bible Club for kids down in one of the projects. It was an interesting experience. We sat on sheets out on the grass under some shade. The kids came and went and were a bit hyper. There was one little girl in particular that wouldn’t sit still so eventually I ended up with her on my lap and trying to calm her and stopping her from hitting other kids. It went ‘okish’. Perhaps I am better than I give myself credit but I still am extremely awkward around kids. I even joined in some of the kids songs which was very very out of my comfort zone. I can’t lie though it did feel kinda nice to act like a kid again, even if I was awkward.

There was another older girl there that was asking some serious questions. She asked what if someone was very sick and in the hospital and they had to bring a preacher in to try and save that person before they died. If that was something people did and if there was enough time to do that. I wanted to scream out, ‘Yes, Yes that really does happen! Andy and I did that very thing…but I held my tongue, it didn’t seem appropriate to butt in’. It’s interesting to see how some kids can be quite serious and others very hyper in the same group. Just an observation from a motherless 30 something widow..but kids are interesting to watch. Maybe some day God will succeed and I’ll be singing and teaching bible studies without feeling awkward..hmm let’s not hold our breaths on that. God only knows!

Healing Eyes

Conversation at Sunrise

I am spending the night next to the Sea! Literally, I can hear the waves crash on the surf and I can smell the salt… and what am I doing… I am bawling my eyes out missing Andy. Guilt is weighing so heavy on me right now of the all the hospital visits I am starting to blur together in my head. This evening I tried to document them all and went back at my calendar to find correct dates and procedures. If I forget the last 2 years I feel like I am losing another piece of Andy. The piece of Andy that fought so hard and suffered so much. The piece of Andy that shined so brightly when facing death. This morning I realized he had such a peace…a wave of peace came over him in that hospital bed that was God’s doing. I saw it first hand and yet it took me months later to really come to grips with it.

This morning I sat on a beautiful patio overlooking the Sea and I was sad. Seriously?! Stop being sad Sarah!

Why is it that when I wake up I can’t be happy and free? Because when I awake I remember I can’t wake from my dream of forever being separated from you my love – my other self. I will forever awake each morning in mourning for you. The loss felt is forever etched in my soul.

While others smile and welcome the day I fear the pain to come.


 

Job 33:

In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on people
    as they slumber in their beds,
he may speak in their ears
    and terrify them with warnings,
 to turn them from wrongdoing
    and keep them from pride,
 to preserve them from the pit,
    their lives from perishing by the sword.

 “Or someone may be chastened on a bed of pain
    with constant distress in their bones,
 so that their body finds food repulsive
    and their soul loathes the choicest meal.
 Their flesh wastes away to nothing,
    and their bones, once hidden, now stick out.
 They draw near to the pit,
    and their life to the messengers of death.
 Yet if there is an angel at their side
as a mediator to tell a man what is right for him..


Andy I knew the words to speak to you. You told me before you died I had a way of reaching you. That I always knew what to say. The day you died I felt useless and words seemed desperate to save you from death. I long to hear your voice again – even if for a flash. What joy I would feel – but quickly it would be replaced with agony as I know I never can feel your embrace again or your breath on my cheek.


and he is gracious to that person and says to God,

    ‘Spare them from going down to the pit;
    I have found a ransom for them—
 let their flesh be renewed like a child’s;
    let them be restored as in the days of their youth’—

“God does all these things to a person—
    twice, even three times—
 to turn them back from the pit,
    that the light of life may shine on them.


Speak no more of woes but take care my child that Andy lives, he lives in your heart and those that he touched with his struggle of life. His pain is gone and he smiles at the sight of you. One day when you wake the pain of separation will be replaced with peace — knowing that Andy is at peace in my arms.

Healing Eyes

Sore eyes

I am sitting here with a sore back and a pounding head. My heart is being squeezed and each breathe is like breathing thru a straw. Ok that usually means I have to read the bible and ask God to open my heart to something else I am supposed to hear.

Ugh…no more! I just want to be normal and have my house and puppies and my Andy back.

So I pulled out a sheet of paper that had some versus written down for me, I was procrastinating reading them. I started with Acts 9 and it talked about the story of Saul and how his eyes were opened to the suffering he caused. A disciple was sent to him to open those tightly closed eyes.

Then I went to Luke 1 and I got the words “For no work from God will ever fail”

Then I went to Isaiah 6 and the words “Your guilt is taken away”

“Be ever hearing, but never UNDERSTANDING

Be ever seeing, but never PERCEIVING

Make the heart of the people calloused. Make their ears dull and close their eyes.

Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn and be healed.”

 Very interesting.. Not everyone wants to listen because their hearts are hardened.

“For how long Lord?”

“Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitants.

Until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged”.

 

It seems that it can take utter destruction, removal of everything, and loss of huge magnitude to Open ones eyes to healing. Again a big ‘Hmm’ from me as I see the pieces coming together. Only after losing everything can you get something back or be willing to listen.

Then I went to Exodus 3.. Story of Moses and God’s concern for the suffering of his people. So maybe God is concerned about those suffering from Cancer and sickness. God said He was sending Moses but Moses said, “Who am I that I should go?”

The final icing on the cake was when I flipped back to Acts and read in chapter 16 about a certain lady I never heard of. The footnotes had the words ‘Successful Business Woman’ pop right off the page at me. I had to read more since I like to think I have been successful in my career.  The lady’s name was Lydia, it is speculated that she was a WIDOW. Lydia insisted on giving hospitality to Saint Paul and his companions in Philippi. She was a spiritual searcher all her life and she was willing to listen and respond. God responded to her quest with more truth. She then listened to Paul talk and became “the first ‘European’ Christian convert.

Do you see the connection?? Paul is also known as Saul and he had his eyes opened up by a disciple who showed him the suffering. If that hadn’t happened than a business woman named Lydia wouldn’t have found her answers.

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Sometimes you just have to have your eyes opened.

Sometimes it takes a great loss in your life.

Sometimes you lose it all to gain more.

And

Sometimes it takes a leap of faith to believe again…

Sometimes you have to listen even if it hurts.. even if it will be hard.. and even if it goes against everything you think is sane and secure.

 

Eek…what does that mean for me?  Has this been one huge jigsaw puzzle coming together? Was all my time married my stage of blindness? Enjoying happiness with Andy and living a life of comfort until Cancer came along and took it all away.  Now in order to find peace I have to decide which road to take….security in what I have known all my adult life…or security in what is unfamiliar to me?

Is this my chance at a reboot? Do I even want a reboot?

 

Healing Eyes