Our Unexpected Journey

 

 

Floyd's week has gone smoothly.  His eyes continue to be irritated/infected off and on but on the whole he seems peaceful.  I love that he always has smiles - even on the days that seem harder for him.  He continues to be alert and responsive with the carers that go to be with him.

One reportback from a carer that particularly touched me this week… The carer explained he was facing some decisions and asked that Floyd would be praying for him.  Floyd reached out his hand to the carer, closed his eyes, and began making some sounds that the carer interpreted as prayers!  The carer said it was a very special experience.

We've also been sensing though, that as his awareness grows, it is sometimes hard for him to face his situation.  We are feeling to pray for increased grace, ministering angels, and the sweet comfort of the Holy Spirit for him.

Recovering from my 3 rounds of chemo, the large and small surgeries and the complications that came - well, it's been a "battle."  I have been diligently working on rebuilding energy and strength.  It has been challenging and "fought" for!  

The weather has turned quite cold - probably because the wind that has been blowing makes it feel so much colder.  It's been too cold for me to do my deck walking to build my strength, but I want exercise - so I have been walking "loops" inside the house!

This week as I walked, I looked out to the ocean.  The water was rough because of the wind - lots of bouncing white caps.  There were a number of windsurfers out enjoying all this.  I watched them skimming along the top of all the rough water.  As I watched this, I felt the Lord speak into my heart that His grace is like what I was seeing.  His grace enables us to skim along the top of the "rough water" of life!  He keeps us afloat in the choppiness of all the things that come our way.  That is such a wonderful gift and blessing!

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13

"As for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me."  Micah 7:7

"Let (God) have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you."  1 Peter 5:7 TLB

"The Lord, He is the One who goes before you.  He will be with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear not be dismayed."  Deuteronomy 31:8

In my weak moments when I lean into Him, I'm so glad that He's "got" me and that He's carrying me (and you) over the rough water.  How faithful He is!

One of the things I'm also so grateful for is that the Lord takes us on difficult paths at a "pace" that we can handle.  Now, granted, some days I wasn't so sure I could handle it!  I wondered if it was too much.  But God knows us, and promises to not give us more than we can handle.  And He gives us the courage to keep up with the pace.

"Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage!  It is I.  Don't be afraid."  Matthew 14:2 

"The Lord is with you, He is mighty to save."  Zephaniah 3:17

And a second thing I'm so grateful for is that He's a God who is involved in the details of our lives!  He doesn't leave us to toddle along on our own.  He's right with us in every single detail.  I've seen it over and over and over again - not just on this unexpected journey, but in all the 50 years that Floyd and I have been involved in ministry.  God's involvement in the details keeps me from feeling I'm alone on this journey.

"The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love."  Psalm 33:18

"I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand."  Psalm 73:23

His faithfulness is firm and secure.  As I hold on to Him, I won't get blown about by the hard things that come along!  My heart praises Him. 

Our Unexpected Journey

Floyd's days have been quiet.  He's had more time on his own, but he seems to be at peace.  We continue to pray for angels to keep him company.  When the carers have been with him he's alert, and responds in various ways.  Many of the carers have been praying for his voice to be released.  They often feel like he wants to say something.  One of the carers told him she was praying that he would be able to speak a word that God has given him for the Body of Christ, and Floyd started staring at the ceiling like he was seeing something there.  There's no way to know what he has on his heart.  I wish we could see through his eyes!

Meanwhile my recovery from the 2 recent surgeries has been up and down.  Earlier this week I found it challenging just to make it through each day.  At night, when I was trying to get to sleep - I often lay in bed talking to the Lord.  I either offered up petitions of our needs, or I lifted up praise and thanks to Him for His sustaining grace.

In the quietness of the night, I often listen to the ocean.  One night it seemed to be "roaring" especially loud......and it kept roaring for hours, much longer than normal.  A poem began to form in my thoughts.

The Ocean's Roar

The ocean is so loud tonight -

I can clearly hear it roar.

It sounds like someone’s crying out

From the deep, deep ocean floor.

Is that a cry for help I hear?

Or a moan of someone’s pain?

Or is it voices crying out

For our much needed rain?

It seems to go on endlessly, 

Roaring loudly into the night.

I wonder if it will continue to roar

Until the morning’s light.

The closer I listen, and

The more I try to understand -

The more it seems I hear the words

And can tell what is being planned.

It seems as if the prayers and pleas

Are mixed with glorious praise.

The ocean floor is flooding up

It’s voice in harmony raised.

Nature cries out from the deepest deep

To worship our wonderful Lord.

As we join in, our voices raised,

We blend in one accord!

  

“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:  ‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’   Revelations 5:13

“Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths.”  Psalm 148:7

As the poem formed in my mind - I felt as if I was joining with creation in praying and praising our heavenly King.  It was a mighty chorus!

I've had some "good" days now so I'm hoping I've turned a corner!  I had my post surgery check up with my main surgeon on Monday.  He feels that, in spite of some bumps along the way in recovery, I'm doing well.  He also told me again how pleased he was with my big surgery, and that he thinks my prognosis is good.  I was encouraged by his positivity, and told him that lots of people are praying for me.

I've often wondered what God's plan is for me on this long unexpected journey - His "assignment" so to speak.  All I've known to do is to trust Him, and to be as faithful as I can with each difficult thing, each test, that comes along.

Because the Word exhorts us to be content in every situation, I've also tried to be "content" on this journey.  I must say that that is easier said than done.  In all honesty, I just want it to be over!  And yet it's not.  The 6 weeks of recovery from my 2 surgeries have been challenging, very hard!  They have been some of the hardest days of this whole journey.  I've been very weak, so my activities have been limited......which, translated, means lots of time to think!

It's easy to look backwards and long for things we've had before.  Or I can dream about what might be ahead.  And yet I find my heart being challenged that He is sufficient right here, right now.  It's only in the present, right here today, that I can "learn to be content."  I'm trying my best to do that.  Some days it's been easy - some days it's harder than hard.  But in each day I sense His grace, His help, His love.......and His hope for the future.

The situations we find ourselves in aren't mistakes - God has allowed them.  And, therefore, He has good for us in the midst of them.  I'm looking for the good, the "gold," in every twist and turn of this unexpected journey.  God is helping me to find it!  He is so faithful.

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."  Philippians 4:12

"Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him."  1 Corinthians 7:17

One early morning this week I found myself singing the song "surely the Lord is in this place."  Such a profound truth - He is with me, with Floyd, with our family on each step of this journey.  And He's with you on your journey too!  

Our Unexpected Journey

Floyd has had some special times with carers this week.  He is attentive, responsive, sometimes emotional, peaceful, sharing his sweet smiles, and generally calm and at rest.  The last few days he has been free of the chest congestion, which is so wonderful.

The last few weeks for me have been hard.  Pain, weakness, and nausea after the big surgery - and my body wanting to reject the stent that had been inserted.  I wondered how I would make it to July 10th when my surgery to remove the stent was set.  But, I’m so grateful to the Lord that when I called the urologist to ask him if he'd consider moving my surgery date sooner he said yes!  I had been praying for him to have wisdom to know the right thing to do. 

So, I had my surgery on Monday and am so grateful that it all went well, and my body can now recover and strengthen before I start chemo late July. 

During these past hard weeks I often struggled to just make it through the long days.  I frequently called out to the Lord to help me.

I experienced what I started calling "kisses of grace."  There weren't huge things that happened that helped me make it.......there were just "little touches" from Him that helped me keep going.  Little "kisses" - feather light, but noticeable......just enough to keep me moving forward.  A verse, a song, a thought, a note from a friend, a phrase in a book, a sense of His closeness, a prayer - simple, every day things that ministered His sweet grace.

We so often look for the big answers to prayer.  During these hard weeks, I've been so grateful for the little kisses, little answers that have been "sufficient."  How faithful He is!

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' "  2 Corinthians 12:9

"He gives us more grace."  James 4:6

When we call out to Him, He will never leave us without what we need.  But His answers may certainly look different than what we expected.  I'm so grateful for His little kisses of grace that were just what I needed on the hard days.

In recent days I've heard of 3 groups of prisoners who read our prayer updates and pray regularly for us.  I was so touched and blessed by that.  I'm always amazed at where the prayer updates go, and so very grateful for all the prayers.

I continue to think that God has plans and purposes for this journey we're on beyond what we see and understand.  I'm sure that persevering prayer is part of that, so it touches my heart when I hear of both friends and complete strangers that lift us to the throne.  Only the Holy Spirit can encourage that breadth of prayer!

I have been blessed by a song that came out with the movie "The Shack."  The song is "Keep Your Eyes on Me."  It has echoed through my mind during these days when I've been so weak.  In my weak and painful moments, Jesus has helped me to keep my eyes on Him and His goodness. 

"I keep my eyes always on the Lord.  With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken."  Psalm 16:8

"Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in.  Study how He did it.  Because He never lost sight of where He was headed - that exhilarating finish in and with God - He could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever.  And now He's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God."  Hebrews 12:2  (The Message)

My body has been weak, but my heart, my "eyes," are constantly on Him.  He is so good and so faithful.

Our Unexpected Journey

This past week Floyd has been resting, peaceful, and seems to be deep in thought at times.  I hope someday we can find out what's been going on in his mind and heart all these months.  

One day the carer with him suggested they pray.  Floyd reached out and took his hand, and closed his eyes - all ready!  I love his clear, purposeful responses.  Some days are better than others.

Another day the carer told him she was going to see me.  She asked if Floyd wanted to send his love.  He gave her a huge smile.  :)  My heart was so warmed to hear that!!

On my side I've had a rough week.  I’ve had to make two trips to the Emergency Room.  On these cold wintery nights that is something I could have done without!  I have been very weak, nauseous and in pain.  Stuggling to eat.  On these difficult days I cry out to the Lord for fresh strength and courage.  He has faithfully helped me all these months.    

"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9

I'm trusting Him to be with me in a fresh way in Cape Town!

Sarah Young says that "the longer you wait for your prayers to be answered, the closer you are to a breakthrough."  I'm waiting for those breakthroughs!!  It seems like we've been praying for a long time.  And He is the worker of the impossible.

"Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.' "  Matthew 19:26

I don't have very many dreams - or, if I do, I very rarely remember them. When I do remember them, there's usually a purpose.  And in all the long months of this unexpected journey, I've dreamed about Floyd only a handful of times.

Last week I woke up from a dream that Floyd and I were both in.  As I woke up, I remembered the dream in great clarity - and was thinking back through all the details.  I started praying, and had a sense I should share it.  In some ways, it's a strange dream for this journey - and, in other ways, it's a perfect one.

Floyd and I were both speaking at a conference.  The theme was "God's Love and Acceptance."  We were each going to share, but before we did that - we all had a project to do, an "application" so to speak.  We had white cloth aprons and bright colored permanent marker pens.  We were to decorate the aprons with all the ways we had personally experienced God's love and acceptance - then we were going to wear them at the meal afterwards and talk about what we had drawn.

While we were doing this, I began to hear some whispering.  I realized that some people were talking about one of the other speakers at the conference.  There was something they didn't like about him, and they were saying it was wrong.  The whispering spread, increased in volume, and finally about half of the crowd got up and walked out.  All this happened while we were expressing our gratitude to God for His love and acceptance with the drawings on our aprons.

I remember feeling shocked and grieved.  It felt like such a contradiction to the theme of the conference - and, it turned out, that what they were whispering about was completely untrue.  I had such a sense of God's sadness with His people.

A few minutes later, I got up to share.  I was still feeling the emotions of what had just happened, and I was nervous.  But as I spoke, I felt God poured out His heart to us.  Here are the points He gave me to share in that message at the conference in my dream:

  • God loves us when we're strong/and when we're weak.
  • God loves us when we're right/and when we're wrong.
  • God loves us when we're healthy/and when we're sick.
  • God loves us when we understand what He's doing/and when we wander around in a fog clueless to what He's up to.
  • God loves us when we accomplish things for Him/and when we are stagnant and unfruitful.
  • God loves us when we bring joy to His heart/and when He is disappointed in His children.
  • God loves us when we are confident in Him/and when we're so insecure that we can hardly make it through the day.
  • God loves us when we're courageous/and when we have not an ounce of courage in our hearts - maybe even turning our back on Him.
  • God loves us when we joyfully accept His will/and when we complain and whine about what He has us walk through.
  • God loves us when we faithfully intercede for the things on His heart/and when we're so tired we don't even whisper a prayer.
  • God loves us when we boldly acknowledge Him/and when we silently pass on opportunities to give Him glory.

The bottom line - God loves, loves, loves us and always accepts us even when we fail and disappoint Him.  His love is unceasing.  It was so clear that He loved all of us in the dream - including the ones who walked out of the meeting in their whispering and slander.  He loved them even though they were wrong.

I had such a strong conviction that God wanted to remind me - and all of us - that His love never ends!  Thank goodness!  Without that, I'd be lost. Whatever "journey" we're on, His love is constantly being poured out to us.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in Him.' "  Lamentations 3:22-24

"Praise the Lord!  He is good.  God's love never fails."  Psalm 136:1

"God loves you more in a moment than anyone could in a lifetime." (anonymous)

I'm grateful for His love!

Our Unexpected Journey

Last Friday was a very special day for Floyd and me!  A day we've thought about, dreamed about, and even made some plans for.  But the way things are is not how we thought and planned.

Friday was our 50th wedding anniversary!  That's a lot of years.  I am so grateful for all these years with my gentle giant, my best friend in life.  I couldn't have asked for a better partner for the journey of our marriage.

With our current situations, I was not even able to see Floyd. That was very sad to me!  But I'm just too weak.  I'll go see him in a while when I'm stronger.  I want to "celebrate" by being with him and praying for our future.

Two years ago when we were in the U.S., Floyd had what my mom would have called a "bee in his bonnet."  He was on a mission to buy me a gift for our 50th anniversary......which, remember, was still 2 years away.  I think he may have thought that if anything happened to me - he wanted to have given me this gift.  He'd been thinking about it and saving for it for years.

Never would we have dreamed of all that has happened - and that it would be his life that has hung in the balance for so long!  But, clearly, the mission he was on to give me an early gift must have been placed in his heart by the Lord.

It was so very special to me that I had a gift from my sweetheart for our special day!  He thought and planned ahead......with no knowledge of what would happen.  I'm so touched by all this.

Paul Young, author of "The Shack," says that "love always leaves a significant mark."  Floyd has made a huge "mark" in my life!  I wouldn't be who I am today without him.

"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'?  So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."  Matthew 19:4-6

We're separated by a number of miles right now - Floyd in the hospital and I'm at home - but we are "one."  Nothing can change that!  I rejoice in my oneness with Floyd for 50 years!  How good God has been to us!

Unfortunately Floyd has been miserable these last few days with increasing phlegm and eye irritation.  He did have a lovely visit with 2 prayer warriors though.  It was a precious time of sharing reports, singing, reading the Word, crying - sweet presence of the Lord!  I'm so grateful when I get reports like this from the carers that visit with Floyd.

I have had a hard recovery from surgery.  Feeling weak and in pain and ending up in the Emergency Room at the hospital for a few hours on Sunday night with an infection : ( 

In between procedures in the Emergency Room, I was looking at messages on my phone.  I received this scripture from a friend - she didn't know what was happening:

Psalm 68:19,20.NAS  "Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden-the God who is our salvation.  God is to us a God of deliverances.  And to God belong escapes from death."

I felt God was reminding me that He was watching out for me.

Another dear intercessor friend has had a sense that I would be facing a new level of challenge.  She was praying for me on the weekend when I was at my lowest physically.  I'm so encouraged at how the Lord reminds me that He's taking care of me, prompts people to pray, and speaks encouragement to my heart from the Word.

I feel weak, but also feel He keeps challenging me to find fresh courage in Him.  I'm leaning into Him for that courage.

"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9

I couldn't make it on my own strength and abilities, but He IS faithful!

Another hard thing this week is that I found out I need another surgery in a few weeks.  It’s a follow on from the surgery I already had but that hadn't been explained to me before.  It's only a "day ward" surgery, but it's general anesthesia.  It was disheartening to hear that.  The things that keep happening seem endless at times.  The restarting of chemo will have to be pushed back.

I took a little while to let my heart settle, and then I needed to go to the Lord again about all this.  Thankfully He's never surprised by things.  This was one of those times when I needed to cry out "God help me!".

As I’m in bed most of the time, it's given me lots of time to talk to the Lord!  A clear thought has been that we can't control all that happens to us, but something we can depend on is the Lord's peace within us!  What a precious gift that is.

I've been pondering that there seem to be 2 things that stay "constant" when we ask for His help.  As soon as I cry out "God help me," I also ask for His peace (which passes understanding).  And right behind these comes a spontaneous thankfulness in my heart.  I don't even have to stop and choose it - it flows from a peaceful heart.

Even when I get overwhelmed - when I don't understand some things - when I think "enough!" - God comes through in His faithfulness.  I have to confess that I'm tired of all this.  My body is weak and weary.  So I find it really important to be honest and open in my prayers to Him.  Keeping things bottled up opens the door to fear and confusion.  But if I openly pour out my heart to Him, He can meet me.  He's done that each day!  He's not thrown off by our vulnerable, honest hearts.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6, 7

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful!"  Colossians 3:15

I’m so thankful for His faithfulness!

Our Unexpected Journey

Floyd continues to remain at peace.  I never take that for granted.  I'm always grateful - and receive it as an answer to prayer.

He's had some quiet times with carers recently, and some very special animated, active times.  This past week was lovely when the 3 McClung Sr. siblings were all together - Floyd Jr., Alan, and Judy.  Jim, Judy's husband, was there too.  The last time they were all together was right before Floyd's emergency surgery in March 2016.  The family gathered around his bed and committed him to the Lord.  The doctors didn't expect him to even survive the surgery.  Instead, when they operated, they couldn't find what had shown up on the scans.  It's amazing that Floyd is still with us 15 months later!

As for me, the surgeon is confident he got all the cancer.  All that may be left is microscopic bits that the human eye can't see and now we need to let chemo do its part.  He said with that - I should have another 35 good years ahead of me.  I was encouraged by his strength of conviction.  I know my times are in the Lord's hands, but it's nice to hear the surgeon speak with such assurance of all that I've just been through.

Through my whole stay in hospital over the weekend, I felt "carried" by the Lord. I sensed His closeness, His help, His grace, His healing, His sweet presence - I'm sure much of that is a result of all the wonderful prayers covering me and Floyd!

As I was getting ready for my surgery last week, one of my friends was encouraging me that he sees courage in me.  His definition of courage is the God-given ability to face suffering without backing away.  There are days when I feel courageous.  And there are days when I feel weak.  I don't think I've looked upon myself as being especially courageous.  As I said in a recent update - I'm persistent. :) But that's not the same thing.

I'm grateful on this journey that, for the most part, God has protected me from fear.  In spite of all the hard things that have happened in the last 15 months, I think I could probably count on one hand the times I've had moments of fear.  God has always met me - they didn't last long.  I'm so, so grateful that I've not had fear hanging over me like a cloud of doom.

Recently, during some of the hard days with chemo, I had heavy feelings of loneliness - even when I had people right with me.  I wasn't alone!  It felt like the enemy was trying to weigh me down with it - create something that wasn't true.  I shared it with some friends who met to pray with me.  And that broke it - it didn't happen again.

It reminded me that when we bring things "into the light," it breaks any power the enemy has over whatever it is that he is trying to discourage us with.  Maybe that's a key to having courage too - walking in the light!  

I couldn't have made it through all these months without sharing my heart, my needs with close friends and asking for their prayers.  Their love and support have helped carry me.  Sharing what I'm going through - bringing it into the light - has freed me from heavy weights.  Perhaps it's made room for God to deposit courage in my heart too.

Even though I haven't had many moments of fear - I've had countless times when I've cried out "God help me."  I've learned when I feel weak that that should be my first response.  And - faithful God that He is - He always meets me when I pray that simple phrase.  He has helped me!!  Over and over and over again.

This past week when I got the news that my situation had worsened with the tumor growing and the chemo not being effective - for the rest of the day I cried out "God you'll have to help me.  I can't do this alone."  At one point I actually felt nauseous from the thoughts of what may be ahead.  I sat down and cried out to God - and it all lifted.  Trust rushed back in.  Joy returned to my heart.  Peace was restored.  In an instant - as He lifted the weight and helped me.

I think the simple prayer - "God help me" - may be some of the most powerful words we can pray!  We don't have to dress it up with lots of words.  He hears the simplicity of the cry of our heart.  He answers that heartfelt prayer!

And I'm grateful that, even though I may not be aware of it, He deposits courage in my heart.  Thank you Lord!

"Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord." Psalm 31:24

"Be strong and courageous.....do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you."  1 Chronicles 28:20

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13

"For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you.' " Isaiah 41:13

I'm grateful that He is always strong and courageous, and He can give me strength and courage when I need it.  He will help me.  And He's always holding my right hand.  What a faithful God!

Our Unexpected Journey

Floyd has been doing well.  He's been responsive - he even seemed to respond to a joke one of the carers told.  The therapists and nurses have been busy with lots of care, so he tends to rest and sleep in between.  Then he'll wake up and be attentive to the carers.  I'm very grateful that his days have been peaceful.

We're coming up to the 15 month mark on this unexpected journey we've been on.  One of my personal "goals" during this time has been to not waver in my trust in God - knowing that He is always good, always faithful, and that His grace is sufficient for anything He allows into our lives.  It's not been hard to keep that trust alive at all!  In fact, the more I stated my trust in Him, the easier it seemed to be to trust Him - kind of like a big circle.

One of the things that has been a blessing......and something that I didn't quite anticipate......is the "fruit" of trusting in Him.  As I've firmly put my trust in Him, I have been surrounded by joy and a deep sense of praise and worship.  At times the joy has been so abundant that it almost didn't seem in keeping with the heaviness of what I was walking through - and yet it was there!  Joy unspeakable!!  I've felt carried at times on a wave of joy.  It flows out in songs of spontaneous praise from my heart.

In the natural it doesn't make sense at all to be feeling joy during such an incredibly difficult time.  I've received it as a sweet gift from the Father as I tuck myself in close to Him and continually tell Him how much I trust Him.

There are so many "ways of the Kingdom" that are different from how normal life is.  This has been a special one for me.  A few weeks ago I read something in a devotional that brought this to my attention again.  I've been pondering it, and wanted to share it with you.  I'm so grateful for the undergirding of joy that He has given me.  It's a sweet foundation stone on the highway of this journey.

Thank you Lord!  Your ways are such a blessing to us.  When we trust you wholeheartedly, it releases so much sweet "fruit" into our lives - even in the midst of very, very hard times.

"Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge."  Psalm 62:8

"Commit everything you do to the Lord.  Trust Him, and He will help you."  Psalm 37:5

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."  James 1:2,3

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him."  Romans 15:13

"Have mercy on me, God, have mercy, for in you I have placed my trust. Even in the shadow of your wings will I find my refuge until this calamity passes."  Psalm 57:1

I trust in Him - He releases His joy into my life - and in His wonderful refuge I can be safe until "this calamity passes."

How faithful, sure, and true He is!

Whenever I'm going through a hard time, I pour out my heart in prayer to the Lord.  Those prayers become hopes that I'm lifting up to the Lord.  The hopes are almost like balloons floating in the sky - drifting up to God, waiting for Him to answer.  

When bad news comes, it's like someone sticking a pin in one of those balloons and bursting it.  At least - it feels like that.

If I've learned anything on this journey, it's that it is so very important to take that burst balloon immediately to the Lord.  He's not shaken by bad news.  He doesn't see the burst balloon as "the end."  In fact, often it's part of the process of what He's doing.  He's the restorer of the burst balloon.

When I'm going through a hard time, my emotions are more vulnerable.  At times they feel raw and tender from the intensity of this journey.  Again, I've learned that I must take those vulnerable emotions to Him, especially when they involve a burst balloon of hope, and ask for His sweet covering over them.

I truly didn't expect the bad news about my tumor growing that I got last week.  I had been praying for the tumor to shrink.  I was surprised that it was the exact opposite.  It felt like my balloon - my "hope" balloon - had been burst.

As soon as I could get alone with the Lord, I talked to Him about all this.  He lifted the weight of that burst balloon, and restored peace.  How grateful I am for that.

Sarah Young in one of her devotionals says "hope is a way of seeing - a type of vision that defeats discouragement."  I've been choosing to walk in that "way of seeing."

I find my hope in Him, and I know He's taking care of me and of Floyd.  I wait with hope to see what He intends to do.

"Why are you in despair, O my soul?  And why have you become disturbed within me?  Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him."  Psalm 42:5

I love how again and again in the Psalms, David says "I shall again praise Him."  He's honest.  He's struggling.  But He knows where he's headed in the midst of his hard time.  He's confident that he's going to praise God again - he just needs to work through his discouragement.  But he declares in faith how he's going to end up as he works things through.  His example is a good one to follow when we face hard times.

"I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope."  Psalm 130:5

"But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me."  Micah 7:7

"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 be faint."  Isaiah 40:31

"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord."  Psalm 31:24

"The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love."  Psalm 147:11

" 'For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' "  Jeremiah 29:11

I love how the Word speaks so very clearly into the things we are walking through in our lives.  I take courage from the Word!

Our Unexpected Journey

My big gift this past weekend was I got to go see Floyd!  I hadn't seen him in almost 10 weeks, so it was very special.  I think I looked very different to him with a cap on my bald head and a mask that the Dr. required me to wear.  Floyd stared and stared at me!! :)

He looks so much better than when I last saw him.  I think with not being there all the time, I could see the changes.  His coloring is good.  His eyes are bright and alert.  He seemed to be moving more - his head and arm.  He was much more attentive.  It's hard to describe, but he just looked more like himself.

So many of the carers have mentioned that it seems like Floyd wants to say something to them.  I so wish he could do that!  They've also said that if they look at their phone - he'll tap their chest to get their attention. :)  He doesn't want them distracted.

"The people of Benjamin are loved by the Lord and live in safety beside Him.  He surrounds them continuously and preserves them from every harm."  Deuteronomy 33:12  

Other versions say "the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders."

On days when I'm weak, I sometimes visualize myself being carried by the Lord on His shoulders......knowing He preserves me from harm.

"Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them.  He carried them on His pinions."  Deuteronomy 32:11

When baby eagles are learning to fly, the mother "hovers" over them. When they're falling, before they learn their flying skills, she'll catch them and take them back to the safety of the nest.

God does that for us too.  There are times when we feel like we're falling. We don't know how to "fly" in the difficult situation we're in.  But God catches us!  He has faithfully "caught" me through so many difficult things on this unexpected journey.  He has never once, never ever once, let me fall.  There have been some frightening moments when I felt like I was falling, but God graciously caught me - put me back on a solid rock and steadied me.  The knowledge of that gives me such security.  He is always, always, always faithful - and good!

This Tuesday was my chemo day.  I start the chemo day each time with an appt. with my oncologist.  She immediately informed me today that the results of the CT scan I did last Fri. were not good.

The tumor has continued to grow.  It seems to be a fast growing tumor - much like 3 years ago.  The growth means that it is resistant to the kind of chemo I've been having as the chemo is not working.  I will need to switch to a different chemo.  Surgery may also been an option, and I'll need to do some new tests.  

Obviously I'm disappointed!  I was surprised by the results since the chemo seemed to help previously.  It looks like I'm still on the "one-day-at-a-time" journey to see what's ahead.  As one friend said, "the roller coaster continues!"

I read this verse a few days ago.  "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

We so often pray and seek "God's will" for situations in our life.  When I read this verse, I thought to myself - this is a "guidance trio."  For whatever we face, this is such a wonderful guideline for how to respond.

It was helpful to remember this as I got my news today!  As I committed it all to the Lord, I also heard His sweet voice remind me to keep my focus on Him and keep trusting Him.  My heart is responding with joy, prayer, thankfulness, and trust.

After this unexpected news, I've been processing a lot with the Lord.  I love how the Word speaks to my heart, and how His Spirit brings such comfort.  He is so faithful and knows just what we need!

"For everyone who keeps on asking (persistently), receives; and he who keeps on seeking (persistently), finds; and to him who keeps on knocking (persistently), the door will be opened."  Luke 11:10 Amplified

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us..."  Ephesians 3:20

" 'I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,' declares the Lord."  Jeremiah 30:17

To those who know me, you'll know that I'm "persistent."  I don't give up on things.  So I am going to continue to persistently ask/seek/knock.  I can do this because God so wonderfully answers exceedingly and abundantly.  And I'm trusting that He will restore both Floyd and I to health - either here or with Him in heaven.  I know He has a plan.  I know He is 100% trustworthy.  I'm pressing in to Him for His plan.

Our Unexpected Journey

These past two weeks Floyd has battled another really bad chest infection.  The doctor had given us a pretty grim diagnosis.  But !!  The infections are now gone, the fever is gone, and he is regaining strength.  I'm sure it's an answer to prayer.  He's been sitting in his chair.  His breathing is clear, the phlegm is much less, and he has had good connections with people.

During a time of worship with Floyd, the two carers that were with him said he was staring intently at something in the room that they couldn't see.  They asked him if he maybe saw Jesus or angels - and he smiled real big.  I often pray that that will be the case!

As they left, they waved to him from the door and asked if he could wave back to them - which he did.  It's encouraging to see every connection he makes with clear responses.  I know these encourage our hearts - and we wait to see if it's part of a bigger healing God is doing in his body. Only God knows the plan He has for Floyd.  While we wait to see it unfold, we are grateful for His daily care and faithfulness.

I read a quote from Sarah Young in one of her devotionals - speaking as if Jesus were talking to us.  "I know exactly how much you can bear, and I set limits to your suffering.  Do not multiply your trouble by projecting it into the future as if it were endless, for I can relieve or remove it at any moment.  Your job is to continue trusting Me in the present, waiting for Me to provide a way out - My way and timing!"

I continue to look to Him, trust Him, waiting for His way out and His timing from this long unexpected journey we've been on!  He knows how much I/we can bear.  He won't give us too much!  His grace continues to be sufficient - one day at a time.

"We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul - not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory strength God gives."  Colossians 1:11  The Message

Thank you, Lord, for your "glory strength!!"  I could never make it on my own, but He is so very, very faithful!

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life."  Psalm 143:8

"But all who listen to me shall live in peace and safety, unafraid."  Proverbs 1:33

His love, His word, His presence are so comforting and supportive.  When I feel alone - fearful - uncertain.......wondering what the future holds, He is the wonderful constant.  He's always there.  He always enfolds me in His love.  There are moments during this journey with Floyd and my chemo treatment when I feel so weak.  But all I have to do is call to Him and He wonderfully meets me with all I need.

My strength is building before round 4 of my chemo, but it's amazing how quickly it disappears when I do a few little things.  I'm so grateful for the "good" days.

"You are to cling to the Lord your God, just as you have done to this day."  Joshua 23:8

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you.  Don't be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."  Isaiah 41:10

I was thinking this week when my strength seemed to disappear so quickly - when I get tired, weak, weary on the long journey.......and I feel like I can't keep holding on......HE holds me!!  He will never let go.  His grip is secure.  He is always strong.  He doesn't grow weary.  I can even relax in my weakness knowing that He is clinging to me, even as I try to cling to Him.

Thank you Lord!!  What a sweet assurance that is.

Our Unexpected Journey

This past week Floyd has been peaceful and in a pleasant mood.  He seems to be interacting with the care team more, which is encouraging. His small steps of improvement seem to be consistent these past weeks.  It’s so good that he has been in a cheerful mood - lots of smiles......even a few "cheeky" ones.  He's tried to tease some of the carers a bit.

On my side, overall the after effects from round 2 of chemo have continued to be milder than round 1.  But there are days and nights that have been hard.  It's a comfort to know I'm being carried by many prayers.

"I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.  I will sing the Lord's praise, for He has been good to me."  Psalm 13:5,6

In the hard moments, I keep my gaze on His goodness and unfailing love!  He is faithful.

"The Lord said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by."   Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.  After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.  And after the fire came a gentle whisper."  1 Kings 19:11,12

There have been times in the last year when the Lord has spoken loudly and clearly to me - almost as through a megaphone......definitely getting my attention.

In recent weeks, it seems like He's speaking in gentle whispers to my heart.  It has been so gracious and tender.  It's the "strength" I can handle right now.

I've been very touched to see that God is mindful of our condition, what we need, and what we can cope with.  How wonderful and personal He is - so loving and caring.

"Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.  Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."  Psalm 25:4,5

On this unexpected journey that we've been on, one of the things that fills my heart with gratitude is how the Lord has so lovingly, faithfully, gently, and personally taught me His truth and ways.  I could never have navigated my way through this time without that.

My sleep is greatly impacted by the chemo.  I'm often awake in the night.  I'll lay quietly and talk to the Lord.  So I have to add to that verse that my hope is in Him, not only all day long, but also all night long.  During the night is probably when I'm having some of my sweetest conversations with Him.  I'm glad He doesn't "slumber or sleep" - He's on call 24/7!

As resurrection Sunday approaches, I can't help but pray for a resurrection touch for Floyd!!  My heart continues to trust in our wonderful Father, and in His plans for Floyd - even as I also feel freedom to ask for miracles.

Blessings to each of you as we enter this week of thanking Jesus for His death and resurrection for us!

Our Unexpected Journey

Floyd has had a good few days.  He's been alert, pleasant, peaceful, smiley.  I sent my love via carers a couple times.......and they got a smile back from him each time. :)  I sent an audio message to him the other day too.  He had an emotional response.  I want to remind him I'm thinking of him and that I love him - but I don't want to upset him.

One of the carers mentioned to Floyd that he looked forward to being able to visit with him on our deck again, sharing testimonies of workers scattered across Africa, and enjoying our ocean view.  He said Floyd teared up at that.  It's wonderful to know he understands, but it can be hard too at times.

A while back, some friends gave us a fig tree.  We planted it, but it didn't do very well.  We've been in a drought and have water restrictions, so we couldn't really nurture it very well.  The poor tree shriveled up, and was mostly a barren "stick."  Several times I almost pulled it up to toss in the trash.

I recently looked out and saw it........and was stunned.  It has big, green leaves on it now.  It looks healthy, and I have hope that it will keep growing.  It's quite amazing.  I would never have anticipated it resurrecting in such a way - especially since we still haven't been able to give it water.

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crops fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior."  Habakkuk 3:17,18

If I stand back and look at this unexpected journey we've been on - and especially now with my chemo treatments thrown into the mix - it can look very "barren."  But as I looked at that stick of a fig tree that now has big green leaves......wow!  Who knows what God is doing that we can't see.  My heart of trust in Him is rekindled.  I am joyful in Him, my God and Savior.  He is good and faithful!

This Tuesday was my second round of chemo and everything went smoothly.  I'm tired and have the normal chemo side effects but Praise God, I am doing much better than I did with the first round.

I was thinking that we would have never dreamed of this current scenario - all that has happened to Floyd, how long it has gone on, and now my cancer returning.

But God knew!!  He's not surprised by it all.

And He has wonderfully provided for us:

- the rehab hospital that has been so perfect for Floyd

- the wonderful "care team" that spends time with Floyd and cares for him

- the new "Sally care team" that is helping me, supporting me

- the blessing of our son, Matthew, being here to help

- family members that have come a number of times

- friends that have flown in from all over the world to visit Floyd

- high quality cancer care & a really loving chemo room team

- my cancer treatment is being covered by our medical aid/insurance

- the restful atmosphere of our home to recover in

- the incredible, faithful prayers from people all over the world

- the generous gifts that have helped cover Floyd's care

The list could go on and on.  These aren't just "coincidences."  They're testimonies of God's wonderful love and provision - His care for us.  I realized today how blessed and encouraged I am by all this.

"Then they cried to Him in their distress.  He sent forth His word and healed them.  He rescued them from the grave.  They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress.  He stilled the storm to a whisper, and the waves of the sea were hushed."  Psalm 107:19, 20, 28, 29

How mindful He is of every detail in our lives.  How faithful He is.  How loving and caring.  My heart is steadfast toward Him and filled with gratitude!

Our Unexpected Journey

Floyd has had a good few days - resting, peaceful, sleeping. 

I woke up on Tuesday to clumps of hair falling out.  So I took scissors to it to "chop" it off......haven't you wanted to do that when you were a kid?! :) Then on Wednesday the bald look returned as I had my head shaved.  It's not my favorite look, but I learned last time that at least I have a nice shaped head!

In the midst of a really hard first round of chemo, I had some sweet moments with the Lord.  I wanted to share one of them with you that was so special to me.

On one of the days I was so sick, feeling very alone, missing Floyd and concerned for him - I could barely focus my thoughts.  I was so miserable. I told the Lord it was the most alone I've ever felt in my whole life.  In less than a heartbeat, I instantly felt His sweet, comforting presence envelop me!

And then a short while later, a friend came over.  She said she had been praying for me around the same time, and was reminded of Jesus on the cross - when He cried out "Father, why have you forsaken me?"  She said Jesus had to go through those moments of being totally alone in order to understand our aloneness (and to atone for our sins),  but because of going through that we NEVER have to be totally alone!  He never forsakes us.  

It was such a personal, encouraging word to my heart.  I have been savoring it for days.  I may even feel very alone, but I'm not!!  Thank you Lord!  I'm so grateful for His presence even on the hardest of days.

"Be strong and courageous......He will never leave you nor forsake you."  Deuteronomy 31:6

I had written about this in the update that I send out.  I found out later that right around when the prayer update was going out......two of the carers were with Floyd.  They were playing Matt Redman's song to Floyd about "never once did we ever walk alone."

As they played the worship song, they raised their hands in prayer.  Floyd had one of the broadest smiles they had ever seen on his face, and he tried to lift both his leg and his arm in worship with them!

While they were still with him their phone dinged with the prayer update I'd just sent, and they were able to share it with Floyd.  It was so very special that God was ministering the same thing to both Floyd and me.  He is with us both - and He never leaves us alone!  How very faithful He is!

Now that I have my new bald look, my head gets cold.  I have some nice caps, but yesterday I was sitting in the warm sunshine.  It felt so good on my very white head that could use a little color too! :)  As I sat there, I became conscious of a roaring sound.  I realized it was the ocean's roar as the tides were changing.  It was so loud, so awesome, so powerful.

As I thought of the faithfulness of God's creation in the constant ebb and flow of the ocean - I could almost feel His faithfulness washing over me. His still small voice was reminding me that just as He controls the forces of nature in the seas.......He also controls my world and all that is impacting me.  His faithfulness is sure and constant.

My strength has been building bit by bit this week.  I'm so thankful for that.  The next round is Tues.  I'm grateful that many have been covering me in prayer for round two.

"Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?  You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.  You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them."  Psalm 89:8,9

"Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.  He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them - He remains faithful forever."  Psalm 146:5,6

God is wonderfully faithful! 

Our Unexpected Journey

Well, my chemo journey has begun and after a reasonably good first day, the horrible side affects hit like a lightning bolt with the whole range of symptoms all at once.  I have been absolutely flattened.

I have sweet friends that have been caring for me, but I'm extremely weak. 

Meanwhile, Floyd has been in good spirits the last few days after having been mostly agitated and sad the few days before that.

One of the nurses told two of the carers that the nurses had gathered around Floyd's bed to pray for him.  She had come in a little late and noticed that Floyd was crying as they prayed for him.  When they finished, he looked at each one with a smile of gratitude.  I can't tell you how blessed I was to hear that story!

When the Lord spoke to my heart that I needed to "release" Floyd into His hands in this season and concentrate on caring for myself, it was hard to let go.  I love and care for him so much and I was concerned about how things would go.  This sweet story showed me how awesome and broad the Lord's reach is to watch out for my husband.  I'm so thankful for the wonderful team at the hospital who care for him.  May He bless them!

As I am going through these awful side effects of chemo, and thinking that it was never quite this bad the first time, some friends have suggested that maybe my body is a bit weakened from the stress of this past year.  And as I think about that there's a scripture that keeps floating through my mind:

"But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture."  Malachi 4:2

I think I'm attracted to that calf leaping with joy! :)  I'm longing for that healing touch.  And I have been leaning deeper into God's strength, grace, and faithfulness!

"Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds."  Psalm 36:5

There's no end to His faithfulness!

Our Unexpected Journey

Floyd has had some days of being unusually smiley and happy this week.   He’s had guests from Scotland - friends of ours for many years.  He was responsive and had some smiles for them too.  I'm so thankful for his smiles.  And I'm so grateful for the many friends who share God's goodness and encouragement with him.

Our All Nations family had a prayer time for Floyd and me on Thursday, a few days before I started chemo.  It was very special.  I was encouraged and blessed.  During the prayer time, it felt like there was some kind of "shift" in the spirit.  I'm trusting for fresh answers to prayers.

One encouraging word was that Floyd's situation is like a plane coming in for landing.  It's in a circling, "holding" pattern as it's in contact with the control tower - waiting for declarations and permission to land. We prayed for things to be cleared away for the landing.  The "landing" could be healing or heaven.  We continue to trust and wait.

"For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what is promised."  Hebrews 10:36

"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him."  James 1:12

"We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope."  Romans 5:3,4

"As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.  Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast.  You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful."  James 5:10,11

I am encouraged that His "mercies are new every morning" and He is faithfully helping me on this journey - one day at a time.  His grace is there fresh each day.  Without it, I wouldn't have made it!

As I have cried out to the Lord over and over through this past year to help me see things from His perspective - to help me understand what He's doing, what He's up to,  I've had a couple things that have been growing in my heart.  I'd like to share them…

I am increasingly convinced that we have been involved in spiritual warfare this last year as we've entered into prayer on behalf of Floyd. There is a big spiritual battle that has been taking place.  I don't know exactly what the battle is over, but it's important!  I think it could have to do with release in the arenas of things that are on Floyd's heart  - refugees, the Muslim world, the hard/unreached peoples/places of the world, the future of South Africa - and especially for the Body of Christ to say "yes" to the Lord in helping to meet needs in these areas.

Several times over the past year I've been directed to the book of Daniel where the prince of Persia hinders the answers to Daniel's prayers.  It's a reminder of the importance of persevering prayer. 

The enemy doesn't like prayer, and there has been incredible waves of prayer released this past year.  I believe that has intensified the battle. But the enemy is already defeated.  Jesus is victor!  The ultimate battle was fought on the Cross of Calvary.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."  Ephesians 6:10-12

"The Lord directs the steps of the Godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives."  Psalm 37:23

"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps."  Proverbs 16:9

"Guide my steps by your word, so I will not be overcome by evil."  Psalm 119:133

We need to continue to stand our ground in prayer.......while we ask and believe for God to direct our steps for the future.  He is faithful!

The second thing that's been growing in my heart is that, for purposes I don't entirely understand, I think God has allowed this season of suffering for Floyd.  I have often suspected that out of Floyd's heart to serve God at all costs, he might have "offered" to the Lord to be willing to suffer.  I recently listened to one of Floyd's sermons that clearly indicated he had done that - but he also said he told the Lord if He ever called him to do that, that he'd be trusting for God's grace because he knew he couldn't do it on his own.

None of us like suffering.  We'd be crazy if we did!  But I know God allows it and uses it.  I feel a growing understanding that Floyd gave the Lord "permission" to go through suffering in his life. 

I realize that I may be completely wrong about this.  I'm not stating it as fact.  I'm sharing it as a growing conviction that I've had.  I continue to pray that God would continualy give Floyd the "grace" for this season.  I want to make sure he is covered in prayer for this.

"We glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."  Romans 5:3,4  

The purpose of our suffering is to produce hope, not to diminish it or destroy it.  I am keeping my hope in the Lord to use this unexpected journey we've been on for His purposes - and that He will receive glory from it.

"So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without His unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever."  2 Corinthians 4:16-18  The Message

I think there's more happening than "meets the eye."  I don't understand it all, but I know God is in control.  And I trust Him - absolutely and completely.  He is good and faithful!  

Our Unexpected Journey

This week Floyd has been sleepy on and off but calm and restful.  He has also had some wonderful visits from friends from our Kabul and Amsterdam days.  That was very special for him I’m sure.  He has been raising his hand in worship with some of the carers.  Also, when the carer asked him to do some exercises - he took the nebulizer off, laid it on the bed, and systematically started raising his arm, leg, and head over and over.  It was quite amazing.  I'm encouraged by his understanding and clear responses.

I have been working to get lots of details in place before I start my chemo treatment soon.  I have felt such a sweet presence of the Lord guiding me, helping me.  I've asked Him to be my husband through all this in Floyd's absence.  I know He will faithfully do that.

In the midst of all that has happened this year, I think the Lord has wanted to teach me a new level of trust in Him - and to teach me how to persevere in difficult circumstances.

I've always been a "steady" type person.  In a crisis situation, I'm usually pretty cool, calm, and collected.  I can handle pressure, know what to do, keep things together, and navigate through the emergency.

But I have to say that what we have gone through this past year has taken me WAY beyond what I can do as a "steady" person.  I feel like I was thrown into the deep end of the pool, and I don't know how to swim!

I've always had a good walk with the Lord - I would even say a strong walk with Him.  But this past year has pressed me deeper and deeper and deeper into Him.  It's been the only way I could survive.

It's not been an option to "quit" as Floyd has needed me - needed me to supervise and over-see his care.  I made a vow before the Lord almost 50 years ago to stand by him in times like this - "for better or worse, in sickness and in health."  I've HAD to learn how to persevere in new ways.

The only way to do that has been to trust God for the strength, wisdom, and grace to persevere.  He has been very, very faithful!

I wonder if these lessons are not just for me, but maybe for all of us.  I know He wants us to go deeper in Him.  And He wants us to be able to persevere when things are rough.

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better."  Ephesians 1:17

"I pray that your love may grow stronger and stronger, along with how much you know, and that you may grow in your ability to comprehend things."  Philippians 1:9,10

"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings."  Philippians 3:10

We can pray that God will grant that we, His people, will know Him more deeply!  That He will teach us His ways.  Psalm 103:7  

I've also been reflecting on the power of hope, and what a gift it is from the Lord.  Something that John Eldredge wrote has been helpful.

"Hope is one of the Three Great Treasures of the human heart: "Three things will last forever - faith, hope, and love."  1 Corinthians 13:13  A life without faith has no meaning; a life without love simply isn't worth living; but a life without hope is a dark cavern from which you never escape. These things aren't simply "virtues."  Faith, hope, and love are mighty forces.  And hope is the cornerstone; the fate of the other two depends upon hope's resilience.

"We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God's people - the faith and love that spring from hope."  Colossians 1:3-5

Isn't that surprising - both our faith and our love "spring from" or "result from" our hope.  But of course.  Hopelessness makes it impossible to care.  Without hope, faith is just a doctrine gathering dust on our shelves. The highest things that make a heart worth having and a life worth living - they rise or fall upon the condition of our hope.  Which makes hope the mightiest force of all (love is the noblest; hope is the linchpin)."

I loved this perspective.  Through the ups and downs, twists and turns of our unexpected journey this past year - I have battled diligently to keep hope alive in my heart.  I have felt it was "vital" for me to do so.  On the most difficult days, I often prayed for God to strengthen my hope!  I'm grateful to say that my heart is still full of hope. My prayers are bathed in it - even on the hardest of days.

"Having hope will give you courage.  You will be protected and will rest in safety."  Job 11:18

"The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love."  Psalm 147:11

"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 be faint."  Isaiah 40:31

"You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word."  Psalm 119:114

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him."  Romans 15:13

"I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope."  Psalm 130:5

I could go on and on and on.  The verses are endless.  His hope is strong and sure.......and my hope is in Him. 

Our Unexpected Journey

Last Friday it was a year since a friend helped me rush Floyd to emergency at the hospital.  He had had a rough night - the meds he was given the day before weren't helping.  His life was hanging by a thread.  His blood pressure was so low that they could hardly find it.  They started pumping adrenalin into him, and immediately admitted him into ICU.  God definitely saved his life that day.

Even at this point, we would have never dreamed of what was ahead.  We could tell that something was seriously wrong, but the thought was they would find what it was, treat him, and he'd be fine.

All day last Thursday, and on Friday when I woke up - I expected to be sad.  A lot has happened this past year - much of it very difficult.  There have been lots of tears through the year, so I was expecting to cry on this anniversary date.  I think I actually "tried" to be sad.  Something tragic happened in our lives a year ago.  Our lives were totally turned upside down.  Floyd was ripped from our every day lives.

Instead, much to my amazement, I found my heart pouring out worship to the Lord.....it just bubbled up inside me.  Every time I thought of the hard/difficult/sad things that have happened.......immediately behind that thought was a thought of how good and faithful God was in that situation.  I didn't even have to stop and think about it......it just poured forth, like breathing.  I kept thinking of how lovingly and graciously He has carried me and our family through this most difficult of years.

During the day while I was recalling all the memories from a year ago, Floyd had a special visit with one of the carers.  He asked Floyd to do various movements - lifting his head, arm, leg, foot, smiling, etc.......repeatedly.  Floyd responded quickly and effectively to all the requests.  This was even better than a session he had recently with one of the therapists that we were all excited about!

We have prayed lots of prayers this past year.  Some have clearly been answered.  Others - we haven't seen the answers yet.  This is where trust comes into play......and where we realize "His ways are higher than our ways."  We wait to see what "His way" is going to be.

In the meantime, we worship Him - every praise belongs to Him!

"All praise belongs to God Most High."  Genesis 14:20

"Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever."  Revelation 7:12

"I will praise you, Lord my God, will all my heart; I will glorify your name forever."  Psalm 86:12

This week I felt that while my sister, niece and grandniece are here, as a family we should have communion with Floyd.  We did that.  It was a very sweet time as we broke bread, sang to him, played worship songs, and prayed for resurrection miracles for him - and healing for me.  There was a lovely presence of the Lord with us.  Floyd teared up often, and cried a few tears.

On Tuesday I went for my PET scan and on Wednesday I got my results…

Unfortunately, my tumor is still there.  In fact, it has grown a bit since my first tests.  It hasn't spread elsewhere - that is good news!

I will definitely need to do chemo again - the same kind, the same strength.  I'll possibly start towards the end of next week, but more likely early the following week.

I have a lovely Dr.  She is very caring.  She understood not only how disappointing it is to have the cancer back, but how hard it will be to go through treatment without Floyd.  She actually teared up with me at the end, and gave me a big hug.  I appreciate having a Dr. like that!

I keep thinking that none of this is a surprise to the Lord.  I'm still in the palm of His hands, and He is still caring for me.  He hasn't failed me for even one minute this past year, so I know He'll help me with this.

"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments."  Deuteronomy 7:9

My trust is still firm in Him.  He is faithful!

Our Unexpected Journey

This week Floyd has been pulling himself up more and more.  He has done it often while I have been with him.  He seems to be "curious."  That would be very much like him. :)  He pulls himself up to look if he hears someone in the hall - or he looks around the room.  I think it's a positive step.

He goes through times of being sleepy, being quiet and attentive, and being upset for short spells of time.  He's also given out sweet smiles. :)

Since my recurring diagnosis many have written and said "how much can one take?"  Others have said they’re upset or distressed for me.  Some have said they’d really like to discuss this with God. :)

I'm touched by such personal concerned for me.  It truly warms my heart.  It helps keep me from feeling alone.  But I certainly don’t want this to shake anyone’s faith in any way!  God is good and kind and faithful and loving.

Honestly - this came out of nowhere and has been a surprise to me.  I thought I'd reached "my limit."  But I KNOW God promises not to give/allow us to have too much.  So He must see "more" in me, more in what I can handle, than I see in myself.  I trust Him and His character.  I know He wouldn't allow my load to be "too" much.

Knowing and trusting God and His character - I have to believe that He'll give me the grace and strength for what is ahead.  When I think through some of the details, I get overwhelmed.  Some planning is needed, but I'm going to have to be careful not to face things I shouldn't prematurely.  I'm just trying to navigate my way through all this.

I had a sweet time of prayer about this.  I felt the Lord said to give all the details to Him......and just take it one day at a time.  I know that's great advice.  I'm endeavoring to do that!

Shortly after that prayer time, someone sent me Chuck Swindoll's devotional for that day…

 "And God replies, 'My daughter, I know what I am doing.  I know the pain of your heart right now.  I know you feel overwhelmed, overloaded, pressed down.  But believe Me, I am touched with your situation.  And I have a plan!  I am working out the details of your deliverance even now.  Trust Me!' "

That was sure a timely encouragement!!

While I'm trying to prepare for this, I'm also praying for a miracle.  I have to begin to prepare, but something inside me says "don't just 'accept' this.......so I pray for the miracle.  I'm asking God to heal both me and Floyd!!  Who would have ever dreamed I'd even need to pray for that.

I have sensed all these many months that Floyd has been sick that God is up to something that I can't see.  I sense it again for this recurrence of my cancer.  All I know to do, all I know to say is I trust Him.  Nothing else makes sense to me.  He's absolutely, 100% trustworthy!

"If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me."  Psalm 139:9, 10  NLT

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.  Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.  One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: 'Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love.'; and 'You reward everyone according to what they have done.' "  Psalm 62:5-8, 11, 12

My confidence is in Him - my Rock, my Refuge!

Someone sent me an article about Floyd that they found.  It's from 1979......but it sounds like something he could be saying right now.  Floyd didn't know how "prophetic" it would be for him!  I've attached it at the bottom of this post.

I so agree with what he said - "God is glorified by people who trust Him in the face of suffering.  There is a kind of faith that comes from that, that cannot be gotten any other way."  All I can say is, amen - so true.  May God give Floyd, me, and our family the grace and trust to continue to walk this unexpected journey with both our illnesses.

A friend wrote me this last week - "I sense, along with you, that God is using your situation and responses to it, to raise up a movement of God that could only be brought about in the crucible of trials and testing.  How good and faithful He is to accomplish His loving purposes in ways so far above our own abilities to conceive."

I say "amen" to that too.  I sense that many, many, around the world are learning along with us on this journey.  God is using it to test us, to teach us, and to train us for things ahead.  I don't want to "waste" any lesson that He is bringing our way. 

I have to say that I honestly don't know how I am going to make it in the days ahead without Floyd by my side.  It feels very daunting.  BUT - God has been so awesomely faithful this last year that I know I can trust Him 100% for anything that lies ahead.  I am continuing to stay tucked under His wings of protection. Psalm 91:4 and 57:1

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."  1 Corinthians 10:13

"The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one."  2 Thessalonians 3:3

"God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."  1 Corinthians 1:9

"Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds."  Psalm 36:5

"Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created."  Psalm 119:90

When I read these wonderful promises from His Word, my faith rises that He will see me through.  I trust Him - and He has been so incredibly faithful all this past year!!

We've been feeling of late that the Lord is encouraging us to "ask strongly.  Don’t be afraid to pray strong and clear prayers.  Don’t be afraid to ask for miracles. Don't be timid."  We are feeling that the spiritual warfare needs to be stepped up to a new level.  A pastor from the U.S. that came and prayed for Floyd this week said that "there have been spiritual delays, but it's time to see the releases and answers to prayer."

For many months I have prayed for a "breakthrough."  A few months ago, I felt the Lord encouraged me to pray for a "resurrection."  So much has been impacted in Floyd’s body through this illness that it's almost like calling him back from the dead.  I've decided to pray for a "resurrection breakthrough." 

And now for me, I am praying for this cancer to be healed.  I am asking the Lord to destroy it once and for all!  I'm asking the Lord to heal it so that I don't have to do chemo.

My heart is encouraged.  I feel like we're in a new season, and I'm expectant.  It's strange, but my cancer coming back has not discouraged me.  I'm so very sorry/frustrated about that......but it just makes me want to push deeper in prayer and believe for miracles.  Somehow it feels like the enemy has pushed "too far."  I feel a holy, righteous anger rising up against him. Whatever happens, I feel God is going to show Himself victorious!!

"The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them."  Psalm 145:18,19

"He sent out His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave."  Psalm 107:20

"When He heard this, Jesus said, 'This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it.' "  John 11:4

"My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life."   Psalm 119:50

I continue to tell the Lord I trust Him.  If He chooses to take Floyd home to heaven, I still trust Him.  But I'm feeling stirred to pray for "resurrection."  I'm keenly aware that my impressions could be the longing of my heart for healing for Floyd......but I know it's okay to ask, and keep asking, for healing.  I'm trying my best to listen clearly and carefully to the Lord.  I know that one way or the other (healing or heaven),  He has good things in store for Floyd, for me, and for our family.

My prayers are aimed at a clear goal, and my heart rests unwaveringly with Him!

Leadership Lessons I've Learned

Leadership is a process.  We don't just wake up one morning, and "zap!" we're a leader, a good leader.  It takes time - lots of it.  It takes growth.  It takes learning lessons.  And it takes lots of help from the Lord if we are going to be the leader He wants us to be.

I'm old enough now that I can look back over my life and see ways that God has worked in my life in shaping me into the leader He wanted me to be.  One of the biggest things I see is His lessons!  Lots and lots of lessons.  Big ones, little ones, but all of them important in the process of shaping my character and my leadership.

I think one of the most important things I see is how He prepared me in one season for the next season.  Without those lessons, I don't think I could have made it through each season!  And all of them have prepared me for the season I'm walking through now.  There have been times when I've not been happy about the lessons - but I am so very grateful for all of them now.  

I am absolutely, 100% positive that I could not have made it on the journey I'm on now with Floyd's illness if God hadn't prepared me through His lessons in my life over many years!  

There are some basic things, basic principles I've learned.

1.     We should ALWAYS be growing.  It sounds simple, but that doesn't mean it will be easy.  If we don't grow, we'll become stagnant - and we can even go backwards and lose ground spiritually.

The pressures of life can rob us of pressing in spiritually.  We can become so busy that we lose our sensitivity to hearing God speak to us. Tiredness can become an excuse to diligently pursuing growth.  Hurt from previous lessons and times of growth can make us draw back.

Even as we get older, age (and some of the wisdom that comes with it) can make us feel comfortable with what we know, and make us dull to what God wants to continue to teach us.  We will all grow older, but we may not become mature in our walk with Him.

We must actively, purposely pursue God's lessons.

2.     We need to receive His grace for the lessons He has for us.  The Bible tells us "His grace is sufficient."  If we try to learn His lessons in our own strength we'll probably be discouraged, and give up.  We may even be resentful to the Lord, thinking He's asking too much of us.  His grace is freely given.  We need to ask for it, and graciously receive it.

3.     We need to be ourselves.  We are all "fearfully and wonderfully made" in His image.  There's no box or mold that we all have to fit in.  But we need to also be careful that we don't use that as an excuse to be independent or keep from learning.  A constant protection is to have teachable, humble hearts.

4.     We need to be careful we don't get in a hurry to learn the lessons God has for us.  God's time table isn't always the same as ours.  I'd say that most times it's not!!  I remember one very important life lesson that the Lord had for me took 5 years.  I don't think I was stubborn or slow, it was just a very big foundational lesson that took time to work into my heart and character.  Everything since then has built upon it.  I'm so grateful God took time to make sure it became part of who I am.  I moaned and groaned along the way, but I needed every day of that 5 year time frame to learn everything He taught me. 

Don't forget - Jesus took 30 years to get ready for His 3 years of ministry!

5.     We need to be faithful in the lessons God has for us.  We don't have to be perfect.  We can make mistakes, pick up the pieces, and begin again.  But we do have to be faithful.  God can use our mistakes and failures along the way as stepping stones to growth in our lives as long as we are teachable and faithful.

If we're careful to not despise the lessons God has for us, we can actually be content in each season - even as we're walking through seasons of deep growth.  We need to be careful not to wish for the past or long for the future.  We can simply rest in His timing, His instruction, and His goodness.  He's a wonderful and faithful teacher!  I'm so grateful for His lessons.

"O God, You have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do."  Psalm 71:17

"Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?  He will instruct them in the ways they should choose."  Psalm 25:12

"Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.  Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day."  Psalm 25:4,5

"God instructs him and teaches him the right way."  Isaiah 28:26

I don't know how I would have made it without His wonderful instruction.

How good and faithful He is.

Our Unexpected Journey

Floyd has been having some nice visits this week.  He has been relaxed and attentive, and giving the carers some big "Floyd" smiles. :)

I have had some new ‘twists’ on our unexpected journey this week.  After my regular cancer check ups the doctors have found that my ovarian cancer has returned.  I am currently waiting to do a PET scan so the doctors can get a better idea of exactly how the chemo treatment should go. 

Just 2 years and 8 months ago I was at this same place - recovering from the surprise of having cancer and facing treatment.  But that time, Floyd was by my side.  He was such a help and support.  I miss him.

My biggest concern is how I can go through chemo and manage Floyd's care at the same time.  Over the next few days I will be charting out everything I do for Floyd's care and seeing how I can get friends to help me with this.  BUT, I am praying for a miracle of healing!

I know God is not surprised by this.  I am trusting that somehow, in His own unique way, He'll be glorified by all this.

Over the weekend as I prayed, I reminded the Lord that He doesn't give us more than we can bear.  I asked Him to make double sure with whatever was ahead! :)  

As I've pondered all this, and all that we've gone through this past year, some thoughts have come to me:

- He "trusts" us with these trials.

- He knows it's not "too much."

- He will bring good into our lives through it.

- His grace will be sufficient for every need.

- Somehow all this will bring Him glory!

I'm so encouraged by those things.

"They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.  They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly."  Psalm 112:7,8  NLT

"Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness."  Colossians 2:7  NLT

"The very steps we take come from God; otherwise how would we know where we're going?"  Proverbs 20:24  The Message

I don't need to fear this bad news.  I can put my roots down deep in His truth.  And I can trust that my steps are being led by Him.

I'm very sorry that I'm having to face this again, but my trust in Him is strong.  My heart has been amazingly at peace.  That could only come from Him.

In recent days it seems God is calling us to be persistent, persevering, clear, and forthright in our prayers.  There's been a sense that God has been saying "Ask strongly.  It's okay.  Be angry with the ways of the enemy.  Tell him 'it's enough.'  Don't be afraid to have 'holy anger' at the enemy.  Don't be afraid to pray strong and clear prayers.  Don't be afraid to ask for miracles.  Don't be timid."

Until the day I have to start chemo, I'm asking God for a healing miracle!

"Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, "In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.'  

For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.' " 

And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?  I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly."   Luke 18:1-8

I want to be like the persistent widow!  I'm excited to see what God has in store for us as we ask.

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.  Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.  One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: 'Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love.'; and 'You reward everyone according to what they have done.' "  Psalm 62:5-8, 11, 12

My confidence is in Him - my Rock, my Refuge!

Our Unexpected Journey

One of the therapists stopped me this week to tell me how impressed she is with Floyd's "bouncing back" from the surgery last week.  She said it's quite remarkable.  I saw the Doctor a little later, and she said the same thing.

Floyd has been very alert and following everything going on.  He has been smiling when seeing friends and watching intently as they chat to him.  There are also times when he raises his hand to join in with worship.  

I'm grateful for the improvements we see - and encouraged.  We keep praying and waiting to see what God has in store for us.

A devotional I read recently was quoting James 1:2-3 - "Consider it all joy.....when you encounter various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."

It talked about how the trials of life can strengthen our faith, and they give us the opportunity to make sure our faith isn't swayed by our feelings.  It definitely is a temptation to let our feelings grow so strong in the midst of a hard time that they can seem stronger than our faith.  I find I need to give my feelings continually to the Lord.....and speak out the truth of the Word that trumps my feelings.

One of the most difficult things about our trials and hard times is not knowing how long they'll continue.  There are times when you can feel like you just can't keep going.  I've found it so very important to go to the Lord right away before that feeling takes control.  Only His sustaining grace can keep me going.  I have to keep my eyes on Him.

I've had a few very low points when I didn't know if I'd make it.  I've found it so important to get a few friends around me to pray for me.  They help boost my faith to endure when my strength is lagging.

There have been a lot of things thrown my way on this unexpected journey, but God's grace, help, and strength has been more than adequate to help me keep going.  I'm so thankful!

"As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength."  Psalm 138:3

"But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble."  Psalm 37:39

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."  Isaiah 40:29

"But you, Lord, do not be far from me.  You are my strength; come quickly to help me."  Psalm 22:19

His Word is so clear that He is there to help us when our strength is lagging and we're getting tired.  He makes it so easy to trust Him!

One of our All Nations staff shared a post on prayer this week.  I'm sorry I don't know who wrote it, but I'm touched by the message of persevering prayer!  It has encouraged my heart…

"Keep On Praying!

Jesus said, "We ought to pray and not to faint."  Luke 18:1  

He told us to be persistent in our prayer life.

Think about Elijah, who prayed one time and fire came down from heaven on Mt. Carmel.  But it took him praying three times before God resurrected the dead son of the widow.  And Elijah prayed seven times before God sent back rain on the earth during that time of drought.

Elijah learned to pray and trust God's timing......and don't give up.

In Christian history, we also think about George Muller, who lived a life that was one of the greatest demonstrations of answered prayer.  When he died, he had 50,000 documented answers to prayer!

Five thousand of those were answered on the day he prayed them.  Of course that means that 90 percent of the time, George Muller just kept waiting and praying.  He prayed for 63 years for one man to come to Christ before that man ended up doing so!

Like Elijah, George Muller learned that we can trust the Lord.  He said "Don't let yesterday's seemingly unanswered prayers stop you from praying in faith today."

So I want to encourage you: pray!  God knows His perfect timing.  He may answer right after you pray.  He may wait weeks, months, even years.  He will wait until He is most glorified in the situation......so don't give up.  You can wait on the Lord, and trust His timing.  Keep on praying."

I was strengthened in my resolve to keep praying by reading this.  I think the "key" is in the last paragraph - God will wait until He will be most glorified by the answered prayer.  That's what we want!  For God to be honored, worshipped, and glorified by answers to our prayers.

Whatever the answer is for Floyd, my deepest longing is for our wonderful Father to be glorified.

"I would have fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."  Psalm 27:13,14

I know without Him, "I would have fainted!"  I am so grateful for His courage and strength.  I'm glad we can "wait" for that!