Our Unexpected Journey

Last week was Floyd's birthday.  He's 72 years old.  This special day got me thinking of how grateful I am for the spiritual history we've been part of.  I think the seeds of things that have happened in our lives were planted many years ago through the prayers of our godly parents. They loved us, prayed for us, and mentored us in the ways of God.  We wouldn't be who we are today without their input.  They modeled God in our lives.  They shared their experiences with God, and, in so doing, created for us a "godly heritage."  Thank you Floyd Sr., Enetha, and Memaw (my mother)!

I wasn't able to see Floyd on his birthday because of my chemo recovery, but I celebrate his life!  We have much to be thankful for.

He had a sweet day.  The nurses sang to him, and put balloons on his bed.  A friend sent a passage of scripture that brought tears to his eyes when it was read to him.  Another dear friend paid him tribute that night, and they cried together.  Other friends spent time with him through the day.

There is still congestion in his chest (with accompanying phlegm), but the nurses are working to manage it.  He looks good, and he's at peace.

"Train up a child in the way he should go (teaching him to seek God's wisdom and will for his abilities and talents).  Even when he is old he will not depart from it."  Proverbs 22:6

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up."  Deuteronomy 6:5-7

As I celebrate Floyd's life, my heart is also full of gratitude for the wonderful spiritual heritage we have been given.  May God help us to faithfully follow the example of those who have gone before us.

In recent days my grandmother's heart has been tenderly warmed by my granddaughter doing a summer missions outreach.  She's almost exactly the same age as when I did my first "summer of service" many years ago. :)  I love seeing history repeat itself in this way.

Floyd would be blessed by that too.  Only after we made plans to be married did I find out that he anonymously paid quite a bit of my outreach fees!!  He was a sweetheart even before I knew he'd be my sweetheart! :)  God was already starting the intertwining of our lives.

My birthday was just two days after Floyd’s. :)  I'm 69.  Some sweet friends visited me with balloons, snacks, and tulips.  They sang "happy birthday" to me.....we had a sweet visit.....and they prayed for me.  And one of them massaged my numb feet as we talked!!  That was a lovely "gift."

I like to express my heart in simple poems.  I've been writing one for my birthday, and I thought I'd share it with you.

I Wonder as I Wander

I wonder as I wander

On this unexpected way.

I wonder what is still ahead,

And what will fill my day.

 

I never planned to come this way -

This path is so unknown.

The twists and turns go on and on.

They’re not what I thought God had shown.

 

Our “golden years” were just ahead, 

And we planned to slow the pace.

Instead a whole new course we’re on,

And we’re in a much different race.

 

I wonder what is still ahead -

I wonder what the end will be.

I wonder what God has in store –

I wonder what He has for me.

 

I’ve not been one to wander,

As the years have all gone by.

There’s always been a plan He’s shown,

And I’ve never questioned why.

 

I’ve followed each path where He’s led,

All over the wide world;

And looked to Him to fulfill what He’d said,

When I was a young girl.

 

I even felt at that young age 

That someday I’d live here;

But I would have never dreamed 

That this journey would be so severe.

 

I wonder as I wander what is still ahead.

Then I hear, as I listen to His sweet voice,

To keep trusting and holding His hand

As He shows day by day His choice.  

 

I do wonder, as I walk along this journey, what is ahead.  I have no idea where this journey will still take us.  I have no idea how much longer it will be.  Sometimes that is hard.  But I'm so grateful He lovingly keeps assuring me to take it one-day-at-a-time and keep holding His hand. How faithful He is!

"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

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

"To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy."  Jude 24

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."  Exodus 14:14

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty."  Psalm 91:1

I'm resting in His shadow.  His word is full, full, full of assurances that "we're gonna be okay" if we stay tucked in close to Him and keep holding His hand!

My progression through this round of chemo has been rough.  In the beginning I did fairly okay some of the time - nauseous and shaking some of the time.  Then as time has gone on I've been quite ill on a number of levels from the side effects.  It has been very debilitating.  The nausea is awful, the weakness from everything is quite overwhelming, and the mouth sores are really terrible.  I'm treating them, but they are so painful.  It makes eating and drinking very hard.

My doctor said I had an unusual number and combination of side effects.  In talking with her this week, we decided to delay the next round of chemo.  I'll see her in the meantime, and we'll reassess everything afresh.  I'm anticipating that we need to make some adjustments to my treatment.

I realized what a "gift" my birthday was from the Lord, in that it was a "good" day - because it's been very, very rough since then.  I've been battling on almost every level. 

As I've had these very hard days - the hardest round of chemo I've had, I've thanked the Lord that there are dear ones praying for me.  I so, so need that right now.  It is truly holding up my weak arms.

Someone sent me this acronym for August:

A - ask

U - until

G - God

U - unveils

S - something

T - tangible

I think that's a really good way to pray!  I'm asking for some specific, tangible answers to prayer in the coming days of August.

"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you."  Matthew 7:7

"Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress.  He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed."  Psalm 107:28-30

As I've been so low physically that it seems hard to even reach out to the Lord,  I have read in my devotional that just the effort of reaching out to Him, even in weakness, pleases Him.  And, wonder of wonders, He will always be found by us when we reach out to Him, no matter how weak we are! Thank you Lord.

" 'You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,' declares the Lord."  Jeremiah 29:13, 14