Friends

Job 2:4-5 (GW) Satan answered the Lord, “Skin for skin! Certainly, a man will give everything he has for his life. But stretch out your hand, and strike his flesh and bones. I bet he’ll curse you to your face.”
I recently received, what some would say is, bad news about my health. Honestly, when I heard the news it was not good timing for me because I was busy with a major fundraiser for the non-profit that I work for. I was already stressed with my big event taking place in just two days. Frankly, I did not have time to be stressed by the news from my doctor. I ask if I could council with her after the fundraiser and she said yes.
I called my husband, children and some of my closet friends with the news and told them not to worry because I wasn’t worried. I promised to follow-up with them after my next visit to the doctor.
The night before my big event a very close friend of mine called me. She and her husband have friends in high places and they had made a phone call to a very reputable surgeon friend of theirs. The surgeon had agreed to see me the day after the fundraiser. I was overwhelmed with their love and concern for me. And this is where God’s work through His people began.
I had the dreaded C word. Cancer. My diagnosis was Superficial Melanoma and surgery was necessary. I was on the phone again with family and friends sharing the news and continuing to tell everyone not to worry, that everything would be ok. I honestly, trusted that God was involved and His will would be done. I really was not worried.
My surgery was last Thursday and I have been on bedrest, which is very difficult for me. What has amazed me through this whole process from getting my diagnosis to after surgery is the response by my friends.
You see as a pastors wife, it is my job to care for others. I have been doing that now for about 27 years. My husband and I have been blessed to be pastors of small to medium churches for most of our life in ministry. God sends us a lot of new Christians who aren’t your typical church people with typical church talk or church celebrations. Some years Pastor appreciation month comes and goes and there is no celebration for us. Some years birthdays and anniversaries, marriage and church, go unnoticed and uncelebrated. This is not a complaint by any means. Just a reality that I had come to accept in our ministry.
For the last three days, since my surgery, my husband and I have been overwhelmed with the kindness from our friends. I have cried every day, not from the pain but from the joy that others care about us. They have shown their love by calling, texting, facebooking, mailing cards, and bringing food. My friend and boss ask her pastor to come in and anoint me with oil and pray for me before surgery.
What I have realized through this process is that no matter what happens to me physically, I can trust God. Like Job, I do not have to curse Him because of my physical ailments. The devil lost, again! I can trust God because I know Him and I love Him. I can trust Him because even though He can not be here physically to care for me He sends His children on this side of eternity to do it for Him. My friends have been Jesus to me. Their kindness in words and deeds have inspired me to be a better person and do even more for others. My heart is bursting with love.
Through this whole process I have trusted The Lord for His healing. I pray for His will in my life and place the final outcome in His hands. For those of you who may be struggling with a crisis in your life, whether it is a death, a divorce, a health issue, a financial issue or something legal etc, I encourage you to surround yourself with Christian friends. I can now testify from a personal standpoint how important it really is. With my friends, I can survive whatever the devil sends my way. It may be hard but my load will be lighter and more bearable because of them. THANK YOU AND MUCH LOVE TO MY FRIENDS and FAMILY who love me like Jesus!!!!
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Another Health Care Blog…

Countdown to Health Care Reform

Today I was a bit distracted with all the negativity in the media regarding the new health care bill. I am very concerned about what this means to me personally but I also understand how some friends of mine are supporting it. I think America will stand on one side or the other and at this point I am not convinced that either of us are wrong. My husband and I do not have insurance. I work for a small firm that has a total of 4 employees including the owner and they have chosen not to offer insurance as an option to its employees. I knew that I when I took the job. My husband is a pastor for a small church that can not afford to pay for his insurance benefits so he does not have insurance. Thankfully we are both very healthy so not having insurance has not been an issue for us. My husband and I already pay so much into taxes and live on such a tight budget I wonder how we will budget for more taxes and insurance cost? I understand the need to insure everyone, however we will now HAVE to purchase insurance and I don’t know where the funds will come from to do that.

My parents are both retired with a lot of health problems and they receive Medicare and Medicaid that don’t cover their health cost now, how will they pay the bills when these funds are reduced? How will they afford more taxes to help pay for the new bill when they are already living from check to check.

On the other side I have a few friends who this plan will probably help and they are very excited about it. One has a baby who has had health issues since he was born and has already maxed out on his lifetime coverage. This plan will help him and his parents. Another friend of mine has wanted her husband to change jobs for the last two years but he couldn’t because her child had medical issues that would be considered pre-existing conditions and with the new bill this will allow him to change jobs.

I am concerned that this is going to be yet one more division of Americans and yes even Christians. I was always taught that you should never talk politics or religion at work, well I guess we need to add health care to that list.

Christians, don’t loose focus on Jesus no matter what side of the health care debate you stand on. We need to look for things that unify us not draw us apart. If you notice someone does not support your views on this issue than talk about how America needs Jesus. You may not can count on your congressman to vote your way but you can always count on Jesus. HE is the answer to all our issues.