Sunday, November 24, 2013
More Thankfulness...even through the storm
We headed to church this morning and decided that since it was baptism day and we didn't have anyone being baptized this time, we'd be sure to help in KidsZone. Baptism day a favorite day of mine in our church because we are privileged to hear the hearts of God's people as they share why they are being baptized, why they made the choice to obey God with this step after asking Jesus into their heart.
So it's been a few weeks since the major news of the Pet Scan revealed Stage IV rather than 2 or 3 of breast cancer. The kids in KidsZone have known for weeks that I was diagnosed with breast cancer & they've prayed for me. Today Gabby's video was shared with the kids & I asked them some questions before we started our lesson on compassion. Krista used the wonderful people in our lives to share how people are showing us compassion. It seems to make more sense to teach the lesson when we can give examples that they'll understand and make it more real & applicable to them. After our lesson we cleared out the chairs so that we could do worship time and have plenty of space for the kids to stand & worship with songs. But the kids were getting a little wild. Yup, that's what happens when everyone grabs a chair & carries it to the pile to line up & they are supposed to wait for the next step. That waiting part is hard sometimes, especially for 1st - 5th grade kids. So I grabbed the mic and started asking questions about what we were doing next. I LOVE singing and I really LOVE singing worship songs to God. I wanted to share something with them so that they would "get it" on why we sing to God. How it can bring us into his presence and meet our needs in so many ways. I wanted them to experience what I so frequently experience as I sing to God in song. They needed a little extra encouragement to quiet down and when they did, I told them that in my devotion time for the last several days there has been a theme. I asked if any of them could guess what the theme was. My hints were "this is something we often talk about a lot at this time of year" and it starts with the letter T. Thankful, a sweet little girl said. That's correct! I said, ya know it's not too hard to be thankful when we are happy & everything is going good for us but we are to be thankful even when things that we might think of as "bad" are going on in our lives. I went on to say how God is calling me to be thankful even though I have something in my body that I wish was not there and I said sometimes and even some days it is harder than others to be thankful but what God really wants is for us to show him our hearts. He wants for us to praise him despite our circumstances. And I said, I want for all of you to sing to God with all your heart right now. I want you to forget about what the kids on either side of you think. Don't worry about how you sound when you sing. Just sing to God with all your heart. Of course I got choked up when I told them that I didn't like what was inside my body & I wanted it gone but I still praise God for a lot of stuff & even with this circumstance. I then shut the mic off and set it down & went to walk away from the altar only to be stopped by my son who hasn't been feeling the greatest today. He asked if he could pray for me. I said of course. So he held my hands & started to pray. And before I knew it, I could feel another set of hands on my right shoulder, my back, & then on my left shoulder, and a Morgan walked up under my arm & put her arms around me. I was praying with my eyes closed & then I just began to sing and worship God while some were praying over me. I could hear so many of the kids singing that my heart was rejoicing. I was thrilled to hear their voices and feel the Holy Spirit's presence. God tells us that when we are thankful and open our heart and mind to Him we will be able to feel His Presence. Last week our Pastor talked about how Moses set up the tent outside the camp (kinda like a temple) and was in God's Presence and how he was in God's presence on the mount when he got the 10 commandments. God is so holy that we are not allowed in his presence unless we are blameless. I am thankful that Jesus died on the cross to pay the debt for my sins so that I can seek and be in God's presence because it is a great place to be. So as we sang the 1st worship song with the kids & we prayed, God's presence was in the place. I'm positive he was touching the lives of some of the kids and I'm not sure that their lives would have been touched in this way today or that they would have experienced that moment in the same way had I not been diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. It's not that I'm in denial about this disease or that I really want it inside my body...I don't. But I am looking to God to thank him for what he is doing in people's lives as a result of me having to deal with this. Do I pray every day for God to kill each cancer cell and replace them with good, healthy cells. YES. Do I believe that God will do it. Yes. In the meantime, I will try to do what I am asked by God to be a light and to be an example and to be the connection from reality to God who sometimes doesn't seem so real to kids, or even some people because we can't see or touch him like we can with so many things. These kids are praying and praising God. They are the greatest warriors and I plan to continue doing my part, to the best of my ability, so that God can reach each & everyone one of them in such a way that they get an a-Ha moment and that they begin to own their faith so that no matter what happens, they will follow Christ.
Thank you God for using me to reach these kids to pull them into your kingdom even more. Please open their hearts so they can be real with you and learn to own their own faith. I mean that they will have such a faith in you that they will never walk away from you, not even when they are old enough to leave their parents & this church & go to college or on to somewhere else on their own. I pray that their faith in you will be strong that it will not shake when they experience trials of any size. Thank you Lord. in Jesus' name. Amen.
Today after prayer, I was a little tired but the pain seemed to really die down in a big way & not dig it's way in to the bones of my back & hips. Being mostly pain free today so I could help Gabby finish her school project was really nice. I wish that her project wouldn't have taken ALL day Long so I could have spent time with the rest of the family. But even the headache from the cold that has been hitting each of us was sort of whirling around in my head, I was able to help Gabby & enjoy sitting & moving in certain ways that were not hurting like that have over the last week. I am super thankful for prayers each week. Last week when I was prayed over on Sunday, I had such a great Monday I was able to get a lot done. Hoping for another instance like that tomorrow. And praying that God's timing for when the appointment would be best to take place happens. Whether it be Dec 6th, 19th, or some other date. Trusting God & praising Him, even through the storm.