Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Feb 23

winner winner chicken dinner
My Pastor has recently started asking church members to get more involved in helping those in need.  There is a  sweet elderly lady, in our church, that is going to have surgery this month and he asked her what the church could do to help her. She said that she needed a handrail repaired and some bushes trimmed.

There were a total of seven people that showed up at her house to help…wonderful!! So I had this great idea. There is a good friend of mind that goes to our church that recently had surgery. I told the Pastor that he should call him and see what he needs.

He suggested that I call him He says he always tells our Pastor, Dustin, that he is fine and doesn’t need anything.  I said that I would call him. When I did he told me the same thing.  I suggested that I was sure he would like for someone to bring he some food. He said, “Well I do like fried chicken.”  Sounded like a plan.

I told Dustin that he would like a fried chicken dinner and I also knew that he had just bought some bookcases that needed to be put together.  I was sure that Dustin and some other church members could handle all of that easily.

However, being the smart man that he is, Dustin had different plans.  He called me and asked if my small group that I lead on Sunday nights could cook Wayne fried some fried chicken and take it to him. I said “Cook??!!” I don’t think so, but we can take him some food. I am not a big fan of cooking!

I called a couple of the people in my small group. I was not able to get in touch with any of them. I was discouraged and I considered just doing it by myself. Before I left work, one of my group members, Pam, called, and we made plans for her to pick up the chicken. Since I was just leaving work, I would meet her at the church and we could ride together.

She pulled into the church parking lot about a minute after I did…good timing! She hopped in my car and we made our way to Wayne’s house.  If you think I live way out in the country, then you should see where Wayne lives!  Pam and I had a chance to chat for a while on the way.

I was very tired and I knew that I had used up all of my spoons for the day…see The Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/, if you don’t know what I mean.

But since Wayne is one of my best friends, I wanted to help him. The next day I paid for over doing it, but I also received a blessing from helping my friend Wayne and getting to know my friend, Pam, a little bit better. So it was a win, win situation for me. And Wayne got a chicken dinner. The little saying came to my mind “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.”

About a year ago, I talked to my Pastor about wanting to form a group to help others. I had no idea how I could combine the needs of those in our church with the willingness of others to help. Since then, the Lord has led me to lead a small Bible study group in our church.  I still couldn’t figure out how to fulfill those needs. Now I know. You just do it!! You call someone and say what do you need and if they give you the common response of “Nothing, I’m fine,” then you suggest bringing them food or whatever you think may help them.

It is that easy, but it is  that hard too! Let me explain.  It takes planning, effort, time and energy.  All of the resources needed for each of these tasks are limited by my daily lack of stamina, since i have been diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis, and other related conditions. But each time I do something for others, I trust in the Lord and I am blessed!!  I definitely feel like it is worth all of the effort!

 

Jeremiah 17

Hold On To Your Hat

Feb 02

hold on to your hat

If someone tells me that they have prayed for me, I think I will have a huge blessing that day or a bad day that could have been worse without that thoughtful prayer. Either way I feel like I have to hold on to my hat!

After volunteering at the church and going to Bible Study, a friend from church, and I went to visit a church member that lives in a assisted living home. I used to sit with this particular lady and her husband at church.

Her husband passed away several years ago and then she went to live in this very nice facility that is more like an apartment complex. I am ashamed to say that this is the first time I have visited her there, but I have often thought of her and wanted to go see her.

There is another lady in our church that visits her regularly and she requested prayer for her. Then I heard her talking to my friend about her and I said that I need to go see her. My friend, Mary, volunteered to go with me. That was exactly the motivation I needed. I’m glad I didn’t attempt this feat by myself.

When we walked to the front door we had to ring a bell to be let in. The dining and living area was very large and had beautiful new carpet on the floor. The first thing Mary did was tell me that another lady from our church worked in the Hair Salon in the home. We spoke to her and she gracefully offered to take us to the room of the elderly lady resident.

She introduced us, as if for the first time. However, I knew her and Mary had visited her before, but she did not recognize us at all. She sat on the bed and then laid across the bed. We both tried to talk to her, but she was very hard of hearing and she just seemed to want us to leave her alone.

I told Mary that it was sad to see her (or anyone) like that. Maybe she was having a bad day or didn’t feel good. Hopefully we can go visit her again soon.

As we were leaving Mary told me that she had prayed for me that morning. I sincerely thanked her and went on to work. It bothered me to think about the elderly lady we visited. Who knows we all may end up in some type of assisted living, especially if we have medical issues. I was depressed at the thought of it all.

After work, I went to the pharmacy to pick up three of my medications. Normally, all three would be about $6.00. When the cashier told me $26.00, I asked which one cost the most and decided not to get it this time. I was very frustrated, not that the amount was outrageously extreme, but it was the whole situation.

It was the unexpected surprise of my prescriptions being four times the amount that I was used to. It was the fact that I needed something and it didn’t fit into my already tight budget. It was also because my body now limits me on how many hours I can work, thus limiting my income. It was the fact that I already have medical bills that I am paying on monthly now. I could go on and on. But I was mainly frustrated at having Interstitial Cystitis and all the other related issues that limit me!

Oh, did I mention that I haven’t sleep good all week because of my Restless Leg Syndrome? One night I couldn’t get to sleep until 5:00 am.!! The next day I came home from work and took a three hour nap. Most of my sleep is in two to three hour blocks. That alone is enough to drive me crazy!

The next day when I snapped out of my funk, I realized that I could be much worse off than I am. I began to feel blessed and thankful. What if Mary had not prayed for me that day? My day may have been much worse! I believe that people praying for me all my life has helped me tremendously.

prayer

Someone praying for me is about the nicest gift anyone can give me. Thank you to everyone who has ever prayed for me. If you haven’t ever prayed for me…why not??!! Consider talking to God about me and lifting me up next time you say your prayers and know that I am already praying for you, if you read my blog.

The next time someone tells you that they prayed for you hold on to your hat for a blessing. It may not be as soon as you like or how you would expect it, but it will happen!

Hey Bladder, Bladder

Jan 19
bladder lady

Isn’t she cute? Just don’t make her mad!

Something awoke the raging inferno inside my body, also known as my bladder. For a while now, my bladder has been more of a constant, burning and nagging pain, reminding me of who is still in charge, but not screaming the loudest on the pain scale.

She has been more of a persistent reminder that I need to watch what I eat, drink and do. A constant indication of how I am supposed to live my life…centered around her of course! But I have much relief from the nonstop bladder pain that I had at the onset of my diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis (IC).  Praise The Lord!!!

Whatever it was that made her mad, soon became the obsession of my thoughts. What had I done to make her angry? Was it something I ate…maybe that lemon I had in my water?? Maybe lemon irritates my bladder, while it does not bother most, because it is alkaline. Maybe it was those two or three extra yoga stretches that I tried all in one day. Maybe, Maybe, Maybe. Maybe she just wanted to remind me who is the boss! Maybe I’m just losing my mind!!

When she is upset, she also brings along her friend “lower back pain.” This is a different kind of back pain other than my usual chronic back pain. This is a more severe pain. I thought I was in a “small” IC  flare…if there is such a thing?! However, despite the pain, I felt pretty good. I didn’t have the body aches and fever this time, so I’m just trying to take it easy as much as possible.

Sitting has always made my bladder pain hurt more, but most of what I do at work, volunteering at the church, teaching Bible study, etc. requires me to sit. So I try to stand and walk as much as possible, but it is not always easy.  Trying to figure out what caused her to flare up can be as frustrating and draining as the pain itself.  So I attempt to keep my mind focused on other things for the most part. I may never completely understand my bladder, and that is okay!

Dwelling on a problem is not going to make it better. In most cases it just causes stress and stress causes my body more trouble. Instead I am going to trust that The Lord is not punishing me. He is preparing me to trust His plan, not my pain.

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Hello 2015

Jan 05

happy new year snowman 2015

My new year started off in a very uneventful way. On New Year’s Eve, I had to go into work early at the Computer Store. My boss bought us a nice lunch and I didn’t work hard at all. It was a great way to end 2014.

The night of New Year’s Eve I came home pretty tired. I watched some of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, then I went to sleep.  You know a little Nick Jonas and One Direction.  Who knew that I would enjoy either one of them performing, but I did.  I didn’t see the ball drop though. Pretty exciting, huh? 

Nick Jonas
I was worn out.  I was off work from Tuesday, December 23rd through Sunday December 28th.  When I did finally go back to work I felt good.  So good, in fact, that I went and bought groceries after work.  Then I was completely drained of energy and strength.  It took me a few days to get over that.

About 1:30 on New Year’s day,  I was awakened to the sound of what I thought was screaming and a gun shot. I thought someone had been shot!  It took me a few minutes to gather my bearings and realize that it was “just” fireworks. However, these fireworks lasted until 3:00…not cool. I don’t blame my neighbor for me waking up, because I usually wake up for a couple of hours during the night, but it didn’t thrill me either.

My fibromyalgia has been been bothering me a lot lately. My muscles are very sore. You know how your skin feels when it is sun burnt very badly? Well, that is how my muscles feel. Sensitive to the touch, burning, and deep down pain.  I try to spend a few minutes every day releasing my muscle trigger points, but it is very hard to do on yourself and it is very painful.  As my physical therapist used to say tell me, your muscles are crunchy. Muscles are not supposed to be crunchy!  She would do skin rolling to relieve the pain, but the treatment itself is painful.  It is so painful, that I almost passed out one time while she was doing it. See my blog post called “Attitude” http://www.bb65ichope.blogspot.com/2013/05/attitude.html

I keep thinking that if I could just get rid of “fill in the blank,” then I would feel a whole lot better. This week it is the fibro pain and exhaustion. A couple of weeks ago it was IBS and severe nausea and weakness.

I am happy to report that a couple of months ago, the main thing I wanted was relief from the sciatica. Since I started going to a chiropractor, my lower back pain and sciatica have gone down of the pain scale part of the time!! Victory!!! 

But the truth of the matter is, I want relief from whatever is screaming loudest on any given day.  It always includes some Interstitial Cystitis pain and may also include a combination of other things.The sciatica had become a constant pain, so I praise the Lord for the relief that I have received!!

Despite my aching body I have decided to make some new year’s  resolutions. First and foremost I want to study my Bible more deeply and prepare myself for relational conversations that lead to Christ.   I also want to commit to writing more.  I think all of these goals are doable. I can study the Bible daily and more intensely on the weekends. Starting each day with a prayer that I will use the situations that God puts me in to tell the story of Jesus and show His love.  I plan to set aside a few minutes each morning to work on some on my writing.  I believe if I set small, realistic daily targets, then I can achieve them and celebrate small triumphs each day…It seems like a win, win plan…Victory!!!

Hold At Forty-Nine

Dec 22

I have come to expect a dreary, cloudy day on my birthday each year….(see last year’s birthday post http://www.bb65ichope.blogspot.com/2013/12/another-year-wiser.html).If I expect it, then I am not as disappointed when it happens. But cloudy winter days still depress me to some degree, no matter what I do.  Combine that with a woman going through menopause, living with chronic pain, who has interstitial cystitis, pelvic floor dysfunction and fibromyalgia, etc., etc…it could be a recipe for an extreme case of the blahs.

 

But I know the Lord is not finished with me yet. He has plans for me even when my body fails me. Well for one thing you are reading my blog right now. I feel lead to continue to write and hopefully inspire others.

Psalm 71 9

This birthday was no different, it was a drab December day. But my husband made it very special for me. He told me he was going to take the day off from work and take me to a close by larger city to shop!! My birthday was on a Friday and I was so excited all week long!!

I desperately needed clothes because I have gained so much weight the year. I told my best-friend that every couple of months when I go to the doctor I have gained five pounds…she told me to quit going to the doctor…ha, ha good advice!

The morning of my birthday I was so happy that I was taking pictures of myself…yes, birthday selfies!

Then we made the hour long trip to the city and ate lunch at Panera Bread. The food was yummy and we bought cinnamon rolls for the next day. Mine didn’t make it to the next day. I ate that whole thing that night. It was delicious!!

Then he took me to the store where I wanted to shop. I made sure it was not in a mall. This would save a lot of my energy because I wouldn’t have to walk as far. I also wanted to select a store that we also have in our hometown, in case I have any problems and need to take something back. Since traveling is not always easy for me I tried to keep it simple. Shopping is not easy either, but since I had the whole day off, it worked out great!

We pulled up in front of the store and he said I will check on you in about thirty minutes. I said you are going to check on me?? What I really wanted to know was when he was going to give me my birthday loot!!  Then he handed me a generous amount of money. I went straight to work. Starting at the front of the store on one side and making my way back to the clearance racks near the back.

I needed larger, loose fitting clothes. On days when my fibromyalgia is flaring, I would love to stay home in my jammies, so I try to find clothes that are soft and comfortable.

I had a blast trying on all those clothes. Then I was able to buy several new shirts to layer with a couple of open drape cardigans and one pair of pants. I thoroughly enjoyed my birthday thanks to my husband. I had a good day and even have enough money left over to buy some shoes after Christmas when everything is on clearance and I have another good day.

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Me and my crazy self-ie!

This year I had a good birthday that will be a unique memory for me, on a day that could have been very gloomy for me for many different reasons. I am thankful that I have a husband that always looks out for me and knows how important birthdays are to me. So I think I  keep him and I will hold at forty-nine!!

Gentle Giant

Dec 06

My husband and I had the privilege of babysitting my Pastor’s dog while he and his family visited their kin folks. When they brought her to our house, they talked about her habits, likes and dislikes. We listened intently to learn as much as we could about this gentle giant that would end up staying in the house with us for most of the entire week.

One thing that stood out in the conversation to me was how, Amy, the Pastor’s kindhearted wife described how much joy Dixie had brought into their lives. She is clearly a family pet and each one of them adores playing with, and loving on, this animal shelter rescue dog.

Dixie has had a hard life until now, but boy has her life changed! She now enjoys peanut butter, doggie treats, toys and manicures. She now has the love and affection of four people who have spoiled her rotten!

She is a well behaved dog, but she loves to chew. We really had to keep our attention focused on her while she was in the house especially when the cats were around. We had to make sure she had food, water, exercise, and a bone or toy to chew most of the time. She consumed time and energy, but she brought a lot of happiness too.

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It reminds me of my Bible Study group that I lead. It takes time to prepare, study and lead the group, but it has also been such a blessing in my life. I decided to lead the small group after attending discipleship training at my church this summer. It is hard work for me especially since I have Interstitial Cystitis, Fibromyalgia, etc.  I just don’t have the energy of a “normal person.”

I knew it would be a huge responsibility that requires a lot of my time and energy, but I felt the Lord was leading me to do this. We started meeting at my house in October.  A few weeks ago we met at the church to accommodate some of the people who live closer to the church. We watched the “My Hope 2014 with Billy Graham” DVD.

This powerful film dares to talk about death. It describes how the lives of two people who had their lives turned upside down in the blink of an eye. It explains how when tragedy comes into our lives we feel alienated and lonely, but we can start a new life with a clean slate.

I think of God as a gentle giant. He is a Powerful God, our Everlasting Father, the One who created us and everything else that has ever existed, but yet He cares about us, has a plan for each of us, and wants us to live our lives to the fullest.  He wants us to spend eternity with Him as this film explained.

John 10 10

In this movie, Billy Graham talks about going through sickness and staying in the hospital, in his latter years, filled with a peace that is always with him. The peace of knowing that when he dies, he is going to heaven. He states that everyone can have this peace by accepting Christ into their lives. We are all going to die one day; the question is “Are you ready?!”

I have provided a link to the movie called “Heaven.”  It is a well written, captivating story about dramatic changes in our lives and how our response to these changes can make all the difference in the world.  Please take a few minutes to watch this film and let me know what you think.

https://myhopewithbillygraham.org/program/heaven/

 

Gone Too Soon

Nov 25

 My family has been through a very difficult season in our lives. In October my husband’s sister died. About two weeks ago his brother’s wife died. Both are gone too soon. Both left a lasting impression on many lives.

My sister-in-law died unexpectedly and leaves behind her grieving husband and three beautiful children. In the shock and tragedy of her untimely death, I saw an outpouring of love from family, friends and neighbors. All came together to comfort one another through words, hugs, meals and the remembrance of many good memories.

The funeral was the saddest one I have ever attended. But it was also a emblem of a town showing love for one who either directly or indirectly affected many lives.

Her youngest sister spoke at the service about a fun-loving, caring person who touched her life by the way that she lived so enthusiastically. She felt like she was a combination of her two sisters. One sister had always been nurturer and the other inspired her to live life to the fullest. Her fun-loving attitude was going to be incredibly missed.

As I studied my Bible this morning I compared the story  to our lives. It was the story of the battle between Israel and the Amalekites. The Israelites were in desperate need of help. The Amalekites were skilled warriors and the children of Israel were experienced in making bricks, not war.

Moses turned to God for help. He climbed a hilltop overlooking the battle below. Moses raised his hands and his staff. As long as his hands were lifted to God the Israelites were winning. When his arms grew heavy and he dropped them to his side, the Amalekites had the advantage. Aaron and Hur saw Moses struggling and sat on either side of him for support.

“As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.” Exodus 17:11 NIV

When life’s difficult circumstances arise, we need to seek the Lord first. We often try to tackle the problem by our self and rely on our own strength. Sometimes we make our own judgment of the situation and decide that it is hopeless. But God is available to us all.

Think about your own battles in life. You might feel like you are dealing with an overwhelming situation and see no way that good could come from your struggles. When life gives you heartache, health problems or anything that causes stress and confusion, there is always hope.

I also noticed in this story that Moses needed the help of his friends. I think it is important to have a support system that will help you through those difficult trials that we all face. Finding support from people who are dealing with the issues of Interstitial Cystitis and others similar health problems has been a great source of strength for me.

I will never forget what my one of my other sisters-in-law said at the funeral. She hugged me and said “I love you.” She said she was thinking after the funeral of our first loved one that all of us sister-in-laws should get together with our mother-in-law and go out for coffee or something. It is important to tell the people in your life that you love them. You never know what will happen and one of your loved ones may be gone too soon just like what our family has recently experienced.

From these painful difficulties I have been reminded look to the Lord for strength and guidance. I have also thought about how important it is to reach out to family and friends for support and remember to tell loved ones how you feel about them before it is too late.

In Loving Memory of
Barbara Jo “BJ” Campbell Leopard
December 2, 1963 – November 11, 2014

gone too soon

Support Links:

https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome/faq#what

http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html

http://psychcentral.com/resources/

 

 

My New Abnormal Life

Nov 12

As we made our way up the mountain on foot, I realized how “abnormal” I am physically. My brother and his wife took off at a rabbit’s pace compared to me at a snail’s pace. I held onto my husband’s arm not only for physical support, but for mental support too. We talked and laughed during most of the walk.

We were all trying to walk up the road that lead to the highest point in Georgia. Usually you can drive up, but it was closed due to the weather. Conditions didn’t seem too bad, but it was sleeting when we made our short hike.

I have been walking everyday so I thought that I would be in better shape. The truth be told Interstitial Cystitis has taken a toll on my body that makes me feel about 30 years older than I am in many ways and this is one of those ways.

At the time, as I saw my older brother and his wife far ahead of me on this short adventure, I didn’t feel sorry for myself. Instead I had a great felling of satisfaction that they were both healthy enough to make it so much faster than me. I was delighted that I was able to even attempt such a feat. It felt great just to be with family, outside and enjoying the beauty around me.

The mourning for my old life did not happen until a few days later when I was having a bad Interstitial Cystitis day. It was Wednesday and I was exhausted from the first two days of working. I didn’t get enough sleep, I volunteered at church and then went to work. I was drained!

That night melancholy took over my thoughts. I played a mental picture in my mind of how I struggled to walk up that mountain that seemed so easy for everyone else. It was depressing that I am thirteen years younger than my brother and that I was the main reason we didn’t make it any further than we did on our journey.

But thank God that only lasted for that one night. Now I look back on that day with immense gratification. I planned a trip to the mountains of Georgia for my whole family. I was looking forward to seeing everyone and spending time together. It is new tradition we started a few years ago.

Since the ride to the mountains was going to take about three hours, my husband thoughtfully suggested that we make the drive the night before and stay at a motel. That way the next morning I would be rested and enjoy the outing more.

My Mama, sister, brother-in-law and brother were going to travel and meet us the next day. My oldest brother and his wife live nearby and were going to meet in the mountain city of Hiawassee Georgia. However; the strangest thing happened. It snowed in my hometown that morning. It doesn’t snow much where I live. It was certainly an unprecedented early-season snowfall. We had more snow in my hometown than we had where we were in the mountains…Who knew??!! My Mama and sister didn’t have any power at their house, so they decided not to make the trip.

I was disappointed and I could tell that my older brother was too. We both had to decide to make the best of the situation. My husband, Alan and I met up my brother and his wife at an antique store. I found exactly what I was looking for to give to my Mama for Christmas…and I asked Alan to pay for it…and he did!…Score!

That mountain climb experience for me was a metaphor for my life now. I have many mountains to climb (and who doesn’t?) They are harder for me to overcome now that I have Interstitial Cystitis and it may take me longer to do things, but I have to keep on trying. As on the mountain trip, my family supports me along the way. My older brother encourages and advises me with my writing. He also can relate to my chronic pain. My sister-in-law is always so thoughtful about asking how I am doing and really seems to care about me. She also helps me with preparing food and cleaning up after a family meal. My husband cooks supper for us and helps around the house with daily chores. All of these things combined with my determination help me to live like a “normal” person in my new abnormal life.

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Interstitial Cystitis This is My Life Now

Oct 27

Have-faith-that-things-will-work-out

I had a huge decision to make this week. It was very stressful.!!! As some of you may know I needed more hours at the computer store. I was working only a few hours a week doing the bookkeeping. But the hours were just not there for me at the beginning and I understood that. They in turn understood that I would be looking for other work in hopes of working two places with enough combined hours to pay my bills.

As it turned out, I had a job offer at a big, local car dealership  for a full-time position. I thought the people there would be great to work with and I felt like a part of their family after my job interview. You know how sometimes everything just clicks and it seems like a good fit??!! Well that is the way I felt!!

However, a few days later,  I was offered more hours at the computer store, since business has increased.  I knew that I would have more flexibility there so I decided to stay. I am making a lot less money than I was making before I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis…about half as much. But as I told my Mama, this is my life now.

I am also making a lot less than I was offered at the car dealership, but I would also be working more hours. My decision was based on many factors. If I stay at the computer repair store, I will have more time to spend on praying, reading and studying my Bible. I will have more time to spend on my Small Group that meets at my house every Sunday night for Bible study. I will also have more time to spend with my Mama when she comes over to my house to help me clean every Friday morning. I will have more time to spend growing my Avon business. And I will not have to go straight to bed everyday when I come home from work with pure exhaustion from working eight hours. Also if I am working fewer hours I hope to feel like spending more time with my husband in the evening. All of these things are very important to me!!!

For me right now, I think I have made the best decision. Who knows what may happen later on in my life, but for now, I have faith that God will watch over me; take good care of me and bless me. And I pray that I am a blessing to those I work with and those that I have contact with on a daily basis.

I have had the burden of seeking employment for months now. This song is about laying down your burdens…we all have burdens!! This song talks about letting go of your burdens; seeking His face, coming as you are and letting the rescue begin! I hope you will take the time to listen to this beautiful song by David Crowder. The lyrics are below.

“Come As You Are”

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Fall in his arms
Come as you are
There’s joy for the morning
Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Come as you are

No More Pain

Oct 19

There were hundreds of strangers that quickly became a source of comfort as I greeted them coming through the receiving line. Some faces were familiar. Some where faces I knew long ago. I was surrounded by many family members on either side of me. There was a long line of a husband, a mother, children, brothers and their wives, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.. A few feet away was my sister-in-law who looked so peaceful  now that she was with her Master.

He called her home long before we wanted to let her go, but His timing is perfect and His will is just. That doesn’t mean we didn’t all shed tears of sorrow. We didn’t want her to leave us, but now she is in a perfect place and she has no more pain.

She fought a long, hard battle against cancer. A fight for her life. A life that she wanted to continue. She wanted to attend her children’s weddings. She wanted to be there for the birthday parties of her grandchildren. She wanted to grow old with her dedicated husband. But it was not meant to be. She tried to make the best all of the moments that she was able to share with her family.

Cathy was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer seven years ago. The doctors told her that she would have to give up the job that she worked so hard to pursue. She was a RN in labor and delivery at the local hospital. She went back to school later in life when her kids were older and earned a degree in Nursing.

We all have good memories of Cathy. I know that she touched the lives of many in a positive way. She was a Christian. She continued to go to her church even on the bad days when she did not feel like going. But she was loyal to her Lord and Savior.

She had the blessing of a devoted caregiver in her husband of thirty years.  When it was time for chemo treatments in another state, he would take time off from work and drive her to her appointments.  When he did have to go to work he would call her throughout the day just to make sure she was okay and to show his love and dedication. He spent many, many nights in the hospital and Hospice House without ever going home. He was always by her side.

He was not her only loving caregiver. Her mother who has health issues of her own did as much as she could. She went many times on the trips for the chemo treatments. She helped with much of the paperwork and insurance filings. She spent much of her time at doctor’s appointments and in the hospital with her. She enjoyed spending time helping with her baby girl.

Her daughter was a loyal caregiver who helped in so many ways. She and her family spent much time at Cathy’s house to help and show their love. She was also blessed with three sons and their families who helped and loved her very much. Her four brothers and their wives would make visits and phone calls to spend time with her. She was a special lady.

As I struggle in my own battles with Interstitial Cystitis; Fibromyalgia; IBS; Pelvic Floor Dysfunction; Vuvodynia; Restless Leg, Insomnia, etc. I could relate to some of the pain, nausea and pure exhaustion that Cathy experienced. We became closer through our trials and I am so glad I got to know her better over the last few years.

Hebrews 12 1b

I’m in a battle in my own life. I picture a race in my mind with encouraging spectators.  I am running toward Jesus and I try to keep my eyes on the Lord. There are so many obstacles in the way….fear, selfishness, lack of focus and just plain ole feeling sorry for myself. In this race I can see Isiah, Abraham and Moses on the sides cheering me on to the finish.

Now when I look up into the stands of this race arena, I see Cathy telling me not to give up but to keep my eyes on Jesus. She is telling me to run the race with endurance and I too will receive my heavenly rewards.

Cathy Kirkland
1963 – 2014 |

 lung cancer

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