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Archive for May, 2013

Not to Be

Wednesday, seemed to fly by. Crystal would arrive any minute to stay with Lydia while I went back to Orangeburg to team teach the last of To Be Like Him with Scott.  I hadn’t seen the doctor yet so I asked the nurse to remind the doctor that I would not be here after 3 pm.  We had been waiting expectantly to know who would be Lydia’s bone marrow donor.  The doctor finally came.  We stepped outside of the room so we could talk.  The look on her face said everything.  It was “not to be”.  None of us were a 10/10 match for Lydia.  They would be looking outside of the family into the bone marrow donor bank.

This was bothersome and I wanted to get mad.  The doctors knew they shouldn’t have started this chemo treatment until they had a donor.  This is a very toxic treatment and doesn’t need repeated just because they acted outside of protocol on a hunch that one of our other children or Scott or I would be her donor.  This was the second time they had started a cycle of chemo treatment when they didn’t have results back and they were wrong on their hunch both times!  Rather than get mad, even though I wanted to, I decided to forgive.  I remember many times when I had made a decision in a situation and was completely wrong because I didn’t have all the information needed to make the right decision.  I needed God to intervene on my behalf.

On the drive home, I forgave the doctors and asked God to do for them what He had done for me so many times.  I asked Him to intervene on their behalf, where they had been presumptuous I asked Him to make things right.  If we were to get to the end of this chemo cycle and no donor has been found or agreed to go through with it then Lydia’s body would have endured this chemo treatment for nothing.  She would have to repeated this same treatment when they do find a donor who is a match, willing and able.

I petitioned God to not allow this chemo treatment be done in vain on the presumption of the doctors.  Yes, she needs the transplant BUT she doesn’t need extra doses of chemo to stress her organs and body.  The doctors had said she was healthy, blood counts were great, and Leukemia was only being found at 2%.  So waiting a week or two would not have harmed her.

God heard my cry and He answered.  Thursday night, when I had just arrived at my Aunt’s house to send Abigail, Josiah, Selah, and Charis with their cousins on to Iowa, Scott called me with good news.  They had already found 4 matches in the bone marrow bank!!!!  The doctor was so excited because they never find the matches that fast.  They immediately began the process of contacting each one to see which one will go through with it.  So we rejoice that God intervened!!!!

We continue to pray for three things:

1. 10/10 match plus any extras markers that would help her heal faster, a pure transfer, and they would be ready for the transplant at the end of this treatment.

2. They will do a bone marrow extraction when her blood counts rise from this chemo treatment.  In order to have the bone marrow transplant they cannot find any Leukemia cells.  She HAS to be at ZERO Leukemia cells.  Or she continues chemo treatment until she gets to zero.

3. We are already praying for her body to receive the new bone marrow when the transport takes place and No side affects from the chemo!

This is why we can boldly approach our awesome God, He tells us in 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

That just makes me want to shout Hallelujah!  God is King and He has made me one of His own special people!  And special people get special privileges!  So we boldly approach God because He is waiting for us to ask. He says in John 14:14, “If you ask anything in My name I will do it.  In John 11:9-10 Jesus says, “So I say to you, ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives and he would seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” And then we are told in James 1:6, “But let him ask in faith with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.

We are asking for a miracle and thankfully we believe that God is still in the miracle working business.  After all is said and done we want NO side affects!  That is how big and great we think our God is.  Therefore, we approach knowing He is waiting to be asked because He wants things to work out in our favor.  No one could love us more than our God.  It was “not to be” one of our children but God already has things lined up for who it would be.  We are so very thankful for this person being willing to be a bone marrow donor for someone they don’t even know.  That is huge, and blesses us tremendously.

Watching God work it out because He says we are “His” special people!

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Struggling to Believe

I don’t know where you are right now with what you believe God can do.  Maybe you don’t struggle with His ability to heal Lydia of cancer completely but you struggle with His willingness to heal Lydia completely.  Years ago, I learned when my faith doesn’t line up with God’s ability and willingness to intervene I needed to speak out and say, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief”.  You see, I believed to a certain point but did not believe fully.

Jesus had just told the father in Mark 9:23, “If you can believe all things are possible to him who believes.”  Verse 24, “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!””

Inside each one of us we “want” God to be all loving and all powerful in the situation in our life.  We want to believe that He will work things out for our benefit.  We want to believe that He loves our children more than we do.  But if our “want-to believe” doesn’t ever change to “I believe” we never crossover and see the fullness of all God desires to do in our life, for our children, and those we love.

The future of my children is not up to me, it is up to God.  I can only act in faith, believing for the impossible, asking when I need God to give me more belief in Him, His ability, and willingness to act, and THEN I have done my part.  His part is to do the impossible.  AFTER the father admitted his unbelief and asked to believe, Jesus delivered his son from the tormenting spirit.

My part is to believe God will and God’s part is to do.  So I don’t focus on God’s part but my own.

When you pray for Lydia’s healing, for Scott and I and for all of our children I would like to encourage you with the following from Ephesians 6:10-14a.

Finally, my brethren, those who are believing God will act on our behalf for Lydia’s healing…be strong in the Lord and in the power of HIs might.  Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand, STAND.

This in an evil day, Lydia’s body still has Leukemia, her treatment plan did not work, so we moved on to a bone marrow transplant.  However, to get to the bone marrow transplant she has just begun 5 days of dangerous chemo in order to kill every cell in her body within the next 8 days.  Then she will be without any protection other than the PROTECTION OF OUR GOD.  This is the time to stand and fight for the shield of God to protect her from any sickness or side affects from the chemo.

Having done ALL to stand, meaning aligning everything within you up with God’s desire to heal her…leave no doubt but believe and if you are at a point where you question whether God will do this or not then I ask you to call out to God, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief”.  There was a time in my life that I had to do this because I wasn’t sure of God’s goodness but not today.  Join me in the battlefield and take a STAND for Lydia’s complete healing.

In His Presence I am filled with His strength to believe,

Veridee Joy

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Momma, do you hate me?

I was astonished when Selah, who recently turned 5, asked me this the other night just before we prayed.  I blinked and then asked, “What did you say, honey?”

With big tears welling up in her eyes, “Momma, do you hate me?”

I scooped her up in my arms and sat her on my lap, “No, Sweetheart, why would you ask that?”

Selah responded, “Mommy, I don’t want you to go with Lydia to the hospital.  Daddy can go with her and you can stay with me.”

Earlier that day we had talked with the children about Lydia having to stay in the hospital for 30 days straight and that I would be the main one staying with her.  Evidently, it had really upset Selah.

I held her close, “Selah, I love you beyond words.  I wouldn’t go if Lydia wasn’t going to need me.  The doctors are going to put some very dangerous stuff in her body and she will need me to be praying over her every time they put this stuff in her body.  Mommy has to go with Lydia to bring the atmosphere of heaven into Lydia’s room so she will remain strong.  While I am praying for Lydia I will be praying for you too.”

“But Mommy, I am going to miss you.”

“Oh, Selah, I will miss you incredibly.”  Tears seemed to be impossible to hold back as my heart embraced the reality of not being with Selah, Charis, Abigail, and Josiah on a regular basis for the next 30 days.

The day before I had seen the enemy coming at us from a different angle.  Since he was not going to get Lydia, he would try and tear our family apart.  But of course, this is always his focus; causing division wherever he can.  So we pray for our children who will be without Mommy for a period of time.  We pray for, Selah, Charis, Abigail, and Josiah to know the comfort of the Holy Spirit, the love of Jesus Christ, and the powerful arms of Father God.  I am only human, but God is omnipresent and He can be with each of our children and with Scott and I wherever we are.   We tell the enemy to get lost!!!! He cannot have any of our children!  He cannot cause division of any kind to penetrate the shield of God’s love.  He will have to watch as we sit at God’s table, receive His anointing, and dwell in the house of the LORD forever!

Psalm 23:5-6

“You prepare a table  before in in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

Sure, the enemy can try to cause fear, but my God says the enemy has to watch me sit at the table He has prepared for me and watch as He anoints my head with oil and my cups runs over.  That is pretty amazing!!!!

So, instead of getting caught up in fear, I choose to remain seated at the table God has prepared for me and He will anoint my head with oil and there will be overflow for my children and others.  God will show Himself mighty on behalf of my children.  He can be with them when I can’t.  He will show them comfort and give them strength.  His love with not fail (1 Cor. 13:8).

God is so very good.

I choose this day to remain seated at His table and teach my children to remain seated in His presence, at His table feasting on all He has for them.  Selah will know the love and protection of God is more than I could ever give her.  If I could be with all of my children through this I would but I can’t so I lead them to the One who will be with them.

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Tuesday, we left early on our way to MUSC hospital so all of us could have our blood drawn. I asked Scott to read 2 Chronicles 20 so the children knew the threats of the enemy and how King “Shaphat” (as Scott renamed Jehoshaphat so the children could chime in every time his name was mentioned). Three nations threatened Judah with war. God told them, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s…and they positioned the singers in front of the army. As they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the armies. The opposing armies were wiped out before Judah got to the battlefield. When Scott finished all were ready to PRAISE THE LORD!!! We rocked the atmosphere all the way to Charleston with praises up to our God!

All of us had our blood drawn to see who will be have the 10/10 match for Lydia. We will not find out for 7 to 10 days. Please continue to pray at 10:10 for a perfect match. We will post when we know who gets to be the hero for Lydia. We are so incredibly proud of Abigail, Josiah, Selah, and Charis for sitting still while having their blood drawn!!! AMAZING!

Then the doctor informed us that Lydia would have to return tomorrow (Thursday) to start the next cycle of chemo to prepare her for the bone marrow transplant. Lydia and I would be in the hospital for 30 days! Yucko!!! After 2 days she and I are ready to be home. Lydia’s blood counts came back extraordinary (thanks for our God who is always with us!!!). However, she did drop two pounds because she would not eat anything. The chemo from the previous week caused mouth and throat sores. She just started eating Monday. We needed a little more time than one day to put some meat on her bones and get the children situated for the next 30 days. This 30 day chemo is three different poisons that are so severe that they call this cycle “the bomb”. We will be covering her around the clock with prayer. It will also knock out her desire to eat. But God is faithful and He will lead us to triumph over Leukemia. He will not let the chemo remain in her body to cause her harm. He has positioned us to be overcomers! The valley may look dark and long but we will not be alone for the Lord my God will be with us.

After the 30 days the plan is to give us a week or so off. Then we return with Lydia and the bone marrow donor. The donor is rarely kept overnight. At that point, Lydia and I will remain in the hospital for 45 days (less if her counts get up, so we are praying). The last stop is a 55 day stay within 20 miles of the hospital. We can stay at the Ronald McDonald House but it is a single bedroom and you share a kitchen and bathroom with other families or they have a hotel they suggest. Lydia will have to return to the hospital at least 2 times a week.

Scott and I were praying on the way home and felt impressed to ask God to provide a house for us to stay at while we are in the 55 day stage. Then I can cook for Lydia instead of carry-out for every meal and the other children can join us at the house. This would bring us back together sooner. Scott would commute from Charleston but at least we would be together again. We are petitioning our great and awesome God!!! He works things together for our good!

Monday the mountain moved as Lydia began eating again and asking for second helpings!!!
Tuesday the mountain moved as Lydia’s blood counts where high!!! As the children did very well in giving blood.
Wednesday (today), another mountain moved, as we will not be going into the hospital tomorrow but Monday!!!! So needed this time to spend with the children, preparing food to take with us to the hospital (going to freeze some of her favorites), and scheduling someone to take over my responsibilities. Found out it is going to take a slew of people to cover what I do (chuckle). Thankfully, the response of help from our church family is overwhelming! So incredible!

Stand Strong Mighty Warriors of the Most High God and press on! There are more mountains to move.
We are so thankful for you!
Veridee

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Many times we go through life and we are a mess because we “just gotta know.” This past week has been a different week for me. I knew Lydia’s blood counts were not where they needed to be last week but this week I was sure they would make it. As soon as she “made counts” they could do another bone marrow test. In the process of praying I yielded to God; because I really don’t know what would be the best for her. Only God would know if going 2 and a half years on chemo treatments would bring her healing or if having a bone marrow transplant and being done with chemo would be the way.

This week I positioned myself before God and prayed “will of God’ be done. I am confident in my God because I know He loves her more than I do and wants the very best for her. He knows what is best for her body. So many told me that I didn’t want the transplant- but you know… I don’t want any of it, but that isn’t a choice I have right now. I don’t want the 2 and a half years of poison put into her body that has enormous side affects and high risks because the chemo they give her has proven to cause another cancer in the body. Exposing her body to that for 2 and a half years doesn’t sound good to me either. People seem to think that I have a choice as to which she takes but I don’t. I have the choice to believe God is in control and will direct the perfect path for Lydia or I can be overcome by fear questioning everything that is done or not done.

It is best for me to trust my loving God. He knows what is best for Lydia. He knows if her body can handle 2 and a half years of chemo or if it can handle the bone marrow transplant. Either way, He says that His ways are to make her prosper body, soul and spirit! His plan is for her to have and live the abundant life Jesus died to give her. His plan has a future for her, making everything in her hands prosper for His kingdom glory. So we stood at the threshold of not even being able to make the decision. The doctors follow their protocol. If she didn’t have any leukemia cells in her bone marrow they continue with the 2 and a half years of chemo. If they found leukemia cells in her bone marrow then a new plan is formed and a bone marrow transplant takes place.

Even though people were telling me I didn’t want “this” because of one reason or another, the decision was not up to me. It was up to God and He has made His way known. We have always known that His way would bring complete healing.

Last night the doctor came in about 8:30 to talk with Scott and I. They found more Leukemia cells in Lydia’s bone marrow. So they stopped chemo treatment immediately. They said, “What we are giving her is not working.” She has more Leukemia cells in her bone than when they finished the last cycle of chemo in Feb. We are to bring all of our children in on Tuesday to see if any of them can be a bone marrow donor for Lydia. Because we have four other children they are hopeful that one of them will be a perfect match. A perfect match is considered a 10-10. They will do the transplant with less but 10-10 is the optimal for the best results.

I would like to ask if you would set your phone alarm for 10:10 and pray with us for a perfect match of bone marrow for Lydia, for her body to receive it, and thrive with the new bone marrow. As soon as she has this done she will have NO MORE CHEMO!!!!! They are thinking this could be done by June with a heavy hit of chemo just prior to receiving the bone marrow transplant. We will know more after the meeting with the doctor on Tuesday.

Our God is still on His thrown and He is looking out for us. He will extend His mighty hand and defeat the Leukemia in Lydia’s body. She will prosper according to His good, perfect, and acceptable will! He has given her a future with hope and one that will advance His kingdom!!!

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If you know anything about Leukemia you know it is not a friend to anyone and neither is the treatment plan. Last week Lydia’s counts took a nose dive. Her blood counts were not high enough to start the next phase of treatment. I believe this was God’s way of making sure Lydia’s body had a chance to recoup and prepare for this phase of treatment. This chemo is so poisonous that she will have fluids running in her for 6 hours before they can begin the chemo drip. The drip will last for 24 hours. Then she will have to remain in the hospital for another 48 hours to have fluids run through her to get as much of the poison out of her as necessary for release. We are scheduled to be in there fore 3-5 days.

This procedure is to happen every other week for the next 8 weeks. Absolutely crazy!!! I teach all the time how we have to trust the God in people and Saturday night when declaring the promises God has given us for Lydia I declared that I trusted God to work through the doctors and nurses and even if they screwed up and were unwilling to look for a better way I would trust God to correct the error of their way and keep Lydia safe.

Today, May 7th, Lydia’s blood is surprisingly healthy her ANC was 50 and is now 1220!!!! Wahoo!!! Over 750 is a go ahead over 1000 is great!!! Then her platelets were 74,000 and now up to 198,000!!! And her red blood cells were at an 8 and now up to an 11. REALLY GOOD! WE know it is REALLY GOD! He gives us the strategy and adds His awesome power! Surprise? No way! God!!! Yes way!

This week we were praying for Lydia’s blood counts that they would not just barely make the mark to start this phase but for them to be the highest they could be to admit the treatment. And my God has come through!!!

So we are in the hospital, the lair of the enemy, walking through the fire of chemo and will come out unharmed. We stand on the promise God gave Lydia the morning she woke up for her first chemo treatment January 25th, Daniel 3. As we are in the lair of the enemy we will pray not only for the COMPLETE healing and deliverance from all the side affects and risks of the chemo for Lydia but for every other child up here.

With the side affects and risks being so high we are praying for God to direct the chemo to the Leukemia cells and then to pass out of her body having NO AFFECT on any other cell, organ or part of her body. Join us in our prayers. Our God is so good and He listens to the prayers of the saints!

In His Presence we prevail!

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For years I have been pouring into the children God has given me. I have been teaching them of the ways of my God and pointing out all of the ways He loves us into the fullness of all He has for us. I have taught how God makes a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way. I have diligently gone over God’s Word that reveals He has always had a plan for their life. I have taken the time to stay up at night with then when the enemy closes in. I have gone after them when the enemy has lured them away with his lies. And when they needed to be encouraged I spoke the truth of God’s word that empowered them to overcome the situation they were facing.

Before I ever became a Mother I was known as Mamma Bear. It was a name given to me by the youth and college kids in Texas where my husband was the Youth and College pastor. As I grew in the Lord and the understanding of His ways I would teach with a passion to these girls. I would tell them, “If you get today at age 12, 15, 18, or 20, what the Lord has revealed to me some 10 to 15 years older than you, you will grow and go further than me.” My point is that they wouldn’t have to live the hardships that I did if they would learn “in the classroom” of our small group, or through the personal experiences I shared. I believed in being real about how the Lord was teaching me and how it applied to each of our lives so they would not make the same mistakes and sin choices I had made. Before we left Texas I was leading 3 small groups and pouring into these girls everything God was teaching me. When we moved to South Carolina there was no one to minister too. The ministry my husband was helping with didn’t have a place for me AT ALL. But there was this one young lady would said she had prayed for me when asking God for a mentor. She was raw and needed a mentor but I wasn’t sure I wanted it to be me. But God, made sure I didn’t miss this opportunity. Everything I had poured into the girls in Texas and all the nights I had stayed up to listen and help them find God’s answer, was just a part of the plan for me to continue to be used to bring freedom and teach God’s truth to this young lady.

Some people God only allows you to minister to for a short period of time and others it is for a lifetime. The timetable does not matter to me but it is what I do with the time I have with them. Therefore, I seek the Lord on their behalf and lead them to be in a bonded relationship with God. I learned nearly 15 years ago from Bill Johnson that my ceiling is to be their floor. And I live to lift others into their destiny by teaching the fullness of all God offers each one of us. I celebrate with this young lady as she will do something I have never had the opportunity to do. This Sunday, for Mother’s Day, a pastor from another church has asked her to deliver the message! Wahoo!!! I am so excited to see what God is going to do through her as she prepares and speaks forth the message God has placed within her for the church body! God is so very good! I celebrate all God has done in her and all He has for her!

And there are others! My husband and I were given the honor while teaching To Be Like Him, to help a couple embrace their calling once again and return to the mission field in Tonga. I was told To Be Like Him could not be used around the world in the format is was but he was not speaking with the voice of my God. Because this week I received an email telling me that the people in Tonga are using To Be Like Him and going to implement it into their curriculum training!!! To Be Like Him has not gone around the world but it has gone half way! 🙂 So proud of this couple for allowing us to be a part of bringing God’s healing into their life, awakening their calling, and letting us be a part of quipping them to fulfill the will of God as they take all 178 islands of Tonga for Christ!! God is using them to do a wondrous thing (Ps. 72:18)!

I don’t have to preach in the pulpit because those who are taught by the Word of God through me will. I don’t have to travel around the world with my books because those who have been impacted by what God has given me to write down and teach will take the books with them and teach what they have been taught. I just have to be diligent with a vibrant relationship with my God so I can continue to see the ones God has put before me to teach of His wondrous ways.

What may seem as bragging about myself is really encouraging you to see who God has placed around you to pour His love, wisdom, and power into their lives. It is a privilege to give of my time to see kingdom results in their lives. There are people all around us who need us to be know our God so we can help them fulfill their destiny. Who is going to mentor the next Billy Graham? Who is going to take the time to minister Jesus to the next Mother Teresa? Who is going to teach and empower those who are going into foreign mission fields, inner cities, or country sides, to believe and lay hold of all God has for them?

Will it be you?
Veridee Hand

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