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Archive for November, 2014

Most of us don’t expect “it” but when “it” happens there is really no denying “it”. With the bombardment of the spirit of stupid causing people to say the most hurtful things to appease their conscience or they just couldn’t comprehend the signs of what it meant for Lydia to continue to lose weight or to split up our family when were finally together, I was feeling surged by the cat of nine tails. I was beginning to feel like I didn’t want to be around people anymore. Which is an oddity for an individual like myself. I love people and get energized by being around them, even if all they have to share about is their problems. I realized why I enjoyed cheerleading so much, because I believe there is always a way for the underdog to win. So when people would share their problems I knew if they would turn to God, He would lift them up and show them the way out.IMG_0922 I was desperately trying not to be upset about only getting one week as a family; however, I found a reason to be glad when the senior doctor finally contacted the GI doctor for a complete top to bottom scan and biopsy scheduled for Dec. 31st. I had to fight the feeling of everyone else getting time with Abigail and Josiah while Lydia and I were separated from everyone. I had to push the desire to get upset that the doctors had waited so long to do this and praise the Lord, at least they were checking it now. I had to quench my desire to be jealous of others getting time with Abigail and Josiah that felt like had been ripped from us, especially when people offered to have Abigail and Josiah but didn’t invited Selah and Charis to come also. If our kids can’t stay together then they can’t come over. We are FAMILY and family stays together. Lydia had to be taken off food three days prior to biopsy and was told she could eat afterward. However, this too fell through because the doctor came in at the same time Lydia’s food arrived and said she couldn’t eat for another week. Are you kidding me?! Needless to say, it was like Flashback roller coaster at 6 Flags; jerks, twists and turns throwing you for a loop only to slow down at the end so you could do the same jerks, twists, and turns backwards!!! If I hadn’t been trying to suppress my anger, depression would have set in quickly. Once again Lydia learned that I had no authority in the hospital. I couldn’t object to the food being taken from in front of her and this time ‘no food’ was so much more difficult for her. She asked to eat regularly and I could get nothing for her! Hopelessness is what leads people to depression. When you have no hope, you have no drive to do anything, it numbs your mind and paralyzes your abilities. But God began to speak, “Veridee, this needed to happen this way so they would get the GI specialist to check Lydia’s digestive track. You needed to guard your time last week with Abigail and Josiah as a family because this was coming. That is why I put it in you and had the doctor’s back you up that Lydia was not to be around anyone who was sick. You were right to protect her. If she had gotten sick she would have gotten Graft Versus Host Disease then her GI track would won’t be priority but making sure she lives would be.” “It would have been nice if you have told all the parties involved ahead of time instead of letting them say such terrible things.” I responded. But I knew God always knows what is best. It also revealed that we were hearing accurately, being led by the Holy Spirit. I had been with Lydia for 5 days in the hospital while the children went to visit family and friends. Scott ran into a young lady I used to mentor and she said she wanted to bring us dinner and meet while she was back in town for the holidays. So Scott scheduled her to come over the house Jan. 2nd. With all we had been through, I wasn’t sure how the visit would go. I was a little skeptical and reserved. I felt like the words others were saying had deteriorated my joy, distracted my focus, and demolished my hope in people. I remember the Lord telling me, “It is okay. I will renew your strength. There is a changing of the guard. Don’t be afraid of those who are stepping back. They can only go as far as they have developed their endurance in a fight for life to this caliber. They are tired and so are you. Let them go and hold on to Me. Many of them have stood longer than they have ever stood before. Those who have stood faithfully with you for Lydia’s healing have grown to know Me better. You can continue on even if it is just you and Me.” He was trying to set me free to prepare me for what was about to come. He needed me to know that we had heard correctly and that He would be our strength when others couldn’t go any further. His words unlocked the door so I could forgive and be healed from the insensitive comments that were hurled at me since we returned home. If I couldn’t forgive, I couldn’t let it go and move on with God. I would be stuck in a miry muck that would hold me captive. I would be distracted from what He was setting up for our future. There was a new level of trust in God established that day that would be necessary in the months to come. Moments before my former mentoree arrived, I was fighting not wanting to get together. I loved her but I didn’t know how the evening would go. She had told Scott that her last 3-4 months were the worst ever and she was fighting paralyzing depression. I thought, “Great! How am I supposed to help her in the condition I am in? What do I have to give?” After dinner the children went upstairs to play, Scott was at the hospital with Lydia, and we had the living room to ourselves. She and I were able to share how raw we had become from the pain of the last few months. I remember feeling very reserved and uncertain. Another thing the Lord had shared was that people really couldn’t understand what we were going through, some because they just didn’t have a grid for it and others because they didn’t have that level of care. I didn’t know if my young friend would fall into one of these categories. When I would share of the happenings over the last few months of returning home they seemed unbelievable even to my own ears and I had experienced it all. It also didn’t make me feel any better to have shared. But then, I realized talking about all the negative was only making the chains of depression increase around me. As I listen to her, I stopped sharing my woes, instead I focused on how the Holy Spirit would have me encourage her. As I began encouraging her, I was reminded of the desire I had shared with my former prayer partners back in November about starting a ladies small group. All the yuck I had been faced with was a painful distraction from the plans God had for me. I invest in people by teaching them the goodness of God and His love for them so they can rise up and become overcomers in the area that has trapped them in hopelessness or loss of purpose. Regardless of what I was still feeling, I dug deep inside to find a way to encourage her.2014-01-04 20.44.18 After encouraging her a few more times, it was like the Lord had placed deregulators on my chest to restart my heart. I was pull out of the onset of depression and threw off the cinderblocks I was trapped under. I nearly leaped off the couch, when I said, “The enemy tried to get me focused on the pain caused by the very people I have honored and loved since we moved here!” And then enraged by the craftiness of the enemy to tear me to shreds and the realization of his desire to have me give up my desire to encourage others with the hope of Jesus Christ, I continued, “Even if I don’t start a small group I will do a conference by the end of the month!” I was shocked by my boldness and declaration. I had no plan and it certainly seemed impossible. I couldn’t have a small group because Lydia was still in the hospital and our schedule was so uncertain. I could do a conference because it was a short-term commitment. At that moment something had changed in me. God wasn’t done yet. After a few more minutes of listening, sharing and praying for her, I ask if she wanted to listen to some worship music with me. I needed to quickly get into the presence of God and let Him finish doing surgery on me. After music was in and lights turned off, we laid before the Lord in our living room. He began by restoring my strength to stand even if I was alone this time. Many had stood with us for nearly a year seeking, hoping, praying for Lydia’s healing and it seemed that there would be few who would stand from this point until her complete healing but God would be enough and it was okay to let them go. They needed the time to be strengthened as well. I let the words of the songs perpetrate me and then began singing, honoring God, then “it” happened. There really is no way to describe “it” but I must try because the next few months to follow were directed by what happened next. “It” was as clear as a movie being played in front of me; however, it was like a 3D movie. If I reached out I felt like I could touch “it”. I felt a part of “it”. I saw the back of God’s robe, full and flowing. As God walked, oil was coming out from under His robe. I was in a car driving on the oil. It seemed like we were going South and then we were going West on I-20. As I drove, always seeing the bottom of God’s robe, the train, the oil was a beautiful pure gold. The oil flipped up into the car from the tires, through the vents filling the car with the thick oil. I remember thinking, “How am I going to breathe?” But when it got to my mouth it tasted like sweet honey. The entire atmosphere had changed in that instance. My joy had been restored, my strength had been renewed and my hope had been reestablished. I was whole again. The hurts were healed by the sweetness of God’s love filling me up. When “it” was over I felt like I was in the very substance of God’s peace and joy in the living room. After soaking it up and breathing in the essence of God I was at peace in my heart. I ran upstairs to get the song “What a Glorious Night” by Sidewalk Prophets. Just had to express the joy I was feeling. When you have been near depression or as hurt as I was, I needed to bask in the fullness of God’s love. He healed my heart and set me free. I am not sure what the young lady thought when I shared the experience with her, I didn’t realize the fullness of what God was revealing to me that night. Scott told me later that she had said been healed as well and made whole to continue in what the Lord had given her to do. I will take one of those “its” any morning, noon, or night! God is King and His love endures forever in all circumstances. He will never let His children fall to the ground and be harmed. As Jesus quoted from Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they may be called the trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. Wahoo! Let the LORD my God be glorified through my pain! Veridee

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Finally!!!  Mama's arms have waited too long!

Finally!!! Mama’s arms have waited too long!

You might think that my lowest point of walking through the fire was:

  • when the doctors told us Lydia had cancer or
  • maybe when they said the cancer is worse in her body now that when the first diagnosis was given, or
  • when they told us they didn’t have a donor… but that wasn’t it either.

The support, encouragement, and prayers from the beginning were incredible! God clearly spoke a promise to Lydia who didn’t even have a clue as to what she was about to go through. When we returned to our house in Orangeburg, SC after Lydia’s 100 days of isolation, something was way off. As I stated in the first few parts of the Return Home Series Lydia was steadily losing weight and the doctors couldn’t figure out why. She wasn’t getting sick but something was amiss. Sometimes Moms just know what the problem is but since I was not a doctor I was nearly mocked for my suggestion to check her GI track. That was frustrating to say the least; however to have my closest to the situation disregard my prayer request about her digestive track was…to say the least, hurtful. More than one had the nerve to tell me, “Trust the doctors, they know what is best”. This would go under the category of something not to say especially if they had kept up with how many times the doctors screwed up from the beginning of the diagnosis. I responded cautiously, “Not really, God knows what is best and I am praying that the doctors will listen to Him. Something is wrong and in all the tests they run over and over again, they find nothing and yet she continues to lose weight. But the one area they will not check is her GI track.”

By mid-December of 2013 I stopped sharing my prayer request because the pain of knowing or even thinking the possibility that they wouldn’t pray or weren’t praying anymore threatened to send me into a state of depression I had never known before. It was not a feeling of being alone but the awareness of feeling abandoned on the battlefield before the war was over.

It made be think of when Jesus was abandoned by His disciples when the traitor had brought temple guards to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Those I had thought closest to me didn’t see the need to pray just like Peter, James, and John when Jesus had asked them to pray with Him.

For two month after our return home I was faced with things people just shouldn’t say, yet something compels us to speak when silence would be much better:

  • Things we shouldn’t say, “I don’t have compassion for your situation.” That is a blow that is indescribable. That was a confession of sin; therefore take it to God, that is not something you tell someone who is still fighting for the life of their daughter.  And the Lord helped me to see that they couldn’t have compassion because they had stepped back from our lives because they couldn’t handle the knowing what we were going through.  Once I understood, I could forgive and the pain slowly dissipated.
  • Things we shouldn’t say, “I feel like I have failed you as a friend because I forgot to pray for you.” This would have been better to not know.  If the individual didn’t bring it up then at the point you were convicted about not being a friend to them, make a change in your life and begin being the friend you should have been from the beginning. For me, I didn’t even notice that they had not been one of the ones sending be encouraging messages, cards or calls. I was not keeping a tally sheet on what everyone did or didn’t do. I was not comparing what one did verses what another one did. My focus was on God for the life of my daughter and the day our family would reunite.
  • Things we shouldn’t say, “I just don’t pray like you do.” What does that have to do with anything? If you don’t know what to pray then pray ‘will of God be done in Jesus name’. Seems simple but that is all we ever wanted because we knew God’s way was best and would produce God results for Lydia and our family.  There were plenty of people who don’t believe in the healing hand of God that would give us an encouraging word at just the right time.
  • Things we shouldn’t say, “I know you and this is what you need”. Don’t assume that you know them when you have not been with them through the battle. There is no possible way outside of God’s intervention that you would know them and what they need. Be careful to put a demand on someone that would take them from their position before God to contend for the life of their daughter and unity of their family. If you are led by God to do something then do it but don’t pull someone away from their position of tending their family to meet your own needs.
  • Things we shouldn’t say, “Everything will be all right”, if you aren’t willing to follow it up with prayer or an encouraging word. This made me feel like it was an excuse not to contend for the miracle needed. I had full faith that Lydia would be healed but the less we would have to go through the better. The sooner we could reunite as a family the better. I didn’t want one year away from Abigail and Josiah to turn into two or three.
  • Things we shouldn’t say, After asking about Abigail and Josiah and my sharing the highlights of their time in Iowa one person had the nerve to ask me, “What if they don’t want to come back?” I could barely hold it together before I got to my car and the tears streamed down my face all the way home. This is not what a mother wants to hear when her heart aches from missing milestone events in their lives. Just because I didn’t share all the difficulties they were going through doesn’t mean that there weren’t any.
  • Things we shouldn’t say, “You realize it is your fault you are missing out on the things Abigail and Josiah are doing and going through.” Reminder…we were fighting for the life of one of our daughters. I couldn’t be in two places at once. And God had provided a stable place for them. If they had remained, they too would have been under isolation and kept from everything and everyone just like the rest of us who remained. Just because God provided it doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt to endure it. In my mind I knew it was the best place for Abigail and Josiah but in my heart I hurt to not be able to support, encourage and cheer them on.

By December, it got to be where I didn’t want to go anywhere because I didn’t know if I could hold-it-together and I needed to believe that people were still praying, still believing for Lydia’s complete healing and our family’s need to be united again. It was terrible because I am a people person, I love to give hugs, laugh and genuinely care about how people are doing.

I buckled under the pressure of the things people shouldn’t say, to the decline in Lydia’s weight, and missing Abigail and

We all prepared for the arrival of Abigail and Josiah!!

We all prepared for the arrival of Abigail and Josiah!!

Josiah terribly. I tried to share with a couple of people how their comments had hurt me but they blew it off so I committed the ultimate, “No you didn’t” (gasp)!  Yep, I did (heavy sigh). I sent a letter explaining how I had been hurt and to explain that I had not abandoned them but I had positioned myself to fight for my daughter’s life. I shared how in Hebrews it says that there were those who died before their promise was fulfill and I didn’t want that to be Lydia if there was anything I could do about it. Just like most letters it was misread and backfired on me so a few weeks later another big blow from the recipients would knock the air out of me.

Since I wasn’t being heard in person I thought I would fully explain the situation and the decisions we made through the letter. Silly me and the things I shouldn’t have said. If they couldn’t honor me in person by listening and caring then what was I thinking by writing a letter. I was hoping they would see the importance of our decision in how we fought for our daughter’s life and in letting Abigail and Josiah go to Iowa; instead, they felt like they were given the position of judge over our decisions. Unbelievable, I know, and yet, I can’t say I haven’t done it myself. So I positioned myself before God to let Him examine my heart. The pain it caused me I never wanted to inflict upon another. I also wanted to repent for anyone I had hurt. It was like surgery but it had to happen so I could begin healing. I am not responsible for other but I can do something about me. So I decided to make the changes in me to love others and let God direct others. I can’t imagine forgetting this painful lesson, but I want to learn it so I don’t hurt others the way I had been hurt.

Thankfully, Jan 2nd something changed.

Remaining in His Presence,

Veridee Hand

 

Many times words just can’t express what a hug can. GIVE HUGS FREELY 🙂

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I apologize for taking so long to get back to finishing the Return Home Series.  As much as I would like to be done and leave it on the shelf, I would be doing a huge dishonor to God for not sharing all He has brought us through.  Many times we go through extremely difficult situations and think we are the only one this has ever happened to.  But in reality that thought pattern is a lie.  Many others go through similar difficulties.  What we need to know is not just that someone else is going through the difficulty but how did they get out.  So, it will continue that Christ live in me to encourage others that He has not forgotten them and will work on behalf of those who trust in Him.  Walking through the fire is never easy but in ShadRach, MeShach and AbedNego’s lives at least they were with Jesus.

Sending the next in the series tomorrow. If you feel you need to be reminded of where we are in the situation read Return Home Part 10.

In His Presence His Love is made Real,

Veridee Hand

 

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