Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Birthday Blessings Part 2

Psalm 100
 1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
 2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
   come before Him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
   It is He who made us, and we are His;
   we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
 4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving
   and His courts with praise;
   give thanks to Him and praise His name.
5 For the LORD is good and His love endures forever;
   His faithfulness continues through all generations.

Better late than never!  I have written so many posts in my head that have never made it to my blog.  So, this week, I'm trying to get caught up - motivation willing.

God speaks to us in so many ways, and for my birthday He spoke loud and clear through repetition.  He has to do that often for us stiff-necked folks:)  

Let me explain...

On Sunday March 6, I asked my husband what they discussed in Sunday School.  He said they had just started a new study on Philippians - the JOY book.  He and I talked about chapter 1 on the drive from church to lunch.  *I have been praying for joy for almost a decade now.*

After lunch when we got home, I got Saturday's mail.  In it was a birthday card from our pastor.  Here is what it said,
Philippians 1:6 says, "being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."  

Then about an hour later, I received a text message from my friend Leann in Columbia.  She sent me pictures of her notes from her pastor's sermon that morning.  Check them out...

Okay, in a matter of a few short hours, God directed me to the book of Philippians 3 TIMES!!!  Chapter 1 verse 6 seemed to be the recurring theme.  I knew this was God calling me to focus on Philippians with Him during my quiet time.

So the next morning (my birthday), I started with chapter one and was blown away.  God's birthday gift to me?  He answered some questions and explained some emotions I had been struggling with. HUGE.   

Here is what I had been saying to God on numerous occasions during my 2 months of radiation:

"Lord, I have met so many women whose cancer was not caught early.  Instead, it spread.  As a result, they are going through chemotherapy & radiation.  I've met others whose cancer has returned.  I have a friend who has been fighting breast cancer for nearly 12 years now.  I have another one who was just diagnosed again.  I know you have specific plans for every single person You have created.  I know Your ways are so much higher than ours and are always perfect.  They are more than I can fathom. 

But Lord, could You at least give me a little insight into a few things I've been struggling with?  Like why did You choose to have my cancer miraculously found early?  Why had my cancer not spread?  Why did I only need radiation?  Why was I spared from what so many others have to endure with a cancer diagnosis? 

Can you please give me just a glimpse into Your plan?  Can You help me understand?  The guilt is killing me.  I don't like talking to other cancer patients about my diagnosis and treatment because I feel terrible for being so blessed.  What am I suppose to do with this guilt?"

Here is what the Lord said to me through His Word on my birthday, particularly Philippians 1:18 (the last sentence) to verse 26:

"Nancy, I have you right where you are suppose to be so you can be an example of My joy to others.  That is your purpose right now.  In your current circumstance, radiate My joy.  Do not be ashamed.  Do not be filled with guilt.  BE JOYFUL!  And trust Me to take care of the others."

THIS WAS HUGE FOR ME!  It truly was a gift. 

My primary spiritual gift is mercy so I tend to be supersensitive to the feelings of others.  Because of this, I was feeling guilty for being so blessed while others were battling for their lives.  I'm sure that sounds crazy to a lot of you, but it's the truth.  

Since my birthday, God has taken me to John 21:20-22 a few times to help me as well.  It says,

"Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” More messages about JOY from the Lord! 
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow Me.”  

Peter had received some instructions from Jesus, but then he asked Jesus about John.  You see Jesus' response in red.  Basically, Jesus told Peter to do what he had been called to do - FOLLOW JESUS - and not to worry about what Jesus was doing in John's life.  OUCH!

God's plan for each of us is different.  We can't get side tracked.  We can't compare.  We just have to follow Jesus.  We MUST keep our eyes focused solely on HIM.

Then came the icing on the cake - my confirmation.  I got a birthday card in the mail from my prayer warrior friend Faye.  She put this inside the card...

More messages from the Lord about JOY!

Isn't He utterly amazing??!!! 

Well, He also has a sense of humor!  So, if you feel like laughing, keep reading.  WARNING - this may be TMI for some of you, but I have to share this. 

Right after God revealed all of His JOY messages to me, He had one more message left up His sleeve. 

I had gotten some new undies for Christmas but hadn't opened them yet.  Until my birthday.  That's when I found this in the pack...

a pair of undies several sizes too big!  Hmmm, is God trying to tell me that I have some BIG BRITCHES to fill or is He warning me not to get TOO BIG for my britches??!!!

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

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