Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My word for 2015 and how it grew me....

In 2015 I did something I've never did. I chose a word for the year to focus on. That word was love. I just wanted to love like Jesus. 2015 was a really hard year. It was hard for my family. It was hard for me personally and it was hard for some close friends who are like family to me.  I learned that love cannot be taken for granted. I found out what it was like to lose a family member to the cruel disease of cancer. My mother's sister, my aunt passed away in January 2015. Not only was it hard for me personally to get through this and remember that God knows ALWAYS what He is doing. He sees the big picture. So many people were touched by my aunt and through the sickness she had.  I watched my Grandmother and Grandaddy bury their firstborn child. It was heart wrenching for me. I watched my uncle lose the love of his life. I watched her only son and his family lose a woman they loved dearly. My cousin, her so lost his daddy the same week. I could not imagine!  I watched her 5 sisters and 2 brothers mourn her loss. My mothers side of the family is very close. I love all of them so much. There's that word again. Love! Love like Jesus. She was an amazing woman and she will be forever missed. I learned that if not for the comfort of the Holy Spirit that none of us could move on. He was and is our comforter. I have no doubt that my Aunt Wanda was ultimately healed when she passes on from this world. Even though I don't understand why she had to go so soon, I know it was and is all for the glory of God. Things like this change us. They break us down so we can grow. I have grown so much from this loss. She is in Heaven with Jesus dancing on the streets of gold and enjoying the company of those who have gone on before us.

The next thing that hit me was the death of a local high schooler who was a star football player for the Trojans. He was also taken by this horrible disease of cancer. It was a very rare kind from what I understand.  Again so many lives were touched by Malik Sparkman. I believe lives are still being touched and changed for the good and for Gods glory. It is my understanding that he was also a strong Christian and was a witness for Christ through it all. He loved Jesus. With this information, I know that he is in Heaven as well.

In the spring of 2015, I got pretty sick. What I thought was just some sinus issues ended up resulting in some surgery and some unsettled information about myself. I thought a fish bone was stuck in my throat but as it progresses I realized it wasn't in my throat at all. I woke one night in excruciating pain crying. I had been to the walkin clinic earlier that day and they said it was thyroid and did thyroid bloodwork.  I was referred to an ENT doctor here in Douglas. I called and they could see me in 3 weeks. I was not happy with that information but living in this little town of Douglas I just settled for that and prayed that the Lord would work it out. My neck was swollen and red and was continuously swelling. I wasn't sure what was happening. My husband took me to the ER.  My three older kids were spending the night with my parents. Hubby had to get the baby out of the bed and get her out to the car seat. I don't remember much about that night other than the fact that the favor of a God absolutely surrounded me. My doctor was a 1994 graduate from Hazlehurst. I am from there. They did blood work, pain meds, lots of antiinflammatories and a CT scan with contrast. In doing the CT scan, they found a thyroglossal duct cyst. Before I go any further I MUST tell you this is NOT a thyroid condition. It actually didn't involve the thyroid at all. I don't really have time nor do I really want to go into what this is. Google it if you want to know. I assure you it didn't involve the thyroid. I had a lot of people who tried to tell me it could be thyroid cancer and to not let just any doctor do surgery, etc, etc. I know they meant well but they were used to put fear in me. I was able to keep that fear down by lots and lots of prayer but I'm just saying we should be careful with our words. We can speak life or we can speak death over somebody and ourselves for that matter. The doctor just happened to know a good ENT from Dublin that was a colleague of his. I think he said they were in college together. He promised me he would call him personally and get me in ASAP. I was told that surgery would be needed. Fast forward a few weeks. ER doctor called my husband later that morning while may I mention he was off work and did this out of the goodness of his heart told my husband he got an appointment for that Friday. I had went to the ER on Wednesday night. Like I said nothing but the favor of God!  I was told there was a slight risk of cancer. My doctor slid over this info like it was nothing. I Had to take lots of antibiotics and antiinflammatories to get the swelling down so surgery could be done. Surgery was scheduled for a Monday. On the Saturday night before, I started to feel bad and started to feel like it was swelling again. By Sunday afternoon when we went to take the kids to my parents I had to call my ENT and ask if he would still be able to do the surgery if the infection was coming back. It was Father's Day and I had him paged. He called me back in less than 5 minutes. He was a great doctor!!  Surgery went just fine. It was my first time being put to sleep and my very first surgery. I can say that I had the most peace about everything. I was nervous but it was because I really didn't know what to expect. I stayed a night in the hospital. Now I have a nice little scar right smack dab in the middle of my neck. That scar is a reminder to me though. It's a reminder to never ever take my health, my husband, my children, family, or friends for granted. It helped me to love more. It helped me to cling to the small things and appreciate them. It made me fall in love with my husband all over again. He was a good nurse. So patient and kind and a GOOD prayer warrior. He doesn't pray out loud but his prayers are so powerful I can feel them. I am so thankful for my husband. My parents kept our girls and my husbands parents kept our boys while I had surgery and for the remainder of the week while I recovered. I am thankful for this experience. I am thankful that the Lord was there comforting me and everyone who is close to me through this.

It took me a while to get back on my feet good. I was feeling more human around the first of July. In the middle of July, something happened that absolutely rocked me and the community that I grew up in to our very core. A friend of mine and her husband lost their baby boy. He drowned. I'm not going to say much about this because I know that his mommy will probably read this. I will say that I saw the people of the community that I grew up in come together and love on this family. I don't understand it but what I know is that the good Lord works everything out for the good of those who love Him. I do know his family loves the Lord with all their hearts and that although the days are hard, it's going to get better with time. We just need to cling to the Lord and I know they are. And to this family who is like my family I love you guys so much. Every single one of you!

And so back at the beginning of 2015 when I chose this word LOVE I never would have thought hat the Lord would teach me this way to love like Jesus but it was my prayer that God would open my eyes  to see those who needed love the most. I realized without Jesus, there is no love. God is love. Love never fails. Read 1 Corinthians 13. This is what love is.