Question #1:

A Place For Ministry Wives asks:
“What makes you want to stay on earth so badly?”
“Why do we fight so hard to “stay”?

First and foremost, life is a terminal disease. We were never promised tomorrow. My cancer did not change the outcome of my life or its final destination. I am going to die, cancer didn’t change that outcome. You are going to die, and whatever you are facing hasn’t changed that outcome either.

Look at it this way, we are only here for a short time, some of us shorter than others. Before the fall (Adam and Eve sinned) we were not created to experience death, but created for life. It was our sin that made death a reality for us.

Every living creature instinctively fears death.

If we had no fear of death, we might become so fanatical in our pursuit of death that we wouldn’t be willing to face the serious problems this world sets before us.

I believe that Christs calling on my life is bigger than myself. I believe that he has given me a thorn in my flesh so that I might boldly proclaim Him through out my sickness. I believe that he has called my family, even my Emma Grace to be a witness of how he cares for us, even in our deepest darkest moments of despair. I believe that He knew, before I was born, that I would praise him through this storm, despite this storm. I believe that He knew, before Emma Grace was born, that her father and I would praise him through her storms.

Now, that is not to say that I don’t long to be in my heavenly home, because I do. But His ways are perfect, and I must depend on that.

Then there is my family. I want to live for them, I want to hold my grand babies and watch them grow up. I want to see my children graduate, go to college, get married. I want to see my husband walk Easton down the Isle on her wedding day. I long for those moments, even more so now.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
-2 Corinthians 12:8-10

That is my life verse (which was asked in my comments). I cling to that verse on a daily basis. I love the way that The Message puts it:

Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

His grace is enough. It is all I need. His strength comes into its own in my weakness.

Life is a gift, it is His gift to me.

How can I refuse it?

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Comments

  1. Great post today Heather!

  2. You have such a gift of making things onto the true reality.
    You have the gift, when does the book begin? LOL,
    Praying for you sweetie!

  3. Thanks for the blessing Heather…..I so look forward to your other questions answered. Your faith is very deep and so evident. You are like a light that always shines and your shinning for Christ. God bless you Heather!!

  4. Beautiful!

  5. God bless, Heather! Are you feeling good today?

    {{{Heather}}}

    Sallie

  6. Again, beautiful.

  7. Heather,
    What an awesome post! Your prospective on life is so wonderful. You are a blessing to so many.

    Thank you for taking the time to post what was on your heart.
    Many Blessings,
    Paula :)

  8. As always, Heather, you continue to inspire me with your powerful words and deep faith.

    Thank you for sharing!

  9. Heather, your words bring me to tears… I was up into the wee hours of the morning last night, praying for sweet Amy’s family, for you, for Kelli… thinking of all of this, and trying to sort it all out in my young, inexperienced mind, from my veiwpoint as one who hasn’t gone through anything close to these situations. Your words this morning put it all together for me, and put into words the questions and answers I was trying to find. You are a blessing, each and every time I read a single word you’ve written.

  10. Thank you for such a wonderful post today. It touched me in such a way that I can’t even explain. I have fibromyalgia and the pain, depression, and all the fatigue can become so overwhelming. I am a mom of three and a wife to a wonderful man. This illness has been so hard on my family. It is hard for my family to have a mom in pain and who just can’t keep up with daily life anymore. I so often question why? Why God when “I” had so many plans for “my” life. Fibromyalgia was not one of them. It truly has changed the course of my life. I struggle to find the positive in this illness. Your life verse changed all that for me. I have read that verse before, but until today it didn’t connect with me. Thank you Heather for now I see that God has given me a gift. My job is let go of “my” plans and stay close to HIM. “My” plans have changed but God’s have not. He knew all along what my journey in this life will be like. If I stay close to Him, He will bring about positive. I need to quite fighting the handicap and start appreciating the gift.
    I too, think you should write a book. Your words and honesty have touched so many people. Perhaps you could find someone to help you write the book. Just an idea.
    Thanks again Heather.

  11. Teresa from SC says:

    You so get it !!! It’s the human part we all have trouble with. Have a great day Heather, however it shakes out, we love ya.

  12. Dear Heather,
    Thank-you for that post. I haven’t read that passage in the Message…but I like it very much. Especially the part about a “big head”.
    Lord, save me from that! Please! :)
    Hugs and prayers,
    Michelle

  13. campstamper03 says:

    AMEN!!

    Have a blessed day,
    Hugs & prayers,
    Norma

  14. Hi Heather,
    I think you should still consider writing a book, listen I will give you my friend Bonnie’s email address- she is my spiritual Mom she lives in California and she writes books…..so there you go. You tell her about yourself and she will help you I just know she will…..I will send it personally okay….love you!!!

    Robyn

  15. Dearest Heather, thank you for the beautiful answer you gave. You are fulfilling the calling God has for you and you are doing it beautifully. A book by Randy Alcorn entitled “Heaven” has been such a blessing to me. His books can be found at his web site http://www.eternalperspectivesministries.com. I would also gladly send a copy to you if you wish. Let me know & I’ll send you my email address.

    I deal with health issues daily and have since the age of 13. I am now 60 years old and more clearly see the reasons I’ve struggled. Without the “thorns” I wouldn’t be who I am today. When we realize they come from His hand, it makes the battle much easier. He is refining us and as we learn to melt into His will, it makes it all worthwhile. All we endure seems such a small thing when compared to eternity with Him.

    May God richly bless you and yours. Thank you for sharing with us the journey you’re on with God. You are a blessing to so many.

  16. Hey there,
    I’ve been reading here for a few weeks. I did’t post a question…really struggled with that…wanted to ask…trying to think of a great question and my mind was going “so…do you like chocolate?” Sad, I know. But I felt like …wow, don’t want to freak her out over the first cup of coffee :)Thanks for being real, being sad, terrified…yet secure. I get that. Praying for you, Ivy (way up north in Alberta, Canada)

  17. “I believe that He knew, before I was born, that I would praise him through this storm, despite this storm. I believe that He knew, before Emma Grace was born, that her father and I would praise him through her storms. ”

    That is the reason you can’t stop blogging. The world needs to hear your story. God is glorified when you praise him through your trials. You are such an inspiration.

  18. AMEN!!!

  19. Good post-like what you said that life is a teminal disease!

  20. Hey Bo!
    Guess what I read today!

    “Robyn Says:
    September 11th, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Hi Heather,
    I think you should still consider writing a book, listen I will give you my friend Bonnie’s email address-…..and she writes books”

    I know you’re smiling!

    Sometimes after I think about how totally amazing you are, I become afraid that you were switched at birth. NOT REALLY! Who Loves You More? Only Jesus and Mark.

    Dad

  21. Great post as always!

  22. Okay. Maybe I am selfish. But wow, Heather! This kind of post is why I NEED you to keep your blog going. You are SUCH an incredible inspiration and God speaks through you more often than you would believe!

  23. I pray that the Lord gives me the words that I am searching for. You were wondering why and if you should keep this blog, since you are not always up and positive.
    Well, I believe everyones spirtual journey is like that, some days we are close to God, other days he seems so far away. I was a frequent reader of Amy’s blog, I am so saddened by her passing, my heart is heavy knowing what her family must be going through. I was thinking today, here is someone I have never met, yet she has touched my soul so deeply, what an awesome legacy. What a great witness!
    That is how I look at your blog, you are kind enough to let us walk this journey with you. Someone, maybe all of us need a word, a sentence, a song, something from this blog. It may help us today or it may be a few years down the road, we don’t know.
    Even in your darkest times, you are an inspiration, you are a witness, because it is real and it’s life.
    Thank you Heather for blessing my life.

    God Bless
    Kim

  24. “…even though my heart is torn
    I will praise You in this storm”… those words echo still in my head and I heard the song first here, on your Blog Heather. “Once again, I say AMEN, and its still raining”…I say Amen to what you wrote today, and I know God loves you more than all of us do. Trusting Him, Lynnebee

  25. Can’t wait to read more of your answers, Heather. God has granted you a gift with words. Even more amazing to me, you have SUCH an amazing gift despite your brain being affected!!

    This could be a great set-up for your bestseller…Preface sharing your story, then chapters of answers to a zillion questions. :) I also have possible contacts in publishing; you just yell should you want them.

  26. And then somewhere I read

    “This could be a great set-up for your bestseller…Preface sharing your story, then chapters of answers to a zillion questions. :) I also have possible contacts in publishing; you just yell should you want them.”

    Weird Huh?

    Dad :)

  27. Dear Heather’s Dad…

    Your encouragement of Heather is so … wow. Not ever having had a father who encouraged or supported me I can honestly say that seeing how you encourage and support Heather is so beautiful in a generation where many fathers remove themselves.

    Blessings…

  28. Amen!! Amen!! Amen!!
    Heather your strength and faith are a blessing every time I read your blog.

  29. BEAUTIFUL, Heather. Well put. :-)

  30. What a beautiful response. :)
    JoAnn

  31. Heather, on a practical level….It is my belief that you WILL see Easton walk down the aisle on her Daddy’s arm…you will just be sitting in a different seat than the traditional one for Moms. That’s what I believe.

    My little Hopey, age 13, wants me (her step-mom with cirrhosis) to make her wedding gown one day. I’ve raised her since she was 3. I’ve decided that before I get too sick to do it, I will make the dress. If I make it plenty big enough and leave all the side seams of the sleeves, bodice and skirt open…someone else can sew those seams for me….when the time comes…if I am not here to do it myself.

    Not that it’s really much comfort…but if you can think of some of those things you are grieving for missing “from your seat on earth,” maybe you can do something now to assuage that pain for your children in the future. For instance…you can write a letter to each of your children….to be given to them on their graduation day, wedding day, birth of your first grandchild. I’m sorry if I am making you cry…but I already know you are grieving for these events and milestones…as I am. If we do something with that pain, there is some relief. I’ve designated a few personal items to go to my grandchildren…and only told their moms. It makes me feel better. I want to make my last plans (although I have not done so yet). I do not want to make my beloved husband make those decisions. I want no family dispute. It will all be as I wish. Not because it means that much to me…they will just be burying the shell I needed to live in on this earth. I will do this because I want that day to be peaceful. I want them to know I loved them enough to do this for them ahead of time. I want them to be able to rejoice that I will have a glorified body…that I will be in a place that holds no pain, no suffering.

    Please write your book. It can be a compilation of your blog writings. Simple. Much of it is already written. Begin at the beginning. Send out a request for someone to help with the publishing, etc. God will send someone to do it because what you have had to say was directly and divinely inspired by Him.

    My our Lord and Savior hold you gently in his loving hands.

    Peace be with you,
    Annamaria

  32. Yes, it is a gift. A wonderful gift.

    And in the last post you mentioned that writing about the bad days feels wrong. I think we need to hear about the total journey. That is an issue we’re having at our house right now, because I write about my son and he is approaching adulthood…and is somewhat fussy about what I write. But people need to see the big picture. They need to hear stories about the total journey. It creates the fabric upon which this hardship is stamped.

    If we don’t hear about the bad days, the amazing strenght and hope with which you choose to live doesn’t always have the same impact.

    Write it all!

  33. And that is why you inspire me so much. I will reflect on your answer and will ask God to teach me more through it and through you. :-) Thanks for your transparency. I have asked myself the same question many times before – and it was nice to hear the answer from someone who is really in the midst of the storm right now. Bless you, sweet sister.

    I am also including a copy of my e-mail to you…so everyone out there knows my heart and the sincerity and purity of my question. I would never want anyone to think I was being “insincere” or so “casual” to ask such a serious question of you during such a challenging time.

    Here it is…

    Hi Heather-

    I’m so glad you asked us to ask questions. There is something I have
    been wanting to ask you – because I’m curious – and I’d like your
    eternal perspective on it. Please don’t be offended – this is just something I’ve asked myself over and over again and I’d like to hear the answer from you (considering you have had to face your own mortality
    recently).

    So, here it goes…

    Pretty much, life on earth stinks (and that’s a kind way of putting it :-) ). Outside of growing in the Lord, our families and spreading the gospel (as if those 3 are not good enough reasons)…can you answer these 2 question for me?

    “What makes you want to stay on earth so badly?”
    “Why do we fight so hard to “stay”?

    I am sincere in this question. It is pure and genuine. I’ve often wondered why we fight to stay here so badly – when such glory awaits us.
    Life on earth is just so hard. It seems that we would want to just run
    off to the “healing place” as fast as we could.

    I often wonder how much I would fight if I were faced with the same situation. Of course…I love my family – my husband, child – and would never want them to have to endure such heartache as to see me go or vice versa -and to have to live without the absence of a wife or mom’s touch/love. It would be undeniably difficult.

    Yet…the question haunts me…”What is it about this earth – other than the above – that makes us want to fight so hard to stay here?

    Would you be so kind as to give me your earthly and eternal answer? I want to peer into your heart, hear from you and see you in the midst of your answer.

    Blessings-
    APFMW

  34. You have such a beautiful way with words. Thank you for being you.

  35. I have to tell you that you ministered to my heart with your answer to Question #1. More than that, you gave me something to share with my dad. I passed the post on through email. My dad had a major stroke 4 years ago. He has paralysis and struggles with depression. He struggles with feeling as if he has a purpose and knowing what he should be doing with his life. He asks me to pray for him and he looks to me for encouragment… I am certain your words will encourage his heart. I am praying tonight that they will touch him when he read them. Thank you! (I bet you didn’t imagine you would touch lives when you asked for Questions from your readers. I am SO glad you did that.)

  36. Although I read you every day and have you on my sidebar, I don’t often comment. Here I go….

    LIVE, LIVE, LIVE!

    Stay here for your family, for others that need you and gain so much from you!

    While I appreciate the honesty of the question and don’t knock it, for me personally, I have always been extremely bothered when people say things like “Let the trumpets sound today.” or “Let’s move on to a better place.”

    God gave me this life (and yes, He can take it whenever He wants), but until then, I believe He expects us to LIVE here and enjoy what He has given us, do the right things with what He has given us, and always glorify Him with it all.

    Always praying for you!

    LIVE….we all need you!

  37. “Good Answer Heather!!”

    Pilot Mom said…
    An EXCELLENT response, Heather! Very well stated.

    September 11, 2007 1:46 PM

    passing-thru said…
    Again — I said this before and will say it again more than once – I stand in your shadow, Heather

    September 11, 2007 8:38 PM

  38. Dear Heather..
    Such a goldly reply to this question!
    I agree with Stacey, and I also agree with your looking at life that no matter how weak you are that you want to live!!
    I think that you and Stacey have the same attitude.

    My heart can sing when I pause to remember
    A heart ache here is but a stepping stone.
    Along a trail that’s winding always upward,
    This troubled world is not my final home.

    But until then my heart will go on singing,
    Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
    Until the day my eyes behold the city,
    Until the day God calls me home.

    The things of earth will dim and lose their value,
    If we recall they’re borrowed for awhile;
    And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
    Remembered there will only bring a smile.

    But until then my heart will go on singing,
    Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
    Until the day my eyes behold the city,
    Until the day God calls me home.

    This weary world with all its toil and struggle,
    May take its toll of misery and strife;
    The soul of man is like a waiting falcon;
    When it’s released, it’s destined for the skies.

    But until then my heart will go on singing,
    Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
    Until the day my eyes behold the city,
    Until the day God calls me home

    Love Terry