As I think of life, God allows each one of us to have challenges on walking the lines of life. As we face each day, it will either make us, break us, or make us bitter or better. As one chooses to be better each one of us can be of help to others. No, we may not have all the answers, but we can point people to the answers and that is God himself.
I think of challenges in my own life, and knowing what the Bible says in Romans 8:28-29 - "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom He did foreknow He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren." And that is our hope in life. And when the Lord allows challenges to happen in our life, it's recorded in Rev 12:10-12 "Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ, for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. And they love not their lives unto the death."
I believe when God brings us through challenges it could be of help to someone else as one can identify with the problem whether it be spiritual, physical, emotional, or anything which can be so real. So to give thanks to God for His goodness and mercy I will give you a quick review of the grace of God, which could have been fatal at times, but I learned just to take one step at a time.
Life is like a vapor, here one moment and gone the next. We never know. I will say I have two precious daughters that I raised by myself from 4 and 6 years of age. Although I was divorced after seven years of marriage, God became my husband and a father to my children. Although times were hard, I never gave up or shut the door to anyone who came to live with us, even outside of the family. It was my privilege to have my home for over 39 years. Entertaining was a blessing for me with missionaries, families, and guests. I even owned my own business, "Needa's Day Care", for 34 years, which was a joy to my heart and even yet to see the kids grow up, get married, and have families of their own.
On May 26, 1976 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My four sisters had the same challenge during their lives. It was by the grace of God that I escaped chemo and radiation treatments. With many other surgeries we kept the doctors very busy because they are quite the "cut-ups"! On March 23, 2009 I entered Harrison Medical Center for a simple hernia surgery and not knowing what could have happened (maybe the epidural in the spine), I slipped into a coma after the second day. I was unconscious for four days and as I was coming out of it, the nurse's aid came in and wanted to walk me. Well, not wanting to do a ballet dance, I collapsed and went to the floor. After an MRI was done, it was discovered that I had a spinal infarction, which is a lack of oxygen in the spinal cord.
Well, after six weeks in Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, I did learn how to walk and drive again. With a great deal of determination I was in physical therapy four times a day, along with home health. Now I can understand the persons who take their first steps in learning how to maintain activity. I have tears of thanksgiving because I can identify with children on up.
After that I began to work In-home health, helping others in their own home. I did that until two years ago. My client passed away. But you see the enemy of our soul was trying to trip me up again. On November 12, 2012, I slipped in a department store and went down, and it was discovered that I broke my arm in four places and crushed my shoulder. I was out of commission for four months. Because I know how the enemy works, I had a rod down my right arm and a new ball in my shoulder. So now I am a "bionic" woman. I have to tell the enemy once in awhile to leave me alone before I "sling you silly". And of course the bat and ball became the Word of God. "Put on the whole armor of God" which we find in Ephesians 6. Oh yes, the enemy has tried to keep me away from the piano, and I decided "God what can I do to give you thanks for my life and sparing me so many times?" Once the Lord began to show me my music and how it could be reproduced by making CD's, it has been my privilege, although not perfect, to have done 3 CD's and now going on the fourth called "Whiter Than Snow".
For the most part of my life I have been a very healthy person outside of the 'little bugs" that go around. But to my real surprise on March 14, 2016, thinking I might have the flu and running a fever of 102.7 which is a rarity, I knew something was wrong. By the weekend I became very weak as I had an "G.I." bleed which was internal bleeding. By early Monday evening about 6:00 p.m., an ambulance was called and I was taken to St. Anthony's Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington. After many tests the conclusion of one doctor was I had no kidney function and I couldn't live. Without kidneys and because of the blood work there was a question of possible leukemia. My system was way out of wack. There was a question of whether I would even make it. After two doctors left the room in addressing these issues, I thought "I ain't gonna accept that". Well, we can thank the Lord that leukemia was not in the works. It's not that I was in denial, but I knew the faithfulness of God was bigger and better than any diagnosis. Oh yes, things can be accepted, as it has been in many cases, but God is always faithful to the end. I praise God because my kidneys are doing very well and every day I get stronger.
As time went on I was doing better and was beginning to sit up in a chair and taking my meals. After sitting up for several hours even after company left, I began to feel very tired and weak. About 11: 00 pm my mouth felt "yucky" and I asked the aide if I could brush my teeth. I yawned while brushing and started choking on the toothbrush. I had dry heaves, hyperventilating, gasping for air as I couldn't find the call light, and all of a sudden a "flat line". That doesn't mean you have passed away, but "could be" close. Because I had a heart monitor on my chest, I could hear the machine go off at the nurse's station and I could hear the nurse say "Anita is flat lining". Right away the nurse came in and I couldn't respond as she was asking me questions, "who I was, where I was" etc.
When a person is in a dying stage for the most part, the hearing is always the last to go. As the nurse came in she said. "I am going to give you something to help you relax". I found out later it was a shot of adrenalin in the "I.V.", which starts the heart back up again like it should be. In that state of quietness, I didn't see a light nor did I see God or anyone else, but the peace of God came over me and He began to show me that my life was not over yet. As I said before, I could hear things but I couldn't respond. Then with an involuntary response I began to turn my head slowly. As I heard the nurse by my side I said "oh hi", and there were three words that came out of her mouth - "YOU CAME BACK, I'm so glad you did." No one can take that away from me. A true miracle!
After a few days, I was able to go to the rest room with a walker and the help of an aide. At about 4:00 a.m. in the morning I was able to go again, and about 30 minutes later the nurse put me off and made me wait for 45 minutes to an hour. Well thank God for attends. Well I couldn't hold it. And of course the aide had to put a new one on. Well when you hold anything and the potty is not in order, you become weak and nauseous.
After awhile I went again with the help of an aid and this time I felt weaker and nauseated. I sat down on the commode and not feeling myself falling, I fainted onto the floor. The "Rapid Response" Team came and of course this time they wanted me to wake up-"Anita stay with us, don't shut your eyes." And of course they took me down to x-ray and did an ultrasound and x-rays of my whole body, and we can thank God that there weren't any broken bones.
Well that meant another 4-5 days in the hospital and I couldn't get up, back to a liquid diet, and now the bedpan. After a few more days I was back to a solid food diet and the bedside commode. Well not being too explicit about life, and then releasing myself, I had two more G.I. bleeds and this time both with bloody stools. Then the doctor thought I needed a colonoscopy, and then the prep was taken which took 3 hours for the next day. Well by 2:00 in the afternoon I felt nauseous and was put on the bedpan and blew out a blood clot, and because of that the colonoscopy was cancelled out and an endoscopy was done. There was a 12 centimeter blood vessel that had burst. Thank the Lord the doc was able to fix it and clamp it down without any More problems. Hallelujah!
After 17 days in the hospital I was released to Port Orchard Life Care for rehab for 21 days, As I look back on these challenges in my life, whether good or bad, life or death, I thank God because it has made a better person out of me to understand someone else, even if it's just being there holding someone's hand and saying "I'm there for you". This last challenge allows me to shine for Jesus. If you aren't a believer, I would like to make a believer out of you.
On occasion I was able to share my C.D.s as a thank you because of the kindness of the staff. This is always a blessing because it's not about making money but to bless someone else because of God's goodness. So after 2 surgical procedures and 5 units of blood I know there is "Power in the Blood" and that I have been "Redeemed" and "Saved by the Blood". Lord this is my prayer, " Please use me, I am at your disposal anytime and anywhere. Where you lead me I will follow." Thus as I think of walking the line of life, I can't help but think of the song "Throw Out The Life Line" which is the most important line that one can walk. I think of what I am doing to help someone be saved and not drift down the road of a perilous life. What can I do and be for you!
[ Article posted June 30, 2016 ]