Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Night That Death Changed My Life

(Warning heavy post ahead) Last Thursday I got a phone call from my doctor after a routine cat scan for my kidneys. They informed me I have something suspicious in my left lung. An emergency referral was put in to see a Pulmonologist. I saw him Friday and he was encouraging but he felt it was important to take a closer look and possible get a biopsy. He ordered a different cat scan, I will get tomorrow. 

The following is not a post, it is a desperate prayer from a heavy heart poured out to my Jesus. I wrote it at 3am after hours of torment and trying to get a grip on what God wanted to say to me. I am choosing to share it on my blog because I am passionate about what God spoke to me and of coarse I want to ALWAYS remember the night that death changed my life.



FEAR


Fear like no other grips my heart.


The fear of death is deep and paralyzing...how can one phone call change your life?

It did


It does every day for many... The call that says, "it's positive", "there was an accident" "we found a mass" they are made countless times, all day in every region of the world.


Tonight death knocked on my door...first in the form of a doctor's call and then in the mighty name of Google. After hours of looking up 10mm lung nodules late into the night I realize that every single site I looked at was a cancer site. I realize that I cannot find even one story of someone that had a 10 mm lung nodule and it was no big deal. I even googled 10mm lung nodule -no big deal.


All the cancer stories flooded in... Young mommies, college students, pregnant women, they were all real they all got that phone call. They all probably spent a night just like this... Googling, crying, praying desperate for life to be as simple as it was just hours before.


Exasperated from the horror stories of lung cancer I pushed away my computer. I frantically search my Bible and unbelievably flipped open to the story of God extending Hezekiah's life for 15 years.


Thus says the LORD: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.”... these are not words you want to read a 12:00am in bitter distress.

Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying, “Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD. And I will add to your days fifteen years.



I gasped struggling to breath...fifteen years? That's nothing! My baby boys is about to turn seventeen and it flew by in the twinkling of an eye. I guess if you're on your last day fifteen years is a blessing, but being thirty four--forty nine seems WAY too close.


I quickly looked for another text...


Proverbs 9:11 for by me your days will be many years will be added to your life... Okay I can sleep on these words. 


I climbed into bed, weary and terrified. I cuddled up as close as I could to my husband his arms wrap around me, comforting words he whisper softly. I bury my face into his strong chest. Inches away our baby is breathing deeply. How many times have I taken breath and life for granted? Breathing statistics on cancer run through my mind... a five year lifespan is all you get with lung cancer. Accusations assault me... you smoked as a teen, your mom smoked around you all your life. You have let bitterness rot your bones. Fear swirling, swirling in my mind... GOD added 15 years --15 years is NOT enough! Even five years + fifteen years is not enough...


Then...Hot Tears, gripping fear, panic,


deep breath


Okay maybe I'm overreacting, maybe tomorrow my 10 mm diagnosis will have been miscalculated and it will only be 3 mm, no big deal. Hey, maybe it's just a total mistake... but... but


BUT


But for many it is not, for many the physical, ripping, earth shaking, breathtaking fears are real



SO many women know that there will be no easy answers. They know that cancer racks their body, they know the end is near, for some death came quickly and even robbed the hope of a goodbye. Here I am swallowed, suffocated by fear that I could die in five or fifteen years- and the truth is.... truly I could die tomorrow.


Then it hit me like a rushing wave...remorse


Lord forgive me


I have been a complaining, selfish fool for weeks. I've been whining, I don't want to homeschool, and my house is just too small to handle the amount of stuff and people. I've been complaining that no matter how much I pray I still feeling anxious and worried. I have complained that my kids will not help and I'm worn out and sick of cleaning up their messes. I mumbled that so many people need and take from me, yet rarely do I feel given to. I've complained that I never get any "me time" or a "break".


Why have I been so selfish, so blind, so Foolish?


How many mommies taking chemo would do anything to be able to clean up after the kids? How many women even now are drawing their last breath and thinking that they will never get to see the people they love again this side of heaven? How many women would love to trade their mansion on a hill to live in my little falling apart house for just one more day, one more week or one more year with their family.


What a fool I've been!


In repentant tears and make my way to the living room and fall on my face with my Bible in hand. Woe is me I'm a woman of unclean lips. 
This scripture comes to my mind over and over... Woe is me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, Isaiah 6:5.


I have spoke hastily I have said things I should not I've complained far too much. I've drawn harsh irritated sighs far too often, hypercritical ugly thoughts have dwelt in my mind and heart where they should not be.


Woe is me! God please give me another chance don't let cancer be what it takes to bring me to my knees I am already here with just a phone call.

Set a guard over my mouth and mind that I might glorify you in all I think and in all I do.


Then

In a desperate plea I start bargaining with God...Just Pleeeease let them tell me everything is okay and I will not complain anymore!!! Oh how easy that is to utter in the quiet, in the dark night when fear is swallowing me and my soul is in anguish. I doubt that promise can hold out in the light of day, that I would never complain again.


of course it can't I know the answer, I will fail again.


I repent, I have no right to bargain with my merciful God... to say... you do this and I will serve you always. Woe is me.


"Please, please, please, Jesus help me", I cry.


Tesha, what IF...What if your worst fears come true... What if the answer on the other side is cancer? what if I hear those dreaded words? Then what?


Will I spend those five or fifteen years in anger, complaining that the Lord's not dealt fairly with me?


Oh God help me! I am so undeserving of your love and mercy, how dare I bargain with my God. The One that is worthy of all of my praise? If I prosper, or if I perish tomorrow.



Got help me I never want to turn my back on you!



these scriptures come quickly...

Render your heart and return to the Lord for he is gracious and compassionate slow to anger abounding with love and he relents from sending calamity, who knows he may turn and have pity? Joel 21:3


Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts. Joel 21:3


Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake. Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Psalm 79:9-10


When I am stressed, angry and upset have people ask where is her God?


When depression and sadness overwhelmed me because I lost my baby, did people ask where was her God?


When fear overwhelms me, the fear of death grips my heart, fear greater than I've ever known... will people ask where is her God?



The night death called my name I cried out to the name of Jesus. I know there is often no answer. I know that for many it is not a night the terrors of death came, but a life. A life lived with no promise of tomorrow. A life that might be required to be relinquished at any time.


Oh woe is me for all my foolishness, woe is me for all my complaining. Truly, truly if I have any strength to get up and care for my family that alone should be enough to make me rejoice all day! If I have friends that I can call on in the day of trouble I should never cease to praise! If I have a home to care for, a husband to love then my mouth should shout gloriously from the rooftop to my God and all of my complaints should be silenced! If I have life and breath truly that should be enough.


When I read the words of other women that have also lost babies or children they urge me to hug my babies because I am so blessed to have them. I DO, I hold onto them I look into their eyes and breath them in and I feel immensely, deeply thankful.


Now that I've tasted the fear of sickness and death I know that I will never be the same. I do not want to utter a complaint without remembering this night of fearful sadness. So many mommies will not get to love their babies, care for their homes, spend time with their friends or love their husbands because cancer or death will rob them.


As all this fear grips my heart I beseech the Lord to let me live and live well! Not well in the sense that my life will be easy because my problems are gone. WELL because I know that all my problems are NOT problems they are wonderful blessings--my children, my home, my friends, my husband, lots of kids, loads of laundry, dirty dishes, people that need my help.


BLESSINGS they are ALL blessings


Is there any real reason to complain?  I can even thank God for this cancer scare because it has opened my eyes.



Real anxiety, real fear is when you're faced with the biggest what IF .... What IF this is my last year? What if tomorrow is my last day, what if I'm out of time?


Did I live well did I love well? did I stop complaining and start counting my blessings?


So today when the laundry is piled high and the children are out-of-control, when the days work seems long and endless, when you have been disrespected, neglected, overlooked and taken advantage of again and again.


TAKE A DEEP BREATH and praise the Lord!


Do it for every woman that got the diagnosis today. For every woman that faces the paralyzing truth that her days are numbered. For every woman that is living her last day, struggling for her last breath. She is wishing that she had one more tomorrow to clean, to cook a meal, to be there for her children, to go to lunch with a friend, to encourage someone in church, to hug her husband. Oh God have mercy on me for all my foolish ways, Deal with me compassionately. For I do not deserve another day anymore than she does! But I will take it and be so grateful to breathe this day and tomorrow.


If we have today we should LIVE it with joy! There are millions of women that would love to trade places with us.



Maybe this whole ordeal was a bad dream brought on by a phone call and Google



Nevertheless I'm a changed woman I've tasted the bitterness of the fear of death and I've seen the goodness of all I have!


I will wash my hands and cleanse my lips I will not complain I will praise my Jesus every day!!!



Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:6-16


(If you made it to the end of this ridiculously long post, please say a prayer that God will heal and good news will be ours!)

15 comments:

Shannon Wallace said...

Absolutely in my prayers.

Beth Morey said...

Oh Tesha...what agony, what terror. I'm so, so sorry. Sending you all the love and hope, and hoimg hard right along with you.

Jenn @Treasuring Lifes Blessings said...

Huge (((hugs)) my friend!!! I am praying for you that you get a clean bill of health today, praying for your nerves to be calm as you wait for answers. Thank you for your honesty in sharing and reminding us to be grateful for another breath of life. Love you!

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness - I am so so sorry! Thank you for sharing your post - what a good reminder to us all about what is important. I will be praying hard for you. I pray that this is just a mistake. I pray for many many years for you to live and raise your beautiful children. God bless you Tesha! Please post again as soon as you have news. Hugs!

Jessica said...

Praying for you!!

J Howard said...

Oh friend! How ridiculously scary. I am praying.

Hillary said...

You are in my prayers friend! What scary new. I would be frantic myself! Keep us all in the loop!

xoxox

Debby@Just Breathe said...

My heart is racing and I was just drawn to my knees to pray for you. God hear my prayers.....

Kristy said...

I'm praying friend.

Allison said...

Praying for you!

Sara said...

Tesha,
You are in my prayers in a BIG way right now! Praying for good news!!! Praying for healing...

Sara

csbwhite said...

praying...and that you for sharing your heart during this scary time.

The Kimmels said...

Lots of prayers for you and peace for your heart!

Christine said...

This is unbelievably beautiful and what a wake-up post for every woman! We all get so very weary and feel so taken advantage of as busy moms and wives. I feel desperate to know what your news is, if you have any yet. I am praying, Tesha. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this horrible fear of the unknown, but praise God for this beautiful prayer and reminder of Jesus' love and redemption and why we need Him. I am going to try to reach you by email if I have a saved address. Much love to you!

Tracie said...

I am praying for you. You are so right about women wishing they had another day, another chance. No matter if it is you or your loved one that passes on ... it's the everyday, the small lovely moments that are so missed. You are crying out to the Lord and not retreating out of fear or bitterness and He hears you. God bless you and heal you, in Jesus' Name.

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