Physically, the years I have been at CB have been my most difficult years. I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months after joining this site and went through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. I blogged the entire time and indeed, often CB was my link to the outside world as during chemo I was a semi-invalid. Almost exactly two years after my cancer diagnosis, I suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm and a stroke. The people here at this site rallied around me and my family, holding us in prayer. A year later I had to stop teaching due to health issues so there were more changes and challenges.
However, ironically these difficult years have also been some of my most joyful years. I feel the presence of God more than ever. He has provided for the physical needs of my family in amazing ways, even though there was a major loss of income. I have come to truly know that God is my provider!
While I have walked a difficult road, God has given me companions to walk upon this road along side me. Most of those people are actually members of this site. Some of them have been walking with me one way or another since I was going through cancer treatment. Others have joined me along the way or have only just begun. I can only say to those people that I love you all very much and I thank each of you for being willing to do life with me as we all do life together with God.
I will always be thankful that @John started this site and has had the dedication to keep it running all of these years though it has required great sacrifice on his part. I wish I could reward you in some way for that John, but I must be content with supporting this site the best I am able. I know that God sees all and will reward you accordingly.
If I could sit down with everyone who is reading this blog, I would like to say these things:
1. God knew who you were when He took you out of that "pig sty". He knows your strengths and He knows your weaknesses. He knows your successes and... He knows your failures. Nothing you can do will ever "shock" God. When His Word says that if we confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, that's just what it means. You don't have to have a degree in theology or go to Bible college to understand this. God sees your heart and knows if it is repentant or if you're trying to play games with Him and He will respond accordingly.
2. Never forget that it doesn't matter how big and ugly the "giant" is that you are facing. God is bigger!
3. It does not matter how "dark" things are. When we trust in God, when our hope is in Him, He turns our darkness into light. (Psalm 18:28)
3. God will supply all of your needs, even though He might not always give you what you want. He knows better than you what's best for you.
4. Always remember Matthew 10:8: Freely you received, freely give. Be a good steward and bless God. When He blesses you, bless others and that usually means more than simply saying, "Bless you." I think you get my point. Put your money where your mouth is and give!
5. We may not always be "happy" but we need to be joyful. The joy of the Lord is our strength. If you have been robbed of your joy by the enemy it is time to go and get it back. The very best way to do this is to immerse yourself in giving praise to God and serving Him by serving others. If you don't think so, I challenge you to try it and see what happens.
6. NEVER give up! I don't care how many times you get knocked down or slide down the path in the wrong direction. You know who you need to cry out to so do it. Repent, listen to God and obey Him. I know, easier said than done but that is why we have the Holy Spirit to help us, right? Don't stop running the race!
7. Finally, remember whatever you are facing is not forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NLT) says:
|That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.|
The VERY best is yet to be!
Blessings my friends!
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sepblog/3634843977/