Joy no matter what. A blog by Deanne Nelson.

Blogging, Speaking, and Writing | Jesus and Autism | The Nelson Family Journey

Let There Be Light July 8, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — gdnelson5 @ 6:50 am
Tags: , , , ,

I cannot sleep. I find myself pleading with the Lord God to calm my heart’s greatest fears. My faith is so little right now. And yet I know that my Savior lives, despite the chaos that ensues in our world.

There is an enemy to us all. His name is Satan. He is the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Our war is truly not against one another, but with the dark powers of Satan. He takes great delight in bringing division among and through people. He is throwing our nation into utter confusion and chaos. The current events in Dallas, TX are a result of his handiwork to bring hatred into the hearts of people. He is nowhere near being done with his evil schemes to bring division and death.

Yet in utter darkness, there is always hope. No matter how great the darkness becomes, it can be extinguished with light. Consider a pitch black room, where nothing can be seen. It is impossible to navigate through such a room. One can only hope to grope through, grasping for something to hold on to. But once a single light illuminates that room, the darkness that was once there proves to be powerless and eradicated. The light fills in every nook and cranny of darkness, so that none remains. I see our nation blindly grasping on to anything in order to survive. Where is the light switch?…

Jesus Christ is the one and only hope of the world. He has already conquered the powers of hell and darkness, and no amount of evil on this earth can undo the victory he obtained on the cross. We are all heirs to eternal life, if we trust in His death. Yes, He had to die, so that we could truly live beyond this temporarily life. May Jesus Christ be the light switch that humanity clings to, as only He can shed light on the darkness that seeks to destroy us all.

My husband is sound asleep right now. I am grateful for his peaceful sleep. He is not yet aware that eleven of his fellow police officers have been shot upon, as they showed up to perform the duties of their sworn position. He does not know that five of those have been killed in the line of duty. He will waken soon, probably around 4:30am. He will begin to get ready to start his twelve hour shift as a sergeant for the police department in our town. I would like it if he would just stay asleep longer, in a peaceful place of comfort and safety in our bedroom. Perhaps he will feel ill when he gets up, but then I remember that he shows up for work even when he is weakened physically. Perhaps he will hear of the tragic events of the night and start to consider that maybe police work is no longer what he needs to be doing. But then I remember that he is passionate about serving and protecting his community, and that such news will only serve to make his resolve to being a honorable police officer even stronger. Perhaps if I cry and plead that he take a desk job, that he might consider it. But then he just might ask me why my children and I pray for him as we do, if those prayers for safety and protection are not believed in. He would then remind me that he loves being a police officer, even though many hate him when he puts his uniform on. He will not let fear, violence, or hate control his life, and neither will I.

And so I will stop playing out in my head the ways in which the love of my life should live the rest of his life. He has sworn to protect and serve, and nothing will deter him from doing that. I will simply wait for him to arise any minute, and I will tell him of the tragic events in Dallas. I will kiss him and hold him tightly, say a prayer over him, and send him out in his patrol car for the start of a new day. And as he pulls away, I will know that the light of Jesus Christ goes with him everywhere, and even death has no power over him.

Yes, may the light switch in his patrol car remain bright, no matter what.

 

But the greatest of these… May 25, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — gdnelson5 @ 5:48 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I start off by sharing that I am not an expert on anything. Oh, there have been areas that I once thought I might have known more than a little something about, but one thing that the years have given me (besides poor eyesight and an extra twenty-five pounds) is humbling revelation. I find that humility is the absolute best teacher, if we are willing to receive and be trained by it.

That all being said, there is no question that darkness and sin abound in our world. One does not need to be a scholarly theologian to come to that conclusion. What is so disheartening is the ever growing collateral damage that our sins are leaving behind. Sin has dire and destructive consequences to be sure. We live in a time where pain, violence, and offense have become the norm, but is it too late to find hope in this world? Our nation? Our workplace and neighborhoods? How in the world do we fight the sin and darkness that come to destroy ourselves and each other??

Now, I again reiterate that my word is not one of any power or authority in this matter, but I believe that the Lord God speaks truth into the hearts of those who seek Him. We are all but one prayer away from His advice, counsel, and direction. I am only sharing what has invaded my heart as I pray and ponder over all that is around us.

The answer starts with something that we all have open access to, but will we receive it and use it? The starting place creates the entire foundation, but will we skip over this step to get to matters that we believe are more pressing or crucial? Oh yes, many people believe that they have the keys to knowledge and understanding, but have we forgotten the most critical and basic of all requirements for hope and restoration to abound?….

LOVE.

It is a word we use in excess. We love coffee, the beach, Disneyland, our families, etc. We love to sleep too! But genuine and deep love comes from the Lord God. In the Greek language, there are multiple words to define varying types of degrees of what we know in English as ‘love’. One such word is ‘agape,’ and it refers to love that is everlasting, unconditional, and transforming. It is this type of love that can take a blameless man to a brutal death on a cross, and leave behind not a single shred of irritation, blame, or offense. Not only that, it is a love that offers total and complete forgiveness to anyone, no matter how much of a sinner they are. Let’s face it; we are all just a mess. This love does not need you to get ‘cleaned up’ or ‘right’. It is there for the taking. It comes from the Lord God, through way of Jesus Christ. He was the one who battled the shame, sin, and death for us on the cross, and what did He leave behind for us?…LOVE. Will you receive His love? I promise you this, it is the answer for your every need, question, and longing.

To the broken sinner…you are loved.

To the struggling drug addict…you are loved. God loves you right now, just the way you are. He loves you as you are injecting, snorting, smoking, or ingesting, and He loves you as you plead and fight through the pains of withdrawal. He loves you as you fall one more time to the beast of addiction, and He loves you as you try to convince yourself and others that this time is the last time. He loves you just as much as He loves any human being who is and ever lived. Will you surrender to Jesus and receive His love?

To the homosexual, bisexual, transgender, lesbian, pornographic partaker, prostitute, and all others…you are loved. God has formed every part of you and loves His creation. He knows you better than you know yourself, and so today, just know that you are loved totally and completely, just the way you are. The walls of shame and anger that you might feel in regards to God were not placed there by Him. Jesus Christ extends love and hope to all, and will not turn you away. Please do not turn Him away. He did not love you more when you were living ‘better,’ and He will not love you any less when you make choices and decisions that don’t align with His ways. His love is constant, no matter what. Will you surrender to Jesus and receive His love?

To the murderers, rapists, pedophiles, terrorists…yes, Jesus’ blood shed on the cross is that strong. You are loved in complete measure. The God who created you is merciful beyond human comprehension, and His love can be your true source of life and hope. It is a love that washes every stain, and leaves behind a new creation. God’s love for you is just as powerful and alive as His love for Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, or any of the spiritual ‘greats’ as we might perceive them to be. The foot of the cross is level ground, with a full and equal portion of love to all who come. Will you surrender to Jesus and receive His love?

To the atheist, agnostic, new world guru, Mormon, Baptist, Lutheran, Buddhist, Muslim, Jehovah’s Witness, Hindu, Catholic, Christian, Jew, and ALL other religions…you are loved. God has never been bound by our religious boundaries. His unconditional and total love for mankind crosses right over all of them. He loves you today, no matter what ‘religion’ you happen to be practicing right now. When Jesus died on the cross, a way was provided for each and every individual to come to God. No need to earn certain theological or advanced knowledge, or to pass through a series of ritualistic steps of worthiness. You have an open pathway to His perfect love through Christ. He sees you, He knows you, and most importantly, He loves you. Will you surrender to Jesus and receive His love?

Hhhmmm, any others?  Have you ever lied, cheated, stolen, grumbled, or complained? Have you ever been envious, prideful, jealous, angry, bitter, selfish, or self-righteous? Ever felt that someone of a different race, political affiliation, or religion was beneath you? What about offended? Have you ever held an offense against another and harbored unforgiveness in your heart for them, for any reason at all?

I could go on, but I believe I have touched on every human being who has ever lived, and who ever will. If you take issue with this, I would refer you to the preceding paragraph, and hope that you do not take offense.

The apostle Paul sums it up under guidance of the Holy Spirit…“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners- of whom I am the worst.”… 1 Timothy 1:15. 

Why in the world would Jesus Christ do such a thing? The answer has always been there since the foundation of the world…LOVE. God loves you. He loves you magnificently. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.”…John 3:16.

The question is, will you now take that love and pour it out into others? If  the love of Jesus would  flow freely out from those who have been willing to receive it, our world would literally have a love explosion! It would be colossal. We would see unity, restoration, healing, and joy across our land.

I suppose I could have cut straight to the chase and said that God loves all sinners, but there are some groups of people that I specifically mentioned in which some people feel might be disqualified. Not so. We are all sinners, plain and simple.

To my precious Christian brothers and sisters, we are truly free in Christ Jesus, but it was nothing that we earned or deserved. May we use that freedom to love all the more. While we certainly have the right to protest and boycott things we feel strongly about, let’s be sure that we are not boycotting the love He so strongly wants us to spread. He just might be sending you to the very people or places that you feel certain you must exclude. Be prayerful and willing to open your heart to where the Spirit leads, knowing that He might be speaking a different plan and purpose to another. May mercy and grace abound in these things.

“Three things that will last forever-faith, hope, and love-but the greatest of these is LOVE.”  1 Corinthians 13:13

Let’s get busy fighting the darkness of this world with agape love for one another. It is a powerful weapon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The True Meaning of the Words March 10, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — gdnelson5 @ 8:28 am
Tags: , , , ,

Back in the dog days of autism diagnosis, I thought the world basically revolved around…ME. I did not want my life interrupted with such a disability. I was not equipped to raise a child with autism. I felt that I did not do anything to deserve such a turn of events. I fell into a bout of depression and self pity over what my and my family’s future might be like. I stopped seeing my then beautiful 22 month old son Nathan. only saw autism.

It was September of 2004, and I had recently bought a CD by a Christian artist named Nicole C. Mullen. As it would turn out, I played this particular CD over and over as I was reveling in my fear and anguish over our son’s newly discovered diagnosis. Certain songs especially grabbed at my heart during that time and I would find myself sobbing uncontrollably as even the first notes were played. Have you ever given meaning to a certain song in your life?..or a certain day??..and if that song or day come up, you go right back to that place of thick memories that you cannot seem to get away from?? Our feelings seem to just take over.

Track #11 was a song called Redeemer. Oh, I would play that song over and over, and before long, it became my ‘autism anthem’. As soon as the melody began, I would envision Nathan forever wrapped up in some sort of autism bubble. I would play back the moment the doctor told us that he might have some mental retardation as well. I would envision him running his fingers up and down the same textured wall endlessly….for hours if we had let him. I would hear his shrieking cries of frustration when anyone would so much as look at him. All of this chaos was battling inside of my head each time this song was played, and it was me tuning in repeatedly to track #11 for more. It is an ugly thing when we get stuck in our circumstances and feelings.

A great irony was that the song Redeemer of course did not have a single thing to do with autism, me, or any of the fears I was piling up inside. No…Redeemer was in fact all about the only true source of joy and hope in this world.  It was about the One who has the ability and qualifications to redeem all of mankind from sin and death. The redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, and that song was written to honor and glorify Him alone. Here is what Nicole C Mullen herself shared about this gorgeous piece of music…. “‘Redeemer’ was inspired by the scripture passage in the (Old Testament Book of) Job of when, while under his afflictions, Job stooped and said, ‘I know that my redeemer lives and at the last day, He will stand upon the Earth.’ And how he was going to see God with his eyes and in his flesh- not another but He himself. How powerful- that regardless of what we go through, regardless of what the world tells us- that we can stand up with our shoulders back and our head straight and forward and say, ‘I know that I know that my Redeemer lives in spite of what I’m going through, in spite of what I’ve seen or what’s going on around me.”‘

How in the world could I have missed such a poignant and timely message?? I needed that truth so desperately, but I chose to only focus on the little I knew about autism, as opposed to the colossal truths and promises of the Lord. He was teaching me so many things back then, and still does today.  The fact is, as soon as we take our eyes off of the Lord, the true meaning of life gets completely distorted.

And so one day back then when I went to repeat track #11 for the thousandth time, it would not play at all. It was only a repeating cascade of skips. The whole song was skipping. I can recall frantically pulling the CD out and cleaning it, drying it, buffing it…I could see a scratch across it. No matter how I tried, I could not repair it. I could play all of the other tracks, but #11 Redeemer was ruined. Oh how I belly ached about it. After all, that was the song I would wallow to the most, and I was getting pretty comfortable in my state of wallow… I have to smile now as I consider that the Lord God would not allow me to wallow any longer. I had destroyed HIS song enough, and it was time for a NEW thing!.. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?….Isaiah 43:19

It would be about a year later when the Lord would speak a beautiful promise into my life. All the while, He was pouring His grace, love, patience, and mercy into me, and I was waking each day with new hope and strength. None of those things came from me, and I know that full well. As I started to focus on Jesus, the world of autism presented itself in a gorgeous and colorful new way. We were blessed with fabulous therapists and new friendships that changed our lives. My son was indeed learning and full of endless potential. And through the daily struggles and hardships, the light of hope always remained. The days of wallow had come to an end….

Now I would continue to play my Nicole C Mullen CD frequently. I had learned to love the songs all the more, but I would have to skip past #11 as it still would not play. But one day as I was driving the Superstition 60 freeway in AZ on my way to work, I put that CD in the player again. As song #11 neared, I was readying myself to pass over it when I felt a tug in my spirit to hold off. The beautiful instrumental introduction began…without pause. …”Who taught the sun, where to stand in the morning….” The words came, and came, and came..without one skip, pause, or delay. I can still recall my hands shaking on the steering wheel, the tears of elation and joy streaming down my face. It was the most beautiful song I had ever heard, and I was truly hearing it for the VERY FIRST time. The words came alive, the meaning grabbed hold of my heart, and I began to sing it loudly to my Lord and God. Yes, my redeemer lives, and because He lives I can face tomorrow!!!

I had finally gotten it, and the Lord was so loving and merciful to show me about His nature. He is a God who restores. He makes all things new. He can take every scratch and blemish, and bring it all into amazing perfection. He takes our tears and pain, and replaces them with unending joy and hope…despite the trials of this life. He is more than you can ever fathom, and He is right there to love and accept you today, right where you are and how you are. He is mighty to save and no one or nothing is a lost hope in His sight. No diagnosis, disease, disability, addiction, hurt, or pain can ever overcome Him and His power. HE MAKES ALL THINGS NEW!!

Yep, song #11 Redeemer is still my all time favorite song in the world. I still weep whenever I hear it, but not a single thought of autism comes to mind. The tears are like a cleansing stream. Thank you Lord.

Here are the amazing words to this worship masterpiece:

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning
Who told the ocean you an only come this far?
Who showed the moon where to hide ’til evening
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testify
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives

The very same God that spins things in orbit
He runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

Now I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer, He lives

To take away my shame
And He lives forever I’ll proclaim
That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave
But now He’s alive
And there’s an empty grave.

And I know my Redeemer, He lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives

If you have never heard it, please take a moment to listen….May the Lord Jesus be glorified in all things.

Here is the beautiful face to match the voice..

Nicole

 

True Sufficiency…My Miracle December 7, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gdnelson5 @ 9:07 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I did not used to be grateful for having a normal and healthy right arm. In fact, I went through over forty years of my life without giving my right arm a second thought. It is true that we sometimes do not truly embrace and savor something until we either lose it completely, or get a bitter taste of what life would be like without it. No, I was not in danger of losing my right arm, but I was experiencing a drastic decline in how my arm and hand functioned. It is only now that I have a heart full of joy and gratitude for something that I had always had before! Sometimes the only way to gain lasting joy and peace, is to suffer and endure through trials and pain. It is  in such a place where total reliance and trust in God is developed. Yes, in loss we can come to find that Christ alone is more than sufficient to fill our every need.

It was a typical shift in the ER back in mid April of this year when an elderly man was brought in by his family for weakness. I was the triage RN that night and quickly brought this gentleman through as he appeared to be having a stroke. His family had managed to get him in a wheelchair initially, and I was wheeling him back to a treatment room. Two other RN’s and myself were assisting him to the ER cart when his legs gave out and much of his weight came down on me. I strained myself to keep him from falling, and in the same instant felt a crushing surge of pain shoot down my back. I knew that some damage had been done.

For the days to follow I had expected back pain, but felt certain that it would resolve in time.  I have been an RN for twenty years now, and find that each year some new aches and pains develop  (I am so NOT young anymore), but I too believe I have many good years left!

It was approximately eight to ten days later that I developed some nagging right upper arm and shoulder pain. I did not connect this to the injury initially. I figured I had just strained something in the shoulder and again waited for resolution, but such resolution did not come. What started as a nuisance-type pain evolved into relentless pain that was sharp, shooting, burning, and intense. By July I had taken enough Motrin to medicate an elephant, and my symptoms were only increasing.

Now, I try to keep my grumbling and complaining over things to a minimum, as nothing good ever comes out of all that negativity, but by this time I was sufficiently sleep deprived and all around grumpy. My poor husband took the brunt of my frustration, as I became both mentally and physically exhausted. He would listen to my moanings by day, and put up with my constant tossing and turning at night in my relentless pursuit to find a comfortable position for my dreadful right arm.  The pain always hit a crescendo at night. There were times when it felt like someone was burning the inside of my shoulder and arm with hot coals. It was then that I would simply sob and curl up in a ball. Would this pain ever end?? Fear started to creep in. By the end of July, my right arm started to lose sensation and my right thumb and index finger went painfully numb.

Through all of this, I was pleading with God for healing. I knew I had faith for healing, as I believe with all of my heart that God indeed is all powerful and able to perform such a miracle. But as the days turned into weeks, and the weeks into my months, my flesh indeed grew weary. I started each day in physical pain, and I ended each day in physical pain… but the pain drove me to my knees continually. I was asking God for guidance, wisdom, direction, peace…I found I was talking to him more than I had in months. I became totally reliant on Him.  The paradox there is that we all are totally reliant on Him: we just don’t realize it until we physically cannot cope like we are used to coping. I found that I could not write or type as I once did …I could not perform my job duties to the same ability as I once did,..I could not DO. Boy, I sure feel like I always have to be DOING. Suddenly, I had to be still, and in that stillness, I turned to God’s precious word.

In the book of 2 Corinthians chapter 12, the apostle Paul speaks of a thorn in his flesh. We are not told specifically what type of trial or hardship Paul had to endure, as the focus should never be on the trial, but Paul repeatedly asked God three times to remove this burden from his life. God’s answer to Paul is one that has resonated to countless hurting and broken hearts over the generations….  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.   Those words were like healing salve to my aching flesh. God’s word has a way of picking us up out of our pit, and opening our eyes to the hope and purposes of God.  Paul chose to live for Christ, and in so doing, persevered through many sorrows and gave us all a picture of true faith. True faith never gives up and shines ever brighter right in the midst of battle. Paul’s greatest miracle was not a healing or deliverance, but a resolve to trust his Lord no matter what.  As I read God’s word through his suffering servant, I heard a gentle whisper in my spirit that He was sufficient in my pain as well. My healing might come, and it might not…but His sufficiency was already well established. In my weakness, the door was opened for His perfect power. What a truly awesome God.

I want to interject a quick thought. Sometimes our brothers and sisters in Christ may question our walk with the Lord or our faith if we are experiencing a fierce struggle in life. Indeed there are times when we have allowed sin to darken our choices and we reap the consequences thereof, but God’s word demands that we not judge one another. But many times we will simply face a storm of life. We know from scripture that God’s glory and strength are best revealed in our weaknesses…so let us only see the great sufficiency of Christ, and not the insufficiency of one another.

The months of August and September were especially challenging and hard to endure physically. My right thumb remained painfully numb, as if a constricting tourniquet was wrapping itself tighter and tighter around it. I would find myself negotiating which symptom I would like gone more..the shoulder and arm pain, or the numb thumb… Eenie, meenie, miney, mo… I sought medical treatment finally (we RN’s like to wait things out) and went through repeated visits, opinions, and diagnostic tests. I utilized prescription medication, a steroid injection, chiropractic care, and physical therapy. It was determined through MRI testing that I suffered from two herniated cervical discs in my neck, and that this was the cause of all of my symptoms. Upon the realization that I had a neck issue going on, I quickly had flashbacks to that fateful work injury in April. Yes, the lightning bolt of pain that shot through my back impacted my neck as well.  I was told by an orthopaedic MD and a neurosurgeon that such symptoms will usually resolve in one to two months from onset, but since mine had far surpassed that time, that surgery on my neck might be my only option. I was also told that the nature of my herniations was such that a laparoscopic procedure would not suffice, and that I would need an open fusion of my cervical vertebrae to include placement of rods and screws. Yep…that did not sit well in my heart. Let the praying persist….

The month of November brought new hope and strength. The treatments during physical therapy showed the first signs of improvement. It is hard to explain the elation I experienced at the moments when I first felt some long awaited relief. The PT would place me on a cervical traction device, where twenty-two pounds of weight would literally be pulling my neck bones up and apart. It was during those precious minutes when I could feel the outer edges of my thumb again, and my arm would come back to life. Sometimes the sheer relief would bring tears to my eyes. It was recommended that I obtain a home cervical traction device, but the expense was too great for us. Our medical bills were mounting as well. The traction was wonderful, but as soon as it was done, my symptoms would return. Then God poured a blessing into my life. I was at work and a coworker overheard a discussion about my neck and asked if I ever used traction. She then went on to share that she had a traction device from years earlier that she never used anymore. She actually offered it to me!  I knew then that God was about to open a floodgate. It was during this time as well that the pain in my shoulder and arm began to relent. The full night’s sleep that had eluded me for months as well was in my grasp again. Yes, colossal things were on the horizon.

AND THEN,

My family and I visited a church in Matthews called Joy Christian Fellowship in mid-November. Immediately upon entering the service, I felt a strong and powerful presence of the Lord. The worship was so beautiful and honoring to God. I found myself totally enthralled and lost in worship to the Lord. I can still close my eyes and feel the love I experienced in that moment. I reached my arms up to the Lord as far as I could extend them, and I can vividly recall a sense of being lifted up even higher. He was lifting me up ever closer to Him. There is nothing like being in the presence of the living God. It wasn’t until we were about half way home in the car after the service that it hit me like a mach truck that I could actually feel my thumb!! I just started laughing out loud with the realization. In the midst of being in God’s presence, I had finally let go of thinking about my injury and pain. It had been on the forefront of my mind for months, but today my mind was solely set on the Lord. To think that I had been pleading for almost seven months for this miracle, and to not even notice it when it happened! I still laugh. God’s presence is so enormous that it literally vanquishes our every need in the flesh. For the next few days I would tip-toe around my miracle..constantly checking to see if my pain would come back, or if the numbness was returning. At times I would feel moments of tingling down the arm and wonder. But my heart was soaring at the dream that this trial could possibly be over. No pain and numbness, no surgery, no loss of my ER skills, no long and painful recovery….could it truly be real??!! The tears of pain and fear were over…but was it truly real??!!

Nothing could keep me from returning to Joy Church, and so this time my husband Grant joined us as he had the day off. It was Sunday, November 17th. As I sat in between my husband and my thirteen year old daughter Grace, I found myself in the throes of that wonderful worship again. As songs were being lifted in awe and praise to the Lord, the pastor McLean Faw interjected with some words that literally pierced my heart. He simply stated that someone had been dealing with issues in the discs of their neck, and that the Lord God was healing it in the name of Jesus. With that the power of God brought me to my knees right where I had been standing. A river of tears flowed from my eyes at that moment. It was like the tears were washing away all of the piercing pain…all of the sleepless and restless nights…all of the fear and worry over the treatment and outcome…all of the anxiety over medical bills and finances…and my body felt completely whole. There would be no looking back, no waking up and wondering. It was all washed away. Pastor McLean Faw did not even know me, but he certainly knew and heard from God and spoke His anointed word of healing and hope to my and my family’s heart. And with that, the worship continued with all focus on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords…Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul summed it up best yet again...For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all...2 Corinthians 4:17

Whatever you face, whatever you must endure…HE is sufficient.

I am doing extremely well, and am full of gratitude to be healed. I thank God multiple times a day for the use of my right arm and hand, and include a praise for the use of the left as well!!

Always remember to be grateful to the Lord God for what you DO have, and trust Him for what you don’t. Give Him the glory He so rightly deserves every single day, no matter the circumstances you are in. This is how lives are changed for all eternity.

AMEN

 

The words that never return void. October 7, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gdnelson5 @ 11:03 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I think I just might possibly be one of the only Americans left without a smart phone. How do I survive some of you might ask? Easily…very easily. Now I do have a cell phone in which I receive voice mail messages, and last year I broke down and entered the texting world. My daughter was twelve years old at the time and persuaded her prehistoric mother to ‘get with it.’ Learning to text from her was somewhat laughable, as all I could see were her fingers flying out words in a flaming frenzy. ‘What if I want to capitalize something??’ I asked my preteen tutor.  I can still hear her exasperated sigh as she lamented,..’Grammar doesn’t count mom.

I beg to differ. Words are so very colossal, and the way we present them is equally as critical. This is a lesson that I myself was recently reminded of, in the most blessed and beautiful of ways…

‘Please enter your pass-code, then press pound.’ That is the drab electronic prompt I receive in trying to retrieve my cell phone messages. Now there are days that I have a few messages, as I am not so consistent with checking them. My husband gets irritated as he reminds me of how I never answer my phone. Of course, I am learning that it helps to charge it as well!  But I happen to be going through a bit of a health issue right now and have been more dependent on that phone than ever. I was indeed annoyed to discover last week that my electronic prompter and I were having a disagreement, as she would not budge in letting me check my messages. Oh, I gave her my correct pass-code alright, but she would only come back with her redundant and pesky command…Please enter your pass-code, then press pound. At least she said please.

My phone was broken like this for a few days and I wondered if I was missing calls for MD appointments and such and I let it bother me. I would have Grant deal with the phone!…

And so last week I was on my way home from an appointment I had in a town called Monroe. It was an area that I rarely go to, and I was not familiar where things were. The neighborhood seemed a bit patchy to me as I found myself perusing the many small strip malls as I drove by. As I came upon one such area, there was a sign for a Sprint store that caught my eye. The turn was coming up immediately and so in I went. This was not on the errand list, but I remembered that I needed to get my phone looked at. I had to be sure I even had it with me!. I recall being a bit apprehensive to stop and almost turned around to leave. After all, this wasn’t on MY agenda for the day. But that thought quickly left as I parked the car and went in.

There was a very pleasant woman who greeted me at the door. She directed me in and told me who to seek help from. As I stood in line, I noted that she kept looking at me, as if to try and place me somehow. Finally she spoke up again, in front of customers and co-workers alike…’How is it that I know you? I just know that I know you? Do I look familiar to you??’…She was very friendly with her inquiry and I felt that she might have looked familiar too, but I could not place where from. I see so many people in my line of work. I told her that she possibly could know me from the hospital. Now we were very near the hospital in Monroe, but that is not where I work. As soon as I told her that I was an ER nurse in Matthews, her face completely changed. At first I could not tell whether hers was a look of joy or contempt. As the gentlemen at the counter called on me next, I looked over to see her face welling with tears. Oh boy…I pray I was good to her!!.. I thought. As her coworker attempted to diagnose the problem with my phone, I watched her step away from the counter and come around to my side. He left for a moment to call on another for help with my phone, and that is when she motioned me to another side of the store. She grabbed my hand and looked directly in my eyes and said..’It was you, It was you.’…

She went on to share of a very painful and difficult time in her life in which she sought our care in the Emergency Dept. It was at just about a year ago to the day. I remembered the exact day, because it was my wedding anniversary and my husband and I agreed to meet after I got off for a dinner date. I even recall grumbling in my spirit a bit for working on this momentous day. Ah…we are so entitled at times! As she spoke of her ordeal, the memories came flooding back to me as well. She was there with her sister, and she was in a place of complete hopelessness and despair due to her circumstances. I knew that she needed the Lord Jesus Christ, as He is the only true source of hope and joy for all people. Circumstances will break everybody. This life is utterly hard in so many ways. We are to put no lasting hope in this world or the things of it. I do proceed with caution when discussing the things of God at work, but there comes a time when we all must put courage to our convictions. No job is worth missing the opportunity to plant seeds for the Lord. Some seed falls on rocky and thorny ground, and dies off immediately. Other seed may take hold initially, but then dies off as the winds and storms of life hit. But some seed takes firm root, and produces a bountiful and lasting crop…a life forever changed for all eternity. Our call is to place some seed and not ponder and toil over the outcome thereof. God’s word is that seed. He is the one who provides it, and He is the one who protects it so that it can grow and flourish.

As we both stood in tears, she shared of how she remembered my prayers for her, and she told me how strong she had become in her faith since then. I sometimes give patients a book called ‘More Than A Carpenter’ by Josh McDowell. It is loaded with powerful scripture and shares of who the Savior Jesus Christ is. She had been reading, and she beamed as she said she reads her Bible all the time now. My heart was full to overflowing. There is nothing that I, Deanne Nelson, could have said to this precious woman as she was broken in her pain and anguish a year ago, but God’s word had the power to transform and heal her life. The Bible changes people from the inside out. There is no other word like it.  I have people say to me that they are ‘not in’ the whole Bible thing. How sad to surrender the greatest hope and power given to us in this life…God’s very words of love, guidance, and instruction. To be without it, is to be lost. …Hebrews 4:12…For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 

This woman had found hope in the midst of her crisis, and was now living life. She looked absolutely beautiful and was doing so very good. I would have never recognized her as I saw her in such a broken state, and I certainly never would have found her in my own efforts. She told me it was like an angel had come in to the store that day, and I felt the exact same way about her. Yes, we had the best kind of appointment marked for us at that moment, and we had no part in making it happen. Sometimes if we get too caught up in the worries and chaos of this life, we miss such appointments…the ones made by God above. He is the perfect navigator. He knows your exact agenda and schedule and He needs no GPS, smart phone, or apps to get you where you need to be. He only requires a seeking and willing heart. You give Him that, and He will use you. He will use your mouth to speak His mighty words of life, and sometimes He will even give you the indescribable gift of seeing some of those seeds thrive. WOW!! Who am I to be given such a gift?? Thank you Lord for showing me such a valuable glimpse of Your awesome power. The Lord knew how weak I was becoming in my flesh, and that I had been giving too much heart to my physical body and the pains I have been currently going through. He lifted my spirits to soaring when He confirmed again that the things we do and say really do matter. Our words really are so very powerful, so we must be careful in choosing them. There are real people with real hearts on the receiving end. You can NEVER go wrong if sharing God’s Word. It NEVER returns void. …Isaiah 55:11...so is my Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

The gentlemen who was working on my phone returned to say that he was very sorry, but had no idea what was wrong with it. He said he had never seen a phone do that before and they could not figure out how to remedy it.  He instructed me to call customer service for more help. I looked at my new friend and we laughed out loud. I told her coworker that I was no longer worried about my phone and all that mattered was that I got to the Sprint store that day. She walked me out as we were still rubbing the tears from our eyes. As we embraced and said goodbye, we both knew that God had imparted a miracle on us that day. He is such a lovely and perfect God indeed.

I am thankful that He can give anyone the right words to say, at just the right time.   Ephesians 4:29… “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”  

Give Him your mouth today. By the way, that includes the words we so feverishly type out and hit ‘send’ or ‘post’ before even considering what we are spewing out…but that is another blog, for another day.

I pray that no readers here will be surprised to learn that my prehistoric cell phone has worked just fine ever since this incident. The messages are coming through again loud and clear. I had been considering an upgrade, but I obviously have all the ‘apps’ I need!

Walk in love.

 

An Awesome Reminder September 19, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gdnelson5 @ 6:51 am
Tags: , , , ,

I just found this miracle story again in the archives of my writings. It needs to be shared again and again…so here it is. Miracles do continue to happen all around us. Praise God for His awesome and mighty power. As an added note, Mark McLenna, who is the recipient of God’s grace and mercy in this story, is doing amazing. He went back to work full time as a firefighter and continues to perform his duties without limit. He is the head of a gorgeous household and I know he embraces life even tighter after what he endured. This incident occurred in the latter part of 2009. Be encouraged today by this!…

 

I have a lifelong friend named Teri McLenna. Teri and I lived on the same street when we were four years old. We remember playing together. Teri and her family moved and so we lost touch all through grade and high school. Imagine our surprise to find each other again some fifteen years later in the same small nursing school class at the UofA in Tucson, a hundred miles from home. When we realized who the other person was, we were in shock. What a great surprise. And so, we picked up right where we left off….close friends again. Years passed and after Grant and I married we would have an annual ‘Octoberfest’ to celebrate our anniversary. Some on this list remember that bash well!!…One year Teri came….and in that same year, so did Mark. Aaahhh, Mark. The leading role in this latest colossal move of God. Now Mark and Teri are both quick to remind Grant and I that they did indeed know each other before that fateful night. They had mutual friends in Tucson and had crossed paths multiple times….BUT, it was at this particular celebration that they started making the dreamy eyes towards each other. Phone numbers were exchanged and a first ‘date’ was set up…in which I even somehow attended!!? That being said, Grant and I like to think we are partly responsible for the eventual marriage and three beautiful children that have resulted from this pair! Yes, Yes, Yes! Ha.. You all know of course that we could never take any real credit for such a union, but don’t tell Mark and Teri. We still like to gloat about it. They have been married for nine years now and remain true to each other, and to God. They do indeed love the Lord with all their hearts, mind, soul, and strength. I know this first hand.

Mark and Teri certainly had no idea that this holiday season would bring about their greatest adversity and trial to date. They are currently pressing on in faith in the face of a very terrifying circumstance. Their strength and faith should be a great encouragement to us all…….

Mark is a firefighter in Gilbert AZ. This is a job that he put great effort into obtaining and he loves what he does. On the afternoon just before Thanksgiving of this year Mark was on duty. He was surrounded by his comrades when he started having some terrifying symptoms. He complained of the worst headache of his life, double vision, neck pain and stiffness, and dizziness. The company he was in was well aware that these symptoms were not good at all, and were actually life threatening. His ‘brothers’ took immediate action to transport one of their own stat (ER lingo for FAST and NOW) to the nearest Emergency Room. Teri of course had to receive ‘the phone call.’ That must have been an agonizing call to receive. Diagnostic tests were run and it was confirmed that Mark had a subarachnoid head bleed. In common terms, this is a devastating and life changing event. On CT scan, there was blood in the posterior portion of Mark’s brain at his cerebellum and brain stem. This is as well a devastating area to have a bleed. I have been an RN for over fifteen years now, with thirteen of those years spent in the ER. A spontaneous head bleed in a healthy, strong young man is very rare. I can recall maybe one…honestly, with a tragic outcome. I have seen many brain hemorrhages in people as a result of trauma from a fall, car accident, etc….too many to count in fact. But what happened to Mark is extremely rare, and extremely deadly. And with the location of the bleed and his symptoms, the diagnosis to any clinician is obvious….a brain aneurysm. Mark was quickly transported to Barrow’s Neurological in Phoenix for further testing. During this entire time Mark was completely conscious and alert, with no problems moving his arms and legs, no difficulty breathing, and good vital signs. He continued to suffer from horrible pain in his head, but was miraculously spared of any worsening neurological deficits.

At this point in the story, is anyone recognizing the hand of God??? Do you see Him? Some might scoff that if God were present, then why did this happen. Human bodies are broken vessels and are only temporary. Sickness and disease will indeed happen. I have seen many times the natural progression of disease and sickness, and I have also witnessed astounding miracles that defy this natural progression. Mark is one such case…. Consider that he was with a crew of paramedics at the very moment of his crisis. If Mark were at home taking care of his three children…which he often did as he and Teri rotate shifts, then the outcome would be different. He might have taken a Motrin and attempted to wait it out. What if Mark were asleep?? The outcome would be different. But Mark was in a place of preparation for this darkness that was coming. Do you see Him?? Keep looking…..

At this time the word had gotten out to some in their circle of friends and pastoral staff at their church. People began to pray and fall to their knees to intercede for Mark. ‘The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective….’ James 5:16.  When two or more get to praying in belief…watch out!

There were apparently two neurosurgeons who were managing Mark’s care. Barrows’s is renowned for their neurological expertise. They were very obviously looking for the aneurysm and needed to find it fast, as a bleeding aneurysm will cause death 100% of the time if it is not stopped. But, even if found and stopped, much damage is done by the mere presence of blood in the subarachnoid space of the brain. The surrounding tissue of the brain becomes very irritated and swells and spasms. These spasms are equally as dangerous and are known to cause debilitating problems such as massive strokes. The doctors began giving Mark repeated doses of medications to prevent such complications and keep the blood vessels in his head open. They went to work to find the source of the bleed…..and Mark remained alert. Do you see Him??

I must admit to feeling complete despair upon hearing what was happening with Mark. I immediately began to pray, and yet I see clearly that I had little faith. I was focusing on what I knew about subarachnoid head bleeds, and not on what I knew about God. The obvious versus the supernatural. Every person who loves God struggles with that. We must walk by faith, and not by sight. But even in the midst of great pain and turmoil, we can trust God…no matter the outcome. I of course prayed what we were all praying….that Mark would be healed. That this bleed would stop. That he would recover and lead a normal life….that there would be NO aneurysm. But in my flesh, I cringed at the thought of Mark dying or suffering brain damage. It did not seem possible that he would walk away from this leading his normal life. The possibilities of bad outcomes seemed endless. The hope for a good outcome seemed impossible. I believe in miracles without question, but I find that it is sometimes easier to spot a miracle in a stranger, then in someone you love. Our feelings get in the way of recognizing Godly power.

The doctors searched and searched to find the source of the bleeding. A person just does not bleed into their brain without a starting point…And yet they could not find it. They could not find the aneurysm they were looking for. His symptoms were classic, but there was no aneurysm to be found. The blood was there causing great pain, but appeared to stop on its own. (Not even possible!) One day turned to two, and Mark’s condition did not change. Still alert, still alive…no stroke, no brain damage!! Day three, day four…no change. No further bleeding and no aneurysm to be found. No surgery needed. Initially Mark and Teri were told that he would spend up to 10 days in the ICU for close observation due to the critical nature of his illness, but by day three he was transferred to the regular floor. They were told time and time again by nurses and doctors how ‘lucky’ he was. His was the unbelievable outcome that makes our job so worth it. A rare, and miraculous outcome. But Mark and Teri do not do ‘luck.’ They were quick to give glory to the Lord for this obvious miracle. Many people were touched by his story right there in the hospital. Teri shared with me that many people came and prayed over Mark. His fire captain that was with him that day did not leave the hospital until late that first night. He too laid his hands on Mark and prayed for a miraculous touch from God. I told her that the crew at Garr Church in Charlotte were praying as well. There were people praying across this nation for Mark! And those prayers were most definitely answered. By day six Mark was released to home!!!!! DO YOU SEE HIM?

Mark continues to have great headache pain. The blood will be breaking down and reabsorbing over the next few weeks. This is a horribly painful process. Consider your worst headache, and then multiply it by one hundred. Please continue to pray that Mark will totally recover in every sense, and that this saga will be totally behind them. He was told that he can actually return to full duty in a couple months time. Until then, he will be the grunge guy on light duty! What a blessing that he can return to his family, return to his work, return to his life. He will now be known as Mr. Miracle Mark…the man who walked out of the hospital after a subarachnoid head bleed.   One day God will fully reveal to Mark the enormity of all that has happened. He will equip Mark in power to share this testimony with multitudes. With God, all things are possible.

There are some people who do not see God anywhere. They do not see and feel His qualities all around them. They do not recognize His voice in their conscious.  Such a person chooses to be spiritually blind and deaf. Our bodies indeed will break down, but our spirit will remain forever.

I have been accused of seeing Him everywhere. …Guilty, as charged. Anyone want to join me?

 In Him,

Deanne

Thank you Mark and Teri for allowing me to share your miracle.

Here is the precious McLenna family…

McLenna Family

 

Can I get a do-Over?? August 22, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gdnelson5 @ 11:41 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Remember as a kid when someone would yell ‘do-over’ if things just weren’t going their way? We used to play a game we called ‘pickle,’ where we neighborhood kids would run back and forth from base to base trying not to get caught by the ‘it’ person who had the ball. My big brother would routinely yell out for the ole’ do-over when he got caught and since he was older, the rest of us would oblige. But we kids felt a certain injustice to this concept, as we knew even at a young age that no action already completed could truly be ‘done over.’ The do-over is a certain misnomer, but wouldn’t it be lovely if we all could be trusted with even just one do-over in our lifetime? Would we use it wisely?  What would you re-do? One definition I found for this term fits the bill perfectly…’To do something again from the beginning, especially because you did it badly the first time.’

I do not even have to think about what I would do over……

I met my husband Grant back in the summer of 1995. I was twenty-three years old and fell instantly and hopelessly in…infatuation! I recall using the love word on about our second date. I clung to him tightly and had no plans of letting go. I would quickly learn that Grant had been previously married and had two very young children, a daughter Meghan and a son Devon. They were 4 and 1 at the time. This indeed was news and I was a bit panicked at the thought. I had never dated a divorced man, and I certainly never considered becoming a stepmother one day. My little world was all about me back then. I was a Christian in name only, meaning I would have marked off the ‘Christian’ box if given multiple responses to ‘religion of choice’. I did not seek the Lord God, and I did not walk in His ways. I possessed a bible, but its pages remained crisp and pristine due to lack of use.

Grant would see his children every other weekend, and his love and devotion to them was very strong. I felt a bit jealous as I would watch him shower them with an amazing type of love that only a father can give. They too adored him. They would both climb all over him in a tangled heap of play wrestling and hugs. The giggles and laughter were contagious and I soon began to join in on the fun. The more I fell in love with him, the more I fell in love with his children. I began to picture a life with him, and them, but my heart was fearful over where my place in that might be. I was not their mother, and had no clue how to guide or direct them. Would they resent me if I tried to discipline them? Would his ex-wife become angry over my influence on their lives? This was completely foreign territory to me. As our relationship became more serious, my concerns only grew. I was operating on fear, which is what people do when they do not have faith in the Lord. It is a life of reacting, rather than expecting.

Grant’s ex-wife had already been remarried, and her new husband and she had approached Grant before about letting her husband legally adopt the children. Grant had apparently refused this request. There were tensions between Grant and his ex wife back then, and there were routine disagreements between them in regards to multiple issues about the children. That was hard to be involved in, and again I did not know how to navigate those waters. The topic of having her new husband adopt the children came up again, and Grant and I had many discussions about it. I was always there to throw in my selfish two cents..that this man was already there for the children, providing them love, safety, and security…and that they could be a family minus all of the tension and arguing over visitation, etc. My reasoning continued…after all, they really were a family already, and what difference would it make if they became a legal family?..I had this little picture perfect vision of them having their nice family, and Grant and I some day starting our own family as well. Maybe we could all come together from time and time and oh how peaceful it all could be. I felt certain that we would still know them and that they would know us. My head was stuck in some fairy tale cloud, and I just wanted my Prince Charming in the end. I saw no cause for concern in Grant letting go of his legal rights as a father, as it would never change his love for them. I was bitterly wrong in regards to the impact such a choice would have.

And so Grant reached the decision in his heart to let his children be adopted by their stepfather. Through it all, I encouraged and supported that decision, and reasoned with myself that it was best for everyone involved. I will always remember the day that the adoption became official. Grant wept bitter tears and I was unable to console him in any way.  It was the first time I truly considered the ramifications of what had been done. Did he make the wrong choice?? I did not dare voice that thought out loud back then, as I had been the one giving him counsel to proceed. But as I watched his anguish, the seeds of regret were being planted in my heart. I felt certain that I would be all he needed to fill any void. What a prideful woman I had somehow become.

Grant and I married in 1996 and lived mere minutes from the children back then. As the years passed, we thought of them often and would inquire about them. Recent pictures of them were sent to us and we were so grateful for that, but all forms of communication between Grant and his children had come to an end. Their mother would share that she did not want the children to be confused, and so opted to keep Grant out of their lives. We had to respect that decision, as after all, they certainly did have a father and Grant had given his consent for this. But as the days and years passed, the pain of missing their lives was leaving a dark hole in our hearts. How did it ever seem like a good decision? Regret leaves a bitter stain, and I began to wonder if Grant had resentment for me in his heart for the part I played in it all. We did not speak of such things though. I was longing to know Grant’s feelings but I did not have the courage to go there.

In time Grant and I began to try and start our own family. What started out as months turned into years, and we were not getting pregnant. I believe the longing in a woman’s heart to be a mother packs more power than a mighty army of marines in combat. It is a longing that cannot be quenched, and a yearning so deep that all else pales in comparison. I knew that Grant was capable of having children, so I reasoned that something must be ‘wrong’ with me. I cried a river of tears during that time, and I even resorted to praying! It is hard to fathom my life without prayer now, but back then, it had become my last resort. I had so much to learn. I still recall those ‘wish list’ prayers to become a mother…those bargaining prayers of all I would do and change if I could just have a baby. But when my endless babbling would cease, I would sometimes sit in silence, and it was then that the Lord God would put Meghan and Devon in my heart. I did not know what to do with such thoughts. I would cry, laugh, sob, smile…memories would flood in of the few times I got to spend with them. I would envision Grant embracing and loving them, but this time I had no fears…no hesitation…no jealousy. God was showing me how perfect and superior His ways are, and how very far I had been from them. I was learning humility, and while painful, it was life changing. I had finally cried over Meghan and Devon, the way I should have years earlier. I had been completely blinded by my own selfish motives in regards to them, and the closer I came to God, the more this truth hit me square in the face. He was revealing my every motive in the decision to let the children go, and the truth of it all felt like it might crush me. I simply wanted Grant all to myself…period. I dressed it up with all kinds of good and pious sounding explanations at one time, but God stripped away all of that fluff in an instant and I was laid bare. I had missed a beautiful opportunity to be a stepmother to two valuable and extraordinary children. I let streams of gold slip right through my fingers with disregard for how rare and excellent the journey could have been. My heart screamed out…“DO OVER!!!!’

No, there are no do-overs. We all must live with the consequences of our choices, and God is not obligated in any way to ease the burdens wrought from our decisions. In fact, it is through living out the consequences of our poor decisions that we learn, grow, and are changed. What is crucial to know is that God is a God of restoration and hope. If we have a repentant heart for our sins, and choose to embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, then we can be certain that we have become a new creation. He changes our heart, motives, and desires. He indeed makes all things new and empowers us to walk in His ways. He took away my guilt and shame over the decisions of the past, and put a new hope in my heart for what could lie in store for the future. I am not the same woman I was back then, and Jesus Christ is the one and only reason that I have anything to boast about today…and I boast about Him. Here is a sure promise that I claim for our lives with Meghan and Devon…’Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up. Do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.’…Isaiah 43: 18-19  I have prayed for years now that Meghan and Devon could find it in their hearts to forgive us for missing so much of their lives. That is a river in the desert type of miracle, but with God’s help, it is very possible. It is not too late to start a new life with them in it.

Do you have deep regrets from the past??….It is not too late for a miracle. Anything is possible if you will only believe.

Many years have passed and we have been blessed with three children of our own. God granted fertility in good measure! We have always told our children about their half brother and sister, and longed for the day that they could all meet and begin a relationship. Meghan and Devon are both adults now, and are free to choose for themselves if they want to know us. We have reached out to both of them and continue to pray that they can accept our love. We have lived far from them in different states for about twelve years now, but we will not let that hinder us. The prayers will continue….

And just last week a wonderful miracle occurred. My daughter Grace and I flew out to AZ from NC to visit with my grandmother who is dying. She lives in a remote area, but we had learned that Devon had recently moved back to AZ to a town not far from hers. We asked if we could see him and he agreed! I was a bit of a nervous wreck. Grace was truly excited to meet her half brother in which she had heard of for so long. My heart soared as we drove to get him. It was hard on Grant, as he stayed back home in NC with our boys. He was chomping at the bit knowing we were getting to see Devon in the flesh. I had not seen Devon since he was about 18 months old. He is now nineteen! I cried when I got a hold of him, and I cry even now as I type this. He is an extraordinary young man, and he offered such kindness and warmth to us instantly. He and Grace got along beautifully and were silly together, just like siblings do. His eyes are so much like Grant’s, and there is a tenderness to him that is endearing and wonderful. We are so hopeful at the possibility of seeing him more and more and having him as part of our lives. We as well have the same prayer and desire to know Meghan. Only the Lord could offer a heart so much hope, despite the choices of the past.

While every human being faces regret and loss in this world, there is a real God who is the only one to offer comfort and joy through any and all circumstances. There is no mistake that He is not ready and willing to forgive, if you are ready and willing to trust Him with your life.  There are no do-overs, but through Christ, you can have a clean slate..without blemish. That beats any do-over…any day!! Trust HIM today. ….PSALM 103:2..”I have removed your sins from you as far as the east is from the west.”…AMEN!!

Here are some pics of the long awaited reunion.

Grace and Devon meet!!

Grace and Devon meet!!

Silly!

Silly!

 

 
%d bloggers like this: