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3 Words, 2011 in review

This post is inspired by a blog post by Beth Moore. We were asked to contemplate 3 words that would describe 2011, I saw the post on the 31st and thought … a lot.  I knew that 2011 was a hard year for me, both blessings and loss. I have come to realize that life is just that.  While most of my adult life I have struggled with finding peace in my past I just assumed once I found that peace the present and future would somehow be easier.  I was reminded by a counselor that nowhere in the Bible does it say I was called to an easy life. I am trying to embrace that truth … as you can imagine some days are better than others.

So my three words are:

1. GRIEF –  I was diagnosed with cancer in Feb 2011, after being admitted to the hospital and what seemed like hundreds of test, they ran one precautionary one that they assured me afterward looked fine. Then came the call and the flood of doctor appts after that said otherwise. I was extremely fortunate, one operation cleared my risk. Only a three month detour on my journey, I am still working with the taking that happened as a result and how that changes my idea of what recovery would look like.  Then as I was coming out of the hospital my brother John was going in, at 32 yrs of age his battle with Leukemia (AML) would take him home to be with the Lord.

2. FAVORED – I have been under employed in a part-time job since 2007 when my architecture internship went the way of the economy.  In the midst of doctors appoints and the craziness of those three months, God blessed me with a temp to perm job.  I had no guarantee it would go permanent; I had to step out in faith.  He blessed me with more than I was hoping for in salary, benefits and working conditions. It will allow me to finish my internship as a mental health counselor (giving away twenty hours a week over this next year) while working full-time which is only 35 hours a week at this company.  God knew what I needed, not what I was asking for.

3. PEACE – in all the loss that has happened this year, I found even in the times of my greatest grief I have never been alone. He has used the spiritual family He had given me over these past three years to love me through this. My family of origin is strained at best, there was no communication through everything that I was going through and the funeral was unbearable. I have learned to find peace in the things He has given me and to long less for the things I cannot control.  I am thankful for this recovery journey He has led me through over these past 3 years, without it this would have been the year that my anger would have been uncontainable and my religion shattered.  I finally came to a place where I knew the knowledge of my Father’s character was greater than my understanding of my circumstance.  He is waiting to bless me, and wants good in my life because of who He is. My life is still unpretty as I am working through the grieving but I am so secure in what He has called me to do and who I am in Him. I am so thankful for a relationship with Him rather than the religion that kept me in my hurts, hang ups and addictions.

SSMT 2011 v15

Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2011!!!

I joined this as motivation for learning we will see how it ends at the end of the year.  I am to have 24 verses memorized by the end of December!!

I submit my verse on the 1st & 15th of every month, was a little late on the months I was working through my health issues, I get a pass.  😉

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24

This is where the rest of Siesta Sisters can be found

I picked out all my verses for the year already, it has been a collection of verses that have spoken to my heart for years. I never thought I had the time to commit them to memory.  The Holy Spirit always knows which verses to bring to my heart at the right time.  Which is why I have tried to do this as much as possible, by the end of the year I will have the 24 four done!!!  Hopefully a new habit as well.

I love this verse, I have prayed this verse.  Not always happy with what God shows me.  This year has brought many anxious thoughts, cancer (mine and my brothers), job loss and grieving.  I am not over the grieving it is a process.

The Cage is Great

Nico: But first, we gotta bust you out!
Blu: What?
Pedro: Yeah! I’m a pop that cage open like a soda can.
Blu: No!
[Pedro tries desperately to break the metal bar on the cage Blu’s in]
Blu: No! No! That’s okay.
[Pedro, exhausted, stops pounding the metal bar]
Nico: You call that poppin”?
Pedro: Wooh! This thing’s robust!
Blu: No! No! No! Guys, really! I’m fine. The cage is great. Love the cage.
Nico: Oh, well. Suit yourself.

I was out a little while ago, without Jasmyn, and this was the only thing that fit into the timing I had available.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, not looking for anything but to check out for a little bit of time.  The news of my cancer and diabetes was fresh and I just wanted to go someplace else.

Within a few minutes of the opening credits there was a divine appointment that was delivered from the mouth of a blue talking bird on a screen.  I love how God uses the ordinary to speak into me.  I was cracking up because it was so cute and then I heard the whisper in my heart that said “How often are you here” and “how many times have I delivered you from there”.  Up until the last few years of my life, before I started the recovery process, I LOVED MY CAGE and the addictions and hang ups that constructed it.  I know where my cage is (I would like to think that means the door is open) and when I am getting ready walk back in and celebrate in it.

I have had a lot of time to just meditate on the good things God has blessed me with since that little appointment and I am grateful for a spiritual family that blesses my socks off when I need it and don’t know it.  I have loved the lighthouse along the way back home, as their faces roll through my mind I am reminded of the strongholds they helped me through.  Provision in this time of uncertainty.  I am grateful for the peace that has come into my life as a result of the people who have taught me other ways to handle anger and disappointment.   I don’t always get them right and I have not always been perfect in application process. However as a result  there is less insanity in my life.  No my circumstances haven’t changed overnight, I am learning how to lean into God in my uncertainty because He is by far more faithful to me than I have been to him.

A little while after I saw that I read this in a study I was doing:

Our experience with abandonment and unwanted change are crisis moments when we must decide whether or not to leave behind the life that is gone forever.  We can do that only if  we believe in the ongoing creativity of God, who brings light and beauty to the dark chaos of our losses in life. ~ Craig Barnes (When God Interrupts)

Do you know your cage, do your bars have names as well?

Life circumstances change and it gets hard

Hmmmm … where do I begin, because I just need to begin …

I was recently tempted to change the signature in my email; I use my current life or year verse and a quote from Jennifer Rothschild that I found years ago and absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE.

“Your honor and value come neither from what you do nor from others’ opinions.  You are honored because God has touched you with His presence, promise and provision.  When His eyes look on you, you are bathed in honor”

Back to the scripture, I will come across a scripture that just speaks to me in that season of my life.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”   –   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

And it did and does, but life circumstances change and it gets hard, especially that last part.  In the time that I had noticed this verse, it was a time of struggle too.  It was a different kind of struggle and I cannot even remember now.  (So I will note to self, journal with more details)

The current struggle changes my life in a physical way, I found out a little while ago that I have uterine/endometrial cancer.  Which means the only option for me is to remove my uterus and call it a day.  I am not married and did not plan on ever having more children, however to lose that ability naturally would be easier to handle.  To lose that to cancer seems so unnatural and what do I do with that.

I was never a person who admitted to having dreams, it is hard to keep up a protective barrier in my life and be vulnerable at the same time.  You see the contradiction there.  In my recovery journey God has done some funny things, the revealing of dreams / hearts desires.  I was never a child that planned out a wedding or even saw where a marriage fit into my life.  Trust me when I say that my daughter was such a God plan and not mine.

In this last year I have just had this desire to be married, I know took me by surprise too. I wasn’t sure what God was trying to point out but I wasn’t really sure I liked to admit that somewhere really deep was a desire to have a man that could take care of me and share my life with.  So when I got this news I was/am angry at God.  I didn’t want to know I had this dream but then to have that dream changed in a way I certainly would not have wanted.  I want to be part of a “normal” family ~ the white picket fence … etc.  I wanted it the way my mind saw it, no deviation.

Then my counselor pointed out that I seem to be attributing this “taking” from my life to be from God.  That is when she pointed out this verse:

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. ~ John 10:10-11 (NIV)

Then she asked me to explain my position that my cancer was of God rather than the targeted hit that  I had just identified.  My thought process is, God grants miracles every day.  Healing that even doctors define as miracles, so why this now?  I do not understand how God chooses the miracle process, if I look back over my life and the situations I have been in I can see His fingerprints all over my life.  What I am going through doesn’t change my love or faith in my Father.   This is just one of those times where I would like to get an advanced copy of how this story plays out.

I am not saying that I cannot get married or that my future husband will not have children of his own or that adopting is not an option.  It just looks differently than what my dream was.  This grieving process that I am going through is healthy, before the recovering Tammy I would have thrown myself into one of my addictions and denied the dream ever existed.  There is progress and I know God is bigger than my anger.  Right now we are creating another hallway that has fingernails down the length of it, but I know God is good and has a perfect plan for my life.