Some of you out there might be offended, others cheering and others completely caught in the dark. That’s okay. The portion of this video I wanted to capture was Mike’s use of the roller-coaster analogy…I LOVE IT! The first time I heard this was listening on an airplane headed to my FIRST ministry interview out in Arizona. I too had heard the boring hilltop and valley lifeline saga and I HATED IT! I was adventurous (hello…I lived in Kentucky and flying to Arizona for a ministry interview…that’s me!). I listened to this and my heart felt like it was going to take-off…YES…THAT IS HOW I WANT TO BE! One day, am I am dying falling to the floor, I want to say, “What a ride…what a ride!”
With that in the background, my life has thrown so many curve balls this last year, I decided to finally embrace the reality of blogging again. Though I might not share everything (you probably figured that) but I will enlighten on a few of my roller coaster moments.
1. Ministry – Obviously this is second nature to me. Those of you that know me well, know how I LOVE to talk about, read about, DO ministry…especially Family Ministry. I truly believe we have a culture that has completely taken Deuteronomy out of their thoughts and lives. The church is NOT in charge of your child’s spiritual development…PARENTS are! Somewhere along the line we missed it…I missed it, but that is my new focus and excitement. I LOVE guiding parents into a closer relationship with God by reading and actually…wait for it…UNDERSTANDING the Bible! Of course I love doing this with our kids…but when we as a church create an environment where both groups can learn about the same part of the Bible at the same time and actually READ and TALK about what they are learning during the week…it becomes a family grounding…something that will guide the entire family for life. I LOVE IT!!!!
Also, in my position here at Palm Bay Christian Church I really get to do dirty ministry…meaning GOING places, seeing kids and adults face-to-face, not confined to the office (and those who know me the feeling of being stuck is the most un-settling reality to me to date). I LOVE OUR CHURCH FAMILY! Never have I ever served in a place where our family has felt just like one of the bunch. Over this last year especially, PBCC has helped me redefine church as the body (living people) of Christ. It’s not about a building. It’s not about the staff. It’s not about the money. It’s not even about the programs. It’s about the hearts of the people that are apart of this congregation. We really do build one another up. We really do thirst for God. We really do want to make a difference in our community. I’ve not only HEARD these things, but I’ve seen them multiple times this last year. PBCC…you make me proud to be here…I really can’t imagine being anywhere else!
2. Family: I have a husband, Steve and 2 sons – Josh who will be 4 in January and Caden who will be turning 2 in June. Our family is anything but Boring…so undoubtedly they will become the topics of my posts! 🙂
3. Biblical Insights: This is excitement from my time with God. Every now and then I like to share portions of my journal with others. I thought I’d share here as well. It is AMAZING what the Youversion Bible app (www.youversion.com) can do for those who LOVE to be on their cell phone, computer or iPod. If you are looking for a creative way to get into the Bible, PLEASE START WITH YOUVERSION! It’s free, allows for daily devotions, has FREE downloadable Bibles, allows the Bible to be read to you…and that’s just getting started. Check it out…I live by this thing now and I now have the Bible wherever I go. It has really helped me share God’s purpose with kids, strangers and even my own kids. I say all this and guess what? The people at Youversion didn’t even ask me too! 🙂
4. Health: This has been a longtime coming. Most of you at this point know I have encountered health “issues” (conveniently titled that by most) the latter part of 2011. Let’s quickly restart the timeline. In July I passed out twice while sitting on a plane returning home from my grandma’s funeral. The doctors thought it was stress, so of course I continued on. Mid-August I start developing horrible headaches. They eventually got to the point where I literally came home and went to bed…around 12-14 hours sleeping a night. After the medication was getting low, I got smart and visited my doctor again. This time (after several tests) I was told that I had extremely low CSF (spinal fluid) and that I had a rupture in the brain. Off to bed rest for a few weeks because normally, this solves itself on its own. I start losing balance and really feel burning intensify in my feet and legs. My feet become numb. I return again to the doctor and immediately they book a spinal tap and a blood patch (to repair the low spinal fluid). I was also sent through several tests that checked for potassium levels, neurological pulses to my knees and elbows as well as energy in my muscles. In Late September/early October I was officially diagnosed with CIDP (http://www.gbs-cidp.org/home/cidp/cidp/). I was shortly thereafter placed on oral medication and IVIG (medication sent through IV). I went through a few weeks in a wheelchair, then to a cane and finally back walking again. In the beginning of November I was having severe chest pain and my passing-out spells started escalating to a few times each week. I had my gall-bladder removed and the cardio tests started. By the beginning of December it was determined that the CIDP was leading to my brain sending false signals to my heart, thus causing my heart to stop for a split second…or at the lease decrease in beats per minute. After more testing it was determined that I needed a pacemaker, which I got earlier this month. In January I start from the beginning with a different dose of oral medication and increased dosage of IVIG. Currently, I have a scooter that helps me get around (finally, nobody can PUSH me around!!!). I also still use my cane and I have not missed a Sunday since July.
You may read this and go…”Wow, what a strong person.” WRONG. My relationship with God has picked me up several times when I literally thought I couldn’t face the doctors again. I have an AMAZING church family that has delivered meals, played with our kids, watched our kids, took me out when I needed to talk, made us laugh…there when I needed to cry. When I couldn’t attend our small group, THEY CAME TO ME…bringing the ice-cream party to our family! We went through times where we had SO much food, I had to call our ladies and BEG them to stop! We even bought a deep freezer off of CraigsList. When money got tight, God provided just what we needed…even anonymously. God has brought people into my life that I have learned to lean on in a new way. Yes…GOD is still in control, because it is obvious in my life that I am not. Bought “as-is” and used as HIS. Its my new life motto. Its really always been a part of who I am, but never more than now. God cared about us when we thought we had it all figured out…when our little spec of the world made sense. HE saw us, realized truly how lost we were and bought us…as-is. He knew sin had defects. He knew what HE was getting into…and HE knew what HE could do through us. So, on this roller-coaster of life we scream together…but at the end, Only few will really say “What a ride.” Bring it…