Tag Archives: God

Fathoms of Hopefulness ~ Update on Me and Jim

Photo taken by Jim, of a rainbow he saw while on a trip with the plane.

Photo taken by Jim, of a rainbow he saw while on a trip.  There is bright sunshine and a rainbow ahead!

Points of hopelessness
Dots of despair
Junctures of painfulness
Spots of heightened care

Inklings of uneasiness
Moments of tears
Situations of dreadfulness
Nights of worrisome fears

I thought it was finally time to update my readers on me and my husband.

Yes, you read correctly.  Me and my husband.

Prior to my neck surgery, I described it as another bend in the road with my health.  I never dreamed that during my recovery, my husband was also going to face a health challenge; one that nearly took his life.

My recovery is progressing well, but was more difficult than I anticipated, due to a 6 week complication of my lower spine deteriorating from being off NSAIDs.  Things finally turned around to where I went back to work part-time; however, I’ve experienced some dips with my neck, from the added stress about Jim.  Overall, though, God is keeping me strong and moving things along!

Jim’s struggle has been a huge bend in the road.

What started with some testing to decide the source of a fever and abnormal blood values, turned into a succession of two prolonged hospitalizations for him, including three days in ICU, after nearly bleeding to death from complications following a liver biopsy.  He is in the hospital still.

At this point, what we know from the testing is that he has an inflammatory, treatable condition of the liver. Unfortunately, he also needs surgery to remove his spleen and we will then know the cause of the enlargement of that organ.  He also has an underlying secondary infection, but it is responding to treatment. 

The bottom line is that my sweet husband is a very sick man, but God is guiding his team of specialists toward finding answers, and they feel as though he will soon experience restored health. He longs to return to his job as a jet pilot. 

*****

Throughout my journey with my neck surgery, I admit that there were extremely painful moments and dots of despair, times wondering if I made the right decision.  Times of questioning whether I would fully recover.

However, going through this harrowing experience, of nearly losing the love of my life, was worse.  There were absolutely situations filled with dread and plenty of tears.  There were long nights of sitting upright in waiting rooms, praying against worrisome fears.

Here is the good news:

Throughout it all, God did and continues to show Himself mighty.  He performed a wondrous deliverance by saving Jim’s life.  How we praise Him!

As promised, He never left us alone and is still our Shelter in the midst of the storm.

More than anything, I’ve discovered afresh and anew how much I need and can depend upon Jesus.

Friends, as humans we sometimes cower in discouragement or fear, but we need not.  We can instead experience:

Fathoms of hopefulness
Loads of comfort near
Plateaus of healing
Showers of blessings dear

Provision of peacefulness
Interludes of joyful cheer
Strengthening of trustfulness
Manifestations of God’s power clear

God is greater than our mountainous obstacles. With His help, we will make it through.  Because of Christ, we know with certainty that our future is secure in Him.  We have fathoms of hopefulness!

I pray that you have all been well.  I miss reading your posts and interacting through blogging, but my husband needs me more.

Jim and I both covet your prayers.  We would also love to know of any ways in which we could pray for you.

As always, blessings
Sue

Grace, Grace ~ Oldie Hymn

I felt compelled that someone needed to hear this old hymn today.  Didn’t hurt myself ~ just a link to a video with lyrics copied and pasted below.  I love this video version; it reminds me of an old-time black and white movie. 

Nothing you have ever done is outside the power of God to forgive.  His grace is greater than all our sin!

Blessings as you listen and remember this timeless message:

Grace Greater Than All Our Sin

by Julia H. Johnston

VERSE 1
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt,
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt

REFRAIN
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin

VERSE 2
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide;
Whiter than snow you may be today.

VERSE 3
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe,
All who are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Overcoming Hurdles ~ Another Update

Despite many painful hurdles, God keeps putting a smile back on my face

Despite many painful hurdles, God keeps putting a smile back on my face

Hello blogging friends!  Just wanted to update you again on my recovery from surgery:

Things are progressing, but I have had several unanticipated hurdles and setbacks.  With each one, though, God continues to help me overcome and get through.

Although I miss my writing and photos terribly, I am still not quite ready to jump back into blogging, since I only tolerate brief work on my PC.  My iPhone is the only source of connecting to the internet I tolerate, and only limited amounts of that.

I trust you are all doing well.  I hope to engage again soon with reading your posts and sharing through blogging.

Blessings,
Sue

“For by You I can run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.”
Psalm 18:29

*I will open this post up for comments and do my best to reply.  Please let me know of any pray needs of yours, so that I can join with you in lifting them up to the Lord.

Blessings Like Rain ~ Farewell Until I Mend

A cluster of raindrops on one of my iris leaves ~ it almost forms the shape of a treble clef

A cluster of raindrops on one of my iris leaves ~ it almost forms the shape of a treble clef

Thanks very much for the outpouring of well wishes after yesterday’s announcement about my surgery.  My recovery will require that I stay off computers for about two months, but since I want this to work, I will fully comply with doctor’s orders!

This last post, before I temporarily retire from blogging, is for you.  Until we meet up again in Blog-Land, receive this simple blessing of farewell and the special photo above just for you.

Blessings Like Rain

May God’s blessings pour like rain
On everything you do
May God’s melodies sustain
In all life puts you through

****

“For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God”
Hebrews 6:7

****

*I will miss ‘you all’ very much.  Thanks for your friendship, encouragement and prayers.

Farewell until I mend!

Blessings, always

Sue

****

*I will continue to read your posts and respond to comments through the weekend only, but as I stated yesterday, will have much time while I am off to pray for any of your needs.

Poem and photo by Sue Nash/ © 2014

 

Another Bend in the Road ~ A Painful Saga, Part 5

Around the Bend ~ I laid the bricks for the walkway myself

Around the Bend ~ I helped lay the bricks for the walkway years ago

Wrapped in God’s presence,
Secure in His embrace.
He directs my steps,
Each bend in the road I face.

It seems as though we each have our thorn in the flesh.  Mine is an inherited, early onset of degenerative disc disease that presented when I was in my twenties.  It started with my lower back and included sciatica, but progressed to include involvement with my neck.

These pronounced neck symptoms have forced me to make a tough decision; one that I never intended.

After MUCH prayer, and due to the deterioration of my symptoms with resulting ramifications to my life, I have decided to undergo the three level cervical fusion.

This is after years of trying nearly every non-surgical measure:

Physical therapy, trigger point, deep massage, TENS. myofascial release, chiropractor, traction, injections, stretching, ice and heat, ergonomics, custom-designed pillow, lifestyle adjustments, medications, etc…

For personal reasons, I’ve never wanted acupuncture.

At best, I have merely gotten by throughout the continual roller coaster of pain.  Car and plane trips are huge triggers, but I have always bounced back to a manageable level afterwards. 

That all changed with our latest trips out-of-town.  It’s like I crossed a threshold into a different level with an entirely new set of symptoms, and it is this new normal that drove my decision towards surgery.

Just knowing that any time I travel, I must face significant, lingering neck pain with radiating symptoms is bad enough. However, I now also have an interrelated vertigo with bizarre ear symptoms, which correlates both in intensity and in duration to the neck pain.

The decision was not an easy one, because the what ifs are terrifying.  Not unlike the what ifs that I faced with lower back surgeries, though.  Amazingly, God brought me through those successfully.  You can read about that story, in my series called, A Painful Saga. In fact, I’ve added this post to that series!

The sobering reality is that unless I want to give up traveling, which means that I will rarely see my precious grandchildren, or if I want to live with incapacitating symptoms, I must follow God’s direction and have this surgery.

I realize there are no guarantees.  God has given me a confident assurance, though, that He is directing my path.  That no matter what I face, He will bear me up on eagles’ wings into His presence.

None of us knows what lies ahead.  However, we can rest assured knowing that God already sees around the bend.  He promises to go before, behind and with us: helping, strengthening and delivering.

I believe for a good outcome.  Regardless of what I face, though, I know that God will wrap me us in His loving, comforting arms.  He will carry me safely around this next bend in the road.

“You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.”
Exodus 19:4

*Some of you have medical conditions and problems much worse than mine.  During my convalescence, as God brings you to my mind, I will pray for your needs and for His richest blessings to fall like rain! 

I will do one more post tomorrow before my upcoming surgery, which is scheduled for next week.

Words and photo by Sue Nash/ © 2014

 

 

Lift Up Your Eyes to Me ~ Snippets of Rain

Snippets of RainLift up your eyes to Me

I am doing things you do not know.
I am working things out in a way you do not expect.
Keep your trust in Me.

“This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”
Psalm 118:23

During times of waiting on God to answer our prayers, let us never forget that God neither slumbers nor sleeps.  While we wait, He is doing marvelous things that our eyes will one day see.

Blessings to all. 
Sue/2014

*For about two weeks, I have been struggling with markedly increased neck pain and inner ear symptoms.  Double whammy!  I have been working at my nurse job, but trying to minimize computer time while at home.  Bear with me while I await God’s healing touch. 

He is so faithful to strengthen and minister to us during the trials.

For similar posts, see Snippets of Rain

He Will

At a glance, the only thing that looks different about my post today is that I did not begin with a photo. What you cannot see going on behind the scene, though, is that I am typing this from my iPhone and not my PC (a frustrating endeavor).

There’s a reason. I have experienced a serious setback with my neck pain, and not really sure what caused it. The only thing I can determine is that I did not tolerate the strain from two recent trips. I can usually bounce back, but this time it seems to be heading the other direction.

As a result, I am having to minimize time on computers, since it seems to be aggravating the problem more so than usual. Unfortunately, this includes doing any work with my images. 😒

Using my phone, I can still read and respond to your posts, and also attempt some of my own. As I do, please forgive any typos: me and smartphone typing do not get along!

I desire your prayers, as I am pursuing some measures to alleviate the pain. My journey is nothing compared to what others face, so I hate to sound like a whiner. It’s just that pain is no fun.

But the following passage reminds that no matter the trial, God is right beside us. No matter what we face, He will rescue. He will intervene.

He will.

***

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
Psalm 138:7,8

Blessings,

Sue

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes ~ One Story

Three Views From the Pier

This week’s photo challenge is about threes, or telling a three-picture story. 

Readers who follow me regularly have already seen some of the pictures that I took while my husband and I were in Gulf Shores, Alabama recently.  Today, I will show more of what we experienced on our trip using this three-picture format. 

Three Views Along the Shore

I like the idea of using three images to tell one story, mainly because of my fondness for the number three.  It reminds me of the Trinity.

God manifests Himself as triune, which means three in One.  God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. 

One God, as three Persons, revealing one magnificent love story for us.

“For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.”
1 John 5:7

For similar posts, see Weekly Photo Challenge

From The Daily Post

© Sue Nash/2014

The Sweetest Things ~ Hugs and Kisses From Heaven

A tulip for your sweetness

Tulips for your sweetness

Sometimes, when you are in the midst of suffering or sadness, the sweetest things happen.  Several such things have occurred during this time of semi-convalescence due to my pain and vertigo.

Yesterday, I had an injection in my neck.  Spinal injections don’t always help and can initially exacerbate the pain, but since I had one a couple of years ago that worked, I decided to try one again.  I’m avoiding the alternative, a three level cervical fusion, like the plague!

The sweet things started before I even left for the shot.

Sweet indeed

My mom called to assure me she was praying and to say she loves me.  She is one of those early rising, fervent prayer warriors, so I don’t take her prayers lightly.  Her presence and love for me is sweet indeed.

Snugly sweet

Right after I got home from having the procedure, my little Maltese seemed to know something was wrong.  He may have smelled the lingering clinic odors on my clothing.  Although not normally a lap dog, he suddenly wanted up in my chair to sweetly snuggle.

Unexpected sweet thing

My son randomly text-ed to apologize for something and to remind me that he loves me.  Sadly, as our children get older we hear from them less often.  To receive an unexpected apology and acknowledgment of my son’s love was a very sweet thing.

Totally sweet things

Friends have text-ed, emailed and blogged to check on me and let me know they are praying.  This includes many of you, which is totally sweet.

Always sweet

My husband has been a trooper throughout this and all the many other times I have struggled, starting with my back surgeries many years ago.  To this day, he still does the majority of the housework.  I try never to take him for granted.  He is always so sweet.

The sweetest thing

These displays of sweetness overwhelm and warm my heart.  However, since God is in control and works all things out for our good, the sweet things are really from Him.  Our acts of kindness are but the conduits of His sweetness.  They are like hugs and kisses from heaven.

His love and tender care for us is by far the sweetest thing.

“The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.”
Psalm 145:9

*My thanks to all of you for your thoughtfulness and prayers. I am getting better!
Sue Nash/2014

Strategies for Staying Above Despair ~ Lessons From the Ocean

Ocean wavesGod, help me to rise above despair.
To stay afloat
With my back to its gloomy bog
And my face lifted high;
Upward, unafraid.

I have always been a decent swimmer, which probably has something to do with the fact that I grew up near the ocean.

Swimming in the Atlantic was not easy.  Its forceful waves and rigorous currents presented many aquatic challenges, especially for a child.  However, since I was the only girl, I was not about to let my brothers outdo me.  Rather than buckle, I allowed the strong waves and my competitive spirit to make me a better a swimmer.

I do recall at least two frightening experiences, though.  One was a time when a particularly strong wave smashed into me unawares, taking me under and pinning me to the ocean floor for longer than was comfortable. 

The other was the time I encountered a small riptide.  Fortunately, my dad had prepared us by instructing about how to swim out of one.  However, the forceful pull happened so fast that by the time I realized it, I was already in water over my head, further away from shore.

Strategies for Staying Afloat in the Ocean

Following my dad’s instructions, I swam perpendicular to the current and broke free from its insidious grip.  Because I had so far to swim back to land, though, I tired quickly.  To conserve energy, I alternated swimming with floating on my back, a survival strategy when struggling to stay afloat.

I never felt afraid of losing my life, but it was a wake up call about the dangers of open sea swimming.

At times, the storms in life can make us feel like we won’t make it.  Very often, they ravish our hope and bring despair.  They require similar strategies for survival.

Strategies for Staying Above Despair

Like a riptide, devastating circumstances can come upon us suddenly, making us feel as though we are being pulled apart at the seams.  With their onslaught, they make life seem as though it is catapulting out of control.

Rather than succumb under the pressure, we can instead allow the Lord to lead us in a direction opposite the raging torrent.  With His help, our spirits can rise upward, perpendicular to the current.  In His presence, no more will the hurtful tide overwhelm.

Since the difficult problems of life do not always subside as quickly as they arrive, it is easy to grow weary.  To conserve energy, these are perfect opportunities for turning over and floating on your back, so to speak.  Of letting go of all the worries and frustrations, and staying afloat by fixing your eyes on Christ and resting in His embrace.

Remember.  God is always there to help you navigate the tide and equip you to stay above despair.  Through Him, we are not just survivors; we are over-comers.  He can even lift us up to walk on water!

****

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

This version of Oceans is different from what I have heard on the radio.  By a male artist, Hillsong United ‘Zion’

© Sue Nash/2014