It has now been seven years since I started this blog. How quickly time goes by! We are many members but we are one in the body of Christ. Therefore you do not journey alone! Hopefully through this site you will be encouraged by the fact that many things you are going through in your own walk, others are going through (or have gone through) as well. Sometimes we think we are "going through things alone." But we are not. God said that "He would Never Leave Nor Forsake Us." (Hebrews 13:5) and that "There is Nothing New Under The Sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9). No man is an island. It's easy to forget that. May the words in this blog help you to think, encourage you in whatever spiritual state you are in and may the Lord use them to help us to grow in Him! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith!

I don’t want any readers to think that I am “promoting” being a prodigal. I definitely am not. But what I am hoping to do – is to encourage those of us who either have had or are currently experiencing a hard time in our walk to be honest about it. Personal conviction is a powerful thing, especially if you truly love the Lord. I think that sometimes the Body of Christ critiques and judges to the point where the person who is at the other end of that pointing finger feels ostracized, alienated and alone. I don't think that that is what Jesus intended. When I read through my Bible - I see a firm yet gentle restoration that Jesus ministered to those around Him. Look at John 21:15-19. When Peter who was at an all time low point in his walk - he was firmly, yet lovingly restored by Jesus. He didn't tear him down, or yell or make him feel any worse then he already did. He spoke to him lovingly and gently - and in doing so, Peter was able to repent and minister in a much more powerful, humble and confident way and it became one of the largest ministries ever.

Please note that I am only a vessel, my calling - to write. I dedicate this blog to the Lord and ask that He use it to reach out and touch whoever needs a special, loving, personal touch from Him. My hope is that the Holy Spirit allows you to see Him through the words (and not me). We go through things so that we can extend our right hand of fellowship behind us to assist and help someone else. Our Bible is the same today, as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. (I am far from perfect and do not profess to have all the answers...) but the good news is - Our Heavenly Father does! His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy is real!Nothing you are experiencing in your walk comes as a surprise to Him! May He be glorified through this blog and may God bless you at whatever stage in your walk you are in!~

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with early stage triple negative breast cancer on June 24th, 2010 - I have been cancer free for 7 years now. It was only a chapter in my life - NOT my life, but the impact is one that has changed my life forever. Its important for women to know that 80% of the breast cancer diagnosis come from women who don't have a history of it in their family (My family didn't). Early detection is the key. For more information please click on the pink ribbon above. It could save your life.


September 3, 2014

Are You Blocked?

One of the awful side effects for a lot of breast cancer survivors (like myself), who have had lymph nodes removed during surgery is a something called lymphedema.  

I Googled the definition of Lymphedema and it came up as this:  
Lymphedema involves blockage of the lymph vessels, with a resulting accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the interstitial tissues of the body. The lymphatic system consists of lymph vessels and lymph nodes throughout the body. The lymph vessels collect lymphatic fluid, which consists of protein, water, fats, and wastes from cells. The lymph vessels transport the fluid to the lymph nodes, where waste materials and foreign materials are filtered out from the fluid. The fluid is then returned to the blood. When the vessels are damaged or missing, the lymph fluid cannot move freely throughout the system but accumulates. This accumulation of fluid results in abnormal swelling of the arm(s) or leg(s), and occasionally swelling in other parts of the body. (Definition taken from the Free Dictionary by Farlex)
How amazingly intricate God has made our bodies to function.  We cannot fully comprehend how wonderfully we are made.  Just as we have a physical body, we also have a spiritual body.
I have had a lot of doors opening and closing in my life lately; and as I was driving to my office today, I had a realization; just as the physical condition of lymphedema can cause a flow blockage in our physical bodies, we can allow or entertain things into our lives that can cause a spiritual blockage that keeps things from flowing in our spiritual bodies (or spiritual life),  and this doesn’t only pertain to cancer survivors, but to everyone.  Stress and anxiety can reveal itself and cause physical blockages in the form of other ailments or diseases. 

For me, I have found the symptoms indicating a spiritual blockage to be uneasiness, lack of peace, anxiety, lack of sleep, and a restless mind.  To be honest, it can feel like torment because it feels like you can’t seem to get it together, or get your life under control.  Sometimes it’s because we don’t want to examine or face whatever the reason for that blockage is.  It could be pride, or the flesh or just plain stubbornness keeping you from doing what needs to be done.   If you have given your life to Christ, your life is not your own anymore.  You have invited the Holy Spirit to come into your body and take residence there.  He moves things around and changes things about you that only He could do and if you fight against those changes, you can find yourself at war with yourself and that can also cause a spiritual blockage.
“I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives by faith in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
I have experienced both trunk lymphedema and spiritual blockage in my life. God healed me of the physical lymphedema through acupuncture (something I never before believed in).  I had believed solely in Western medicine.  After having countless appointments of special lymphedema massages with a lymphedema specialist (which felt wonderful when going through it – what massage does not feel wonderful when getting one?) but which effects didn’t last long after the massage was over.  I was told by the specialist that I could try one of two things:
  1. I could purchase a huge jacket-like garment that I could sleep in that would be plugged in and would compress and decompress throughout the night helping to get the flow of my lymph nodes going again.  This jacket of course would have cost me thousands of dollars.
  2. I could try something that has been successful with some other breast cancer survivors who experience lymphedema – acupuncture.  My first reaction to that suggestion was to wrinkle my nose up in distaste. I’m not a fan of needless and I did not believe in acupuncture, I instantly “poo-poo’d” that suggestion with a wave of my hand.  However, I did not want to sleep in a contraption that I had to pay thousands of dollars for (which wasn’t even an option because I didn’t have it) and which *might* not even resolve the issue. Ironically, following my appointment, I had a discussion with my brother about my options and found out that he had tried acupuncture for back pain and it had worked!  So I decided to give it a try, after all, nothing ventured, nothing gained.  
I went to the appointment with a skeptical this is a waste of time, I don’t believe this will work kind of attitude; much to my surprise I left the appointment feeling better than I had in a long time.  The needless did not hurt, in fact the fascinating thing is, truthfully you don’t even feel all those needles when they are placed at whatever point they are strategically placed at (depending upon what your symptoms are for coming there).  The truth is, it actually worked!  I was astonished, I was humbled and I became further convinced that there is more to the human body then we can conceive.  I went through about 12 treatments of acupuncture, and my lymphedema was healed.  The only thing that causes it to “flare up” occasionally is when I get under a lot of stress.  When that happens, it is usually because I’ve allowed a “spiritual blockage” to occur in my life and it in turn affects my physical body by having a flare up of lymphedema occur.  When that happens, I make an appointment with my acupuncturist and I re-examine what I have allowed in my life to cause that spiritual blockage.  (In saying all that – if you are one of my Pink sisters reading this post, and you are experiencing lymphedema – I would seriously consider giving acupuncture a try, God used it to work wonders for me). 
In the same way, allowing something to occur in my life that does not line up with the Word of God, or if I have allowed myself to put the desires of my flesh (and become spiritually stubborn to what God wants me to do – in other words “throw a spiritual temper tantrum”) above what God wants me to do or how God tells me to live, I have experienced spiritual blockage.  It is not until I have faced the reason for the blockage that I have been able to do what needs to be done in order to get back on track in my life again.  It is not something that is easy, especially if you are or have been a Prodigal.  In fact I can guarantee that most Christians going through a prodigal time in their walk know exactly what it is I am talking about.  The only way to break down that dam that has risen up and is causing uneasiness, lack of peace, anxiety, lack of sleep, and a restless mind is to face whatever it is that is causing it.  No matter how painful letting it go can be or how hard you want to hold on.
For those who truly love God and desire to be in His good and perfect will, He will bring you to a point where you want His good and perfect will in your life more than you want whatever it is that is holding you back from it.  It could take days, weeks, months or years for you to reach that point – that is ALL dependent upon how much you are willing to put up with or how long you are willing to fight against the Holy Spirit, because God never makes you do anything.  He has given each person free will to choose.  However, what some people refer to as “their conscience” is really the Holy Spirit nudging you to “change your mind” and eventually it will bring you to a point where you can’t fight against the flow anymore.  Sometimes we are our own blockage and we need to get out of the way of our own selves…
The most ironic thing is – that we think we know what is “best” for our lives, which is why we refuse to let go of things and trust that God has our best interest in mind.  You could be missing out on the best thing in your life because you don’t feel you “deserve” better, or you are not willing to let go of your concept of what is “best” for you.  All along God is shaking His head at your stubbornness because He has something so wonderful in store for you, but you stand before Him tight fisted holding on to what you believe is the best.  Your hand has to be open to receive what God has for you.  Are you happy with your life? Are you sleeping? Do you feel at peace?  Are you content with your life? Is it going the way you want? Do you feel as though you are in a spiritually good place?  Or are you filled with anxiety, trepidation, depression, uneasiness with a lack of peace?  If that is the case those are symptoms of being spiritually blocked and it’s time for you to re-evaluate your life and your situation and make the changes necessary to let all good things flow once again. It’s not easy to unclench those fists and release whatever you are holding, but believe me, from someone who personally knows, if you do, you will find that God has a flow of blessings headed your way that you never even imagined... And the first thing you should do - is start believing that.
“Above all else guard your heart because it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
“Be very careful then how you live, not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.”  (Ephesians 5:15)
“Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, lean not to your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your path.”  (Proverb 3:5-7)

No comments: