As I sit down to write today, fires are ravaging much of Southern California, high winds are hurling patio furniture, plants, and trash cans down the street, and a 4.2 earthquake and its aftershocks hit yesterday with its epicenter 20 miles from our home. San Diegans are on critical fire watch alert and it is difficult to not be unsettled and anxious. And yet, I remind myself daily (and often hourly) that God is in control, that this is not the perfect earth He originally created, and that all will be restored. Today’s blog is a little bit of update, a little bit of hope, and little bit of a guest author—my 17 year old son, Micah. May today’s blog post give you hope, assurance, and a bit of a challenge.
First, the health update. I am still dealing with insurance—contesting some bills and trying to wrap finances up before year end. My insurance twice denied the medication I was prescribed, saying that the dosage “did not meet their guidelines.” They then told me that my doctor could not change anything via email or fax and that he had to fill out a form and mail it via postal mail. Last week, after FIVE weeks of waiting, I finally got my prescription filled, but it was only due to a wonderful nurse at my doctor’s office who stepped up for me. The nurse, Ryan, pulled me aside while I was talking to the office manager about all this craziness and told me that he was going to contact insurance as well as the pharmacy. By the time my appointment was finished, Ryan had pulled a chair up by his computer for me, and sent me off with the name of the pharmacist at Costco, the correct prescription, and a big hug. I began taking my medication that night and felt improvements immediately. Today, one week later, I am almost back to normal with my strength and energy. If we could just put humanity back into our systems! Ryan will be receiving a card and a gift from me this week and I hope he will know how blessed and appreciative I am because he fought on my behalf. I am so grateful!
Second—a little bit of hope. About six weeks ago, I was up on my cabana drinking my coffee and having my morning quiet time with my journal and my Bible. I was in the midst of my painful recovery and feeling no progress and no hope. As I was having my pity party, I felt God quietly speaking to me. I felt Him assure me that despite my pain and suffering, that I could still make an impact on those around me. I felt Him telling me some words and I wrote them down. “People. Pray. Proclaim.” I started praying over the words and I realized what God was telling me through my pain. People come first. Before anything else. Before chores and work and programs and social media. Pray for the people in your life. If people come first and people are important, then I need to be lifting them in prayer—all the people in my life. I can pray for people when I am walking my dogs, driving, when I am on my knees, when I am lying in bed in pain.
Proclaim the gospel in all you do. Proclaim Jesus in your words, deeds, actions, behaviors and values. Proclaim Jesus in your pain, in your joy, in your trials, in your suffering, in your workplace, in your neighborhood. These three words have helped me re-define my priorities. These three words guide my choices, actions, words, and decisions.
Third—a bit about my guest author—Micah Loy. About three weeks after this time with God, I was talking to my son Micah after his school day. He said, “Hey mom, I am writing my final paper in APEL (AP English Lit) about you.” “Really bud,” I said, “What is it about?” He told me, “It is called a Definition essay. We have to define something in 500 words or less using an extended metaphor. So I am defining you.” He then proceeded to tell me about his ideas for the essay and the examples he was going to use. He said, “My metaphor for you is a first dance at a wedding.” I was shocked! I have talked to my boys about how much I want to live so I can dance with them at their weddings. They know that the title of my book is going to be I Plan to Dance. I know that Micah is a really observant kid—not much gets past him, but until I read his essay, I didn’t really know how much he has been taking in regarding my pain and suffering. So, I am honored to share his essay with you all in my blog today.
She Will Dance
A mom is someone who takes care of you. A mom can be anyone that has shown you how to live your life, has taken care of you, and has helped you through tough times. But my mom is a first dance at a wedding. She takes the right steps and is seen as perfect to all people watching, even though she has her imperfections. She goes through a lot of twists and turns but in the end she nails it.
In my eyes my mom is perfect. Sure, she yells at me for not getting up and doing what I am supposed to do, but she never stops caring. She constantly asks me if she is being a good mom and I always answer the same way. “Of course mom, why wouldn’t you be.” She always thinks that she hasn’t been there for me in times of need because she has been battling cancer for the past four years, but really she doesn’t know how much she has actually done for me. She taught me to always have faith in anything and to not stress about the small stuff. My mom wonders why I don’t get scared when she goes through all these surgeries and I reassure her by saying “Mom, if you can do it one time, you can do it again. God is with you.”
My mom isn’t afraid to show her emotion. Countless times I have come home and she is crying because she just wants to go back to when she wasn’t cut open and she didn’t have the scars to prove it. She is a woman who called her son crying because she was in pain and needed him to meet her at the emergency room. A woman that, despite cancer, still had a grasp on her faith and knew that she was going to dance at her son’s wedding.
My mom goes through twists and turns. If you don’t know her, you would only see a woman who keeps a smile on her face and tries to please everyone. But to the people who know her story, they see a woman who has defied the odds of life, surviving cancer more than three times, and has undergone more than ten surgeries. I see a woman who has put all her faith in God to keep her alive. My mom, throughout the time she was going through this hard time in her life, still continued to change and impact people’s lives, including mine. She showed me that you just have to push through something when God gives you a challenge.
My mom is the biggest influence in my life. I should always cherish the times when she just wants a hug from me. I have to live in the moment with my mom, since I don’t know when it could be gone. Her time with me is a first dance that I never want to end.
I share this because I want us all to be reminded that people (and our kiddos) are watching us—they watch and learn from our actions, our words, and our responses to trials and suffering. After I read Micah’s essay, I realized how important it is that I am living out “People, Pray and Proclaim.” My kids and husband(people) are the number one in my life after God. I pray for them daily and I proclaim Christ to them in all that I do and say. It doesn’t go unnoticed.
Ryan, the nurse who fought on my behalf, put people first. He made a difference in my life that day and now because I have my medication due to him.
My son Micah, through his observations, has proclaimed his faith to his classmates.
God the Father and the Creator, chose people to be His instruments to proclaim the gospel. Flawed, undeserving people, who He uses to glorify Him and testify about Him on earth. What grace. What honor. What joy.