Monday, September 9, 2019
I’m so grateful today for the twenty more years of life God has granted me. In 1999, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. He could have taken me then, but He didn’t. He heard my cries for life, and He cured me. He gave me so many opportunities to enjoy living. I was able to finish medical school and residency to become a doctor. I married a wonderful man. I adopted a beautiful daughter, and I gained a gorgeous stepdaughter and strapping young nephew. My heart sings with gratitude to how great my God really is. His love is unfathomable, His care for us is gentle, and His heart for us as His children is tender. I thank you, Father.
at September 09, 2019
Monday, August 12, 2019
Sitting in my hotel room this morning sipping coffee and peering out at the ocean, I’m reminded of the peace the Father wants for our lives. The sight of the shimmering waves and the sound of the slowly rushing water is comforting and makes me think of the way God speaks to us. He is always close by just waiting for us to choose to spend time with Him. He loves each of us so much.
He beckons us for just a little bit of our time. He says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). He also tells us, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13).
When your heart is heavy and you feel weary, or you just need to feel God’s presence, find a quiet place and just talk to Him. He is always ready, always listening, always there for you.
at August 12, 2019
Sunday, June 9, 2019
Back in 1999, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At that time I underwent a lumpectomy with radiation followed by a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. After that surgery, I suffered a postoperative infection due to radiated, thin skin with poor healing capability. That infection parked me in the hospital for five days and cost me another surgery. At that time, I was about 31 years old, and I was in my third year of medical school. Spending those days in the hospital taking pain medication and antibiotics caused me to lose track of my days, and I entered a depression. Not only was I sick, but I also had a deformed chest wall with an active infection. During that time, I cried out to God for help and restoration. I spent many days shedding tears, not knowing if I would ever feel “normal” again. Slowly but surely, God wrapped His loving arms around me and healed me.
Last year, I had a required maintenance reconstructive surgery. Both my surgeon and I were very much aware of my increased risk for infection. However, the surgery went well, and I healed well. Two weeks ago, I had to undergo another reconstructive surgery. Just like the previous time, I worried about a postoperative infection. Postoperative day number five, my incision started to become red and appeared inflamed. My mind started going down that road to infection, and I became anxious. I called my family and friends and asked them to please pray for me. I asked them to pray for my healing and restoration to health.
When I saw my doctor the next day, he looked at my incision and immediately knew that I didn’t have an infection. He told me I had an allergic reaction. You can imagine my relief as I almost cried tears of joy. I had already imagined a hospital stay, intravenous antibiotics, and possibly another surgery resulting in a deformed chest wall. I left his office that day with a huge weight lifted, and I thanked God for His goodness.
Perhaps you are experiencing a time of depression or anxiety due to poor health, a desperate situation, or grief. I encourage you to employ prayer warriors to pray for you. Our God is one of restoration, and He hears your cries for help. He will surround you with His love by bringing people to your aid, and He will bring comfort from unexpected places and people. He cares for you.
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures: He leads me besides the still waters. He restores my soul…” Psalms 23:1-3a.
“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds….” Jeremiah 30:17a
at June 09, 2019
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Spring is the time of year when everything is in bloom. It is a time of renewal, and the vibrant colors of flowers and trees are evident. We wake up to the sound of the birds singing, and the buzzing of bees can be heard as we make our way outdoors. The fields and lawns are rich with plush green grass and the skies are a brilliant blue hue with fluffy clouds scattered throughout. While it is a time of growth and beauty, it is also a time that is wrought with rain and storms. During this time of year, we have some of our worst storms which can even bring hail, gusty winds, and tornadoes. We can go from having a peaceful, beautiful sunshiny day to an overcast, gray, stormy day quite easily.
And so it is with life. I have a dear friend who was just diagnosed with recurrent breast cancer. She has already overcome two previous primary breast cancers like a champion. It had been four years since her last chemo treatment. She was enjoying the beauty of spring until just the other day when she started to have symptoms. In a matter of a few days, her life was changed again. Now her days and nights are filled with fear, worry, sadness, and not understanding why this is happening again. Life can be so unpredictable. We have our joyous good days filled with laughter and happy times, and then we have days that can beat us down so much we wonder if we’ll get through them. Everyone has trials, and I’m sure you’ve had your share and know many friends who are currently going through their own trials.
As I grieve the reality my dear friend must endure right now, I also remind myself that this life is not our permanent home. I remind myself that although we must endure trials in this life, we have God’s promises to guide us, to comfort us, and to protect us. Psalm 16:8 says, “I keep my eyes on the Lord, with Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Although we face trials and hardships, God does care for us. He says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” He never leaves our side when we are grieving or hurting. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
And just when we can’t handle our grief anymore, and the loss we feel is overwhelming, God tells us in Revelation 21:4, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” That gives me so much hope. Just like the renewal of spring, God will make all things new again. He promises us this, and we can count on our Lord to bring us wholeness, goodness, joy, and peace. He loves us with an everlasting love and we can depend on Him to care for us. It’s so comforting.
at April 27, 2019
Friday, March 29, 2019
What is Finding Home about?
It’s about a young woman, Lacey Bartlett, who is trying to figure out where she belongs. She has lost her family. Both of her parents are gone, her grandparents have passed away, and she is an only child. Even her husband has divorced her. She is lonely and yearns for a family of her own. In medical school, she suffers further loss, as she is diagnosed with cancer. During her stages of mending, she can’t help but fall in love with her gentle and kind plastic surgeon, George. He is there for her during a difficult time, and although she keeps her feelings to herself, she forms a tight bond with him. After recovery from her illness, she hopes for a relationship with George, but it doesn’t work out.
Alone and heartbroken, she is not sure what to do with her life. Then she receives a letter in the mail. She inherits her grandparents’ potato farm in the small town of Pocatello, Idaho. She only remembers her grandparents from photographs and is surprised when they leave this property to her. With nothing left for her in her current location, she takes a leep of faith and moves to Pocatello where she also gets a job in the local hospital. Living in her grandparents’ farmhouse is comforting and somehow familiar. Distant memories surface, and she makes discoveries that uncover secrets of her family.
At the hospital, she meets Geret Blake. He is the gorgeous surgery manager who ends up helping her through some difficult situations at the hospital. He is built like a rock and has a chiseled jawline, deep set, brown eyes, full lips, and dimples at the edges of his smile. Along with his incredible physique, he is also gentle and compassionate. Lacey can’t help but start to fall for him. He helps her understand some of the mysteries she is uncovering about her family. Just when Lacey and Geret are getting closer, an unexpected visitor appears at Lacey’s door. Suddenly, Lacey questions everything. She must rely on her faith in God as she looks for answers.
You can read Finding Home to find out what happens. Will Lacey be able to sort through her emotions and come to the answers she needs? Finding Home is being released in August 2019. Keep watch for the upcoming purchase information at www.zimbellhousepublishing.com.
at March 29, 2019
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Happy Spring! My 50th birthday arrives next month, and I’m definitely feeling the effects of being a half decade old. For my birthday present, I have received a diagnosis of hypothyroidism and osteoarthritis. I was hoping I could take these presents back, but I don’t know where to take them (😊). Unfortunately, our bodies age. Although we can take active measures to slow this process by making healthy choices, the years still pass by.
I’m choosing to see the positive side to aging, however. I must say that with these passing years, I’ve gained much wisdom (and some weight 🤨), but I wouldn’t want to go back to being eighteen. Those years were difficult, and there were experiences I’d rather forget. I suppose I might go back, however, only if I had today’s wisdom to take with me.
Our experiences from those years of living give us valuable information for making wiser choices in our more mature years. We realize that we can’t reverse the aging process, as hard as we may try, and that our lives really count for something—something important. I’m so thankful for the years I’ve had to live, and I often ask myself, “What legacy am I building right now? How do my husband, children, family, and friends view me? What do they see?”
Although I believe that an audience of one (God) is the only one we should be concerned about pleasing, I believe we affect many people around us through our actions. Simple actions of kindness, gentleness, and forbearance go a long way with others. Are you an encourager? Do you have a generous spirit? Are you one who gives comfort well? We’ve each been blessed with special attributes that we can use to start defining what our legacy will be.
So for me, I see aging as a necessary process that helps to mold us into compassionate, wise, mature people who care for others as we build our legacy. I’m so grateful for the many years I’ve been given on this earth, and I pray for many more. I will continue to focus daily on ways I can be an inspiration to others. What about you? It’s never to early to start. What legacy are you building?
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