Growing up, I was taught to always look up, to hold my head high, to have confidence. It was a wonderful teaching. A wise teaching. Today, God reminded me that our wisdom comes from perspective. And today I learned it can be a good thing to keep your head down and keep going.
I started walking early in the cool of the day before the sun started beating down and heating things up. I was determined to walk an hour. Determined to feel my feet pound on the gravel road and force the calories to start burning. Determined to change my mind set and and my body and to not give up. Determined to start and stay on fire with it all and not back off of myself or give myself an easy way out.
I didn't wake up with that determination but I'd seen a picture of me from the day before and realized I'd excepted the place that I'd gotten too in my journey to be healthy and lose weight. I'd become complacent almost. I couldn't see me though. I felt so much better than I did at 303.3 pounds that I was just happy to be smaller.
God has a way of showing me truth through photography constantly though and it was no different this morning when my best friend posted a picture of my husband and I holding his new little baby girl from the day before.
Before that moment this morning with that picture, I thought I'd really lost some weight and looked so much better. Fake cough. The roles just don't show as much when your standing up. Sit down on a couch and face the facts when a camera is in your face. And, for those that know me, thank you so much before you even say it - that you think I look better. I truly appreciate that. BUT I'm not done. This battle isn't done. 43 pounds gone isn't the victory. I probably have another 100 to go. For real.
I had weighed 303.3 pounds when I started this battle years ago. Now I am at 260 having lost to 245 and gained 15 back. Again. Watching the scale creep up. Terrified I might have to buy a bigger size of jeans when I'd been so proud last year to get into 18's.
I'd been at the same size, same 15 pound window of weight loss and gain for 1 year. Again.
I am the most stubborn person on the planet. Beating my face on the same brick wall I remember from years ago. Yes at a better place but still holding myself back from the victory! Why? I don't know. God is still healing some things in me. Teaching me to lean on Him instead of food. Some people like drugs. Some people like shopping. Some people like whatever will fill them other than God. I have liked food. But I'm learning. I'm not giving up. So I keep sharing. Some will be sick of it and want me to shut up. Some will need it though. In this world we want it all now and I definitely haven't gotten this "right now". Some folks can be determined and do it right away but this girl had to make a life out of it, a life out of overcoming herself lol. In the end God says He will take my bad and make good though and I trust Him. I know He will. Anything that my existence can add good to is a reason to live.
So. This morning I put my walking shoes on and I didn't give up. I grabbed my phone and headphones. I put on Joy Fm - a Christian Station that I love and don't get to listen to very often and I set out to walk. Only for some reason my connection wouldn't work and Joy Fm froze and no matter how much I fought it, it wouldn't connect. So I took a couple of pics and dropped my phone down on the lawn aggravated and just walked. And I thank God that phone wouldn't work.
In the cool of the morning I felt my feet on the gravel road. I heard the breeze through the forest trees. I breathed in the peace and beauty like I hadn't done in quite a while. I quieted my mind and asked God to walk with me. I spoke for a bit with Him sharing my heart. I asked Him to let me be still though because HE knew my heart anyway. I heard Him say "I created you to be a fighter, to not give up, to be a voice for our people, the ones that don't have a voice, the believers that don't know how to speak out. I'll empower you. I'll strengthen you. It is not a matter of being "normal" Shannon. (My inner voice is always saying I just want to be normal when it comes to my size but only God knew that.) It's a matter of excess. I will get the excess off of you. I will give you balance and victory." I know God was speaking to my heart about my weight but I also know God. Metaphors are a part of Him. In His brilliance I know He was speaking of my life as well. Not just my physical but mental and spiritual. At the moment I can only focus on the physical and I'm so over joyed to know that He's got this.
Why would I ever give up when God is leading me? No matter how hard the fight or how weak I really am, I can not give up. We are not alone in our battles. He is with us. I looked down at the road. It was a long road. My journey to heal has been long as well. I held my head up and focused on where I was going. As the minutes went by it got harder and harder. Lap after lap of going up that hill and down. Thankful for the down. Trying not to cry on the up hill moments. Telling myself that it was worth the dedication and sweat. My steps got slower. I pushed myself but it was getting harder and harder.
I looked down at my feet. One step in front of the other. I just kept watching each step. I felt something shift inside me. Like when your coming off of a ramp onto the highway and you push the gas petal a bit harder to pick up speed and hear the engine kick into that next gear and the power start to flow. It was that moment for me. It hit me that concentrating on each moment, each step was my power not searching for the end like I'd done all these years. Sick of the battle, I'd always looked ahead to when it would be finished but in this morning's walk God changed my perspective. Living in the moment and focusing on God in the fight and staying the course helped me walk those last 20 minutes like a champ. My head was down. My determination at it's height. It's ok to change perspective. Just don't give up the fight. I love you guys. He loves you more. xoxo
This journey into weight loss and health has been hard - so worth it, but hard. When I was younger, I thought I could will the extra weight off. I could desire it enough to make it happen. Not so. No matter how badly I wanted it, I just couldn’t make it happen. By the time I was 27 - I was 303.3 pounds. That’s the first time, after seeing a picture of myself that my 4-year-old took of me, that I started fighting this and asked God to help me. I had no idea what I was asking for at the time or where my journey would take me but I’m so thankful for that day when I saw that picture. I’m so thankful our sweet baby girl loved to grab the camera. I cried when I saw the picture. I had sent the photos in to our 1 hour developer from a little trip the 3 of us had gone on and I was overjoyed to get the pictures back. Being a photographer now, I always loved photos and couldn’t have enough of them. BUT when I got to that shot of me at a pay phone that our Emma had taken while sitting in the front seat of the truck and watching me talk to my Momma on the phone, well… I was in shock. I literally burst into tears. I was so ashamed. I had no idea I’d gotten that big. I had quit looking at myself even in mirrors by then except to brush my hair. It made me go find a scale. I was devastated and truly destroyed when I saw those numbers. But being destroyed means you can start over. You can build “up” from the ground. And that day I reached out to God and I’ve been reaching ever since. He picked me up from the devastation and said, “Child, I have a plan to build you up and not destroy you. You are worth being loved even though you don’t think so. I will change this for you. Just love Me back. I’ll help you. I’ll show you how. Just trust me.” And so I did. Mess up after mess up.. I did though. I couldn’t get it all right no matter what. I still can’t. But I’ve loved Him ever since. And He’s loved me way more and shown that over and over. And I try like no bodies business.
I’m a stubborn girl. I don’t feel like I am in my everyday life. I would argue that I’m not lol. But God shows us, when we are willing to be shown, what our hearts really are and what our faults really are and I am totally a creature of habit. Habit makes me feel comfortable. I don’t have to fear. I use to stay in the same rhythm and not shake things up too much. It’s comfortable to not have too many surprises. That’s why so much of this was so hard. Retraining my mind and heart to long for God’s ways was a gift but a real challenge. I had to want Him more than I wanted my own self. He had to grow that desire in me just like a mustard seed. It started small as I reached for Him. I can only see that now in retrospect and I can only imagine where He’s taking me because my desire for Him feels huge now - but we always grow. He’s not done with me yet. And… God didn’t hand any of this to me though He empowered me as He saw fit. He wanted me to reach and stretch for it. He teaches me things constantly and changes me in the groaning and pains as well as the joys I believe and He’s changed me in hundreds of ways since then by making me go through the hard stuff too. The hardest thing was changing that I put comfort in food above God and my health over and over. I didn’t know how to lean on Him. I would stay with it long enough to lose a little but always gained again when I returned to eating what my body wanted. Twice I lost 100 pounds by low carbing. 100 pounds to the ounce in fact. But both times I gained it all back to the ounce. Crazy and profound.
Dieting wasn’t what was going to work for me. I leaned on food like I should have been leaning on God. But as I prayed and read His Word and grew over the years He gave me what I was willing to reach for and I finally - in the last year -got to a place I was willing to sacrifice. This last time I started realizing I was closing in on 300 again. I was right at 297 or so and I knew in a week. I would hit that 303.3 again for the third time. I was so fed up with ME. I realized I wasn’t fighting the world. I was trying to fight me. I put the brakes on. I slammed myself across our bed and cried like I had never cried over my weight. I was looking through my closet for an outfit and just lost it. I threw a serious fit y’all. Temper tantrum like no one’s business and the whole time I was telling God how fed up I was … how destroyed I was… how crushed and heartbroken I was. And He listened to it all. Comforted me but allowed me to get all that pain out and then seriously - I heard Him speak. My heart heard Him. My spirit. I heard… “Eat what I’ve given you.”
And that changed everything.
I realized I had to change what I was eating; not how much I was eating. It was the actual food that I was taking in that was hurting me - not how much of it I was consuming. I could eat a bowl of veggies or fruit and take in 200 calories or I could eat the same size and amount in a burger from McDonald's and take in 1,200 calories. No joke. It wasn’t the volume, it was the amount…it was the food choice… what it was made of. The processed food was killing me and it showed by the size of my body and the pain that had started in my legs and knees at the age of 27. Once I hit about 290lbs my legs had started aching like a truck hit them if I stood for very long and I was always extremely active so many times I was on my legs all day long. I cried several times at the end of the day because my legs ached so bad in bed at night. I knew with that answer from God during my fit throwing - that it was the food and I had to cut the bad stuff out. The light bulb finally came on. I was ready for it. God had stirred the truth inside me and I was ready to reach for more.
The Bad stuff had to go. Bad stuff - meaning processed foods instead of God made foods... the foods of the earth that He created for us to eat were what my body needed to physically heal. And my body needed to heal. Being overweight is a symptom of not being as healthy as we can be. I needed healing from that. I prayed He’d help me and that He’d heal me. I didn’t crave good food back then. I didn’t crave His food back then. I craved bread and pasta and cereal and spaghetti and pizza and burgers and granola bars all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. My body didn’t know what vegetables even were really. I wouldn’t have touched a pea or green bean if you’d paid me. They made me gag. For real.
I had no idea that veggies where needed to keep all the things in our body on track or that they tasted good for that matter because they didn’t way back then. I had to be taught. That’s one of the many reasons why I say all the time, “I’m not who I use to be!” He’s truly changed me. I love veggies today. LOVE THEM. Now that’s a gift. Those foods taste good to me today. I’m still in shock when I look back and so thankful! But before - well… I just had no desire because I had no discipline. I hadn’t taught myself to love them. I didn’t begin to know how. I hadn’t trained. I was out of control. I hadn’t sacrificed.
An Olympic athlete doesn’t happen overnight does he or she? No. And this wasn’t going to happen overnight for me either. I had to accept that. And I did. I realized this was a journey and God was leading the way. And I was all in. I wanted the change and He’d provide it but I had to do the muscle work and He strengthened me to do so. I started really listening to what God was saying instead of just begging Him to help me like I had in the past. I reminded myself about the words that I heard Him say that day and even wrote it down. As I read my bible, and read articles in the world - I started connecting the dots. I started learning what food does in our body and how our bodies run. Even when I messed up and ate from the King’s Table (a term I found in the Bible, which means all the wonderful sugar and meat and fat and cakes and great foods that a King would offer out of His abundance at banquets for his guests) I would remind myself what God had spoken to my heart. Sometimes through tears and sometimes through determination I turned to Him. I was reminded over and over that He was our God and He supplied our food from day one. I remembered what I’d written down from my temper tantrum moment in prayer on our bed face down sobbing and screaming to God about being sick of myself and this weight and the battle. I pulled that paper out over and over and read every bit of it again and again. Sometimes while still chewing the pie or eating the Zero candy bar. Not kidding friends. Over time, I killed those demons though. I killed that voice, or rather God killed that voice, by helping me obey and the more I obeyed, the more He strengthened me to reach for His path instead of my own. Over time, I felt a commitment to making this happen like I never had felt before. Today I feel convicted where once I only wished.
And I love Him. I can’t imagine the pain and heartache if I gave all I had for good and love to my child and they threw it to the side to love a lie and things that would hurt them over time instead. I came to realize that was what I’d been doing my whole adult life and my spirit was moved. My body wasn’t on board but my heart was and I begged God in those beginnings over and over to help me pick the fruit or veggie over the fast food or poor food choices. Sometimes, more than not, I did. He strengthened me. More and more of my choices were choices I could take before Him in this last year and know that He was proud and that He was giving me victory over myself. He’s already won this battle. It’s true. He’s a God that is in this moment but He’s already in the Future as well. He knows the ending to my story. He knows He’s using it all to His glory, even my struggles and the muddy moments when I failed. Once I believed that and knew it and once I understood that I was His and that He loved me… well… I knew that I was going to lose weight and win this fight finally. It was going to happen. I knew that one day I would stand before you all having defeated this and all the extra weight would be gone and I would finally see who God created me to be on this world before I ran to other Gods, before I hid behind the good feeling of being so stuffed I couldn’t feel the pain. And for the first time in my life I could see the victory. For real. I was never good at seeing my future. They would tell you that you could attain it if you could dream it and envision it all but but my dreamer was broken. I could not picture what was to come at all. I hoped great things but I couldn’t see any of them. I was floating just waiting for it all to happen I guess. At least until this moment when I understood no matter what I’d done wrong Jesus loved me. Grace entered in and I could see my victory. I knew God was going to make this happen and He was going to use it to let others know they weren’t alone and to not give up the fight. I didn’t know how but I knew it was going to happen. I trusted Him finally with more than my salvation.
God helped me conquer one by one the temptations that come up. I don’t crave brownies. I don’t crave pasta or bread. This is one of the most amazing statements I’ve ever said in my life. Truly. I was the biggest bread junkie ever maybe. I could eat a French loaf in one sitting, a whole box of cereal in one sitting as well. Not even kidding. God broke every single one of those strong holds. Praise His Holy Name! Over time God changed my diet and my taste buds. He made me crave His goodness instead of junk. I love these foods now. I’m still a volume eater but I eat good stuff and good stuff is changing my body. Period. I still have moments of weakness, but rarer and rarer. Now It’s not the food that I’m addicted too. He’s healed me of my food addiction. He truly has. Now we are at the root of the problem in this battle. Now He’s healing why I would lean on food instead of Him but look how long it took me to get there. Look how long it took me to be real about it to myself and really want it. Years and years before I was ready to face it and own up to it. And God waited with me and held my hand and wiped my tears and never gave up on me. He still just keeps leading me along still waters…
For the first time - I can say this. And it’s really hard to write it. I didn’t know this while I was living it though. I can only recognize it now that God’s healed some things and has grown me past where I was. BUT I think I just wanted to be invisible. I liked that the food numbed me and I didn’t have to face my failings or my heartaches. I didn’t think I was worth anything back then at all. I took all the negative things I’d heard about myself over the years, I took all the horrible things that people – so called friends, boyfriends, so called family, etc… that they had said or done to me or I’d done to myself and believed I was those horrible things. I acted like I didn’t when I was going through the motions trying to hold on to some form of myself but inside myself deep down where we don’t share everything … well… I believed I was a failure. I truly did. I couldn’t stick with even losing weight I’d tell myself. That was my proof.
How many times was I called a fat ass or a whale? So many I could never in a million years guess the number. I didn’t know my worth was in Jesus and I chose to believe the lies. I’d heard I was a bitch, a whore, a fat disgusting slob and that I was pathetic so many times that it finally just sunk in that if no one thought much of me and that I wasn’t worth much and that no body (except my Momma) loved me or liked me much. I finally just believed it. I didn’t want to be seen. I just wanted to do my own thing. My heart craved to be loved but my mind wanted to hide and not feel the pain of all the rejections in my life, whether physical or implied by hateful fights and heartaches.
Oh, I always longed to do greatness, to do things that mattered and that would help the world be better but I didn’t have a groove or direction and I didn’t even know how to help myself. I worked hard on whatever project I got behind and always stayed busy but never ever any self-worth until I trusted that Jesus loved me. Being very heavy, maybe folks saw me, but I felt invisible and wanted to be. I believed I didn’t count and so in my mind, I didn’t count. I felt hidden. I only know that in looking back. I didn’t realize in my life how much I hid from putting myself out there. I didn’t want to fail one more time. Ever. Over and over I would hide from people’s opinions because I didn’t want to face that they didn’t like me. I stayed in my own trusted bubble of people and changed nothing as 1 by 1 they mostly left me over the years. I didn’t reach out to other people because I didn’t want the heartache of losing them as well. I stayed in the same place just never wanting to be seen. I didn’t give other folks a chance to get close to me because I was afraid and I hid behind self-medicating with food instead of just dealing with it all. It was easier to sit on the couch and eat the bag of McDonalds than doing anything to change the events going on in my life. And that is where God reached out to me that day on the bed when I sobbed like I was dyeing and begged Him to change me and to heal me. I stepped over fear with His help.
I’m not going back.
I’m not afraid to be seen any more.
Most of the time. lol
God keeps healing me on that as well.
This time I was willing to change. This time I was willing to sacrifice. This time I was willing to mess up and climb back on the horse and keep going when I fell off – not use it as an excuse to wallow in the mud for a while. This time I was willing to fight for it with God leading the way and believe He had the best in mind and that my choices mattered.
And the weight is coming off again.
From 303.3 lbs originally to 249.2 this morning on my scale.
I’ve lost a small person lol. 53lbs.
This is only the beginning. God’s got so much more for us, for me.
I thought I’d start at the beginning for histories sake.
I fancy myself as quite the historian in our little bubble = )
I love you guys. He loves you more. – Shannon Edwards
“But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
This is a beautiful verse and fills us with such victory and strength when we place our faith in it’s Word. It also brings us brokenness when we find that God does not always heal us physically or our loved ones and we are left with confusion and pain along with loneliness because we find it hard to turn to a God that doesn’t appear to keep His word.
Yes. I said it. That’s what happens isn’t it? Don’t we secretly feel that way? If we are being totally truthful and frank, haven’t we heard our whole lives in church service after service while sitting on those beautiful pews, that Jesus died for our healing? Hasn’t it been said over and over and over that He died for our physical healing? Haven’t we believed that as long as we can remember? Haven’t we had it said at the alter to us as we asked for prayer? Haven’t we stood by beds in hospitals with cherished loved ones because we are faithful Christians and we BELIEVE and quoted that very verse out load and then even to God as we prayed for someone’s healing? We stood on that promise - sometimes with victory and cheering as they grew stronger and finally got to go home but sometimes only to have them pass away in a day or two or in a week or a month. And we wonder if our faith wasn’t strong enough or if we should have fasted or fasted longer. Once we’ve tried to blame ourselves we turn on God. And now we question why He isn’t healing our Aunt who has Cancer or our child who has a drug addiction or our Father who has Alzheimer’s or our pet dog that loves us no matter what and why our loved one died when we begged so hard for them to stay and we wonder why God chooses to heal some but not others and we question how this verse- Isaiah 53:5 - can be true, though we know it must be true, because our faith tells us the Bible is true. Now we feel confused and hurt and betrayed.
We can’t stop wondering why our baby died or our child passed on or why that car wreck took our best friend or why our spouse passed on or left us for another person, which feels like death. These things need healing but God doesn’t appear to be healing them on the surface and sometimes not at all and we are physically sick and broken from the pain and hurt. We feel alone because brokenness leads to being alone. We can’t describe it to anyone but the loneliness eats away at us. We Isolate ourselves so stop feeling the pain. We don’t have the energy to go through the motions and we just don’t want to. We slow down. The spin that was our life slows down to a manageable pace and we stop moving so much because we can barely breath. The isolation creates a gap and the gap can’t be crossed to reach the one that loves you. These things can be in the physical or the spiritual and so we are doubly alone and broken and hurt. Our insides scream for healing just like our physical bodies but God seems to have let us down. His word doesn’t even appear to be true or He would have healed them, or healed us. We would be cheering instead of sobbing if that verse was right.
We see it in relationships all around us, in marriages and between siblings; brothers that won’t speak to brothers or sisters that won’t speak to sisters. We see it between children and parents and nieces and uncles or aunts and nephews. Brokenness that needs healing. Maybe we take some responsibility in it all but maybe we don’t. Maybe we see clearly what the other people should have done or what we should have done but maybe we don’t. Someone holds on to something though and the healing never comes.
In the end, it’s all laid at God’s feet because we know that He’s the ultimate power and He’s in control despite free will and we want some answers and we need it to be done with. We want to know why this verse says He paid for our healing when He won’t heal us every time. We demand to have an answer because when a relationship breaks and someone dies or leaves, it creates an empty hole and we don’t know how to fill it. We need a healing. A physical healing. Our spirits may be broken as well but we feel the pain in our body, in our bad thoughts or moods, in our blood pressure or our bad dreams or our lack of motivation to do anything or in the way we cry at the drop of a hat or how we can’t make ourselves go to church because we can’t stand for anyone to look at us or to see our brokenness or how we’ve become destructive to ourselves without even trying to or how it comes out in anger or rage even though we can’t stand to be that way. However, it shows physically we need to be physically healed from the pain and the loneliness because it’s in our brain that we can’t trust God even though we go through the motions and say that we can trust Him because we know what is true even though we can’t fit those puzzle pieces together anymore. We just can’t figure out how to be healed when we feel broken and these words in verse 5 of Isaiah 53 don’t seem to be rock solid anymore. When we can’t stand on God’s Word, because it appears that it’s not true, we have a broken relationship with God even though we don’t want to admit it even to ourselves and for sure not to anyone else because we are Believers and we know His Holy Bible is the Word. So now what? We need a healing. A physical healing that will lead to Spiritual healing or a Spiritual healing that will lead to a physical healing if God doesn’t take us home first. But a true healing.
Let’s take a moment to heal that broken trust in a few of you and help close that gap and restore that solid rock that we felt turning to sand. God’s Word is true. Don’t distort it and don’t take everything we read or hear as fact. Even now, check this with the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to let you know the truth. Take time to pray over this and ask God to reveal to you what He wants you take from this. Get out your bible and check the verses. Challenge what is written. Never take it at face value. God’s truth is the only thing that matters, not what we’ve always believed or been taught. I am praying as I’ve written and read my own words over and over that I wouldn’t say one thing that isn’t true and that God would speak life into this message and heal some folks. I didn’t sit down to write this. On the contrary, I sat down to read my bible but this verse was on my daily planner and I happened to read it and God just lead me to start writing. I had no idea what was going to pour out of me. The thoughts developed as I wrote. I believe them to be accurate though and I see now where God is leading me. So many folks have been let down by this verse, Isaiah 53:5. At least they think they have been let down by it and by the preaching of this verse, that we need to take a few moments to set the record straight. I want us to look at it a bit closer and a lot deeper.
“… by His wounds we are healed.” it says in the NIV versions and “… with His stripes we are healed.” In the King James. What does that mean? In black and white: every wound - every stripe from that leather whip - that He took on his physical body, every pain that lead to His being killed on the cross: the lies and insults (Mark 14:56,Mark 15:31-32), lashings and beatings and the spit more than once (Luke 22:63-65, Mark 14:65, Mark 15:15, Mark 15:19), being stripped naked and changed into the purple cloth or robe in front of everyone present and mocking Him (Luke 22:63-65, Mark 15:19-20, Luke 23:11, Luke 23:35-39) and having a crown of thorns stabbed into His head (Mark 15:17-18) and then of course, finally crucifying Him, which means to kill Him in a horrible fashion by nailing Him to a tree. (Mark 15:20, Mark 15:24, Luke 23:44-46). Yes, all of these wounds, these pains, paid for our healing, right? Our physical healing was paid for as Jesus hung on that cross. That’s what we’ve been told. That’s we’ve believed Isaiah 53:5 to say. Isn’t it? So why then aren’t we healed? Why when we pray is the answer sometimes no? Why aren’t our loved ones with us now if Jesus paid for our healing? They believed right along with us. We stood together in faith. We understood that Jesus took the pain and wounds and stripes to heal us and we stood on it. He did take the pain. History proves it, not just our Bibles, though it is historically accurate as well. Jesus took those wounds because He loved us so much He wanted to prove that God’s teachings, the thing He spoke of and spoke for God to help us, were true. He took it. He took the wounds even though He hadn’t done a thing wrong and the authorities knew it and stated that he hadn’t done anything wrong. (Luke 23:4, Luke 23:13-16, Mark 15:12-15, Luke 23:13-15, Luke 23:20-22)
BUT it’s been preached over and over and over. I’ve heard fellow Christians say this verse, Isaiah 53:5 and they actually state that it means God will heal us or them. It’s almost a demand or entitlement and many times is exactly both of these things - as if God owes us this because Jesus already paid it. Some of my deepest and most devout Brothers and Sisters believe this though they may not have thought it out so accurately and they may be outraged by my writing of this at first but stay with me.
God doesn’t owe us healing. God doesn’t owe us anything. We create a painting. We are the creator and the painting is the created. Do we owe our painting a perfect spot on our wall to hang it in the bright sunshine? Do we owe our painting, our creation, the lime light or is it ok for us to put it in the closet and wait for another season to hang it on display? We don’t owe our creation anything. We are the creator of that painting. The painting bows to us and becomes what we want it to be, not the other way around. That’s hard for prideful folks to take but it’s true. Love gives us freedom and choice with consequences but we are still created beings and still created for a reason, His reason. He owes us nothing. He gives us freely His salvation and love and grace and mercy if we want it. But He doesn’t owe us that. He doesn’t owe us healing. He doesn’t say that He does, though Christians try to say that He wrote it into our Bibles. This verse is not demanding He heal us because Jesus already paid for it and we deserve what is rightfully ours. Shock. The truth of the matter is, none of us would say it that way probably but that’s what we’re doing when we call upon this verse to demand God heal us or our loved ones. When we want to prove to Him why He needs to heal us. Yes. That’s exactly what we’re doing. And we need to stop it. There is no humility is demanding from God. There is no power in ourselves to make something happen. Our power is God Himself through the Holy Spirit Jesus Christ and demanding as we stand in our churches and in our bedrooms or in our Hospital rooms for God to do our bidding because this verse says that it’s already paid for is a crying shame and sheer pridefulness and wrong.
I still remember the first time in my life I heard someone pray at a bedside in a hospital where we were laying hands on them and asking God for healing. I was shocked by the Holy Spirit. I had never heard anyone demand anything of God through prayer until that moment. There prayer was so heart felt at first and so filled with love but the asking became a demand as my Brother in Christ prayed and Isaiah 53:5 was quoted over and over. “You said.” “You promised.” “We stand on this Word”. “We know you will heal them.” My heart broke. I could hear the demand and entitlement, the pridefulness, but that person that was praying couldn’t see it or hear it. They loved the Lord so much that they thought what they were speaking was simple faith, strong faith that they were owning in the name of the Lord. We don’t begin to know what God is going to do though unless He has revealed it to us. What appears to be good in this world may not be. Just because we love someone and don’t want them to go to God yet doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for that person. God knows what’s best. He knows how He wants the puzzle pieces to fit. Demanding that God heal them because He said He would with this verse is a sad distortion that many Christians cannot see. Having faith that God will and can is a much different heart attitude than the prideful attitude that says He should have done it or demanding that He do it when we say. Look deeper.
Then the person passes away. You prayed for them with conviction, maybe you even fasted. You knew God was going to heal them. But He didn’t. Just like when King David fasted and prayed (2 Samuel 12: 16) begging God for his baby but God didn’t heal him, instead He took him home and you have this devastating moment when God chooses to not give you what you want and leave that loved one with you and you don’t understand. You had faith that Jesus died not only for your salvation but also for your healing. You wonder why He didn’t own up to healing your spouse, your child, your Dad or Mom, your friend or neighbor that you loved with all your heart and you knew God had the power but He just didn’t choose to do what you begged. You can’t understand why because of this verse. This verse. Isaiah 53.5. You know that where your loved one is, is better. We hear all the time how selfish that it is that we want them here instead of there. I disagree though. Love wants to be close. Love wants that relationship. Love wants to feel the joy of the conversation, shared thoughts and ideas. Love wants to snuggle or hug, or high five. Loves wants to share a meal and a movie and a car ride. That’s not selfish or rotten to want to experience things continually with someone you love. That’s natural.
Before we were broken by Satan, by sin, in the Garden of Eden we were made for Eternity and we were made to be two as one. There was another one there with us through everything. The relationship was established before sin. Isn’t that interesting? A relationship with God and a relationship between a man and a woman was established and blessed before sin ever entered this world. In the Garden of Eden, before sin, no one left and no one died. That’s what we still want healed. That’s what we long for. That’s the true illness and that’s what truly needs God’s healing. We are designed for eternity, it’s natural to not want to turn loose of anyone we love and in all actuality, it’s natural to be upset that we must. We feel the imbalance and it pains us. We weren’t made for it. It’s caused by sin not by God so we feel the devastation deeply and we are crushed by death. We can own that. It’s ok to be devastated.
We are doers. All day long we fix things in our lives and in the world and we can’t fix this. We can’t do anything about it. It’s an act outside of our powers. We did all we could do in the end by praying about it and keeping the faith. We turned to our King, our Father, our Teacher, our Friend - our God. We begged Him to heal our loved ones and give them more time, for them and for us. Maybe we had the deepest faith ever - knowing with everything in us that our Lord would heal them or maybe we only had a slight hope as we turned to Him not knowing for sure but all of it was counted as faith no matter how great or how small ( Mathew 17:20) and none of it seems to have mattered because the person we loved is gone and we are left with a broken heart and a broken faith and a broken life and Isaiah 53:5 is why we had such hope that God would have to heal our loved one or ourselves, because sometimes we are the ones that are handed the devastating news and we don’t know how to heal ourselves in anyway and we are still waiting but nothing seems to be changing or getting better no matter how much we pray and plead. I challenge you to look deeper though (Hebrews 6:1-3). Look past our physical world and into the spiritual world.
Of course, God has the power to do anything He chooses and the choices He chooses are out of sheer love and goodness because He is sheer love and goodness. There is no evil in Him. There are no ulterior motives in Him. He only chooses the best things for us because He is the best thing for us, as our creator and our God He knows what is best in His perfection and power. (Deuteronomy 32:4, 2 Samuel 22:31, Joshua 4:24) Period. We don’t always agree with Him though. We’d never say that but our pain makes us feel it. Many times, we want a different outcome. We would never say that we know more than God or even let that thought cross our minds but in the end, we think our loved ones should have stayed with us. Our heart just wants them. Or we think that we shouldn’t have to go through this illness. “Why me God? Why me?” Our trust that God’s got our best is challenged in these moments even if we can’t see it or say it. Our hearts know it though.
Isaiah 53:5 says Jesus went through all of these things and by His wounds we are healed. What does this mean when it says we are healed but some of us believers are not being healed? I say believers because this promise if for those that trust the Lord. If you don’t “believe” then there is no power to heal you. You won’t except it. You won’t except the power because you don’t put any faith in it. If you except Jesus as your Savior, and faith in Jesus is the power straight from God, then you have power to be healed. So as believers, how are there some believers not being healed when others are? How is this possible when we stand on the word of God and say and know that it’s true and right? Does God show favoritism? Absolutely not. Romans 2:11 confirms this. So, let’s look a bit deeper.
God can heal us and many times He does. We see the physical evidence every time someone gets past a cold or sickness or when folks are healed from diseases. We see it when bones that were broken become whole again and strong or when someone who was blind can suddenly see. What does healing mean in this verse though? Is it only the physical healing of our bodies? These bodies that have sin in them and cannot even go to the place that we get to go because of that sin? I don’t believe so. Stay with me. Hear me out.
Is everyone around you sick? No. Not on the surface. Not everyone is sneezing, not everyone is coughing, not everyone has a cast, or a missing limb or some incurable disease. Not everyone has missing teeth or no hair or can’t speak or some rash. No. Not everyone is sick around us. So everyone doesn’t need physical healing. Only some of us need physical healing and some of can’t even get healing even though not all of us need it. So, did Jesus only die to heal some of us? God forbid. Of course not. What He did for one He did for all. So, is God speaking of something deeper here? I believe so.
Are all of us ill in a different way? Is every single one of us broken and sinful without Christ, destined to die not just in the physical but in the spiritual without faith in God’s Son Jesus Christ? Does every single one of us need to be made whole by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross? YES. Aren’t all of us dying if we don’t place our faith in Jesus alone as God’s Son and sacrifice and accept eternal life? YES. “… by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 Being healed in the flesh is a good thing when God chooses it but being healed in the spirit where we are instructed to worship Him and rejoice in Him is even a greater gift and so needed. We must stop making everything about the physical. These bodies are not our final resting place. They are not our home. Our home is in Heaven. (2 Corinthians 5:1) These bodies are so dirty they can’t even make the journey with us and we are given new ones. (1 Corinthians 15:50-55, 2Corinthians 5:1-10)
God placed it on my heart while reading Isaiah 53:5 that what is being spoken of here is a deeper healing, a true healing, a spiritual healing. The healing that takes sin out of us forever and closes that gap between our Father and us for eternity. That’s what we needed for healing and that’s what Jesus died to do.
Why does Jesus’ death do that? Because He proves in being willing to die that He believed His own words and teachings to be true, so deeply true that He would allow them to kill Him to prove it. Then of course we have the historical facts that prove that He rose from the dead. The eye wittiness accounts of seeing Him alive after they saw He was dead. Powerful testimony. (Mathew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20 and 21) He came back to life, which is the promise we gain by having faith in Him and by trusting God that He really did send a Savior like He said He would. That’s our perfect package of healing. Not a promise to heal this broken body full of sin that is compromised and can’t be restored without dying but a promise to heal us spiritually forever and to give us a new body, without corruption and pain and brokenness. Yes, God can heal us here if He so chooses and prayer and faith is a good, good thing and we must continue to have faith and to pray even when it comes to physical issues but don’t let this verse be a stumbling block in your faith when God chooses to take our dear loved ones home or let our illnesses continue on and on. He’s not reneging on a promise and breaking His own Word. He’s healing on a different level than our eyes can see and He’s doing what is very best for us because He loves us. He’s making our loved ones complete and leading us to completion. He’s glorifying us for Himself so we can be with Him. That’s more important than giving us our way so we can claim a bible promise that isn’t being quoted correctly and enforced accurately.
So, go on and miss your loved ones until the day you join them. Go on and cry every time your heart breaks for them. Jesus shed His fair share of tears too. (John 11:33-35, Luke 19: 41) But know that your faith is real even when God says no and it’s important to not let it waver. Your God loves you and He’s with you every moment of every day even when you don’t understand and you’re in your deepest hurt. Know that the Bible doesn’t lie. We just don’t always have the depth to understand it and sometimes we think we already have it all figured out so we aren’t open enough to grow and be shown. Be humble. Let God reteach you. And… Keep going. Keep breathing. Keep seeking. Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep praying. Keep being. Do it in your own time, in God’s time and don’t feel broken by people’s opinions or desires for you to move on. Don’t wallow for longer than you need to but wallow as long as you have to. Don’t let people determine your healing when Jesus already has. Accept that this is a learning ground and that sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes the answer is no. The moment we said yes to Jesus we were healed spiritually anyway and the moment we physically die to this world and step into the spiritual we are completed in that healing and glorified by His sacrifice and love. This is what Isaiah 53:5 is speaking of I believe. Pure, real, deep healing, not the physical that will turn to ash.
Isaiah 53:5 King James Version (KJV)5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5 New International Version (NIV)
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We need not fear because “We” never die but become immortal if we have faith in Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:53-54) and at the moment of our physical bodies being shed, our physical death - we are completely healed. Our loved ones in faith and of course children whom He said belong to Him anyway (Ezekiel 18:4, Mathew 19:14, Mark 10:14) find total healing too upon passing from this physical world unto Him.
Preachers mean well and believe they are speaking truth – and they are, in milk form instead of meat form, if they aren’t demanding that God do their will instead of His own– but go deeper. Get to the meat of the matter and sink your teeth into some real hope. Our healing in all realms is God’s choosing but we must choose to trust Him first and foremost. Not just trusting Him to heal us in the physical but trusting Him to heal us completely with salvation and then to trust Him that what He chooses for us in the physical, even if it’s to take a loved one home or to take us home ourselves, that it’s the right thing as well no matter what.
Outrageous, right? We’ve grown up hearing this a bit different in our Sunday services. It’s ok to grow though and keep asking God to reveal Himself and His truth and His Word. Don’t let your faith be destroyed when God says “It’s time to come home,” because the healing in Isaiah 53:5 is much deeper than our physical body. Stand on that faith and be strong and full of grace and love. Know that His Word stands forever. I love you guys. He loves you more. – Shannon d. Edwards
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been through a lot. When I say “we” I mean my husband and I. I felt very alone at times and so did he. I really had a hard time accepting what was before us. It started the day we went to the doctor and he said he wanted to remove Tim’s thyroid completely. I believe in doctors and I’m so thankful for their skill and knowledge but I believe in God more. I’ve seen them mess up some things in folks though- folks that I love - and that helps me remember that they are human and can make mistakes. I believe more in letting doctors help us when we can’t help ourselves. Knowledge is power and there is a lot of health knowledge out there and in today’s time it’s easy to get. On top of that, common sense tells us, whether you are a Believer or not, that we are made of organic materials so organic materials are needed to sustain us. I happen to be a Believer so I also know that God made plants for our food and our medicine. I believe that a lack of knowledge is killing so many people. I don’t begin to know anything compared to the great ones that do but the little bit that God has blessed me with is changing my life and my body. So, I appreciate doctors with everything in me and thank God for them in moments of need but I believe in taking care of ourselves as best we can and doing all we can to help our bodies heal because we are fearfully and wonderfully made and God made us to be able to heal. Unless we are in a crisis situation we can usually bounce back from most ailments.
And so when we went to the doctor and the first thing out of his mouth after looking at all of Tim’s information was that he wanted to just remove the thyroid completely… well I was very angry and shocked that the doctor didn’t give us other options, that the very first thing upon meeting Tim was to just chop him up. Why would you not try other things first I questioned Tim. If you had a growth inside your arm you wouldn’t just cut your arm off, you would work to heal it. But this doctor just wanted to cut it out based on it being oversized (twice its size) instead of healing it and treating it. He wouldn’t even give Tim an option for letting it heal. I couldn’t stand it. It made no since to me. I felt like he was so skilled it was just an easy way to take care of something that he saw all the time. What was simpler to his skilled hands was not simpler for my husband to go through and I hurt that no one would listen to me. I had no control what so ever. Tim took the doctor’s words to heart and never questioned. He believed fully that this was the path that he needed to walk. I’m not criticizing him in the slightest but I was hurt and I was angry and rather robotic going through the motions, always wanting to scream and cry but trying to hold it together and still having to maintain our life and our work. I didn’t want Tim to be on medicine for the rest of his life. Period. The thyroid does so many wonderful things inside our bodies. It effects every single living cell inside of us. I couldn’t stand the idea that he would have to depend on a pill to do that now. I don’t even take Tylenol. For real. The idea of depending on manmade medicine without trying other options first was horrific to me. I thank God for medicine for folks that have no other options and I know it’s a gift to this world but if someone doesn’t have to then I don’t want them to have to.
I didn’t want Tim to go through this battle with surgery and healing if he didn’t have to for sure. I wanted him to fight for a different way. But Tim’s not the fighter on things like this, I am, and who I am is not who he is. That’s a hard lesson for married folks. At least it was for this country gal that wanted us to stand strong on this together and tell the doctor that he was out of line and that we needed all of our options lined out, not just his first idea. I wanted more than a fifteen minute first meeting and “oh by the way I want to hack part of your body off” kind of thing. But they scheduled the set ups for the operation that day. I was side swiped. It was like a Mac truck had hit me. My whole system was in shock. I was literally devastated. This was a big big deal to me no matter how many times people had gone through it. No matter how wonderful they felt afterwards. No matter how great it always goes. It was HORRIFIC to me to think my husband would be laying on a table drugged up and knocked out and they would slice his throat open and cut a vital organ out of him and he would have to take medicine for the rest of his life or die without it. DEVASTATED!
I tried to make Tim view it my way but for the first time in my life with him I had to own up to the fact that our brains work differently on a few things. We’ve been together 19 years, married 18. I’ve known all along he wasn’t interested in many of the things that I am. I love news and science and history and photography with everything in me and Tim is so bored by it all but he usually suffers through me reading him many many exciting things on these topics lol because he loves me and he knows I so want to share it all with him. BUT it’s not really his thing at all and I always see him glaze over though he usually handles it well and I usually try to not torcher him but sometimes I can’t help myself because some pieces of information are just so exciting to me. Tim does that for me. He lets me talk because he knows I need that but he doesn’t need that at all. Ever lol. So we aren’t on the same page all the time but he does that because he loves me. I tell him all the time about health stuff and sometimes he gets mad but usually he takes it in stride and lets me share away cuz he knows I just love him and I never lose hope lol.
So, I knew we were in different places with it all but until this moment I didn’t know it mattered. I just didn’t. You don’t know things like that until you have to watch your spouse make a choice for themselves that you’re not on board with. And it’s hard. It’s hard to realize the two of you aren’t this perfect package just because you love each other with everything in you both. But that’s what I had to accept. We are two different people and God intended it to be that way. We are in this journey together and we are on the path together headed in the same direction but his journey is not always going to be my journey. I’m going to hold his hand while he’s doing what he’s got to do but I can’t do it for him and I should stop him from doing what he knows he needs to do either and vice versa.
I finally got all of that before the surgery but realizing all of that didn’t make it easier to accept inside my heart. It helped my brain quit fighting it all but it didn’t stop the pain. It just helped me shut up. It helped me give him the respect to choose his own path even though it was killing me for him. The thought of the pain and the struggle he was putting himself into just crushed my heart. I firmly believed and believe that eating healthy and getting rid of chemicals in our lives in every way we can takes away inflammation and allows healing. I wanted Tim to wait and let us try to do this naturally even though I knew he’d never go all green. But I still wanted that ya know? I wanted him to be someone he’s not I guess even though I didn’t see that at the time. Or I wanted him to at least take their meds if they would give that option and give his thyroid a moment to heal instead of just cutting it out. I wanted him to ask if there was another way instead of going for the gold ya know? Life style changes can change everything. I just wanted him to try a healthy way. I just wanted him to try. Tim wouldn’t listen to me though. It panicked him to know that something was wrong inside him. He just wanted to get this over with and he wanted me to not tell him anymore science facts or health facts. He said he believed the doctor, not me. We fought about it. Lots of fighting. I cried over and over. I clamped up. I didn’t know how to be affectionate and in pain. I just held his hand and stared straight ahead and Tim could feel it. He knew me. He knew I wasn’t sharing my whole heart during those weeks while we waited for his surgery and it was killing me. I wanted to deeply be myself but I didn’t know how to be. I only wanted to cry. I was terrified they would make a mistake and he would have a vent for the rest of his life or worse, he would die on the table.
I couldn’t speak it but all I could do was think about it. I just had to keep praying for God to help me not flip out and to take my fear. I wanted to flip out. I wanted to tear the doors off the walls of our house and lock Tim in a room and make him eat organic food and walk circles and lift light weights and get some sunshine through the window and drink lots of water and take vitamins till we could get enough health into him for his thyroid to shrink but in the end I knew it really was his choice and I honestly didn’t want to go to jail lol so I resolved to let him do what he believed he needed to do and not hold it against him. AND NOT HOLD IT AGAINST HIM. And not hold it against him. That was really important. I originally in my anger was blaming him because he couldn’t explain it to me. There was a lot of hurt in this statement, a lot to let go of, but God helped me and I stopped blaming Tim.
I couldn’t believe I couldn’t stop this from happening and I couldn’t believe Tim wouldn’t stop this from happening but I finally came to the place that I could accept it and walk it with him. I talked to the Lord about it every time it came up in my mind and asked Him over and over to chase away the fear and to protect Tim from this and to guide the surgeon’s hands and all the folks that would be helping with it. In the end Tim told me I didn’t have a choice in it. No matter how badly I didn’t want him to go through this, he said it was his body and he believed the doctor and that I just needed to stop. I knew he was right. So I did. I stopped cold turkey. He said I just needed to be there for him and I knew he was right and so I was. But every step was terrifying to me. Every step hurt me so deeply. I just didn’t understand even up to the moment I kissed him goodbye and he was finally going back for the surgery. It was crushing.
I couldn’t explain anything I was going through because people believe in medicine more than they believe in working to give ourselves the stuff to heal and I just looked like a crazy obsessive controlling person in my terror and I felt so defeated. The truth of the matter is I’m very introverted. I just heard my mother laugh bahhahah! Not even she believes that lol. But Tim knows. He knows the anxiety I can have going into situations and how I will avoid dealing with social stuff if I can in anyway cuz he sees the hidden me all of the time. People would never guess that about me. My outer self does what it needs to do because I love people and never want to hurt them but my inner self is just wanting to not be noticed. Folks see me as being very social and think I’m very talkative in social situations so they think I’m very extroverted. I express well from behind my computer with words and even face to face when I need too but my whole insides would rather not explain any of my pain. The truth is I would rather not be social most of the time. Though thank God that I have to be. If not, I would just hide in my little spot of earth and enjoy Facebook where I can hide and no one sees me. Honest. I only share because I believe God will help others who think they are alone. I’ve been helped so many times by others in this fashion and it’s the one gift I’ve got to give freely.
We all need to be inspired and lifted up from time to time. If it wasn’t for God no one would know what I thought or probably even know who I was because I find it easier to not express verbally, especially when we don’t agree, rather than to have strife in any way. I’m all about smoothing things over and just dealing with the mess rather than making others deal with it or confronting it and making it change. I’m always the one that wants it to flow without bumps. I’m not saying that’s good or bad. It’s just how I am. God has shown me good and bad from my being that way if I have to be honest. God asks me to do things out of my comfort zone as He sees fit though and I thank God that HE grows me or I’d be in a box hidden from the world somewhere reading everyone else’s stories and never experiencing my own. He knows what we need when we need it. Amen. And Tim is part of that. Because we aren’t always on the same page I have to do things I’m not always comfortable with but again… praising God for it because even though it’s hard at the time, it blesses me later. Always.
AND just to be real. I also didn’t understand why God wouldn’t do something. I didn’t want to admit that. I didn’t admit it to anyone at all until now in this moment. I didn’t say it to God even. But He knows our hearts doesn’t He? He knew it was sitting there in my rage and hurt. He knew I was accusing Him in my heart even though my mouth never would. If we have to give our control over to God, then why doesn’t He do something my heart screamed? Why on earth would Tim have to do this??? It killed me to think about Tim being cut from side to side on his neck. Terrified me. Why wouldn’t God just show a little power and heal it so that when they saw Tim, they would be amazed and in awe that God had healed him and the swelling in his neck would just be gone? And then we could just sing God’s praises and tell them all how Great He was and that would be that ya know? Why wouldn’t He do that? Do anything? Do something? I had no idea I had that in me to think it. But I did. For the first time in my fear I questioned God. I’ve asked lots of things but this was different. I wanted to know why God wouldn’t do something. As if I knew more than Him. As if God needed prompting or reminding that we need Him to do something. I am shocked as I write these words. I didn’t recognize that when I was going through it. We don’t even know ourselves. We can’t see even our darkest deepest selves. But God does. And He knows how to bring it out of us so it can be corrected. And I needed to be corrected. Gently. Carefully. But corrected. God didn’t correct me though. He held my hand and comforted me until a time when He could explain it and gently correct me later. What a loving God we have.
Going through all of this with Tim was hard and it was super hard for me to express anything about it. In the final days before his surgery I clamped up so bad I felt guilty. The final couple of days before hand I couldn’t even post on Facebook or click likes hardly. I just refused to pick my phone up most of the time. I couldn’t edit those last two days. I couldn’t focus. All I could do was be a robot and clean our house from top to bottom so it was clean when we got back, God willing, from the hospital. I don’t remember ever feeling so deeply disconnected and so in shock at the order of events that were playing out in front of me. I just wanted to run away but my love for Tim wouldn’t let me.
Even to tell anyone how upset I was, was not an option. Only a few close family members knew how I was feeling a little bit and one post on Facebook where I asked for prayer. So many times in my life I’ve been told I’m stupid or ridiculous for expressing that I learned to just be still unless God prompts me. Even when I know that God is leading me to write, I feel a fear because I know that some people in my life think it’s so ridiculous to share. But the one time I can express is in FEAR. Lol. Fear will take over and make you shout when you mean to whisper. Even my whisper was quieted by the time we went to the hospital though. I had handed it all over to God. I didn’t have anything left. Finally, I was still instead of begging and pleading Tim because it was more important to not hurt Tim. He had his reasons even though I didn’t understand and he couldn’t express them and I had to trust that he had to go through this. I can’t see everything ya know? I didn’t have to understand why; I just had to help him get through it. I could do that because God strengthened me to face it all. So, I had God. Tim had God and he had me. That’s all I could give Tim. Me, my love, so I did. He knew I didn’t agree with him but he also knew I’d stand by him anyway and I knew he was scared too and in realizing that - I knew he really believed he had to do this. That did help me accept it as well. So I continued to talk to God and thank Him for all of your prayers and I continued to ask you all for prayer because it’s the best gift we can give anyone I believe. And I continued to trust God.
And surgery went excellent. Praise GOD! The surgeon had it done in 3 hours instead of 4 and there were no complications. They were able to save the two sets of nerves on each side that were desperately needed and my husband didn’t have to have a vent and he didn’t have any damage to his voice box. He still sounds hoarse but it’s still his voice! So thankful. I’m quite attracted to his voice and was truly concerned no matter how silly that sounds. The doctor also confirmed that it was only inflammation instead of a tumor. I have to be honest, I had to fight rage when I heard that bit of news. I felt validated again that we should have fought to heal Tim instead of dissecting him. I felt the anger throbbing in my heart. BUT God silenced me yet again by gently reminding me that this was not my journey and showed me that Tim would be learning things on his journey that would make him lean on the Lord as well and we all need just a little touch of something different in order to have a deep relationship with the Lord and who was I do to be angry about that? God asks from each only what He created us to be. Tim’s destiny is not revealed to the created but only to God. I have no right to stop Tim from anything hurtful because in those moments we cling to our God. When we can do it all ourselves we don’t remember that we need Him. Hardships are not a sign that God is not with us… they are reminders that He loves us and we can count on him. I was blown away by realizing this. Amazing how God teaches us, heals us, protects us, leads us. So blessed. I was able in that moment to let it go, all of it. The fear, the sadness, the anger. Instead, I was filled with joy and thankfulness. We still have a hard road for the next few weeks while Tim heals but I finally had some understanding that even though we don’t see all the puzzle pieces, we can trust our Father God to make sure that the pieces fit no matter what. Our ultimate goal to is be with Him forever and live for Him. I can let my control go for Him to be in charge and let His perfect will be done. He keeps showing me where I fail to do that and gently leads me to do it His way instead. I was letting my fear control everything in myself. Thank God I wasn’t acting on it. My faith in Him allowed Him to make me still and quiet and I waited to see what HE would do. Then He reminded me why folks go through hardships and healed me completely. Peace entered in. Finally. I so desperately needed peace.
So many times we find ourselves in places like this in life. Blindsided by the events that have transpired and we don’t have any control. And the pain enters in and we don’t know what to do with it. We don’t know where to turn and we don’t know how to heal ourselves and get over the sadness. We just hurt and we can’t even express it. But God gets it. HE really does. And He knew my fear and heartache but He showed me that even when we don’t understand we just have to surrender to Him. That was the most beautiful gift in this to me and to Tim. Even if Tim hadn’t made it through it, which praise God no matter the storm but double praises that I still have my husband, God had me and above all, He had Tim and He wasn’t letting go. I didn’t have to control any of it because He leads each of us on the path that He has planned for us and He’s in control. My role wasn’t to stop Tim, though I tried and caused heartache by doing so for myself and my Mr. - My role in Tim’s story was to be there for him and to help him and to love him through it. I can do all of that. I’m a great helpmate and I’m great at loving. Those are gifts God gave me and I try to do them well and freely. I have to remember I’m not God and we always want God’s will to be done. The hardest part was accepting that I didn’t have to understand it all and that I couldn’t stop it. Those were my hardest battles. I’m a step by step gal. I can break most things down and understand them before lots of folks blink. No offense. It’s just the way I’m made. I wanted to step into Tim’s head. I wanted to understand. God never revealed anything that helped me accept it that way though. It wasn’t a part of the plan. What I realized though because of the way it played it out - that I had to have so much more faith. If I had leaned on my own understanding I wouldn’t have leaned on God so hard and let me tell you... I was leaning all the way through this. If He hadn’t had my hand I would have fallen cuz there wasn’t any strength whatsoever at times in me at all.
Today Tim is on the mend. I had to divvy out the meds, which I hate, but am thankful to do because it will help keep him healthy now and I’d rather divvy out the meds than not have him here to help ya know?
God is so faithful. He is with us always and forever.
And He loves us.
No matter what we go through He does not leave us.
So nice to rest in Him instead of myself and just breath.
I was wherry but I’m getting stronger and so is Tim. Still on pain meds but enjoying his apple sauce and waiting excitedly for the day he can eat a steak again. Soon.
God is great.
Can I get an Amen?
And... on the way home from the hospital yesterday after the surgery and when they had finally released us, I stopped by Walmart to pick up Tim’s medicine. Tim couldn’t turn his neck from left to right or up and down. The cut from the surgery literally looks like someone sliced his throat open. I had a pillow for him to rest in the car while I ran into the pharmacy. It was going to be a long wait so I went back out to the car to wait with him. It was raining and getting dark. The sun had set moments ago but all of a sudden a glow came across the storm clouds and the beauty brought me to tears. It was like God just kissed us. The beauty was world stopping. I grabbed my pone and got a shot because I knew Tim couldn’t turn and see it and I couldn’t start the car and turn it in time for Tim to share the moment. Sure enough by the time I got in the car and shared it with him the sky was different and the glow had subsided. Don’t think for a moment that wasn’t God. He knows what heals our hearts and what lifts us up. Tim and I both got the blessing and the joy and we both got to smile.
I was completely craving Tacos and I still hadn’t come up with a tortilla shell recipe that was simple and flexible and wonderful. So I stepped into the kitchen and made this little beauty up and I’m in love! So excited to share this with you all! This recipe is truly simple. Don’t be over whelmed. Takes about 15-20 minutes from beginning to serving time.
2 Large organic eggs
½ cup of water
½ tsp organic garlic powder
½ tsp organic dry mustard
¼ tsp organic turmeric
¼ tsp organic cumin
¼ tsp organic chili powder
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons organic coconut flour
Organic sweet cream butter or your favorite oil
1 can of your favorite organic beans drained and rinsed (my favorite was a three bean mix: black, kidney and pinto)
Diced fresh organic yellow onion (green onions would be great too and milder)
Diced organic grape tomatoes
Mashed fresh avocado
Your favorite hot sauce
Options: ground beef, cheese, sour cream, salsa
Shannon's Zucchini Style Spaghetti
In a large deep nonstick skillet, sauté diced mushrooms and onions on low heat with butter tab. Take your zucchini and cut them in half, then julienne them (long thin spears). Add the zucchini with a pinch of salt to skillet and turn your heat up too medium. Sauté until soft and some of the water has cooked out of it. 10 minutes or so. Just eyeball it. Add pasta sauce and sprinkle garlic powder fully over the top of the skillet in a thin layer. Mix up and let simmer for 3 or 4 minutes till fully mixed and heated through. When it’s bubbling it’s ready to serve.
By all means, depending on how clean you’re eating, add meat and cheese. You can have chicken, ground hamburger, or shrimp and I think it would be great! Goat Cheese, Feta Cheese, Mozzarella cheese or Parmesan would be my first choices for cheese. You can add more onion and mushrooms as well and could even add diced tomatoes or grape tomatoes if you wanted. As for the zucchini, I was totally looking for something quick. You can peal them if you want. You could use a ribbon machine and make noodles out them so it’s more like actual noodles. If you do that you will need to cook them less time. They will soften quickly. You could also make them bite size by dicing them. Totally up to you. You can also change the butter for your favorite healthy oil. This is a great base recipe though! And it was yummy just like it is!!! I’m not eating meat except eggs right now and so this was my whole meal but it would be great as a side dish just like this as well!
This recipe is just a concoction. I made it because I’d fixed my husband my famous spaghetti and it’s almost my favorite dish in the world. I had to have something to keep me from sinking my mouth into it. Hope it helps y’all too!
Shannon’s Mexican Quinoa
Two cups of pre-cooked organic quinoa
One 10oz size can of mild petite Red Gold diced tomatoes & Green Chilies - do not drain.
One 15 oz can or wild oats organic Chili Beans in sauce- do not drain.
Two garlic cloves diced
1tsp organic chili powder
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Organic Avocado
Add all ingredients except the avocado in non-stick pan and let simmer till hot and simmering. About 10 minutes on medium heat.
Dice the avocado and add to the top right before serving. Do not heat it in the quinoa. Use it as garnish. The more the better!
When I cooked my quinoa I simply did it according to the directions. You can trade the water out for chicken broth if you’re into meat or vegetable broth if you’re a vegetarian. Also, I cooked mine after boiling it with a little avocado oil and onions and mushrooms. If yours is not prepared with onions and mushrooms, I would first dice a cup of each vegetable and stir fry them in a bit of your favorite oil. Then add them to the over all dish. The mushrooms and onions are a fantastic addition that I would not want to take out!
If you have to start from scratch and cook the quinoa then it will take about 30 -40 minutes. If you have it already prepared, it will take about 10 minutes. :)
For meat eaters, beautiful additions to this would be diced chicken, sour cream and shredded cheese.
The original recipe I converted this from can be found here.
I'm very excited to share that I started a group page on Facebook for my "Living Blog". You can find it here. I would love for you all to join me if you like! That's why I made it a group page!
While, it took me a little while (over a year) to step over this huge gulf that had created it's self in my life and kept me from expressing - I'm back! :) And very inspired to share with you all and to allow you all to share with me. Slowing down, leaning on the Lord, breathing has deeply helped me. Ready to get back to losing this extra weight. If you are new to me or have forgotten, I started this journey at 303.3 pounds. Today I weighed 261.8. I had lost a bit more but had slipped from eating natural foods, God created foods, and slowly the weight has been climbing up. SO. Time to stop this cycle in it's track and own up to the fact that this is a life style change. I want all of this extra weight gone once and for all. Not sure what my goal weight is. I don't have one. My goal is to be healthy and feel good in my own skin! So happy you all are joining me and I can't wait to hear about your victories, whether it's with weight or just feeling better in general. Our health is mind, body, spirit! So thanks for being with me in it! :) I can't wait to start sharing more wonderful moments with y'all!
I was craving something sweet and concocted this little gem with almost no effort a few moments ago.
The amazingly wonderful thing about these are that not only can you use them for a great sweet snack, but you can chop them up and use them for a crust as well on some of those no flour sweets that I'll be sharing over time! They are wonderful! And totally flexible. If you prefer savory over sweet you could always add spices that would satisfy that craving of yours! Next time I may try a bit of chili powder! I so hope you enjoy this as much as I did! Let me know what you think! I personally think a little butter in this makes it! So satisfying!