January 2, 2005
“…they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11 (KJV)
As I reread my journal for January 1, 2004, I realized how differently the year turned out than I anticipated. While preparing to go to China at this time a year ago, my dear friend was dying of lung cancer. Two knee surgeries, adrenal collapse, and missing 18 weeks of work has resulted in my job being on the line again. 2004 was one of the most difficult years of my life. But as a sister in Christ said at the New Year’s Eve service, the hurdles get bigger every year, but God is always there to meet me. He has carried me every step of the way for which I praise Him. So I must press onward and forward to know Him better and set my affections on Him in heaven above. God has given me many valleys so that I may grow and lean harder on Him. He doesn’t want me to look at the trials, but simply behold Him. I have no goals this year but to keep pressing on toward the mark, be a better student of the Word of God, and anticipate His soon coming.
Today at 4 a.m. I got up to get a drink of water. I had a terrible esophageal spasm that felt like someone was strangling me. It made me so dizzy that I fainted and woke up on my side on the bathroom floor. I lay there a few minutes until the dizziness passed. I was able to scoot over to the commode, roll over on my good right knee, and pull myself up. I saw stars and had a bad headache. I thought I had a migraine headache for about 30 minutes until I felt the lump on my head. I checked my standing blood pressure and it was low. My head felt fuzzy, so I called the ambulance to take me to the emergency room. They checked me and said everything was normal. My nurse friend who works the night shift at the hospital brought me back home when she got off work. At times like this, I wish I didn’t live alone, but God knows and took care of me once again.
January 15, 2005
“As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants for Thee, O God.” Psalm 42:1
I finished physical therapy yesterday for my knee replacement that I had done November 8. I still have a little “lag” in my left leg which means I still can’t quite straighten it all the way. Climbing stairs is becoming easier. It’s still difficult for me to carry groceries into my kitchen, so I’m going to have them delivered through the winter. We have been having horrible ice, snow, rain, sleet, and fog storms all week. I’m looking forward to going to warm Florida next week to visit my parents before I return to work.
I had a number of medical tests to determine why I had the esophageal spasm and they said it was from acid reflux. Now I take medicine to reduce the acid and sleep on a wedge pillow to keep my head higher than my stomach. I thank God I haven’t had any more of those painful spasms since doing this.
I just read a chapter from F.B. Meyer’s book about the apostle Paul. Paul endured beatings and shipwreck as a prisoner before his arrival in Rome.
Do not fret at the limitation and disabilities of your life. Storm and shipwreck, centurion and sea captain, soldier and fetter, Caesarea and Rome — all are part of the plan, all work together for good, all are achieving God’s ideal and making you what in your best hours you have asked to become.
Dear Lord, Help me not to shrink from these trials of weariness, pain, and weakness that You have ordained for me. Please carry me today. Thank You that Your ways are higher than my ways. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
February 5, 2005
I thank the Lord for the pleasant week He gave me with my parents in Florida. Even though my dad is becoming more forgetful, he and my stepmom still won when we played word games. We especially enjoyed breakfast we cooked on the griddle in the center of our table at DeLeon Springs State Park and seeing the giant manatee at Blue Springs State Park where they spend the winter in warmer waters.
My first week back at work was busy, but God carried me through. Dr. E., the main boss, is giving me two months of a grace period and then they will evaluate Dr. S. and my billings quarterly. The goal is to bill $28,000 per month which is reasonable. If we don’t reach the goal, they will decrease my salary by 15%. If we exceed the goal, we will both receive a bonus. They are also moving my desk from the basement to the middle of the nurse’s station so I can be more visible on the unit. They also want me to teach in-services monthly for the staff, do emergency drills quarterly, and work on three research projects. I also will join rounds on the trauma unit every week. I’m trusting the Lord to give me the strength to do it all in 30-hour weeks.
My heart sank as I reread my journal from this challenging time in my life. How I thank God that He won’t test us above what we are able to bear and that “underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27) He carries us through the valleys.
Dear Reader, if you are going through a valley in your life right now, I pray that you will fix your eyes upon Him and that He will encourage you to keep taking one step at a time along the path. He wants to teach you many wonderful lessons in the darkness.