Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Three keys to following Jesus

In my walk with Jesus as a believer, I have realised three keys to following Jesus. These are:

  1. recognising the grace of GOD in my life, 
  2. having a hopeful attitude in life, and 
  3. being aware my perspective toward others must be to put others first.

These are the three keys to my life today, as a follower of Jesus.

Grace of GOD

I have been overwhelmed at the amount of grace GOD has provided as I adjust to the death of my husband. The LORD has upheld me and my teenage son, and others in the family. He has made us stronger than one could ever imagine; we are detached from emotionalism or self pity, wise beyond our experience in how to allow ourselves to grieve without being swamped by the grief, and have been dowsed in the prayer of many others. His grace has been enormous.


Recently, I became particularly aware of His grace through His lifting of some of it.

In the last month, I have been extremely busy with work to do. I have had to focus and have had less time than previously to process all the thoughts, spiritual questions, and paperwork which has arisen with Alan’s passing and my being the sole executor of his estate. When the work arose I thought, “Well, the LORD must think I can manage.”

As I engaged in my responsibilities, I continued to spend time with the LORD, but regrettably less, as I had so much taking up my time. Then I became aware that I was reacting with irritation or impatience as I had been before Alan became ill… part of my flesh which was then burnt away, I thought, through his illness and passing. But here it was again, and I didn’t like it.

I did have confirmation through a faithful and courageous sister in the LORD who spoke to me, gently, that I was not showing thoughtfulness as I might otherwise show. Her word to me was confirmation of what I was already sensing: I need the grace of GOD to live, breathe and move forward in life.

The Lesson: Never underestimate the power and range of God’s grace, and never underestimate its importance and value. 

Hopeful attitude

I made a decision when my husband died to trust the LORD, even though I’d lost my husband.

No matter what happens in life, the sovereignty of GOD will carry us when we allow it.

The Lesson: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart….”

Putting others first

I am a diligent worker, responsible, reliable, organised. That’s all good, but sometimes I get tunnel vision. I am told that I am a loving and a kind person. However, there are plenty of times I can confess to allowing the need to get a job done to take priority over my love toward others. 

Something happened to me during the weeks and months of Alan’s hospitalisation… I relaxed about the “to do’s” in my life. Everything was put aside to engage with Alan, and with the LORD, to secure Alan’s recovery. After Alan passed away, this translated to the care of family and friends in their grieving as well.

By nature I’m pragmatic. While I don’t want to lose the qualities that enable me to get a job done, I don’t want to forfeit the nature I’ve acquired more recently to put the needs of others before the need to get a job done.

The Lesson: God gives us enough hours to do the things that need to be done. We don’t need to lose sensitivity and patience in the process of fulfilling our responsibilities. My nature does not need to be dictated by how much I have to do.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Transformation: life with — and without Alan: a reflection

I woke up this morning and for just a second, I forgot my husband was dead. It gave me the opportunity to recognise how much GOD has been transforming me, as well as the gift of experiencing once again, however briefly, life with Alan.

And when I remembered life with Alan, I felt whole. 

I’m able to contrast how different the feeling inside of me is, from what I used to live. No matter how much courage the LORD provides, no matter how much assurance I feel, no matter how safe I am, there is a hole. By his grace, I have avoided self pity. By his grace, I do not wake in the morning in floods of tears or weighed down with a sense of grief. Supernaturally, the LORD has covered me and through the prayers of brothers and sisters in Christ, for which I am hugely grateful, I am okay:) But there is a hole where Alan was in my life and life for just a second this morning did not have that hole. I was freer, lighter and more assured, just for a split second. Thank you LORD for revealing the contrast, because in the contrast, I can see a little of the pathway you are carving out for me…

Processing life

I have a tendency to process my thoughts and feelings. By process I mean “to put into context who I am in Jesus”, where I am going, and where I came from.  What I’m about to write is candid, earnest, and a reflection of my innermost thoughts. I do this because I hope it will be useful to someone else, and because I’m lacking people to talk to who have known me for much of my life. My husband of 28 years is gone, my family is far away, my parents passed away some time ago, and friends and Christian family around me have not known me very long. This is partly because we moved around quite a bit and so roots are shallow — because of the relatively short space of time I’ve lived where I am now, and partly because like most people, I don’t reveal myself completely, I’m not surrounded by people who know me really well. I hide, or try to hide, the imperfections, and put on my kindest, warmest persona in public.


But like so many of us, I am deeply imperfect. 

Yesterday I had a conversation with a sister in Christ. Apparently, I had spoken a couple of things in a prayer meeting that jarred with others. It’s really good that this sister came forward to share with me, and also really good that we could have an honest conversation. There was no defensiveness in me, and no blame from her. Hallelujah! GOD was present in us both. To describe the conversation will take me on a tangent but it is important to the point I am seeking to make in this post which is that GOD is available in every moment, every encounter.

We chatted as women do… Then she said that a couple of people had come to her after our most recent online meeting, unsettled by a couple of things I’d said. Would I mind if she told me what was was their concern?

I like honesty, however, history reared its head and I thought of gossip and hearsay and the pain that these has caused in my life. So I said that I prefer when someone speaks to me directly.

But in the end we both clarified and she went ahead to say that by my encouraging a two people in the meeting, in fact I had therefore discouraged those whom I hadn’t encouraged. I never saw encouragement/discouragement in that light before. 

Secondly, I had made a theological point in the meeting which is that when we overcome something, we gain in the Spirit, an authority over it. I used Covid as an example, which I have had and have overcome (and I suppose I should have used back aches or something less inflammatory). I suspect like the first example, the others took me to mean I have authority in something others haven’t, which is not what I said, nor what I meant, but nevertheless my words carry responsibility and I had spoken somewhat carelessly.

My sister knew I did not intend to hurt and she was gracious. She wondered if I might be feeling a strain after Alan had passed away. I also shared that in the last few weeks I had felt pushed in busyness beyond my comfort zone, and had spent relatively little time to be still with the LORD, which I craved.

Busyness

I have noticed for a few weeks, maybe up to four, that I have had far less time to sit with the LORD, and have been drawing on my inner resources to do some work that needs to be done. Today I noticed I was a little short-tempered with a customer service person who had rung me for information on a kitchen delivery*. Oh, fortunately, I didn’t lose my temper, but internally, I was tense and I know that reflected onto our conversation.

I have been making a lot of decisions lately: the paperwork mostly finished as the executor to Alan’s estate, the result is income coming in and responsibility for decision-making going out, and a little arrogance at my ability to manage has likely crept in.

Manage is a relative term of course. Firstly, if our temperament is affected or our character hampered, we are not really coping or managing. I firmly believe that to the degree we are in our own strength rather than moving with the Holy Spirit, that is a degree of failure. We all are failed and that’s why we need Jeshua / Jesus. I assure you dear reader, that am not being hard on myself. By his grace, I have come a long way in the 35+ years walking with Him, Hallelujah! But with Alan’s passing, a huge anointing/covering/blessing has been put into, over or upon me, and some of that has receded in recent weeks, largely due to a lack of time spent being still with GOD.

I think the LORD revealed to me this morning where I was in my spiritual journey a few months ago by giving me a glimpse of life before Alan died, so I could see how much in these few months since his illness, I have grown.

And I think the phone call from a dear sister give me a glimpse of how I’d fallen a little out of that growth in recent days.

Always thanking GOD

Every encounter, every moment, we are graced by GOD. Sometimes I wonder, have we been over-trained in spiritual warfare and do we sometimes look at discomfort in our lives as an attack, rather than as a lesson or warning? We can embrace the moments of discomfort as part of our learning, and when we do, we gain self discovery and a deepening of Jesus within us.

A fine balance between confidence and humility, arrogance and inner strength

What I have learned is that all goodness, all good gifts, truly do come from GOD. I am not a good person without Him. I am not a kind person without Him. I am not a wise person without Him.

By His grace and His grace alone, I am living without feeling miserable today — or any day. By his love, I am loving. Through His joy, I laugh. By His mercy I am able to cry — to release sadness — and then to feel alive again.

I need the grace of GOD

I need the grace of GOD in my life more than I’ve ever needed it before, because I have more decisions, more encounters, more responsibility than I have ever had before. His grace has been carrying me, and I ask LORD, please fill me with continually with your grace.

Apology


To anyone I’ve grieved recently, I’m truly sorry. To anyone I’ve been abrupt with or impatient with, I apologise. To anyone I’ve not expressed gratitude at a kindness, please forgive me. To anyone to whom my words have brought confusion, I am sorry, for GOD is not the author of confusion.

I am not my normal self. Folks will give me a lot of latitude for that, because out of compassion they recognise I am a recent widow and I am going through a difficult time; I fully appreciate their grace. But also, by His grace, and only His grace, I hope I never will be the same again, because I hope He will continue to improve me and grow me.

I want to continue with “The Life is in the Blood” journey of Alan’s battle with Covid and his hospitalisation because, in a way, it speaks for Alan. I’ve not posted anything of it in the last few weeks. I hope you’ll bear with me when there are breaks. 

Every blessing.

* Alan and I purchased some rental flats which I’ve been managing for fourteen years; one of them has needed a new kitchen for some time and a recent vacancy has allowed me the opportunity to have one installed.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

The Finely Dressed Man: a poem

Once upon a time

There was a finely dressed man

He lived here and there

to fulfil his mandate

Blessing others

By teaching the Word.

*

Then one day

He spoke against the Virus

Thought it was overblown

til it blew him away

To heaven he went

Leaving surprise in his wake.

*

What are we to do?

Now that he is gone

Trust in the LORD

though the man was not restored;

Instead misperception led him

Now with his Maker.

*

We live one life

Making most of our moments

The finely dressed man

gave love and wisdom away

Where was supply

When he needed it most?

*

GOD knows, loves

And He forgives

God bears witness

of our love for Him

When all are gone

He remains, embracing.

*

Once upon a time

Was this finely dressed man

Who loved and was loved

til the end of his time

Now he stands dressed in majesty

Before his LORD.

*

Clothes don’t make the man

But GOD dresses him

In love, truth, beauty and joy

To wear his heart

Carry his dream

Always heavenward.

*

Once upon a time

Was the finely dressed man

Too shortly spent 

he came, he went

When heaven sent

Then all lament.

*

It is done, it is done

Life is finished 

All too soon….

Yet the finely dressed man

Amongst the Cloud of Witnesses

Rejoices.

*

Robed in the company 

Of angels.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

We always have a choice

We always have a choice

What we think or how we act upon our thoughts is up to us. We do not have to be a victim to our emotions or our judgments. Rather, what we choose to put our attention to is our way forward…

Emotion is powerful, and sometimes deceptive. When we recognise a pattern in our behaviour, where our emotional reaction to powerful feelings of anger, fear or annoyance tipping into judgementalism — either against ourselves or someone else which brings about chaos, we need to break the cycle. We need to address the emotion; but we do so with consideration and care. It is not by reacting or even responding (which tends to be a more gentle way of taking action than a knee-jerk reaction), but by making a conscious choice to pray, contemplate, meditate, reflect… anything but react to our emotions. For whatever circumstances may come our way, it is our emotional response which is of our own making and of our own choice. Never do we have no choice, never.

How can I say “never”?

I am coming on pretty strongly… How can I say “never respond by feeling”? What about love, passion, enthusiasm? Ah, I am not saying we must avoid all feeling but I am saying it is important we are not driven by our feelings. Feelings are intense and momentary. We can enjoy feeling. But they are often lacking in the fruit of the Spirit — acting in competition to it in fact.

We always have a choice

Choice comes when we allow our Father Yehovah to renew our minds.

This morning I was thinking about my husband who died just four months ago. I was going down a line of “What if we’d made different medical choices?” and I realised quickly the futility of that line of thought.

I am not avoiding reality by doing so, but rather choosing what I allow my mind to dwell on. I can catch myself thinking life-giving thoughts or catch myself thinking hopelessness and despair. I catch and release by conscious choice, not by the power of emotion.

When I dwell on the Lord, and dwell on his presence, my spirit soars and I am able to handle whatever circumstances may come. This is how I got through my husband’s illness and death; I will not abandon a good and proven strategy to be overtaken by negativity, futility and frustration.

I can choose how I spend my day, my life. I can choose joy and peace — and I do. I allow the Lord to draw me to His truths, and as I do, He shows me the pathway of clarity, peace and discovery. Sometimes these discoveries will be exciting and sometimes they will be painful. But when I dwell in His presence, and choose to abide in thoughts of hope and life, those areas which are painful will come in due course, but with the covering of His timing and the presence of His Spirit.

That is choosing life. And it is the Way I encourage us all to take.

Scriptures to dwell upon


Philippians 2:9-11 says, “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

When we think about Jesus, our minds are taken to a wide open place full of goodness and away from the narrow view of ourselves.

Jesus brings reality and he brings life, all the more abundantly when we abide in Him and allow our thoughts to reflect the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faith, patience and self control…. “Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Finally, we can make our thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and tear down that death-inciting force which attempts to poison our lives by poisoning our thoughts. In principle, we can take any thought, pinpoint it and literally peg it down, tell it to stay and turn our backs on it, leaving it forever.

Of course the bedrock of all of this comment is Romans 12:1-2. We must be surrendered and allow the LORD to renew our minds if we are to overcome, to grow, and to be the persons GOD has created us to be. How we think leads to how we behave. Let us be filled with the Spirit, with renewed minds of Jesus.

Let us all walk on water

Dwell, abide, be still… These words surround us, draw us toward the presence of GOD. His presence allows us to be above the storm and to walk on water rather than be swamped by it. It is our choice. It is our responsibility. It is our hope.

…. forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, [we] press on… (Philippians 3:13) This is perhaps my favourite scripture, because it allows me to move forward in Him, regardless of what has already gone before.

Amen.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Words Matter: they define our thinking

What matters is matter

In physics, matter is that which is concrete, tangible, evident.

Although our words seem intangible, yet words matter — and are matter. In reality, our words make truth, create truth. That which is spoken can all the more become reality, simply in the speaking. 

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with GOD and the Word was GOD.” John 1:1 and “In the beginning GOD created…” Genesis 1:1

Imagine this: The Word spoke and the earth, the universe, all points in between and surrounding, came into being. That is powerful. The intangible became tangible, simply by being spoken into reality.

And so I come to my first point which is this: What we say — and even that which we think whether we speak it or not — matters. Jesus said if we even lust after a woman we have committed sin in our hearts…

Align our thoughts and our words to GOD

Our thinking needs to be aligned with GOD or we create a reality that is less than optimal. 

The first step to aligning our thinking with GOD is to recognise we have a choice in what we think; there is fleshly thinking and there is surrendered thinking. This is what Paul was referring to when he wrote about the renewing of our minds in Romans chapter 12:2

“Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” 

Where we stumble in our thoughts and words

To begin then, let’s recognise — let’s agree — that we always have a choice. We do not have to be victim to our thoughts or our words. That is negative emotion creeping in, blocking our peace, our submission to the Father and our relationship to the Holy Spirit. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit…” (Ephesians 4:30)

Choice

What we choose to think, what we choose to say, can be GOD-given and GOD-centred, or me-centred and flesh-centred. 

Choose life… and that more abundantly. Let’s begin with our words and our thoughts.

Proposed action

Meditate on this principle and if you “get it” great! If not, keep meditating until you do. Try going to the scriptures, using Bible Gateway online to look up “thoughts”, “word”, “speaking” and the like. What does GOD say to you, directly and/or through His Word, to bring you to a fuller understanding of the power of our words and our thoughts in our lives?

“Be perfect as our father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)

These aren’t just instructions or commands. Rather, these are promises that are possible when we trust the Word, lean not on our own understanding, but allow our minds to be renewed by the Lord Jesus so that we catch all his meaning…. and our lives are transformed into his likeness.

Amen.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Life: A Leaf – a reflection

Life is like a leaf —

delicate and beautiful

We can let go the tree

and float and drift

Or hang onto the stock,

maintain our nutrients.

Though most may let go

I remain

where safety and freedom

suspend in equal balance.

The Lord is our rock —

he is also the Tree of Life

Remaining in him we choose

complete freedom

in security.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Decision-making: Flying solo – a reflection

The hardest part about losing one’s spouse, after the initial tragedy has been overcome, is the decision-making alone.

Alan and I made decisions together. In fact, we often saw a different perspective and didn’t agree…. but we discussed and worked out the way forward. Alone, there is no one to work out the choices, no one to debate or discuss with, no one to check my perspective; I am alone.

I caught myself feeling sorry for myself yesterday. It’s a no-go area…. Life ebbs and flows. We all face difficult circumstances. Some experience persecution, some loss, some irritating inconvenience. But each of us must rise above the circumstances, “walk on water”, trust — and lean upon — GOD and know He is our advisor, our shelter, our love and our friend.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.”

Peace comes from knowing and trusting Father GOD. It does not come from our circumstances. Loneliness can be overcome far more easily when we trust Him. So, I seek His advice, perspective, through prayer, reading the word, asking friends for insight (and then weighing it), and through resting in Him. 

I have many decisions and choices to make along life’s way. I miss Alan being in that process. But GOD didn’t allow this situation to abandon me. He allowed it so that I might draw more closely upon Him. And I am. Hallelujah!

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Life is in the Blood: ICU – second phase of Covid p3

The Life is in the Blood:

Visions from the LORD, prayers of others

There were so many images of life ahead for Alan, there was so much encouragement from a vast network of believers who were praying, there was so much hope and confidence in the LORD, as I navigated through the time of Alan’s unconsciousness. 

The steadfast prayers of the saints, some of whom I know — and many who got wind of Alan’s illness through that network and were praying through — these were such a huge support which kept me going. In fact, those who prayed for Alan have gone on to pray for us as a family since, and I find it absolutely remarkable how well we are doing in spite of Alan’s passing away. 

I am aware of GOD’s presence and know the prayers of His faithful saints are making such an impact on an otherwise horrible situation.

Two pathways

On several occasions, two parallel paths presented themselves to me, and I always chose the one of life. 

Dream: dressed in black

One morning I awoke from a dream in which I was wearing black — the quintessential funeral clothing. I prayed against anything that could be deemed an obvious interpretation.

I shared it with a prayer network as well, a group of fine prayerful folk, who also prayed against an outcome to Alan’s hospitalisation where I would be wearing black.

Although fleeting, two different paths that would lead from Alan’s intubation: one of death and one of life, came to mind from time to time. I don’t remember anything specific, just that there were two possibilities. I dismissed one.

I always chose to observe the thought, path, expectation that Alan would lived. I thought that was how the LORD was calling me to focus. In hindsight, perhaps he was letting me know it might go either way.

Release to the LORD

Three weeks after Alan regained consciousness, with steady improvement in fits and starts, and doctors at last expecting him to live, Alan was exhausted and asking when he could leave ICU.

I remember as I drove home from hospital the day Alan had stomach pain, the same day Dr M had begun the information sessions to give Alan context for his current situation (as mentioned in the last blog post), I remember distinctly passing the shops I have passed many times, and I said,

“LORD, you said Alan would recover, and I believe You. I turn it all over to you. Whatever outcome you decide, I surrender to…”

Hours later I would get a call to say Alan’s condition had worsened; the stomach pain had been a marker indicating some complications had arisen. Hours after that, I was invited in to hospital; moments after arrival, I was told Alan was not going to survive the night.

We must surrender

In all things, we must trust GOD. Did I give up on Alan? No! Did I give up on the power of GOD? No. What I did was give GOD the freedom to do as He knew best. 

After Alan’s passing, one dear friend said the LORD had told him that… “Alan was tired and just wanted to come home.”

I believe that if my release on that drive home the day before Alan died had any effect, it was to release the LORD to give Alan an answer to his prayer — to be set free from exhaustion and pain.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

LIFE IS IN THE BLOOD: Return to Consciousness – Third Phase of Covid p2

The Life is in the Blood:

The lack of family in hospital during the Covid pandemic took its toll on the patients, the families but also on the doctors.

Doctors said to me how rare and special it was to be able to meet family members. The pandemic made things very different in hospital; the doctors missed family contact just as families missed the freedom to visit the hospital.

Blinded by lack of support

Doctors were unable to see some of the little things or patterns that family could see, or they could misinterpret a situation, sometimes because they could not know their patients personally and because they had so many patients on which to attend. 

A family member has only one patient to observe

A significant part of the tragedy of Covid is the separation between patients and their doctors from the family. That tragedy played out in Alan’s situation. Through no fault of anyone, the lack of encounter with family limited doctors’ information and made it harder for them to care for their patients.

Face to face encounters with Doctors

Some particularly poignant moments I had with doctors come to my mind while Alan was on the ventilator and afterward.

Doctor D

I met Doctor D on the way in to visit Alan while Alan was still on the ventilator. The doctor was concerned, and described Alan’s life as “on a knife edge”.

I simply said, “Alan will recover” — and muttered I was saying that for him, to encourage him. He said it was good to have faith. But I don’t think he quite grasped what I was implying…

Dr M

By nature, Doctor M was more detached than Doctor D. We sat near Alan’s bedside and spoke about the severity of Alan’s situation. I asked that he be given Vitamin D and the doctor said he’d look into it but that it was most likely he could do that (and it was carried out routinely thereafter). I asked for Ivermectin but Dr M said “No… it was untested.” I asked for Zinc. He didn’t acknowledge. 

Other Vitamins

Doctors don’t really comprehend the benefits of vitamins and nutrition to the patient. For the most part, they are trained in medicine, to use medicine to help and cure. So when I asked for CQ10 to “feed” the mitochondria within his body which was surely being depleted with repeated blood thinning, they didn’t pick up on this request. I don’t think they understood. I don’t think they made the connection.

Phone Calls with Doctors

I had a very long conversation with Dr J, who wanted to know why I vehemently disagreed with the use of what I call “head meds” for Alan after he’d come back to consciousness and, after a week of ICU life, was demonstrating consequences of sleep deprivation and exhaustion. 

I said, “just because you cannot see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there” alluding to hallucinations that patients in Alan’s situation experience. I said the meds left him defenceless and I could pray from a distance but it would be much better to come in person. 

He said, “I suppose we just have different world views.”

I replied, “Not at all. I see the world completely as you see it in the natural. I just see another entire spiritual realm as well, that you do not see.”

I believe there was fruit in that respectful and focused conversation. It didn’t change the prescription, sadly. Alan did get through that phase after about a week, but I do think it knocked him hard in the meantime. He was not his usual focused, confident self during that week.

Closing the Gap

There were two particular topics that needed addressing during the time Alan was in ICU, having returned to consciousness, which I raised with doctors or nurses over the phone, but which took time to filter through. Eventually a consultant heard me and treatment was addressed.

Dr M2

I remember saying at least three times to different medical staff that Alan needed information about where he was, what time it was, how he’d come to be in ICU, how long he’d been unconscious… any information that would help him have context for what was occurring in the present. One nurse suggested he wasn’t engaging, and when asked “What will you do when you leave hospital,” he had replied, “Try to figure out what happened.” She interpreted that remark as his being depressed or dwelling on the past. I encouraged her to give him information, said he was only trying to work out a context for his condition. “He’s a barrister, he thrives of facts.”

But it wasn’t until I spoke with Dr M2, one of the regular consultants — two weeks later, that action began to be taken.

I said to Dr M2 that Alan was not demotivated or depressed but was lacking information and needed to know what he had gone through, so that he’d have context; giving Alan information would be like providing water in the desert. He said that sort of debriefing usually happened after ICU. 


But I had got through. The next day, which would prove to be the last full day of Alan’s life, Dr M2 came to consult while I was visiting Alan. The team that does the debriefing had been earlier that morning, and had begun to set up a programme to feed Alan information.

Though sometimes late, the doctors never gave up trying to rescue Alan from the Covid aftermath.

Thinning the Blood

Dr H was the first doctor who, after several attempts with others, finally acknowledged that a particular blood thinner was causing Alan’s blood pressure to drop to critically low levels and this was taking a huge toll on Alan’s general progress. It was some time fairly early in Alan’s regaining of consciousness that he first acknowledged the detriment, but I mention it only now because of the irony….

First they reduced the blood thinner, then they stopped it altogether, after I pleaded and pointed out a pattern which showed that following infection they gave him particular blood thinner which triggered a very bad reaction that “knocked the stuffing out of him”. Beginning even before ICU, three or four times Alan experienced the same detrimental effect. Finally, the medication was deemed to cause the equivalent of an allergic reaction. 

He would no longer be given that medication, nor a substitute.

But it was too late.

Sad irony

The life is in the blood. Alan’s life ebbed away. Too much medicine, not enough nutrition, and the body died. The soul and spirit lives on, in comfort, joy and bliss. We know this. And that is the remarkable truth of the Gospel. 

My prayer

I hope and pray that doctors, nurses and other medical staff who attended Alan and who encountered us both, will discover the Lord Jesus for themselves. Medicine is good, often remarkable. But Jesus is always remarkable and always good.

Every blessing to you until next time….

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Recovery from Loss and Facing Times Ahead

Green shoots of Recovery from Loss

When you have completed a typical task that requires concentration and mental agility, when you’ve done it to your usual standard and you look over it and say, “Oh, that’s alright!” you then might realise you didn’t think of your lost loved one, or feel any weight of distraction in the doing of the task. You recognise, “Ah, I must be recovering.”

That’s what happened to me in May and I’ve been doing alright since. I’d say I”m in recovery mode.

Recovery

Just as recovery from illness can take time, even when the the actual illness is behind you, so too can recovery from grief take time.

“To every thing there is a season and a time to everything under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Facing times ahead

Now my workload is increasing and I’m finding it requires an energy and mental agility I didn’t know I had it… and I don’t quite. But that is the LORD nudging me forward. That is all part of His goodness.

The LORD always knows what’s in store in our lives, even though we may not. Paul says in 2 Timothy that there will always be persecution. And so, as many of our societies today are celebrating evil and denigrating good, it is logical to think persecution is coming our way. 

What about Persecution

Any believer may be hit by persecution without much warning. This can be a direct blow to us, or to a loved one. We pray for protection — may the glory of the LORD be our rear guard — but we also acknowledge the reality of attack and seek the strengthening of our faith.

I believe we all need to be ready for changing circumstances, some of which may cause us grief: loss of status, loss of employment, or even loss of a loved one.

Know this: with Persecution comes help

“You will keep you in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

Whatever may come, He prepares us. Whatever may come, we will recover. If our life is taken, those left behind will recover. Just as persecution is part of the believer’s walk, so too is recovery. 

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me. Bless His holy name. Hallelujah! Such is the best way forward: praise!