My Journey/Week 7

As I wait for the radiation oncologist to contact me, letting me know what my next steps are, I’ve been reading a book about breast cancer. The book goes into detail about everything concerning breast cancer: types, procedures, treatment options, treatment side effects, etc.

The more I read the book the more I don’t like my cancer treatment options. There are no win-win options. Some of the long term side effects/collateral damage are disconcerting. It’s discouraging, to say the least.

I feel like a child being dragged along kicking and screaming to a place I don’t want to go. That’s how my week has been. It’s been a real struggle! As I told my husband while sitting at the kitchen table crying, “I don’t want to do it! I don’t want cancer treatment!”

When we get discouraged we sometimes want to quit or run away. I can’t even tell you how many times I have considered literally running away from this whole situation. Just get in my jeep and drive and drive. But what would that get me? Where would it get me? I’d be no better off than I am right now. As a matter of fact, I’d be worse off.

Jonah ran away. God had given him an assignment. God told him to go to a place he didn’t like to preach to people he didn’t like. To Jonah, the assignment was undesirable and unwanted. When he ran away he experienced nothing but trouble. But God didn’t let Jonah off that easy. God continued to pursue him until Jonah hit rock bottom.

Sometimes rock bottom looks like the inside of the belly of a whale. Can you imagine the smell? Rebellion stinks!

Jonah prayed and the Lord rescued him. Then told him to go back and complete his assignment. Jonah, learning his lesson, obeyed the Lord, went to where God had told him to go and did what God had told him to do. As a result, many people repented and were rescued from destruction. Unfortunately, Jonah’s attitude never improved. He obeyed reluctantly! [Jonah 1-4]

I don’t believe the Lord has given me breast cancer, but I do believe He has allowed it. Therefore, it is His will and part of His plan for a greater purpose.

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the Lord makes His life an offering for sin, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in His hand.

God’s will is to use my health crisis for His glory and for the good of others including myself. For my good by using it to change me and to draw me into a deeper relationship with Him. For the good of others by using me to share my experiences with those that need encouragement and hope as they go through a crisis.

I don’t want to be like Jonah; running away from God and the assignment He has given me. I don’t want to have a bad attitude going into cancer treatment.

Who knows how God can use this undesirable, unwanted situation? Maybe there is someone in the cancer treatment center who needs hope and encouragement. Maybe that someone is me. Who knows? God knows! He has a plan! It’s not my job to understand. It’s my job to trust and obey.

I don’t want to reluctantly obey, I want to go into treatment with a good attitude expecting to see God move in amazing ways; changing me and those around me. And by God’s grace, I’ll be able to do just that.

I want to respond to my assignment the way Jesus did.

Luke 22:42 “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

As a result of Jesus’ obedience, our sins are forgiven and eternal life is available to all who accept His gift.

What unwanted, undesirable situation are you facing today? Job relocation? Cancer treatment? Dialysis? Jury duty? Being kind to a grumpy neighbor? Diet change? Exercise? Disconnecting yourself from negative friends? It could be anything, seemingly large or small. If it’s an assignment from God, it’s important.

God is wanting to change our perspective on the assignment He has given us. He wants us to see it through His eyes; from His perspective. Imagine the amazing things God could do in us and through us if we just decide to trust and obey Him.

Will you willingly accept your God-given assignment today? Will you accept it with a good attitude, expecting to see God work in amazing ways in you and through you?

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey/Week 6

Every summer I make a to-do list. I’m a planner and I’m task-oriented so to-do lists are a must for me.

My to-do list consists of things I’d like to accomplish between June and September. Needless to say, not many things on my list have been completed since I found out about my breast cancer on May 30th.

Some of the things on my list are: paint the laundry room, launch new children’s book, relocate wall photos, and clean out files. Funny thing is, as many times as I look at that list, I can’t find breast cancer anywhere on it. Go figure!

No one plans a health crisis or any crisis. It’s as if the crisis has a mind of its own. It just pops into our lives unannounced and unwanted.

I’m in a healing/waiting period at this stage of my breast cancer journey. I don’t know when radiation treatment will begin. And from what I understand the worst side effect of radiation treatment is low energy. Great! More tiredness!

In preparation for the impending low energy, I would like to get as many things marked off my to-do list as possible before treatment begins. I realize I may not get the entire list completed by the time I’d like to, so I’ve added one more thing to my to-do list; stay calm and trust God.

Over the years, as I’ve experienced life with God, I’ve come to realize that He is in control and that His plan and timing is perfect. That realization is so freeing and gives me so much peace.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in You.

I wonder if Job was a list maker. He had a lot of responsibilities; a lot of things and people to keep up with. He may have had a daily to-do list lying around.

Job was just going about his daily life and tasks when out of nowhere crisis hit; unannounced and unwanted.

Job lost his livelihood, his servants, children, and his health. To make matters worse, he had no support from his wife and friends. He was going through a horrible crisis. I can’t even imagine what he must have suffered.

What Job does in the midst of his devastating health and life crisis is amazing. He trusts God! He realizes that God is in control and is sovereign. He refuses to turn his back on Him. As a matter of fact, his faith and knowledge of God grow.

Job 42:5 tells us what Job gained from his crisis; “My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You.” For Job, God had gone from being “God” to “My God.” Job had come to know God on a much higher level than he had before.

I know that I am not going through anything close to what Job went through, but just the same, I want to gain from this health crisis the same thing Job did. I want to know God on a higher level as I trust Him in the midst of my crisis; I want my faith and knowledge of Him to grow.

Jeremiah 17:7 But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.

What unannounced and unwanted crisis has hit you or your family? God sees you! He cares about what you are going through. Will you cry out to Him for help?

Will you trust that He is in control of all things and that He is sovereign? Will you trust that His plan and timing is perfect?

While you are waiting for God to answer your prayers in His way and His timing, will you allow your crisis to take your relationship with Him to a whole new level; to a place where you can go from calling Him “God” to “My God?”

Psalm 31:14 But I trust in You, Lord; I say, “You are my God.”

How can I be praying for you or encourage you today? Please message me your request.

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey/Week 5

The question I get asked most often these days is, “How are you feeling?” This is a legitimate question considering my recent health issues. If I could use one word to describe the way I feel lately it would be “tired.” I’m tired!

During my last doctor visit, I asked, “Why am I so tired every day?” She said it’s because I’ve had 2 surgeries within a span of 4 weeks. My body is trying to heal and recover. Makes sense!

I think that when we are going through a health crisis or any type of life crisis we will not only be physically tired but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually tired. After all, we are a 3 part being; spirit, soul (mind, will, and emotions), and body. When one area is suffering, the other two may suffer as well.

A health or life crisis can certainly make us feel as though we are in a battle. We battle negative thoughts and emotions. We battle our feelings that try to keep us from spending much needed time with the Lord; nourishing our spirits with His word and with praise and worship. Our body is fighting to be well. It’s A battle! And it can wear us out!

I love the account of Moses, Aaron, and Hur in Exodus 17:10-13. Joshua and the Israelites were fighting the Amalekites. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. Moses’ hands grew tired, so Aaron and Hur took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it.  Then they held his hands up so that his hands remained up till sunset. As a result, the Israelites won the battle.

When we are facing a crisis, it’s essential to have family and friends that will help us. They may help in practical ways by driving us to an appointment, helping us clean our house, or cook us a meal. They may also help by keeping us encouraged and positive and by praying with us and for us. Family and friends in a battle are priceless!

During these past 5 weeks, my friends and family have really reached out to me. They have been so encouraging. They have been praying for me and offering to help me. I am so very grateful for the family and friends God has placed in my life. They have definitely made this difficult time a lot more bearable.

As great as everyone has been to me and for me, there is nothing like running to my heavenly Father in a time of crisis. He is my safe place. My refuge. My hiding place. He is my rest. He comforts me in a way that no one else can. He speaks to me through His word. His word is healing to me; spirit, soul, and body.

Psalm 16:1 Keep me safe, my God, for in You I take refuge.

Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Isaiah 66:13a As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.

Psalm 107:20 He sent out His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave.

I’m reminded of a time when my middle son was very young. When he would get tired of walking or just needed cuddles, looking up at either his dad or me, he would raise his hands up high and say, “Hold you?” He would say this over and over until we would pick him up and hold him. That is such a precious memory for me.

I believe that is what our heavenly Father wants us to do when we get tired and weary. He wants us to go to Him like little children, look up at Him, and raise our hands up high, and say, “Hold you?” He wants to hold us, carry us, and give us rest.

What battle are you in today? Is it a battle for your health? Your marriage? Your children? Your very life? Are you tired and weary?

Allow the friends and family God has placed in your life to help you and keep you lifted up in the battle. Then run to the Lord, raising your eyes and your hands to Him, ask Him to hold you. He alone can provide the rest, comfort, and healing that your spirit, soul, and body needs.

Deuteronomy 1:31 “There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”

Update: I am currently in the healing process and recovering from my latest surgery. I will begin radiation treatment in the near future. Thank you all for your support and prayers. It means more than you know.

I would love the opportunity to pray for you and encourage you in your time of need. Please message me with your prayer request.

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey/Week 4

Last week I underwent a lumpectomy leaving me scarred and in pain. Just one more scar to add to my life-collection of scars.

I have acquired a lot of scars in my lifetime; as I’m sure most of you have. Some are a result of bringing life into the world and some to save my own life. Others are a result of repairing damaged body parts. And still, others are scars on my heart, emotions, and memory that only God can see.

Do you sometimes hear a song and think to yourself, “Wow! This really speaks to me and my current situation.” In this case, the song I am referring to is Scars, by I Am They.

One chorus goes like this: So I’m thankful for the scars – ‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know Your heart – And I know they’ll always tell of who You are – So forever I am thankful for the scars

It’s uncommon to be thankful for scars. They aren’t exactly a pretty sight. Being thankful for scars goes against all human logic. Plus, there is pain associated with scars. No one wants to be reminded of the pain.

Each seen or unseen scar is evidence that we have lived. The pain and scars are part of life. They come with the territory.

Hardships in this life will do one of two things; draw us closer to God or further away from Him.

I have learned from personal experience that when I view my painful circumstances and scars from a godly perspective my faith, joy, and character grows and I become a better person.

But when I blame God and become angry with Him for allowing the circumstances that result in pain; I become bitter and turn away from Him.

During difficult times, we have to remember that God is sovereign and that He knows what He is doing. He knows the end from the beginning. And He sees the positive results of our pain that we cannot yet see (Isaiah 46:10).

God allows our pain and suffering as an opportunity for us to run to Him, to know Him better, and to trust Him more. In reality, He is the only one that can help us get through it and make us better on the other side of it.

We can become better instead of bitter.

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Though it’s hard to do, we can remain joyful as we look forward to the spiritual growth and maturity that results from pain and suffering.

It’s not if we suffer. We will all suffer in this life. But it’s about how we suffer that counts. That’s what makes all the difference in becoming better or bitter.

Back to the song I mentioned earlier. There is another chorus that goes like this: I’m thankful for Your scars – ‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know Your heart – And with my life, I’ll tell of who You are – So forever I am thankful

We will never know the suffering Jesus suffered. He still bears the scars of His suffering. He endured the pain of the scourging and the cross in our place. He did it all so we can be in relationship with Him for eternity.

Hebrews 12:2 Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus’ scars are a reminder of His love for us and the relationship He desires with us. Those scars reveal His heart for His Father and for us. And the only way we can say thank you for all that He has done for us is to live a life that glorifies Him.

When we embrace the pain and suffering God has allowed in our lives with a good attitude we are living a life of gratitude that glorifies Him and points others to Him.

Do you have scars that remind you of your suffering and pain? Have you allowed those scars to make you better or bitter? Do you blame God for your pain or do you run to Him for the help and the comfort that He alone provides in the midst of pain?

Will you allow your scars to be exposed in order to help others, encourage others, and glorify God?

Don’t allow your pain and scars to stay hidden. Put them in the Lord’s hands and watch Him do amazing things with them.

Isaiah 61:3 God will provide for those who grieve-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.

Update: My lumpectomy was successful and my doctor is certain that he has removed all of the cancerous breast tissue. My post op appointment is later this week. I will keep you posted on my next steps in this journey and my progress along the way. Thank you all for your prayers and support.

How can I be praying for you this week? Are you currently going through a difficult situation? I would love the opportunity to pray for you or encourage you. Message me at any time.

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey/Week 3

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between surviving and thriving. During difficult times I think it’s natural to think, feel, or say, “I just want to get through this; I just want to survive and arrive on the other side alive and well.”

I can tend to be one of those people that thinks and feels that way. I mean, don’t we all want to survive difficult situations? It’s not a bad thing to want to survive. It’s brave actually! It’s not giving up!

However, what if instead of just surviving a difficult situation, we decided to thrive while going through it?

Survive means: to remain alive or in existence; to continue to function [Mirriam-Webster Dictionary App].

Thrive means: to grow vigorously, to gain wealth, to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances [Mirriam-Webster Dictionary App].

Yes, I have breast cancer. Yes, I want to remain alive and continue to exist. Yes, I want to continue to function in all areas of my life. So, by the grace of God, I will do what it takes to survive. I will do my best and trust God with the rest.

However, I not only want to survive this disease, but I also want to thrive while going through it.

I want to grow vigorously spiritually and in character. I want to gain a wealth of things that can never be taken from me: faith and a better understanding of God’s grace and His love and mercy for me. I want to realize my goal to glorify God, build His kingdom, edify His Body, and point the lost to the cross despite and because of my circumstances.

I want to thrive while I survive!

This Spring I planted a garden in the planter boxes my husband built for me. Only the okra plants produced. None of the other plants produced. The other plants where alive. They were growing. They had flowers on them. But they never produced what they were created to produce. They were surviving but they weren’t thriving. Needless to say, I ended up throwing them away.

John 15:5-6 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me, you can do nothing. If you do not remain in Me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”

The way we are able to thrive and bear fruit, in this life and in every circumstance, is by abiding in Jesus, the vine.

Abide means: to remain stable or fixed in a place; to continue in a place [Merriam-Webster Dictionary App].

I am determined, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to remain in Christ! I am determined to stay fixed in Him and to continue in Him! I am determined to bear fruit despite and because of my current circumstances! And I am determined to allow God to use my struggle for His glory and for the good of others!

What are you trying to survive today? A difficult marriage? A devastating diagnosis? A wayward child? An addiction? A job you hate?

What if instead of just surviving your struggle, you thrived despite it or because of it? How could you allow God to use your current unpleasant circumstance for His glory and for the good of someone else?

You may be wondering what bearing fruit or thriving despite or because of difficult circumstances looks like? Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If these fruits are evident in you, in the midst of a crisis, you are thriving!

God has planted us where we are for a purpose. We have a decision to make. Will we thrive and be fruitful or just survive without much to show for it. The decision is ours.

Don’t allow your struggle to be wasted. Bear fruit! Thrive!

Jeremiah 17:8 “They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

How can I be praying for you this week? Please message me with your prayer request.

I am scheduled for a lumpectomy Thursday, June 20th at 10am. I appreciate all of your support and prayers.

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

My Journey/Week 2

Sometimes I like to go through Pinterest to read scriptures and then turn them into prayers. Does anyone else do that? Is that weird?

Maybe that isn’t holy enough for some people but there are some really great scriptures on Pinterest! God’s word is God’s word no matter where it’s found.

I love to pray scripture. I feel as though one can never go wrong when they pray God’s word.

Isaiah 55:11 So is my word that goes out from my mouth; it will not return to Me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

As I scrolled through Pinterest, the scriptures that stood out to me the most were 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

If you have been following my blog, you know that I found out 2 weeks ago that I have breast cancer. So as I was reading and praying these particular scriptures, I began focusing on the words always, continually, and all.

My prayer went something like this: Lord, help me to always rejoice, to continually be in prayer, and to be thankful in all circumstances. That really got me thinking as I prayed. It went to the very core of me. It made me take inventory of myself.

Under the unpleasant circumstances of breast cancer, am I rejoicing always? Am I praying continually? Am I giving thanks in this circumstance?

This week has been really hard for me. Not only am I still waiting on the results of my bloodwork, before I can make a decision about treatment, but I’ve also had to meet with the breast reconstruction surgeon and the radiation oncologist to get information in order to make a more informed decision concerning treatment.

Nothing hits you in the face with breast cancer reality more than meeting with these two doctors.

So, getting back to my scriptures, as a result of my current circumstance, I can definitely say I am praying continually. I usually talk to the Lord throughout the day anyway, so that hasn’t really changed. But what I talk to Him about has changed as new challenges arise.

I’ve always asked the Lord to help me several times a day throughout the day. Those “Lord, help me” prayers have definitely increased.

What I am struggling with these days is the rejoicing always and giving thanks in all circumstances. Those two go completely against logic and human nature when it comes to a health crisis or any crisis for that matter.

“Lord, do You really expect me to rejoice right now? Do You really expect me to be thankful right now? Seriously?”

His answer is in verse 18; It’s His will for me in Christ Jesus. And it’s His will for you in Christ Jesus.

He didn’t put a stipulation on rejoicing, praying and thankfulness. He didn’t say it is His will for us to do these three things unless we have some sort of life-altering crisis. No! He said rejoice always, pray continually, and be thankful in all circumstances.

Why are these 3 things God’s will for me? For you? Rejoicing, praying, and gratitude is not for God’s good. They are for our good.

It’s as if God is giving us a prescription for what ails us. He is our good Father and He always knows what’s best for His children.

Why should we rejoice always?

Nehemiah 8:10b says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Proverbs 17:22 says that a cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

I don’t know about you, but I sure could use plenty of God’s strength while going through this crisis. And a cheerful heart sounds a whole lot better than dried up bones any day.

Why should we pray continually?

When I am confused and struggling, it always helps me to talk to someone. If I’m going to talk to someone, I might as well talk to the One in charge and who has the power to change things.

Prayer is just talking to God. I am so thankful that I can approach the all-powerful Creator of all things, my Father, without fear and talk to Him about anything.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Why should we give thanks in all circumstances?

Being thankful makes us happy. It replaces sadness and self-pity with joy. It takes us back to “rejoice always.” It is hard to be sad and discouraged when we are being thankful.

Romans 1:21 tells us what happens to those who are not thankful. “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Yikes!

Last week I stated in my blog, that I may not understand why or how I have breast cancer, but I am determined, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to trust God and to submit to His will for me.

According to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, God’s will for me is to rejoice always, to pray continually, and to be thankful in all circumstances. And by the power of the Holy Spirit, I will submit to His will for me.

Will you do the same? What are you going through today? Have you recently received a devastating life-altering diagnosis? Are you going through any sort of crisis? Do you know someone who is?

Will you submit to God’s will for you today? Will you commit to, through the power of the Holy Spirit, rejoice always, pray continually, and be thankful despite your circumstances?

I’m not saying it will be easy. It’s not easy for me. But it’s God’s prescription for what ails us. We just need to be good little children and take our medicine. It’s for our good and His glory!

~Patrice Maguire

P.S. Good news! After writing this blog I received a call from my doctor. My blood work shows that I do not have the breast cancer gene. Yay! Praise God!

I’ll talk to my doctor later today about treatment and keep you posted. I’m praying for wisdom. Thank you all for your prayers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Me?

Wow! It’s been quite an emotional couple of weeks. Some moments have left me speechless. Others have left me angry. And still, others have left me in tears.

The expression, “When it rains it pours,” comes to mind.

Transparency isn’t always easy for me. Some may say it’s rooted in pride and they would probably be right. However, as I have been praying about whether or not to share my latest health issues with you, I sense the Lord prompting me to do so in the anticipation that my struggles will encourage and help someone else.

If I share my struggles with you, and you happen to be going through a similar situation or know someone who is, and what I share with you encourages you in some way or causes your faith in God to grow then my struggle and transparency will have all been worth it.

2 Corinthians 1:6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.

Most importantly God is glorified when we humbly admit that when we are weak, He is strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

So, it is by God’s grace, for His glory, and for the good of others I share this with you.

On Wednesday, May 22nd, I went to the hospital for a follow-up mammogram. Follow-up, because 6 months ago I had a surgical biopsy that turned out to be benign.

Leading up to and the day of the mammogram, I never once considered that there would be an issue. After all, I had just been there 6 months prior and all that had been determined to be cause for concern had been removed.

For one quick moment, while driving into the parking lot, a fleeting thought came to me about a possibility of an issue but I quickly dismissed that negative little thought and proceeded.

Once inside and all checked in, I didn’t have to wait long to begin the procedure. After the images were taken, I was directed to wait in the waiting area until further instruction was given.

I was sitting there interacting with the women around me, prepared for opportunities to be an encouragement to them or possibly pray with anyone who had received a negative diagnosis.

To my shock and amazement, the one receiving a negative diagnosis that day was me. As I was guided back into the imaging room and shown the images that had just been taken, I was numb and confused.

Many questions were going through my mind and my mouth was searching for words. How could this have happened in such a short amount of time? Why is this happening to Me? What is it? Is it cancer?

I was trying to trust God and resist the temptation to fear at the same time. I have to admit a little fear snuck in.

More images were taken and more waiting was instructed. All I could think was, “I have to tell my husband.” I went to my locker to find my phone.

While sending him a text, there was a woman standing beside me. She said something leading me to believe she may be a Christian. I asked her if she was a praying person and she responded that she was. She asked me if I was a Christian and I responded that I was.

As I cried, I told her about my situation and we prayed. She was done with her mammogram and was free to go but she wanted to stay with me as long as she could.

I had arrived there that morning prepared for God to use me to comfort someone in need and that person in need turned out to be me. He provided exactly what I needed at the exact time I needed it. He is our on-time God!

From there, I had a consultation with the radiologist about my area of concern and the need for a biopsy. I went upstairs to see my doctor and surgery was scheduled for the next week, Tuesday the 28th.

In between that time and my surgery, I had many people praying for me. Everyone had encouraging and positive words for me.

To be honest, I was saying positive things and I was praying and asking God to cause this to all turn out to be nothing, as it had been before, but in the back of my mind, I sensed that this time may be different. But I was still hopeful.

I had the surgery and all went well. The area of concern had been sent off to the lab. I had no pain and no nausea. Glory to God! Post-surgery nausea has always been a problem for me in the past. Thankfully, not this time!

My surgery was on Tuesday the 28th. Thursday the 30th I received the call from my doctor with the lab results. I was hoping to hear, “I have good news, the area of concern is benign,” just as I had 6 months ago. To my dismay, that wasn’t the case this time.

Instead, he told me I have early stage breast cancer. As the doctor informed me of my next steps, my head was spinning.

Honestly, I never thought that I would ever hear my name and the word cancer in the same sentence. I was shocked!

As I cried, I began to mentally review my “good deeds” resume’ with God. You know the one; I eat healthy, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I go to church (even on Wednesdays), I volunteer at my church, I read and study the bible, I pray for others and share the gospel with others. I don’t deserve this! Why is this happening to me?

Then the Lord reminded me that He is love. He is good. And He is sovereign.

He doesn’t love me because I do good things. He isn’t good to me because I do good things. He loves me and is good to me because it’s who He is. I can’t earn His love and goodness.

He didn’t stop loving me that day. He didn’t stop being good to me that day. He didn’t leave me that day. He didn’t fall off of the throne that day.

Once all of that was settled in my spirit, the fear left and the peace of God came. 1 John 4:18a There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.

God allows suffering in the lives of believers. We can see it throughout the Bible. For example, look at the lives of Joseph, Job, Peter, John, Paul, and of course Jesus.

God allows suffering for His greater purpose, His greater plan, and His greater good; a purpose, a plan, and goodness we don’t always see or understand right away.

I heard Joyce Meyer say once, “We live life forward but we understand it backward.” That’s so true!

What should we do when we don’t understand?

Trust the One who does!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

I may not understand why or how this is happening to me, but I am determined, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to trust God and to submit to His will for me. I know He will lead me to victory; whatever that may look like.

I don’t know where this journey will take me but I’m honored and humbled to be able to share it with you. One thing I do know is that no matter what happens, God will be glorified. That, after all, is my purpose.

If anyone reading this is going through a health crisis, contact me. I would love to enter boldly before God’s throne of grace on your behalf in your time of need [Hebrews 4:16 & 1 Timothy 2:1]. And prayers on my behalf are greatly appreciated.

If you know someone who is going through a health crisis please share this with them. Thank you!

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Always Hungry Yet Never Satisfied

Can you imagine being physically hungry and eating everything in sight yet never reaching a point where you are satisfied? That would be a horrible existence!

Yet there are people all around us with this disorder. It’s not their bellies that are empty. It’s their spirit’s that are empty.

Do you know someone who never seems to be satisfied in life? They don’t like their job so they acquire a different job but they remain miserable. They don’t like their spouse so they trade them in for another spouse only to find that the misery followed them into the new marriage. Or they find a house with the property they have always wanted but once they own it they are still dissatisfied, longing for more and better.

Does the song, I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, come to mind?

I think we could all say we know at least one person that meets this description. Maybe it’s you.

A lot of people are searching for something to fill the emptiness inside of them. They acquire possessions, relationships, money, education, and status only to find that those things never completely satisfy the longings within.

So dissatisfied with life, some turn to drugs, alcohol, or sex for satisfaction. Discovering that these things only give them a temporary fleeting sensation.

Still, some try and try to find the one thing that will completely satisfy them until they exhaust every possible means of gratification. Not finding the one thing, they often end all possibility of finding true satisfaction with suicide.

Micah 6:13-14 Therefore, I have begun to destroy you, to ruin you because of your sins. You will eat but not be satisfied; your stomach will still be empty. You will store up but save nothing because what you save I will give to the sword.

In this verse, we see that our lack of satisfaction is a result of sin. Sin destroys and ruins us. It leaves us empty.

But wait! There is hope!

There is only one way to truly be completely satisfied. Jesus! He even said so Himself.

John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Are you longing for more in life? Are you in a constant state of dissatisfaction? Do you continue to accumulate things only to find that you are constantly hungry for more?

Will you partake of the Bread of Life today? Will you drink the Living Water that wells up to eternal life? Will you go to Jesus today? Will you choose to believe in Him?

There is no other way to complete satisfaction. Jesus is the only way!

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Miserable Manna

Do you ever feel discontentment in life or in relationships? Do you ever find yourself being critical of the people that are closest to you; the ones you love? Do you find yourself murmuring and complaining about the imperfect things around you, in you, and in others? I do!

Recently, due to my own complaining and discontent, the Lord revealed something to me about the manna that God provided for the Israelites while they were in the wilderness for 40 years.

Every day, except the Sabbath, the Israelites would wake up to fresh manna on the ground; miraculous food from heaven.

The manna was God’s daily provision for Israel. It was the same food every day. The same routine every day. The same miracle every day.

At first, Israel was excited about the miraculous food from heaven. Then, over time, they became used to it. They expected it to be there every morning. They began to take it for granted and then complained about it. They no longer appreciated God’s daily provision; His daily miracle. They eventually called it miserable manna.

Numbers 21:5 They spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food (manna)!”

The thing that they, at first, had been so excited about and appreciative for was now detestable and miserable to them.

God gives us daily provisions; daily miracles. We once were excited about them. But now we have gotten used to them. We expect them to be there every day. We take them for granted. We no longer appreciative them. Now we complain about them.

We complain about our spouses and children because they are imperfect or unlike us. We complain about our houses and automobiles that have to be cleaned and maintained regularly. We complain about having to mow the lawn, about the heat, the cold, the rain, the lack of rain. We complain about our jobs, our clothes, our food. The list goes on and on.

These are all things we, at some point, had probably prayed for asking God to give us.

We can all look around us and see God’s daily provision.

If we didn’t have to walk 5 miles to get a bucket of dirty drinking water, thank God! If we can walk, see, hear, speak, or think, thank God! If we have food, clothes, a roof over our head, a job to pay our bills, and friends and family to love us, thank God! If we were able to go to church this week without fear of imprisonment or death, thank God!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Are you feeling discontented today? Are you complaining? Look around you! What has God given you? What is His daily provision for you? What have you taken for granted? Who or what did you once consider a miracle but now consider detestable and miserable?

There are several reasons why it took the Israelites 40 years to make an 11-day journey through the wilderness on their way to the promised land. Complaining is one of them.

It’s hard to be discontented and critical while thanking God for His daily provision. Go ahead! Give it a try! Before you know it, you will have joy in your heart, a smile on your face, and a song on your lips.

Let’s ask God to open our eyes to see His goodness and love towards us? Let’s ask Him to help us be grateful for His daily provision and miracles. Let’s choose to praise instead of complain.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Specific​

Recently my husband and I adopted a cute little black kitten. We named her Gabby. She was only 6 weeks old when we adopted her.

Soon after bringing her home I made her an appointment with our favorite veterinary clinic to have her examined and vaccinated. They wouldn’t see her until she was 8 weeks old. I went ahead and made her an appointment and waited.

The date came to take Gabby to her first Vet visit. I had a certain idea about how the visit would go. But when Gabby and I got into the examination room, to see the Vet, my expectations all went out the window. Nothing went the way I thought it would. It really threw me off.

Apparently, when you make an appointment with a veterinary clinic, you have to request a specific Vet if you have a preference. I just assumed that the Vet of our other two pets, Miela and Autumn, would be the Vet of Gabby as well. Umm…no.

Word to the wise; never assume anything.

I think we can be that way in our prayer life as well. We assume that, because God knows what we need, we don’t have to bother praying about our needs at all. Or we may pray about them but we pray general prayers instead of specific ones. Then we are left wondering why things aren’t going the way we thought they would or the way we expected them to go.

God says in His word that we have not because we ask not, James 4:2.

Yes, God knows what we need, but like any good Father, He wants to be asked because that is part of being in a relationship. We don’t ask strangers for things we need. We ask those we trust for things we need.

God wants us to ask Him for what we need because it shows Him that we believe He can take care of us and wants to take care of us. It shows God that we know He loves us and is trustworthy.

Matthew 7:9-11 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if He asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”

Not only should we ask our heavenly Father to meet our needs, but we should also be specific about those needs when we ask.

I’m reminded of an incident in the Bible where Abraham was growing old and he wanted his son Isaac to have a wife before he died. Abraham sent his servant to a specific town to find Isaac a wife.

The servant left in search of Isaac’s wife. As he drew closer to his destination, he prayed to God. He specifically prayed for success in finding a wife for Isaac. He even went as far as to pray that, upon his request, the perfect wife for Isaac would draw water from the town well for him to drink and then she would offer to give water to his camels to drink. This was how he was to know which girl was to be Isaac’s wife.

The Lord answered the servant’s specific prayer. The girl, Rebekah, did exactly what he had prayed for; she not only gave him a drink but offered to give his camels a drink as well. When God answered his prayer, the servant bowed down and worshipped God and thanked Him for His kindness and faithfulness [Genesis 24].

Are there things that you are in need of? Do you ask God to meet those needs? Are you being specific when you ask?

Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

We should always pray specific prayers remembering that God knows our hearts.

James 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Also, we should always pray specific prayers according to God’s will. The easiest way to know we are praying God’s will is to pray scripture. This is where technology comes in handy. We can google about anything these days; even scripture. I do it all the time!

1 John:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of Him.

So, don’t be like I was in assuming I was going to have what I needed without specifically asking for what I needed. Pray, asking God to meet your needs. Be specific when you pray. Find a scripture pertaining to your specific situation so you can pray according to God’s will. And always pray with pure motives.

He’s our good Father. He is faithful and kind. He wants to take care of us and meet all of our needs. He’s just waiting for us to ask Him.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.