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.