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.