​A Thief and a Liar​

Great news! My radiation burned skin has nearly been completely replaced with brand new skin. I’m healing well and quickly. Yay!

I still deal with some tired spells but thankfully they aren’t every day. Also, my skin is very itchy at times. I’ve been told that the itching of a formally injured area is a sign of healing. If that’s the case, the itching is welcomed but not enjoyed.

Recently, on one of my not-so-tired days, I went for a walk with my husband on our property. As usual, we took our dog Autumn along and our cat Gabby followed.

We walk on a trail that loops through our mostly wooded 15 acres. Gabby frequently follows along on the trail with an occasional romp through the tall grass or woods. But this time something frightened her and she went into the woods and refused to come out.

I could see and hear Gabby but she was out of reach and wouldn’t be coaxed back onto the trail. Therefore, we reluctantly continued our walk hoping she would follow, stay put, or run home.

Once we looped back around to where Gabby had been too frightened to continue her walk, we called out to her but heard no response. So we went on toward the house but as we neared we realized she wasn’t there either.

My husband went back out onto the trail in search for Gabby. He eventually found her hiding in fear behind trees in the tall grass. I was very relieved to see her in his arms as they emerged from the woods.

Due to fear, Gabby was unable to enjoy her journey and unable to reach her goal of completing the walk.

Fear is a thief! It will rob us of joy and peace. It keeps us from enjoying our lives and fulfilling our purpose. In reality, a life of fear is not truly living.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

I once read that fear is f-false e-evidence a-appearing r-real. Fear is not only a thief but is also deceptive!

As long as we are breathing, we will always have an opportunity to feel fear.

So what can we do about fear?

Pray!

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.

What if our fear doesn’t go away?

Trust God!

Proverbs 3:5 Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

Fear is putting our faith in something other than God. But if we don’t know God then we can’t trust Him or put our faith in Him.

The only way to get to know anyone is to spend time with them and experience life with them. That’s what a relationship is all about.

Spending time with God looks like reading and studying His word. Talking to Him and listening to Him as He speaks to us through His word and His Holy Spirit.

When we get to know God, His love for us, and His power, we quickly realize there is nothing to fear.

1 John 4:18a There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.

Psalms 77:14 You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.

The feeling of fear may not go away. But when you know God’s got you, you can move forward, doing what fear has been keeping you from accomplishing or experiencing.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Sometimes, when we step out in faith and do the thing we were afraid to do, it may not turn out the way we thought it should. But we can still trust that God is using the experience for our good and His glory. Nothing is wasted in God’s economy [Romans 8:28].

What is fear trying to steal from you? Your joy? Peace? Sanity? Your future? Your purpose, promotion, or potential?

How is fear deceiving you? Is it telling you there’s no use in trying because you’ll just fail or end up being rejected? Is it telling you to compromise so you can keep your job or a bad relationship?

Will you make a decision to get to know the all-powerful God who loves you and has a great plan for your life? Will you get to know Him so you can start enjoying your life and fulfilling your purpose?

2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid but gives us power love and self-discipline.

Don’t waste another day existing in fear. Start truly living today!

~ 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 30, 2019.

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.”

~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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 22, 2019, 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 as 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, May 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 healthily, 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.

~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.