Psalm 39:4-5 (NIV): “Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life…Each man’s life is but a breath.”
As I sit here alone in this dark, unfamiliar and lonely space filled with disease, decay, and death, I find my mind searching for answers to questions that no one will ever know until we meet the Lord face to face! I try and persuade my racing mind to focus on the volumes of research material that is stacked before me in order to graduate in a couple of months, but I’m so exhausted physically, emotionally and spiritually that I find it hard to comprehend. I decide to do what my blog’s intention is meant for and that is share all of these thoughts and struggles that needlessly attach themselves to our daily lives so we might find solace and strength together from the Source that never runs dry; and that is Jesus!
You see, I just got done scaring the morphine right out of my girlfriend who was asleep in her room when she opened her eyes to follow the voice that was praying over her. There is something so bizarre about this Grammy Tammy’s voice that when I’m praying and singing to the Lord, the gong sound that reaches your ears turns into angelic tones (NOT); but whatever it is, even my Princess Ella would look for me when she heard her grammy’s singing.
As my girlfriend opened her eyes, she was scared because as I am going through my own treatment in fighting this BEAST, the side effects are anything but pretty. This shall soon pass as I try and remind myself through every painful word that comes from my cracked smile as I explain to my girlfriend the reasons for my appearance (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). She is seeing me for the first time since her surgery. As we laugh and cry together, she asks, “Why is this happening? Why do some people go through life unscathed while others live on the frontlines of the battlefield?”
After pondering that same question myself last night, especially after encountering my doctor’s reaction and the frightened looks from my wonderful healthcare team yesterday (and I bring them gifts?), my mind reflects back to the time when the Lord shared with my heart that I was to give up my career being a single mom, after rehabilitating from cancer and several back surgeries, and go back to school and obtain my pastoral degree. His leaders required confidence and I lacked that trait!
Mind you, at first I thought God was crazy in asking such a feat, but I had just witnessed firsthand the love of Jesus being poured into me during my own time of great suffering through the comfort and care that my chaplain and home nurses brought into my life. I was never alone. My provision was always provided! My familial relationships were such that minimal help was there to receive, but God allowed it this way so I would develop trust and perseverance that He would provide daily as I claimed victory through these battles. It developed the faith and compassion in identifying and sharing with others the love and strength that only God can provide, if we allow Him.
Initially, I was courageous with walking by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) in being obedient by enrolling back in school and wondering how I was going to support my kids when even my pastors thought I was crazy because what was required of me was too great a sacrifice; but at that time I was so gracious for the awesome and beautiful chaplain that God blessed to walk alongside of me, I looked joyfully into what it would take in order to become a hospice chaplain. A Master’s of Divinity didn’t seem like much of an undertaking with my many years in the law profession; but here I sit 52 years young and think, “What in the world was I thinking?”
The voice of Psalm 39:4-5 instantaneously screams, “Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life…Each man’s life is but a breath.” I am sadly reminded of that as I grieve my own losses in life, but I quickly resort to knowing why applying the Truths found in the Word of God has so much power; and that while the world may be full of disease, evil and betrayal, I can move forward joyfully equipped with confidence by pressing into the Lord and receiving my daily strength and satisfaction through helping others draw from the ONLY living well of life while I’m here. Heck, the more people I can get to dance with me the better!!!
I don’t know about you, but I want my legacy to be LOVE! I have made my fair share of mistakes in life, and can forgive the most heinous of crimes against my life, but I have learned through them all what has enabled this overflow of the well of love that resides within me to pour into others and give back! Pain can be a beautiful thing!
No, God did not plan for me to be a hospice chaplain. After being commissioned by my church and working as a chaplain didn’t suffice, even going through law enforcement chaplaincy academy didn’t fulfill my calling (oh, but the men in uniform ♥), and with the hospice chaplaincy being tossed out the door because my new friendships started going home to Jesus before me and I was left dancing by myself, that’s when I realized the Lord wanted me to continue to explore my calling. By utilizing my gifts and sharing my experiences through pain and transparency, I can pour into others the LOVE while applying the Word of God to our lives for strength!
We have the ability to rise above our own situations and give back to others! No, I don’t have all the answers, and no matter what level I attain scholastically, Doctorate or just B.S. in Religion (hey…….that means a Bachelor of Science in Religion, FYI ♥), I will never know all the reasons why God allows certain things to occur. What I do know is that God loves me and He loves you; and that if we will allow Him to love on us through others and be used as vessels to share His love, there’s no mountain high enough that we can’t climb together. And hey, with this robotic body and superhero strength and a desire to share my pain through transparency, I know we can do all things through Him who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).
My girlfriend and I will both be fine, and she may regret going through this journey with my strange humor and belief that a girl just wants to have fun like Cyndi Lauper sings with HUGE faith and expectation in believing mountains can be moved while singing and dancing; but if we can go through tragedies being strengthened and encouraged from the love that God sends down, it helps make each and every day easier to walk through. We all need others to love on us, and it’s time those of us who profess this amazing inheritance that is so freely given by grace through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that cost God so much realize that it carries a responsibility; and that is to LOVE one another through action and deed!
Ooooooppppsssssss………. Tammy Tangent! I’ll save that for Tammy Tangent Tuesdays! ♥ I love you, I really do; and so does Jesus; let Him in!!! He’s knocking!