This Quiet Season

I sat in my bed this morning, and had a talk with God. He has a plan, but I just wanted to share my requests.

I’m in a quiet season of my life. It’s been this way for months, but I’m learning to sit with it. After He healed my Breast Cancer last year, I was ready to be His mighty foot soldier again, but He has other plans.

In a quiet season, you do quiet things.

Come sit with me, and help with this puzzle.

puzzle

I sat down in front of it this morning, and asked to find this one piece. It would be completely dark green, so you would think it would be easy to see. Scooping up a handful of pieces from the box, I looked in my hand, and there it was. The piece I asked for.

My natural response was, “Thank you God”, because I had gone through these pieces last night and couldn’t find it, but today is a new day. He was ready to reveal it to me today, and knew I needed that small piece of encouragement while sitting in this quiet season. When life is quiet, God is there.

If God can show me one missing piece to a 1,000 piece puzzle, then I can trust Him to show me the missing pieces of my life.

Trust Him I will, because the puzzle laying on this table will come together one piece at a time, very similar to life. My friends tell me, “He’s preparing you for something”, but I don’t know what that is.

If I overly focus on finding a piece, I miss the overall picture. The box the puzzle came in reveals how beautiful it can be!

I’m good with taking my time and enjoying the process of finding every missing piece. It will come together with time, in this quiet season.

I Love Lucy

My daughter is spending time this week with one of her best friends. Her friend goes to college in Florida, so they haven’t seen one another in years. She came to Texas to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, which was Wednesday.

Yesterday, I checked the mail, and it was stuffed with all kinds of goodness. I had ordered film for my daughter’s Instamatic camera, and it came in. We weren’t sure the film was going to arrive in time for her to use it during her friend’s visit, but God took care of it. My package from the UK was there as well, and I squealed with excitement!

Lucy was here!

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Lucy from Little Fears.

Peter Edwards writes a Blog entitled, Little Fears.

He showed up on my Blog during my Cancer Journey.

Peter has always been an encouragement to me, and I admire his passion for what he does. I believe we have numerous opportunities as a community of Bloggers to encourage one another. Purchasing Lucy was my way of giving Peter a little bit of encouragement when needed.

There is something about this scary looking creature, holding a heart that makes me smile. I can’t tell if she is offering it, or taking it. Are heart matters a little fear for you?

My daughter and her friend stopped by yesterday just to give hugs. She saw Lucy displayed in the frame we had chosen for her together. I was beaming with love over Lucy, and my daughter shouted, “I love Lucy!” Me too lovely. Me too. Thank you Peter for helping us face our Little Fears.

Be More Clear

I ran into a friend yesterday, and she asked, “Are you okay?” She had a look of concern on her face, and I assured her that I was. She had read my Blog about the Cancer scare, and wanted to make sure I was all good. She is not the only friend that wasn’t sure, so let’s see if I can be more clear.

A lot of what we go through in life is a test of some sort.

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I don’t believe there is Cancer in my breast. The technician wasn’t sure what she was seeing during the sonogram, so I had the films sent to my Oncologist who knows my history. He didn’t see anything concerning, but wants to see my next film in six months. I’m not worried, so don’t you be either!

God used that situation to reach the right people, and I now have really good health insurance! WooHoo!

In March, or April of next year, I will have another mammogram, and have faith for God’s best. Since walking out of the imaging center a month ago, I have made life changes, and am still making them. When God shows me His best, I want to give Him my best in return. The entire incident brought this to the forefront of my mind. “What do I want my life to look in six months? Am I living God’s best?”

In Six Months

Once you have Cancer, it doesn’t completely leave your mind.

I said no to going to see my Breast Surgeon. Instead, I called the imaging center, and asked them to send the films to my Oncologist. If I had to choose who to go see, it would be him. His office called and he agreed with the Radiologist. He’s not concerned, but wants to see me in six months.

6months

When I left the imaging center, those words were playing on a loop in my mind. “See you in six months.” How would I live my life the next six months? What have I been putting off doing? I listened to my heart the whole way home.

As soon as I walked through the door, I bought concert tickets to see Noah Gundersen.

My daughter has seen him in concert, and he is one of our favorite artists. He’s not very well-known, so the tickets are cheap. She wants me to see him in concert, and she asked for these tickets as part of her birthday in August.

She had a priority list of things she’d like for her birthday, and we did everything on her little list, except the tickets. He’s playing in Houston, so that meant spending the night. I called my co-worker, and asked if I could work her hours. She said yes, so I made the extra money to enjoy the upcoming concert, and we will spend the night in Houston.

My daughter thought maybe I cancelled my appointment because of money. I said, “No darling. We have the money, but we are going to see Noah, and cherish the moment.”

 

Wait With Me

I write about a beautiful life, and that is my hearts desire to share with you. Right now, I feel the need to get this out, and writing always helps soothe the soul.

waiting-on-the-lord

Once again, I am waiting.

Last Friday, I went in for my 6 month checkup, and had a mammogram.

It began as routine, and then the technician came in for more scans. This is the left breast that held Cancer last year. After having 6 scans, I was escorted into the sonogram room. The technician rolled the handheld device over my breast for what seemed like a very long time. She sent the scans to be reviewed by the doctor, and in came the doctor.

The doctor tried to sound casual as she spoke. “You have a couple of areas I’m not sure about, but they are not screaming Cancer to me. I’d like to see you again in six months.”

Does Cancer scream?

I left there concerned, but not worried. Wasn’t going to jump to any conclusions until my Oncologist saw the film. I knew she would know if there was any cause for concern.

She called today and wants to see me. “There are areas of concern…” Her first available appointment is 10/24, which is almost two weeks away. I ask that you wait with me.

God Uses Scraps

The saying, “Big Hot Mess”, has new meaning to me. I just watched a video by Steve Harvey, and he broke it down simply. Let’s see if I can do the same.

I like simple. There is nothing fancy about me, but I’m happy. I had fancy, but my life was not a happy life. I could walk through my home, and see pretty things, but I couldn’t look in a mirror.

You see, my then husband and I were living above our means. We were buying all these beautiful, expensive things, and putting them on credit cards. That will be in the book I’m writing, but I haven’t needed to use a credit card in 5 years. Lesson learned.

Steve Harvey used to work for Ford Motor Company. He was a foundry which builds the engine block. The block is the foundation of the engine. You have to have a solid block before adding pieces to the engine. It all begins with scraps. Twenty something years later, Steve is a spokesman for Ford.

Ford uses scrap metal to build their engine blocks. The scraps are laying in a junk yard, and look useless. Are you underneath a pile of junk? Like some of the things that are happening in your life right now feel overwhelming? You may be in the furnace being melted, so God can use you!

hotmessWhen I was willing to let all that stuff go. To walk out of the glass house I had built for myself, it was like God said, “Yay! There you are. Let’s get to work!!!”

You see, I was a mess. I felt like a car that had been wrecked. I was so tired of keeping up with the Jones’, and I didn’t even know anybody with the last name Jones!

All the pieces of my past. Everything I had been through were piling up. I was my own personal junkyard, and the pile was getting pretty intense! Then here comes God.

Steve Harvey showed a video of how an engine block is made. They would dump all that scrap metal into a fiery furnace, and it would melt down into liquid form. A machine would pour the liquid into a mold, and here comes my favorite part…A giant claw would come by and grab the mold! Have you been melted down, and then grabbed by God?

Well, hold on tight baby cuz this is where it gets good!!!

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Going through Breast Cancer last year changed me. I had been writing for three years, and felt like I was doing okay with it. Those three years were my ‘push ups’.

Can you do pushups? They start out small, but the more you do them, the better it gets. What starts out with 5 pushups, goes to 10 pretty soon, and as long as you keep doing it, (like writing, and publishing each Blog), you are at 100 before you know it.

Well, I had written over 350 posts, and found out I have Cancer. I wrote less last year, but when I could think, I wrote. God was refining me. He used what I was going through not only to encourage others, but to melt me down, and pour me into His mold for me.

When I first started writing, I was covered in junk. Writing has been a very healing process, but you see, I was choosing what to write. I was picking up a piece from the top of the pile, and writing about that. I would ask God to bless it and write it.

Then after doing so many pushups, I was getting stronger but not becoming more brave. I was not brave enough to share the really good stuff. The stuff that was painful to share. That is where Cancer came in. Through Cancer, God made me brave.

Steve mentions in the video that once the hot liquid becomes solid, his job was to hit it with a sledgehammer. Wait….I’m having a Pat Benatar moment.

hitme

After about 3 weeks into Chemo, I would come home and pass out. It started off slow and was a gradual buildup of the toxins invading my body to kill that major toxin. Once I had more of the bad stuff in me, than good, God would hit me with his mighty hand.

Like a sledgehammer.

People would ask me what it felt like to have Chemo. I would sorta laugh and tell them, “It feels like being hit by something a lot bigger than me!” My God is big!

Steve would hit the block with a sledgehammer, to make sure it was solid. To make sure there were no air holes, or loose pieces. Then here comes the best part. If it passed the test….wait, did you get that? Let me write it in bold for ya….”If it passed the test…“, the block would continue down the conveyor belt and start receiving additional pieces.

Am I preachin good? We have to be solid before God will add anything else!!!

If you have made it this far into what I’ve been trying to share, you are a Badass! This is probably one of my longer ones, but it has been spirit led. I will not put any restraints on what God wants me to share. No more picking what to write from the top of the pile.

I know you have already spent a good chunk of your time with me, and I am grateful, but if you can spare 30 more minutes, here is the video by Steve Harvey. Be blessed.

Test of Faith

I haven’t had any reliable Internet the last couple of days. Seymour and I took off, and drove to the beach. We saw the ocean, but it was raining, so we didn’t get to enjoy it as we had planned. The trip wasn’t about walking on the beach. It was about all the time spent together in the car, sharing a room, and talking and listening to one another’s life stories.

As I was driving to my Mammogram appointment Thursday morning, all these recollections of my Breast Cancer journey came to mind. Driving down a country road, toward the city, I saw a slide show before me. Moments where my faith was tested, and I was ready to call it quits. Seymour mentioned that I suffered in silence, so why did I feel so exposed?

I arrived at my appointment, was escorted to a screening room, and stood before that massive machine for the first time in a year. The last time I was there, I could only hug it, and sob. This time was different. The technician had to keep moving the machine upwards to accommodate my height. I was stronger now, so maybe I was standing a little bit taller.

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The technician used the machine to take pictures of both breasts in 3D. When she was done, I went to sit in a private lounge, just for women waiting for the test, or the results.

I sat down across from a woman, I guessed to be retirement age. She had been crying, and was clutching the front of her gown, trying to keep it from falling open. I had been right where she was sitting, so I asked her, “Are you okay?” She started to cry some more.

She told me that she had been so faithful with her Mammograms. She had received one every year for as far back as she could remember. She was late in getting this one, and when she did, they saw something concerning. They had just done a more in depth one, and she was waiting to hear the next steps. She was at her beginning, and I was at my end.

The first thing I assured her of was, there is no such thing as ‘late’. You are here now, and that is all that matters. I shared the names of all my doctors with her, and she frantically took notes. The technician came back to get me, and as I left, I looked at her and said, “God bless you.” She whispered the same to me, and I told her, “He does everyday love.”

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My journey created a profound intimacy with God. It’s still there, even though my journey was coming to a close. God was getting ready to test my faith, as see what I had learned.

The technician escorted me to a different room, which I recognized immediately. There was the table I had laid on during my biopsy. She asked me to lay on the table, and open the right side of my gown. I laid down, and asked her, “You realize the lump was in my left?”

She said, “Oh I know Mrs. Holmes, but we saw something in the right that we need to take a closer look at.” My world stopped. I realized I had been so concerned about the left one, that I hadn’t paid much attention to the right. I felt the warm gel hit my breast, and the wand of the sonogram machine started sliding around. At that point, I lost all control.

I broke down, and started sobbing on the table. The female technician patted my arm, reassuring me that it was all okay. I told her, “I cannot do this again! I cannot go through it all again!!!” But you know what? If I needed to go through it again, God would be there. My next thought was, I would have both breasts removed, so at least I could come back as a 36C!

She completed the sonogram, and left the room to review the results with the Oncologist. When she returned, she exclaimed, “You are all good Mrs. Holmes! It’s only a cyst!” There was more than one test given here, and thanks be to God that I was able to pass ’em both.

Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, a recent Breast Cancer survivor, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com