~Phil. 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I love quaint bridges like the one in the photo! Bridges take you places – to places unknown. They lead you to new people, new adventures and new experiences. This bridge’s beautiful depiction of late Fall reveals the coming to an end of a season. It also seems to have an ominous feeling about it. What’s on the other side, I wonder? Where will it take me? Who will I meet? What adventures will there be? However, what is on the other side isn’t always what we expect. Oh how true that statement would come to be!
One of the many bridges of my marriage has led us to a place we had once visited. Well, not exactly but it had a twist to it. Our journey actually began in February 2008, when John was diagnosed with Colorectal cancer. After radiation, chemo, surgeries to remove the cancer, add and reverse a temporary ileostomy, and more chemo, he went into remission. The follow up colonoscopies had shown no return of cancer, but he did have a 2-inch tumor (benign) removed in 2015. (I might also add that he has multiple hernia surgeries.) These surgeries played havoc with his intestines, unbeknownst to us.
Since 2011, doctors monitored a spot, possibly Colitis but John never displayed any symptoms and was living what we thought was a perfectly normal life.
On May 21, 2018, my husband crossed a bridge which led to a painful journey leading to Crohn’s Disease. I should say rather, that we crossed it together. For those of you who know me, he is my right arm – the love of my life. The pain I feel may be quite different from his – but mine is deeply emotional and mental. :'( This devotional is to record what we have/are experiencing now that we have crossed that bridge. The season of John’s healthy life has come to an end. But the journey has revealed God’s love in a whole different way. John went in for yet another routine hernia operation. Everything came to a head a couple of days later. Crohn’s reared its ugly head and introduced itself in a most horrific way. The twist in the road passed that bridge was to reveal something we never could have imagined! In two months time, my healthy 178-lb. husband turned into a very weak, 133 lb. man! He was hardly recognizable to those friends he was closest to. It’s been a roller coaster ride, to say the least. Each day has been a challenge, both physically for him and emotionally and mentally for me.
So why do I write about this? I want to share with you that we are not alone in times like these. It is because of times like that our eyes are opened and we draw ourselves to the Saviour’s side. I thought I had been at His side when John had cancer in 2008! But it wasn’t like now.
The Lord has given me strength to write about this journey and my heart was pressed to write about today’s reading. It starts off with “Be careful for nothing” – a directive to take no thought of what’s happening – don’t dwell on it – don’t be overcome with the grief and burden of the day. [Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.] I felt, and sometimes still do, so alone because I was relying on my own efforts and power to overcome this trial. There’s nothing I could do – but I felt as though I had to do something! No matter what I did to assist John, it did not cure him. When I do feel that way now, I recognize it and turn my eyes on the Lord. I run to the Scriptures and find comfort and encouragement. I seek a friend’s encouraging words. All these things have been placed in my life for my good!
Despite this feeling of powerlessness, I knew that I could either rise above it with the Lord’s help or fall into a deep crevasse. Thank God for the encouragement of my dear friend – the lady who God used to lead me to Him! She helped me to focus on the Lord and not on my own capabilities. She has her own trials with Fibromyalgia and knowing the desperation that comes with chronic illness. I wanted to be like her – though times brought her down, she somehow managed to be encouraged in the Lord. She would point me to Him! Oh how I pray that you have a friend like that! 1 Pet. 5:7 encouraged me to cast my anxiety – my cares – upon Him because He cares for me!! God did not remove the trial … He did not heal John (at least not yet), but He did replace my anxiety with peace.
The Lord has encouraged me to get back to writing. I had neglected this blog for too long. Who would have thought that Crohn’s would be the cause of me resuming my love for writing. I will share with you, as time permits, my thoughts – my heart – and what the Lord has taught me through it all! I will share John’s journey. I hope and pray that should you be going through the hardest trial of your life, you would be encouraged to go to the Scriptures and allow the Great Physician to heal your spirit. Please pray for us and leave a comment should you need prayer and I will lift you up to the Shepherd of our souls!