About Me

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Rock Hill, SC, United States
"My heart is overflowing with a good theme. I recite my compositions concerning the King. My tongue is the pen of a ready writer." (Psalm 45:1) This verse has become a life verse for me. As I continue to walk it out, I realize this journey as a breast cancer survivor has changed me but does not define me. I remain the loved, chosen, redeemed and blessed child of the living God who supplies me daily with more hope, strength, grace and courage than I ever dreamed I could possess! God has been so good to me ... indeed my tongue is the pen of a ready writer ... poised to tell the story of my faithful Father! I love Him so!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Elevators, Starbucks & The Occasional Overnight Bag

Well, my goodness! Can you believe that today is the last day of September? Where did the month go? And, I've not blogged the entire time? While my fingers may have been silent my mouth hasn't! I've been doing a lot of talking and lots of ministry! Fun times!

But I've also had my share of quietness with my mind engaged and focused on prayer and journaling. You see, I've had some minor medical issues come up that will have to be taken care of and the appointments leading up to them were kind of stressful and yet strangely peaceful at the same time. This has no connection to my journey with breast cancer so I don't want you to worry about me. I'll get to those details in a bit but before I begin, I have a confession to make, well three confessions actually. Here goes ....

One ~ I don't ride elevators (extremely claustrophobic!)

Two ~ I love Starbucks (just because!)

Three ~ I can't tell a story without details (men you may want to skip this blog!)

Now, why in the world are these confessions important? That'd be because of how God met me in the midst of my recent stress and taught me something important with the first two of these completely unrelated dynamic of my life. The third one? Well, I just want to prepare you for what could be a lot of detail but don't worry, I don't charge for those! Ha!

It all began back in June when my doctor mentioned that since I'm on Tamoxifen and since that medicine can cause changes in a womans uterus he'd like to take a look, by way of ultrasound, and stay ahead of things. So we had the first ultrasound and, for crying out loud, he found a little something ~ a little polyp. Why'd we have to look? Ugh! Kidding.

So, we scheduled a second ultrasound which would use a contrast, of sorts, to get a better look at the area and to confirm that it was a polyp and not something serious. This ultrasound was to take place at a medical facility where I'd have to go to the fourth floor. Ugh! Being that I just confessed to you that I don't ride elevators, ever, can you say .... "where's the stairs?"

Well, I don't know exactly why,  but I felt determined in my heart that I would ride the elevator up to that appointment (like every other rational person) and so I spent the month leading up to it in prayer, asking for peace, strength, and courage to follow through with this resolve. Afterall, what's a little elevator ride in light of all that God has already delivered me from? Perspective, Cindy! Rational thoughts, Cindy! Get a grip, Cindy!

The night before the appointment, I had looked online to get the exact directions to the medical clinic and noticed that the website mentioned that patients were to park in the parking deck and take the elevator (in the parking deck) to the 3rd floor level; then, take the Skywalk across the street below to the medical plaza and take the lobby elevator up to the 4th floor. Seriously, God? Really? Two elevators?

I remember, asking Him if it would be cheating to just PARK on the 3rd level of the parking deck and avoid that particular elevator all together! Not hearing an immediate response, I decided that would be exactly what I would do. I also had decided that since I was determined to ride the one elevator up to the doctor I would go prepared, you know in case the unthinkable happened? Like doors closing and not opening again! Ah! I can't hardly bear that thought! But, I digress!

As I was saying I decided to go prepared so I packed my attractive book satchel ~ the big one! Inside, I had my Bible (and it's kind of big), my journal, a pen, my fully charged (that's very important!) iPod with earbuds, my wallet and my cell phone (also very important!). But I stopped short at the Tylenol PM and the water to swallow it. I decided it might be cheating to carry those things! Besides, it was already heavy enough anyway. LOL! I'm serious though when I say I considered it ~ at great length!

The morning of the appointment, I was at home, alone, enjoying some quiet time with the Lord and was feeling so strengthened and peaceful in His presence even in light of what may lay ahead. During that time, I felt the Lord speaking into my heart, with His usual tenderness, saying that it would be okay to take the stairs; that my love for Him is not proven by riding an elevator & that He is mindful of man and remembers that I am dust. I felt no shame, only acceptance by Him even in the midst of my inner struggle and I remember, saying out loud to Him, "God, when I'm done can I just have a Starbucks! In fact, lets just fast forward to the Starbucks part? K?"

Well, the car ride over was uneventful and I found the 3rd floor nearly deserted of cars so parking was easy ~ just a few paces from the Skywalk. Onward! The Skywalk was quite lovely, too, taking me over the road and into the medical plaza and just as I walked down the final incline which emptied into the lobby of the medical plaza what do I see before me? Did you guess it? Well, let me just tell you. A Starbucks! There those big, green letters straight ahead of me were spelling out the name and marking the place! What?!?! Right there in the middle of the medical plaza atrium?

I said under my breath but I think it was kind of out loud, and I wonder if anyone heard, "God, do You see that? I just mentioned that, remember? Of course You do. Is that my treat after this day is over?" He's so good to us right on down to noticing the things of this tough world that mean a little something to us; those little things that have no eternal value but still He can, and sometimes does, use them to give us a little wink and a heavenly kiss; a little bit of affirmation and comfort. What a loving Father!

Feeling a renewed sense of determination, I turned to the elevator and got in, with well-packed and heavy bag in hand, and I submitted to the doors being closed for my short ride up. I submitted to the momentary loss of control which is really the heart of my issue. I remember the young woman who got in with me and vaguely remember thinking, "this poor woman has no idea what a nut she is cooped up in here with!"

When the doors opened, I was trembling from head to toe. I don't know if anyone could see it except for the woman at the reception desk asking me to put my hand on the palm scanner. I'm sure she couldn't miss it. I slapped that hand down quickly just from the sheer need to steady it and all the while, my soul was feeling so victorious. Yep, I may have been shaking in my armor but I felt victorious!

Victorious because I had crushed the enemy's head. It's a big deal, too, when we are able, through the One who lives within us, to take the tormentor down a notch; to get that front row seat and watch as the Creator of the ends of the earth releases the unhealthy grip the enemy has on us. The enemy has no authority in our lives. Oh he tries, yes, but "...greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4) That is how much He loves us! He does not leave us ~ never, not ever! He is our valiant Warrior! How good is our God!

So, I learned something in all the silliness of that day doing something that, for most of you, would have been a non-issue. And that thing that I learned is that my God is mighty! Of course, I already know that but it's always helpful to be reminded in such a tangible, personal way because the irrational nature of fear in the first place is one of distorting the truth. Proverbs 2:25 says "Do not be afraid of sudden fear...". I read this the other day, several days after my elevator ride, and it really struck me. Do not be afraid of fear. Fearing fear. What a vicious, irrational cycle we can find ourselves in but the next verse (v26) begins by saying "For the Lord will be your confidence..." Love that truth!

You see, the enemy wants to steal my faith. The enemy wants to steal my trust. And, he wants to steal yours too. Thing is, he just can't have it because I also learned that if the unthinkable were to happen in an elevator, even there, in that little cramped place, my God would be right beside me, upholding me, comforting me and maybe even counting out the change for my Starbucks treat once I'm safely delivered back out into the hallway. I learned that the momentary confinement of an elevator taking me where I need to be is nothing compared to the bondage of believing a paralyzing lie straight from the enemy of my soul.

So, now I want to ask you. What is the bondage that is holding you bound in your life? What is it, that at the very thought of it, turns your blood cold? Can I encourage you to give it to the Master and let Him help you with it? Your situation, your fear, may not dissolve overnight. It's a work in progress to surrender that "thing" unto Him but come along with me, and though we may tremble again at the sight of our giant(s), we can be determined to press on and trust Him. That's what I intend to do!

By the way, my appt went well, the polyp was confirmed and my surgery is scheduled. I rode the elevator back down, because after all ~ what goes up must come down ~ and, I got my Starbucks afterward, too. I admit that I immensely enjoyed my "Venti, Non-Fat, Upside-down, Caramel Macchiato".  Yummy!

I will have minor outpatient surgery on Monday, Oct 3rd. If I happen to cross your mind around 12:30 pm (ET) on Monday, I'd appreciate your prayers. After that, it's onward to my sons wedding on Oct 23 and by that time the reheasals will be in full swing for the 2011 opening of "The Real Christmas Story" at Narroway Productions (showing in Nov and Dec). Then, before we know it, we'll be buying our 2012 calendars.

But, for today, on this last day of September, I simply want to remember to be thankful that God is faithful! He loves me! He's in control! My life is in His hands and He's in the middle of my right now moment! I pray you find Him in the middle of yours!

Cindy K