Sunday, November 26, 2017

How I Felt When Heaven Was Near

Looking back at October birthday photos, I laughed and realized they were a picture of how I felt this past year when Heaven was so near.

A year ago my prospects of enjoying this birthday were slim. In November 2016 my leukemia went from stage 0 to stage 3 and was moving fast to stage 4. Doctors forewarned me that with my genetic make up the leukemia would be fast and fatal.

Dan and I decided to enjoy Christmas with our family and share the diagnosis after the New Year. But, bad news went away and good news arrived in mid December 2016. A new drug was approved by the FDA which effectively controlled my type of leukemia. The week before Christmas Dan and I stood at our bed and prayed as I took the first of my daily three pills (one in the Name of the Father, another in the Name of the Son, and the last in the Name of the Holy Spirit). Voila! In two days my leukemia was shrinking away. In a few months my blood count was normal, and remains so.

So, this year I celebrated the birthday I never expected to see. I feel wonderful and healthy and alive!

Looking back, I must give praise to God for the gift of life He is giving me and answer the question: 

How did I feel when Heaven was near? 

JOY!!! That's how I felt. I didn't choose joy. Joy filled my heart with no effort on my part. Certainly, I had no strength at that time to muster up some fake joy. No. This joy was a joy like I had never felt in my earthly life. Heavenly joy that comes from the Spirit came to me as though Jesus was assuring me that I had a lot to look forward to in Heaven where there would be even more joy! I could hardly wait!!!
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy." James 1:2 (NIV)

PEACE. Absolute peace in the knowledge that I was on a trip to Heaven, that Jesus loved me, and that He alone would carry me there. Peace knowing that when I left this earth, He would care for all those who love me and who grieve my death. Peace knowing Jesus loved my family too. He would not take me away unless my husband and children would be all right without me.
"And the peace of God, 
which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind in 
Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 4:7

Happiness!!! Bordering on hilarity!!!  If my days were numbered, I didn't want to spend them sad. I wanted to be happy and surround myself with happiness. I laughed at the days ahead, knowing I was and will always be in the Hands of the only One Who gives perfect delight on this earth and in Heaven. 

  "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at days to come."
Proverbs 31:25 (NLT)

Thanksgiving. God tells us to thank Him for everything. So, I thanked Him for cancer. I thanked Him for the life lessons He would teach me on this journey, for the doors of ministry He would open, the hearts I might touch, the precious moments I had left with my family, the abundant life I had on earth, and the promise of eternal life in Heaven.  

And so I ask?

"Where, O death, is your victory? 
Where, O death, is your sting?" 
1 Corinthians 15:55 (NIV)

Death had no victory over me and it didn't even sting. God was so close I could touch Him. In God's Sovereignty, He allowed me to have cancer, and then He allowed me to be healthy again. Hallelujah! He has given me life. And you too. Let us determine to live our lives with joy, peace, happiness and thanksgiving. Let's fill the world with joy this Christmas season. Will you join me?

Splashing joyful, peaceful, happy, thankful serenity on your day today!

Merry Christmas!
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2 comments:

Elaine W. Miller said...

I'm thankful God thinks you still need me! I love living life with you and watching you grow into the woman God planned from before you were born. Wouldn't want to miss sharing our journeys together!

Elizabeth Sliwa said...

Death will never have the victory. Keep sharing your contagious JOY, we've much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.