Who do you see when you see me?

So for the past several of years I have been struggling with identity issues. I couldn’t tell you who I was or wasn’t because I had the reel of other’s story of me playing as a soundtrack in my head.

Shortly before the pandemic I realized for certain who I wasn’t and in that realization it caused my marriage to fall completely a part with no hopes of repair. It caused me to need therapy, spiritual counseling and ultimately lead to me having Stage 4 Breast Cancer.

The internal struggle I encountered was mental, spiritual and emotional. You wouldn’t know by looking at me that I was going through the hardest times in my life over the past 5 years but I was.

Last night I was confronted with the reality that no matter how much I embrace who I am and the strides I have made to become confident in who God created me to be that I will make others uncomfortable. It’s a painful reality actually. I live my life to come in alignment with who God says I am, how He wants me to live my life and His direction. My submission to this design is something that has kept me safe, filled with peace and a joy I can never explain. It ultimately saves my life on a daily basis.

You don’t have to know me or my story to see that God loves me. It’s written on my smile, it’s covered in my words, it wraps you when we embrace and above all it transforms those who seek Him when we are in each other’s presence.

I am the essence of God, my Father-Creator-The lover of my soul, my story and will never stop seeking His validation more than anyone else as long as I live. This my friends is what it means to be a living sacrifice for God.

Today I pray that as you navigate the challenges your life brings that you understand that nothing lasts for ever besides God. This body we live in will decay, the riches and fame you obtain will not be able to go with you, your legacy is your character, your impact and how you allowed God to use you while you were here.

I love you more than words. Can’t wait to see how God moves in your life because it’s blows my mind how He moves in mine.

FLASHBACK…for my…COMEBACK

Over a year ago I was extremely bedridden and wasn’t able to do much for myself. The pain I was experiencing was something that only drugs could mask but God could heal. I am prayed daily for His covering and direction as I had to navigate my life. I struggled so much. I was angry that all the therapy and other work I was doing didn’t seem to keep me from being the sickest I have been in my life that is jeopardizing my life.

The more I thought about it the more I realized that at some point something has to shift. I didn’t know what didn’t know how and didn’t know when but it couldn’t continue.

It has been 255 days that I have been diagnosed. It’s been such a surreal journey that I can’t really explain. I have been beside myself trying to wrap my head around what has been going on.

Today I had a moment in time that reminded me that in my stillness I am able to find peace.

Hope heals

On this journey to healing with hope I realize that my mind-body-soul have been struggling. I am back state side and looking at my life to see what I can shift and add hope where things feel hopeless.

Hope is defined by a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen even having trust.

I am focusing on how to infuse my life with more hope these days. I know it means asking God to help me navigate these things.

Balance and alignment in life helps restore trust and brings more hope that I need.

A heartbeat away

My son is my heartbeat walking outside of my body. He embodies everything I never thought I could be or do. While I am away receiving treatment it’s so challenging to navigate his teenage hormonal mood and frustrations with an ill mother. I just want to get better so I could be close to him…not just physically but also emotionally because he seems to be shutting me out to protect what he feels a pain that he is going to endure.

Sometimes when I wake up I have to remind myself that I am a 14 hour time difference away from my son. I want to hear his voice and tell him how much I love him. In those moments I feel a rush of emotions, my heart beats faster than usual and my mind races with all the things a mom thinks about when she thinks of her child.

Today I just remind myself that my son no matter how near or far is really only a heartbeat away from me and I will be able to hold him in my arms soon and hear his voice sooner.

I don’t think I can ever get use to the idea of my son being so far away. Lord help me.

Notification

It’s so funny how we have become a culture of notifications to let us know what is going on. Whether it’s a text message, an alert about the weather, stock market really anything. The one thing our devices don’t give us an notification on is where our heart is and when it needs some work.

SO let’s consider this a notification for you to check your heart. Not because I know you personally but because I know me pretty well and I often need a heart check, I need a check in with God for where it’s focused and where it needs a tuneup.

So here is how I do my heart notification check

God am I responding to people in a way that honors Your child?

God am I taking care of myself they way you designed me to?

God where do I need improvement?

Though they aren’t always pleasant answers they give me a great pulse on where God and I stand. If I am clear on that it helps me make all the choices I need to as the hours, days and weeks go. I am nothing close to where God wants me I am sure but the notifications allow me to do updates and clean up if I need to.

I am so grateful for who God is in my life and that I have the ability to go directly to Him and ask Him to help me. The beauty is that you also have this ability. Don’t take it for granted.

Broken Hearted

As the background song plays ‘Where do broken hearts go’ by Whitney Houston. My heart is torn and into a million pieces. The lyrics jump out at me

“Where do broken hearts go? Can they find their way home…Back to the open arms…Of a love that’s waiting there?….And if somebody loves you…Won’t they always love you?”

I am acutely aware that this is a love song written for a man and woman but found those lyrics to be spot on for any type of love loss.

This weekend I got hit with an emotional Mack truck. I am in Thailand receiving treatment for this awful diagnosis and was also confronted with past emotional turmoil that began to burn at both ends for attention.

It’s almost midnight and I sit here with so many thoughts running through my mind. They are all so common for me and familiar I just don’t want to have them connected to me any more. I call out to God because let’s face it the loneliness time of the day is when you are alone and all the contacts in your phone are just not available for you… it’s lonely mentally to navigate. It’s emotionally a struggle to make sense of what is going on and it’s physically heavy. The good news is that God hears the cry. He places people, phrases, songs and His word in position to remind that alone is just a state of being for a moment.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23:1-3

He says in His word He will lead me and refresh my soul so today I before I lay my head down I pray for a refreshed soul, mind, body and spirit. Whatever and where ever I am out of spiritual alignment with God I pray He help me work it out and quickly.

Broken hearts take time to mend but God is the greatest physician and I trust Him with my EVERYTHING.

Week 2 do what You Do!

I am back in Bangkok after spending a weekend resting in Pattaya. I am super hopeful about this week of treatment.

So I am grateful for week 1 because it held up a mirror to areas I need to work on. I will not give up, I will not back down, I was designed to win and be victorious. I will armor up and hit the battlefield. Letting my life continue to be a outward expression of God’s compassion, truth, love and healing power. My faith is not in the treatment alone but in God’s desire for me to experience Him in a new way.

This week I plan to attack this week in full armor of God and prayed up beyond measure. I didn’t know what to expect last week but now I understand how intense it is to really fight for your life in treatment. SO many conversations internally trying to figure out if I even wanted to make it to this point.

Here is what I have learned about myself

  1. I need God more than I ever thought to do things I never thought I could do.
  2. I am absolutely only as strong as I allow God to be in me
  3. That I miss my son every second of everyday and a telephone call doesn’t fix it
  4. My expectations are usually off when it comes to human capacity
  5. Creating – writing and painting have been an absolute must for me to continue strong

Until next time journey companions I wish you the best on your journey. As my mom says “Chin Up!” Love you more than you will ever know.

In a Thai minute

So last night Thailand time / middle of the morning LA time I wake up in a cold sweat. I felt so alone. Sat up on the pull-out sofa only to see a table of freshly made veggies and chicken with a bowl of soup left for me.

I ate and scrolled the web for what sites I want to see while I am not in treatment. Did I mention that I am not in Bangkok – I am Pattaya – which is about 1.5 hours away near the gulf of Thailand.

Ok so there were two sites I am confident I want to see here one is the Sanctuary of Truth and the second is an Elephant Village. I began to get excited about getting my treatments during the day and returning to here on the weekends and soak up some of the sites and really enjoy my time in nature and culture.

I read so much about the sites I learned more than I earned for.

The Sanctuary of Truth is a castle that they started construction in 1981. That was 42 years 8 months 9 days (as listed on the their site). Then my brain started spinning and took a run down a rabbit hole to when I was born until now  was 41 years, 4 months and 5 days ago, which is 15,103 days. Ok… now this is becoming more and more of a must see in my book.

As I continued on the page I learned this is the largest wooden castle in the world. Then this extremely jaw dropping sentence:

Everyone will find the meaning of life that “Who are we, where did we come from? how to live How will life go on? and what is the purpose of life?”

What a sentence… Everyone will find the meaning of life… Who are we, where do we come from, how to live, how will life go on, what is the purpose of life…I mean this really sums up what fighting a deadly diagnosis makes you think about…”How can this one site add so much value to my healing” I think immediately.

Then it goes on to have a page about discovering (which while writing this my hand immediately put discerning-note to self) the truth. Discovering the Truth… it’s a 7 pillar situation so here are the cliff notes

Truth #1 “Who are we?  Where are we from?”
Four elements formed- earth, water, wind, and fire! Bringing light to the equality of human beings different in races, religions, or conditions, but we all have the same destination in the end.

Truth # 2 “How do we live our lives?” The natural law of life.  The human life cycle of birth, aging, and pain that common nature will.

Truth #3 “The End of Life”. The final stage of a life cycle is “death” – What is left behind are those things accomplished for others once you.

Truth #4 “Samples of Civilization” Each story and goodness still affect the lives of the next generation.

Truth #5 “What is a life goal?”  show a path of answer guidelines for practice 

Truth #6 “Society is like a two-sided coin” represent the guidance path of how to compromise and what shall happen if we choose not to do.

Truth #7 “The beginning of society” Family represents the bond between people in the family which reminds us of the true love of parents, what they had sacrificed, and what have we done for them.

So I listed all of these to then tell you how my imagination went on an adventure. I imagined I was loved completely by a man, I made cake that others enjoyed and invested their time in learning and I was surrounded by community. IT was part of my own truth that I needed to come to grips with…I may have not figured that out without surfing the web to find sites to see.

Until tomorrow my lovely friends. Sending all the love in the world right to your heart.

The adventure continues.

Pause! Stop! Wait a minute!

So this morning I landed in Hong Kong… it was dark, the airport was empty and I really needed a charge on my devices … LITERALLY nothing was working. I was reminded to just BREATHE!

All my planning didn’t prepare me for these moments. IN a new place, unfamiliar faces and spaces and a huge language barrier doesn’t help me achieve what I need to.

My new reality is that I am a stranger in a strange land and don’t know the language. I log onto the wifi via my laptop and start trying to figure things out but it takes over an hour and I am rapidly learning that a lot of my favorite sites and ways to communicate will not work. After hours of trying different things find a moment to just take in the reality that I am on an adventure of a lifetime.

I am in China – headed to Thailand for an increased quality of life with the hope that God sees fit to let me see healing on this side of heaven.

There aren’t enough words to express all of what I am feeling at this moment but I will say having my computer is giving me the freedom to at least release creatively. I am going to spend a lot of time with God during this trip. I am going to connect with my dad also which is an adventure in and of it’s self if you know us.

The thing / person I miss most right now is my little guy. I am so excited to get better and go back home and love on him more than he can even imagine.

Well – now it’s time to wonder the airport and see what I can see. Until the next post – pray for me and I will pray for you.

Hong Kong Airport