Persevere Through Patience and Faith
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36 (NIV).
We often talk about when you walk through the doors of PWC you feel the Holy Spirit. Many of us often feel the Holy Spirit is speaking to us by sending a particular word, phrase, or bible verse to us that is instilled in our minds. This is when I believe God is pursuing us. God pursues us because we are important to Him, being created in His image.
“So, God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created, both male and female, He created them.” (Genesis 1:27 NIV).
God sometimes leads us into a challenge or challenges we are not expecting. This is what happened to me this summer.
I tested positive for COVID. I thought, this cannot be happening because I had been vaccinated, my husband and I had been very careful, avoiding large gatherings such as concerts, games and other events that would have allowed crowds of hundreds, but here I was, it was official, I had COVID. I admit, at first, I became frightened, a little unsure of what was happening, and then the reality sunk in. After the initial shock, I felt blessed in the fact that I was very fortunate that my case was very mild with only cold/allergy symptoms, a headache for two days and slight fatigue. I was very lucky, but I became a little overwhelmed. I also began to feel very impatient and anxious – that I needed to get well quickly – I could not be sick at this time as I needed to get back to work and I was nervous because I had to have two surgical procedures in a couple of weeks, and I was unsure how this would affect me. This was my mistake in feeling sorry for myself. What I needed to concentrate on was getting well, taking care of myself, turning my trust and hope toward God’s healing powers and turning my impatience into patience.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:12-13 NIV).
I finally relaxed and released my fears and despair that I was not healing as fast as I wanted, to the Holy Spirit. I know the Holy Spirit works in us and often, when we resist, we must accept that God has a plan, and our prayers will be answered in His time. I asked the Holy Spirit to provide me with strength, endurance, and patience to allow my body to heal.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” (Ephesians 6:10 NIV).
So, finally after two weeks, I tested negative for COVID. At last, I could return to work and get all preparations made prior to my surgical date. Of course, there was one hiccup … I needed to quarantine for one week prior to being allowed to proceed with the scheduled surgery. So, I needed to take another week at home and again, my anxiety rose, my impatience spiked, and I became disappointed. I was making it hard on myself in not releasing my anxiousness and fears over to God. I know He was with me but I was resisting giving up my control or so I imagined. The week went by very quickly and now we were checking in at the hospital. I know that as I went into surgery, I felt the Holy Spirit covering me with His powers of calmness, trust, and peace, and that is exactly what happened. The surgery was very successful, and I did not need additional stents. I was so relieved and grateful. Even though I had doubts and fears while I was recovering from COVID, I truly believe that the results of this procedure were answered prayers.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV).
One week following the heart procedure, I was checking into the surgical center for leg catheterizations on both legs. I was concerned that it may be too soon to have another procedure because within five weeks, I had suffered from COVID for two weeks, a heart catheterization and then leg catheterizations on both legs. Unfortunately, the leg procedure did not completely go as planned. Although, the doctor was able to clear blockages in my one leg, he was unable to reach the blockage in my other leg and I sustained some medical issues following the procedure. The recovery did not go as planned and I was not able to return to work until almost another two weeks. Again, I was not prepared for the result of this surgery. And, I am scheduled to have a third procedure in the next few months.
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. (2 Peter 1: 2 NLT).
The purpose of why I decided to share my medical events this summer, is to explain what I have missed during this time of quarantine, COVID and surgical recovery. Our country and community have been thrust into feeling abandoned, isolated, withdrawn from our families and friends, and unsure how we can return to some form of normalcy. I felt I was unable to fulfill my obligations at work, although I was assured I just needed to allow myself to heal but I struggled because I had no control over the situation. My daughters and granddaughter and their families, to keep their father, mother, grandmother, and grandfather safe due to health issues, have refrained from visiting us since the beginning of June. However, we did not have the opportunity for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter celebrations together this past year and we only had two times where the families brought the grandchildren over to swim this summer. Although, we face time with them, it is not the same. I want to hug my children and grandchildren. I want to be able to hug my friends without worry and I look forward to being able to gather -together, on a regular basis.
We recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of 911. I remember that day vividly and I recall where many of us all ran to — we ran to church. It was an automatic response. I ask myself then why didn’t we do the same with this crisis? I believe because the government and the media, provided us with instant information causing us to doubt, fear and become anxious on the spread of the virus. Now, I do believe, the virus is spreading and will be with us for a long time. We will need to adapt to different measures of safety, but I want to encourage us to turn our trust and hope to our Heavenly Father. We need our faith; we need to have the courage to be cautious but without giving up our faith in the Almighty. He is always with us; we just need to listen.
Author, David Whyte, stated in his book entitled, CONSOLATIONS, the following definition:
“Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work, a future. To be courageous is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences”.
What I have learned: Turn impatience into patience; persevere through faith and become resilient which is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.
My final statement or hope to share with all of you is, as the song lyric says:
DO NOT BE AFRAID, FOR I HAVE REDEEMED YOU!