Saturday, September 12, 2015

When You Want to Shout "Praise the Lord!" in the Checkout Line at Target...

Be on the lookout for miracles. God answers prayers at every turn. And when you see a miracle, shout your thanksgiving from the roof tops!
                                                              -Anne Lamott, Wow! Thanks!, Help!

I have been holding my breath for some time. I have also been praying non-stop for those I love who have been facing huge challenges. I believe in the power of prayer and when people I love are up against it, I pray. I pray on and off all day long. I pray in the shower and when I start my car. And I contact all of the prayer warriors I know and ask them to pray.

Some of you might think this is overkill, but when the Bible says..."when two or more of you gather together...pray." Well, I take that seriously. I have a prayer list and every morning I thank God for all of His blessings and then I say, "Help!" "Please help!"

This past week was a time of reckoning for several people...medical tests and then results. 
In both cases, the previous results had not been what was hoped for. Both people are dear to me, sisters in Christ. Since I am a "feeler" I walked around all week just feeling grateful for God's love and while I trust God, I was honestly scared about the ..."What ifs?"

One of these folks that I love so much has had several miscarriages and was pregnant again. She had an ultrasound set up.

The other, my dear friend Vicky Westra, has stage four breast cancer and has been doing chemotherapy, the kind that makes you so sick you can barely live your own life. 
Both women love God and inspire others with their courage. Yet faced with test results, everyone has had a lump in their throat. Quite honestly, I haven't slept very well all week.

Waiting. Asking God for healing! Praying some more.

Wednesday night...a text...they could see the baby and hear the heart beat. I was so thrilled knowing how relieved their whole family must be. I kept thanking God for this huge blessing.

One down, one to go.

If you have followed my blog you have read about my dear friend, Vicky Westra. Vicky is battling Stage Four breast cancer and has had signs of cancer in so many places in her body. She even has had two tumors in her brain. Her beloved oncologist, Dr. Panawalker, recently put her on a horrible, unthinkable dosage of chemotherapy. Vicky has been so sick and so drained. This week she had a Pet Scan to detect cancer and an MRI to look at the brain tumors.

Vicky is truly an inspiration to so many people. She has a team of prayer warriors and I'm just one of them. However Vicky feels like a soul-sister to me. I have been praying 24/7 for a miracle, for 
good results and progress in this fight for more time for my dear friend.

Wednesday Vicky and her husband Rick were to meet with 

Dr. P to get the results. I was so relieved about the news for my other dear friend, and I just kept asking God for good news for Vicky!

And God answered my prayer and the prayers of so many others. In some cases where a previous PET scan had shown cancer, there was no sign of cancer at all. In other cases the cancer was minimized or reduced. Praise God! And Vicky's MRI brain scan shows that the two tumors in her brain are shrinking.

It's working. All of the awful side effects of these rounds of chemo are horrible, but the chemo is helping to kill the cancer. Yet Vicky is realistic. She pays a huge price to take this chemo. It is taking a huge toll on her body and energy. More prayers are needed. Yet what a VICTORY! Vicky will have more time with her beloved family- husband Rick and her sons Nolan and Colton.

When I started to read Vicky's latest post about her "Results..." I found myself stopping and saying a prayer. My heart was in my throat as I read the words aloud.

And amidst a flood of tears I just kept saying "Praise the Lord!" All day long, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. "God answers prayers!"...oh yes He does. Sometimes...not always the way we would like. This time...truly a miracle!

Later in the day I was at Target getting some supplies for the start of the school year.  One of the checkout folks is always so cheerful and I love to go through her line. As I had been going around the store I found myself both humming and singing some of my favorite faith songs. The song Amazing Grace kept coming back to me and I was quietly singing those words as my cart coasted into Annie's checkout line.

Annie took one look at the grin on my face and said, "Wow! It looks from your smile like you won the lottery!"

"Even better," I said. I told her a short and summarized version of the miracles...the baby's heartbeat and Vicky's story. I told her about the latest PET Scan and MRI results.

Annie kept checking out my items, you could hear each one being price checked, and simultaneously she was crying. She is a faith-based gal who loves God and shares His love and glory and grace right there in that checkout line.

"Oh my mercy," she said grinning. "Isn't this just a 'Praise the Lord!' moment!"

I told her that I agreed completely. "To God be the Glory!," no matter where you are.

So right there, at the South Hill Target checkout stand in Spokane, Washington, Annie and I looked at each other, grinned and let out a "Praise the Lord!" And then we started laughing and smiling.

It was our way of thanking God Almighty for His love and kindness. It was our way of saying...

"Thanks, Lord, for Vicky's miracle. Thanks Lord, for that baby's beating heart!"

And yes, as Vicky reminds me... All Shall be Well!...and it is!

God Bless!

Love Linda


Vicky said...

Sweet soul sister~ now you have left ME in tears! I am so deeply humbled, and grateful and blessed beyond words. Love it- singing God's praise with the check out clerk- priceless! So much love to you- always!

And so touched to hear that your friend heard a heartbeat! Praying for continued healthy growth of the baby, and strength to the dear woman, and for a joy-filled pregnancy!

Jackie said...

Amen....and amen.
Praise our Lord and thanks to Him for ALL things.

Jackie said...

Tuesday evening
Continually praying for your daughter.

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