Give me a word, Lord: THE ROAD TO TRANSFORMATION RUNS THROUGH THE TUNNEL OF TRIBULATION

Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Jeremiah 30:17 But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds declares the Lord.

I Corinthians 10:13-14 No temptation has overtake you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.           

My husband, Jeff, and I have a small farm in the north end of the county. Jeff has raised beef cattle for much of his life, and a few years ago we decided to buy a few chickens. At the time we didn’t realize that the chickens would be the gateway drug to this way of living that we now call life. Through the years, we have obtained, bartered, sold, bought, and traded a menagerie of animals. We have or have had fainting goats, sheep, cattle, ducks, chickens, geese, guineas, pheasants, 2 kangaroos, deer, skunks, possums, a fox, lemurs, coatimundis, raccoons, flying squirrels, squirrels, Patagonian cavy, prairie dogs, alpacas, peacocks, rabbits, dogs, cats, and the list goes on and on! Through my experiences as a nurse practitioner, farmer, wife, mama, and grandma, God has blessed me tremendously. Every year, I have found myself growing closer and closer to God, and every year, He just keeps on blessing me more and more. It’s amazing how that works, isn’t it?

From the outside looking in, it looks like my life is a bed a roses, right? I mean really, I’ve got the best husband in the world, a lovely home, farm, critters galore, children, family, friends, an awesome job, and I was allowed to publish a few books. Roses! Well, yes, but everybody knows to get to the rose, you have to encounter a few thorns. Boy oh boy, have I encountered a few thorns.

At the age of 11, my mother and father divorced. I think that my mom thought that she had missed out on life by marrying at a young age and having four daughters practically back to back, and she wanted to get out there and live it up. She unfortunately fell into the trap of alcoholism, and alcohol then controlled her for most of her life. I watched my mother tragically go through so many different relationships, and she struggled to keep a relationship with her children and her family. She was able to function as a nurse for many years despite the alcoholism. I saw so many things in her life that just scared me to death and made my heart hurt to the core. My mother wanted to be free of the alcohol, but the alcohol had control over her life. I prayed for her and her addiction, I cried over it, and I wanted to see her break free of those chains that bound her. It was a very long, hard road for her. There was so much loss in her life, so many trials that defeated her, but still despite all of the terrible things going against her, she had two things in her corner: the love of children that just wouldn’t go away and prayed over her daily and a God that is bigger than any addiction.

At age 57, (that’s just 3 years older than I am right now), my mother finally broke those chains. She finally went into a rehab after making a heart decision. She wanted to stop drinking for herself and for her family. She wanted to break free of this dependence so that she could enjoy her family, her children, and her grandchildren. She didn’t go to rehab this time because someone made her. She did it for herself and her family and it worked. She remained alcohol free for the last two years of her life. I lost my mom at the age of 59. She fell down her steps and broke both ankles and subsequently suffered a pulmonary embolism. I received a phone call from my uncle at 10:30 pm on April 3, 2004. She was staying at my uncle’s home after her fall down the stairs. She was in cardiac arrest. I arrived at his home and performed CPR on my mother until the paramedics arrived, but it was too late. She was already gone. Oh, I’ve cried my share of tears over this loss, but more than tears I rejoice because in her case, I know that the arms of the Lord are around her right now, and that one sweet day, I will see her again.  That gives me peace that transcends all understanding. I know she was a believer. I’ve read the journal that she wrote through rehab, and I have no doubt that she is in heaven, and I praise God that He gave us those last two years we had with her before her death.

Addiction has touched all of our lives, but we must remember that nothing is too hard for God. He will take what is broken and restore it. He is there, waiting, waiting for you to call on Him. I didn’t plan to share these words today. I actually kind of fought it, but the Holy Spirit kept nudging me to write this so I think perhaps someone needed to see this today. Whether you are one that is currently struggling with addiction, a recently recovered addict, or you have a family member dealing with addiction, I have found through my life experiences that there is only one cure and that cure comes from FAITH in the Lord Jesus Christ. When you are overwhelmed with health problems, bad news, or relationship struggles, the Word of God can be your source of supernatural help. Praying and talking to Jesus about my problems gives me strength that I could never finding in myself alone! So don’t give up! Always remember that the road to transformation must run through the tunnel of tribulation. This is so true! Remember my earlier reference regarding roses and thorns? It’s kind of the same thing. What I’m saying is this time may be painful, full of trials and tribulations, but just keep remembering in the end the transformation will be like that of a beautiful rose. God promises greater things in store – a future filled with promise and hope!

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