My Pneumonia Journey

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Hey guys, this post will be a little long as I want to share with you what happened today.

As many of you know I suffered through pneumonia from February to like May of this year with several doctor visits and oh so many pokes, prods, X-rays, CT scans and blood work. But through it all a spot remained on my right lung. So in order to determine whether it is residual bacteria from the pneumonia, cancer, or some scar tissue since I did bruise the cartilage between my ribs from coughing so much they scheduled me with a biopsy.

Today, was the day for my lung biopsy.

I arrive at the hospital around 7:30 this morning, get signed in and head to the day surgery floor. I get into my room and put on the crazy gown for hospital stays. Then the wait begins.

A nurse finally comes in to put in my IV and says the doctor will be in shortly. Well, we all know what that means…so I lay back while watching Supernatural. I am almost asleep when she comes in due to the fact I was so nervous about the procedure I didn’t sleep last night. But anyway, she says she would like to do a new X-ray to ensure that the dark spot on my lung was in fact still there. Of course, I’m in agreement.

But before she leaves she let’s me know that she does not want to do a biopsy because my lungs are so thin…they could puncture. She then says there is another procedure where they forcefully flush water into your lungs, hitting the walls. Then they would suction out the water along with the cells that come off the walls and then send the cells off to be tested. I’m like I like that one better 🙂

But…prayer works folks!

When she viewed the new X-ray she comes in and says that the mass (whatever it is) has shrunk in size and that the darkness has lessened. She then states that she wants to do a new CAT Scan to give her a better view and to compare it to the one I had done back in May.

So out with the IV, on with the clothes and down to the 2nd floor and wait. The doctor said that she would call me after viewing the results to discuss options.

She actually called while I was napping. But I called her back and she goes let’s just do a follow up CAT Scan in a month because the one from today looks amazingly well. She said it has shrunk drastically in size but because I am a smoker she still has concerns, hence the reason for the follow up.

Guys, thank you immensely for your prayers! They are being answered!!

 

I Believed I Was His Every Fantasy Come True ~ A Letter From A Wife

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An email received led to a night of tears and prayer for this couple.

Please know each one of these I post hurt me deeply as I know several of these women that send me emails explaining their hurt from their spouses porn usage…so therefore..I know their husband as well.

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My first experience with pornography came when I was about seven years old. My brother and I found my dad’s “stash” hidden in a closet. As I grew up, I heard my mother and father fight a lot—often about porn. For my father, watching pornography led to physical cheating, which eventually led to the end of my parents’ marriage. It also broke my faith in men in general. I saw my father get to the point that preferred a fantasy to what he actually had.

I knew that my brothers also viewed porn regularly, and I grew to believe that it was just something guys did. I felt that most men did it, but I held out hope that I would find a man who would see me as enough for him. I found that man in my husband.

I married my best friend. A man I trusted with my heart and my body. I believed that I was his every fantasy come true. I was wrong.

The first time I caught him looking at porn I was pregnant for the first time. I’ll never forget that moment, when I accidentally clicked on the history button instead of bookmarks. I’ll never forget the anger. I’ll never forget the sick feeling in my gut. The hollowness that comes when the rug is pulled completely out from under you. I drove for hours, crying and debating about what to do. Finally, I confronted him. Crying.

Apologies. He knew he’d hurt me, and he was genuinely sorry. It took a little while, but I managed to put it behind me. We shouldered forward. I told myself that it was over and done. He wouldn’t do that to me again. Once again, I was wrong.

Pornography continues to be an issue in our marriage. How does it affect us? I do not trust the man I married. I can’t tell you how hard it is to give myself to someone that I know has been lusting after other women. Every time he asks for sex, I do it. But not because I want to. I do it because I’m afraid that if I don’t, he’ll go look at porn. Each time we have sex, I remember that I’m not the only one who turns him on. If he closes his eyes, I wonder if he’s pretending I’m someone else. When he tries a new “move” or position, I wonder where he learned it. Every aspect of our sex life is tainted.

I find myself studying my reflection in the mirror. Instead of the body that carried and delivered our children, one that should be revered and cherished, I see only flaws. I find myself wondering if someone else might appreciate it more. I would never cheat, but I know that I’m vulnerable. If a man made me feel beautiful again, I know that I’d be tempted.

Calendar Marks Of Clean Days & Bad Days

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Man, something hit me hard this morning. Out of the freaking blue, a vision of a calendar pops into my head. Not just any calendar mind you. It was one I kept while I was in school…way back in high school one year.

This vision made me teary eyed. I’m sure it was the enemy trying to stick another knife in my heart…but it was just so random. So I go and ask God why this and why now. But before I share what he showed me, allow me to share with you…my calender…

Like I said… it’s not just any calendar. This one was not hanging on my wall. It was hidden so my mom wouldn’t ask any questions about it.

You see this calendar had little boxes, that I made, on the bottom row of each day. And each box would either be blank or it might have a S or a M in it. If you use your imagination you can probably guess what I’m about to say.

So yeah…the S stood for sex and the M stood for masturbation…

Good grief, I’m really putting myself out there right now and how messed up I was as a teen.

That calendar was a place of selfishness and pride. A place I put how many times I had sex or masturbated every day for a year. I don’t remember how many of each were there but I do know there were many days where there were multiple S and M letters.

Oh God forgive me, was the first thing out of my mouth after saying where the freak did that come from. Another one of those things I either had forgotten about or blocked.

Now, here is what God told me after I asked why this and why now.

Calendars are a good thing in and of themselves, as they allow us to keep track of appointments, birthdays, meetings and such. But they can be both bad and good in certain scenarios. One scenario in particular is what was brought to me.

I know many men, not sure on the woman side of this, who use a calendar to keep track of how many days they have not watched porn or masturbated.

This can be a good thing if their heart is in the right place. And I know several men who have successfully navigated this area not with pride but humbleness and prayer. But it could be a bad thing if they look at that calendar with an attitude of look what I have done. I can say that from experience because that was me while trying to stop on my own.

It can be a great way of keeping track of how God IS working in your life towards freeing you if there are more marks of whatever you use to show the no porn or no mastubation for that week, month, or year.

But it could, at the same time, be a source of self condemnation if there are more marks of porn usage or masturbation than days of celibacy. That ole saying the devil uses of “See I told you that you couldn’t do it”, can wreak havoc on recovery to the point of actually giving up and giving in.

My freedom came when I stopped keeping track. Yeah, I fell. Sadly, many times. But I kept going. And I’m still going…one day at a time.

Stay focused on your relationship with God. Read your Bible. Pray. Talk with you accountability partner.

If you do use a calendar don’t let doubt and condemnation cloud your mind if you have to out that “bad” mark down. Instead, be thankful and praise God that He did leave you where you were, that you have been redeemed, and that He loves you.

Whatever method you use… DON’T give up…there is freedom!

 

Those Who Wait On The Lord

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But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 

I so needed this reminder today as I am struggling with some things on many different levels…

I need my strength renewed…

I can’t afford to grow weary…

Celebrate Recovery Is For Everyone

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Why do people still believe Celebrate Recovery is just for addicts? Is it because they have seen the movie Home Run? Did they go to that bathroom or something during testimony night in the film, where the main character’s sister-in-law speaks of her sexual abuse as a child? Or could it be because everyone thinks only addicts need recovery?

I’ve been going to Richland Celebrate Recovery since it began at my church six years ago, with the exception of a small hiatus. I’ve seen many people come and go over the years for various reasons; mostly, because they move back home upon coming out their recovery program.

I’ve written about CR (Celebrate Recovery) many times on my blog and I talk a lot about it in general, yet people still see it as a place for addicts. Let me say for the record…yes, addicts attend CR, BUT that is NOT all it is about.

Here is what Celebrate Recovery is…

It is a Christ centered program for people. PEOPLE!

It’s not just for the addict…it’s for the hurting, the lonely, the habitual sinner, the depressed and the list can go on and on. It’s a place for people with hurts, habits and hang-ups. It’s a place for healing.

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When I started going to CR it was basically to help as a volunteer for our church’s newest ministry. I had heard about it and supported it. Little did I know…I needed it for me.

At the time I was going through my separation/divorce, not being able to see my kids everyday, depression, anger and trying to stop a long struggle with viewing porn and low self-esteem among other things.

I would have gone absolutely bat crazy had it not been for CR and the conversations and prayer from dear friends during all that.

Here’s the thing. A lot of people who struggle, with anything, sometimes feel as if they are the only ones dealing with that particular issue. And many of them feel that if they share their struggle with anyone, they will be looked upon differently…basically judged. And yet we can’t judge and here is why…we are all sinners and fall short of the glory God.

God sees no sin greater than the other, yet He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for all. All is all, no matter what it is. It could be adultery, drinking in excess, lying, sexual immorality, gluttony, murder, stealing, idolatry, etc.

The thing is, if we are honest with ourselves, we all have hurts, we all have habits that may not follow in line with scripture, and we all have hang-ups of some form or fashion.

CR is for everyone!

I go for the worship and message and still feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit to repent of something or to make amends with someone.

It’s honestly hard to explain. Heck, we have a 70-year-old lady who attends and our youngest is a 17-year-old  young lady. Everyone gets something out of the message no matter what they are going through at that moment. That’s just how God works.

The small groups are more intimate and allows each person the chance to either share how the message applies to their situation or just share what’s on their heart. Small groups have been a source of healing for me just by letting things out. You know…my life verse…confess your faults one to another. James 5:16 is so powerful.

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Allow me to ask you guys a few questions.

Are you depressed? Do you have anxiety issues? Are you feeling alone after losing a loved one whether by death or the break-up of a relationship? Do you suffer from over eating? Are you addicted to sweets? Do you drink in excess to the point of losing control of who you are? Are you hurting from the wounds of words spoken? Do you have low self-esteem? Have you ever been sexually molested? Have you been physically or verbally abused?

If you answered yes to any of those, Celebrate Recovery is for you.

Give it a try! Allow the Lord to lead you. Go to the Celebrate Recovery website and see if there are any local chapters.

I have a list of all the ones in Louisiana, here on my blog site and keep it updated as best I can.

If you choose to attend please let me know how you enjoyed it and if it ministered to you.

God Bless,
Stu