Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's My Turn

I went to the doctor last Monday, and my last and largest ulcer (which was also the first to appear) has finally completely closed up.  It took a LONG time.  The appointment on Monday made 129 days since I had first gone to my doctor for the ulcer.   My next appointment isn't for two whole months!  What am I going to do with all that extra time!?!

We took pictures of the progress all along the way.  They are rather gruesome, but I thought I would let you see them if you REALLY want to.  Be forewarned though, I didn't look at my leg until it had healed up quite a bit.  The doctor had me keep it wrapped up when I was at home for fear of infection, and I couldn't handle looking at it in the doctor's office when it was about to be cleaned...oh, the pain!

Here's the link for all of you brave souls! 

The Lord has answered many prayers in our lives concerning this.  When the doctor looked at my leg last Monday he said almost under his breath, "Who would have ever thought that it would close without a skin graft?"

I am so thankful for this very specific and positive answer to prayer.

Also, another answer to a prayer concerning my health is the status of my colitis.  I say this cautiously as ulcerative colitis is know to flare up without warning, BUT I am better now than I have been in over 2 years!  I still am not in complete remission, but I am well on my way.  Please continue to pray that I won't have anymore set backs.

I am hoping that I am seeing the light at the end of a tunnel (hopefully it's not a train! ).  The Lord has blessed so much in our lives here, and although I wouldn't trade what I have learned from it all, I also wouldn't mind if everything were smooth sailing for a while so that I can concentrate better on learning Portuguese.



When I first came to Brazil I determined that my theme verse was going to be Psalm 100:2a "Serve the LORD with gladness..."  I had no doubt there would be struggles here waiting for us.  I knew that life would be totally different and not as easy, but I was determined to face the struggles with joy and gladness and to be thankful for what I might need to learn through all that was sent my way.

I was prepared in my mind for some of the things that we have had to face--language struggles, cultural struggles, being nervous about the safety of my children, the prospect of being robbed at any time, and many other things, but I think health struggles were probably not on that list.

To be honest...not every moment during this past year and four months have been spent in gladness for all of our struggles.  At times, I've been discouraged and frustrated, but I think this past problem with the ulcers has changed me much more than anything.

When we realized that the ulcer on my leg was more than just a "little sore" and more were appearing, I realized then that God was going to use this in my life to change me.

I was reminded recently of Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."  I am so thankful that I can rest assured of God's hand in my life.  When we don't understand what is going on or why, we can look to God and know that his hand is guiding us and loving us the whole way.  We can be sure that He means it for our good and His glory!  He desires for us to be more like Him.

Have you ever read the book "Hinds Feet On High Places" by Hannah Hurnard?  It's definitely worth the read!

For years I had kept this poem in my Bible.  It's such a good reminder.

My life is but a weaving between my God and me,
I do not choose the colors, He worketh steadily.
Oftimes He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper, and I the underside.

Not till the loom is silent, and shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful in the skillful Weaver's hand
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.
~Author unknown~

Well, I usually don't write like this on my blog, and this has become rather lengthy.  But the Lord has done many things in my life over the past year to draw me closer to Him, and I figured since "it's my turn" to tell you what has been going on in my life recently, I thought I'd just elaborate on it a little.

I know the things that I've struggled with here are nothing in comparison to what others of you have faced and are facing, but I just wanted to tell you a little bit about how God has used these circumstances in my life.  I still have so much to learn, and each day I see so many more areas in which I need to grow. I am so thankful that God cares for me and desires to use me in spite of my weaknesses! 

15 comments:

  1. Such a blessing to read your post. I am glad you are getting better. Yes, I have read Hind's Feet in High Places a couple of times. It is one of my favorites books, and helped me to grow in my walk with the Lord.

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  2. We love you, Esther, and continue to pray for you every day. We hope your health continues to improve as well and that you won't have any more setbacks. It has been a conviction to see you all persevering even though I'm sure it must wear you out sometimes to deal with all the extra challenges on top of all the other adjustments of missionary life.

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  3. Wow! What a wonderful, heart-felt post! I love the verse that you claimed for your new life in Brazil--Sometimes it is easy and routine to serve, but much harder to do it with gladness! Thanks for the reminder!

    Also, Hind's Feet is a great book and I love your poem. {I just might have to "steal" that! :)}

    So glad to hear that you are doing much better!
    Your friend from afar~Heather in Argentina ♥

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  4. This is such a great post! I'm so glad you're feeling better, and you've been such a trooper through it all!

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  5. Thanks so much for sharing! Our hearts are encouraged in the Lord as we contemplate His miraculous healing and all the grace He kept providing along the way. And I totally feel for you not wanting to look at your ulcers. Thank God for those bandages!

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  6. Oh Esther! I had tears in my eyes as I read this. What a beautiful, beautiful testimony you are of the grace of God. I appreciate your transparency and sincere desire to serve the Lord regardless of circumstances.
    love and prayers,
    Jenifer

    p.s. I tried to call you all after I read this...I will try sometime again. Give the girls my love!

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  7. God is so good! When I read about your healing I am well aware that God answers prayers of children too. I know Kade prays for you all the time to get better all the way. You have been a wonderful testimony to so many - your joyful spirit through the midst of trials and your determination to stick to it no matter what the cost speaks volumes. We know the Lord has great things ahead for you. Praying for you as you continue in the language study. Love you and miss you!

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  8. We've been praying for you, Esther. I'm so glad you are feeling better. Our church will be glad to know you are recovering. The ulcers really healed up amazingly. It sure looks like it was a painful process. - Jess

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  9. Yay!! We've been praying for you. It's so exciting hearing your good news about the ulcers and the colitis. Don't worry though, we haven't stopped praying for you, Jeremy, and the kids.

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  10. I can identify with this post too Esther! When we moved to Canada I anticipated ministry related trials and such, but it didn't cross my mind that I would lose my health. It really came as a shock, but in the end those weeks/months spent in the hospital fighting for my life and the baby's life were the best times in our life as far as God teaching and conforming us to be more like Him. They were some very dark days, but what precious lessons we learned and still cherish today.
    So thankful to hear of your continued healing- I will take your word for it and not look at the pics. hehe :)

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  11. So glad to hear of your recovery, and I pray you'll continue to stay healthy!!
    Also, thanks so much for the blog post! I am going through some health issues right now ( most likely not as serious as yours were), and it was a blessing to be reminded, again, that God is in control, using all of these things to make, break, and refine me for His service!
    I fall so short in not fretting about how my health will turn out, but your post was an encouragement to me!

    God Bless!

    In Christ,
    Desirae Clopper
    Job 23:10

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  12. Thank you all so much for your prayers and notes of encouragement. I love getting comments! :)

    Heather~feel free to steal~it's not original with me! :)

    Jenifer~we got your message. Thanks so much for the call!

    Leah~I don't remember hearing of your troubles. It is amazing the comfort that God gives through the tough times, though!

    Desirae~sorry to hear of your health issues. I'll make it a point to pray for you! Glad this post was encouragement!

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  13. so glad you are doing better! and I really enjoyed your personal post! :)

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  14. This is such an encouraging post! Thank you for taking the time to write it! Thanks for the poem, too! No words can express the encouragement you have been to me through your trials!

    Those ulcers look a lot better now than they did I must say! I couldn't imagine your pain...I don't think I would have handled it so well! When I clicked on the link I was NOT expecting to see what I did!!! YUCK!

    You are in my prayers! May the Lord continue to give you strength as you go through the trails & struggles that life brings!

    Because of Christ,
    Allison Workman

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  15. We've prayed for you all a lot and are so glad to hear that you're doing better! Praise the Lord! :)
    I have read Hinds Feet On High Places and loved it!! Definitely a highly recommended book!

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