Tag Archives: grace

A Life of 15,000 Pills

15,000. Give or take a few is the number of opioid pills I’ve taken. I had a diagnosis and a reason. The political climate isn’t favorable towards the opioid industry. Those of us who manage pain on a regular, daily basis find relief and solace in the form of those geometrically, constructed chemicals. Little did I understand the impact those 15,000 pills would have on my entire life. Neither, my doctor nor myself, understood that the drug I was taking was addictive when she prescribed it for pain. However, now gazing 21 years at the future, the medical community knows that the small dose I took acted as an opiate.

I was offered a couple of choices this summer. I could remain on the drug and go to a pain management clinic or I could try to live without it. I chose the latter. I wish I had known sooner the impact that choice would make ricocheting through my life.

Pain has been a constant companion. I fake being well. I’m really good at it. Decades of solitude and platitudes taught me to hone my skills. The basic fear of my personality I’ve discovered is of being deprived and in pain. My fear became my reality for decades. In every life, major markers exist. I can recall certain events in my life with clarity because they forever changed me and the course of my life. The day I woke up sick. The day I got a diagnosis. The day I quit opioids.

One day I was healthy and the next, I woke to pain accompanied by fever and barely able to move. I stymied doctor after doctor. None could figure out the source of my pain. I remained in that unanswered, mind-battling state for a year and a half. Finally, I received a diagnosis. I was relieved and, dare I say, joyful. To have a diagnosis- Heck! Any diagnosis was preferable to the not knowing. My doctor began a round of treatment to fit my particular disease. A short time later, she added the opioid because the pain persisted. Two pills a day every morning and every evening. The new normal. No one told me or warned me that I would have a brain fog that grew steadily worse each year. Or that this inhibiting drug would begin to change my personality and suppress my responses. I lost my effervescence and zest for life.

“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country … For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Hebrews 11:8-10

What does any of this story have to do with faith? Everything. During the time of not knowing, I turned and trusted in God to deliver me and to help me find joy in a life of constant pain and difficulty with no answers. Like Abraham, I was called to enter into a time of traveling with God until I came to the place to which He called me. My faith grew exponentially during that time. I fully relied on His strength to carry me through the valley of the shadow of death. Following the diagnosis, I praised Him for an answer and He carried me into a new journey of learning, growing, studying, and sharing His word. I did it through the pain, the bone-weary fatigue, the setbacks, and the comebacks with tears hoping for healing to which He responded; “No”. He reminded me that His grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). That girl lived her life serving the Lord with hardship. She had many questions, doubts, hurts, and much was forgiven and healed. She served cheerfully and joyfully with physical and mental difficulties.

Today, I’m on a new journey with God. He carried me through the crucible of withdrawal buoyed by the prayers of some in my church family. Powerful prayers. I’m three months off of opiates and I’m the same yet different. I have new prayers and new horizons.

“How do you pick up the threads of an old life … when in your heart, you begin to understand, there is no going back.” Frodo Baggins -The Return of the King movie

I’ve been talking with someone to help me sort everything out and integrate my old life with my new future. She says it’s as if I’ve awakened from a decades long coma. I thought that my personality had shifted but actually the light just got turned on. The person I’ve been for decades wasn’t exactly me. She was asleep. The person I’m becoming is the me I was decades ago before I woke up sick and in pain. I don’t exactly remember her. Many things I’ve thought about myself aren’t true and I’m having to relearn and rediscover who I am. I’m searching for myself. Those 15,000 pills changed me and how I saw and perceived myself in the world. I don’t know what the future holds. My diagnosis hasn’t gone away. I still have pain. I’m only managing it differently. But this one thing I do know – God is good all the time. I can build my life on that truth.



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Everything Comes Alive by We Are Messengers



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Revival by Soulfire Revolution

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Come As A Child


Good Morning!

Yesterday, our church had Confirmation Sunday. We welcomed new believers into the faith and into the membership of our church. These new church members are children who have participated in a nine month long confirmation process learning about our church and about faith in Jesus Christ. As we looked upon their sweet faces turned toward us, our pastor reminded us that we all must come to God as little children no matter our age.

“He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18:2-5  

I remember the day I was confirmed in the church many years ago. The day was special and filled with hope and promises. I’ve walked with my heavenly Father for many days now. Sometimes, my posture towards Him is more like a rebellious teenager that believes I already know all the answers and don’t need any help. Those times have brought about swift disciplining from God. He disciplines me because He loves me and knows that I need true fellowship with Him (Hebrews 12:7-11). He also knows, as I do, that I need to change and be transformed into a child who reflects her heavenly Father. I find that only when I approach Him as a little child do I find that sweet communion. With a humble heart filled with trust and faith that my Father God will forgive, protect, correct, teach, and train me in the ways of righteousness, I come to Him as His child. This posture is not always easy but is always best.





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From the Day by I Am They

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Entrusted: A Study of 2 Timothy by Beth Moore: Week 5 Recap

Good Morning!

Today marks the conclusion of this study. I hope you have been encouraged and challenged to be a mighty servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All of the posts pertaining to this study and previous studies can be found under the Bible Studies Archive.

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2

During the first lesson of our last week of assignments, we considered verses pertaining to the judgment of unbelievers and the judgment of believers. We also took an in-depth look at 2 Timothy 4:2 as Paul charged Timothy to assume his leadership role of teaching and sharing the gospel. He encouraged him and us to share what has been entrusted. Beth Moore summed up the scripture in this way: “Urgent with the gospel. Patient with the people.” We also should question ourselves about what we will do with the message entrusted to us and whether or not our present works will affect our future reward and assignment. In all places and at all times, regardless of the season being convenient or favorable, we should stand ready to share the message of Christ.

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3,4

“Always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:7

A time will come when people will only want to hear what they want to hear. On Day Two, we considered our modern timeframe and the unlimited accessibility to teachers of all types, skills, and messages. Are we careful with our exposure? Are we too careful with our customization of what we hear or not enough? In order to have a healthy spiritual life, we should expose ourselves to sound doctrinal teaching on a variety of topics not just the ones we want to hear. Too much encouragement and training only gives us certain spiritual nutrients. We also need correcting and rebuking to ensure a healthy spiritual life. Sometimes, what we want is not always what we need. One way to combat this tendency is to be involved in a local church. Sound teaching will challenge us, mend us, pierce us to the heart, convict us, revive us, and restore us. We are all called to the work of ministry and have gifts to meet the ministry entrusted to each of us. We don’t need to do the ministry of others only our own.

“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8

On Day Three, we studied the meanings behind Paul’s imagery of being poured out like a drink offering. We looked at verses pertaining to Passover, fragrant offerings, and Jesus as the Passover lamb. As Paul drew his letter to a close, his words indicated that he knew his time was short and that he would soon die. Paul had given his all, finished the course, and kept the faith. Will we also not be lost but loosed from the world when the time for departure comes knowing that we have been poured out as drink offerings for Jesus Christ?

“Do your best to come to me quickly.” 2 Timothy 4:9

Our lesson on Day Four centered around learning more about the people that surrounded Paul in his last days. We learned of those who deserted him and those who remained with him. Through this viewpoint, we came to understand Paul’s passion and urgency to attend to every last detail before his passing.

“But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:17,18

Beth Moore states in the last lesson that “Trust holds a torch in the blackest hole.” Paul stood firm in faith through the darkest times because he knew the Lord was with him. When all others had deserted or left him, he knew He was there. Paul was able to stand firm and we are too. We need to hold tight to the word of God, make sound doctrine a priority, and then stand on the authority of the word. In these last days, however long they may be, “scripture is our concrete in a world of mud.” We have the gospel and the gifting. Now is the time for going forth.

Thank you for joining me on this journey through Entrusted: A Study of 2 Timothy by Beth Moore.

Grace be with you all.



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Prodigal by Sidewalk Prophets

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