Destroyed by Friendly Fire

leaves 2When I first became ill, I had lots of wonderful, well-meaning people who tried to help by giving me spiritual advice. Unfortunately, most of their advice boiled down to one simple thought: God wasn’t healing my illness because I didn’t have enough faith or because I wasn’t doing something right.

In Psalm 18:18, David said that on the day when he was weakest the enemy attacked. That’s the way I felt when I came under a barrage of “friendly fire.” For the most part, the advice was given out of love, and I knew that. But knowing that people were trying to be kind didn’t make my situation easier to handle. There’s something hideous about facing a debilitating illness, and there’s something crushing when you’re continually told that your faith isn’t strong enough to qualify you for healing.

red leafWhen I was sick, people gave me TONS of reasons why God wasn’t healing me. People said I was ill because I didn’t have enough faith, because I wasn’t “claiming” my healing properly, because I was admitting that I was sick, because I wasn’t standing on God’s promises, because I was being cursed by the words of my mouth when I admitted I was in pain, because I had committed some sort of secret sin that I wasn’t aware of committing, because I wasn’t praying correctly, because I wasn’t rebuking the devil sufficiently, because I was allowing fear to steal what God wanted to do, because I said the words “my illness” rather than “the illness the devil is inflicting,” because I was unknowingly harboring bitterness, because I had unknowingly hurt someone else, because I was worshiping something more than God, because I’d allowed pain to steal my joy, because I must be rebellious, because I wasn’t submitting to God, because I wasn’t taking my healing by force, because I was too prideful, because I was too insecure, because I was being punished, because I was being promoted, because I was failing some spiritual test, because, because, because… I’ve lost count of the number of things people claimed I was doing wrong. The word games people played were enormous, but for the most part, things boiled down to one simple message—I wasn’t jumping through their idea of the proper hoop and that’s why God wasn’t healing me.

Some people didn’t stop at giving me spiritual advice. Some took action.

leaves 1One person chased me down, grabbed my hands, and demand that I repeat after them, “I am healed. I believe God is healing me now.” (This would have been fine, if I hadn’t been desperately trying to get to a bathroom so I could vomit.)

One person came to my house and told me that since Jesus healed everyone He encountered, I wasn’t being healed because my faith wasn’t sufficient. When I brought up John chapter 5 and the fact that Jesus only healed one person at the pool of Bethesda, I was told that I needed to study the Bible more—the implication being that I wasn’t being healed because I had a lack of Biblical knowledge. (At the time, I was reading the Bible cover-to-cover every month and memorizing vast quantities of Scripture.)

leaves 3One person told me that my faith needed to have action behind it. This person said I should open a detergent bottle, sniff the contents, and loudly declare that I was healed of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. (Thinking the advice might have merit, I sniffed the detergent and boldly proclaimed my healing. Even as the words left my lips, I became extremely ill and was in agonizing pain for several weeks.)

Antelope IslandEventually, being told over-and-over that my continued illness was caused by a flawed spiritual condition had an effect. After absorbing all of the advice, I figured that maybe something really WAS wrong with me.  Maybe I WASN’T doing something right. So I began jumping through all kinds of hoops trying to be healed. You know me, and you know that when I try to do something, I put my whole heart into it.

leaves 12The lengths I went to were enormous. Seeking God and seeking healing became the focus of my life. I memorized healing Scriptures, I played praise music 24-7, I posted Bible verses all over my house, I had people anoint me with oil and pray for my healing, I put myself on prayer chains, I Jericho marched around my house declaring it was God’s, I anointed my doorposts with oil and declared the enemy couldn’t enter, I wrote letters and made phone calls asking people to forgive me for any offenses I might have committed, I went through my house with a fine-tooth comb and threw away anything that might be considered objectionable to God, I took communion publicly and privately, I confessed any possible sin I may have committed publicly and privately, I fasted, I prayed, I declared, I proclaimed, I stood in faith, I groveled on the ground in supplication asking for mercy. I did everything anyone suggested. I did everything I could find in Scripture. I did everything I’d heard mentioned on religious television. I did everything I’d read in religious articles. And I didn’t just do those things for a week or a month—I did them for YEARS. I TRIED HARD TO DO EVERYTHING RIGHT.

But nothing happened. I was still ill.

sunset treeThen another nice, well-meaning person told me that I was trying too hard. They said that God wouldn’t honor my earthly efforts because I was relying on what I could do rather than on what God could do. They said that my efforts were proof that I wasn’t standing in faith and that’s why I wasn’t being healed.

After that, I gave up. After that, I grew bitter. After that, I decided that I’d never jump through another hoop. After that, I decided that I didn’t want anything to do with a fickle God who played games. After that, my life became a painful misery.

Time passed.

Eventually, I reexamined my faith and recommitted my life to God. When I did, I asked the Lord why He wasn’t healing me. I heard His voice deep inside my soul. It was extremely gentle and full of love. He simply said, “I could heal you and set you aside, but I am doing a different thing in you. I am healing you minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, and day-by-day—you will be well.”

sparrow 8Even after all this time, I still don’t understand why God didn’t heal me immediately. I don’t know why I had to be ill for so many years. I don’t understand why I had to endure seven years of quarantine. But there’s one thing I do know—it wasn’t because I had “sinned,” or because I didn’t have faith, or because I wasn’t trying hard enough, or because I was trying too hard. I believe it was because God had a different plan in mind for me. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “This plan of mine is not what you would work out, neither are my thoughts the same as yours! For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours, and my thoughts [higher] than yours.” I believe that God used those years of quarantine to establish my faith on a deeper level. I don’t believe that God caused my illness, but I do believe that He used my illness for His glory. I do believe that He didn’t heal me immediately because He knew that what I was learning during quarantine would eventually help others.

orange sunsetGod knows the end from the beginning. He sees all things. He understands all things. We aren’t God. We don’t always comprehend why things are happening, and pretending that we do isn’t always wise—and giving well-meaning advice to hurting people based on our suppositions isn’t always wise either. When someone is hurting, I think the best thing a person can do is pray for them, love them, and be extremely careful when handing out advice. After my experience with well-meaning people, I try very hard to love LOTS and speak LITTLE. And before I open my mouth, I pray fervently, asking God to set a guard before my lips so that my words will bring life and healing rather than condemnation and discouragement. There’s a definite place for Godly advice—but there’s also a place for loving silence. My illness was hard to bear, but the mental anguish I endured because of “helpful” people was even worse.

Marys lakeI believe that in the church, we’re often guilty of inflicting friendly fire. When someone is hurting, we automatically want to help—and that’s good. We automatically want to share advice that might alleviate their pain—and that’s good up to a point. I think the most important thing we should realize is that we don’t know everything. And no matter what we think, we don’t really know why a person is ill or why God isn’t healing them. And pretending that we do, and giving advice based on our suppositions, can be incredibly damaging and dangerous to someone who is hurting. Going forward with my life, I hope that I will never forget this lesson. Going forward with my life, I pray that my words will always bring hope, give encouragement, and draw people closer to God.

rose in handsThe tongue has the power of life and death.” Proverbs 18:21a

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak.” James 1:19a

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other.” 1 Peter 4:8a

 

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34 thoughts on “Destroyed by Friendly Fire

    1. Dear Renee, you’re such a terrific person! Thanks for all of your encouragement and support. Thanks for being such a great friend. I’m so glad that God is seeing us through all of our challenges! He really is an awesome Lord! I hope you have a great day! Thanks for commenting! ❤

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  1. lelandandbecky

    I cried through this, Danele, thinking of all the well-meaning people with “stinging” tongues. I, too, have heard most of these, because I have suffered for years with fibromyalgia and lupus. I still have a couple who greets me at church by asking when I am going to be willing to be healed. Danele, you always encourage me! I LOVE reading your blogs! I don’t always see what God is doing, but I’m willing to trust in His kind love for you and for me. -HUGS-

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    1. lelandandbecky

      Just read this blog and posted it on my FaceBook page and loved this part: “You are not forsaken in those moments when your life is nothing but ash. He makes splendid things out of dust, from the very beginning until right now. He does. Your suffering is purposeful if you allow it to be. Your grief and pain and mourning, your joy and hope, your fear, your regret…all of it. Every breath you are granted. Not one moment lacks in purpose.” From: https://everylittlejot.com/2016/09/07/one-year/

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    2. Dear Becky, I’m giving HUGS right back to you! Thank you for your lovely comments and all of your kind words. Thank you also for praying for me! Please know that I will be praying for your health as well. Like you, I don’t always see what God is doing, but I’m willing to trust His love for us both. I also want to thank you for the lovely quote you shared. It is truly beautiful! I am printing it up and posting it by my computer. Thank you again for being such a caring, compassionate person! Your willingness to be an encouraging voice is such a beautiful thing! I hope you have a truly wonderful day! ❤

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  2. Janice

    When my dad had lung cancer and later passed away from it, my mom was told by one person that he was not healed due to her not having enough faith to be healed. Fortunately I have not been told that. But thru experience in the past I know God does not always heal us the way we want.

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    1. Dear Janice, I’m so INCREDIBLY sorry that happened to your family! I don’t understand why things happen the way that they do. And I don’t understand why some people are healed immediately and some (like me and your father) aren’t. When I was asking my own questions about healing, I heard a minister say something that always stuck with me. He said that it is our job to ask for healing, but it is God’s job to say “yes,” “no,” or “not right now.” Hearing those words took so much pressure off my shoulders. Knowing that all I had to do was ask without jumping through hoops was such a relief. I know that God heals, but like you, I also know that sometimes God doesn’t heal in the way that we want. One of my favorite verses is Romans 2:11. It says that God doesn’t show favoritism. This verse is one that I cling to on a daily basis. At first, I felt overlooked by God and rejected because I wasn’t being miraculously healed. But now, I realize that God is healing me in different ways. He is allowing me to draw closer to Him during this painful journey. He is opening up doorways and opportunities that would have remained shut if I had been healed immediately. He is also providing me with friendships that I may never have had the opportunity to make if I hadn’t walked this painful path. I don’t have all the answers, and I still have lots of questions. But through the years, I’ve learned that God is loving and kind–even when the answer to my earnest plea is “no.” Dear Janice, you have my deepest condolences about your father. I want to thank you for sharing your heart. You are such an incredible person! I feel very, very honored to know you! ❤

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    1. Dear Susan, thank you for your kindness and encouragement! I really appreciate you! Years before I became ill, my brother and I went hiking in the mountains. We found a rock the size of a baseball tumbling in a mountain stream. The rock was incredibly smooth and perfectly round. When I was going through my ordeal, I thought about that rock so many times. You are right, trails do refine us. They help knock off the hard edges. I’m still in the middle of this process, and I feel hopelessly flawed, but God is so amazing. I’m so glad that He looks past our flaws and continues to refine and strengthen us. I’m so glad that He loves us with an unwavering love. Susan, your kind words touched my heart! I hope you have a wonderful day! ❤

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  3. sandymauck

    I went through this, too, dear friend. And when you take hold of false teaching like the faith movement that was so prevalent in those years, it can do a lot of damage. I lost my prayer life for a season so I get a bit angry with this false doctrine. I have been healed miraculously and nearly every one of those times was a God thing and no one else around. Sometimes he wants our faith but not in faith we muster, but in Him. I am walking this road again. He spoke to me years ago that He was going to heal me but not right away. That came to pass. I was patient in it. He said He was going to heal me of this new awful disease as well. My faith is in Him. He has my life and I will walk this out. This time He said it isn’t about me. Some people get perfectly healed and are taken home. One evil story I remember was a young couple being told after they baby died that they didn’t have enough faith. How horrible! And the preacher gloated in it.

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    1. Dear Sandy, I’m so sorry that you went through such a painful experience, and my heart goes out to the young couple who lost their baby. I really feel that most people who inflict “friendly fire” are trying to be kind–at least, in my case, I believe that they were. But words can hurt, and when you’re told that God is ignoring you because of your “lack of faith,” it can be incredibly painful. I absolutely KNOW that God heals. But like you, I also know that sometimes God chooses not heal–or at least, not to heal in the way that we expect. As humans, we can’t nail the God of the Universe down and force Him to follow a certain pattern. We can’t do a specific formula or speak specific “magic” words and expect God to be obligated to do things our way. God is so infinite and loving. He knows the end from the beginning. He knows more than we ever will. We can’t make Him preform in the way we desire just because we say the right thing. All we can do is go to our loving, heavenly Father and ask Him for His help. And if the answer is “no” or “not right now,” we can trust that there’s a good reason why. God isn’t mean. God doesn’t have favorites. God isn’t fickle. Nor can God be manipulated. He’s God. I spent so much time trying to do things just right–say things just right–be just right–to force God to heal me. I finally learned that my life isn’t mine to begin with–it belongs to God. He made me. He has a plan for me. And in the words of Job–“though He slay me, yet will I serve Him.” Thank you for sharing your heart, Sandy. I’m so sorry you’ve been hurt. Thank you for praying for my health, and please know that I will continue to pray for your health as well. ❤

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      1. sandymauck

        And Danele, silver is purified 7 times in the fire. Sometimes 7 years. What if we hadn’t been? I think our relationship with Him would be weak and unproductive! Hugs and prayers!

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  4. Ann Ellison

    It is really sad the things that well meaning Christians can say and do that don’t help but make it more difficult. I had some of those things said to me when my husband was fighting a brain tumor. I do know God heals but I also know we have to trust His will for our lives and although we don’t understand the path He has called us to walk, we have to trust Him with that path.

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    1. Dear Ann, I’m so sorry that you went through something so hard. Thank you for sharing your heart. I love your words, “We have to trust [God’s] will for our lives and although we don’t understand the path He has called us to walk, we have to trust Him with that path.” It reminded me of a time when I was a child walking through the cornfields with my father. I couldn’t see over the waving stalks, and I quickly became lost. I had no idea how to find my way back to the house. But I knew that my father knew the way, so I clung to his hand and enjoyed the journey. Although it’s sometimes very hard, that’s what I’m trying to do in my spiritual life. I can’t always see the way, and sometimes I feel very lost, but I know that God isn’t confused–He knows how to get me to the proper destination. Thank you for your lovely comment–it really spoke to my heart! ❤

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  5. Renette Steele

    Dear Danele,

    This post really spoke to me. I have been on both sides of this. It is hard when you have an illness that does not show physically like a broken arm or lost limb. Those people can stare at, which does not help either. But an illness not seen is one they truly do not understand nor try to. Making all kinds of excesses and like you mentioned friendly fire. That or they just don’t believe you are sick at all your making it all up in your head. I have been there. I am sorry people are so human at times.

    I once read a book called Hung by the Tong. I think now would be a good time for me to review ,. I need to remind myself to think before i speak and not everyone is looking for advice just a shoulder or ear to listen.

    Such a great lesson and reminder today THANK you so much for sharing from the bottom of your heart. I love that about you, your not afraid to share from the depths of your heart.

    May you be richly blessed with His SONshine today and always.

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    1. Dear Renette, I appreciate you so much! Thank you for your kind words! I have to admit that I’ve been on both sides of “friendly fire” as well. I can remember giving advice that I thought was very appropriate–only to wish that I hadn’t later. When I spoke, I meant to be kind and help, but I cringe now at some of the advice I gave hurting people before I became ill myself. Thank you for sharing your heart! You’re such a kind person, and you always make me smile! 🙂 Thanks for being a blessing! 🙂

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      1. And here you have an example of His tempering you in the fire. God has His plans and we don’t have enough knowledge of those plans to know the reasons for everything. I haven’t been on either side of these awful circumstances. The only thing I’ve ever felt able to do was listen, hold someone’s hand, and if they’re not in too much pain to bear it, offer a hug. Then I go home and pray. This always feels so inadequate. I hope and pray that I am not adding pain for you.

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  6. Oh Danele, praise God you weren’t truly destroyed! Your faith glows and your testimony is sure and certain. Maybe what those well-meaning people forget is that we WILL be cured, one day, and completely and forever. I don’t know the stories of the people who tried so hard to “help.” I wonder if a lot of them were quoting pastors and teachers they chose to follow. We are each responsible to test everything we hear, but those who shepherd us have a huge responsibility before God to teach us the whole counsel of His Word, including the story of “who sinned, this blind man or his parents?” Jesus’s answer is profound and compassionate and should stop anyone accusing a sick person of too much sin and/or not enough faith. Sorry I am rambling. It’s what I do when I want to cry 🙂

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    1. Dear Anita, your lovely comment brought tears to my eyes!!! I’m so glad we are friends! Thank you for your constant love and support! I appreciate you more than you know!! The story about Jesus and the man born blind in John chapter 9 is one that I clung to during quarantine. My illness was so confusing, but before it even happened, I was coming out of work one day and I saw a piece of paper by my car. On it was written John 9:2-3 in which Jesus said that the blind man’s affliction was not because of sin, but so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. At the time, I felt as if God was speaking to me directly, but I didn’t understand the meaning of the message. Not long after that, I began to get ill. Knowing that God wasn’t taken by surprise by my illness meant so much. And knowing that God was going to somehow use my illness for His glory meant even more. Thank you again for your lovely comment. Your sweet, caring heart is such a blessing to me and to so many others!!! ❤

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  7. Kelly De Lance

    Wow I could really identify with this situation but in a different way. I asked the Lord to HEAL my Mother when she was diagnosed with extreme dementia. God chose to take her home after nearly five years of suffering. I suffered from not being able to become pregnant. I had hands layed on my stomach many times. For years and years I prayed for a baby. Well after thirty years of waiting on God to my surprise I became pregnant. It was on my honey moon five years ago. My husband and I were shocked and thrilled about having a baby. Well I had a miscarriage about 12 weeks into it. I have been hurt by this so badly. God had another plan for me. It’s still hard to accept. I was hurt and angry with God. I have had to get over that feeling. God is boss,period. I have Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue syndrome from it. God chooses to not HEAL me. It’s important to try to understand that God has a plan in this. My Faith is believing that. Thanks for being such a blessing to me and others by sharing this. Lots of Hugs and Prayers Always!

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    1. Dear Kelly, my heart broke when I read your comment. I’m so incredibly sorry for the suffering you’ve gone through. There just aren’t any adequate words. I don’t understand why things happen the way that they do. When I was put into quarantine, I became incredibly angry at God. I denied Him. I even cursed Him. I couldn’t understand why a “loving” God allowed me to experience so much pain and disappointment. I still don’t understand completely. But like you, I’ve come to the conclusion that God is loving and that He is boss. When I get discouraged (which I sometimes do) I try to remind myself–like you have–that God has a plan. When I became ill, I can remember someone sharing Jeremiah 29:11 with me. It’s a beautiful verse that explains how God has good plans for our life that will give us a future and a hope. At the time, I was too angry to be receptive to the message the verse contained–but later, it became a comfort. I’m so glad that God views us with love and that He understands all of our confusion and pain. One of the best things anyone ever said to me was “Life isn’t fair, but God is still good.” I think those words resonated because I felt my illness wasn’t fair. But when I put my disappointment aside and felt God wrapping His compassionate arms around me, I had to admit that even in the middle of the “unfairness” God really was still good. Kelly, you’re such an incredible person and such a wonderful example of faith. Thank you for sharing your heart. And thank you for praying for me. Please know that I am praying for you as well. I feel very, very blessed to be your friend!! ❤

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  8. Tami Treu

    You are such an inspiration to me. Thanks for being unashamed to share so boldly. I just want you to know I really love you! I pray that your complete healing comes and you can add that chapter to your story, but until then I know that God’s praise is continually on your lips, because you choose to love him at all times. Thanks for walking that out in front of us all.
    I hope you don’t mind if I use some of your story above in a message I’m sharing at Women’s ministry tomorrow night. It ties up a few things in my message. My title is “Giving God your Why”.
    Be blessed, Sweet Lady!

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    1. Dear Tami, thank you so much for all of your kind words! And thank you for your constant encouragement and support! I appreciate your prayers more than you will ever know! There have been times when I have been discouraged or in pain, and suddenly, I have felt the strong presence of God surrounding me. One time, I asked God why I was feeling His presence so deeply, and I heard the reply, “Someone is praying for you.” I know that prayer is incredibly important, and I feel so grateful that you’re praying for me! Thank you!! You have asked if you can use part of my story in a message you’re preparing, and the answer is yes. Use as much of it as you like. And if you would like to use bits from any of my other articles or from my “Welcome Page” testimony, please feel free. I feel very honored that you think my words have merit and that you want to incorporate them. Thank you again for everything, Tami! I’m so glad that I know you! You have blessed me in so many ways! I hope you have a wonderful day! I will be praying for your message to minister to many hearts!

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  9. Dear Judi Ring, I want to thank you for your lovely comment. I hope that everything I’ve been through does temper me and make me stronger. I think that would be a wonderful outcome! Some of my favorite verses in quarantine were 1 Peter 1:6-7a, “So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here. These trials are only to test your faith…it is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it–and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold.” I love the fact that God doesn’t waste anything–especially our pain. I truly believe that we can become stronger and better if we don’t allow ourselves to become bitter. Sometimes, when we don’t understand why things are happening, that can be a challenge, but God is with us every step of the way. In your comment, you mentioned that when someone is hurting, you listen, hold their hand, offer a hug, and then go home and pray. You said that sometimes your actions felt inadequate, but they really aren’t. In my case, there were several times when friends just let me talk and then they told me they loved me. Their unconditional love and acceptance meant so much. When they left, I felt understood and valued. And knowing that they were praying when I was in too much pain to pray for myself meant so much. Love that is given without judgment and without “hoops” is incredibly valuable to someone who is hurting. I want to thank you for being such a blessing to so many people. And thank you again for your lovely comment. I hope you have a wonderful day!

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    1. Dear Gail, thanks for your kind words! I really appreciate them! Looking back, I can see that most of the people really did have good intentions. And I know that before I became ill, I said the wrong things at times too. I hope that as I go forward, I remember to let compassion rule and to be silent unless I KNOW I’m supposed to speak. Thank you for being such a wonderful person! I appreciate your kind heart and your uplifting words! You are a blessing and a gem!

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  10. Job and you and countless others…it’s been said Baptists shoot their wounded. I’ve heard so many painful stories while facilitating GriefShare. Stories of well-meaning people who open their mouths, but stupid falls out. They are sorry comforters. You can’t comfort anyone unless God has comforted you. And you’re right, we could all use an enormous dose of silence accompanied by an equally enormous hug. No words, just hugs.

    That old cliche “…until you’ve walked in someone’s shoes…” sure applies to all of us at some point in our lives.

    I listened to Dr. Jeremiah preaching on this subject this morning on my way back from Longview. He was talking about Paul and how God sent a thorn in the flesh to stab him. Unfortunately those of us who are human never learn during the good times. I’m losing my hearing and after listening to Dr. Jeremiah this morning I’m going to learn to “count it all joy.” Some of us run around like chickens with their heads cut off (grizzly example) but I know I do. Maybe God’s bringing me to a place where I can more clearly hear Him without the racket of the world screaming all around me.

    Danele, your blogs always encourage and help those of us reading. I am blessed to call you friend. Whatever God uses, it’s always for our good and His glory!

    Hugs and blessings dear friend! ❤

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    1. Dear DiAne, I appreciate you and your kind heart so much! Thank you for your wonderful comment. I love your statement, “No words, just hugs.” I think that’s going to be my motto going forward. 🙂 Knowing that you’re a Baptist, your comment about Baptists made me smile. 🙂 Unfortunately, I don’t think that “well-meaning” advice can be attributed to a certain group 🙂 I think that all Christians (including myself) can be equally guilty. Before I became ill, I was seeking God in a powerful way. My church only had one or two services a week, so I not only attended my church faithfully, but many others as well. I’ve never felt that one denomination has the “corner” on God, so I deliberately attended many different churches faithfully throughout the week. On Sundays, I went to an early service at an Assembly of God church and a late service at a Presbyterian church. Over my lunch hour, I went to a Catholic church. On Tuesdays, I attended a Bible study at a Congregational church. I also went to special services at a Lutheran church and several Non-denominational churches. Each church was beautiful, and each pastor and congregation spoke wonderful things into my life. I felt richer for having attended them. I think that most Christians truly, TRULY want to help when people are hurting. Their hearts beat for the Lord and their hearts break when someone is in pain. I think the problem happens when the desire to help isn’t mixed with prayerful preparation. I’m finding that many times the first thing that springs to my mind isn’t the best thing to say. If one good thing has come out of my illness, it’s that I will try to be very careful with what I say to hurting people in the future. A quick platitude rolls off the tongue, but it can be very hurtful when someone is in pain. Speaking of pain, I’m so sorry that you’re having trouble with your hearing. I want to thank you for praying for me, and I want to assure you that I will be praying for you as well. You have such a beautiful heart. I feel blessed every time we speak. Thanks for pouring yourself out in the service of others. Thanks for reminding me to “count it all joy.” Thanks for just being YOU!!! I feel very honored to be your friend! ❤

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  11. I have learned if GOD brings us to it, HE will bring us through. I truly believe that there are NO unanswered prayers, just HIS answer sometimes is not the one we wanted. This December 2nd I will be cancr free for 41 years. I had utrine/ovarian cancer phase four. GID always gas a plan. I am sending prayers and hugs. God Bless.

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    1. Dear Glenna, I am praising God with you!!! I’m so happy that you’re cancer free!!! That is WONDERFUL!!! What a beautiful testimony! Thank you for your lovely comment. It’s very true that God will bring us through every difficulty. And it’s also true that there aren’t any unanswered prayers. It was hard for me to accept that “no” and “not right now” were answers–because they weren’t the answers I wanted, but I’m so glad that God knows what’s best. I’m also glad that He never ignores our simplest plea. Thank you for praying for me! That means so much! And thanks again for your lovely comment! I hope you have a wonderful day!

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  12. I read your post through my tears, I understand completely all the “well-MEANing” Christians who think they have a “word” for you My husband was the Worship Leader and Assistant Pastor in the church we attended when he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma Cancer. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I heard the words “Bro. God chastens his children and we will stand with you while you are being chastened!” There were so many times I wanted to stand up in church and scream STOP IT!! Our loving GOD doesn’t put cancer on his children. Yes, He can use it for good and I do believe in my husband’s case He did!

    If there was ever a godly man, is was my husband and the Sunday morning after he was told he had cancer again, he stood up to lead worship and told the Church, I believe that GOD can heal me instantly standing here right now, or HE can use the Doctors and Chemo, (which went against some of the those “believer’s” teachings) or He will take me Home to HEAVEN!! What faith He had in His Savior and a short eleven months later GOD chose to take him home.

    Thank you for sharing what had to be a painful and emotional post. Most of all thank you for showing others that are suffering, there is a loving GOD that cares about them and HE will lead them through their illness, despite all the “friendly or not so friendly-fire”. GOD BLESS YOU DANELE

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    1. Dear Teresa, God bless you too!!! I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. I’m so sorry that such a painful thing happened to you and your husband. I’m more sorry than words can say. The faith and love that your husband demonstrated while going through such a painfully difficult time is incredibly beautiful. What a mighty man of God he was!! And the strength you demonstrated is equally beautiful. Teresa, I’m very sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your story. And thank you for your kind words. You have blessed me today. May God bless and keep you always. And may His loving arms wrap themselves around you in deep, comforting hug. I’m so glad that we are sisters in Christ! ❤

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      1. teresamathews

        Danele, I am sad to say that since I found your post beautiful blog, cancer has once again raised it’s ugly head in our family. I was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. I had surgery to remove the area and two lymph nodes on this past Friday, Oct. 21st. I was told when they did the biopsy that it was caught very early, I haven’t heard back from the pathology report , so I don’t know what type of treatment I’ll be doing. I will ask you to join me and my family in prayer for GOD to heal me. (((HUGS)))

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