A while ago I wrote a post about Christian forgiveness. Recently I and my family experienced a deep wound from a couple of people who were very close to us, and who are fellow believers. I won’t discuss the details of that situation but it was one of those hurts that just knocks the wind out of you and leaves you feeling like, “oh great, now it’s too late and I’m too hurt and nothing can be done to restore any part of this relationship.” When that kind of hurt comes from people you love, and have trusted, shared with and prayed with, it can really knock you for a loop. And it made us feel crushed.

I reread my post about forgiveness and I still agree with what I wrote even now feeling the heartache I feel. But I wanted to add a little something to what I wrote because I have learned something from what we are going through right now.

I still believe that we must be honest, go to that person and let them know they hurt us. But I also recognize that sometimes that can’t happen right away. Especially when there is no reason to believe that person has any remorse for what they have done to you. The fact is there are going to be times when the hurt is just so deep that having that conversation just can’t happen right away. Sometimes the truth is, people need time to calm down and gain a little self control first in order to keep that discussion from being explosive. And that is probably for the best. Making things worse does not help with forgiveness. And neither does repaying insult for insult. That is sin as well.

I have also learned that there are people who will purposefully hurt you by denying the truth of what they have said and done when they are confronted about their actions. And there may be some who will say you have no right to be hurt, because they did nothing wrong. In these cases we need to consider again that Jesus died for us even when we were yet sinners, and so we need to forgive them even while they deny the truth. There may be no way to restore the relationship in such a case but the objective is still always forgiveness. We were commanded to forgive in Matthew 6:15. It was a very clear command from our Lord who has forgiven us. So even if the offender will not admit any wrongdoing, or is without any remorse, we must forgive anyhow. If there is to be vengeance, it is in the Lord’s hands.

And while it’s important not to bring others into your situation, it is okay to use discretion to go to someone you trust and talk about it. There are situations that are too much to handle alone and sometimes they require the objectivity of another believer along with their support and prayer. But what we absolutely need to do is to resist telling everyone we know what happened. This has been hard for me. I was so torn apart and so angry I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, but I haven’t. I do have a couple of believers that are praying for my family, but I have fought to control my tongue and not go overboard. And the couple that I have talked to, I have tried to only tell the facts, and not just my side of it. I have asked for confidentiality and trust them for that and they support my family with prayer.

I will say when we ask someone for prayer after being hurt; we do also need to ask them to pray the Lord help us to be able to forgive.

I still believe in the need to control your thoughts. I know that Satan desires to use these things in a big way. But I have also learned that sometimes the only way to do that is give it to God – over and over and over again. I personally have struggled so hard with this. The whole situation just plays out over and over in my head – and the things that were said…I just have a really hard time dealing with those thoughts. But I do pray, every day, that the Lord will help me to control my thoughts and remember that these others also belong to Him, and that one day we will all be in heaven together. Therefore I have to try to keep my focus on the Lord, and put the whole thing in His hands. We need to keep in mind that even though we cannot imagine any way that there can be a resolution to this that could possibly honor God, that this is the very time we must go to the Lord in our brokenness, admit our helplessness and trust God.

I’ve learned that different people need different amounts of time to work through even thinking about dealing with things. And it is not right to push them when they just aren’t ready yet. I’m not saying it’s okay for anyone to hold grudges. That is sin, pure and simple. But while I may be ready to go to the one who hurt me and confront the issue, my spouse may need more time, and that means all I can do is pray.

More than ever, I believe that the most important thing is prayer. God wants us to come to Him, to lift up our hurts and our broken hearts to Him. Christ knows what it’s like to be hurt; and we are His. I have to believe that when He sees division, and pain, and condemnation and just a lack of love between those of us that are His, it must truly break His heart. It’s the very opposite of what we are commanded in 1 John 4:21.

My goal is to come to forgiveness for those who hurt me. I know for a fact I cannot do it alone. It goes against my flesh, and in the flesh I do not stand a chance. But I don’t have to do it alone. The Lord has brought about forgiveness in my heart before and He will again. It may not be tomorrow but it will happen.


Proverbs 31: 10 PinkWhen you think of beauty in a woman, what do you think of? Is the first thing that comes to your mind a woman who is physically attractive, and stylishly dressed in the latest styles, with her makeup done and her hair fixed up just right? Would she look like someone you would see on T.V. or on in a magazine? For many women, I would dare to say most women, this is their definition of beauty. And for most women, including women who consider themselves to be living the Christian life, this picture of beauty is a large focus in their lives. And for a growing number of these, it is becoming an obsession.

Sometimes people feel discouraged because they do not consider themselves beautiful and do not measure up to the standards that society has for what they consider beautiful. They don’t see themselves in a true light. Society, and especially the media, puts enormous pressure on a woman to make her feel she needs to look a certain way in order to be attractive or possess beauty.

For many of us today, this pursuit of being beautiful has become something we may never have realized it could be – idolatry.

The Bible defines idolatry as anything that comes before God. How much time do we devote to our beauty and how much reverence do we give to what society defines a beautiful or lovely? Some women spend hours per day on their beauty. There are even women who won’t do anything without their makeup on. Women everyday are having plastic surgery done to make themselves feel more beautiful and in an effort to make themselves look younger. For some, their appearance is a source of great anxiety and insecurity. They don’t see themselves in a true light.

There is a whole different beauty that all too often we never pursue. We may not even give it a second thought but ultimately, it is much more important than what the world has to say.

It’s what the Bible says true beauty is. The Bible lets us know that God values inner beauty over outer appearance and that indeed, outer beauty doesn’t impress him much at all. In fact beauty by society’s standards is many times outright offensive to the Lord. He looks at the heart.

Does that mean that a Christian woman must be unattractive and frumpy and not try to look nice? Absolutely not! We should try to look nice and dress well. The woman in Proverbs 31 who is put forth as the model for biblical womanhood wore colorful, high quality clothing. And the bride in the Song of Solomon adorned herself with jewelry. But for neither of these women was that a primary focus. Certainly there is room for trying to look your best in a Christian woman’s life, but for a Christian woman according to biblical standards, this would look very different than the rest of the world.

So what should define beauty for a Godly woman? I’d like to look at a few different scriptures on this subject:

Beauty comes from a gentle spirit inside a person:

1 Peter 3:3: 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Beauty is in modesty:

1 Timothy 2:9-10: I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

Now, a word about modesty.

I see this becoming such a problem with Christian women. So many Sundays I see women with skirts above the knee, and cleavage showing at church of all places. A woman of God should never dress this way as illustrated in the above scripture. This verse is about not providing a temptation to men to view you in a sexual way. For a Christian woman to intentionally look “sexy” in public (revealing too much leg or cleavage) is a sin! It is providing a temptation to men and it violates what God has said about modesty. Paul’s message is meant not just for the original recipients of his letter, but for us today. He doesn’t want the women in the church looking exactly like the ungodly, seductive women in the world. Women in the church are to be different from the world. We should be stand-outs—not because of our revealing clothing, but because of our distinctly modest dress which comes from having a modest heart.

Beauty is in trustworthiness and in avoiding gossip:

1 Timothy 3:11: In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

Beauty is in compassion and generosity:

Proverbs 31:20: She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

Beauty is in the fear of the Lord:

Proverbs 31:30: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

There are many types of biblical beauty. There is beauty in integrity, modesty, compassion, humility, intelligence, simplicity, faithfulness, and honesty. There is beauty in a servant’s heart and ministry.  But the most exceptional beauty is holiness.

These are the types of beauty that God would have us pursue. These are the things that God considers beautiful, and it is His definition of beauty – not man’s – that a Christian woman is to seek after.

And interestingly enough when we work to become the kind of women who are beautiful in God’s eyes, the world will see something different in us and will want to know more about what make us different – which leads to a unique opportunity to share what we have. There is fulfillment to be found in finding your beauty in what God considers beautiful.

Sometimes we need to be able to remember that to the rest of the world we may not hold much worth, but to Christ we hold great worth – enough for Him to give His life to secure our salvation. In Christ is where our value can be found, not in what the world dictates.

Let’s begin to find our true light in Christ and in being a beautiful bride to Him.

Let’s live meaningful lives for Him and let go of the shallowness of what we have been pursuing.

Are you ready to let go?

Respect Is Not Enough

“Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord. “Should you not tremble in my presence?” Jeremiah 5:22

As a former Catholic, I can truly say that while I may feel that in many areas of doctrine and worship the Catholics are way off base in things; one area where I believe the Catholics are not too far off the mark is the fear of the Lord. I am grateful for the fact that my time in Catholicism deeply indoctrinated me with a understanding of the fear of the Lord. In fact, one of my biggest pet peeves is a person who calls themselves a Christian, and yet lacks the fear of God. I think the following states it best; “In the old days people of faith were said to walk in the fear of God and to serve the Lord with fear. Whenever God appeared to people in bible timers the results were an overwhelming sense of terror and dismay, a wrenching sensation of sinfulness and guilt. The self assurance of modern Christians, the shocking disrespect shown for the person of God, are evidence of deep blindness of heart.” A.W. Tozer.

Fear of God is something that many walking the Christian life today simply do not understand. We are so comfortable with the mercy and grace and forgiveness of God. In fact we as believers become quite comfortable taking for granted God’s forgiveness don’t we? Sometimes I think we are so comfortable with these attributes of God and so assured that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9), that we no longer understand trembling in His presence.

In fact I wonder if we even really understand what true repentance means anymore or is it just now “Oh well, thank God I’m forgiven,” with an attitude like, I’m glad God has to forgive me (since He promised) instead of true repentance which would say “Thank you so much, Holy and perfect God that you forgive me.” Shouldn’t we have an attitude that recognizes that God is Holy and perfect, and we do not deserve this forgiveness? Shouldn’t we, instead, realize we have nothing to offer that makes us worthy of anything; that only because He has saved us do we escape the fiery torment of hell we so righteously deserve.

Do you see the difference?

How quickly we forget that God does not serve us! We act as though the sacrifice that Christ made was meant to serve us – instead of that Christ made that sacrifice so that we could (by His righteousness, and by His worthiness, and by what He did) be counted worthy enough to serve HIM.

And we need to first of all, desire a fear of God because the Bible says it is the one of the only things in us we can offer to God that has worth. It should be the biggest part of our worship and the way we live.

And it is commanded of us by God.

Here are just a few examples. “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul…” Deutoronomy 10:12. In Luke 12:15 Jesus tells us to fear God. Hebrews 10:31 reminds us ‘It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” while Hebrews 12:28-29 tells us “our God is a consuming fire.” Proverbs 1:7 tells us “The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge.

Fear of God is so much more than simple respect as some would have you believe. The word fear in these verses is derived from Hebrew words such as yirah, and yare and pached which actually mean fear, terror or dread. It begins with recognizing that God is a Holy and Perfect God. It means knowing that there is one lawgiver who is able to save & to destroy (James 4:12). It also means realizing that whatever the Lord pleases, He does in heaven and in earth (Psalm 135:6). It is understanding God’s position and what our position is in relation to His.

Fear of God is a motive of obedience. It is understanding how much God despises sin, and fearing to sin before a Holy and righteous God. It implies hatred of evil and wrong doing and loves righteousness and holiness (Proverbs 8:13, Proverbs 14:2).

Fear of God is not the same as fear of loss of salvation. It is realizing that the sweet gift of salvation is as a result only of what God has done and not anything we have or could have done. Those who fear God know that He chose us and we had no part in that, it is by the grace of God we are saved. Ephesians 2:8-9. The fear of God cannot be faked, God knows the heart. Fear of God brings mercy from God. “His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50). “But from everlasting to everlasting, the Lord’s love is with those who fear him and his righteousness with their children’s children” (Psalm 103:17).

Fear of God brings acceptance. Acts 10:34-35 says, “Then Peter began to speak : “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.”

And finally the fear of God delights the Lord. “The Lord delights in those who fear him and put their hope in his unfailing love.”

Fear of God should be the biggest part of our worship. When we worship God it must be done with a true perspective of our position before Him. It must be with a deep heartfelt realization of our need for Him. We must realize that His salvation is a true gift, the gift of eternity spent worshipping God for His glory and for who He is.

We worship knowing that we are sinners who cannot save ourselves, that the best we as sinners deserve of our own accord is eternity in hell. It is knowing that while God is loving and forgiving and full of mercy and grace, He is also Holy and exalted, righteous and just and perfect in every way and He must punish sin. We worship Him knowing it is only the sacrifice He himself made, in the person of Jesus Christ; to do what we could not do and walk a perfect life without sin, laying down that life as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, that allows us to come before God – covered in His own son’s blood – as his children. We recognize the miracle of the resurrection that proved He was indeed God and we thank the Lord Jesus for the gift of faith that allows us to join the family of God. And in all this we did nothing and God did everything. His mercy and grace alone have saved those of us He has called. All we did was hear the call and do the only thing we could once the veil was lifted from our eyes.

We believe – in trembling and in holy awe.

“Who will not fear you O Lord and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (Revelation 15:4)

Steps To Forgiveness

Often other people will hurt us and we know that’s part of life. When you get close to someone else, you take the chance of getting hurt; but we love anyway because it’s worth it. Sometimes it’s the very people we see each week in church that hurt us the most. And because they are Christian we get even more upset because “Christians shouldn’t act like that!” But Christians are not perfect. We are all still flawed and have our faults.

When we are hurt by other Christians we should start by looking at what the bible has to say about how we are to treat each other. At the last supper in John 13:34-35 Jesus says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” In this passage Judas has already left to betray Jesus, and Jesus is talking to the eleven remaining disciples. So we know that command is directed to those who know Christ.

So how has Jesus loved us? Certainly it was in a forgiving, patient, self-sacrificing, humble way. So then that is how Jesus is telling us to love each other. And if we needed more convincing of the importance of forgiveness we should look at Matthew 18:21-35. After all the Lord has forgiven us, shouldn’t we extend that forgiveness to others? So what do we do when someone hurts us, and maybe we are finding we are struggling to move beyond that pain?

1)    Be Honest! Tell them one on one about the hurt you feel-and don’t tell anyone else. They may not even know they hurt you, and even if they do; you should allow them the opportunity to apologize. And not only should we let the other person know they have hurt us, but we should also ask them if we have hurt them. We may have hurt them and don’t even know it. If we have we will want to apologize, and do what we can to make things right.

2)    Keep control of your thoughts. It’s easy to relive a hurt in our mind over and over until it becomes bigger and bigger and hurts worse and worse each time we relive it. When the hurt comes to your mind try to remember they are also a child of God, flawed but forgiven, and we must forgive any hurt that was caused to us just as the Lord has forgiven us a debt we could never repay.

3)    Pray about it! This is the most import thing you can do to forgive. We are commanded to give thanks in all things! We must do this even with things and situations we are not happy about or that can be painful. I also believe that all things includes being thankful even for those who have hurt us. We should thank God that He has chosen to put that person in our lives; secure in the confidence that He did so for a reason, one that is for our good. We should be thankful for the gift of salvation the Lord has given to our brother/sister in Christ. Here was a person who was lost with no hope, and a future of eternity in Hell and the Lord God Almighty saw fit to save that person and use them to glorify Himself! That is awesome! Clearly God loves that brother/sister. He wants us to love them also. We should pray that God will soften our hearts and help us to be able to forgive. We need to pray that God will help us forgive them and acknowledge to God and ourselves in prayer that our brother/sister does not owe us anything. We are letting that go and asking God to help us to love again.

By doing these things and relying on God to help us to forgive we can move past the hurts we feel. We know that it is God’s expressed will that we love one another and that we forgive. Sometimes that takes a little effort and a lot of forgiveness, but glorifying God with our life is worth it.

Finding a positive way to cope is important when living with sickness or chronic illness. We can see that self pity and denial do not work, but rather only make things worse.

I have found in my life that a point of critical importance is how I define myself. I need to have a firm foundation in understanding who I am. It took time for me to understand that knowing who I am is not the same as what I do, or who I have been. I am a woman, a daughter, a wife, a daughter in law, a sister, a friend and a mother. But that isn’t who I am, but rather what my relationship is to others. I am an employee of the American Breast Cancer Foundation, a Sunday school teacher, a praise team member, and a trainer in Kids Evangelism. But that’s not who I am, it’s what I do. I have been hurt, broken, let down and wounded in my life. But again that’s not who I am, it’s where I’ve been. Who I am is a treasure in the eyes of Christ, a Christ follower, loved, valued, forgiven, and saved. That is who I am. That is what defines me. There are days I must remind myself of this, because otherwise I may begin to allow my shortcomings and pain to define me.

I have also learned it is necessary to focus on what I have, and not on what I don’t. So I need to try to maintain a constant attitude of gratitude. There are those who have it worse than me and even if that was not the case, I am blessed beyond belief because I have the gift of salvation. I have the knowledge that no matter what happens to me it is temporary and one day when this life is over I will have a new and perfect body in heaven for eternity with Jesus Christ. This is the blessed assurance of salvation.

I have learned also that my pride can be a powerful stumbling block if I allow it to be. Realistically I have limitations and I have to accept them. I can’t do everything someone else may be able to do, and sometimes I need help from other people. That was really hard to swallow because I didn’t want to let go of my independence. But I found a way to do this by learning to stop depending on myself and just depend on God. He gives me each day what I need, including the people in my life I need to help me. None of us is independent. We all need other people. Our creator did not create us to be alone but rather to rely on him first and trust him to meet our needs. Don’t let your pride alienate you. Learn to see and accept it when others in your life want to share your burden and let them. It is a gift to share in the burdens of those we love. Don’t deny those that love you that gift. And don’t deny yourself the rich blessing of experiencing that love.

Don’t stop praying and trusting in the Lord. The doctors do not determine your tomorrow; God does. I needed to let go of my fear of tomorrow by trusting God. Accepting where God has allowed me to be today does not mean I give up hope in tomorrow. Tomorrow God may choose to heal me; I know he has that power. Jesus healed many in the bible. I also know if He chooses not to heal me that will not take away from His love for me. It simply means that God has another plan for me. One that is better than what I could plan for myself; even if I can’t see it right now. Joni Eareckson Tada is a beautiful example of that. God did not choose to heal her body, but He did choose to use her paralysis to bring glory to Himself through her life and all that she has been able to do and accomplish despite being paralyzed. (By the way if you are not familiar with her story do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s an incredible inspiration for us all.)

Stay in the Word daily. Daily bible reading is of the utmost importance. Coping with illness takes faith. Faith does not come from within us, contrary to what many would tell you. We must have the Word of God in our hearts to have faith; and the bible is the complete, perfect, inerrant written Word of God.

With all that I come to the most important thing I can tell anyone about coping with illness. If you are not living under the salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ; your health, you life and all you think you have, means nothing. I don’t have a clue how anyone gets through anything in life apart from having the gift of a relationship with Christ. Christ is real; and He is the only way to receive the gift of eternal life. There are not many ways, as some would say – but only one way. You see heaven is a free gift. There is nothing we can do to earn it, and no way that we could ever deserve it. We are all sinners, and there is no way we can save ourselves. The truth is God is love, He loves us and He doesn’t want to punish us. But God is also just and He must punish sin. This creates a serious problem for us.

But God solved this problem in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is God. He came from heaven to earth, He lived a perfect life, He died on the cross and three days later rose again. And he did this to pay the penalty for our sins and purchase a place in heaven for us. He is alive today in heaven and will one day return to gather those who receive the gift of eternal life to take us home to heaven to spend eternity with Him. We can receive the gift of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Faith isn’t simply knowing in our minds about Jesus and the sacrifice He made. It is trusting in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life. If you feel God speaking to your heart you can receive this gift today by repenting of (simply turning away from) your sin and by trusting not in yourself but in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life.

If you have given your life to Jesus Christ today, or would like to know more about having a personal relationship (a REAL relationship) with Jesus, please do leave a comment and let me know so I can pray for you, and make sure that you have the support you need as a new believer. If you have any questions for me about anything you’ve read or have anything you’d like me to pray for you about please do let me know.

For those who are not aware, I have a chronic neurological disease called polyneuropathy. In a nutshell that means I have nerve damage that is progressively getting worse all over my body. We don’t really know why, at least not yet and there is no cure. The only way to stop the progression is to find out why and try to treat the cause – but that will not cure the damage that has already been done, it will just stop it from continuing to get worse. This illness has affected my ability to walk (I walk with a cane now) and results in a great deal of pain on a daily basis.

In my sickness, I have made some huge mistakes in how I have coped with all of this. I have wasted time feeling sorry for myself and walking around in denial try to pretend everything was okay. I didn’t want to be the “disabled” one. And my independence meant a lot to me. I didn’t want to admit my fears and deal with them and I didn’t want to need anyone else to help me with anything. I was a single mother of 3 children, and I thought I could get by without really having to need anyone’s help. My attitude and inability to cope really affected my relationship with the Lord. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit began convicting me heavily on my attitudes and how I was dealing with my situation, and the Lord has used the Holy Spirit to open my eyes. So I write this in the hope that God will see fit to use me to help someone else who may be where I was.

I believed deeply for a long time that God was punishing me and that was why I was sick. Not because of ongoing, unrepentant sin, mind you. There is biblical basis that unrepentant sin can make us sick. But this was punishment for sin I had already repented of, that was under the blood. And that belief held me back in my spiritual growth and made it hard for me to learn from what I was going through. Instead of asking God what I could learn from my condition I decided I already knew all I needed to know.

But the inherent truth is that if indeed we are all sick one way or another, then my illness is not likely punishment because I was extra bad; but rather something that was part of life – and something God has allowed in my life for a reason and a purpose. Even in my sickness, God loves me and wants to teach me something that will help me grow in my relationship with him.

Much of coping with being sick can be made easier based on how we choose to respond to our situation. It’s easy to be bitter. Easy to get lost in the “Why me?”  That’s the easy way out, and whether we like to admit it or not there is a payoff to this type of attitude. The payoff is that it gives us an excuse to take no personal responsibility. It allows us to be lazy and we get to be a victim. This type of attitude requires no effort but there is a high price to pay for this type of attitude as a response to our illness. The price is that it damages our relationship with God and we end up powerless. We have given the power to the enemy, who will use our attitude to further damage our relationship to the Lord.

The next most harmful thing to an attitude of self pity is denial. We do this by denying the illness and its impact in our life. By pretending everything is fine and nothing is changing, nothing is wrong; and trying not to look at reality or the magnitude of how your illness will affect your life. This is just as lazy of an attitude for us to have as the “Why me?” attitude. Fear keeps you from even looking at the truth of your situation. There is fear of loss of control and having to be dependent on someone else, and the pain that may be in your future. You fear that things are hopeless and it’s just more that you can bear. We all have these fears when face with monumental changes and an uncertain future. The uncertainty of what is to come can be terrifying. Freedom from these fears comes when you realize where our security is and where it should have been all along. Jesus is your security. Knowing there is nothing you will ever face alone because he has promised he will never leave or forsake you and believing that God will work all things together for the good of those who love Him is your comfort. And with that you can face your fear and overcome the denial and move on to a response that will be beneficial and result in a closer walk with and reliance on the Lord.

So how do you come to a response that will help grow your faith in and reliance on the Lord? That is the subject of my next post. I’d like to really explore how we can cope with illness in a positive way and share with you some of what the Lord has opened my eyes to in my own life.