A New Book and a new Niece!

One of the books in my library is REES HOWELLS, INTERCESSSOR. I felt led to pick it up and read it this last week. I know I had read it 30 years ago, but this was like the first time! This is not a fast read, but a really deep, thought-provoking book. It has already changed my life as God spoke to me often while reading it. I found that there is a big difference between being a prayer warrior and an intercessor. An intercessor stands in the stead of the person being prayed for or for situation being prayed for–that is a really simplistic explanation. Anyone interested should read the book. I thought I had really been depending on God for all my needs, but this book really showed me I hadn’t! What a difficult lesson! I’ll be learning in the next month if I have gotten close yet! One of the most profound things was that if I have money to fill a person’s need and God says take care of it, it doesn’t matter if I will need that money later. I have to take care of the now. God will take care of the later.

I met my new niece today. Helena Scarlett was born on the 12th and is a tiny little girl, with long fingers and long legs. Her dad is 6’4 so I expect tall. Helena’s big sister Georgia is 4 but is as tall as my 5 year old granddaughter! What a lovely time I had with that family this afternoon. The grown children were out for the day, so just my brother, sister in law, and the 2 kids. It  was good catching up as I hadn’t been able to drive till the last couple of months. We teased my brother that here was a guy who thought babies were gross-now he has 5 kids! The good Lord has a great sense of humor!

A Miracle

After 18 months of no voice and trying everything my doctors knew to try, I was told I wasn’t going to get my voice back. My doctor suggested I go on disability.  Dennis and I met with my boss and he said “you can’t afford that. You just keep coming in and inspiring us with your trying to work. I’ll keep paying you and keep your benefits”  How awesome was that? By then I had gone back to work as much as I could.  I whispered or sounded pretty horrible depending on what sound I could get out, but I was no longer really isolated. I still didn’t eat in public, but my positive attitude was back and I had joined Bible Study Fellowship on Thursdays and so was back in a formal Bible study which I had not been in for a number of years. It is amazing what being in God’s Word on a regular basis will do to your spirit! I didn’t realize that God was really working in my life, but He was. A lot of people commented on my attitude or happiness or joy that I seemed to have in spite of the voice. I found that I was sharing my faith more as a result. And it was so simple, flowed so easily because people asked me.

I still couldn’t accept my doctor’s diagnosis. No voice forever? So I took a page from James (New Testament) where it was if any are sick, you are to gather the elders and pastors together and they are to anoint the sick one with oil and then pray. I asked my pastors to do the same for me.  God is still in the business of miracles, because He gave me my voice back! It is huskier and lower pitched and I have to protect it with just how much I use it in a day, but I talk with a “normal” voice! My doctor couldn’t believe it when I went back to him, but he is a believer and knows a miracle when he sees one! He says I am a walking, talking miracle!

The coolest thing is that this has only added to my story of God’s care for me. Those who know me and who have gone through this with me know absolutely that there is no medical basis for me to be able to speak, but I do.  I can’t sing anymore though and I miss it, but someday, I’ll be in the heavenly choir singing praises to the King.!

Life After a Stroke

I didn’t really get the stroke diagnosis for about 3 months. I was referred to a Throat and Voice Specialist and after examining me, he asked me to see a neurologist. He didn’t explain the why of that thoroughly, just said that I might have some muscle issues. Of course I couldn’t talk yet. He did tell me that the vocal chords were still paralyzed and in whispers I could tell him about my issues with eating. I could not eat out in public as I never knew when I would choke and literally throw everything back up. These issues concerned him too and so pretty quickly I got in to see a new neurologist. This one specialized in neuromuscular diseases. WOW, that’s a death sentence. I went through all the testing over a six week time period and that included Christmas time. I’ll never forget my sister Marilou came to me and said, we are going to pray you through this. I just won’t accept such a diagnosis and can’t loose you! Thus began our weekly praying together. This is a whole different subject in itself and one day I’ll write about it, but here it is almost 5 years later and we are still praying together weekly.

So you know that since I am still alive, I didn’t have any of the neuromuscular diseases, but I had suffered a stroke. Back to the voice doctor, he planned surgery to move my vocal chords closer together, which would loosen them up. I also started speech therapy two to three times a week. Because I was so fatigued, he ordered a sleep study and we found that I stop breathing 86 times an hour! No wonder I was so tired!  So he ordered a BiPap machine which I wear at night that forces air down my nose and throat. I hate wearing it, but I hate being so tired more. We decided to try for the surgery which could fix the problem, but for me it didn’t work.

All this time, I spoke in whispers or if I forced it, I sounded like I had the worst case of laryngitis you’ve ever heard. I wasn’t really working. How can you be a recruiter without a voice? But occasionally a local client would call with a need and my wonderful office would rally and find a candidate for me.  I slept a lot and really withdrew a lot. If you knew me, you’d know  that was just not me! But with not being able to communicate, not being able to eat or drink in public–I just felt cut off from everything.

About this time, my husband brought me home a puppy one day. He looked like a Benji dog-was supposed to be a terrier/poodle mix who would only grow to 15lbs at most. We named him Kirby because my husband said he was a curbstone setter. Having a puppy really got me up and out of bed. To potty train a puppy you have to be viligant. He would let me stay in the bed for a 2 hour nap, but then he’d bark at me to get up-even if it was to the sofa. We took walks in the afternoon and I got stronger. No voice, but the rest of my body was beginning to heal.

These Last Nine Months

I noticed today that my love of cooking and planning a good dinner has come back to me! I’ve shared some recipes previously.  This is amazing because up until the last 3 or 4 weeks, my husband has been planning, cooking and serving us. Not that this was a bad thing, but he has his basic things he can fix- I like a lot of variety with a lot of fresh vegetables. As I have said before, we eat mostly fish and some chicken and occasionally some beef. Every now and then, I”ve just got to have a cheeseburger and no one does them better than Dennis! Even Chili’s can’t beat him and they are good! Besides hamburgers, he still needs the occasional pot roast, or smothered steak with peppers and onions. But he has been really good to accept all the fish and seafood we’ve been having. I’m lucky he likes it as much as I do.

I’ve also started back at keeping my house. Cleaning up as I see a room that needs it, I feel like I have been rejuvenated or re-born. This afternoon, I worked at cleaning up my office. Now I think that a clean desk is the sign of a sick mind, so you know it really needed attention, but it was good to put some things away and reorganize others. I am back working full time now and enjoying it more than ever! That is really something considering I ‘ve been doing this since 1979!

God is so good though to keep my business bright and fresh. I never know who I’ll speak with that day or where they will be located. It is amazing that by praying over my work, I literally watch God bring the right people to me out of the hundreds I might have spoken with! Some are just so perfect that I could never have arranged  all of the circumstances, the backgrounds of firm and candidate and ultimately their joined goals like God can! I wonder how I ever did this without praying over my work before I started a search. He certainly blessed me in spite of me!

So what happens next? I know I am not completely headache free. That probably means more nerve blocks in my future, but at least they are working for longer periods now. I know I have cataracts to get taken care of, but God willing nothing else major!