The Reality Factor

God Uses People to Help People

Update #4 – July 19, 2019

After reading Update #3, you may have said to yourself, “Well, that’s sure not a definition of ‘family and relationships’ that I can relate to.’  Well, today’s update is for you!

PEOPLE CONNECTIONS – THE REALITY FACTOR

I want to help people understand that this journey is more than physical. The whole person is involved.  I want to help you see what a person in my situation thinks like and how and why.

Families have issues, strife, quarrels, and disagreements of every kind, and even estrangements that are never resolved. With the advance of technology and social media, conflict is present in relationships- more now than at any other time in history.

As a Conflict Resolution/Advocate (volunteer), for over 20 years, I found myself resolving disputes through the application of research, study, and writing. As I mentioned in one of the previous updates, this seemed to be a natural fit for me.  Sometimes this involved writing a ‘Request to Resolve’ a personal dispute between two people – or higher-level requests to provincial or national offices of the government, business or finance.  I had no other ‘tools’ in my toolbox.

Some lawyers I know and respect, have the attributes of being gifted reconcilers, motivated by care and concern for others, actively working to resolve the complex issues that people are dealing with daily. God Uses People to Help People!

The greatest example of a reconciler, however, is Jesus. Here is a link to an article explains the role that Jesus had in the reconciliation between God and man (‘man’ refers to all humankind).

Bible Study Tools: Reconciliation

Conflicts are a reality in almost every relationship – none of us are perfect and without fault. Maybe you are one of the easy-going personality types that ‘go with the flow’- neither causing conflict nor taking an active role in resolving the conflicts of others. Or perhaps you are the one that by your very nature seems to invite conflict wherever you go. Or, you may be one who recognizes conflict from a sensory position and works in a very natural, quiet way to open the door to understanding and resolution.

None of us can escape the reality that conflict exists in all of our lives to some degree or another.

FLASH FORWARD – RECONCILE

When you’ve been told your life’s anticipated expiry date (barring a miracle by God’s hand- directly or indirectly through medical intervention) relationships are viewed through a very different lens.  Many issues or petty annoyances don’t matter anymore. There’s no time to play games. That would help to explain why Update #3 – was noticeably void of the mention of conflict. I am naturally moving to that place where I make peace with myself, with God and with others.

To move to that place, however, requires alignment in an effort by the mind, emotions, will and spirit – to choose to forgive and let go. Peace and release are the by-products of that choice and follow seemingly without effort.  Even feelings you once had, of having been ‘wronged’ are swept away. But the personal choice to forgive and let go – is pivotal!

We choose every day to reconcile what happens to us – or not to reconcile. For people who do not reconcile the record frequently and move on—the list of unfinished business is tacked onto a to-do list at the end date. Even if you do not suffer in your physical body, your anxiety level is greatly increased with the associated distress. Why not take care of those choices now and forgive and let go? Make the decision today to reconcile the relationships that need to be reconciled – even if it is within your own heart, and you cannot involve the other person.  Make peace with what you cannot change. Resentment has a cost. Choose, therefore, to release any bitterness and anger. Recognize that those who may have offended you – are human like yourself. Have you acknowledged that perhaps you may have been the source of pain for someone else? Offer the same compassion to someone as what you would hope someone would offer you. Find a way to be the change-agent for your situation and pray that God will work in the heart of the other person to complete the cycle of forgiveness.

Who comes to mind as you read this? Start with the person you are thinking of right now!

If I am granted many more years of life – I will be living clutter-free – in many ways. It can’t get better than that!

HEALTH

Reconcile … a verb *To reconcile yourself to a situation is to accept it even if it is unpleasant or painful because it cannot be changed.

Cambridge Dictionary

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My Greatest Challenges:

Physical:

  • ovarian cancer (6 cm tumour on the left ovary) with slight spread to surrounding tissue (no other organs are affected that we know of)
  • accumulation of ascites fluid in my abdomen that makes it difficult to breathe, dress, walk, etc.
  • the competition going on for space within my body makes it more difficult for organs to move around and work like they are supposed to. Despite a great appetite, it has been difficult to eat. This has resulted in a significant weight loss- losing the extra ‘cushion’ has not hurt me at this point. I am hoping equipment and nursing support will help me manage this.

Mental

  • frustration due to no communication regarding my situation- an entire month- with just bits of information, like sodium and potassium levels in my blood- that was it!

Psychological

  • anxiety in that no singular Doctor, I could look to guide me, from June 20th– July 18 (our family physician was gone June 17th-July 16th and though the Dr.’s filling in tried to help me- they tried, but I believe they were not included in the ‘loop’ of communication so lacked the resources to help me
  • Persistence on my part did result in getting the help I needed- even if it was too late for comfort.

My Greatest Blessings:

Spiritual

  • Emails, prayers, the love, care and concern are reminders to me of why I am able to ‘ride on the wings of grace.’
  • quietly calling on God to help me in my distress- quoting some of my favourite Psalms, asking God to show His mercy- praying Hezekiah’s prayer and sensing the compassion of Jesus fall upon me

Relational

  • I am seeing people around me through spiritual ‘eyes.’ I cannot explain how this transition happens! With this spiritual vision – people connections take on a supernatural quality. God has a divine purpose in all the relationships we have with one another- I am more convinced of this than ever before – there are no coincidences, whether you are a believer or non-believer. God is a master of intelligent design, and He uses relationships to perfect His work in us!

Who were you designed to be? What’s your purpose? By what means do you express your calling?

Are you doing what you were prepared to do?  No guilt trip here –  I see so many of you doing what no one else can do – you are uniquely positioned and gifted to offer your gifts to the world, and you are doing it!

 Ephesians 2:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

As I wrote on July 12th (Update #3), I was in moderate discomfort- waiting for a much-needed hospital procedure scheduled for Tuesday, July 16th.  By Tuesday, my level of discomfort had escalated to the extreme due to an accumulation of ascites fluid in my abdomen.

Coping Strategy:

“When what you are hoping for cannot be realized, then change what you are hoping for.’ 

I was hoping that I could have had the medical procedure ten days previous to this. I started to feel restless, so I employed the coping strategy above by hoping for smaller tangible things, like

  • being able to eat enough food daily to keep my strength up (with so much fluid buildup- there wasn’t much room for food!)
  • to have a good sleep
  • to find enjoyment in small things during the day to distract me from my troubles
  • that I would recall a scripture, a song, picture or email that would boost my faith and hope

On July 16th at noon, I was able to have a procedure that removed 4 litres of fluid, followed by another 2 litres in the following 24 hours. Try carrying that ‘baby’ around when you are 63 years old!

I was discharged from hospital, too weak and light-headed to walk, but thank goodness for wheelchairs!  Set up at home with some equipment and information for self-care (overseen by Community Nursing) will ensure that I am going to be able to receive the care I need.

Home is a comfort, and so is food!  I have been able to enjoy some dinners prepared by angels (in human form).  Wow!  Does food ever taste better when someone else prepares it – have you noticed that also?   God Uses People to Help People!

July 18th was my long-awaited consultation at the Prince George Cancer Clinic to meet the Nurse and Doctor team who would lay out a recommended plan going forward. My two sons accompanied me. Marlo was on standby for a telephone conference to follow the consult.

We already had been told on June 20th what the prognosis was for me – without surgery.  That prognosis was confirmed on July 18th by the Oncologist – measured in terms of months.

At the Cancer Clinic, a well-executed plan that contained the ingredient “hope” was presented with a recommendation to immediately proceed with:

  • Six weeks of chemotherapy (Prince George)
  • surgery in Vancouver (September)
  • followed by chemotherapy (Prince George).

We have decided to proceed with the plan as presented by the Oncologist.  The regimen described holds out some hope for time measured in years – rather than months. This is the ‘fight’ that I have needed to prepare for.  These people will be God’s agents, along with those who are joining Marlo, I and our family in closing the gap between heaven and earth- through prayer! Thy Will Be Done, Thy Kingdom Come, On Earth As It Is In Heaven!

Something my son, Mark said to me greatly encouraged me – he said, “Mom, you displayed the same grace today when you heard that surgery held some hope for some good years – as you did when you heard the ‘without surgery’ months option. You displayed the same grace.”

Thank you for supporting me – with your words, songs, pictures, analogies, scriptures, and tough-love talks … all of what you have shared with me is what I lean on.  God Uses People to Help People!

Lauren Daigle’s popular song, ‘You Say” has played in my mind this week – when I felt weak, struggling with doubts when things were not coming together as I had hoped. Listen to it when you have time and receive this encouragement for your journey,

Lauren Daigle: You Say

 

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