I #LiveChosen- Etta
Let me start off by saying how far out of my comfort zone it is to even write this post. But I’m doing it because I hope my #LiveChosen moment will help someone else.
My husband Gary and I have been married for 57 years. Gary and I have been in the ministry for over 40 years and have pastored several churches and traveled as evangelists during that time. We were priviledged to be able to travel thru England and Scotland where Gary had a chance to minister and we could share the plan of salvation with so many. We watched our children grow up being a part of this ministry we had chosen which was both wonderful and trying at times. Speaking of children, I have four daughters and 3 sons-in-law, 8 granchildren, (add the four that are married and it will be 12 grandchildren) and 8 great grandchildren. I have been blessed with a large family!
I believe we should live this life with a goal in mind…to make Heaven our eternal home and to invite as many folks as we can to join us. I hope that that can be said of me and my life. I know that kind of mission leads to a lot of moments where you have to live on purpose, for your purpose. At my age I did have a little difficulty choosing just which #LiveChosen moment to share. There have been many times through this life in ministry that I have had to make "Chosen Choices". Few stand out as much as this one...
I was walking down the hospital corrider toward the little chapel and I knew my world was changing. It was half-way through my husband’s surgery and the doctor had just met with me, the news was not good. The surgery, that was just supposed to remove a tumor, one we were told was not cancer, was now more complicated. It was cancer and the surgery was going to be a lot more invasive than we had thought or planned, and I had to make the decision for the doctor to continue. To continue would be life changing for Gary. When I asked the doctor what would happen if he did not do more now and we waited, he just bluntly said, "he could die.”
My children were in the waiting room and I was pacing around that chapel wondering what I would say to them. How do we make these decisions? How do we know the right thing? We aren’t facing them alone, if I knew anything it was that, so I asked God for help. It’s never so easy as just asking for help because Satan is a destroyer looking for our weakness and fear. He was just trying to get his evil negative thoughts the situation. There was a war going on in my mind.
Gary had always preached that we are to praise God in everything, we had taught this in our church, to praise God in the midst of your trials. Now I am hearing Satan whispering, "let me see you praise God now.”
BUT GOD IS GREATER! The scripture came to my mind in Luke 22:32 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail." In that moment I knew He was also praying for me, that my faith would be steady!
I knew that God heard me, because in the middle of all this going on in my mind, I heard the words to the song we often sang in church… "with my hands lifted up and my mouth filled with praise, I will bless Thee O Lord".
I felt God enter that little room. So with my husband facing a terrible ordeal, I chose to praise God anyhow. Was it easy? NO! But some choices in this life are not easy, however, when we make the right choice it is worth it in the end. This was my moment of choice…I could give in to fear and doubt or I could sing out in faith, praising God for an outcome I hadn’t even yet seen.
Trusting God when we can’t see Him, when we can’t feel Him, is hard. We come face to
face with things that are too heavy and we don’t know how we will hold them. We want to give in or give up. BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL! He hasn’t gone anywhere. Opening your mouth to praise Him beyond what you feel or see opens your eyes to His presence right in the middle of your trial. He was in that little hospital chapel with me and He is right there with you, wherever you are, ready to help you live chosen.
And He will prove that those “Chosen Choices” are always worth it. This one of mine was over 25 years ago and my husband is still alive and has been cancer free since that surgery!