Monthly Archives: October 2012

Are We Having Fun Yet?


How many years have you lived? How much of the time during that lifespan have you enjoyed being alive? Are you having fun yet?

I am a pastor’s wife. Not because I said one day, “Wow, I think I’ll be a pastor’s wife!” But, because my husband was directed by the Lord into the pastorate.

I’m not going to say we were “called by the Lord to be pastors” – though we both have a testimony in our spirits that we were indeed “called by God”: first of all, called to salvation through His Son, our Lord Jesus the Christ; and second, called to be available as His obedient children to represent the “family” and to invite others to give themselves up for adoption into that family and to become our brothers and sisters.

Years ago we felt called to the greater body of Christ in an itinerant ministry and developed a great compassion to minister to pastors and their spouses. We prayed for them, cried and laughed with them. Then the Lord said, “Now I want you to be able to identify with them on a deeper level.” And He placed us in pastoral ministry. To say we have grown is an understatement; it’s more like we have been pounded into a whole new shape by the hand of the heavenly “potter”.

Sometimes I have to ask myself, “Are we having fun yet?”

Pastoral ministry has its high and low points – not so high, that we get puffed up, and not so low that we quit our post (though there were times we considered doing just that). I don’t think this is the life I would have chosen, but it’s where God has me – and that, after all, is the best place to be.

Later today I will be joining a handful of other pastors’ wives for an overnight of fun and fellowship, with an unplanned format, in a very informal setting. It’s our first such meeting, so we have no idea how it will flow. Our husbands have been involved in such a men’s group over the past two years and have learned to relax and enjoy it.

But we are women. We are relational. We are soft-hearted and compassionate: we easily “weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice” – it’s just that we tend to pull the weeping out of each other (it’s part of female bonding) because we are finally with someone else who understands the strains peculiar to shepherding the flock as our husband’s chief assistant.

We know that what we really need is to laugh, but often we have to remove the obstacles to allow the laughter to come out. So tonight I plan to take some funny stories to share; I plan to empty out my grievances to the Lord before driving to the “retreat”, and to ask Him to fill me and the other wives with a spirit of joy and the gift of laughter.

I really want to be a person of peace,  joy, and laughter as I learn to “walk on the happy side of life” as the old song goes.

You also can learn to be a positive person; to look on the bright side of your life’s circumstances; to connect with both God and others through light and laughter.

Remembering that:

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Prov. 17:22

If your life to this point has not panned out the way you had dreamed, ask God to give you a new dream – to show you what is really important in life; to let go of your disappointments and start enjoying the life that you are living – chasing the shafts of sunlight that break through the clouds.

Wouldn’t it be a waste if you got to the end and never learned to laugh? to be at peace? to have a thankful heart in the midst of your challenges?

Jesus said: “I have come that you might have life, an abundant life” John 10:10

Are you experiencing that “abundance” in your spirit? Ask God to help you to see the fun, joy, and laughter He has planned in each of your remaining days on earth – so that laughter won’t be a whole new experience when you finally get to heaven.

So, are you having fun yet? Are you willing to let it happen?

 

©2012, Marcy Alves

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Breast Cancer Awareness: Increasing God-Awareness


This month is Breast Cancer Awareness month – not that I am unaware of breast cancer the rest of the year; I have breast cancer, with which I was diagnosed about 4½ years ago.

I had been diagnosed with breast cysts several times in my life – once just before David and I were married 34 years ago. I had surgery and a fairly large double-cyst was removed, which was benign. Several other times cysts were found, diagnosed as benign and not removed, they seemed to disappear.

The day I received the cancer diagnosis from a mammogram and follow-up ultrasound, I wasn’t surprised, and yet I was. Among those who know me best, I was known to have a healthy lifestyle of diet, exercise, and spiritual life. But cancer is no respecter of persons. Obviously my immune system was not healthy enough to ward off the cancer. Which I should have suspected some ten years earlier, when I developed shingles, following an emotionally challenging mission trip to Brazil.

Anyway – from whatever cause – there it was staring at me from the x-ray photography, and verified by the biopsy pathology report – breast cancer “in-situ”.

We came home from the surgeon’s office, feeling a little numb – it felt like a day out of time – like I was watching a movie of someone else’s life.

My husband volunteered to call our family and a few close friends for prayer while I spent some much needed time with my Heavenly Father.  Several of my older blog posts have come out of that on-going experience.

How am I doing today? Still waiting and trusting and leaning into the arms of my Savior; still waiting to hear the next directive from Him; finding more than my sufficiency in His love; wondering if all of His purposes for permitting this invasion of the flesh have been accomplished. And holding on to His the words spoken into my spirit the day of the original diagnosis:

“Don’t be afraid.”  “Trust me.” “This is not just for you.”  “Wait on Me.” “Be still and know that I am God.”

For any readers who are facing the challenge of breast cancer, or any other kind of cancer, no matter what course of treatment you may choose or have chosen, may those five words connect with you in the midst of your personal crisis.

President F. D. Roosevelt said at the time of WWII,

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

So don’t be afraid. Trust God to bring you through. Wait on Him for direction, comfort, and healing of your body and spirit. Be still long enough to “know” that He alone is God – that however the healing comes, it is His hand that is healing you.

Pray for and with me and others who are on the battlefield with you against this enemy from hell.

I believe that “in the beginning” when God created earth and sky and sea; plants and animals, and the crown of His creation – MAN, He placed in the creation whatever is needed for physical healing. Pray that our Father leads someone to discover His cure for cancer.

Where there is God, there is life. Where there is life, there is hope. May you learn to live in hope by living in God.

©2012, Marcy Alves

Related Posts:

Disease Does Not Define Me

When God’s Voice is “Indistinct” part 1

When God’s Voice is “Indistinct” part 2

Life Challenges, Prayer, and a Relationship with God

Dealing With Fear

 

 

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