ISAIAH 61:1-4

ISAIAH 61:1-4

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me and has anointed me to
Preach the good news to the poor. .
Bind up the brokenhearted,
Proclaim freedom for the captives,
Proclaim release from darkness for the prisoners,
Comfort all who mourn
Provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them
The oil of gladness for mourning
And a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Life Happens

I first heard about the "She Speaks" Conference the other day when Linda over at 2nd Cup of Coffee mentioned it. "What an opportunity," I thought. "I should see about going." And in the hurry and scurry of life, I tabled the thought. Tonight, surfing through blogs, I found this contest posted by Lysa at Proverbs 31 Ministry. I decided to post an entry!

From as early as I can remember, I have always wanted to write a book. I was never sure how to proceed. In the meantime, I have filled spiral binders and journals with thoughts, ideas and even stories, but have never really been serious about it. It was always one of those "someday" ideas.

In December 2005, I donated half of my liver to a friend and decided to blog the experience. That would be the start of my book, I thought. I came through the surgery, but my friend died February 22, 2006 from complications. I was far too sad to write anything that would be uplifting to others. No book for me, I thought.

On one occasion I talked about it with a friend who served many years as an editor with a Christian Publishing Company. "You need to go to a Christian writers' conference," she advised me.

But life happens. Six months after liver surgery, I went to the doctor to have a mole removed and woke up three weeks later with a mastectomy. First came the surgeries followed by an agonizing six months of chemotherapy. During this epoch from liver donation to mastectomy to chemotherapy, a metamorphosis has occurred in me, a paradigm shift, a growth of faith unequaled in my life. Don't get me wrong, I don't walk on water. Occasionally I manage to get wet or dabble a toe here and there.

I'm like my younger granddaughter. As a toddler, she was an adventurer. She energetically explored her world sometimes encountering difficulties. At that point she always screamed, loudly. A piercing sound that brought any adult within earshot running to rescue her. At times we'd be met with a cherubic smile while she pointed to her little black patent Mary Jane hanging from her foot by an ankle strap. Other times, she had to be plucked from a high shelf of the bookcase or extracted from beneath the couch cushions. One day I came running to find her squatting on a lamp table with her head under the shade of the lamp. She seemed to know when she had reached an impasse with her explorations and knew it was time to scream.

And then one day, things changed. Instead of the scream, I heard a very loud, "I 'tuck!" There she was in the living room wedged tightly behind the sofa. As usual, she smiled as soon as her rescuer appeared. I pulled her out and gave her a big hug. From that day, Mikaela's bloodcurdling scream was no longer necessary. With more and more finesse, she learned to express her needs, call for help, and establish understanding.

During those long weeks and months of illness and recovery, something in my being changed. The old independent me didn't like having to be waited on, to be assisted to do so many ordinary things, but I learned to appreciate the hand of God in those small moments, those daily trials. My faith is different in character, in depth. God and I have a different relationship.

Oh, sometimes I still find myself pleading with God to rescue me from some place my stubborn nature has led me, but it doesn't have that desperate screaming quality. Along with my growing granddaughter, I can express my needs, call for help, and establish understanding with my rescuer, my Savior.

As for writing a book, She Speaks Conference 2008 would be a good place for me to be able to obtain direction to build a writing portfolio, understand what publishers are looking for, how to write a proposal, and how to impact readers. For me, this seems like the next step. The scholarship would be a wonderful blessing and enable me to get there!

Thank you, Proverbs 31 Ministries, for this opportunity.

Pastor Phylis


  1. This was so touching, revealing, heart-warming and all around beautiful post. YES!!!! From reading this writing ability and how you can get your readers into what you're saying and continue with interest....YOU'VE definitely got my vote too...go, seek out the scholarship or whatever it takes to get your work published!!!!

    I applaud you.

  2. Very good post! It really touched my heart strings! Good luck!


  3. Your friend passed away on KayTar's first birthday.

    This was a beautiful post, PJ.

  4. Oh I do hope you will be able to go. You have so much to share and God has gifted you in so many ways. (Maybe you didn't use the word gift as a description of your experiences, but they are. Along with your gift of writing.) So use your gifts and talents for His glory and minister to others.

  5. What an incredible story!
    Thanks for commenting on my blog. It is very nice to meet you.
    Good luck with the contest!

  6. Hi again P J!!! Just wanted to let you know that I completed the tag!

    Hope you're feeling well this evening. My best to you.

  7. This is a fabulous post. I'm hooked! I'm so glad you visited my blog tonight.

  8. What a moving post! I pray that God will bless your desire to share your story with others!

  9. I hope you'll win. God want your story told.

  10. What a heartwarming post! I love the analogy of your granddaughter. Oh so many times I've had to cry out to God, "I tuck!" and He has had to rescue me. Blessings on your attendance.

  11. somehow I missed this post! I can't even imagine the thrill of getting to meet your way cool self face to face!!!!

    This contest has me so conflicted. I want to say PICK ME! PICK ME! but there are other bloggy friends (especially you) that i want to jump up and point to and say PICK HER! PICK HER!

    ahhhh. God's will be done, huh?

  12. You know how I feel about you personally, but I also love your writing. This blog one of the best-written out there.

  13. I've always been a "server", one to help, working to help someone else in need...
    and in many different situations, God brought me into various situations to TEACH me how to be a RECEIVER...
    it's hard to receive when you've always been a server...
    feeling guilty for receiving...
    feeling angry that you aren't able to help yourself...
    feeling vulnerable not knowing what will happen...
    feeling less than before because of illness/treatment...

    Yes, cancer brought many of these thoughts to my mind...and God worked through my friends and family...they were all angels that gave to me in so many ways, and He taught me and my dh how to receive...which is a new gift!
    You, my dear, so wonderfully expressed it in your post...
    He has also given you the RECIPE to receive grace and receive love from others...thereby they have lovingingly shown your how MUCH they love and appreciate you...

    wonderful post...and it will be a wonderful BOOK!


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