Peace in His Presence

With this week, it is difficult to know where to begin.  My biopsy surgery went well and I am home and resting comfortably. I am thankful that I have not had too much pain and I'm getting the rest that I need. We do not have a lot of answers yet and we will follow up with my surgeon next Thursday, February 6th and will receive the official pathology reports and determine a course of treatment. Thank you for praying me through this week as it was very difficult at times. 

My family is now experiencing another trial. My dad was admitted to the hospital last week and on my surgery day we received the news that my dad has esophageal cancer. He went to Johns Hopkins on Friday, Jan. 31st, to determine his best course of treatment. It was hard to wake up in the NCCU and receive more difficult news.  As their daughter, there is so much I want to do to help but I am unable to. So I pray. Even though I have not been able to see them, I have been able to talk to them on the phone which has been helpful. The one thing my dad said to me was " Well Erin, you don't need to walk this road alone. I can walk it with you." My dad encouraged me more than he knew in saying that to me. 

My entire life, I have struggled with remaining in The Lord's peace and trusting in Him alone. I grew up in church and accepted Christ when I was four years old. Over the years, I grew in my faith and relationship with Jesus and I am so very thankful that I was taught the Truth at a young age and that I have that strong foundation. Without it I'm not sure where I would be. There were times in my life where I have tried to live the way I want, thinking I know best and trying in all my own strength to be who I wanted to be, to be who I thought I should be. At times, I would find myself far away from God, my source of hope. The Hope, that I had always had and needed  but would sometimes greatly ignore. I was the one who would change but My God was always constant. He was always right there waiting for me to come back to Him and say "I'm done doing this on my own. Please, forgive me and show me the way."  I'm so thankful for His grace and love. That He alone is the Way, The Truth, and the Life. 

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16, 17 NLT) 

“Do not worry.” My dear, sweet, Nan-nan has been telling me this my entire life. It has always been my greatest struggle. At times in my life my worry has been crippling and would completely hinder me. Throughout my life,  Nan-nan has encouraged me with this scripture and prayed it over me: 

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6, 7 NLT) 

Recently, we were talking about how amazing it has been that I have found that peace that passes understanding. I'm so thankful she never gave up on me. Consistently telling me, gently reminding me this important truth because I needed to know it. The peace that passes understanding. In the middle of the night, I told my nurse in the NCCU, that without my faith I would not be able to do this. Jesus never left my side. His presence is amazing to me. It is difficult to put into words but I just knew I wasn't alone. My spirit was at peace. There was no need to worry. 

As I laid on the table, before my surgery, they said to find a good place to dream. My place is not a dream but a reality that I have not yet experienced but I will. I thought of Heaven and as I closed my eyes, I was sitting in a beautiful, radiant light, warmth on my face. No pain, no fears, I was sitting at the feet of Jesus and In His presence was Peace. 

We have met some amazing people on this journey. Kevin and Chrissy have been especially, special to me. We met during treatment and kept in contact throughout the year. On Tuesday morning, Kevin went home to be with The Lord. He is now free of pain and completely healed. He is with Jesus and I can only imagine what he is experiencing.  I was overcome with the peace and joy that Kevin is experiencing and I am so thankful for the Hope of Heaven. 

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:4 NLT) 

What a beautiful promise!

I refuse to be shaken from my faith in The Lord Jesus Christ. While new and difficult trials keep coming, my feet are firmly planted on a solid foundation. 

He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalms 62:6, 8 NLT) 

I will not lose my hope. I know that this life is short and the most important thing is whether you know and accept to follow Jesus. Whether you will choose to accept his free gift of grace. He died for me and he died for you because he loves us so much! He wants us to know Him and come to him. Without Christ I would be nothing and I would be unable to walk this road. My purpose is found in Him alone. While some may think why should I follow God if I'm not guaranteed a good life? I do not ask this. We know this life is short compared to all of eternity. We know this world is full of pain and sorrow. We see it everywhere. What we do now matters. The choices we make here have great significance. Eternal significance. He is waiting for you to give your life over to Him. Just ask Him to help you. He will answer you because of His great mercy and love. Then as you walk the path set before you, you can walk with peace and confident trust as you walk hand and hand with Jesus, who will never leave your side.