Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Do you believe in angels?

I do. I didn’t really ever realize how much, until this last year. 

Last year, I laid in a hospital bed for several days.  I had just had an emergent, scary, and painful surgery, that came upon because of complications from a previous gall bladder surgery.

The pain I felt from having my stomach cut open was some of the worst pain I had ever felt.

Just one day after my surgery, the nurses wanted me to take a few steps down the hall.  I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I was in so much pain, I didn’t even know how I would get out of the bed.  I didn’t even know if I could wiggle my big toe, let alone walk. I had remembered reading that we can call upon the angels of heaven to help us. I believed this, but I had actually never used the phrase, “send the angels,” when asking for help from above.

angel 2

Artwork by: Brian Kershisnik

That day, I put it to the test.  I prayed hard.  One of my most fervent prayers.  I prayed that angels would assist in helping me take a few steps.  I prayed that I could rely on their strength as I didn’t know if I had enough of my own.

That day, as the nurses lifted me up off the bed to walk, I felt a few extra sets of hands take hold.

I felt the angels pulling me and carrying me down that hall.  Doing what was asked of me seemed so much easier with the help of God’s heavenly helpers.

Since that day, I have a testimony that we can have heavenly help.  I am now saying, “send the angels” all the time in regards to motherhood.

angel

I think the experience of understanding angels has prepared me for current situation.

I need to have surgery again.  Ugh!!  Seriously.  I am too young for this.

This has been a very hard decision to come to, and I needed heaven’s help to make this big decision.

In a nutshell, with out boring you with the details, I am having neck surgery.

I am having a cyst removed.  This cyst has been bothering me for quite some time.  It has gotten worse over the last couple of years, and it took until recently to discover what it was.

This cyst is at the T1 level(which is lower neck/shoulder area), of my spinal column.  The cyst is pushing on the nerve that comes out of that T1 level.  My nerve is basically kinked in half, and it is causing me a lot of pain.

I am also dealing with numbness, tingling, burning, and shooting pains down my arm. 

I have lived with this for a while, and tried to push through life. 

As it always does, chronic pain starts to take a toll.

We found a surgeon who has agreed that we should do the surgery.

I was warned of the risks, as it is a complicated area to get to.  It requires going through lots of layers, some of them riskier than others, and also messing with my nerves. 

With all that said, I needed to make a decision.

Risky Surgery or  worsening Chronic Pain for a lifetime.

I knew I had to turn to the Lord.  I needed to know what he wanted for me. I offered lots of prayers. 

Our family also fasted and prayed on my behalf.

I also attended the most peaceful and sacred place that we as members of the Mormon faith have here on earth; the temple.  I did this as a way to get closer to God.

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I spent lots of time in prayer there, hoping that an answer would come.

God doesn’t always give me clear direct answers.  I think that is because he is saying, “either choice is fine.”

In times when it matters most, I have found he always answers me in a clear direct way.

This clear direct answer came as I was reading the scriptures.

Helaman 5:47-48

47 Peace, peace be unto you, because of your faith in my Well Beloved, who was from the foundation of the world.

48 And now, when they heard this they cast up their eyes as if to behold from whence the voice came; and behold, they saw the heavens open; and angels came down out of heaven and ministered unto them.

It is amazing to me how the scripture passages we need always seem to pop up at the right time. 

I know God speaks to us through the words in the scriptures.

God was telling me to have peace.  I could feel the peace settle in my heart as I read these words.  Then as I read the verse 48, I knew he was speaking directly to me.

Since that day in the hospital, I have tried to be so much more aware of the heavenly angels who help.  I know that God knows that, and he knew just how to speak to my heart.

“and behold, they saw the heavens open; and angels came down out of heaven and ministered unto them.”

As soon as I read these words, I knew that not only would the angels assist me in getting through this, but that they would also be of assistance to the surgeon and his staff. 

I would let an angel perform surgery on me any day.  So if they are going to be around to guide and help, I have the peace I need to move forward.

However, because God knows that I tend to question things, he reminded me of his answer again the next day when I stumbled upon this scripture:

John 14:27

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The Lord is the author of the peace.  Through him, I don’t need to be afraid.

Then, later that day, we attended church and we sang a beautiful song, which once again solidified my answer. Here are the beautiful words to this song:

When Faith Endures

I will not doubt, I will not fear;

God's love and strength are always near.

His promised gift helps me to find

An inner strength and peace of mind.

I give the Father willingly

My trust, my prayers, humility.

His Spirit guides; his love assures

That fear departs when faith endures.

Through my faith in the Lord, I knew that I didn’t need to fear anymore.

When life brings trials such as this, I have found comfort in this scripture:

Matthew 11:28-30

28 ¶Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

A yoke is a device put around the necks of animals to harness them together.  When they are yoked together they work together.  When one animal is weak, the strong one can help the weak one along.

When we are yoked with Christ, our burden really will be light.  He can and will help us along.  He can help us through the hard times; if we know him.

God gives us hard things so that we can be refined, so that we will turn to him and learn of him.

I need so much refining.  Maybe that’s the reason I will have had 4 surgeries in about 1 year.

In order to get through this and grow, I must know him.

I have relied on this scripture so much this last year.

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See, it’s on my journal.

I made a printable for you, if you would like the reminder too. (click on the print to take you to the FREE download)

BE STILL copy

The reminder to be still, and know that he is the author of all.  The reminder to be still, and take the time to learn of him.  Learn of him, so that we can be yoked with him.  If we are yoked with him, he can make our burdens light.  Our burdens can be light when we ask him to send the angels to minister unto us.  He will give us the peace we need.

I know that there are many out there who are praying to Heavenly Father for relief, for help in carrying your burdens of grief, loneliness, and fear. Heavenly Father hears those prayers and understands your needs.

So, when in doubt remember the angels he promises to send. 

Call upon them, they are there to help.

7 comments:

katie@tulsadetails said...

I hope you get all the relief you have been praying for! That sounds so hard! Xo!

Marji Jim Anderson said...

good luck friend! I will be thinking and praying for you with this surgery! Love and hugs from Arkansas! xxoo

Leslie Posey said...

I wish we would have known..at night when we do family prayer we add or take people off our "prayer list"! The kids and us will add you to our prayers and pray for a speedy recovery. I wish I was there to help. I have never minded watching out for my Swenson kiddos!! Lots of prayers coming your way! Much ♡!

Tiffany said...

Your testimony and strength are so inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

Val said...

Beautiful testimony! Your great faith is inspiring. Thanks for being such a great example to me.

KW said...

So glad you receive your answers. We are here to help!

Eliza said...

I needed this today, thank you! I'm sorry that you are having trials but thankful you have shared what you are learning. No one can do it all alone. We need God and each other. I miss you! My very favorite scripture passage is Mathew 11:28-30, when we take his yoke upon us we are taking his name and our duty then becomes to serve and love in his name. We are all in this together! <3

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