Friday, June 7, 2013

A Testimony of God's Provision in His Perfect Timing

For months now, my husband and I have been praying and searching for a specialty wheelchair that insurance would more-than-likely not cover (even despite my doctor's prescription for the chair), and the retail value of the wheelchair I needed was around $2,000 and up.

My need arose after discussing the difficulty I had/have with handling my current "standard lightweight" wheelchair (40 lbs. and it does not fold/store easily) in and out of my vehicle.

Back up a little, and I'll explain how I came to need a wheelchair in the first place. I have major chronic pain issues that stem from back injuries. I have been diagnosed with (*big breath*) 3 bulging and 2 torn discs in the lumbar region, hypertrophic facet disease, degenerative disc disease, peripheral neuropathy/sciatica in both legs and feet, sacroiliac joint dysfunction syndrome, and fibromyalgia. These are extremely painful conditions in almost every patient (especially fibromyalgia), and back surgery is not usually a recommended endeavor from most doctors' standpoint.

(UPDATE: I now have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Pain Syndrome, and Adrenal Fatigue Stage 3, which all are known to resort to the use of a wheelchair for management of symptoms.)

Before I used a wheelchair, I would have a hard time spending a half hour out at the local mall or time at the zoo with the family, as I couldn't (and can't) stand for long periods of time without drastically increasing my pain levels the same day, as well as paying for it for the rest of the week.

It took me a while before I broke down my pride and decided to openly use a wheelchair when it was needed (on rough days, trips to the aquarium, mall, places that require lots of walking or standing, or places where I sit for more than 1 hour at a time). I was afraid of the judgemental comments I would get from those who had possibly seen me elsewhere walking fairly normally (I don't limp very noticeably, considering it doesn't change the outcome of my pain), yet now using a wheelchair. Sure enough, I have gotten those judgemental comments. After some time and experience, I have learned that they are the ones that suffer for their quick judgements instead of me. People simply don't understand and are quick to think, stare, and speak without thinking of the consequences, but I have had to push that side and do what's best for me and my family. I will tell you - it's been amazingly freeing to let go of what others might think! It sounds like a simple battle, but it's actually been quite a challenge for me - with God's help, I have overcome that battle!

Once I opened up about using my chair on a more regular basis, I felt free. I was then able to begin enjoying life in a way I never imagined I could. Simple grocery trips with my husband and boys have involved less pain and more joy and fun. I have been regularly using my chair since April 2013, and it has made the biggest difference in my mood as well. I feel there is so much more hope and opportunity for me and especially my boys to live a normal life - with possibilities of Mom going to the amusement park or a carnival with them, or maybe even Disney one day.

You see now the hope that God has once again graciously given me - through a wheelchair.

As we prayed for the provision of this specialty chair, we had many on board with us in terms of prayer - our church, community, friends and family all joined in prayer for this need. And God began to rain down His Almighty provision. Two friends of ours (a couple) gave us a gracious gift of $200 to use on anything we needed. I cried as I explained how much the wheelchair cost was, and how I know God had provided for that very need in His perfect timing. The couple explained that they simply felt led by God to give that amount, so they were obedient. I thanked them over and over, and they sweetly replied, "Thank our Lord, whom it was from." What a beautiful testimony of obedience and service to our Lord, as well as God's provision.

Shortly after receiving that gift, we found the wheelchair I needed for only a fraction of the retail cost! This couple's offering of $200 paid half the cost of the wheelchair. By God's provision from my husband's job, we were able to supply the rest of the financial cost (only $100 additional cost). As always, God provided - in His perfect timing (waiting on His timing is the hardest part, isn't it?). Taste and see how good our God is!

Friends, my Lord has never let us down in any way - including financial, emotional, and physical needs. He is always on time. If you are obedient to Him, He will meet your needs. If you give back to Him with your service and finances, and with a joyful heart, He will meet your needs.

I encourage you today to trust in His timing, trust in His provision, and trust Him with your life.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Crisis Pregnancy Counseling Bible

As I was going through crisis pregnancy counselor training at our local center (Sav-a-Life of Calhoun County, AL), I began to feel slightly overwhelmed with the amount of scriptures there were to remember, not to mention the different categories all of these scriptures fell under. So, being the "type A" person I am, I made an organized Bible with tabs that coordinate to a colored subject....a lot like the Child Training Bible I did a while back. So, here's the process...

Materials:1. Highlighters in the following colors: Blue, Green, Purple, Pink.
*You can also use crayons or colored pencils - they work beautifully, and it's a lot cheaper.

2. Post-it Flags in the same colors: Blue, Green, Purple, Pink.

3. Pen (one that won't bleed through Bible pages).

4. List of scriptures for each subject (see my version below - adapted from the Sav-a-Life Counselor Training Notebook).

5. "Title Page" that is taped or glued inside the front cover. (This is a reference guide to help you find the correct scripture according to subject. You will place the flags -- with corresponding color and subject -- underneath the proper division.)

6. 9"x6" Bible (leather/softcover/hardcover).
*I recommend a Bible that has not been marked in so that there is no confusion in what is meant for the counseling Bible and what has previously been marked.

*Choose a version you prefer.
*Your Bible doesn't have to be a 9"x6", however, it is SO much easier to navigate with the number of tabs you will be using.

7. Tape or glue to fasten the "title page" to the inside cover of the Bible. You can use transparent tape or postage tape. I always prefer postage tape for 2 reasons: 1) it holds longer, 2) it serves as a laminated cover (for dirty/sticky hands, etc.).

Title Page:

I printed off a simple Word document (sized down for a 7 x 4 ish size Bible) with a copy/pasted SAL logo (from FB) and verse (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Psalm 139:13-14) and simply cut the size of the title page, then used color coordinating markers to write the 4 categories - Gospel (blue), Counseling - From a Biblical Perspective (green), Abortion / God's View of Life (purple), Fornication, Lust, Sex Designed for Marriage (pink).

If you want to take the quicker/easier route, instead of printing the document, you can simply use a left-over Post-it Flag for the correct color/category and label the flag.


In the scripture list below, you will see notes to the side of many of the verses. I found it helpful to write neatly in the margin of my Bible the notes that are written below.

Click on the picture to see a full-size/close-up view of the writing in the margin.

Below is the SCRIPTURE LIST with appropriate category:

Gospel - BLUE
*This is a lengthy category, and you will not use but a few of these consistently with clients. Therefore, I recommend you go through the list and pick your favorites (around 10-15 verses) to mark for use.
Exodus 34:7a
Psalm 51:5
Isaiah 53:6
Mark 16:15-16
John 1:14a
John 6:47-51
Acts 2:38
Acts 16:31
Acts 22:16b
Romans 1:16-17
Romans 3:23
Romans 4:4-5
Romans 6:23
Romans 10:14-15
1 Corinthians 4:4-5
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - repentance and surendering our lives to Jesus
1 Corinthians 6:11 - the only solution to sin
2 Corinthians 4:4-6
Galatians 2:20-21
Ephesians 2:8-9
Hebrews 4:12
1 Peter 3:18, 21-22
1 John 3:8b
1 John 5:13
Revelation 3:20
Revelation 22:17

Counseling - from a Biblical Perspective - GREEN
*This section is designed for you as the counselor - for encouragement, guidance, and God's view on counseling others.
Psalm 12:6 - God's word is relevant/useful ("seven" - the number of completion/perfection)
Proverbs 3:5-6
Proverbs 14:12 - Seeing life from a Biblical perspective
Proverbs 19:20-21
Isaiah 40:8 - God's word is relevant/useful
Isaiah 55:8 - Seeing life from a Biblical perspective
Isaiah 55:11 - As a counselor, rest in the promise of this verse
Matthew 4:4 - Teaching others how to practice/apply God's truth in everyday life
Matthew 24:35 - God's word is relevant/useful
John 16:13
Romans 15:4 - Teach others to see life in the light of the scriptures and to think in a way that is glorifying to God
2 Corinthians 3:4-6
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Abortion / God's View of Life - PURPLE
Genesis 1:26-27 - God's idea of life (including the unborn)
Psalm 106:37-39 - Abortion (v. 39 - "they became unclean by their acts")
Psalm 139:13-16 - God has a plan for us from the moment of conception
Matthew 19:14
Luke 17:2

Fornication, Lust, Sex Designed for Marriage - PINK
Matthew 15:19 - Our sinful nature
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - Repentance of sin (ex: fornication, lust)
1 Corinthians 6:13b-17, 20 - We are to use our bodies for God's glory
1 Corinthians 6:18-19 - Fornication
1 Corinthians 9:13 - How do I avoid sexual temptation?
Hebrews 2:18 - How do I avoid sexual temptation?
Hebrews 10:26 - What does the Bible say about fornication?
Hebres 13:4 - What is fornication?
2 Peter 2:4-6 - God will judge sin; unrepentant sinners cannot escape (v. 4 - Satan)