Now the Blessing…
On Thanksgiving Day I was in Southern Illinois with my family. My grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and other extended family live up there and we always have a blast when we’re together. We had a crazy day! My grandparents house is no longer big enough to hold all of us so we had Thanksgiving (and later that same day, Christmas) at my grandparents church where my cousin is the pastor. We met in the fellowship hall, which is right next to the gym. In the midst of a crazy day of celebrating two holidays, opening presents, eating A LOT, playing volleyball and watching the Cowboys on TV (tear), we slowed down and for a few minutes listened to my grandmother, Mary Hamson give the following testimony. It was such a blessing to all of us and I wanted to share it with you!
“Today I would like to tell you about what I call my four years of God’s blessings. All my life God has blessed me so much, but I took those blessings for granted. On November 1, 2008 I started my 4 years of blessings. In the last four years I have had four surgeries 33 radiation treatments, a broken leg and large blood clots in both lungs and among these trials my mother died. They may not sound like blessings, but through it all I became aware that even in times of trouble God sends so many blessings.
On November 1, 2008, I had thyroid surgery. The doctor told me the growth could be malignant and that the growth was wrapped around the vocal cords. In order to get the growth they may have to cut the vocal chords and I might not be able to speak. Before I went into surgery my entire family stood around my bed and prayed for me and my church family were praying at home. Now the blessing…even though it was a scary surgery, the growth was not malignant and I am able to speak to you today!
In December 2009, I went for my annual mammogram and they found a suspicious lump. They did a biopsy and found it to be malignant. On December 22, they did surgery to remove the cancer. Again my family and friends were there for me and God was with me. After the surgery, I had 33 radiation treatments to make sure they got all of the cancer, which resulted in second-degree burns that doctors could not get to heal. Now the blessing…God sent a nurse through home health care who was such a great blessing to me! She had been through a house fire and had been burned on over 70% of her body. She changed everything I had been doing and within a week the burns were beginning to heal.
January of 2011, I went for my checkup and the cancer had returned. This time they did more extensive surgery and again my family and church family were there for me. Six weeks after this surgery my mother became terminally ill. Hospice was called in. Now the blessing…hospice, yes hospice, was such a blessing to me. They were so kind and caring and always there when I needed them. Mom lived for six months. Although most of this time was difficult there were rare times when we were able to talk and at these times she always told me she loved me. These were special blessings. On August 23, 2011, Mom went to be with the Lord. She was 98 years old. I was blessed to have had a Christian mother who loved Jesus. A lot of times when we have heartache, God has a blessing just around the corner. We buried Mom on Friday and on Saturday our grandson, Jonathan was married and we were blessed with another granddaughter, Kayla.
On Tuesday, March 13 of this year (2012) I completed the task of disposing of mom’s things and had rented her house. I had been to the doctor and I was still cancer free. I decided I was going to rest for the remainder of the week but on the following Monday I was going to start Spring Cleaning. I am a big list maker. I like to make a list of things I plan to do and be able to cross them off as the job is completed. So I made my list to start the work the following Monday but God had other plans. On Friday, I tripped over a floor lamp and fell. Two hours later I was in the emergency room with a severely broken leg. The doctor came in the next morning and told me that under no circumstance was I to put any weight on my leg for THREE MONTHS!! Proverbs 37:1 says “Boast not thyself of tomorrow for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Now the blessing…once again my family and my church were there for us. The ladies of the church brought in our meals five days a week for over month and my family brought food in on the weekends. Family and friends cleaned my house, ran errands for us and were there for all our needs. BLESSINGS!!
On May 17, I began to run a fever and again I found myself in the emergency room. This time I had large blood clots in both lungs that we caused by the broken leg. The prognosis for my life was not good. Again, my family and church family began to pray and God heard their prayers. The doctor came in the following morning and said, “ I am surprised to see you here and still with us.” BLESSING!!
While I was in the hospital I had some very caring nurses. I had not been able to get into our shower after I broke my leg. One day I was talking to family members and told them I would be thankful when I could put weight on my leg and get into our shower. Now the blessing…one of the nurses overheard our conversation. The next day was Sunday and there were not a lot of patients in the hospital. She came in early for her shift and took me to a large roll in shower and helped me take a shower!!! She did that a couple of times while I was in the hospital. I know it may sound like a small thing, but it was a huge blessing to me.
After two weeks in the hospital, I came home and again my friends and family were there for me. A couple of weeks after I came home from the hospital, the doctor said I could start walking on my leg. Of course, I had to have therapy, but today I am able to walk in this room to speak to you. Blessing. Until you have a need that you cannot fix yourself you cannot know the blessings of God. Many of you have had trials in your life, so much worse than what I had, but I encourage you to trust in God in times of your need. I do not know what the future holds but I do know that God is in complete control and that when bad things happen to us we can blame God and become bitter or we can see the many blessings he gives to us along the way.
It is my prayer that each of you knows my Savior and Friend. He is a real comfort in time of need. Jesus said in John 17:33 “In this world ye shall have tribulations: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”