Monday, August 22, 2011

The Trusting Journey

In March of 2010, I was invited to serve on the National Women’s Task Force. Arlene Allen, the National Director at that time, introduced the upcoming theme for the year 2011 – Quiet Influence. Little did I know at the time, that the theme I worked on with this awesome team of women from across the nation, would resonate in my spirit and would impact my life in such a powerful way.

In November, 2010, I was advised by my surgeon that the swollen lymph gland in my neck should be removed and biopsied. With that news, my Trusting Journey began. Surgery took place on December 14, 2010. I was not prepared to hear the report on December 16, “Mrs. Pratt the mass that was removed in surgery is cancer.”

As I began to navigate through the days and months that followed, I found that the Quiet Influence of so many of my friends and family sustained me during the difficult and almost debilitating moments that I faced on my Trusting Journey.
In her book, Becoming a Woman of Influence, Carol Kent encourages women to discover the power we have in Christ to influence others like Jesus did. That no matter what happens to us in this life, we can choose faith, we can choose hope and we can choose to Trust. God can use whatever happens to us in our lives to be a platform upon which He can give hope, peace and even joy to others during the darkest, most difficult storms in our lives.
I found this to be true. There were days, I could not communicate with the outside world. I couldn’t even talk to my own children. I would call my husband on my cell phone, although he was in the next room, and when he would hear the silence, he would come to me. One of my girlfriends later gave me a “cow bell” to use to summons him……………….that was interesting………..LOL!

My blog became my voice.

I decided early on in this Journey, that I wanted to encourage others to navigate with faith during difficult time and I was determined to turn my fear into a catalyst of courage. Even in the most difficult struggle of this Trusting Journey, there were Girlfriends, Ministry Friends and Family that continued to be a “Quiet Influence” in my life. With every card, every text, every email, every comment on my blog, every meal provided for my family, every pedicure or manicure, every massage, every act of kindness, I was strengthened and encouraged. I was constantly lifted in prayer which sustained me.

This wasn’t a journey I anticipated. Although this appeared to be a major interruption in my life, I quickly realized that this interruption could actually be a divine appointment. The Lord began to impress upon my heart that I should live in such a way that my walk, my talk, (or my whisper) should be moments that impart God’s love to others and impact their lives with HOPE. We have a responsibility as Christian Women to be Jesus to people and to allow them to see us in action, living our lives the way Christian Women should.

The scripture that I stood on during this Trusting Journey was Proverbs 3:5 & 6, Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding, but in all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. I did not “UNDERSTAND”, but I decided that I would ‘TRUST”.

This may have seemed to be an interruption in my life, but I have been given so many opportunities to share the love of Jesus with women that are going through difficult times too. Just like Karen.

Gary and I took a few days of vacation to Snowmass, Colorado. My girlfriend, Christie, arranged for me to have a massage at a local spa after we arrived. Although we split the trip, the long ride in the car rendered my body very sore and tired. So you can imagine how much I looked forward to being pampered and enjoy the soothing, relaxing moments I anticipated. As I sat in my robe in the peaceful atmosphere that had been created in this elegant setting, a very soft voice said, “Mrs. Pratt I am here to serve you. May I wash your feet.” In that moment, I felt the presence of Jesus. It was as though He was saying to me, “May I wash your feet, I know your journey has been long.” I opened my eyes to a beautiful young woman kneeling at my feet, with a beautiful smile, a tender touch and a turban wrapped around her head. She said, “I see from your paper work, that you have just completed cancer treatment. I am in my third week of treatment.” As we began to converse I realized that this was a divine interruption. Karen, although not a professing woman of faith, was so compassionate in her care for me, and God gave me the opportunity to share with her how He had sustained me during this difficult passage of my life. When the massage was finished, with tears in our eyes, I hugged her and told her I wanted to bring her a gift, a “TRUSTING” shirt that would remind her that a Girlfriend in Oklahoma would be praying for her and that she was not alone in her Journey. She in turn gave me a stone with the words “HOPE” engraved on it.

Friends and Family, you will never know how much your prayers and encouragement have meant to me. Your Quiet Influence has inspired me. Thank you for your continued prayers on my behalf. There are so many people out there just waiting for our lives to be interrupted, so that they can hear the good news, that JESUS LOVES THEM. We never know when God will allow our paths to be interrupted so that we can share our faith with others.


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