Hope in Christ: My Oasis in the Desert

“I cared for you in the desert.” (Hosea 13:5)

I feel as if I’ve been banished to exile in the desert. Periodic Paralysis, the rare neuromuscular disease that hijacked my body less than a year ago, forces me to live with restricted food choices and limited activities. My once active self bucks and strains against these new constraints.

During my quiet time with the Lord, I studied the Hebrew word for desert: ‘midbar’, which also means the place of the word. I am reminded of another time when Christ referred to himself as the Word: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” (John 1:1-2, NIV)

Hope in Christ my Oasis in the Desert

Today, I sipped my coffee, sat in my red chair, and pondered these things in my heart. My situation has not changed. I am still waiting for genetic test results, still waiting for an upcoming appointment to Duke Medical Center, still wondering what my future will hold.

 

Hope in Christ is my oasis in the desert. Click To Tweet

The One who holds my future is the One spoke the world into existence with a word (Genesis 1:3) and is with me in the desert. Hope in Christ is my oasis in the desert and it is well with my soul.

~April Dawn White

*Images courtesy of  Pixabay. © 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

Victory Perspective

What if you approached your battle from the stance of victory? Click To Tweet

Photo courtesy of 88.5 Lite FMThe biggest battle I face is not wondering about direction in my current season. The biggest battle I face is trusting God has already won the battle on my behalf.

I love to highlight passages of scripture where God uses past tense grammar to describe a current or future victory. Here are a few of my favorites:

 

Joshua and Jericho

“See I have delivered Jericho into your hands.” (Joshua 6:2, NIV)

Joshua stands before a small city fortified with tall walls. Assessing the giant walls, God said, “See I have delivered Jericho into your hands.” I wish I could see the look on Joshua’s face at that moment. Queue the climatic music. Staring up at the walls, did he have a look of skepticism or determination? Before God offers an unusual battle plan, He assured Joshua, “I have delivered” this city into your hands.boots PIxabay

Joshua entered into battle from the stance of victory.

Moses’ Commission

“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” Exodus 23:20-31 (NIV)

Moses led a million march–a motley crew of former slaves, out of Egypt through the Red Sea towards freedom. God in is mighty way parted the Red Sea and the people marched right through toward freedom. Before the split, God assured Moses, “I am sending an angel ahead of you…to a place I have prepared.”

With Pharaoh and the entire Egyptian army closing in behind, Moses walked in a stance of victory on dry ground as he crossed the Red Sea.

Gideon’s Call

“Get up! The Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands.” (Judges 7:15, NIV)

A chapter before, the Lord finds Gideon hiding from the enemy. Now God has called him to fight. Before God issues an unusual battle plan (by the way, most of God’s battle strategies are unusual) He assures Gideon, “The Lord has given” the enemy into your hands.

Gideon enters into battle from a stance of victory.

The victory is yours. Go get it! Click To Tweet

sword-790815_1920 pixabayWe can learn from Joshua, Moses, and Gideon. These men faced insurmountable circumstances, yet they entered into battle from a stance of victory.

Before God issues an unusual battle plan, for our lives we can rest assure He has already prepared our future and delivered the victory.

What battle are you facing?  The victory is already yours. Go get it.

If you need musical motivation, I recommend listening to Go Get It by Mary Mary.

~April Dawn White

*All Scripture is NIV from Bible Gateway. *Images courtesy of Pixabay and 88.5 Lite FM

© 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

Celebrate Goals: Making Progress

Celebrate Goals of Making ProgressJune 2, 2016: Hey, I’m making progress! This thought occurred to me while pushing the grocery cart to my car, alone. This was a minor shopping trip consisting of Gala apples, bread, and juice. To most, this was a minor trip; however, this was my monumental day.

June 13, 2016: Facebook entry: “I cooked today. One person’s chore is another’s progress.”

Since this neuromuscular disease hijacked by body eight months ago, activities previously dreaded have now become a sign of progress. I no longer take health and ability for granted.  I consider it joy to have the strength to purchase apples and push a cart alone.

One person’s chore is another’s progress Click To Tweet

My body easily deceives me into thinking I can do more without suffering consequences.  Unfortunately, my strength is short lived. In both instances, light grocery shopping and cooking dinner,  my energy (or spoons*) was quicklCelebrate Goals Making Progress Snail quote Charles Spurgeony depleted. I am thankful for my children who hauled in the groceries and cleaned up the kitchen.

The above mention of spoons refers to the Spoon Theory, a highly popular article written by Christine Miserandino (www.butyoudon’tlooksick.com) who succinctly shares life with a chronic illness.

Each of us face a chronic battle. Maybe you’re trying to be more thankful, take more steps, or drink more water. Perhaps you’re battling a chronic illness, anxiety, fear, depression, or addiction.

Whatever goals you have set, celebrate each time you catch yourself #MAKING PROGRESS 

Are you racing snails? What recent goals are you celebrating? Please share!

By perseverance the snail reached the ark. Charles Spurgeon. Click To Tweet

~April Dawn White

*Images courtesy of Pixabay.

© 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

Hijacked by HOPE

burglar-PixabaySix months ago, a neuromuscular disease of unknown origin hijacked my body. Skeletal muscles fibers that once operated in normal rhythms, now glitch causing periodic paralysis. Upon awakening, I thank the Lord for another day then contort my face to determine the severity of the morning paralysis. Today I can partially raise my eyebrows and smile, an indication of mild myotonia. By the grace of God and new medications, I slowly rise out of bed unassisted and determine that today will be a “good day.”

Periodic Paralysis hijacked my body,

but HOPE has hijacked my heart.

Hijack \hi-jak\ verb:

  1. To steal cargo from a vehicle after forcing it to stop
  2. To rob a vehicle after forcing it to stop
  3. To seize a vehicle by force

British definition of Hijack:

  1. To seize, divert, or appropriate (a vehicle or the goods it carries) while in transit

    praise-1154566_1920 pixabay

    Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

  2. To rob (a person or vehicle) by force

I am a vessel, vehicle, and an ambassador for Christ. I carry hope, good news, and encouragement. Each morning I drag my little red chair adjacent to God’s throne. Knees touching with the Almighty, I receive an infusion of hope direct from my Creator. God’s Word encourages me, which spills out onto the web pages of Red Chair Moments.

While a rare neuromuscular disease has hijacked by body, I REFUSE to allow it to hijack by praise.

HOPE has hijacked my heart and “it is well with my soul.”

~April Dawn White

 

I Am a Little Pencil

Little Pencil quote by Mother TeresaThe full quote by Mother Teresa reads: “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.” 

As I read this quote this week, I am reminded of the power of words. Mother Teresa compared herself to a “little pencil in the hand of God.” She probably never knew the significant impact of her “little pencil” life.

I believe heaven is filled with Indian children skipping rope and cartwheeling across the lawn, evident of her “little pencil” life.

When the burdens of life dull your senses,

Sharpen your little #2 pencil and let God write His story.

This is your Friday Freebie! Feel free to download or share this image however you choose. Please retain the Red Chair Moment watermark.

Happy Friday!

~April Dawn White

 

 

 

 

I Refuse to Sink

Medical signThe task of ordering a medical alert bracelet, is something I’ve been avoiding.  Some days I shake my head in disbelief. A classic case of denial.

I am strong willed, independent, and down right stubborn. Ordering this bracelet is not merely an indicator of a disease state, but an indicator that I am not in control. The latter being the bigger issue.

I am thankful my beloved found the website LaurensHope.com.  If I must wear a bracelet it ought be beautiful. I select a rose gold and teal beaded bracelet and click “ORDER.”  Fighting an unexpected wave of emotion, I ponder what information to engrave on the plate. I’m angry! I don’t want this this bracelet nor this disease.

April Dawn White

Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis

ICE: Husband’s cell number, ICE: Parent’s home phone

Hours later the kids crash through the door. Rachel produces a gift from a family at school. I am deeply touched by their generosity. I gasp as I open the small box to find a leather wrap bracelet with the words “I REFUSE TO SINK” engraved on the metal plate. An anchor serves as the clasp.

Only God! Only God knew that earlier today I would struggle with what words to have permanently engraved on a medicaMedical Id bracelet CROPPEDl alert bracelet. Only my Jehovah Jireh, which means “The LORD Will Provide,” could orchestrate this specific gift for me on this specific day.

The medical alert bracelet reminds me I am not in control.

However, the leather anchor bracelet reminds me that I REFUSE TO SINK. I refuse to allow the Enemy to control my thoughts and take advantage of  my weakened state.

I refuse to allow this disease state, which paralysis my muscles and freezes my face, to paralyze my spirit and my ability to praise the LORD.

God wove strength and hope into the my DNA long before this disease began to unravel my muscle strength.

My verse for 2015 was this:

“We have this HOPE and an ANCHOR for our soul, FIRM and SECURE.”

(Hebrews 6:19, NIV emphasis mine)

I have periodic paralysis and daily weaknI refuse to sink CROPPEDess. But God is my anchor. He is my hope. He will keep me steady and firm. I refuse to allow this disease to paralyze my spirit and my praise. Furthermore, I refuse to sink  making  “It is well with my soul.”

~April Dawn White

 

Photos courtsey of author and Pixabay.com

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