Are You Ready for a Storm?

When decorating for the holidays, I love arranging my Christmas village. My grandson, Matthew, discovered the miniature people and buildings last year.

Matthew_village

The citizens of the village experienced a few minor accidents. There was nothing too serious that Super Glue couldn’t repair.

Broken

Repaired_figure

After a visit from Matthew, the streets look like a storm has passed through the little village.

Real life is like that, isn’t it? We have everything arranged and planned just so, and then, BOOM! A job loss, illness, or the death of a loved one, knocks us off kilter. We are all going to face storms. Wouldn’t it be nice if Super Glue worked on our broken lives? I know someone who discovered something better than Super Glue, and I’d like to share her story with you.

I met a young teacher about fourteen months ago. Tiffany Barnes Gray was about five months pregnant and also suffering with a brain tumor. She was the guest speaker at a conference held at my church.

tiffany_pregnant

I’m happy to report that she delivered a healthy baby girl named Rosie.

Rosie

 

But Tiffany had difficult decisions to make regarding further treatment.

july_17_tiffany

I’ve followed Tiffany’s progress for months and continue to pray for her. A little over two months ago, Tiffany suffered a seizure and was immediately scheduled for surgery. Her walk through this trial has inspired me. If you too are experiencing a difficult time, I hope you’ll be encouraged by her words. With her permission, I’ve listed some of her Facebook posts starting with the evening before the surgery:

October 1, 2014

“O LORD my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me. Psalms 30:2

I am so blessed to have so many people on my side and praying for me tonight and tomorrow. I have never felt more love. The word above promises healing. I am crying out tonight, and tomorrow I have faith that I will be healed! I’m so thankful for God’s word which does not fail me.#‎strongerthanbraincancer

Oct_3

October 5, 2014

“Using a walker today! Praise God!”

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October 6: 2014

“Jesus take the wheel!”

October 10, 2014

“I had a bad day. I felt sorry for myself for a split second. Therapy is hard! I felt like giving up, I’m not proud of myself. Daily reflection: Being a victim simply keeps you stuck, paralyzed and powerless to actually be able to do anything about the situation that you are in. I can’t control my situation, but I can control the outcome. Forgive me lord for losing faith today. Tomorrow is a new day!

On October 31, 2014

“I am a huge believer in blessings, I find the harder I work, the more blessed I am! I used my left arm today! #‎strongerthanbraincancer

On November 28, 2014

“Eight weeks ago I would have never expected that I would be doing this! I couldn’t even get out of bed after brain surgery. Stroke victims rarely recover so quickly, God is so good, all the time! I’ve never been coordinated, but I’m so thankful that I can still walk! #‎strongerthanbraincancer

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November 30, 2014

Tomorrow will mark 60 days since the brain surgery/stroke. In just these couple of months God has shown his presence in my life more than ever. I learned to walk again, I’m using my left arm, and can now make and open a fist with my left hand. There is still a long road ahead, but I’m so thankful to say that I’m returning to work tomorrow! I can’t wait to be back with my LES family; it’s exactly where I’m supposed to be! #‎strongerthanbraincancer

Isaiah 40:31 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

It’s amazing what a child of God can endure with the strength of the Lord. I stand in awe of what Tiffany has overcome. But then I know, her help comes from the Lord. Psalm 121-2. Tiffany has built her house on the rock. Matthew 7: 24-25 Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (25) And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

Whatever storms come Tiffany’s way, I have no doubt that she will endure with a smile on her face because her joy comes from the Lord. You too can experience this same steadfast love and joy by placing your hope in Jesus.

It’s simple according to Matthew 7: (7-8) Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (8) For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Please add Tiffany and her family to your daily prayers. I pray for God’s blessings on Tiffany and her family. I pray that God will heal her completely and that He will be glorified. I pray that God will use every second of her suffering to turn to His good and to grow His kingdom. I ask these things in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

#strongerthanbraincancer

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About shelia@sheliastovall.com

Shelia Stovall is a Southern, small-town librarian, and has an understanding of what women like to read. She is a member of ACFW and is currently the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee ACFW Chapter. Shelia is a member of the Ky. Public Library Association and the American Library Association. Her short story, The Barber’s Sanctuary, won the fiction division of Kentucky Monthly’s sixth annual Writer’s Showcase in the November 2013 issue. Shelia is a weekly columnist for the Citizen-Times, based in Scottsville, Ky. Shelia’s Southern, small-town roots have given her an understanding of community and women's friendships. Her writing deals with difficult contemporary issues, but there’s always a thread of hope amid the calamity. Shelia is passionate about African missions and has traveled to Africa annually for the past four years. Community service is also important to Shelia, and she has volunteered as a crew chief for five years at Camp Habitat, (a Christian youth service camp that partners with Habitat for Humanity).

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