Of Course, There’s a Plague!

We have sinned with our fathers,
We have committed iniquity,
We have done wickedly. Psalm 106:6 (NKJV)

Oh, what a year!  People will always remember 2020 as the year of COVID19, the coronavirus, quarantines, masks, closures… although we won’t want to remember it because of all the deaths, fear, loneliness, rules, and missed events.  We all wonder why this had to happen.  Yet, when we search God’s Word we find so many relevant verses. 

Psalm 106 is one that speaks to our current situation, summing up our nation and world’s troubles, “We have sinned…we have committed iniquity…” (Ps. 106:6). Psalm 106 goes on to list all those sins from so long ago.  Can we see all these in our country today?…

  • We did not understand God’s wonders (Ps. 106:7)
  • We did not remember the multitude of God’s mercies (Ps. 106:7)
  • We rebelled (Ps. 106:7)
  • We forgot His works (Ps. 106:13)
  • We did not wait for His counsel (Ps. 106:13)
  • We lusted (Ps. 106:14)
  • We tested God (Ps. 106:14)
  • We envied our leaders (Ps. 106:16)
  • We made idols and worshiped them (Ps. 106:19)
  • We forgot God our Savior (Ps. 106:21)
  • We despised the pleasant land (Ps. 106:24)
  • We did not believe God’s Word (Ps. 106:24)
  • We joined ourselves to the devil (Ps. 106:28)
  • We rebelled against His Spirit (Ps. 106:33)
  • We did not destroy God’s enemies (Ps. 106:34)
  • We followed the way of unbelievers (Ps. 106:35)
  • We served our idols (Ps. 106:36)
  • We sacrificed our children (Ps. 106:37)
  • We shed innocent blood (Ps. 106:38)
  • We defiled ourselves and played the harlot (Ps. 106:39)

Is it no wonder the plague broke out among us?  (Ps. 106:29). What can we do?  We can intervene like Phinehas (Ps. 106:30) and stand in the breach like Moses (Ps. 106:23) so God’s wrath is turned away.  We must pray for our country, for our neighbors, for our families. Pray for God to send a revival across this land.  

Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34 (NKJV)

There is HOPE, my dear friends.  We have the HOPE found in Jesus Christ.  Because of His saving work on the cross, all who believe in Him are rescued from this crazy world (John 3:16).  Jesus died for every sin listed above and for all the others, too.  Let’s pray for our nation to turn to Jesus! And God will hear our cries (Ps. 106:44)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read and pray Psalm 106. Repent, turn to God. Ask His forgiveness through Jesus Christ for yourself and for our country. Turn over a new leaf this fall. Let’s give everyone something NEW to remember about 2020…the year of REVIVAL! Pray for our nation daily. Forgive us, O Lord.  

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)

May this be THE GREAT REVIVAL, the last great revival before Jesus’ return, where many new hearts are brought into His Kingdom to welcome His coming.  Will you join me in fasting for the next 7 Tuesdays, though the USA election on November 3, 2020?  Our country needs our prayers now as much as ever.  Check out this event happening in the coming days… https://thereturn.org/

Save us, O Lord our God,
And gather us from among the Gentiles,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise.

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!
And let all the people say, “Amen!” Psalm 106:47-48 (NKJV)

Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.  Psalm 106:1 (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 

Walking Through the Valley

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me
. Psalm 23:4

Our pastor gave a great sermon the other Sunday.  He explained how we have to go through the valley of the shadow of death to reach pure obedience.  We have to die to disobedience, die to corrupt hearts, die to sin, die to self, die to the flesh…give it all to Jesus and be raised to new life with Him. 

What doctors are doing to our granddaughter to take away her cancer is much like this sermon. They are hitting her hard with chemo and steroids, making her weak and weary. The drugs knock her out, tearfully bringing her again through the valley of the shadow of death.  But when the treatments end and Jesus has healed her, Kennedy will be raised to new life, running and playing like other little girls again. 

And then there is our country, trying to get well from the COVID19 of 2020.  We can’t do this on our own. We need God’s help and healing and intervention.  But in order to raise our country to new life, He must first take us through the valley of the shadow of death…death of loved ones, death of our sins, death of riots, death of killing babies, death of corrupt politics, death of selfishness and every other sin that surrounds us.  

I feared that the coronavirus would disappear before there was a revival. But now it looks like it is spiking again. Friends, God is giving us another chance.  He is calling to us: Repent! Turn to Jesus! Follow the Lord!   

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Let’s all humbly examine our own hearts today.  Read God’s Word and seek His face.  Turn from every sin He shows us and pray to Jesus who gave His life for us on the cross.  Then He will hear, forgive and heal us.  Pray everyday for a revival across this land!

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Arise, O God, judge the earth;
For You shall inherit all nations. Psalm 82:8 (NKJV)

The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.  Jeremiah 18:7-10 (NKJV)

P.S. If you are inspired by today’s devotion, you might also enjoy reading Stripes Across our Nation.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982

Are Ye Able?

But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” Matthew 20:22 (NKJV)

“Are Ye Able, said the Master…”  This old hymn has been running through my head for over a month after I read the above scripture in my Bible in January.  I was curious as to what day I started humming this tune, and flipped back through my journal to locate the verse. I was very surprised when I found out the exact day.

I follow the one-year Bible reading plan found in the Our Daily Bread devotion booklets.  On January 31, the New Testament reading was from Matthew 20:17-34.  In this passage, the mother of Jesus’ disciples James and John came to Him to request her sons sit beside Jesus in His kingdom.  Jesus replied, “You don’t know what you ask.  Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink…?” 

As I read this, my mind immediately went to the old hymn by Earl Marlatt (1925).  The first verse cries out:

“Are ye able,” said the Master,
“To be crucified with me?”
“Yea,” the sturdy dreamers answered,
“To the death we follow Thee.”

That morning, before the day began, I wrote Matthew 20:22 in my prayer journal along with this short prayer, “O Jesus, I want to be able. Please make me able by Your great power and Holy Spirit.” And I wrote the last verse and chorus of this great hymn:

“Are ye able?” Still the Master
Whispers down eternity,
And heroic spirits answer,
Now as then in Galilee.

“Lord, we are able. Our spirits are Thine.
Remold them, make us, like Thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
a beacon to God, to love, and loyalty.” (Marlatt, 1925)

Later that very morning, while doing home school with my son Joel, I happened to glance at my phone (which I usually ignore during home school) and noticed this text from my daughter Kallie about our granddaughter, “We are in an ambulance on our way to Milwaukee. They think Kennedy has pneumonia.” 

But it was not pneumonia, it was something much worse, cancer, T-cell Lymphoma in a little three-and-a-half-year-old girl.  And I cried out to the Lord, “No!”  And, “I’m not able!”  And, “Take me, not our precious granddaughter.”  I wanted to collapse in a puddle of tears, and sometimes I do, following Jesus’ example in John 11:35.

But I’ll tell you who has been able…little Kennedy and her parents.  Kennedy has endured more pokes and pains in a month than most people have in a lifetime.  Her mom and dad have taken this in stride and encouraged Kennedy and trusted their doctors, where I would be falling apart.  Thank you, Jesus, for making them able.

We don’t get to choose our stories or trials, this is the one we get to walk through today.  And so I pray again, “Lord, make me able. Help me be a strong grandma for Kennedy and fight this battle on my knees in prayer. Help me be a beacon to all who are going through trials. Please heal our sweet Kennedy.”  

“Please heal her, O God, I pray!” Numbers 12:13 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Perhaps you are not feeling able to face what is happening in your life today.  Pray to Jesus for help.  Claim all His promises.  He will make us able and see us through even this. 

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4 (NKJV)

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

On the Mat and Map

Kennedy visiting Grandma last summer

And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. Mark 2:4 (NKJV)

The other day my son Joel and I were reading the Bible story of the four friends who put their sick friend on a mat and lowered him through the roof to Jesus because the doorway was so crowded.  I said to Joel, “That’s what we need to do for Kennedy!” (our granddaughter who was recently diagnosed with cancer). 

Joel, being the practical one, replied, “I don’t know if we can do that, roofs are made out of tougher stuff today.” 

But I believe that with God all things are possible.  With the help of many prayer warriors, we can dig through that roof, and lower Kennedy into the room with Jesus, or rather raise her up through the roof so Jesus can touch her and heal her little body completely.  And, oh, how she needs your prayers this week with her hair falling out and, like the paralytic, no longer able to walk, and back in the hospital with a blood clot in her leg, and extra tests on Thursday and Friday. Will you please help us pray?

We’ve heard of churches praying from Blanchester, Ohio to Santa Barbara, California to Big Timber, Montana to Lindstrom, Minnesota to Ames, Iowa to Indianola, Iowa to Burlington, Wisconsin to Tyler, Texas.

I thought it would be really cool for Kennedy to learn where all the people live who are praying for her, and to encourage her parents.  Could you please comment with your city and/or state?  Duplicates are welcome!  Then while you’re putting Kennedy on the mat for Jesus, we’ll make a map for Kennedy of all the people who are praying.  Thank you!!!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the story of the four faithful friends in Mark 2:1-12.   Who do you know who needs healing?  Put them on a mat and lower or lift them to Jesus.  Ask your friends to help you, too.  Claim God’s promise for complete healing. 

Joel & Kennedy with Kennedy’s toads last September

And here is the map!….

Thank you so much, everyone, for your prayers for our granddaughter Kennedy. That means so much to us. And thank you for commenting with your location for our map. We had over 250 responses on this website and Facebook! People are praying in 34 states and 5 countries! The farthest places were Sabina, Northern Region, Ghana; Seoul, South Korea; and Misawa-shi, Aomoriken, Japan! The winning city/state is Knoxville, Illinois with over 45 prayer warriors! God bless you all!!!!! And may God be glorified in healing our precious Kennedy.

If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read Put Your Friends on the Mat and “Get a Cookie, too”  and When the TEA Spills.

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers and for all your prayers. Love, Jennifer Grace

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)

Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

“Get a Cookie, too!”

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 (NKJV)

Last week we were visiting our little granddaughter, Kennedy Grace, who is undergoing chemotherapy for T-cell Lymphoma.  Kennedy spends most of her time resting on the sofa, but every once in awhile she is up for a story or game.  She has a way of closing her eyes and appearing to be asleep and then suddenly joining in the conversation around her. 

One afternoon, her Daddy, Reed, said, “Kennedy, I’m going to the store to get you a Valentine, the biggest one I can find.”  Kennedy’s reply was, “Can you please get me a cookie, too? A Valentine cookie?”  And her Daddy answered, “Yes, Kennedy, I will get you a cookie.” 

This reminded me so much of a Bible story in Joshua 15:19.  Achsah. the daughter of Caleb, after receiving land from her father, instead of just saying, “Thank you,” asked for more!  She petitioned, “…give me also springs of water.”  The Bible tells us that Caleb did, “So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.”  You can read the story again in Judges 1:15.

What I notice from these stories is how much the daddies love their little girls, how the daughters don’t even hesitate to ask their daddies for more, and how quickly the daddies are to say, “Yes” to their daughters’ simple requests.  Wow, can we do this with our heavenly Daddy, too? Yes, we can!

In fact, Kennedy already knows this.  My daughter Kallie tells me that when they say their night time prayers, Kennedy adds at the end, “And take away my icky medicine.”  I say, “AMEN!” to that!

And so I also pray for MORE for my dear granddaughter, not just that Jesus will heal her and make her feel better and give Kennedy and her family strength and peace for each day,  but also that Jesus, the Healing God, our Heavenly Father, Creator of the Universe and all our bodies, Yehovah Rapha, will remove this cancer completely from Kennedy in the Name of Jesus Christ; that by God’s mighty power the enemy who causes cancer in little children is cast into utter darkness; and that many are brought closer to the throne of God and glorify His Name because of this trial.  Amen.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Be like Caleb’s daughter and ask for more. Check out these Bible verses today…Judges 1:15, John 16:24, and Mark 11:24.  What more can you be asking of the Lord? 

If you enjoyed today’s devotions, you might also like to read Valentine Cookies and  Bold Ladies and When the TEA Spills and M&M Prayers.  Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. Love, Jennifer Grace

 So she said to him, “Give me a blessing; since you have given me land in the South, give me also springs of water.” And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs. Judges 1:15 (NKJV)

Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24 (NKJV)

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:24 (NKJV)

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. Matthew 9:35 (NKJV)

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NKJV)

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. 

Pray for Kennedy

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV)

Please pray for Kennedy. Our precious granddaughter Kennedy Grace Johnson was just diagnosed with cancer, T-cell Lymphoma.  She is only 3 1/2 years old and our hearts are breaking.  Kennedy went to the doctor with a cough last Friday and they found a huge mass covering her chest cavity, pushing on her heart and lungs.  Doctors began chemo the next day.  We praise Jesus that already the huge mass is shrinking, but there is a long road ahead.  Thank you for covering Kennedy, our daughter Kallie, her husband Reed, their baby due this spring, and all who love them in your prayers.  I’ll post an update soon. We give glory to Jesus for the healing He is doing and will do in Kennedy! 

And by His stripes we are healed.  Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. Matthew 9:35 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

The Elusive Organ

hospital11Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise.  Jeremiah 17:14 (NKJV)

I was lying on the narrow table in the Nuclear Science department at the Bozeman Hospital.  Of all the tests I’d had in the past half year, this one took the longest.  The kind technician explained it was a little boring, waiting for my gallbladder to appear on the screen and I could take a nap if I wanted.  Whatever chemical he had injected was slowly making its way to my gallbladder so it would become visible.  I wasn’t surprised when after 90 minutes it still hadn’t appeared.  This organ had been eluding doctors for months, why would it come forward now?  Perhaps I didn’t even have one!  But finally, after sending me for two walks and letting me chew sugar-free gum, my shy gallbladder showed up enough to allow him to complete the test.

While lying there, I prayed my favorite verse from this ordeal, “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed, save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise.” (Jeremiah 17:14) And I contemplated all that had brought me to this point.  It began over a year before with daily nausea.  When I had a root canal in January 2016, I thought the nausea would quit, but it continued.  Then in March when I was running, I had a mysterious pain below my right rib cage. I kept running and doing all my usual mom activities.  I even became a grandma in April and had a wonderful visit with my new granddaughter in May.  For almost a week, I was “super-grandma,” running, cooking, cleaning, gardening, and holding our sweet baby so her mommy could take a shower. Then I came home.

Reality hit when I walked in the door in early June and promptly threw up.  A week later I was having tea with friends and had to rush to the restroom where I was sick again.  Soon I found that if I had food in my stomach, I could keep the nausea at bay.  A handful of nuts every hour or two seemed to do the trick.

My first thought was I must be pregnant, which seemed like a jolly blessing for a new grandma turning 50.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.  The doctors did an ultrasound of all my organs and said they were fine.  My daughter was having emergency gallbladder surgery, so they looked closely at my gallbladder. The technician pressed the wand into my right side so hard I cried out in pain.  She asked surprised, “Does this hurt?”

I replied, “Yes, doesn’t that hurt for everyone?”  Then she continued pressing for another 15 minutes, only to have the tests come back normal. But the pain in my right side persisted.  For those who have experienced pregnancy, it felt like a little foot pushing on my rib cage. Sometimes if felt like I’d pulled a muscle in my side from mopping. Always, it hurt.

Over the next several months, I had blood tests, ultrasounds, GI exams, CT scan, X-rays, and a bone scan. Every test came back negative.  With each doctor appointment, I prayed, “Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed.”  I dutifully went for the next test they recommended.  Each time it came back negative.  The doctors began to get tired of me.  I began to wonder if I was crazy.  But at night when I was lying in my bed, with a great pain in my right side, I knew I wasn’t crazy.

My symptoms continued. Besides the nausea and pain in my right side, I had a tight chest and shortness of  breath.  I could run four miles, but lifting my arms to brush my hair or walking from the kitchen to the laundry room would leave me breathless.  In July, I quit running as I didn’t have much energy for it anymore.  In September, I quit most of my work.

The foods I could eat were also diminishing.  Way back in 2010 I had started eating gluten-free and felt better for awhile. In 2013 I went dairy-free and again felt better for awhile.  But this year I couldn’t digest other foods.  A slice of gluten-free bread or a bowl of gluten-free oats would hurt for a day.  But the GI tests showed everything was normal.  By the end of my illness, I was eating banana/kale smoothies for breakfast, jello salad and celery, and highly refined gluten-free foods, such as pretzels.  My beverages consisted of ginger tea and coke, both helped with the nausea and the caffeine eased the pain. I still had my handfuls of nuts to avoid nausea and give me energy, but had to give those up due to pain, too.

In October, doctors finally decided my chest and rib pains were from costochondritis, an inflammation under the rib cage.  I started taking large doses of ibuprofen to reduce swelling.  Four days later I was in the emergency room with a terrible pain that started above my left shoulder blade, extended down the top of my left arm and around to my chest.  They did all the usual heart tests which were negative, gave me a toradol shot which did nothing and sent me home.  The next day they put my on prednisone, thinking it might be polymyalgia and referred me to a rheumatologist.

It’s interesting how the various doctors each picked their favorite symptom and went with that in my diagnosis and care.  The general practitioner was interested in my heart.  The OB-Gyn doctor thought it was changing hormones. The GI doctor felt my pain was from irritable bowel syndrome after a round of Prilosec didn’t help.  The rheumatologist first suspected bone disease.  Even though they all knew my pain was located right at the gallbladder.  If only one of them had said, “Even though your ultrasound didn’t show anything, let’s explore this area more…”

Of all the health care professionals I had, the wisest were the non-standard ones.  One day in October I went with my husband to his chiropractor to ask if it was possible I’d had a rib out all this time.  He checked me over and said no, I did not.  He was very concerned about the pain under might right rib and encouraged me to keep my appointment with a rheumatologist. He said since I was taking prednisone, I shouldn’t have any pain if it was from inflammation.  He didn’t do any adjusting and didn’t even charge me for his consultation.

The rheumatologist referred me to a physical therapist when the bone scan came back negative.  He thought some core strengthening would help me.  The physical therapist did an excellent job of checking me and pinpointing where my pain was coming from in the center of my back. Then he pulled out a text book to show me a diagram of referred pain from organs. The gallbladder defers pain right to the center of the back!

One day our neighbors stopped by to check on me and suggested I get a HIDA scan for my gallbladder.  Right away I emailed my GI doctor and requested the scan.  I remembered the rheumatologist had mentioned that as a possibility, too.  So, here I was finally having the HIDA scan, 5 months after my first doctor visit.  That very night I heard from the GI doctor.  It was my gallbladder!  It was only functioning at 8%.  A surgeon would be contacting me.

The day I found out I needed my gallbladder out I was so happy. After months of no answers, I finally had the correct diagnosis!  I went to bed so thankful, only to wake up a few hours later in dire pain, realizing my gallbladder wasn’t out yet!

The surgeon was all booked up until mid-December 2016, but there was a cancellation, so I got in earlier.  He was sure that I would feel better after surgery, but he wouldn’t be able to do it until December 12.  With almost three weeks to wait, I didn’t know if I’d make it.  Friends must have been praying, because I didn’t feel too bad the first week of waiting, but the last week was awful.  The back and arm pain I had in October returned full strength.  It was excruciating, but I didn’t want to go to the ER where they couldn’t help. The only thing that would help was to take out my gallbladder.

December 12, 2016, I headed to surgery, again praying Jeremiah 17:14, “Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed, save me and I will be saved, for You are my praise.” I also claimed God’s promise in Psalm 118:17, “I shall not die but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”

Surgery went beautifully, according to the surgeon.  As soon as I awoke from the anesthesia, I noticed the phantom pains in my back and left arm were gone!  Oh, what joy!  However, my right side still hurt because I had four incisions in my abdomen.  As the wounds healed, my pain subsided.  The first week after surgery was the worst, as my body tried to expel the CO2 used to inflate me during surgery.  But after a week, I felt like a human again, and after six weeks I was able to go for daily walks again.  I am disappointed to note that my nausea and chest pains are lingering, and I had a few complications.  I’m also having trouble figuring out what foods to eat, so I don’t get a stomach ache. My mother-in-law mentioned that some of her pains stayed for up to six months after surgery.  So, I’m prayerful that soon they will all disappear, and Jesus will heal me completely.

The prayers of so many people carried me through this ordeal.  I want to encourage you as a prayer friend, that your prayers really do matter!  The first prayer was when I called Samaritan Ministries, our health sharing organization, to report a need.  The fellow who took my information recognized my distress and called on Jesus for healing.  In August 2016, a visiting pastor came to our church and offered to pray for people after the service.  My husband took me up and the pastor, not knowing my ailment, prayed for my complete healing.  Finally, there were the prayers of all the Samaritan Ministry friends who sent checks to help pay the doctor bills.  I especially liked the comment written by one, “My husband and I stand in agreement for your complete healing.”  And that is the promise I claim to this day.

Signs you should have your gallbladder checked:

  • You eat Tums like they are candy.
  • You have daily nausea.
  • You are turning yellow.
  • There are certain foods you avoid that you used to enjoy.
  • Your digestion changes so that you are either highly constipated or running to the bathroom too often.
  • You have a sharp or constant pain under your right rib cage.
  • You have tightness in your chest and shortness of breath.
  • You have back pain that may extend down your arm.
  • Your pains are not improved with heating pads, pain killers, steroids, or shots.
  • Your pain keeps you awake at night.
  • You are fatigued and need extra caffeine to get going each day.
  • You have multiple, unexplained symptoms.
  • You just feel bad and the doctors can’t figure out why.

Be prayerful and persistent.  If you’re not happy with your doctor, ask friends to recommend another doctor. Be sure to ask for the HIDA scan if the ultrasound is inconclusive. If you’d like to learn more about Samaritan Ministries for help with doctor bills, please check out this website.  It’s a really neat organization. Each month they send our family a name.  We pray for that person and send them a card and a check to help with their doctor bills.  This time it was our time to be on the receiving end.  It really works as Samaritan Ministries helped us with over $30,000 in doctor bills.  Praise, Jesus!

P.S.  I just want to say also, God bless the nurses!  You do a wonderful job taking care of us when we are in so much pain. God bless Sarah, Bunny, and Ali!!!