* A Message Frome Ashleigh Marie (Founder of “From Ashes”): Every month, the goal of “From Ashes” is to feature a Guest Blogger to share their heart and story here. Guest Bloggers, like friends, can offer some insight and different perspectives into our lives. Iron sharpens iron ( ref. Proverbs 27:17); so that is my hope and purpose for featuring Guest Bloggers. (If you’d like to catch up on past Guest Blogger’s, click here.)
Janey Gomez is someone who has an incredible story and heart for God. She is a brave and diligent fighter who battles Multiple Sclerosis. I am so grateful that I was able to cross paths with this amazing woman, especially since I am new on my own journey of fighting the disease. Thankful for her and I am very thankful that she accepted the invitation to write a post for this month.
So, without further ado, I hope you enjoy Janey G’s “Guest Blog”. (Leave some comments below as well!)
A Christmas Message:
First, let’s give a shout-out to Ashleigh for this blog and for asking me to be a guest blogger!
Currently, I am not a blogger but she knows it’s something I have been considering for a while and that I recently began to write some things, so this is her gentle push to get me started. Thanks, Ashleigh. I appreciate the gentle push toward my goals.
A bit about me is I am a wife, Mom, and Grandma. I don’t have a lot of hobbies, but I have grandkids so that’s really the only hobby I need. I love music, mostly worship music, and of course old fashioned Christmas music. I like to cook and I try really hard to eat a very healthy diet but good tasting food. I like to read but it’s hard for me to read and focus and retain what I read.
So in trying to decide what the topic of this blog would be I posted the question on my Facebook page to get some feedback. I got all of the suggestions that were already in my mind but a couple stood out. So I will probably write about a couple different subjects, many things overlap in my life, like everyone else.
My main focus will be on Faith and how it can and should overlap all areas in your life.
And by faith, I don’t just mean believing in God but believing in God’s promises written in His word. Like Ashleigh, I too have MS (Multiple Sclerosis). Life with MS can be complicated and challenging and it looks different for different people.
I was diagnosed in February 2011. I went out on medical leave multiple times that year and eventually went out and never went back to work. The transition to being
“disabled” from being a productive, organized person is tough (then and now). The part of my body most affected has been what they call executive functions. Basically my ability to organize, plan, manage, comprehend, learn etc.
I was a project manager and I had 30 people I was responsible for. Now I am home, and it’s hard for me to manage just my household. I am continually looking for something, and I mean continually! We moved a couple years ago to downsize and get everything on one level for me. I am still trying to adjust and get rid of stuff so it’s not overcrowded and overwhelming. I get overwhelmed with lots of folks and lots of noise. Going anywhere on a Friday or Saturday night, or shopping on the weekend, is truly a very huge challenge for me and I avoid it as much as possible.
How does faith play into this journey in life for me?
Without God and good Christian framily (and yes it’s not a typo) I don’t know what I would do, or how I would have survived this process.
One of my favorite chapters about faith is Hebrews 11:1; “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (NLT)
So, that leads me to the verse that tells me God will heal me.
Isaiah 53:5, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And His stripes we are healed.” (NLT)
Now some folks would look at this verse and look at me (and Ashleigh) and say, “but God hasn’t healed you so how can you say you believe in healing?” I believe God’s promises completely; end of the story for me.
God can heal us through many things (my opinion) and I don’t put Him in a box that says it has to look like this or it’s not healing.
Let’s face it (and be honest) is it tough sometimes to remain cheerful, upbeat and hopeful, never wavering……..absolutely!
But, He loves me even then.
Sometimes I need Him to remind me of His love and His promises. When I step out in faith because I feel Him leading me to do something, I no longer hesitate to believe I can do it.
I am not waiting to be healed before I engage in His callings; I can engage in His callings while I’m anticipating healing. He called me to help lead worship at church, I had been waiting to be healed (and it’s hard for me to stand for long periods of time). When I finally stepped out and began doing it, I have always had the strength to fulfill that calling. There have been a couple of instances that I used a stool for worship practice but have always been able to stand on stage and help to usher in Gods presence. Do I have challenges….Absolutely! Memorizing new lyrics is challenging for me and I can memorize them and lose them in an instant. And most of the time by the time worship is over, I can’t feel my legs, so I tend to waddle like a
penguin when I exit the stage; but it doesn’t matter because I stepped out in faith and trusted God to get me through what He called me to do.
My point to all this is to say: no matter what the circumstances are in my life (or your life), when you have a relationship with God talk with Him, study His word, and believe in His promises; even the ones that don’t seem like are promises for you.Life is just so much easier, happier, and better all the way around when you do.
Hopefully, you will find meaning in my words of encouragement to you.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
– Janey G