Another terrible day laid before me. No longer did I see a sweet package to be opened, but a day I had to endure in excruciating pain. I had gone through chemo and I survived it only to have my left knee blow up. Literally it was three sizes larger than my right.
I begged my oncologist to allow me to get my knee “scrapped” because I couldn’t get a total knee replacement. She reluctantly agreed and on July 2nd at 4:00 in the morning I was slated first surgery at University of Pennsylvania Hospital.
But I was still in pain four weeks later, not because of my left knee, but my right knee was just as big from overcompensating for my left. Living a normal life, I could probably drag myself around. If you own a horse farm, own two businesses, and teach at a local university like me than this would be impossible.
My epiphany came birthed from anger. “I’m a child of God! He says I’m healed, well than I’m healed!” I said out loud to myself I was determined to put to death my pain and live in victory!
I got out of bed, tenderly like I always do. I put my shoulders back, grabbed my walking sneakers and took off at 5:00 in the morning. I was going to walk, speak, and think of nothing else but that I’m healed!
It took me 53 minutes to walk two miles, but I did it! The next day 51 minutes, today 43 minutes, and guess what- I’m no longer going to believe the lie that I can’t have life abundantly!
I’m a water-walking-child-of-the-King and if He says it is good than I am!
I refuse to believe the lie of death and destruction! Because WITH GOD I CAN DO ANYTHING!
What are you trying to overcome? Share and I will pray for you!
“Miss Jill, I want to pray!” Luke, the just-turned-seven-year-old-who-grew-one-inch, stood before me. He was part of the six-strong nuggets that lived next door to me
“Great Luke, what do you want to pray about?” I asked.
“I want to thank God, but I don’t know how to do it,” with that he tilted his head, seeking an answer.
“It is easy, just talk to God like you talk to me,” I held my hand out, a signal that we were going to pray.
He bent his beautiful head, “God, thank you for horses, Miss Jill, and Luke (a paint horse that had his same name), AMEN!”
He looked up at me, proud of himself for praying on his own.
As I walked into my home I was struck by his heart that sought Thanksgiving. When was the last time I thanked God for all that He has done for me? Thanks Luke for teaching me a lesson.
My article was published in Renaissance Magazine, July issue.
Check it out!
The journey that I never wanted to go on was commencing and it was during this time that I learned that a battle was raging, not in my body, but in my mind………
My prayers are ALWAYS for protection. I am an offensive prayer. I try to think of everything that could ever happen and pray against it. Cancer is always my biggest one to rebuke and rebuff. I thought I was covered under the blood of Jesus. I am a believer in Jesus and His healing power, never doubted, not once.
“God, what do you want me to learn through this?” I implored in the early morning hours of August 31st.
“I want you to be able to relate to others, and for them to relate to you,” His still quiet voice spoke into my spirit.
“Ok, God, I want to learn. Please Lord, help me to go through this with your victory and countenance” I said through tears.
What I learned would change my life……
Zelda has never spoken or written a single word in her life, but she writes everyday letters of love and hope on the hearts of those she has touched. I’m blessed enough to say that I have witnessed it firsthand.
Zelda was born with cerebral palsy that crippled the left side of her body and in response her hands and feet have turned inward, making that part of her body useless.
No one is certain why she can’t speak or why she can’t hear. But last night she heard the silent cry of a young woman in anguish and she answered it with all the love she has inside of her colossal heart.
Chrissy is twenty years old but looks more like she is forty. Her life has left her heart broken. She cannot speak and signs only two words Mommy and Hungry. Her mom was unable to care for her once she reached adulthood, and she made the difficult decision to allow her to be with adults similar to her. She found it in a wonderful group home for adults where she is cared for tirelessly by the most wonderful people who truly care about her.
On this particular Thursday she came to equine therapy with a sad face. She was uncomfortable and frequently picked at her pants. She was not going to ride because she seemed upset and she would whimper periodically no matter how much we wanted to see her buddy, Buttons, the fat pony. She would shake her head vehemently and sit resolutely in our comfy Adirondack chairs.
That’s when Zelda came to the rescue. With her numb leg she drug herself across the yard, which is the equivalent of crossing the Mohave Desert. She sat in the chair next to Chrissy and tried to speak. Her lips curled and her tongue puckered as dribble washed down her face. She didn’t care; she wanted Chrissy to know she cared. It did not matter that only grunts came out, her eyes and genuine smile said it all.
Zelda looked at me and signed love and then she pointed at Chrissy. In her poignant and loving way, Zelda spoke the language everyone wants to hear- someone cares!
Zelda, you amaze me everyday! I am the one who is richer for knowing a champion that conquerors everyday battles that all of us take for granted. You do it all with a smile or giggle.
Keep loving all the people that you meet because I am the woman you have most changed!
Living in the country is full of excitement. Skunks that have made their home in my barn, and I was inadvertently sprayed because I reached down to pet what I thought was one of my cats. There was also the time that the bulls from across the street decided to stampede down my driveway and into my horse pasture. Lest I forget the time that the horses got out and decided to stand in the middle of the road, stopping traffic. This is my life on a glorious horse farm, named Raise Your Dreams Farm.
Unfortunately there are some people who also enjoy perusing the country-side searching for an easy target. My neighbor heard noises coming from his basement only to find a bad guy hanging out. So when our neighbor had her barn broken into, my husband and I began in earnest to find a dog that would be intimidating enough to scare any would-be robber into thinking twice about coming to our farm.
As luck would have it, we were watching the Animal Planet TV show and they were featuring the Great Pyrenees dogs. They were excellent guard dogs and would defend their “family” even to the death. Their size was intimidating enough, 150-180 pounds, standing about 3 feet in height. We had the land, and of course the livestock that needed their protection, so we concluded that these might be a good dog to invest in. We ordered two fluff ball puppies on the internet, brothers that we named Frosty and Snowball.
I could not imagine any puppy cuter than these rather large bundles of white downy fur. They slept all the time, played with one another, ate, and then slept again. Unlike my labs, these puppies enjoyed laying around more than being up and getting into mischief.
As they got older, we realized these were no ordinary dogs. A baby in a stroller was something for them to protect and they would even block the mother from attending to her infant, a toddler learning how to walk, they would walk next to them slowly allowing the child to balance themselves off of their broad backs. A loud truck driving by, now that was something to be chased unto its death. Occasionally the township worker would blow their horn to incite total havoc in my yard amongst my fierce dogs. We have an electric fence around our home and thankfully they respect it because I think a lot of joggers and bikers would be in serious trouble if they ever got a hold of them.
If you are visiting the farm for the first time, expect to be stopped immediately and then escorted down the driveway to the parking space where they want you to park. Get out of the car and expect to be sniffed and nudged until satisfied. They will never wag their tail, until they feel that you are an accepted part of their “family”. If they find you suspicious, they will bark until my husband and I are alerted.
Their favorite activity is to bark, dig, and chase anything that should not be riding down the road. This is their property and they will not have any shenanigans here. But their soft side is always shown to all that come here. They beg for pets, high-five the kids, and lay on you if you happen to lay down on the soft ground.
They are now eight years old, still extremely active, and somewhat celebrities in our town. If someone is not sure where we live, all we have to say is the farm with the big white dogs. “Ohhhh, I know exactly where you are.”
Wouldn’t you want to be loved by a Great Pyrenees?
Being a high school teacher has its ups and downs, and when a student writes this on her facebook, I happened to be the talk of the school. A student quickly showed me why.
I am so grateful for all of the students that have touched my life.
None of this would be possible without Jesus Christ guiding and leading me- To Him be all the glory!