The night sky is lit on fire with His glory!
Have you ever had a time in your life when no one would know you were a Christian? Because there is no way a Christian should be acting or thinking like that!
It happened! Yup, it was yesterday and I’m still cleaning up my aftermath.
It wasn’t pretty and it sure wasn’t Christ-like. After a good smack down from God, I straightened my crown and walked out of the trash heap of my sinfulness.
“My grace is sufficient” He said. Thanking God for His everlasting faithfulness and love for a wretch like me.
I have met all the milestones.
Port taken out- check
Final tests- not checked
But the last and most important milestone am I CANCER FREE? I’m ready in the paper thin gown. These are the tests that will prove I don’t have cancer.
“Jill, we need you to wait for the results, please sit here,” and the harried technician is off with another patient and I can’t breathe.
Fifteen minutes….thirty minutes….forty-five minutes….an hour….an hour and fifteen… I cannot take it any more. I text my husband “THIS IS NOT GOOD 1 HOUR AND STILL NO NEWS!!!!”
“Jill, please come with me,” the same technician is leading me to a narrow hallway.
This is not my first time going where I do not want to go.
“Why am I going with you?” I snarl.
“We need more pictures, we are using a special machine. We can do a biopsy today if we need to,” she is still walking unaware that I’m ten-feet behind her and I am not moving.
“I’m not doing this!” I almost scream. Incredulously I think, God, you only gave me one month? I CAN’T! I WON’T DO THIS AGAIN!
She stands in shock. Then I begin to sob uncontrollably. My careful exterior shell of I-GOT-THIS-ATTITUDE crumbles like sand. I’m spiraling into an abyss of despair.
“Let’s just go in and get the pics done, I’m sure it will be ok,” she hands me a tissue while propping the door open with her foot. She motions with her body for me to come, but she doesn’t realize I cannot move.
I’ve heard of paralyzingly fear, but I have never experienced it until now.
“Please, Mrs.Mansor, we need to get these pics done,” she doesn’t know how to handle me.
I somehow gather strength, but it is like an out of body experience. The tests complete and I practically slump to the floor, weak and feeble.
I grab the box of tissues as she takes me to a consulting room. I can’t even pray. I sob unabashedly.
Thirty minutes later, a broad smile draped across the technicians face and I know what she is going to say, “NO CANCER!”
I hug her hard. I can’t get out of there fast enough, I am suddenly very exhausted.
My life as I have known it will never be the same. Fear is a liar and disappointed that I even gave it a foothold. One thing I do know is that I’m living everyday like it is my last.
“Jill, you must build up your knee. There’s only one way to do it, with lots of walking!” My orthopedic doctor gently patted my shoulder.
At first, walking was an exercise that was as extreme as climbing Mt. Everest. A shredded meniscus and torn ligaments on top of fighting cancer, it seemed impossible, but my stubborn desire to reclaim my life was as strong as iron. I was determined to climb this “Mt Everest” everyday.
I went from 50 yards to 5 miles within six months. Every morning, rain, sleet, snow or heat, I’m walking. I have found this time almost cathartic. It is where I talk to God, memorize scripture, organize my day, and even record my thoughts.
It is pitch black out, so no one can see my hands raised in praise or hear me singing. I enjoy the anonymity of being cloaked in the early morning mist while my neighbors sleep.
I pause every morning to hear the two owls speaking to one another in the forest, or to watch the incredibly cute beaver peek out from his lair in the pond across the street. It is during these early morning walks that I get to see the deer romping in the corn field, the foxes running full-tilt to their dens, an eagle family teaching the fine art of finding food to their children. I’ve even come to appreciate the tenacity of an almost all-white skunk who likes to stand in my path daring me to come near, and I especially enjoy the big fluffy raccoon that slowly saunters by me without a care in the world.
And everyday as the sun begins to rise, I stand in silent respect and awe of the beauty God has allowed me to see.
Thank you Lord for saving my life from cancer and allowing me one more day to praise the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS!
Who else takes early morning walks?
“Daddy, please stop the car! Pleassse!” We were driving by a horse farm on a rural road near my home. The horses and ponies dotted the pastures, and one very plump Palomino pony was near the fence. He was irresistible, and my dad knew that this desire to be near horses was unquenchable.
“Jill, I don’t have time. Now stop whining!” My dad said in his gruffest voice.
I stifled a sob. I was five years old, and totally and utterly in love with horses. Knowing that riding a horse or taking lessons was out of the question, I moaned deep within my spirit.
At seven years old, I had learned to negotiate a bike, and I would steal away on day time excursions to this farm. For hours, I would watch the horses, laugh at their antics, and entice them with carrots I had taken from our refrigerator. They were unkempt and mangy, but to me they were valiant stallions. I would breathe deeply their scent, and it seared itself into my heart. Someday, I don’t know how, but I will own a horse, I said to myself!
I was unwavering in my decision. As soon as I graduated from college and got my first “real job” I signed up for three lessons at a stable close to my home.
Riding with tiny children that rode like champions was almost too much to take, but people my age were not starting lessons they were already accomplished riders. I stood out like vanilla in a sea of chocolate. I was in the beginner class, and the lazy Appaloosa that I rode every lesson was happy with one speed, super slow. I wanted to gallop and jump like I had seen the more advanced riders. It would take me three painstakingly long years.
Then the opportunity of a life time presented itself. A just-turned-four-year-old broken-down Thoroughbred cross was for sale. His bones jutting out against the scruffy red-bay gelding. His name was Raise Your Dreams, and his eyes, large and expressive were begging me to save him. I did not know that he would save me too.
Working in a job I hated, a broken engagement, and a life spiraling out of control, Raise Your Dreams gave me a reason to live. He was extremely bright, and I learned one of the most essential lessons a rider can grasp, a horse needs a reason to do what is being asked. Once I grasped this coveted concept, I excelled in my riding. I even rode with an Olympic coach who saw in me a heart destined for learning. People would remark about the beauty of my magnificent steed, his coat glistened, his eyes were bright and alert, his ears flicking in accordance with the aides (signals) I was giving him.
My heart still yearning for more, I became a certified riding instructor, and taught at premiere farms in southern New Jersey. Then something happened that was a true miracle.
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart, Psalm 37:4. I began a relationship with Jesus. My life would never be the same! What He gave me was far beyond my wildest dreams………………………………….
(this story will continue)
Who said horse farms are for riding horses? Caterpillars like to tickle and crawl, and it seems we have a gazillion here, and the boys find them irresistible! Horses are here all year and caterpillars are available only for a few weeks, and the little furry critters like to tickle! What can a horse do compared to a caterpillar?
I still couldn’t resist asking, “Who wants to ride a horse?……. No one???”
Jake said, “Miss Jill, we are catching caterpillars!” His tone exasperated, how could I not understand?
I guess I will ride by myself.
After reading my book FIGHTING FOR THE FINISH, the Salem County Christian Association wanted me to speak at their “Men and Women” breakfast.
What an honor! Nothing better than sharing all that God has done in my life!