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The Cure for Seasickness

It was an extreme case of seasickness.

I haven’t quite figured it out yet: how to fix my eyes on Jesus when receiving CT scan results. But that is what I must do.

Monday was the first time, the first time in all these many months of getting test results, that I did not allow myself to consider beforehand the possibility that I might get bad news. I did not sit and imagine countless things I might be told: varying degrees of metastasis, wide-ranging speculation on odds and how much time I have left, multiple new changes in treatment plans that might have to be examined. I didn’t gird up my spirit with words of truth. I did not make any attempt to steel myself against a huge unexpected wave crashing into my little vessel.

So Monday’s devastating blow came at me from the blindside, and my eyes were not fixed. Not at all fixed.

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6

From “Seasickness” on Wikipedia:

The real cause is in the mind, which receives conflicting signals: while the eyes show a world that is still, our body sends signals of a moving environment. This discordance causes the mind to send to the whole body a general alarm signal.

The only, and quite simple way, to re-synchronize the signals is a conduct that will help our eyes to send the proper information of the movement.

Focus on the horizon. [Try to fight] the tendency of the eyes to focus on the objects nearby.

If you can stabilize on this latter reference system, the disturbance will disappear almost immediately.

There are behavioral methods to help the synchronization of the senses, such as being fully aware of the movements of the boat and anticipating them. Avoid reading, watching TV, and even talking to neighbors. After some time, depending on the individual, the mind will be oriented, and it will be possible to resume all normal activities.”

Of course this wisdom is in God’s word:

“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” Prov. 4:25

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12: 1-2

My friends, understand that my world fell apart on Monday because I was seasick. When I am in doctor’s offices, when I am forced to read CT scan reports and informed consents for new trials, I am forced to look at my enemy full in the face. I am forced to look at the winds and the waves that surround me in this storm.

It is the ups and downs; the quick, sudden and unexpected movements of what is “nearby” that disorients me. It disrupts my anchor: hope. On Monday night, my anchor felt dislodged.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19

My disappointment comes in part because I want so badly for God to show up and show off. I believe with all of my heart that ANYTHING is possible for Him, that PRAYER MATTERS, that we should PRAY BIG, BOLD PRAYERS. I want Him to validate that belief. I want Him to make me not look like a fool. But that’s not His job. How dare I ask Him to prove Himself again? He has done it over and over and over again and we still reject Him.

What is amazing, what is miraculous, what I praise Him for today is this:

As far away as he felt Monday night, He feels closer than ever before, now.

Monday night, prayer felt so useless. So pointless. But my fear of God and the Spirit of God within me will not let me turn my back. So I just prayed this:

Oh my God, oh Jesus, oh my God, oh Jesus. Be here. Just be here. Oh my God, oh Jesus…

That’s all I could say. I went to sleep crying, literally crying those words.

And I have spent the last two days focusing on stillness, on the horizon, on what I KNOW to be true.

God is REAL. God is LOVE. God is GOOD. God works ALL THINGS FOR GOOD. My HOPE is firm and secure.

I reminded myself of my two options: I live or I LIVE.

Christ has defeated death. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Imagine this scenario: A woman lives on the streets; a beggar in a cruel, evil world. One day, the prince of that land comes to find her. He says, “I am preparing a place for you in my beautiful castle. You will no longer live here in this dirty, evil world. I will come back to get you and you will come and live in my Father’s palace. And not just you, but you and all those you love, if they too will trust me enough to accept this gift. I’m taking you away from this filth and this danger forever, and taking you to place more grand than I can even explain. You just have to see it. I’m coming back in two months.” Imagine just a few weeks later he comes back to her and says, “Well, things are ready ahead of schedule. You get to come today; several weeks early! You can go ahead and leave this place and come with me – to a place that is so beautiful I can’t even describe it. To a place where I guarantee you will never ever be sad. You can leave these streets forever.”

Why would that be a bad thing? Why would she choose to be anything but completely grateful and excited to go?

Maybe you are thinking what I’m thinking. That the only way she would even hesitate is if she is leaving two young children, a husband, family.

My friends, please understand. That is my only hesitation. That is the only reason that Monday’s news was difficult. That is the only reason I cling to this life at all.

But here’s His promise: He will protect those I love. I left that part out of the story. The prince promises her: “I will personally, I, MYSELF, watch out for your children and protect them until their place is ready in the palace. I will never leave them nor forsake them. If I have come to take you early, it is because this is the better way; though you do not know all that I know to understand why that is the case.”

My scenario is win-win.

My friends, I believe it is not yet decided. God’s arm is not too short to heal and heal miraculously even now. Perhaps He is setting the stage for an even grander revealing of Himself. And my Old Testament teaches me that His mind may even yet be changed.

So I will beg. Every morning and every night, and all times in between, I will beg for His mercy and His compassion. I will not use pretty words. I will not bargain. I will just plain beg for mercy.

But either way, my hope is secure. The victory is won. God wins. In the end, God wins.

I am sorry I got seasick on you on Monday. The Spirit of God, in His great mercy, has reset my anchor.

If yours slipped a bit too, do not give Satan the satisfaction. Do not give him the satisfaction of stealing your hope. Of stealing your prayer life. Dig in deeper.

Because this is in that book too:

“And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.”

Jesus taught His disciples that they should “always pray, and never give up.”

Holy God,

We need you to bring stillness and order back to our minds. We are disoriented, as we are buffeted day and night by the penalties of our sin and our eyes have trouble fixing on you. Father, I thank you for this time to be with children. For it is really that simple. I want the faith of a child. And so I put my hand in your great big hand, I ask your forgiveness for my tantrum, and I beg for your mercy. For I don’t deserve it, but in your great love, that’s never stopped you before. I love you, My Father.

In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Sara Walker





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31 Responses to “The Cure for Seasickness”

  1. Alice Pack April 27, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    Sara, You are such a inspiration to all of us. May God continue to bless you and heal you in a way only He can if it is his will.

  2. Carol Bettis April 27, 2012 at 6:37 am #

    How inspiring and encouraging your words were. How awesome is our God. If we could only keep our mind in the present and allow God to handle the rest.
    You are so Blessed.

  3. Ann Sellers April 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Sara, the Holy Spirit must give you the wonderful thoughts and words you shared. I pray He is giving you comfort and joy each day and that you are having good days with Brian, your boys and family. Love and prayers, Ann

    • Sara Walker April 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

      He is giving me all those things and more! Thank you, Ann.

  4. Mindy Peck April 10, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    And we will beg with you unabashed, sweet Sara, through our Secure Hope.

  5. Kim Mclain April 9, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    Sara,

    When I read your post on Monday, I thought all of the things that you posted in your next blog and I was lead to write on your Caringbridge page but I didn’t because I thought I have never had cancer and I am not qualified to say anything. I see that the Lord brought you the message without me. I am disappointed in myself for refusing to be the vessel. Now, I will reinforce this. I was not the mother with cancer I was the child. My mom was diagnosed at the age of 54 with widespread uterine cancer. She had four children me 36 the school teacher, 29 drug addict, 26 artist who struggles with depression, and 24, a daughter away in Memphis attending Pharmacy school. She chose the song “Praise You in the Storm” as her theme. She told us that it was a battle that she couldn’t lose either she would be with us or in Heaven. Almost two years into her fight my dad was diagnose with widespread cancer. I remember the bad scans. I remember when she told me that she was ready that she had to make sure that her babies were okay. I remember when she took my Dad’s hand and said, “We just both need to go.” so they did, nine days apart Nov. 2009. The same Lord that she praised took care of her children. I am still teaching. I am blessed with two grandsons who fill my heart with joy. My brother got off drugs, went back to college, and received a scholarship. He will graduate in Dec. My middle sister paints beautiful pictures when she is sad and she found a church home with her husband took up my mother’s hobby of cooking, and holds the family together like glue. Our baby sister didn’t miss a beat. She will graduate from Pharmacy school this May. She will be coming home and God willing will start a family of her own. Her and her husband have waited a long time for that. We miss them everyday but I know that if my Mom was here I would call her before I prayed about things because I always did. I have learned to cast my eyes on the Lord. Of course Satan would attack you after you started this blog. He doesn’t want your faith showing through and you encouraging others while you fight your own battle. God has a plan! It’s a good one. Remember you can’t lose. God bless!

  6. Valerie April 9, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    I don’t know you personally, but I pray for you and your family often. I am encouraged and inspired by everything your write, but this post blew me away. Your faith and love for our God are so refreshing, and I know somewhere, somehow, God is using your story for something amazing.

  7. Shonda April 6, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    Sweet, Sara…as I read your post Monday night, my heart broke along with yours. When I read this piece less than 48 hours later, I was amazed — at you and our God! As I pondered your thoughts on how the news you received Monday knocked you off course and made you “seasick”, I thought it is because she is “ORDINARY”. And, through your “ordinary” on Monday, we got to see God’s “extraordinary” on Wednesday as He righted your ship. Thanks for sharing your most intimate thoughts with us. I have no doubt that it is drawing people closer to Him and perhaps that is the healing He is offering right now. I continue to be in prayer for you and your family. Our God is mighty and his mercies are new each morning!

  8. Amanda April 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    Thank for your posts! Today, I found myself crying over something that is heart breaking to me but may not be to others. I found myself in prayer and then found myself “checking on you” as I have been reading for some time. God is using you to bring others to Him and today He has used you as a vehicle to remind me that He is the only thing that matters. And what a delight it is that He is because I can’t imagine a place Id like to be where He is not. I shall continue praying or you and your healing.

  9. r.elliott April 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    I read this this morning…I though immediately of you…”This is a sign of real fidelity, to persevere even in the darkest and most painful moment, when all seems lost, and when a friend,(or news) instead of triumphing, is reduced to defeat and profound humiliation. It is easy to be faithful to God when everything goes smoothly, when His cause triumphs; but to be equally faithful in the hour of darkness, when, for the time, He permits evil to get the upper hand, when everything that is good and holy seems to be swept away- this is hard, but it is the most authentic proof of real love.”
    Sara, I don’t know you(you taught me son at Lipscomb)…but have been following your journey…and this is what I see in you. No matter how dark…no matter how disappointing the news…your love for Christ shine through…not love that is based on your circumstance…but love based on who He is. continued prayers

  10. Sally McMahon April 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Thanks, Sara, for posting “in season, and out of season”! I am so excited about what the Lord has performed, is working out, and will continue to do. Surely “He hath done all things well!” May the Lord reward you for your honesty, and may your vision remain fixed upon the horizon of His love! Hope you have a beautiful time savoring Resurrection weekend! Blessings to you and yours from Connecticut.

  11. Jennifer Whitehorn April 5, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Thank you, Sara, for this BEAUTIFULLY written message! It was such a blessing to read!
    I remain committed to constant prayer for you.

    Jennifer

  12. Kathy Clark April 5, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Dearest Sara,

    We all get seasick at some point, even when standing on solid ground. God is not ashamed of us for being human and losing our focus. Praise His name because He puts our vision back into focus on His Son and what joy and peace He gives us. Your transparency is so refreshing and encouraging to all of us. Never stop sharing your heart with us, for we will know exactly what to pray.

    We love you,
    Ted and Kathy

  13. Kristin Green April 5, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Dearest Sara,

    How I have prayed for you since Monday, on my knees begging God to heal you & to give you strength to hold on to His hand. “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip–he who watches over you will not slumber.” (Psalm 121:1-3) He promises to NEVER leave us or forsake us. Keep running to Him over and over again, Sara, and He will hold you in His arms & hug you tight.

    Sending heart hugs & love to you,
    Kristin

  14. Joan Kelly April 5, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    We continue to pray for you, sweet Sara! Hold close to Him…

  15. connie leach April 5, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    I don’t know when I’ve read something so… beautiful, wise, and so full of GOD. He has surely given you this. We all continue to pray. Happy Easter, Sara.
    Connie Leach

  16. Alyson Atchley April 5, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    I am praying that our God will show up in a mighty way and that He will heal you! God still reigns! He is still on His throne! He is risen! He lives! He is still working! I love you!!! xoxo

  17. Brad Stevens April 5, 2012 at 5:33 am #

    Our hope is built on nothing less……May the Lord continue to lift you and your family up in your journey of faith Sara. He does love us so much more even when we can’t see him and we lose our grip. Your testimony is such a wonderful proclamation of faith. God bless,

  18. Barbara McKeel April 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    Sara, you gave me strength on Monday by the swelling up of your great disappointment in your tests’ results! You shared everything that was in your heart that day. Now I know that you are human like the rest of us. There is no doubt to anyone that you love God with every fiber of your being! I continue to be wowed by how much you love God, and you continue to help me in my prayer life and in trusting in God’s wisdom for all of us who try to be the christian that God wants us to be.

  19. Donna High April 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Sweet Sara,
    God loves you even more because you are so honest and share the deepest thoughts of your heart, even when you are discouraged. Then God answers your prayers and our prayers and you find your anchor again. Then you share your hope with all of us. Do you have any idea how much you have encouraged others who have been in a dark place of losing their anchor? Your writing and sharing your faith is leading us all to walk closer to the Lord and to rest in His love. Yes, we WILL PRAY and WE WILL BEG our Great Physician to reveal His glory and give you a complete victory over the cancer. WE WILL BEG Him to spare your life and allow you to continue to encourage all of us who know and love you and all of those many thousands who know you only through your writing. We will BEG Him to let you help Brian raise your boys. We will BEG and we will trust in Him because we know that our sweet Jesus is our only hope and we know He is faithful. Please feel the deep love that we have for you and your precious family. But most of all I pray that you feel HIS DEEP LOVE and can REST in His love each day. Keep playing with your boys, enjoy quality time with Brian, and if you have any energy left, please keep writing what God puts on your heart to share with all of us who are BOLDLY PRAYING for a complete healing. We love you sweet Sara.
    Donna

  20. Holli D April 4, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    Amen, Sara!

    So happy to see the imagery of the sea in this post as I, too, had been thinking about the ocean. On Monday, when I read your post, the comforting thought that wouldn’t leave my mind was the poem “Footprints in the Sand.” Through your journey and the Spirit’s working through you and in your writing, I pray that we will be able to focus on the One who is carrying us all during our struggles. Thank you also for reminding us to refocus on Jesus as Easter is quickly approaching. For without the resurrection of Christ, we have no hope at all!

    Now, go out and SAVOR the rest of this break with your family!

    Love, Holli πŸ™‚

  21. Janelle April 4, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Sara…I think this is my favorite post yet!!! I can’t even put my thoughts into sensible comments…you have written a beautiful and thoughtful piece. And through it renewed our spirits and obviously yours too. Only through the Spirit and Power of God do things like this come. Amen!

  22. Judy M April 4, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Sara, we all have been seasick and God always brings the calmness we need! Your spirit and faith are teaching us so much! I lost both parents to cancer and now my husband has a rare form of sarcoma! I know and understand how cancer, the endless tests, scans, treatments, doctor visits, etc can make one seasick! But, isn’t God amazing how he is always there ready to hold us!! You have helped me so much dealing with my husband’s cancer! I too get so afraid and my mind spind out of control with all the decisions, hearing bad news, hearing good news… I consider this time the “roller coaster” of our life! And those loops that flip you upside down, wow they can really get you!! But it always calms down again!! Thank you for being so honest and real!! We love you, lady!!!

  23. Teresa Messick April 4, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    I am humbled by this post. Thank you for reminding us to keep our eyes focused on the horizon and never on the waves! Know you are covered in prayer…many times in the middle of the night when I wake, you come to mind and I pray for you! It is amazing the connection that the Body of Christ has through the Spirit because I have never met you! Praying without ceasing!

  24. Holli D April 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Amen, Sara!

    So glad to read these words today and see the imagery of the sea in your writing as I, too, was thinking about the ocean! Right after reading Monday’s post, the only comforting thought that kept popping into my head regarding these results was the poem “Footprints In the Sand.” I just pray that as you go through a very long life, you can look back on Monday and all of the other trying times that you’ve been enduring on this journey and see the distinct pattern of footprints in the sand. Then, I hope that, through the Spirit’s guidance, you will be able to share just as vividly (as you’ve done within this post, and in countless other’s before) all of those times that there was only one set of footprints in the sand when God was carrying you. As Easter quickly approaches, thank you for reminding us to refocus so that we can remember that without the resurrection, our hope is in vain!

    Now, however, please go out and SAVOR the remaining break with your boys!

    I love you, Holli πŸ™‚

  25. Frances Palmer April 4, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    My Dear Sara, You wrote the most beautiful post ever. Yes God is in control.
    Your strength and faith is so strong. It helps to make my faith stronger, when I
    read your post. I am still praying hard for you and your family.
    I Love You, Frances

  26. Shari April 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    I knew you would find your Anchor. I read this in tears. I only know you through your writing, but I love you, Sara. I have not faced what you are facing. But my husband has an incurable chronic leukemia and I lost my mom to cancer at a young age. I have struggled at times the same way you struggled in your previous post. I have struggled to pray and to know how to pray. I too have begged and cried and gone to sleep in tears. My mom was not healed physically. My husband is doing well in a clinical trial. But I had to give both of them to God and trust that He was working all things for our/their good. Even in the face of cancer.

    I don’t know fully what God’s plan or purpose is in what He’s taking you through. But I do know He is using you as a light and an inspiration to everyone whose life you are touching. I am praying for the same mercy you are asking Him for.

  27. tamara April 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    πŸ™‚ So glad to hear your words. So glad that He pulled you back in… He has a way of doing that, you know. Continued prayers for you, Sara.

  28. Timothy D April 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    You are a saltier and better sailor than I ever could hope to be! The amazing thing to me is that it was in those rough seas, that was when Jesus walked on the water. Peter came to Jesus by faith and only when Peter looked around (losing his focus on Jesus) did he begin to sink. Even though he lost his focus, when he cried and reached out… Jesus was there to save Peter, just like Jesus is there for us!

  29. Tammy McCann April 4, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    Words to live by: God ALWAYS wins! We must keep fixed on this. I will continue to pray because I do believe He can and will heal you. Your words are shining lights for those of us who lose our ways constantly. Know that you make a difference every day.

  30. Rebecca April 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Thank God HE is the cure for seasickness. If we are honest with ourselves, we deal with it daily, I believe. I was very seasick on a cruise ship once and told to focus on a star. I focused on that star for many hours and realized my seasickness pointed me to heaven. Your analogy brought that all to mind and your writing today is very challenging and so comforting on this earthly journey. Our love and prayers for you and your precious family.

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