Struggling to Hold On: Intertwining Your Faith with Everyday Life
Updated: Aug 7
Boarding a flight to come home from vacation turned out to be an assignment from God. I wasn't expecting anything. I was tired and planned to sleep all the way home, but God had something else in mind. The gentleman seated next to me was sick. I asked if I could get him anything or if he needed assistance, and his answer was no. I could hear him laboring to breathe, so I asked again. He said no, this is what it sounds like to be dying. There was a shocking silence. Then I said huh? He explained that he had some form of blood cancer. He had already survived a lung transplant, then after visiting a friend in the hospital he contracted a virus and had survived that. He also had trouble with his urethra although his wife had donated a kidney to him.
So, I told him he was a fighter and that he wasn't dying on this flight. Not on my watch. Was I scared? Yes! Did I pray? Yes, hard the whole flight. Was I prepared for someone possibly dying by me? No. So, we talked when he felt like it, along with Kris, the person in the aisle seat next to me. When he talked, he spoke about family, his children, and his 22 grandchildren.
He showed me a video of his youngest grandson splashing in the bathtub, how he was able to walk both his daughters down the aisle. How one of his sons wasn't married, but he had graduated from college and was running his own businesses. I complimented his wife for her strength, commitment, and dedication to donate a kidney and to do his treatments at home and he responded, "Yes, I am blessed".
I asked him if he was saved and did he have a relationship with Christ. His response was, God yes! We laughed. It was amazing to hear how positive he was after all he was going through. I asked if he had a wheelchair to get him on and off the plane. He replied, “No, wheelchairs, walkers, and canes are for sick people and I’m not sick.” But he kept saying he was tired.
I said I would help, but he declined and told me he was stubborn. I told him I was going to be stubborn with him because there was no way I was leaving him in his condition. We helped Jim get off the plane. Kris and I both had a 2-hour layover. He insisted on walking. We walked behind Jim as he slowly and weakly walked off the plane holding onto the railings. When the rail ran out, he held on to the wall. When the wall ran out, I offered my arm. I told him we all need help sometimes. He took my arm. I asked a stewardess in passing if we could get a wheelchair because he was sick. She told me I had to go to the counter. We kept walking until he stated his legs were giving out. Thank God, there were about 6 - 8 wheelchairs lined up nearby. I grabbed one, and I pushed him to baggage claim. He called his wife, she was nearby, but stuck in traffic. We said our goodbyes and we prayed with Jim. I pray and will continue to pray for Jim and his family. I pray he made it to see his eight-month-old grandson the next day.
(This is a snippet of our conversation).
Some steps I have continually taken are:
No matter what life throws at you, always keep God first. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
Focus on the positive. Take things one day at a time. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
Honor your family relationships. Love them while they're here with us. "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4:14
Don't allow pride to stop you from receiving help. “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” James 4:6
By doing these things…over time, I’ve been learning how to incorporate Christ into every area of my life.
Below are two books that God has inspired me to write. "The Flip Side" and "Blinded By Sight: The Heart Matters" both available now.
So… what’s this book about?
“The Flip Side” depicts the possible feelings and emotions of lesser-known Biblical characters as they navigated their lives in the shadows of the more popular characters in the Bible. While the Bible gives us snippets of their stories, we are usually left in the dark about their true motives, desires, and thoughts concerning the situations they are in. However, one certainty is that despite how little we know about these characters, they were often the catalysts to pivotal moments in the main characters’ lives.
So… what’s this book about?
Join me on a journey of self-discovery. “Blinded by Sight - The Heart Matters” is a compilation of short biblical devotions. These stories are not conclusive. They are depictions of how God is revealing my heart to me.
My prayer is, Lord, make it real for me, show me your heart, show me my heart, and give me the wisdom to change what hinders my relationship with you. I am learning that my perception is my biggest obstacle it affects my mind, what I think, and how I process my experiences. What I have experienced in my mind is expressed through my feelings and these experiences dictate my choices either consciously or subconsciously.
This devotional will allow you to explore and evaluate your past and present situations that have hindered you from seeing the heart of the matter. Simply put, look at the heart – it does matter. Your future depends on it!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalms 34:4