Thursday, June 9, 2011

God Feels So Far Away...

It's really impressive that I can write this blog post because I really can't do much of anything else. My concentration is limited, etc. Please forgive any spelling or grammar errors.

So, I'm still in the hospital, and right after the transplant I got horrible sores in my mouth that ran through my entire GI tract. It was bad. I still have some sores, but it's not nearly as bad. Still, during all that time, the agonizing pain, the inability to do anything "normal," really made me feel ALONE. All my prayers consisted of (and still do to a point), "God, please help me. Help." And though I felt alone, I knew I wasn't. I knew God was here, whether I felt His presence or not. It's important that I don't base my faith on my feelings because when I do, that's when Satan gets a foothold in my life. Imagine the misery I would have felt had I given in to those feelings and BELIEVED that God wasn't near. I can't believe that, though. Ever. And Satan isn't going to make me believe it. Here's why.

In Acts 17:27b-28a Paul is talking to the Athenians and says, "He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist..."

He is aware of every breath I take. EVERY BREATH.

We can read more about God's all consuming presence in Psalms 139:7-16.

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night," Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

I think the amazingness of that passage speaks for itself.

So, my FEELINGS say God is far away, but GOD SAYS, HE'S RIGHT HERE! I decided I'll listen to my God and not my emotions.

Also, when I look at things around me, God has constantly made sure I am not alone. I've had someone here with me day and night during my ENTIRE hospital stay! You know God shows His love for us through others, and He's done a marvelous job at showing me I'm NOT alone. How hurtful to God then for me to say, He feels so far away. I'm sure Satan is having a great time with that one. sigh I'm sorry, Father. I love You SO MUCH!!! xxx

Speaking of loving God, think of how RUDE it is when we chose to love Him only when things are going well in our lives. I mean, really. He never promised us a rose garden. What does He "owe" us anyway? Absolutely NOTHING. It's us who owe Him EVERYTHING. After all, He's the one who gave us life. Who formed us in our mother's wombs. Who preordained our days. And then we chose sin over Him.

The fact that He's already numbered my days should also help me not to worry! Since He's in charge, who am I to worry about when I might not make it, or when something bad happens? See, there's a chance I could get a bad case of "graft vs. host" disease. I need enough for the new cells to fight off the cancer, but not too much to where it starts fighting off my major organs, etc. So, I'd really appreciate your prayers for a positive outcome.

Anyway, this knowledge that I'm in God's care really makes me want to praise my Lord and Savior. And I've found that during that miserable time in my life, praising Him is really the only thing that gives me any peace. I think it's because He's unchanging. He's the only constant, the only thing in this life that I can truly count on, depend on, lean on. Now I understand why the first thing Job did when he lost all his family and everything was to fall on his knees and praise God.

God is GREAT. God is GOOD. Thank You my Heavenly Father. Praise You!!! xxx Oh, how I wish I could KISS HIM. Lean back in His strong arms, and let Him carry me. Hmm. I can do some of that now. I'm leaning back in His strong, comforting arms. As much as I hate it in this hospital where there's no sleep, very little positive, I am in my Father's arms. Just reread those verses above. If He's that CLOSE, then He's holding me, and I can feel His breath against my cheek where He's bending over to kiss me. Just think of the greatest, most loving father you know, and realize, God is a GAZILLION times BETTER! How wonderful to have God as my Father, as my Abba, as my Daddy. I'm His little girl. I've always been a daddy's girl. Well, I'm thrilled to be HIS.

Now, allow me to share a HUGE blessing God gave me while I've been stuck in this hospital. I really hope the link works because I'm unable to access YouTube from the hospital. The following was a gift from my daughter, Kirsten (14 years old; eighth grade). She dedicated a song to me during her school talent show. Makes me cry every time I watch it. I hope it touches all of you as well. You can't see the audience, but she got a standing ovation. This song is called Blessings by Laura Story.



  1. Sandi, your faith is SO strong and you are showing Satan how to stand firm! My prayer has always been for you're full recovery. I've told God that you have so much more work to do for Him that you have to get better. Like I need to tell Him anything. LOL! I long for the day when we can enjoy each others company again. Love you!!!

  2. God bless you, Sandi. You will get through this. I did. YOU WILL. I know how difficult it is. It is so wonderful to see how you cling to the Lord the only source of strength we really have at times like this. My prayers continue for you every day.

  3. Sandi, you're faith is such a blessing, and what a lovely song from your daughter. So sorry you couldn't be there to see it in person.

  4. Isn't it awesome that he's written a book on you? Praying for you.

  5. God bless you, Sandi. I'm praying for your recovery.

    A prisoner of hope,

  6. Sandi, Your faith is a blessing to see. I saw the video and your daughter has a beautiful voice. I will continue to pray for you. I know God is with you always.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    For some reason I can't comment on this type coment from blogger so I did as Anon.

  7. Dearest Sandi,
    There has not been one moment, one hour, one day that you have not been in our thoughts and prayers. Please stay strong. We need you more than you know. You are walking the valley and shining the Light of His love and mercy on us all.
    Bless you, my dear friend.

  8. Bless you, Sandi, you are so inspiring. I pray you really really really begin to feel the presence of Jesus right there with you in that hospital room. But you are right - even if you don't *feel* him close, it doesn't change the TRUTH that he is absolutely there holding you, carrying you. You are his girl, you belong to him, and you are never alone. He will never (and never really means never) leave you. Love you, xxx.

  9. Sandi, the very act of trusting Him in the middle of all you're going through is evidence of His love and His presence. May He continue to bless you and bless your witness as you share that trust.

  10. Every day ... a prayer answered. Every keystroke ... a blessing to others. Thanks, Sandi.

  11. You are an amazing strong woman! I am so humble to be your friend. And Kirsten...well, I am not surprised by her awesomeness, coming from the parental guidance she's had. Love, love, LOVE your family!!! XO Tang'

  12. So you should know that I am eagerly awaiting your full recovery so that I can share the growth of my faith and spirituality with you. I had posted in Facebook a brief thank you to you and a couple of friends from work, but really wanted to send you a special thank you. I have so much to learn and so much room to grow and improve. You inspired me to take a new path in my life as I mentioned before in attending church and opening my mind, heart and soul to Jesus. I am forever a changed man and I can say absolutely for the better. You should know that I took you and your strength with me last Sunday to church, as I entered the water for my baptism. So, you are never alone as I, and I am sure others, carry you with us in our daily lives. So perhaps during the times when you are feeling the loneliest is when you are spiritually out with us. We all love you and your family very much. Stay strong! Stephan

  13. Sandi-

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. You are so brave and such an inspiration to others. God is using you in a mighty way. And you are right, He is with you every step of the way, even when He feels far away. He tells us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. What a relief that is, especially during times of trial and illness.

    We went through the transplant situation with my friend's little boy and I remember the prayers we sent to heaven asking God that Riley would not get the grafts vs. host. Riley didn't get it (HUGE praise!) and my family and I are praying that God would protect you from it as well. We are also praying for the healing of the sores.

    Please hang in there, Sandi. There are soooo many people praying for you and for your recovery. There are so many of us who care about you and love you, even though we have never met you :) When this is all said and done, I know the Lord will give you a mighty story to write and share with others. So many lives are already being touched for His Kingdom through you.

    Take care and may you continue to rest in our Father's arms. He is our refuge, our strength, our stronghold, and our hope.

    You are His precious child whom He loves so much. May you be everaware of His loving presence today.

    Blessings in Christ,

    Penny Zeller

  14. Sandi, how like God to use you in your darkest hours to encourage us. Your testimony is powerful, my friend.

    As for feelings, I'm right with you. But I once heard a great analogy that helped me. It was about the faith train. The engine is the Word of God, the coal car is the fuel of His love through prayer. But the caboose is feeling. It's a nice part of the train but the faith train runs just fine without its caboose. That when I decided that if I never "felt" God near me again, I CHOSE to believe.

    And that's what you've done. You've dealt Satan a death blow in your life. ANd we're here to help stand in the gap for you when your longsuffering is about spent.

    May Jehovah-Rapha lay His healing hand on your body.


  15. I'm praying for you Sandi. I'll be lifting you up during the tough recovery ahead. I pray you have peace, comfort, endurance, and spiritual growth through the storm.

  16. G-d bless you, Sandi. I'm praying for you and your family while you go through these trials.


  17. Your courage puts me to shame and inspires me. Hold on dear friend.

  18. God bless and keep you! Still praying for you and so glad you are able to post this and that God is making His presence known to you.

  19. Sandi, the link works, and your daughter and the song are beautiful. You are touching lives for Him from your hospital bed. May God bless you, heal you, and continue to use you on earth to reach out and bring others to His kingdom. May you feel His comforting hand upon your shoulder; may He send the Holy Spirit to comfort you, so you can feel His presence. Prayers. BJ

  20. Sandi, you are SUCH an inspiration. Thank you, Jesus, for the strength of character and faith you have bestowed on Sandi! You were able to write that post despite how you're fairing because God knows someone needs to read it and hear that He is always here.

    I would love to watch that video of your daughter, but I'm going to have to wait until I have a box of kleenex since that song always makes me cry in the first place, and just *reading* that your girl dedicate it to you has already brought tears to my eyes. :) Can't wait to meet you in person--when all this is over I am SO taking you out for coffee. :D

  21. Sandi,
    You are such an inspiration! You really do "dare to dream." (And you dream the truth!)
    Thank you for making the effort to share with us what you're going through, and for sharing your faith. Hang in there, my sister. God isn't finished with you for sure.


  22. Sandi, your post touched and inspired me. Thank you for sharing with us all that God is doing in and through you. I'm praying for you and your family. God bless you.

  23. I too have been carried by God through illness. He is faithful and good--even when our circumstances are trying. I know God is very pleased by your prayers. He hears you! He loves and cherishes you. Hang in there, sister.

    Heavenly Father, please continue to hold Sandi in the palm of your hand. Help her to feel your presence today. We praise you for your goodness and how brightly you shine through Sandi!

  24. Sandi,

    I just now saw this. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.