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Sunday’s Monday


      Some of you know that my wife died in January of 2024 but what a lot of you don’t know is I lost my youngest sister (Virginia Loftin Deal) this week 3/5/24. The story here is that my sister and I were in the hospital back in February of 2023, both with breathing issues (hers a lot worse than mine) and totally by accident we ended up with side-by-side rooms. She couldn’t see me nor could I see her because we were both restricted to the bed but I could hear her and she could hear me. Anyway, after 5 days they told me I could go home so I did but I saw my sister first. The next day they sent her home with days to live and that long-headed woman lived over a year. During this time, she suffered a painfully slow agonizing death. She was slowly starving for oxygen, smothering a little more with each passing day and fighting with all she had to postpone the end. It didn’t work and she joined eternal life on my late dad’s birthday March 5th. She suffered from the fear of dying.


      I said all that to lead you into my topic of today and this “actually” happened to me recently. I entered the hospital on 02-27-24 with breathing issues and was treated for COPD Flair up which means I could take the oxygen in but my lungs couldn’t retain it so my oxygen percentage would drop dangerously low. With the wife deceased I chose to stay alone instead of having the children stay with me and it was a good choice. Well, my first night was super busy with traffic in and out of the room and the next day followed suit. Then the second day was slower and more relaxed than the day before so I decided to do some reading. I read from the bible app on my phone until an email came in from the hospital patient portal. I interrupted my bible time to check my test results and found more than I expected. The way it reads is I now have the same thing that is killing my sister.


      Knowing first-hand how my sister was and had been suffering as well as looking at the times she was in the hospital; I hurt so deeply and anguished so badly that it was eating me alive to think that I was going to go the same awful way that she is. Satan got hold of me so tight that I could not stop my mind from thinking nor keep my eyes closed to sleep. I was awake for 26 hours mentally living through my possible lengthy death of horror. I prayed with purpose for my sister and even prayed that her cup would pass over her and me. I was “seriously” afraid of the thought of long-term suffering, especially if it involved smothering and yet it seemed that I had no choice. I couldn’t get Satan under my feet nor did it appear that I could change my destiny. I was totally and completely consumed with the circumstance and Satan was exploiting it to the max... However, once I removed myself from the picture it all changed. You know it’s funny how much you gain by giving your all! When there are no fleshly emotions to be played with and the only goal or mandate is to follow Jesus. The ways to manipulate and win are decreased by 98% or better.


      But God in all His mercy, interrupted my raging fear of the end with His grace and explained something that I failed to ask. You see I became so focused on the horrible thought of suffocating that I couldn’t put it aside to read John 7:24 (NIV), Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly. Then God asked me a question that I hadn’t thought of. He asks, “Why are you planning your end of which you have no control and neglecting your now of which you do?” If you missed the point, one day at a time is all we ever get and often we waste it with dedication toward changing God’s plan for tomorrow. God reminded me, that death is no stranger at my door. Losing people close to me in multiples is not uncommon, Pat and my sister in 2024 and in 1998 I lost my favorite aunt in March, my mother in June, and my mother-in-law in September, and God has grown me through it all. He causes me to pause long enough to remember it’s not about me and then apply what I’ve learned toward helping others. In every case of my dealing with loss, God has been sufficient to meet my needs. Jesus has also been faithful to help me stay out of God’s way as he is faithful to teach me the understanding of where I fit in the Body Of Christ. He is preparing me to fulfill my deepest desire to share and explain these feelings with the men who’ll soon occupy Western North Carolina Overcomers a Christian transitional training center for recovering alcoholics.


      Dear Heavenly Father, I pray this scripture over everyone who reads this article, Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV), Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. Lord forgive and comfort us when doubt and fear come upon us, bring to our memory who you have been and who you are. You have brought us from the depths and sustained us through every storm. Remind us of Philippians 2:13 (NIV), for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Amen






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