Overcoming Difficult Trials

Writing a Bible Study Based On my Trial

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”

I am writing a bible study based on my personal recovery from a near death experience due to a brain tumor.  The amazing thing is this:  I wrote the body of the study in 5 (very long) days.I hope to get it published in a year or so.  I refer to the book of Job often. 
#1     The Trial
#2     Treasures, Trust, and Tests
#3     Sister-Friends<strong
#4     Laughter, Joy, and Praise
#5     God’s Power and Control
#6     Vindication and Prayer
#7     Waiting on the Lord
#8     Don’t Look Back
#9     Who Can Understand the Mind ofGod?
#10   My Great Defender Who Delivers and Restores

THE TRIAL(Chapter 1)
LIFE lessons can be challenging. God does not promise us an easy life, but it is not all darkness and suffering either.  We have a choice to see things with a positive mind set. To recognize negativity in our thinking is the beginning of our perspective transformation; a first step.

I did not ask for a near death experience.  However, God knew what it would take to get my attention and move me out of my place of comfort.  I was spiritually stagnant and God wanted to use me.  He was not finished with me, although death did knock on my door.  A slow growing brain tumor had changed my behavior, emotions, and energy level. 

My loving parents could tell by our weekly phone conversations that I was not “myself.”  For two years they had been praying for me and decided they were going to take me to their doctor.  Near the end I was in no condition to argue, although leaving my comfort zone in Oregon was difficult.

Their doctor was able to recognize a neurological problem just by watching me walk.  He told my parents to go to St. Joseph’s Hospital as they had the best neurological department in the nation. At this point I had lost all memory.  I do not remember the MRI or my brain surgeon telling me I had a brain tumor.  I do not remember going into surgery but only waking

Death was the thing I wished for during my time in ICU.  I was overwhelmed by the journey I would have to endure to recover from such a radical surgery.  I reasoned I had the perfect death scenario.  I had felt little pain aside from the migraines during my last two weeks prior to the surgery.  I had no memory or fear of going into surgery.  I could have been in the place where there were no more tears and sorrow.  I could have been with my Savior. 

Wanting the “easy way out” is a human and fleshly way to live life.  My death would have been relatively painless for me but a great loss for my son, parents, and sister.  I acknowledged that my attitude was selfish as my parents had already lost and buried a son who had died mountain climbing.

For a week I saw a new face looking back at me in the mirror.  It was horrifying. Vanity is an ugly thing.  The swelling caused me to look different every day.  There was a lot of drainage that needed to take place.  The bruising, swelling, and numbness around the top of my skull depressed me.

Being very independent and intelligent, I was humbled when I needed help to walk, bathe, and use the bathroom.  I did not want to be a burden to my family. 

My tumor had been slow growing.  In fact, my surgeon told me it could have been growing for over ten years.  It was on my frontal lobe.  Thankfully, it was not cancerous and my surgeon was able to get all of it.  But because my brain was swollen and the tumor was large and pressing near the optical part of my brain, my vision was impaired.  For over two weeks I could not read. I worried that my independent life was over.  I did not think I would ever read again.  Writing was nearly impossible.  Driving was out of the question.  I could not see the numbers on my insulin vial, or prescription bottles so my dad had to prepare all the meds for me.  I wondered if I would ever work again.  I did not want to live on disability.

While in the hospital I had physical and speech therapy.  One exercise was to test and practice my logic and mental reasoning.  The worksheet was like those I had given my third graders when I was still a teacher in Oregon.  My humiliation and shame over the challenge such an exercise required, brought on a multitude of tears full of self-pity.  I could relate to Job.  I knew my road to recovery was not going to be easy.  It would be an upward path.  A mountain I would have to climb if I ever hoped to enjoy a mountain top experience ever again.

So of course I asked God “Why?”  I was angry with my Creator.  Unlike Job, I did not praise Him while existing in the hospital.  It took time before I could look at my experience with a positive eye.  I wanted to feel sorry for myself and wallow in grief.

Because I was too ill to take care of myself, I allowed my father to have Power of Attorney.  He felt I needed to move closer to family and decided it would be best to put my house up for sale.  My parents also rented rooms for me in a retirement/assisted living facility, which did not allow large dogs.  I had to surrender my beloved dog Bubba.  Thankfully, a good friend agreed to adopt him.  Knowing he had a good life made the sacrifice easier.       

Once again I became depressed as I counted the losses in my life:  A dream home, good friends, a church family I loved, a dear dog, my independence, and a comfortable life in a state I loved. Because I was moving, my parents sold many of my possessions in a yard sale.  Unlike Job, my response was not to praise Him but rather, to complain about loosing my treasures.

Matt. 6:19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

#1 Bible Study Questions  
Read Job Chapter #1
A hurricane blew into Job’s life.  Job lost wealth, children and health.
*Write down your personal experiences that might mirror Job’s losses.
Read Job 1:1
List the personality traits attributed to Job.     __________________________________________________________________________ *What did he practice?            _________________________________________________________________________  
Look up “fear” in your concordance. Write down Verse 1:1 and then rewrite this verse using the correct context meaning of fear.          _________________________________________________________________________
*In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job.  This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.

*In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job.  This man was

Blameless and upright; he respected God with awe and reverence.  He shunned evil. 

Using your bible concordance, look up and write down several scriptures where fear means “profound reverence and awe toward God.”
*Example  Prv. 14:2  He whose walk is upright fears the Lord…__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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