WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the category “Brain Tumor Story”

God Prunes-And Not Just In The Spring!

*Prune

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” 15:2

I view my past illness, a brain tumor that caused nearly a decade of clinical depression and near death, as an answered prayer. In days gone by, I often petitioned God to remove me from the public school system. But my prayers were never prayers of true faith. No, they were prayers of desperation and hopelessness. I never quit my job to pursue a different career because finances were always priority. I didn’t believe God would provide for my family in the same manner I was able to provide as a teacher. Relying on myself was easier than trusting God, especially when it came down to future finances. This is where my thinking fell short. Scripture says God will provide for our NEEDS…. Not for every want and desire, comfort or luxury.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

Accustomed to a certain life style, I had no desire to pursue another profession that offered less pay. After 25 years of saving, I had finally purchased my dream home. The thought of selling it in order to pursue a different career was not part of my reality. I wanted out of teaching, but only on my terms. I was not willing to make adjustments or sacrifices. Money was an idol of false security.

My wrestling match with God was long and intense. It lasted more than a night and it didn’t leave me with a dislocated hip. Instead, I end up with a non-malignant brain tumor. When I refer to this tumor as a blessing sent from God I am sincere. For you see, this illness changed my life. It became the catalyst that reignited my spiritual walk.

Thankfully, God knew the best way to answer my prayer. I believe He led me into teaching and I believe it was also God who placed a desire in my heart to leave teaching. He didn’t let my attachment to worldly possessions interfere with His plan for my life. He designed me with a purpose and there was a “next step” for me in this life. It could only happen by stepping out of the classroom.

And although sin was ruling my heart with fear and covetousness, He graciously pruned away those dead branches for they were hindering my spiritual growth. By cutting out the dead wood, I was able to recognize these sin areas that required further refinement. Every year God must prune these sin areas in my life for they are aggressive in their attempt to grow back, yet never do they bear any fruit.

So, who can understand the mind of God? His ways are so much higher than our own ways. His thoughts are just not our thoughts! Bu sending a serious illness my way, or merely allowing the tumor to grow for ten miserable years, God answered my prayer to move past elementary teaching. It was a part of His sovereign plan for my life, before He knit me together in my mother’s womb.

God was not surprised by my illness but I surely was, for It brought about a lot of change I didn’t expect or desire. Not only did I loose my dream home, but I also left a community I felt comfortable with and never wanted to leave. God was pruning and stretching my faith throughout my journey. He provided the means for a new beginning and moved me to the place He wanted me to grow.

God’s sovereign will is always fulfilled. How He answers our prayers can truly be very surprising and unexpected. And when He decides to prune His children with challenging storms of adversity, we will do well to remember that the pruning of the Lord is an act of love. For God will instruct/discipline those He loves.

Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, a father the son he delights in.”    Proverbs 3:12 (NIV)

James 1:2-4 reminds us that we are to count trials as pure joy, not that the circumstances are the joy, but the outcome they produce is the source of our rejoicing.

God teaches us not only through His Word. He also teaches us through trials that refine us into the image of His son. These times of trouble mature the fruit of the spirit within us so that goodness, kindness, gentleness, peace, love, joy, patience, faithfulness and self-control are more evident in our life. The pruning of the Lord is painful but the fruit it bears is profitable to God, others, and us.

Suffering is a part of the process by which the children of God are made holy. They are chastened to wean them from the world, and make them partakers of God’s holiness. The Captain of their salvation was made “perfect through suffering,” and so are they (Hebrews 2:1012:10). There never was a great saint who had not experienced either great hardships, or great persecutions.

 Let us try to settle this in our hearts also. The children of God all have a cross to bear. A suffering Savior generally has suffering disciples. The Bridegroom was a man of sorrows. Therefore, the Bride must not be a woman of pleasures and unacquainted with grief. Blessed are they that mourn! Let us not murmur at the cross. This also is a sign of sonship.”    ~ J.C. Ryle

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_Dec 2014

Prayer: Brain Tumor Ashes To New Growth

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Those of you who know my story, and if you do not…. well, a brain tumor nearly took me in 2011. My life appeared to be ashes at my feet when I woke up in ICU. No home, no job, away from friends, uncertain financial issues, etc. But GOD IS FAITHFUL! (Read my testimony… on right under My Story)

Even though my future IS STILL pretty much in the dark… I am alive, healthy, working, and serving God. This is a prayer I wrote today. I hope it blesses you and makes you think….

“Lord, I praise YOU for YOUR love and stand in awe of YOUR might. I see now how there is growth coming forth from my ashes. YOUR living Word is such an encouragement to me. Help me to persevere in the new direction YOU have set before me. I know that YOU are the perfect guide and will help to move me forward on my path. Joy and gladness have already filled my heart, for I have all I need…. YOU and YOU alone.”

** Remember there is ALWAYS HOPE! God loves you and has never left your side. Keep praying and trust He has the very best for you!

” For the Lord will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; Joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.” Is. 51:3 (NKJV)

*6 Days aver brain surgery/ July 2014 visiting my dog Bubba.

**Me and Bubba

 

 

Memorial Day Event in Canon City, CO

I will be in Canon City, CO at the Holy Cross Abbey for the whole Memorial Day Weekend. Hope to see you there!

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Cheryl Is Available For Speaking Engagements

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Check out some of the topics I would love to share at your event.

http://facingtrials.com/videos/

The Kindle Version Of My Bible Study Is Just $2.99

**Bk Cover Front & Back

My new book DIVINE INTERRUPTIONS: A BIBLE STUDY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JOB is now available on Amazon. You can purchase the Kindle version for just $2.99 and the Paperback is discounted for a short time for only $9.85… normally it’s $12.95. You save $3.10!!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1495446352?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1495446352&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

A Leader’s Guide will be available in a few days. If your church is looking for a serious and in depth study, or if you want to lead your own small group, please consider my study.

Read a review for this newly released book….

“Because this Bible Study is written from a unique ‘first person’ perspective it will minister to so many who are in the throes of depression or know someone who is. Cheryl’s real life experiences shout the glory of God’s work in bringing her through the devastation of having a brain tumor to becoming a writer to encourage others in God’s love. I love the Scriptures and the challenges of the questions. Great for a small group or to do on your own. Get this Bible study and watch God work in your life!”

Sign Up For a Book Giveaway on GoodReads!

*Divine Interuptions take 2

How would you like a free signed copy of my book DIVINE INTERRUPTIONS: A BIBLE STUDY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JOB? Just go to the link below and enter my GoodReads giveaway. It doesn’t cost anything to enter. Be sure to tell your friends!!

 

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/84371-divine-interruptions-a-bible-study-through-the-book-of-job

 

 

 

Cheryl Zelenka Radio Interview: Woman to Woman Show

*Divine Interuptions take 2

If you missed my interview on Saturday with Kathy Thomas from Woman to Woman no worries. Here is the podcast. Let me know what you think!    http://www.kgms.com/new-window/?yourKey=1849

God Will Help You Rise Up Out Of The Ashes

Ashes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI_gXwoUcis

A few months after my brain surgery I heard this song and felt like God was speaking directly to my heart. I needed to know that I could rise up out of the ashes of my broken life. I hope this song ministers to you today and blesses your socks off!

“I will rise out of these ashes, I will rise
From this trouble I have found and this struggle on the ground I will rise. 
For He, who is in me is greater than I will ever be and I WILL RISE!”
Shawn McDonald

“To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”  Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)

Submit To God And Watch Him Open Doors!

Shawl

“Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.” Job 22:21 (NIV)

Olga from “My Spiritual Breakfast” is just one of MANY people who have been a support and encouragement to me as I step out into Christian Ministry.

God opens doors and gives me favor in ways that can only be described as supernatural. If you walk by faith and submit all your plans to God in humble obedience, He will always open doors to accomplish HIS will in your life.

I think of Tina Carson, Greg Holt, Lynn Leaz, Darlene Shortridge, Becky Capps in addition to Olga. All of these folks have been used by God to move me forward in a path I never imagined for myself. I thank God for His provisions. I thank God for all of these lovely people!!
http://www.myspiritualbreakfast.com/featured-ministries.html

Scott Hamilton Has An Amazing Testimony

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Co. 12:9-11 (NKJV)

Being a brain tumor and cancer survivor myself, I was greatly encouraged by Scott Hamilton testimony. I pray it blesses you too!

http://www.christianpost.com/buzzvine/olympic-gold-medalist-and-announcer-scott-hamilton-professes-his-faith-with-jesus-you-can-endure-anything-video-114380/

Scott

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