I hope you’re blessed by this week’s hope story by my online friend, Sheila Shook. May her experience fill you with confidence in our unfailing God.
By Sheila Shook
In the winter of 2010, I faced death.
A heavy feeling settled in my chest followed by a sudden, piercing pain. I held my palm to my heart as I struggled to breathe. The pain grew sharper and panic rose. “Bill,” I called out. “Bill. I . . . can . . . hardly . . . breathe.”
My husband helped me to the floor. I clutched my chest.
No, it wasn’t a heart attack. An ultrasound showed an aneurysm in the wall that separates the chambers of my heart. It took two weeks to see the Cardiologist. During that time, the emotions of a possible rupture and sudden death weighed heavily on me.
As a hospice nurse, I could relate to patient’s families because I lost my own daughter. But now, I could relate to the patients themselves. I could feel the pinch of walking in their shoes.
Questions stormed my mind.
What would my family do? How would I want my funeral or memorial service to go? Would I want my husband to remarry? What legacy would I leave my children and grandchildren?
I still had so many projects I wanted to complete. I needed to clean out that cedar chest, that back closet, and oh my gosh, what was in the attic?
What about all the paperwork I’d accumulated, the partial books and stories I’d written, journals I’d kept. What would happen to all my “stuff?”
I knew I wanted God’s will to be done, but was I really ready to meet Him face to face? My life was in His hands. I learned to trust God completely, regardless of the outcome.
Once I let go and gave Him control, a peace washed over me, and I knew either way I’d be okay.
When I finally saw the cardiologist, he repeated the ultrasound and explained the results were not as dire as once thought. The wall in my heart was simply weak, and I’d likely been born with it that way. It was not a balloon about to burst.
How often we worry and fret unnecessarily.
Giving our fears and worries to God is the only way to overcome them. I did, and He used my fear to bring me closer to Him.
Of course, I still have moments of anxiety and frustration, and as all humans do, I still make poor choices, but I always find the answer to my problems is to trust in God.
Life is fragile, unpredictable, and flawed, but God is stable, never changing, and always perfect and faithful to His word.
He says He has plans to prosper us, not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11). I believe that verse with every ounce of my being.
Since that time nearly ten years ago, I have tried to live my life in a way that will direct others to a stronger relationship with God and to instill a confident hope.
For this reason, I started a blog to inspire people and help them learn to cope and embrace life. You can find it at SheliaShook.com.
This year, I’ve added speaking to my resume. If you’d like a taste of hope in the sugar and spice of everyday life, look no further.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (King James Version).
Join the conversation. Have you experienced a time when what you worried over never came to pass? How did you find peace and overcome your worry?
If you could look Shelia Shook up in a dictionary, you’d find a woman of faith, who has climbed high mountains and walked through deep valleys. A woman who doesn’t have all the answers, but who has a lot of life experience. A woman of faith, who finds joy in helping other people through the hard times, providing a pinch of inspiration as they embrace life and death. She is a registered nurse actively working with hospice patients and their families. She believes God has given her the gift of compassion. Compassion she offers daily to her patients. Compassion she wants to share with you.
Shelia appreciates opportunities to share her life experiences with others through writing and speaking. She’s a published author of Christian fiction and has written some humorous and some serious nonfiction articles about raising her children and everyday life in general for various magazines.
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