Feed the Light

It’s been a rough week.

I wish sometimes life would be good all the time, but that is not the case. Not for anyone. The tide ebbs and flows. The sun rises and the sun sets. Seasons change. We grow from helpless infants and travel through life only to find most of us helpless as we reach our final breath. The darkness comes at night, only to become light again as the sun rises.

“Feed the Light.”

Those were the words whispered in my ear last night.

As I said, it’s been a rough week. After some tests to find out what is causing abdominal pain, a doctor I saw in a walk-in clinic took time to talk to me about it and find out what was going on. She ordered an MRI so she can look at the big picture. I hope to find out what is causing the pain, yet if it is something serious, I don’t know if I want to know. People deal with pain all the time, but sometimes there are serious conditions causing that pain. Since I haven’t received a call to schedule the MRI yet, then there is nothing I can do but wait.

And pray.

And trust in God’s faithfulness.

I also may be facing laser surgery to correct glaucoma. It is a scary thought to me, to be so vulnerable to eye surgery. But without it, I could lose my eyesight. I have an appointment scheduled to see the specialist in December.

Again, there is nothing to do but wait.

And pray.

And trust in God’s faithfulness.

Our God is a good God, but not everything that happens in life is good.

We live in a fallen world full of darkness. God is our source of Light and Strength.

I wasn’t myself yesterday. I think the pain, the missed time from work, the fear of the unknown, all weighed heavy on my mind.

Late yesterday afternoon I found myself hurtled towards the darkness of the pit of depression.

“Feed the Light.”

Those words came to me.

I got out my phone and fired up my Spotify playlist.

This is the song that I played: “Rattle” by Elevation Worship. (Link to YouTube video below)

I couldn’t help but find the source of my strength and hope as I played the song.

This morning, I still don’t have answers. I still have pain. Yet I have found my hope.

I have avoided the dark pit of depression once again.

God is good. And faithful. He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me.

He is my Light.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

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Meet Author Andrea Jo Rodgers

My guest today is Andrea Jo Rodgers, author of Heaven-Sent Miracles and Rescues, true stories that Andrea has seen from the frontlines in her work as a volunteer EMT.

Andrea, thank you for being my guest today. Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m happily married and feel blessed to be the mother of teenage twins as well as two “fur babies” (Dachshund and Shih Tzu rescues). I love working part-time as a physical therapist in a hospital-based rehabilitation center. I’ve been a volunteer emergency medical technician on my local first aid and rescue squad for thirty-five years and have answered over 9,000 first aid and fire calls. This is even more special now because my twins recently joined too, so I get to spend quality time with them while we’re helping others. I enjoy writing books about my experiences as a volunteer EMT, some of which carry over into my job as a PT. I’ve also written two middle grade action-adventure novels. I enjoy watching my children play sports, day trips, reading, walking, playing with my dogs, and spending time with my husband and friends.

It sounds like you have a very full and fulfilling life. Let’s talk about your book, Heaven-Sent Miracles and Rescues. What is your book about?

Do You Believe in Miracles?

For more than three decades, Andrea Jo Rodgers has served her small-town community as a volunteer EMT. Over the years, the incredible events she’s witnessed have taught her that behind the scenes of every dark and dire situation waits a God capable of doing the impossible to help, protect, and save those He loves.

In Heaven-Sent Miracles and Rescues, Andrea shares tales of amazing and supernatural occurrences she’s seen from the frontline. From breathtaking water recoveries, to heroic battles against housefires, to astonishing interventions against medical crises, Andrea’s accounts of emergency rescues will have you reading at the edge of your seat while reassuring you of God’s awe-inspiring power over every circumstance.

Whether you’re searching for affirmation that miracles still happen, or you simply love reading exciting and inspiring true stories, Heaven-Sent Miracles and Rescues will leave you uplifted, encouraged, and on the lookout for God’s divine handiwork in your own day-to-day life.

This book sounds like something I would enjoy reading. I love to read true and inspiring stories.

What inspired you to write Heave-Sent Miracles and Rescues?

Years ago, when my son was nearly three, we were in a life-threatening accident in which our elevator crashed and filled with water. It was truly a miracle we survived. That event made me step back and take a close look at my life. I thought about my relationships with God, my family, and my friends.

I also thought about my goals and aspirations. One of my lifelong dreams was to write a book. The accident inspired me to pen my first book, At Heaven’s Edge. I’ve been writing ever since. Heaven-Sent Miracles and Rescues is my fourth book about my inspirational experiences as a volunteer EMT.

What was the catalyst for your interest in writing?

I recall being a voracious reader by first grade. Even before I could read, I was fascinated by picture books. I wrote my first story when I was in the first grade. It was about how my mother rescued a baby duck from our town’s lake. So, I suppose you could say writing about rescues has been in my blood from a very young age. As I got older, life got busy, and I put my pen down for many years. The elevator accident re-ignited my passion for writing.

Do you have a day job? If so, how do you find time in your day to write?

When I’m not writing, I work part-time as a physical therapist. I specialize in women’s health, urinary incontinence, lymphedema, osteoporosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Most of the time, I work in an outpatient facility, but sometimes I work in the hospital, treating everything from trauma patients to tiny infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. Volunteering with the rescue squad also keeps me quite busy, as I answer about 300 calls per year.

Over the past few years, I spent a great deal of time creating a 13-hour continuing education course for rehabilitation professionals about handling medical emergencies in the workplace. I’ve enjoyed teaching it, and soon I’ll be recording it for a company that specializes in online learning. It’s challenging to find time to write, to say the least. I write a few minutes here and there, so I always make sure to have a pen and paper with me in case I have any downtime. I’ve written in waiting rooms, airports, and even at sporting events.

What does your family think of your writing?

I’m fortunate to have a family that supports my writing career. My husband Rick is my “tech support.” He designs and updates my website www.andreajorodgers.com and also creates my bookmarks. Rick and my sister proofread my books, and my children enjoy reading them.

What’s next for you as an author?

I’m currently working on a fifth “heaven” book that includes more inspirational experiences as a volunteer EMT with my rescue squad as well as true stories about guardian angels and near-death experiences.

Thank you for joining me today, Andrea, and sharing details about your inspiring book. Before we go, where can readers find you online?

Readers can find out more about me at my website, www.andreajorodgers.com. It also includes information about my books and links to interviews. They can also find me on Facebook: : https://www.facebook.com/AndreaJoRodgers/ and can learn more  about my experiences  from my latest guest appearance on “At Home with Jim and Joy” earlier this year. https://bit.ly/3TTAwnN

The Testing of my Faith

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

I don’t know if my faith has ever been tested as much as it has been in the last three months. After I lost my husband in 2010 I spent many years in grief, then a lingering depression. Yet in all those times I never doubted that God was with me and had a plan for my life.

As recently as July of this year, I felt that God had brought me out of the dark times in my life and I was now living in the light of His blessings. Things were going amazingly well.

Then in August, my tower of faith began to tumble, one brick at a time. I’ve shared much of the struggles over the past few months in previous blog posts, so I won’t get into the details here.

I think my faith was tested in every way possible.

Well, I thought it had been every way possible.

Now as I face a health challenge and uncertainty about the results, I find that my faith is wavering.

The “What-Ifs” are building up this health problem into the worst case scenarios even as I try to tell myself it’s probably nothing and will easily be resolved. It’s human nature to worry, to want to control the outcome anything we come up against.

Then as our plans start to crumble, we realize how little control we have over some areas of our life.

God is faithful.

He is a good God.

He has a plan for my future.

He is my Provider.

He is my Healer.

I believe these promises for a fact.

Yet I know that everything doesn’t go according to “MY” plan.

I can’t see beyond today to know what “HIS” plan is for me. But I can trust in His unfailing love.

Good Monday Morning 10-24-22

Good Monday Morning 10-24-22

22 years ago today, my youngest son was born at 4:00 in the afternoon. After having labor induced and receiving an epidural to manage the pain, labor was dragging on until it was getting dangerous for the baby.

By that time the epidural had worn off and I felt the pain as I pushed a third child into the world without the benefit of medication to dull the pain.

The first child was born on the day he was supposed to have been induced. I woke up in labor. I couldn’t figure out how to breathe during the Lamaze classes and anything I did learn was forgotten when the labor pain became intense. When the nurse told me it was too late for pain medication and my doctor would be very upset if they gave me something at that point, I panicked. Needless to say, a short time later I screamed as my firstborn came into the world.

With my second, eighteen months to the day after the first, I woke up in labor and sat up most of the night by myself. The pain wasn’t bad. But by the time I woke my husband up and we made it to the hospital, I knew I was in trouble. I asked for pain medication, as the contractions were getting intense by that point, but my baby was already crowning. The doctor broke my water, and my daughter was born twenty minutes later.

I said to my husband, “Let’s not do this again for at least five years.”

Six years later, I found out I was pregnant but the fetus never developed and it wasn’t a viable pregnancy. I miscarried a few weeks after I took the test.

A few months later, when my cycle was regular again, my husband and I talked about it. We knew we needed to take precautions if we didn’t want another child. Instead, we decided to “see what happens.” Both of us had always said we wanted three or four children (my husband would always add, “or half a dozen.”)

It was no surprise when I became pregnant a few months later.

As mentioned above, by the time he was born, I was in pain and exhausted.

My son was born on October 24, 2000.

I loved being pregnant, and I loved my babies. But I knew I couldn’t go through another labor and delivery.

Besides, I was 35 years old. We considered our family complete and took permanent steps to make it so.

I’m blessed to be the mom of three adult children. Since 2010 I’ve been a single parent. Their dad would be proud of them for the wonderful people they are today. They are supportive of me and also protective. They are worth every moment of pain that I bore to bring them into this world.

Happy birthday, son.

And may God’s blessings be upon you, your sister and brother from this day forward.