Gabrielle "Elle" Devenish, a 30-year-old single Christian woman, was told by doctors that she has 6 months to a year to live.
"My heart, lungs, bones and muscles have all deteriorated beyond repair, according to doctors. My white blood cell count continues to match that of a last-stage chemo patient and my electrolytes are always on the edge."
For Elle's full Bio, click here.
Our Hope Is the End of the Story
(Originally posted January 23, 2012)
God again showed Himself in a mighty way today. And little did I know He had been preparing me for it the past two days.
Yesterday, the sermon I attended online at Central Christian (view service here: http://vimeo.com/35451603) was all about Luke 12:-32, where Jesus tells His followers not to worry – about anything (food, clothing, money, etc.). "Worry is like a hot potato," the pastor quoted at one point. "You don't sit and hold on to it and play with it, you immediately give it away. Give it away to God."
With all the worries that I try not to think about, but are still there (medical bills, strain on my parents, the reality of hospice), I needed to hear that.
Then today, in my devotions, I was reading the first part of Revelation. God says it is a revelation to Jesus that He then gave to us (his bondservants) as a blessing. I started thinking about that: knowing the end of the story (as revealed in Revelation) and His ultimate victory IS a blessing! It's what gives us hope. More than that, every detail written in Revelation is a blessing, that shows us just how awesome He is and how He intricately works every circumstance to finally reveal His ultimate glory and power, the grace and hope He has given us. I can know that even a "death sentence" so to speak is only another detail He will use to bring about the final truth. The hope of my eternity.
I really feel like Paul when he says, "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain," because my hope is not in life or death, but in Jesus' final victory and power. What a comfort when it is so easy to get depressed and anxious about the what this stage of my life entails.
I received some cards from friends today that told me my openness and sharing have inspired them to reconnect with church, or encouraged them in their own trials. Praise God that I could be an instrument in that process. I just write, God's the one who moves and uses it. I am so happy He can still use me – I might not have a long long life, but that doesn't mean He doesn't still have plans for me! It's exciting!
Rock of Ages
(Originally posted January 26, 2012)
This morning, my neighbor Nick came over and had coffee with my dad and I. Nick's a little mentally challenged, but he has a big heart and just needs a friend. Anyway, my dad and I were reading Our Daily Bread, an entry about Jesus being our Rock. And my dad mentioned the song "Rock of Ages."
Nick said he'd really like to hear it, so I went online and found a piano version that I played while I sang it. The fourth verse choked me up:
"While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee."
After suffering yet ANOTHER small seizure yesterday (and throwing up all over the outside of my friend's car – so embarrassing!) this especially hit home today. I was internally bemoaning all my physical weaknesses and ailments, but after singing that song (guess God wanted me to hear Rock of Ages, not Nick!) I was again reminded of my Rock, my firm foundation, and my hope for "worlds unknown": eternity with my Lord!
When I stumble... He Picks Me Up
(Originally posted January 27, 2012)
It's amazing how God uses events to show us things that need fixing in our walk with Him.
Last night, after a good, full day with my dad, I was watching TV and fooling with a new scrapbook I purchased. The slippery papers were scattered on the ottoman in front of me and on the floor. I went to stand up and slipped on one of those slick-as-ice sheets, and fell on my right hip.
For a few minutes, I couldn't stand, but I managed to get up and use my walker the rest of the night. It hurts like crazy and I can't put much pressure on my right leg right now, so it's walker all the way, baby. Frustrating.
Lately I've been thinking I'm in control of this situation, my health, and that the anorexia thing has nothing to do with me now. So, when I was out with a friend the other day, I bought a scale. Ever since I've had it, I checked my weight first thing every morning. Not like it was any big surprise. I just had to know I guess. And every day it's stayed the same: 66.
(Man, it's very uncomfortable to write these words. I have never told strangers my real weight, I've been afraid to for fear of what they would think.)
So what do these two events have to do with each other? God works in mysterious ways.
Because I hurt my hip last night, I got the scale out and placed it in my kitchen before going to bed. I figured it would be easier than trying to get it in the morning with the usual morning stiffness and aches, combined with the sore hip.
My dad sleeps in a nearby hotel and comes by every morning to be with me. Lately, I was getting up before him, making coffee and doing the weight thing.
Well, today, for some odd reason, I slept in (despite three alarms) and my dad came to wake me up around 9:45 a.m. He unlocks the door, turns on the kitchen light, and what is right there in the middle of the kitchen floor? The scale.
As soon as I woke up I thought of the verse "Your sin will find you out." (I believe that's when David sinned with Bathsheba and sent her husband to die...I have to double check.) I do not need a scale. It is pointless (I already know I'm deathly thin, a walking skeleton. It's just a form of "I'm in control" instead of leaving my care up to God. For a girl whose anorexia led to this ugly state, it's wrong and quite ridiculous.)
It reminded me that I need to give all the control to God in my life, even with the small stuff. With all the care I'm receiving, it humbled me and showed me that I am still a sinner.
Thankfully, I am a sinner saved by grace. I admitted my sin to God and asked for forgiveness, then asked my father for forgiveness for betraying him (he was under the impression that I did not have a scale). I knew what I had to do – get rid of it. So as I type this entry, my dad is returning it at the store. I told him to keep the money and use it towards my health expenses instead.
Yep, don't ever go thinking you're in control, don't ever "lift yourself up." I am so thankful Jesus puts me in my place, so to speak, with these kind of incidents and that I can humbly come back to Him with sorrow. He forgives me, and what's more amazing – He doesn't hold it against me or think any worse of me.
Wow. So here I am with a sore hip and a clean spirit. There are always consequences for sin, and though it hurts like crazy, I'm glad there are.
Check back with CP soon for more updates on Elle's condition in "Dying to Meet Him."