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Yesterday and today I made some new friends! It seems weird to me, but in my weakened state (having had an anxiety/panic reaction, perhaps due to my thyroid), people have been open and friendly to me, for the most part, especially Asian women.

Yesterday I went to collect a donation for a co-worker’s bridal shower, and it was from an Indian woman, G. She and I had seen each other in the elevator before, but never introduced ourselves or talked much. We had a great conversation about the fires in SoCal, and she mentioned how she cried when she saw a reporter reporting before his house, which was burning down. She also talked about how her sister was new to this country, having come from India not too long ago, and wanted to take the train to see her. For some reason this worried her a great deal and she tried to dissuade her sister but to no avail. When she called her other sister in India and told of her worries, her other sister told G. to let her do what she wanted; for there was no reason for G. to worry.

I took a little nap, for a still felt weak most of the day, and had the symptoms of my thyroid being too low, like when I was on the medication, except this time I was not on the medication. I wondered what could be troubling me and causing me to be anxious? Was it the upcoming celebration for my co-worker that I was planning? Why would I worry about it? Or was it the upcoming plane ride back to the Midwest? Or was it because I had run out of L-carnitine and hadn’t taken it for a week now? I need to get some of that stuff quick!

Today I felt a little better, especially after reading the word and talking to God after a restless, sleepless night. At lunch time after getting the mail (my hangtags I ordered came) I sat down at a bench next to another Asian lady, and somehow we started a conversation that could have gone on forever. She was Vietnamese and ironically she used to live very close to where I live now. She had just lost her father not too long ago and agreed that this made her think of her own mortality. I used the opportunity to ask her if her family was Buddhist, and she said yes, being glad that I asked. She explained to me why she liked being Buddhist–it was because it was a philosophy that said that everyone was uniquely different and needed to find their own path to happiness, even though it all led to the same place. I got to share my faith by telling her that her philosophy was opposite of Christianity, which believed that all people sinned and needed Jesus, and that here was only one truth to God. She seemed very open minded and had even seen The Passion of the Christ, even though she thought it was too violent. We spoke of art–one of her friends out of nowhere suddenly discovered that she had a great talent for ceramics. She thought that I should definitely put DH’s art on Ebay, and that she was always applying for jobs for her husband behind his back. She had also gone to the LA City College too. Her dream job was to get a government job, and I told her mine was to be in the entertainment industry. This perked her interest and we discussed TV and movies. Her fave TV show was Sex in the City, which I did not like. Her comment was, “but sex sells nowadays!” But I was able to point out that family movies sell more, and she agreed with that. I then turned the subject to inspirational movies, and when she asked me what kinds of movies I wrote, I named some similar movies, like Sleepless in Seattle.

Like I said, we could have talked forever. We exchanged phone numbers and emails and I will definitely have to follow-up with her. I told her that her name was similar to my aunt’s–a flower name. She agreed that most Asian women are named after flowers, jewels, moon, or some other fancy romantic object or virtue. I told her that mine was not, and was for the most part a neutral name.

It is obvious to me that my ministry is to be to Asian women, and I have the gift of encouragement and inspiration, to turn people towards what is good. Both women had asked me if I liked it out here in SoCal better, and I agreed that I did. When I mentioned that hubby didn’t like it so much because of the traffic, my Vietnamese friend laughed and said she was not surprised that he was a White American, because an Asian man would not have complained as such, he would have just driven through it and tolerated it.

I thank God for the encouragement. I needed the social interaction. I had asked him why I was suffering from anxiety, and one of the answers came back “self-centeredness”. Pride, indeed, is self-centeredness, and often a preoccupation with what others think of me produces anxiety. I need to keep my mind centered on Him!

Also I realized that during my traumatic time in my old church, some things in me–some pillars of trust had been broken with the spiritual abuse I went through. I asked God to restore those so that I could fully trust him with my life again. Praise God for giving me strength today!

No fashion industry if man had not fallen.

When someone is resurrected, they are also healed. They are not resurrected back into a sick body.

How to distinguish between God and Satan: God’s way always includes a way out, or a means of grace. In the OT, even when he was punishing and condemning Israel, he would talk about a future hope for them. The devil can imitate righteousness, and dress up as the angel of light, but he can never imitate God’s grace.

I had gone to my thyroid doctor on Monday for my quarterly checkup, and was surprised that I didn’t hear from her, or so I thought. Every day I was checking my phone for a message from her. During the checkup I confessed to her that I had been feeling so well that I only took the thyroid medication on an as-needed basis. I had prayed that she would not say that my thyroid was still “palpable”. She said it again, but this time she told me that if she remembered right, my thyroid seemed firmer, which was a good sign that it was shrinking. Yay!

Anyway, this morning I checked my phone again and found that she had indeed called on Wednesday. For some reason it had not registered on my phone before. And now when I tried to access voicemail I could not. Earthlink’s voicemail service had gone haywire again. I called and called, and even contacted their customer service, to no avail. I could not get anyone there to help me. And all this right when I needed to know what my test results were!!

Finally, the voicemail started working again and I got the doctor’s message. I had reminded myself that she usually delivers the news, whether good or bad, in a monotone voice, like the hosts of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”. But she told me that my test results were normal, and that my TSH was now within normal range!! The rest of the message sounded familiar–it was something I had read in many healing testimonies before. “Whatever it is you are doing–keep doing it,” she said. She told me that based on my results that I would be considered to be in remission, and that even taking the medication once or twice a week was like nothing. Then she told me to give her a call if I felt any symptoms again, and wished me a good day.

Truly God answered my prayer before I even prayed it! For my TSH had been very low for a long time, and after leaving the doctor’s office I had prayed and asked God how I could bring that up to normal levels. But the fact that all three of my hormones were normal means that my prayer was already answered! Sweet victory!

I did not feel overly excited, for I was not exactly surprised at the outcome, but nevertheless I did feel a pleasant, sweet excitement. When I told Patrick, he didn’t seem very excited either, but he was very happy for me. “See I told you from the beginning that you were healed.” After him, the next person I told was his mother, then my mother. But when I talked to my mother-in-law I realized afterwards that I had failed to mention God’s part in my healing, or to emphasize it, so I made sure to give God the glory and praise when I called my mother. I tried to encourage her that her age need not hinder her from doing God’s will.

So miracles and healings still happen today–I testify to that! And getting healed of a more serious illness is just as simple and easy as getting healed of a cold–it’s true! I don’t exactly know what caused my TSH to normalize, and I am not going to over-analyze the reasons, because I don’t want doubt creeping into my mind, but I give God all the praise and glory due Him for it!

Last night I was very disappointed with my son’s defiance when I tried to teach him to say “milk”. He shook his head vehemently and said “no” forcefully several times, indicating that he understood me, but did not want to comply with my requests in the least. Then he screamed and cried and remained defiant for more than half an hour until I gave in. I gave in because when I looked him in the eyes I could tell that he didn’t understand why mommy was being so mean and withholding his milk from him, so I gave it to him.

But what troubled me afterwards was my reaction to this whole episode. I knew that my son is only a toddler, and is liable to have temper tantrums, and yet, I found myself angry with him to the point where I wanted some type of “revenge” on him for his bad behavior. I managed to give him some compliments for some good behavior after he drank his milk, but overall I sulked in my anger, and remained mostly quiet for the next hour or so. I think he could tell because he came over to me and sat beside me on the couch, playing quietly, as if trying to please me, until I put him to bed. (He did not get a bath or bedtime story due to his behavior). My husband put him down in the crib, and he sat with a sad frown, and then we went out of the room, and I heard no protest from him. Then I reflected on my thoughts and feelings, confessed them to DH and forced myself to forgive my son, determined to start over with a new day the next morning. I prayed and ask God to help me love my son with His unconditional love, because my own human love was inadequate.

This morning I realized that my anger is a dangerous thing, and that in the past, it led me to do some things that generally alienated other people from me. I remembered the verses that God is “slow to anger and abounding in love”, and that “man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness of God.” Then I contemplated and realized that my son did not know what he was doing when he defied me. In the same way, Jesus, when he hung upon the cross, cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Next time someone hurts me or angers me, I should remember this–that they are like large toddlers that do not know what they are doing. And I must learn to be slow to become angry.

Immediately I felt compassion for my son, and resolved that I would love him with the kind of love that God has for us. I had a great day with him, but I also learned that I must deal with my own anger, no matter how much it may seem justified, before I hurt those around me. A good lesson to remember

I believe that one of my gifts is the gift of encouragement, as evidenced by some things that have happened in my life and how I was able to encourage people. Well, I was able to do it again this morning, right before seeing the doctor, too!

I had an emotional but good time with the Lord this morning, where I cried out to Him. I was searching for a verse to meditate on and this one came to mind – Psalm 62:11-12: ” One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.”

What a great scripture of encouragement! To know that God is not only strong, but yet also loving. Another scripture that goes with this one is in Psalm 103:8-10: “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”

So armed with such encouragement, I was determined to praise God no matter how my doctor’s visit turned out; no matter what the doctor said. Since yesterday I have observed that my desire to “hide away” in my imagination and my stories has decreased, and my focus on the Lord and on the Word have increased. The weather this morning was chilly and damp; I was glad I wore my cape, which kept me warm, but I felt a quiet, positive mood on the inside.

When I got to the doctor’s office, I signed in, then I felt my bladder and went to the ladies’ room. An elderly lady followed me into the room, and to my surprise, there was only one stall. Without thinking I offered for her to go first, which she greatly appreciated. She had a cute, wonderful British accent and I was very tempted to ask her which part of England she came from. But it turns out that she had just lost her husband last month, and he had been the hospital engineer for over 30 years.

I have been having some more weird dreams lately, so I thought I would record them. They may mean nothing–simply my brain’s way of processing information. But they may mean something, too. Here are the short summaries:

1) Mandy Moore trying to tempt me – I stand up to her in the name of Jesus. She was standing with her back to a river bank, next to some other people. Toward the end of the dream my image of her grew distorted and she became exaggerated like an image in a fun house mirror.

2) I am on a spaceship, and the other people on the spaceship decided that it would be fun to have people jump off the spaceship to try to land on a planet. I don’t think it is a good idea, but I am amazed at how many people line up to do it, but of course they never make it to the planet, but instead are lost to deep black outer space. The only one who makes it is a little child or baby, who lands on the planet.

One of the first people to jump is Marcia Cross, who, when she realizes to her horror that she is not going to make it, panics. I turn and see that she is actually on a table, so this might all just be a virtual reality game. But she wakes up for a moment in panic, then dies.

I think this dream symbolizes how humanity sins and “misses the mark”, so to speak, and thus perishes. It is fitting that the only one who made it to the planet was the child.

3) Fave Singer and a whole bunch of people come to my apartment for dinner, and the apartment is a little messy, for example, some spots on the carpet need to be vacuumed. I am sitting across from FS and he asks me how I am doing, and I decide to give him the longer version, explaining how I am doing spiritually. When I ask him how he is doing, he gives me the short answer. Then later he wanders into the hallway and sees the spot that needs vacuuming and tells me that I need to do so. I then yell at my husband in the living room that we need to vacuum.

Normally I would have awoken from this dream feeling embarrassed that I was caught needing to do some housework. But this time I just said to myself that it didn’t matter because I am under God’s grace. So this is a good change for me. Instead of hanging on to my pride I just acknowledged that I needed to straighten some things, that’s all. I don’t need to fret over them and let my pride take over, even if it is just a dream.

Jeremiah 2 – a chapter about Israel’s previous devotion, and later, turning away from God, the source of living water, and digging their own broken cisterns instead.

Zechariah 4:6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,‘ says the LORD Almighty.

God has been giving me and my dear husband pleasant dreams lately. The first one I had occurred in the middle of last week, where I dreamed that I went back to the Midwest to visit, and they had renovated a run-down section of the city so that it was now a tourist attraction, with a large mall and park, etc. I dreamed that I had fun touring the place, then when I was trying to leave, instead of exiting the place, I ended up going up some stairs into what looked like a round railcar with windows all round the perimeter, that was suspended above ground. There were women dressed like flight attendants going in and out of this thing. I wasn’t sure what it was until the door closed and passengers were asked to sit tight and enjoy the ride, so to speak. Then the ride started and I found that we were going in circles, but higher and higher, to where I saw a panoramic view of the city below, and I could see the park, with a blue lake, and people enjoying themselves, etc. I thought this was very cool and I couldn’t wait to go get my husband and child to have them come experience the ride, too. My interpretation of this dream is that since it occurred right after I resolved some things in my heart about some bad experiences in the Midwest, that I was not moving on to a bigger vision of my life beyond Midwest.

My second dream occurred earlier this week, where I went with a friend (someone I don’t know in real life) to visit Eddie Van Halen at his mansion. The visit was very realistic and interesting, as Van Halen showed us his house, and I got to talk to him like a friend. Very interesting. I am not a Van Halen fan, and I hadn’t been thinking about him, so I don’t know why I had this dream.

Last night I had a dream that DH and I were out looking at apartments to live in, and we found two we liked. The first one was very nice, but ultimately we decided against it. The dream details are a little fuzzy so I can’t remember if the one we ended up picking had a view of a lake from an upstairs balcony or not. I do remember that in the dream DH comments that he likes the fact that he will be close to school.

My husband also had a pleasant dream last night, but alas we both cannot remember it. I also had another dream a week later that I cannot remember too.

Either case, thank God for sweet dreams!