What's On Your Mind?

April 4, 2019
by Elaine Ingalls Hogg

Psalm 84:6 – When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of springs where pools of blessing and refreshment collect after rains! (TLB)

This morning as I prepared to take another handful of pills to control nausea and pain, I stopped briefly to consider the question posed when I open my Facebook page: "What's on your mind?"

Although I'm dealing with the knowledge that I am about halfway through the time that the doctor gave me when I was first diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer, that isn't the first thing that comes to my mind when I read those first lines on Facebook or hear my friends when they pose the question "How are you?" It is true, there is so much that I can no longer do — drive, visit with friends, concentrate for long periods to read or write — but I choose to focus on what I can do, and in so doing, I feel well.

My focus since the start of my dad's illness four years ago has been to find joy in the Valley of Weeping, and I'll be the first to admit that the last six months have challenged me. Hugh, my friend for fifty-seven years and husband for fifty-four, died at the end of August. My fluffy cat, who shared many of my secret tears and joys for the last dozen years, died one month later. On "Black Friday", I learned of my present diagnosis, and four days later, I received the call that my 99-year-old dad was dying. And yes, there have been days when I felt like I was in the Valley of Weeping, a valley with insurmountable mountains hemming me in on all sides. Yet, I am content. How can that be? I'm content because when I felt that I had no more energy, friends and family have slipped in beside me and brought strength and comfort. They have brought me food, visited, held my hand, and prayed for me. They have shared their strength with the weak, and each in their own way has brought me joy.

More importantly, I can say truthfully, "I am well," not because I am out of touch with the reality of my disease, but because I have faced it, not in my own strength, but with God's. I believe that I have had a healing, not in the traditional way where one walks away and says that the cancer is gone, but in a deeper sense. Although the doctors can't offer surgery, chemo, or radiation, I have a peace beyond all human understanding. It is a peace that only God can give. He has healed my anxiety, my fretting heart. He has taught me how to rest, how to live and take joy from each day, and how to trust Him with my future as I have the past. While I am alive, I am living fully, completely resting in the strength and love of God.

Join me in living fully while you are alive, and look for joy each day.

Prayer: Dear God, thank You. Even though we may be walking through the Valley of Weeping, grief, or death, we don't need to be afraid of the future, for You have promised to be with us each step of the way. Teach us to look for the kind of joy in each day that only You can bring. Amen.

About the author:

Elaine Ingalls Hogg <authorhogg@yahoo.ca>
Smiths Creek, New Brunswick, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good word.


    Beautiful words.


    God’s peace and grace.


    I too, will hold you up in prayer!


    Praying for you and for God’s strength.


    Thank you for this insightful devotional.


    God bless. Good reminder for many of us.


    May God bless you, thank you for your insight.


    My prayers to you and I found your message very helpful.


    Such strength! Wonderful inspiration, may God be still with you.


    Wow. What an awesome God we serve.
    Amen and thank you.


    You are to be admired by all, God is with you for sure, many Blessings.


    You are such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your story with us today.


    Thank you, Elaine, for this very moving devotional.
    (Texas)


    A truly beautiful devotional from which we can all take comfort. May God bless you.


    Thank you, Elaine, for sharing this deeply moving testimony and for its encouraging words.


    Wonderful devotion; thank you for sharing and may the Lord continue to bless you with His peace.


    Dear Elaine,
    Thank you for your inspiring message. You are truly blessed on your journey.


    Thank you for sharing your story. What you have experienced is monumental and yet you are at peace. You are blessed and God is indeed with you.


    Elaine: Thank you for your inspiring and hope filled message. I have enjoyed your devotionals over the years and will keep you in my prayers. Peace and blessings to you.


    What a beautiful devotional. I will pray for your continued Joy in Him and I will pray to have that Joy when the Lord is calling.
    (Fl)


    May the peace of Christ continue to be with you and help you to bless others with your amazing faith.
    Blessings.


    What a wonderful testimony of God’s grace and your thankful spirit.
    Psalm 23 in English or French says it all.
    God continue to bless you.


    Hello Elaine,
    Thanks for sharing today’s devotion, may the good Lord continue to bless and strengthen you, keep up the good work.


    Dear Elaine:
    Thank you for your grace filled words of peace. May our Great Lord and Saviour continue to bless you and yes, I pray for healing too.


    Elaine: my heart ached for you as I read the list of your losses; then my heart soared in joy as I witnessed the bond with Christ which gives precious worth to each minute of our existence. Praise the Lord.


    Thank you so much for sharing your very moving story, Elaine. It is obvious that God is with you! Many can benefit from knowing about your enduring faith through so many difficult times. May God continue to bless through his love and the love of all those around you!


    Dear Elaine,
    Thank you very much for today’s devotional.
    May our healing Jesus keep you safe … His eye is on the sparrow.
    Blessings.


    Elaine,
    Thank you for sharing with such honesty and courage. God continues to use you in such amazing ways. You really have touched my heart in my time of need.
    God Bless.


    Thank you so much for sharing your devotion, speaking of the love you have for others and the sweet memories. I am sorry you have this diagnosis, thankfully you have the Lord. You remind me to love others, be thankful for my time and life.


    Thank you for sharing this truth that is in the Gospel – that IS the Gospel. What a blessing you are to others by your acceptance and surrender, but even more so by sharing your story, your pain and your faith. May you be blessed beyond all human understanding.


    I have not noticed your name for a long time but that may be my fault too. You have written an outstanding testimony. I regret all that has happened to you in the last few months, but I rejoice in your spiritual healing and the peace you have been given. Will pray for you.


    Dear Elaine, you are healed and only those who know Jesus could ever possibly understand.
    Perhaps the words you write now have more life changing thoughts than you will ever know.


    Dear Elaine – I believe that everyone who reads your blessed and inspired devotional today, immediately stopped and prayed for you. Out of your suffering and pain, you shared peace, faith, trust, patience in heart, mind and spirit. How wonderful that God gave you this message of hope for all of us reading you today! How grateful I am for your life.


    I liked your devotional. When it comes my time, if it isn’t sudden, I pray for that peace too. I think that it is harder sometimes for friends and family to let a loved one go than it is for the person who is passing.
    Your thoughts reminded me of a Henri Nouwen meditation that I kept. Nouwen is awesome!


    Amen Elaine. What an encouragement your testimony is for those of us who also hope that when our time to go home approaches we may know that God’s grace is sufficient amidst any anxieties and fears we may wrestle with. Thank you for sharing and God’s continued blessings of strength, hope and peace be upon you.
    Blessings.


    God Bless You! My husband and I have gone through a winter of horrors.
    Not as bad as you, but very daunting. We are praying and hoping to survive.
    Your view of your healing and our circumstances have helped me. Thank you for writing. I know how hard it is to concentrate to read or write.
    Thanks again.


    Elaine, I am glad to hear of your peace with your life and the joy your friends and family offer you at this time. I am glad your journey includes a loving God and you can enjoy your time despite your problems. Thank you for sharing so honestly which encourages others to seek that deep understanding that only God can provide us. Peace be with you and joy in every small blessing


    Dear Believer,
    Thank you for today’s Devotional and the Psalm 84: 6. You have inspired me immensely. Note that we are all here but for a time by God’s Grace after which will be called home which for believers where sorrows and weeping shall fade way. While still here on earth continue inspiring others like you have done today for me.


    Hi Elaine
    Thanks for this beautiful testimony this morning! May God continue to sustain you in all things.
    Stay blessed as always. Warm hugs for you today from me in Ghana west Africa where the day has already broken, four hours ahead of you. Yes, one of God’s wonders!!!!!


    Dear Elaine,
    The “peace that passes all understanding” is yours and a joy to experience. God is your “buckler and shield” enjoy every moment of this relationship. May your moments be full of the same and may your witness touch many hearts.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for sharing your story. I will pray for you through the valley, knowing that our God will be your strength and wisdom.
    I have finished my cancer treatment last year. I had chemo. I am single and live on my own.
    Praise the Lord that you have friends who can alongside. You have had indeed so many losses, but your future is as bright as the promises of GOD!!! NOW that is Dazzling!!!!!


    Greetings Elaine,
    Thank you for writing this devotional and expressing such a positive attitude in dealing with your illness and several other sad happenings in your life. There is so much reassurance in finding joy in time of distress when we trust in the tender care and grace of our loving God. Blessings to you for emphasizing the comfort and joy received from faith in God’s promises.
    (B.C.)


    I love you Elaine! You are SOOO Christlike. I wish I knew you personally, I wish I could be in your presence. You are Soooo alive in Christ and filled to overflowing with His Spirit. Just reading your devotional has splashed over me rivers of Living Water. What an inspiration you are! You are an example of what true love, joy, faith, hope, and long suffering is all about and Jesus totally Reigns in your life. Thank you, my dear sister, thank you! Thank you, thank you!


    Dear Elaine
    Thank you! Your words: ‘I am living fully, completely resting in the strength and love of God’ are such an inspiration
    I am dealing with chronic pain and it’s hard sometimes to stay positive when life’s new normal is so very different from a year ago, despite my faith and trust in God.
    Your writing today has been a gift from God, and I thank you and pray that God will continue to uphold and strengthen you; and when you can no longer stand, that He will gently bear you in His arms to be with Him.
    Blessings.


    God bless you Elaine!
    Thank you for this absolutely honest and encouraging devotional. Wow, we serve a great God. Your walk with Him and all you have been through, is proof, God is alive and is with us through every storm of life.
    I think this devotional should be the devotional of the year!!! How we can use this one in our own walk and storms and how to share with others so that they can have that peace while they go through their storms.
    May God continue to wrap His loving and protective arms around you and give you things during the day that will bring you joy!!


    Hello Elaine Ingalls Hogg,
    I was moved by your devotional today of ” What’s on Your Mind “. It was moving in the fact you are facing something that we all will face at some time in our life’s. As we have a Beginning and an End and what is in between is our life, with it’s Good, Bad and sometime Ugly sides of it. You have overcome the fear as your Faith has brought you though this to where you are today, living life as best as you can cope. There is Hope for all of us through Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer. Carry on the good fight, your Faithful servant and our family will pray for you. Thank you for being so forth right in expressing your story to us, as sometimes we need to be reminded to count our blessings daily, as every new day is a gift from God.
    God bless you and keep in His loving arms.


    Good morning.
    I share your situation too. My dog died a year ago. I thought that hurt. Then unexpectedly my husband had a heart attack. We were married for over 40 years. This hurts to be without him. He has partnership in a company where I learned the partner is embezzling funds everything my husband worked for had changed. He didn’t have a life insurance that he thought he had. Now I have an attorney to sort this mess out. I don’t know the outcome. I don’t have an income.
    The partner has disrespect for my husband and offered me a very low buyout bid. I don’t know what will take place at our upcoming board meeting. But I know for certain my husband is in the most superb place imaginable. He is now at peace and retired from working. I know God has control of this situation as He does yours. I covet your prayers as your walk the same path. Thanks God bless.
    (Southern California)


    Hi Elaine.
    I just want to thank you so much for your devotional today. I have enjoyed your many posts since reading these daily devotionals, and for the longest time I missed hearing from you. As a reader, I cannot know any author’s circumstances, or whether they are still on this side of Heaven. I know only that I am no longer hearing from them. Now that I know a little more, I will certainly add you to my prayer list.
    Physical illnesses are difficult to deal with. They zap one of any other thought or desire. The struggle is real. Yet, as Christians, one knows they are not alone. People are praying and people are assisting as the Spirit guides and directs them to. Needs are met in a multitude of ways.
    Thanks be to God for His faithfulness.
    It is not so much the physical illnesses that are of concern in life. Of much more concern is our spiritual and emotional status, not just in the autumn season of life, but daily. I thank God that you have given all areas of your life to Christ… to have and to hold… forever. He alone provides you with all you need to make it thru another day… another moment in time.
    Know in your heart that when you are too weak, too sick to pray, there are others praying for you. And when you ultimately arrive at Home, the angels will be singing the Hallelujah choruses. Thank you for giving your life in service to Him.
    And thank you for your inspirational and thought-provoking devotionals over the years. What a gift! May God continue to richly bless you as you have blest us, your readers.


    Hi Elaine,
    We are sure tried at times, aren’t we? It is so good to be assured that even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, the Lord is with us. I admire your attitude. Thank you for writing.


    Dear Elaine,
    Your devotional is a wonderful gift to everyone who has the privilege to read it. Thank You!


    Dear Elaine,
    Thank you for having the strength, courage and faith to share this with the Daily community. I will keep you in my prayers. I am sure your Devotional helped so many… as it did for me.
    May God’s love and blessing continue to be with you every moment.


    Thank you, Elaine, this is a very encouraging devotion.
    Blessings.

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