Pick Up Your Mat and Walk

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him,“Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. John 5:1-8

I used to be a different person. I used to feel like crap every morning because I used to drink alcohol every night. I remember when God placed it in my heart that I needed to change. He could have immediately taken the crave for alcohol away…but he didn’t. First I had to want to stop. I had to make up my mind to stop and then say, ‘I’m done living like this.” And then I had to be the one to take the first step toward recovery. Once I made the decision that I was going to stop that was the moment he began helping me stop.

He stood beside me constantly during the struggle to quit but I still had to be the one to consciously make the choice to quit every single day. Over time I’ve lost the crave to drink but I still to this day have to be aware of that decision because there are still times in my life that alcohol is placed before me and a glass of wine or a margarita still look quite tasty to me but I do know that quick moment of taste across my lips is just not worth it and will never taste as good as I feel now.

Over the past 6 years I’ve had 5 knee surgeries for torn meniscus and arthritis.  I have asked God hundreds of times to cure me. I have placed my hands on my knees and said, “God, please take this pain away and cure me.”

I truly believe he could have instantly cured me, but he still didn’t do it.

I also knew that I could have had knee replacement surgery but I didn’t want to do that.

The surgery seemed really scary and I also knew it would take months before I would get well. I was also afraid of the pain so many people had warned me about. But in the meantime what I didn’t realize is that the pain I would end up in from not having the surgery would be probably just as bad or worse.

Over time I began finding that standing was becoming harder and I couldn’t go to the grocery store or ball games or anything that required a lot of walking without being in excruciating pain. And my balance was gradually going away too.

While I was sitting around being afraid of the surgery the things I worried would happen from the surgery were happening to me anyway!

A few months ago I had a terrible fall in which I landed on my face. That was the day that I finally made the decision to have the surgery.

Knee number 1 was replaced September 19.

It’s been 4 weeks today since the surgery and I woke up this morning realizing that I may finally be over the worst part of it. As expected the past 4 weeks have been really hard and required a whole lot of work on my part. Over the past 4 weeks, I have learned a lot about suffering (I’ll save that for another blog) and I have also learned what it’s like to humble myself and let others take care of me…. I don’t really do that very well.

The biggest thing I have learned is that even though I am the one who makes the decisions about my life sometimes I don’t always choose the right ones. One in particular, was not choosing to have this surgery sooner!

Just like the drinking I had to be the one to make the decision that I truly wanted to get well.

Yes God could have cured me instantly but he didn’t. Instead, he left part of it up to me to decide. Did I want to walk? Yes I did and to do that I was going to have to take the initiative to get up take the first step. I had to put away my worries and say yes to the surgery.  And then I had to put in the hard work it would take to get well. Yes God still was the one to do the healing and He was also the one who guided the surgeon’s hands. He was the one who was beside me when I stood up the first time for rehab. He was the one sitting beside me each night when I cried in pain. He was the one pushing me through the exercises and giving me the strength to keep going as I got stronger each day.

Now I am glad God didn’t give me the quick cure I prayed for.

God had a better plan, He gave me new knee but I had to be the one to make the decision to get up and go and get it and now I am stronger because of that.

Now that I have started to see the benefit of my new knee I realize that this wasn’t just about knees. This was about so much more.

There were lessons in trust, trusting that God had this all in his hands if I would just let go and give it to him.

I learned a lot about God’s power and how he gives that power to us to use when we call on him. He is the one who has been pushing me through the physical therapy and His strength is sometimes the only strength I have to just get up in the morning…but I will never ever be able to use it if I don’t make any effort of my own. I can’t just be sitting around waiting when there are things I could be doing, things I know now that God wants me to do.  God can do anything and yes He can move mountains, but something I have realized in all of this is that the mountain that may need moving is sometimes my own attitude.

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Found by the Prince of Peace


god-of-peaceTwo weeks ago I had knee replacement surgery on my left knee and on November 28 I will be having the right one done.

I’ve known I needed to do this for over 2 years but I still have been putting the surgeries off because the thought of having someone cut my whole knee joint out and replacing it with metal and plastic made me feel really uncomfortable and to be honest it really scared the living daylights out of me.

After I made the decision a lot of worries crossed my mind about the things that could go wrong but I knew I had to not be dwelling on those things and just look to how much better my life was going to be when everything went right.

I had a great peace and I really wasn’t nervous at all during the time up to the surgery but the morning of the surgery for some reason I started to get really nervous. By the time we got into the car to go to the hospital my nerves were starting to get the best of me and I was beginning to feel like I had some sort of dark heavy cloud of dread hanging over me. When we pulled our car out of the garage a thick heavy fog was covering the neighborhood which just added to the dread I was feeling.

A few minutes later we were flying up the highway and I was sitting over in the passenger seat praying silently, but the harder I prayed, the more scared I became.

Where was God’s peace at now??

Somehow I had lost it and it was now hidden deep in the fog which seemed to be pressing in tighter and tighter on me.
I wanted to forget the whole surgery and tell my husband to turn the car around and head back home but before I could get the words out of my mouth suddenly in the middle of the dark gloomy morning the sun started peeking out through the fog and the sky began changing.
In a matter of seconds, the sky was a mix of beautiful colors. I began taking pictures of the sky and somehow without even realizing it was happening God had managed to reel me back to peace.
By the time we arrived at the hospital a beautiful sunshiny day had dawned and I was ready to get on with getting a new knee.
But God wasn’t done yet…
I was met by my nurse who would check me in and found out her name was ‘Joy’. Joy’s name fit her well and she was exactly the perfect person for me to start off this day with. Joy the nurse was full of joy. Being checked into surgery by nurse Joy along with her name tag flashing the word “Joy’ at me constantly, there was no way I couldn’t feel the continued presence and peace of God.

Joy stayed with me until it was time to go to the Operating room holding area.

My next nurse’s name was ‘Lisa’. Which is also the name of my dear friend Lisa who now lives in heaven. I’m not really sure why having a nurse named Lisa gave me peace but seeing the name Lisa reminded me about Lisa and how courageously she had lived her life during her illness right up until she left for her new one. Remembering Lisa reminded me that I wanted to live my life courageously trusting in God like she had.

Everything seemed to be going well and I was doing really great the whole morning but then the anesthesiologist came in and introduced himself. His name was David. David was nice and he looked like just the guy to handle the job of putting me to sleep. I was really liking him a whole lot but then he gave me a choice to make. It was a choice that nobody had even mentioned or that I had ever dreamed was available. David gave me the choice of staying awake or going to sleep during the surgery..… STAYING AWAKE???!!

I remember saying to him, “you’re kidding right?”

But this was not a joke… this guy was dead serious!

I had seen the video of what they were going to do to me and it involved cutting my whole knee joint out with saws and then putting in the new knee with a hammer…SAWS… AND HAMMERS!!! Did I mention they were going to use saws and hammers and this guy was giving me the option to stay awake during the surgery????!!!!!

I’m sure you know by now my answer to that question was…. NO WAY!

I didn’t even have to answer him before he said, “Maybe you better go to sleep.” I wonder if it was the… ‘you are crazy for ever asking me that look’ I must have had on my face.

After that I lost my peace again and suddenly I felt sick to my stomach. I went to the bathroom to be sick and when I arrived back at my bed there was a woman in my room waiting for me. “Hi I’m the hospital Chaplin and I came to see if you would like me to pray with you,” she said.

Ummmm…. Ya…

How cool is that?! The minute I lost peace God sent a Chaplin in to pray with me!

We prayed and then we just chatted for a while as if we were old friends. Before I knew it the God of peace had found me again and it was now time for me to go into the operating room. The last thing I remember was telling someone that they really needed to organize the operating room because it was really a mess….

I’m not really sure what my obsession with organized operating rooms is but the last 2 surgeries I’ve had that line has come out of my mouth just as I drift off to sleep. I will blame it on the happy meds they put in the IV.


3 hours later I woke up with a brand new knee and a horrible pain in my hip.

Yep you heard that right, I go in for knee surgery and come out with hip pain.

I now know that the pain in my hip is my sciatic nerve. Somehow it became irritated during the surgery and I have to say it is about the worst pain I have ever dealt with in my life!

But...even though the sciatic nerve is giving me problems I still seem to be breezing right through the knee stuff. I am excelling in my exercises with my range of motion coming back way quicker than is expected.
The crazy thing is my knee which is what I was worried about before the surgery is not an issue at all.
The problem is this sciatic nerve hurts really bad If I lay down and I also have had problems with every pain medication they have given me so Tylenol is all I can take.
Sooooo… sleeping is something I have not been getting a whole lot of.

Every night about 11 pm the pain starts and I then spend the rest of the night moving around to different areas of my house trying to get comfortable. I can take a lot of pain and usually never cry about pain but I have to say that this is the first time in my life that pain seems to keep turning me into an exhausted crying mess.

I have spent a whole lot of time this past couple of weeks listening to the Hillsong channel on T.V. and Pandora Radio. Every single night there is one song that seems to always play right at the time which is when I am usually at the height of my pain.

The song is “Prince of Peace” by Hillsong United.

The words to this song always seem to help me find comfort and peace.

My heart a storm
Clouds raging deep within
The Prince of Peace came bursting through the wind
The violent sky held its breath
And in Your light I found rest
Tearing through the night
Riding on the storm
Staring down the fight
My eyes found Yours
Shining like the sun
Striding through my fear
The Prince of Peace met me there
You heard my prayer – Words and music by Hillsong United

Just as I am feeling as if I can’t go on anymore Jesus always meets me right in the middle of the pain and then he carries me through the night. He is my comfort and peace until the early morning hours when I finally fall asleep.

Jesus is my peace…

As I am writing this its almost 11 pm the pain hasn’t started yet and I am hoping it doesn’t. Each night I pray that it won’t start but each night it still does. I am not really sure why that prayer hasn’t been answered yet but so many more prayers have been answered so far.

I am learning that I can get through anything no matter how painful it is when I call on Jesus. I have seen Gods hands and miraculous healing in this and also in past illnesses I’ve had. Also from what I have heard Knee replacement surgery is very very painful, thankfully I haven’t had much knee pain so far which my physical therapist says she has never come across so maybe I have the better pain of the two…. ?

AAAAnyway …. it’s getting late so I am going to try to get some sleep.

Have a great night!

P.S. If you aren’t squeamish and want to see something cool, click the picture of my bandage below to remove it and see my incision.  You can just call me the bionic woman from now on 😀


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Great are You Lord – Music Monday

As I cross through the valley of the shadows you never leave me to cross alone.

You are by my side with each step,

holding me steady,

helping me make my way through the shadow days.

You are a lamp burning bright,

my guiding light that I must always keep in sight.

You are my strength,

my comfort,

the breath in my lungs.

The only way I can ever make it through is when I walk with you.

You are my refuge,

Great are You Lord.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.   Psalm 23

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Live It Well

music monday1

Today’s music Monday song is “Live it Well” by Switchfoot.

I love this song because it speaks so much about attitude and how our attitude can actually determine how well we live our lives.

There are days when it may seem as if there are only small glimmers of light peeking out of the dark, but on those days when we really make a conscious effort to focus on those glimmers then we are always sure to find the good.

We can also be one of those glimmers to someone else.

When we are living life well and sharing God’s love with others then we will see him even more.

Have a great week!

Terri Siebert

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I Believe I Can Fly

I believe I can fly

The cute little guys in the picture above have been living under the front awning at our church for about a week now.

I’ve been watching their mom sitting on her eggs for several weeks and just last Friday as I was leaving the church I noticed that they had hatched and were peeking their little heads out of the nest.  Today they were all standing on the edge as if considering taking a step off and flying.

I couldn’t help but imagine what must have been going through their little minds as they were thinking about flying for the first time. Were they are afraid to jump or do they just take off with no fear?

After watching them for a while I have come to the conclusion that they must thoroughly assess the situation before actually making the big leap because I never saw any of them actually step off the edge and fly.

I imagined them running it by each other, saying things like, ‘Wow we sure are really high up… do you think its really true that we can fly?….you go first…no you go ahead…”

The cool thing is that whether they believe they can fly or not, God already had flying planned for their lives before they were even born. And once they make the decision to take that first step off that ledge flying is for sure going to happen.

It’s the same for us too.

Before we were born God already had a plan for each one of our lives

We can choose to stay perched where we feel safe or we can bravely take the first step off the edge and fly into what he has planned for our lives.

What does God have planned for your life?

Will you fly?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

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