Posts Tagged ‘Shumi’

I want to share this daily devotional from Jo.seph Prin.ce, of the day before yesterday:

Proverbs 18:21
21Death and life are in the power of the tongue…

Many things in life can cause us to fear—losing our jobs, deadly diseases, terrorist attacks and so on. When these things confront us, we tend to give in to worry and fear, and start talking about our fears.
Job was no different. He constantly feared that God would punish him and his family because he kept thinking that his sons had sinned against God. He would get up early in the morning to offer burnt sacrifices, saying, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” And the Bible tells us that he did this “regularly”. (Job 1:5)
So Job kept confessing the sins of his sons and fearing that something terrible would happen to him and his family. In fact, his sin-consciousness didn’t just produce fear, the Bible tells us that he “greatly feared”. (Job 3:25)
It is important that we understand that it was Job’s sin-consciousness that opened the door to Satan. His preoccupation with sins that his family may have committed gave Satan the opportunity to bring death and destruction into his life. God had a hedge of protection around Job. But when he started being sin-conscious and having a fearful expectation of judgment, the hedge was removed and Satan could attack him. (Job 1:9–12)
My friend, today, if you have sinned, don’t say, “I have failed again. I deserve to be punished by God.” Know that you already have forgiveness of sins because Jesus was punished and condemned in your place! (Ephesians 1:7) So say, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ. Jesus, You are my holiness and perfection.” (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
We must be mindful of what we believe and say regularly because “death and life are in the power of the tongue”. So when you hear of a deadly virus taking many lives, don’t say, “I’m next because I have not been a good Christian!” Instead, say, “Jesus, You are my righteousness and protection. Surely You shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence!” (Psalm 91:3)
Beloved, such believing and confessing not only please God, but they also shut the door on Satan so that he cannot make any inroad into your life!”

Now I want to share my own testimony, and this time its not a good testimony:

Some time before I started this blog the infertility was really weighing heavy upon me.  Often, I would look at our dog Shumi and I would think and say out loud, “thank goodness I have him, he is such a sweet dog and I love him so much.  He is my baby and I don’t know what I’ll do without him.”  Or I said, ” I don’t know what I’ll do if he should die.”  I also said a couple of times, “I’m so glad I’ve never been in a position where I had to decide whether I should euthanize one of our dogs, because I know I wouldn’t be able to make such a decision.”  I not only said those words, I really feared that something would happen to Shumi and that he would die, and I thought I would not be able to deal with his death.  I really substituted him for a baby and almost treated him like he was my baby.

When I learned so much about God’s will, supernatural healing and just generally who God is after Shumi’s diagnosis and after our miscarriage, I learnt that life and death is in the power of the tongue, and that we shall eat the fruit of it, whether we spoke life or death…  I realized that Shumi’s cancer was all my fault, because I spoke death over him, but not only that –  I really feared that he would die.  Gosh, I felt so guilty, because I knew I was responsible.  Thank the Lord that I’ve learnt so much about His Grace, that I do not feel condemned or guilty anymore, but let me tell you I’ve learnt my lesson!  I cannot stand it if someone speaks about sickness or disease, especially over Baby G, or one of us.  I will immediately counter it with something positive, and I think I’ve also come across as rude a couple of times, because I really get mad when people do that!

I’m just so grateful that I never feared or spoke death over my DH, and that I now know better with baby G!  It is such a relief to know that we are not supposed to get sick, and that God heals us if we do get sick.  Praise the Lord!


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I Failed Again:

RIP Shumi : 5 April 2005 - 22 February 2012

Yesterday we had to make a very difficult decision – we had to euthanize Shumi.  It was just getting too bad, there was a huge lump on the left side of his face and his breathing was getting harder and harder.  I knew this decision had to be made soon, and I really hoped that I could get a breakthrough and see full and complete healing for Shumi, but it was not to be.  That is actually the reason I’ve been so scarce on the internet.  I studied and studied and looked for some kind of revelation, but nothing I tried worked…

What makes it so bad is the fact that I know it was God’s will for Shumi to be healed and I know God had healed him in the spiritual realm.  But for some reason I just could not make it manifest in this physical realm.  That is why I say I failed again, just like I did when my mom passed away.  That is not easy to live with and it just makes me realize more why so many people say things like, “maybe it was not God’s will,” because it sure does eases one’s own conscience, but I know the truth and there is no use trying to dodge the responsibility.

It’s my fault Shumi got sick and it’s my fault he died.  I can still clearly remember not long before he got sick I would say things like, “I love you so much, I don’t know what would happen if something should happen to you,” and things like “I hope I never ever have to be in a position where I have to decide whether to euthanize one of my dogs.”  And I not only said those things I had a genuine fear that Shumi would die.  I guess it was brought on by my infertility – I poured all my love on Shumi and treated him almost like a child, and it felt like he and DH was all I had to live for.  So the words and the fear opened a door for the devil to attack us and he did it with cancer…  Then I learnt about supernatural healing and I’ve been studying it for more than a year and a half now, and I still could not get him healed.

Shumi was such a special dog – everyone that knew him thought so.  He was the breeder’s favourite, he bonded as a pup with my sister’s oldest daughter when she was just 21 months old and Shumi was 6 months old (those two were inseparable) and all our neighbours that lived around us loved him to bits.

He was so social that he would visit our neighbours in the estate we lived in and he even sometimes slept over in their houses.  If anyone had a social gathering on at their house, Shumi would be there and all their guests also knew him and loved him.  Once I even saw a stranger, a woman, sit on the sidewalk across from our house watching our house.  I called DH and he went outside to talk to her – it turned out she lived outside our estate, but for some reason she sometimes came there and visited Shumi.  That particular day Shumi was inside the house with us, so she waited outside patiently hoping to see him.

Even people who weren’t dog lovers loved him, because he was so well behaved.  A lot of people think boxers are naughty dogs and need a lot of attention – I can honestly say Shumi was never a naughty dog.  I’ve wondered many times what the dog whisperer would have thought of him because he really had no issues at all.

He was so happy to see baby G when we brought him home, but Shumi just stood about a metre away and wagged his tail, as if he knew he couldn’t touch or lick baby G due to the blood and snot coming from the lump on his head.  That made me so sad, because Shumi absolutely adored children and puppies, and he never could enjoy or get to know baby G due to his illness.  At least he saw him…

My heart is broken and I miss him so much, but I know his suffering is over now.  I know some people say animals have no souls or spirits and when they die, they just die, but I like to believe he is in heaven now, in a perfect body, with no more pain or discomfort, playing with all our babies and my mom and our previous boxers, Pippin, Tiger and Simbi…

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Almost 2 weeks ago I posted some pictures of what Shumi looked like. I mentioned that he still loves to play with KT though and that same night DH took a video of it. I have posted it on Yo.u Tu.be, so that you can see that although he looks bad physically, he still has a lot of energy left and in my opinion a will to live.

I took Shumi to the vet last week to hear what can be done about the lump. The vet kept him overnight and made a hole in between his eyes and drained a lot of puss from the lump. At first it looked really bad, and I wondered if I did the right thing, but he is actually a lot better! A lot of the swelling has gone down and some of the scabs from his old wounds have fallen off. The vet even said that Shumi is still way to lively to be put down and he also said that if he looks at the way things have progressed during the last 19 months since I first took Shumi to him with his first nosebleeds, that Shumi might still live for quite some time. I asked him his opinion on why Shumi is still alive, and he is totally stumped! He does not have any medical explanation, but I do have one off course! I know it can only have been God! And that gives me more hope again to believe for full healing for Shumi.

Anyway I promised you another message a while ago already, so here it is:

The other message that I originally posted was this one about David and Goliath, and once again this teaching is from a different perspective so also worthwhile to share with you… I am quoting from Bro.ther Yu.n’s Book “Liv.ing Wa.ter”

“In order to see what God is doing today, we must cultivate a close intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and view things from God’s perspective. Even if we see a giant standing before us, we should not be intimidated. The giant might be real, but Jesus Christ is the Truth who can bring peace and freedom to any situation. Even when we are struggling, we should stop and meditate on the fact that Jesus has purchased us as His own possession. To do so, He paid the highest price – His own life. Those who have been born again into God’s kingdom now belong to Jesus. They are inseparable, to such an extent that the Bible says, “If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.” (2 Timothy 2: 13)

As we begin to serve our Saviour, we need to understand that God’s work must be done God’s way. We must rely on His wisdom alone and not on man’s wisdom, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25) As you serve God, you will surely experience much opposition. When this happens you need to know who you are, who you are not, who is the enemy you are facing and who is the Lord you are serving.

If you have been saved and restored into right relationship with God, then you should never accept the taunts of the enemy. When the enemy mocks and attempts to intimidate you, it is imperative that you stand up in the authority of Jesus Christ and refuse to accept it!

Let us consider the story of David and Goliath. The first thing to note is that Goliath’s very appearance caused fear. The Bible paints the following dramatic picture: “He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armour of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went in front of him.” (1 Samuel 17:4-7)

The enemy always tries to scare God’s people and cause them to become incapacitated by fear. For forty long days Goliath stood up and threatened the Israelites. His threats achieved their purpose, for the Bible records that “on hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.” (1 Samuel 17:11)

Remember that “the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25) God chose to respond to this threat not by sending of Israel’s great warriors to fight Goliath, nor even by cutting the giant down by divine intervention. Rather, God chose a young boy named David – the youngest of eight brothers – to destroy the enemy and silence their blasphemies.

On the morning of the fortieth consecutive day, Goliath came out and mocked the people of God. By this time the whole of the Israelite army had been thoroughly terrorized and traumatized to such an extent that “when the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.” (1 Samuel 17:24)
On this particular day, however, young David happened to be visiting the camp and heard Goliath’s voice for himself. Something stirred deep within his spirit, and he asked, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he could defy the armies of the living God?” (17:26)

Together we are armies of the living God today. We are the armies of Jesus Christ. The Lord God calls all of His children to fight in His name, but many fall prey to fear and intimidation. If they manage to overcome their fears, the Devil uses different strategies in a bid to disarm and cripple the obedient Christian.

One of his favourite tactics is to cause other believers to bring discouragement. This is what happened to David. His oldest brother, Eliab, “burned with anger at him and asked, ‘Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” (1 Samuel 17:28)

Isn’t it strange that Eliab would “burn with anger” just because his brother showed more courage than he did? Eliab also resorted to slander in order to keep his young brother in line, even telling David, “I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” Satan often uses family members to bring discouragement. The closer a person is to you, the more crippling their discouragement is. This is often what happens in the church today, as our own brothers and sisters in the Lord end up trying to prevent us from following what God has told us to do.

It reveals much of David’s heart that even though he was just a young boy, he refused to be affected by his brother’s discouragement. In fact, David approached King Saul and boldly announced, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” (1 Samuel 17:32)

Another interesting thing happened before David slew Goliath. Before he went out to meet the giant, “Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armour on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. ‘I cannot go in these,’ he said to Saul, ‘because I am not used to them.’ So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:38-40)

David was used to a simple life as a shepherd. He was familiar with using a sling and had both killed a lion and a bear while protecting his sheep. Don’t try to be someone God didn’t make you. It will just be awkward and diminish your effectiveness for the Lord.

I believe God did not allow David to go into battle with Saul’s armour and weapons, as people might have been tempted to credit David’s success to the equipment he was wearing rather than to the Lord God alone. It is our all-powerful, all-knowing Sovereign who has declared, “How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.” (Isaiah 48:11)

After David killed Goliath, news of what happened quickly spread to the surrounding nations, and there was no mistaking the fact that God provided the victory. David had declared to the Philistine, “You come against me with a sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45-47)”

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Things are not looking good with Shumi. That lump on his head got bigger again and it seems this time it’s not going down again. I also noticed last week that there is something growing out of his one nostril (the white part in his nostril on the second picture). I assume it’s the tumour. What is the most upsetting is that it’s happening very fast. Let me illustrate with 2 pictures – the first was taken yesterday and the other today, about 24 hours apart.

25 Oct 2011

26 Oct 2011

We only noticed those bald spots for the first time yesterday morning, and by lunch time it was already looking like there was puss coming out one of them. Unfortunately it does seem to bother Shumi a bit as the flies want to go sit on the sores, but otherwise it doesn’t look like it’s very sore. The other thing is Shumi’s breath really smells bad, it stinks to be honest… But otherwise he is still ok – the heat is getting to him, but it’s also getting to me and a lot of other people I’ve spoken to (we are in a heat wave here). He still plays with KT, in the mornings and late afternoons when it’s a bit cooler off course.

Let me tell you it’s really hard to see him this way – I feel like we’ve been under a lot of attack again lately and the devil certainly wants me to give up on Shumi, but I cannot because I know the truth. I know that God wants to heal Shumi, and I know that Jesus already provided for his healing by His stripes, but it’s soooo hard when all your senses are telling you it’s not happening…

Fortunately God has reminded me of some messages I heard a while ago and blogged about by giving me more messages on the same topics. The first is the wonderful story of King Jehoshaphat, I heard a message about it last week and then I read another this week in Bro.ther Yu.n’s book “Living Water”. You can read my previous blog post about it here which is different as it focuses on a different part of the same story.

Here is Bro.ther Yu.n’s account of the story: “This king was one of the few who was faithful to the Lord. I am sure Jehoshaphat had many plans and projects on his mind, and when he lay in bed at night, his thoughts were probably already churning over those things his government would need to do the next day.
One morning, however, the king’s plans were interrupted when a group of men arrived at the palace with alarming news: “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the sea.” (2 Chronicles 20:2) All the king’s plans went on hold, and he became frightened of this huge army that had come to destroy his kingdom.

The first thing Jehoshaphat did after receiving this news was the key to his deliverance. The scriptures record: “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to enquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.” (vv. 3-4) It would have been easy for Jehoshaphat to respond to the great threat by mobilizing his army and sending them out to meet the enemy head-on, but he wisely realized that he should not advance a single step until he sought the Lord and asked for His help. The king proclaimed a fast, and the men of Judah humbled themselves before the Lord.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed by the size and the strength of the enemy’s forces arrayed against you, withdraw and earnestly seek the face of Jesus just as Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah did. To earnestly seek God is a powerful act of faith. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

It is important to note that the key thing is to seek the Lord. It is easy to seek resources, blessings or success. We must be careful however, not to put these things first in our seeking. It is the Lord Jesus Christ we are to earnestly seek above all else. He taught, “But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) The very next verse tells us, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has trouble enough of it’s own.” (v. 34)

King Jehoshaphat knew all about trouble. He was surrounded by a vast army that sought the destruction of his kingdom, yet he knew that his first priority was to seek the Lord and not to worry about tomorrow. The people of Judah realized that only God could rescue them from their dire predicament. They threw themselves on God’s mercy and reminded the Almighty of the covenants He had made with their forefathers. Jehoshaphat stood up in the temple courtyard and cried out, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven?” You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your name saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgement, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’” (2 Chronicles 20:6-9)

God can never break His covenants. It is impossible for Him to do so. All the way through the Bible we read of God making covenants with people. He made a covenant with Noah and his family; and they were saved. He then made a covenant that He would never again destroy the earth by water and placed a rainbow in the sky as a reminder of his promise. He made covenants with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for all generations. The fact that Israel has survived until the present day – despite being surrounded by nations that desire it’s destruction – serves as a powerful reminder of God’s faithfulness to His covenants.

Moses knew it was best to appeal to the character of God during times of trouble. He knew he could not appeal to God on the basis of the people’s righteousness, for they would be destroyed. Instead on several occasions he reminded God of His covenants. When God threatened to destroy the children of Israel after they fashioned an idol in the form of a golden calf, Moses cried out, “Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’ Then the Lord relented and did not bring on His people the disaster he had threatened.” (Exodus 32:13-14)

God will never let His name be defamed. He will not allow someone to say, “God made a covenant with me, but He has not held up His end of the arrangement.” The Lord’s reputation is tied to His faithfulness in keeping His promises.

Did you ever wonder why God referred to Himself as the “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” on many occasions throughout the Old Testament? Why didn’t He include Moses or any of the other patriarchs in that list? After all, Jacob was labelled a “deceiver,” while Moses was described as a “friend of God.”

Watch carefully the answer is important.

Abraham (in Genesis 12:1-3), Isaac (26:2-5) and Jacob (28:10-15) are the only three men God made a covenant with to make their descendants into a great nation that would bless the world! Every time God referred to Himself as the “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” He was reminding the world of His covenant and His faithfulness. His very name and reputation were at stake among the nations, and the Lord will never allow His name be defamed or His character to be tarnished. He is the almighty God of love, mercy and truth, and He always does what He promises to do.

The author of Hebrews explained that “when God made His promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for Him to swear by, He swore by Himself, saying, ‘I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.’ And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs that was promised, He confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.” (Hebrews 6:13-18)”

Now I want to remind you of what God’s covenant is with you by referring you to  another post of mine which explains God’s covenant’s nicely.  I’ll share the other story with you tomorrow, as this post is getting long already. I hope it gives you encouragement like it gave me encouragement.

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A few nights ago I once again had trouble sleeping. It took a while to get to sleep and only a few hours later I was awake again, and then it felt like hours passed before I fell asleep again just as the birds woke up. But that time was not wasted, because I was thinking about quite a lot of stuff, especially Shumi, and where I’m failing, and I got another revelation. I know it already, but sometimes one doesn’t see things clearly, especially when it concerns yourself… I think God has been trying to tell me this for a while already, but somehow I just didn’t listen, or didn’t want to listen maybe… I’ve realized there were signs or hints, which made me realize I had to attend to something, but I just brushed it away, and went on with what I was doing. Until that sleepless night when I had lots to think about and I could follow the trail until I got to the revelation, and I want to share that with you today – maybe someone else will also benefit from it.

There were 3 separate incidences that I can identify as signs or hints, because they all had to make me think about the same topic. I can’t really recall which happened first, and I guess it doesn’t really matter. One instance was a comment made on this blog about salvation and keeping the Law of Moses. That comment was in response to me saying that I know God does not want to punish me for every wrong thing I do, because I know that the punishment was already fully taken by Jesus through His sacrifice. I answered on that comment, but there was a lingering feeling that maybe I didn’t follow the trail of thought through fully and answered completely, but I brushed it off and forgot about it.

Another thing that bothered me a bit was a comment DH made to me once. At the time I didn’t realize it, but I’ve had some unresolved anger building up in me, especially lately, and I think it has to do with my mom’s death and Shumi’s illness. I tried to suppress it, and generally I never take out my frustrations on loved ones, so it came out in other ways. One way was when I got so upset about my new debit card not working – I really got so angry, like I haven’t been in a long time, and I let the call centre operator hear it! There is one other person though, someone I get to deal with on a weekly basis, that somehow rubs me up the wrong way, and I never let her see it, but later at home I can’t help making comments and sometimes they are nasty… DH heard me mutter something, and immediately he said, “What has S done this time…” I immediately felt bad, because I realized that I was complaining a lot about this person, especially lately, and maybe I’ve been too hard on her, but I once again did not think about it for very long.

The last message was the fact that I started reading the book of Romans since last week in my Bible study time and really a lot of it has to deal with the law again, and how we are saved by grace through faith and not through works like keeping the law. During the night while I was lying awake I realized that I’ve been focussing on how God does not want to punish us, because Jesus already carried the punishment for us, long before we even sinned, but I conveniently ignored the law. I knew it was still important to keep the law, but why?

For some reason I thought back to my last IVF last year, and how I did not understand things so well then compared to what I know now. Because I did a mini IVF, I didn’t get my stimms from my fertility clinic like I did with my other IVF’s. I bought it at Dis.chem since their price was a bit cheaper than what my clinic would have charged me. They didn’t have all the injections that I needed, but they did have a few and enough to get me started. Somehow the pharmacist made a mistake and charged me for 1 less injection than she gave me. When I paid I realized that the total was less than what I worked it out in my mind, but I paid and left the shop.

All the way home it bothered me and I couldn’t figure out where a mistake was made. When I got home I looked at the slip and only then did I realize what had happened. I immediately felt guilty and felt like I stole that one injection. The second thought that came into my head was, “I hope God does not punish me for this by ensuring that I don’t get pregnant.” Like I said – I still had a lot to learn.

The fear of punishment prompted me to phone the pharmacy and speak to them and rectify the mistake. The poor pharmacist was so happy I phoned and pointed out her mistake and she made a note on the computer that I must pay for the other injection when I come to fetch the last few. I’m sure she would have been in some kind of trouble if I hadn’t come forward and offered to pay, because she kept on saying, “thank you so much for calling and rectifying this.”

While I was lying in bed thinking about all this, I realized – “No, God would not have punished me by giving me a BFN.” I was totally sure of that fact, but then something else struck me. It could have ended in a BFN, but it wouldn’t have been caused by God. I would have given power over my life to the devil and through me handing him that power, he could have killed our embies and caused a BFN.

That was when I realized that the only reason we shouldn’t sin is because that is one way of giving power to the devil. We might believe that God has saved us, we might believe that God has healed us, but if we keep sinning we will never defeat the devil. I saw so clearly that I need to let go of certain sins, and if I do that the power of the devil will decrease. It’s all things that I knew, that I’ve practised a while ago and even had some victory over, but I got lax and I let small things slip, and then it got worse and worse again…

We had one victory, our pregnancy, and I just assumed that the rest will fall into place as well. Then my mom passed away and that shocked me so much! I lost some confidence and I let the devil lie to me again, believing that cancer is different than infertility and much more difficult to get healed, when it shouldn’t be. It’s the same principles that apply, and that works for every kind of illness, but my faith was shaken.

I also gave power to the devil in another way – fear. By being fearful I allowed things to get even worse, I got upset and at that point was where I was tearful at even silly things that should not have upset me at all. I felt like I could not deal with normal daily challenges that usually don’t upset me at all. That was when Shumi’s swelling was at its worst.

Fortunately the swelling has come down a lot, it’s not gone completely, but Shumi looks a lot better again, so much so that I do not contemplate euthanizing him. He is playful again, and he is interested in what goes on around him, he eats well and he just wants love, love and more love from us.

The devil is defeated – Jesus defeated him, and he cannot take Shumi’s life without my permission or co-operation. I’m sure he tried to convince me that euthanizing Shumi would be best, and then we would do the work for him, but I’m not co-operating with that! I keep on reminding myself that God is good, He wants Shumi healed and He has made provision for it already. I must just receive it on Shumi’s behalf. I know it does not look like Shumi is healed, but I don’t have to go on what things look like, when I know that God’s word is true, and when I know what His will is. I must just keep on believing in God’s promises, and not let circumstances sway me or weaken my faith.

I also like to remind myself that the vets gave Shumi a couple of months to live more than a year ago. His life expectancy is already like that of a dog who has received radiation therapy for the cancer, even though Shumi has not received any treatment. So that means that the devil has been hindered in his job – he couldn’t kill Shumi in the normal course of the disease so far, and I fully intend to make it even harder for him from now on.

Satan also tried his very best to make me feel incredibly guilty for my mom’s passing, but I’ve realized that with my mom, it wasn’t just dependant on DH’s and my own faith, because we believed, until the very end. The hard reality is my mom couldn’t believe in her own healing – even when I spoke to her about my miracle pregnancy, I could see in her eyes that she could not believe for the same thing. I gave her books to read, messages to listen to on CD and in MP3 format on her phone, but today I’m sure she didn’t do any of it. Yes, I think I must have discussed it more with her, but an old school friend of my mom’s told me at the funeral that my mom phoned her about 2 weeks before her death and that she could hear my mom had given up on life. That was before she even went in to hospital and I had no idea of any of that!

At the hospital itself we were also surrounded by people who believed the end was near, from the nurses and doctors to visiting family and friends, and no matter how many times DH and I tried to say, “but we have faith that my mom would get healed”, we were met with resistance and comments like, “but you have to be realistic!” Our faith was just too little compared to all the unbelief surrounding my mom…

Fortunately with Shumi’s situation, it’s different. It’s mostly just up to DH and I to believe in Shumi’s healing. We don’t get to deal with other people’s unbelief so much and then only when they come to visit us at home and they see Shumi. I keep on telling people that he is doing well, and what the vet’s diagnosis was over a year ago already, so that helps a little to get them to believe that maybe he will be healed. A lot have had theories like, maybe the diagnosis was wrong, (even our own vet has also wondered about this aloud, that maybe he has a benign tumour), and there was even one theory where they believe his problems are because of a tooth that needs to be pulled. Unfortunately it is very hard for people to believe that God still heals in this day and age, they always try to get some other explanation as well…

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26 Weeks pregnant:

Last night I realized I’m getting very close to starting the third trimester, and I had a little freak out. It feels like there is still so much to do to get ready, so I guess I’ll have to get started with it all. I think I must start with making a list, and then work through that.

Except for my back pain, which is much better by the way, I still feel very good. I enrolled again at the gym for the next three months, because I just wasn’t getting the exercise I needed by walking or swimming at home (like I thought I would do), but I’m taking it easy for now, since I know I’m not fit. But I need to get fit for the birth – my midwife said that natural birth is quite a cardiac workout and I need to be fit for that. One lady that helps out with me at the feeding scheme, her daughter gave birth naturally recently and it was so easy for her, but she was very fit. So that inspired me to get myself off to gym again.

I’ve noticed recently that I’m starting to look lopsided – depending on how our little baby is lying. The other day he was lying on the left side and I had a huge bulge on my tummy on the left and nothing on the right. Also I’ve noticed that my breasts aren’t always the same size. Last Saturday we visited my sister and just before we left I told DH that my one breast looks at least 2 bra sizes bigger than the other. “O, don’t worry,” he said, “they will probably not notice…” Well I think within the first hour my sister said, “Let me just rearrange your top a bit, it looks like your one boob is so much bigger than the other…” I had to confess that it wasn’t the top; my one breast was bigger than the other. But fortunately it seems it was only temporary because they look about the same size again.

Baby is kicking harder and harder and he gets times when he is really active. Last week while we were lying in bed, spooning, DH could feel him kick in his back. Fortunately it’s not sore yet, everybody keeps telling me it will start to get sore and uncomfortable, but I’m not there yet. We still love it to bits and cannot get enough of it.

One advantage of pregnancy that I wish I could keep afterwards is my hair isn’t nearly as oily as it used to be and I don’t have to wash it as often. It also feels more manageable. I’ve always had problems with certain parts curling, but the rest is mostly straight and it seems a lot straighter nowadays. I don’t have to battle to get the kinks out anymore.

DH and I have been researching antenatal classes for the last 2 weeks or so and speaking to a lot of women we personally know who have had children recently and we have decided not to attend antenatal classes. The main reason being we don’t think we will benefit from it much. I have researched the top places that were personally recommended to us and it seems that most of the course content we know already. A lot was covered by our water birth class, especially the important bits regarding the lead up to the birth, the actual birth, birthing positions, what can go wrong, c-sections, and after the birth off course. Then usually they have at least one session on deciding on a caregiver, hospital, the different birth experiences and to choose which you want, which has already been decided by us. Things like the birth plan and breastfeeding will all be done with our midwife, and that is usually 2 more sessions and we think we can research the other things we might still need ourselves.

But I asked DH to give me a commitment for one day where we will make a list of all questions we have, as well as those things we think we might not know that is usually covered with antenatal classes, and then we will work through it together and search for those answers ourselves.

You see, some ladies that know us quite well, and especially those who have trusted us to babysit their children, are confident that between DH and I, we know how to look after a baby. We babysat different children for sometimes a week and up to three weeks, where the parents had to travel abroad, and could not take their children with. The ages differed a lot from small babies up to 6 years or so, and we even had to look after a baby with colic and who was less than six months old at that stage, together with his 2 year old brother. DH helped me so much during those times that I’m very confident that he knows most there is to know.

DH also feels that I’m so good at doing research, due to our past infertility issues and now during the pregnancy that he says he does not think it would be worthwhile to spend a lot of money on 6 or 7 classes and we might only benefit from 1 or 2 of those. So we decided to save that money rather for other classes that seem beneficial to attend after baby is born.

(Ps. It seems that Shumi is doing a lot better again this morning. The swelling around his eye and at the top of his head has gone down a lot and he can see through his eye again. He also greeted us this morning with a toy and wanted to play, play and play. KT was very happy about that, because she always wants to play. So we decided to keep an eye on him and see how he does. At first I thought the swelling was from the tumour, but I’m not so sure anymore, firstly because it came up so quickly and also because it seems to be going down again. It also looks like he has still some will to live in him – He wanted to get into the car this morning to go with DH to work, and DH said to me he will feel too guilty to take him to the vet now, to be put to sleep, when he seems to be better and he loves to ride in the car so much! Praise the Lord! Both DH and I feel so bad that we waivered in our faith…)

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I am so sick and tired of the devil attacking us! Thankfully I recognize his tactics and I know that it comes from him.

It all started last week with my new debit card I got from a new bank. I barely had it for a few days and when I was in the store buying groceries my card was declined. I knew it couldn’t be because there were not sufficient funds as I had just the previous day deposited quite a large amount into the card, and I was buying for less than 20% of the available balance. So I insisted they try again, and it was once again rejected. Then they phoned for authorisation and it was rejected a third time. By that time I felt like the earth should swallow me up, out of embarrassment, since nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I used to work at one of the largest banks in the country for more than 14 years, so I know pretty much all about what can go wrong with cards like this and I could not think of one single reason why it would be rejected. When I got home I phoned the bank immediately and it seemed they froze my account, because apparently they never received my proof of address and identification, yet I gave it to them twice, once when I applied and then again when I received my card. When I told them that, the lady suddenly said, “O, here it is, yes, we have received it, I am so sorry!” and it took her less than a minute to locate my documents and remove the hold on my account. There was absolutely no reason for this to happen, except to get me upset, and at that stage I didn’t realize yet that the devil had his hand in this…

The next thing was on Tuesday morning I took a bath, got out and felt quite good. I started to blow dry my hair and within 5 minutes of standing there I had an incredible pain in my lower back and right hip, so bad that I had to lie down immediately and it felt like I would pass out if I didn’t. After a while I felt better and went to the kitchen to make myself breakfast. I let the dogs into the house and I saw there was a swollen lump over Shumi’s left eye and on the left side of his head. That is the side where the tumour originally started. It upset me quite a bit to see that…

From there I limped around the house to get ready for the feeding Scheme I volunteer at, but I noticed I could not stand for long. So I went, but I sat down on a chair and told them that my back is really sore. I only stood for the 20 minutes or so that it took for me to hand out the bread, and then I had to sit back down again… I went home from there and by the time I got home I just felt like crying and falling down on the bed. Fortunately I made an appointment with my Chiropractor for later that afternoon, since my back was a little sore the day before already. Then I started to get cramps in my tummy and the devil tried to convince of terrible things happening, but I refused to believe that. Fortunately a while later I recognized the cramps as cramps in my colon, and not related to our baby, and it was due to a typical pregnancy symptom, constipation.

The treatment at the chiropractor helped a lot, and she said it was another typical pregnancy related symptom and not due to sciatica that I used to suffer from. She advised I wear a pregnancy support belt around my hips especially when I stand or walk for a while.

Yesterday morning Shumi looked a lot worse than on Tuesday morning. The swelling looked about double from what it was the day before. I felt a bit better, but I decided to wear the support belt, since we were going shopping for a mattress for the cot we bought last week and for materials to make a mosquito net to cover the cot. I was fine at the first shop but at the second shop I was starting to feel the same again as the previous day, and I told DH that we must finish up so that I can go home. So DH looked for a shop assistant to help us, since we made up our minds about what we wanted to buy. He got one and when she was almost where I was a lady interrupted her and asked her to help her instead and this shop assistant stopped, turned around and started helping this other lady. By that time I was sitting on the floor of the shop since I could not stand any longer. I was upset, but I didn’t say anything, and DH decided that he would find me a chair to sit on. So we found one and I told DH that I’m not moving until he found someone else to help us. Well, I barely sat when one of the shop employees tried to tell me that I was sitting in her way, and that I had to move, so I just moved the chair a bit out of the way, and she saw from my face that I was not feeling well at all, and about to burst into tears, so she left me alone after that. Eventually the other lady was finished with her shopping and the original shop assistant was ready to help us, and a few minutes later we were able to go home.

By that time it was well over an hour later than my usual lunch time and I was feeling very hungry and weak and I think I my blood sugar was also low by that time. We got home and found a letter in the mailbox from the municipality stating that they haven’t received a deposit from us to connect the water and electricity, which is nonsense off course, since they never connect it without the deposit. I wasn’t worried about that, but I asked DH to go sort it out after lunch since I didn’t feel up to standing in any queues. A few moments later we realized our electricity was disconnected and we could not make the lunch we wanted to, so DH just ate a sandwich quickly and got into the car with our proof of payment. I was so upset by then that I just went to lie down and felt like crying and crying. And then I suddenly realized what was happening – all this was happening just to upset us. So I got up again out of bed and decided the devil is not going to get what he wants from me…

I made myself a sandwich, I hung the laundry I did earlier on the line and about half an hour later DH was back saying that they don’t know how or why it happened as the computer system says that we have paid our deposit and it was never supposed to be disconnected at all. Apparently the lady at the municipality was so embarrassed and could not stop apologizing for the inconvenience and another half an hour later our electricity was connected again.

By last night we saw the swelling on Shumi’s head and over his eye was much bigger than yesterday morning and he could almost not see out of that eye anymore because it was swollen so much. So DH sat me down and said that we must now discuss the one thing I have been avoiding for almost a year and a half now, euthanizing Shumi.

I feel like a failure, that I failed Shumi and my mom, because I believe that God can and wants to heal, and that He’s made provision for it already as a matter of fact, yet my mom had to die and now Shumi will probably have to die too…

It feels like I’m throwing in the towel, that I’m giving up on Shumi, and that I should have been able to get a breakthrough. I mean I got pregnant didn’t I? Why couldn’t my mom and Shumi be healed too? I know the fault does not lie with God, so then it must lie with me, and I just cannot figure out what more I can do, or what else I should have done, or where my weakness lies…

All I know is that the devil attacked me so much more lately to weaken my resolve, to make me tired and get me to sin so that he can gain power from that, and to get me to give in so that he can once again steal, kill and destroy what I don’t want him too… I know the fact that Shumi got cancer is all my fault. In between my second failed IVF and when Shumi got sick a few months later I can distinctly remember saying so many times aloud, “Nothing must happen to Shumi, because I just don’t know if I’ll ever be able to cope with that too…” You see the failures of the 2 IVF’s and a little bit later the failed FET was getting to me, and my mom was diagnosed with cancer also just after my second IVF and it just felt like almost everything was going wrong and I started to fear that something bad will happen to the closest thing I had to a child at that stage and that was Shumi. Saying those things and my fear opened a door for the devil, and allowed him to make Shumi sick…

I slept very poorly again last night, upset about Shumi, and trying to think what else I can do. I know that my faith has wavered a bit since my mom passed away, and that I’ve probably limited God again, by thinking thoughts like, “cancer is so much harder to get healed than infertility.”

All I know is that God has helped us a lot with Shumi – two vets we saw gave Shumi maximum 3 months to live around the middle of July last year. I’ve quoted this before, but I want to share it again:

What is the prognosis for dogs with nasal cavity tumors?
One study of 139 dogs showed that without treatment, the average survival time is 95 days. Another study showed that dogs who underwent surgery alone had median survival 3-6 months, which is comparable to that reported for no treatment. Prognosis of dogs who show symptoms of nose bleeding appears to be worse (median survival of 88 days) compared to those without it (medial survival of 224 days). The median survival time after full course of radiation treatment alone ranges from 8 to 19.7 months, and 43-60% of dogs are alive 1 year after radiation and 11-44% 2 years post-radiation. The use of CT imaging to plan radiation treatment can increase the survival range to 11-19.7 months. Although radiation therapy alone is able to provide local control of nasosinal tumours for approximately 10 months, and thus prolongs the patients’ overall survival, most dogs will eventually die as a result of local disease progression. New approaches to control these tumours need to be developed to further improve the response and overall survival.

Several characteristics are associated with poorer outcomes (shorter survival) in dogs with nasosinal tumours such as being over 10 years old, having a tumour-induced facial deformity, presence of lymph node or other organ metastasis, or lack of resolution of clinical signs after radiation therapy.”

Now if you take into account that Shumi’s nose started bleeding last year in April already and this study said that dogs who had symptoms of nose bleeding had a median survival of 88 days then Shumi should have died somewhere in June or July last year already. That was only when we got the diagnosis of his nasal tumour, and it’s been more than 17 months since his nose bleeds started. I know both vets that have seen Shumi have been baffled as to why he has survived this long without treatment and I really believe it was God, so I will praise Him for that.

I knew facial deformity is one of the symptoms, but I’ve never thought that it would happen so fast. In 2 days his face has swollen up to this:

(I took this picture this morning)

I am scared to take Shumi to the vet and that he will say that we have to have Shumi put down, but I cannot bear to see him suffer either. I had hoped I would never have to make a decision like this. I just cannot take him on my own, I would break down if I have to leave him there, and DH cannot take him today because he has work commitments. Shumi does seem to be uncomfortable and somewhat unhappy about his swollen head, and he definitely does not like it when I touch it, even if it is ever so slightly, but there are also times when he comes to me with a ball in his mouth, wagging his tail with an expression of, “Please mommy, please come play with me!” and then he seems way too healthy to be euthanized…

O, this breaks my heart!

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