What Satan intended for evil, God will use for good.

woman in hospital bed hooked up to IVLife can change in an instant. While we all realize that, we never really expect it.

If you follow my Facebook page, you’re vaguely aware of what has gone on in my life this month. Most of you don’t know, but no doubt noticed I didn’t post my usual Tuesday blog last week.

Saturday, Dec. 3, arrived as most Saturday mornings. I was enjoying the morning with a Christmas movie, with plans to prep the month’s blog posts that afternoon. At about 10:00 a friend called and said, “Do you want to have coffee?”

“Sure.” I stripped off my PJs, donned some clothes, and headed for Starbucks.

Thirty minutes later, my brother called with the news that our 91-year-old mother had fallen and been taken to the ER. A couple hours later, a stroke was confirmed. My brother drove down from Omaha, picked me up, and drove us to Kansas City. A waterfall of events washed over us from that point on.

Mom had a massive stroke, destroying nearly the full right half of her brain. She had a living will and didn’t want any extraordinary measures taken to keep her alive. The doctors had placed her on a ventilator during her time in the ER; we now faced the decision of taking her off.

Children and grandchildren gathered to say goodbye. Family who lived too far away called and we put the phone to Mom’s ear. Each day, she slowly slipped away.

Daily decisions thrust us into more turmoil. Eventually she was moved from ICU to a regular room, where our vigil over her impending death continued.

For me the situation escalated when I began experiencing severe stomach pain. By Wednesday night, Dec. 7, I found myself in the ER. Two pain killer injections and an ultrasound later, the doctors sent me home with pills for a suspected ulcer. I spent Thursday at my sister’s house recouping, but still dealing with pain.

My daughter arrived from Arkansas that night, and on Friday morning we drove to the hospital so she could spend time with her grandmother and say her goodbyes. My siblings took one look at me, called the nurse into the room, and they all insisted I go downstairs to the ER. The excruciating pain of the last 3 days kept any argument I might have had at bay.

By early afternoon, I found myself admitted and placed in a room on the oncology floor just down the hall from my mom. As soon as I was able, I wheeled my IV down to Mom’s room and spent my time there. Night fell and I returned to my bed. My sister stayed at Mom’s bedside. At 2:35 or so, Dec. 10, a nurse entered and woke me. Mom was gone.

Throughout the weekend, doctors parading in and out of my room delayed my grief. Though the words “life threatening” were never used, they seemed implied. One possibility after another was suspected and tested for—all serious conditions. All the tests turned out negative. Nothing in my history supported their suspicions.

Three CT scans, a biopsy, a colonoscopy, a radio-isotope full body scan, almost daily blood draws, and 6 days later, they discharged me. Final decision: celiac artery dissection (the layers of this major artery to the abdomen had split apart), with instructions to keep my stress at paradise level and watch my blood pressure. If the pain returns, dial 911.

What Satan intended for evil, God will use for good!

As writers, everything we experience can find its way into our writing. As Christian writers, the lessons we learn, the comfort we receive, the spiritual growth that occurs during a trial, must make its way into our writing in one way or another be it through our fiction or nonfiction.

We are the salt and light of the earth (see Matt. 5:13-16). Those who are lost need the message of life in Christ that we can bring to them.

God has called you to write. Trust and seek Him as you write the words He has given you. As you face the many tasks of publishing, ask God to show you the way. Find His promises within the Bible and stand on them.

As Christ died on the cross he said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30). In His death He provided our salvation, all that is necessary for godly living (2 Pet 1:3), and all the blessings of heaven are available to us (Eph. 1:3). We need not worry about anything. God has provided all we need. We just have to trust Him and rest in His provision for us.

mountain with rainbowIf you are tempted to doubt, consider this: God sacrificed His son to reconcile mankind to Him. Why would He dishonor Christ’s sacrifice by not fulfilling His promises or answering our prayers?

Let me leave you with this final word as you seek to fulfill God’s destiny for your life through your writing. “Remember the LORD your God. He is the One who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant He confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.” (Deut. 8:18 NLT)

God is faithful to His Word.

Want to get published but don’t know where to start?

Maybe you have a finished manuscript or just an idea stuck in your head. Email me today at Deb [at] DebraLButterfield [dot] com, and let's discuss how I can help you reach your dream of publication.


  1. Abba be with you and heal you!

  2. Debra, my prayers are with you. May our God continue healing and strengthening your body and mind.

  3. Praises Jesus that your mom is enjoying paradise and you are well again. Praying for continued healing and God’s infinite guiding hand in your life!

  4. What a difficult month you have endured! I will be praying for your full recovery and to be at peace during this season of grief.
    Thank you for the quote from Deuteronomy. These are almost the exact words that I told to myself this morning!

    • Thank you for your prayers, Linda. They are much appreciated. I’m glad the verse from Deuteronomy was a confirmation of sorts for you.

  5. Cheryl Barker says:

    Deb, continuing to keep you in my prayers as you grieve the loss of your mom and as you recover physically. Trust is a word that God has been impressing on me this month and bringing to my attention often and He’s done it again through your blog post. One more confirmation that trust will be my theme word for 2017. God bless and comfort you, friend!

    • Cheryl, thank you for your prayers. God is answering them in powerful ways. I believe my word/s for 2017 are “rest” and “kingdom authority.” As Christ’s return draws near, our trust in God must be firm. I pray He guides you to new levels in your relationship.

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