A Blessing in the Storm

Lord, You are my hope and my song. Through all things You are there working out Your good, eternal purposes and my trust remains in You.  You are unstoppable. Your plan never fails. Thank You for Your great, great love for each one. In Your blessed name, I pray. Amen

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro ©2017


Yesterday was a watershed day for us. For the first time in over a year there was a relief from some of the difficult challenges which we have faced. Up until then it has seemed as each new thing or worsening thing has just piled up on what was already there. Yes, I do have thyroid cancer again—or perhaps still. (The semantics here are unimportant.) The cancer simply is and we have been in the process since Monday of working with professionals to design and move forward with the best course of action. However, it has been more a bit more complicated than that because for seemingly unrelated symptoms right before Christmas an abdomen CT scan was also ordered and its results were also given to us on Monday. There were two unexpected items which showed up on the scan for which additional scans were recommended. One could indicate the thyroid cancer has spread to my lungs. The other could indicate an additional whole new cancer in another area of the body.

Reports like this when initially received tend to temporarily make it hard to breathe. We have to pause and take stock, remember nothing is a surprise to God and decide how to move forward.

For me the only option is to trust in God. I had my years when I didn’t believe in God and thought I had to figure it all out myself. To live without faith is to live dependent on the hope of random luck in the midst of unavoidable injustice and unfairness. It is to live in a hope which is based on nothing solid and which eventually fails.

My husband and I have been in a fierce and unrelenting storm since Christmas 2015. Some of what we have experienced includes, lies, manipulation and betrayal from someone very close to us and loved by us who has had an extreme change in personal ethics and character, my father’s death, my mother’s sudden serious health challenges, our home broken into (door literally broken down) and robbed. Simple things like having to replace a refrigerator and dishwasher were not simple. Once purchased, they took a solid month and lots of phone calls to get installed. Then between Thanksgiving week and Christmas came the trifecta,  Revelation of the much greater extent of the lies and degree to which we had been used by the person we had trusted (which hurt the most), my husband was let go unexpectedly from his job of 11 years and I was told that my annual ultrasound showed abnormal lymph nodes, meaning a likely resurgence of thyroid cancer.

Through all of this God has been with us. We have been very aware of His provision and care.

There can be a mistaken notion that the existence and presence of God guarantees heaven on earth, but that simply isn’t true. Jesus is our example. He is the Way, Truth and Life and no other. Jesus in His singular pursuit of Father’s will ended up persecuted, tortured, mocked and executed. (And He was God’s only begotten Son!) As believers, we have an obligation to consider our expectations and make sure they are in alignment with the will of God.

I would like to believe in a God who gives me everything I want when I think I need it and Who protects me from everything which is uncomfortable and unpleasant. It’s nice to have these wishes, but they are not based on the reality in which we find ourselves. This is not how God, who is fully and always fathomless, infinite Love, created reality to be.

There will be storms. There will be an end for each of us to these temporary temporal lives. Through it all the Lord cries to our hearts, “Peace. Be still. Do not be afraid.”

Thus in spite of such a hard year, we have been crushed, but He has been our resiliency. By an understanding of who He is, what He promises and the divine, eternal purpose He is working through all things, we have been strengthened to stay upright and keep moving forward one step at a time into whatever is His will for us.  He has been and remains our only solid ground.

This is a critical piece of the understanding needed. To trust God is not to pretend He will answer prayers our way or that we suddenly will experience only what we perceive as good, just and right from here to eternity.

We are following Jesus. Our Master All-Good Shepherd has gone before us to show the Way. Now He leads us from where we are to the brink where He Himself will serve as our bridge from all that has been into all which will be. There and only there will all tears be washed away (by God the Father Himself). For now we follow.

 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, 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 overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalm 23)

He will lead us to walk our own paths of pain through dark valleys, carrying our own unique crosses for here is not the perfection of heaven. As the enemy tries to crush, kill and destroy, the Lord uses all this to draw us closer to Himself, to prune us to be more like Him and more fruitful for Him, to restore and heal us from all that wounds us, equip us to be better ambassadors for His kingdom, and flow through us (when we let Him) to reveal Himself to others for His heart is for them to be with Him forever as well as us. This is His focus. This is His vision—to use all things in this fallen realm through which to do His work of revealing the reality of who He is, what Christ did and the gift of the Spirit now so that others can choose to be in His flock and be led home as well. The Lord is always and through all things about this work.

We can choose to come to rest in His promises from here to eternity (which is to be with us and use us through hard things, not to keep us from these) and walk through them sensing His presence, comfort, provision and work through them, or we can choose worry, fear and despair. It does require a choice just as choosing to believe in Him so we can become His adopted children eligible for His eternal inheritance requires a choice. The choice is not one-time. It is ongoing. The choice is not easy. It would often seem nice if we didn’t have to choose and all could simply be easy and lovely. Again—that’s not how it is.

Thus my husband and I though feeling very pressed down upon by all that has been going on have not been destroyed by it. We understand all this is part of this life. Our prayer has been and remains that the Lord would work His immeasurable good through it, similar to what He did through Jesus’ obedience and submission to the difficulties of His earthly life which eventually led to a horrific death on the cross: Lord, not our will but Yours. Lord, we trust in You and that You will enable us to get through whatever comes. Use us wherever this takes us to expand Your kingdom. Flow through us that people would encounter You more. Do not let one hardship go to waste. We offer these to you to use as is best for the coming to faith and deepening of faith of all the world. None of this is by our strength or goodness, but by Yours. Use us as Your vessels and we know and acknowledge eventually our work and offering will be done here and You will call us home. (Bliss!)

Yet, in the midst of the ongoing storm, He has given us a gift. Yes, I have thyroid cancer again. Yes, it may have spread and that needs to be evaluated. It should be treatable. (Praise You and thank You, Lord.) Yesterday, we received two gifts which instead of causing us to have to choose faith even though we were being pressed down upon more, lifted some of the weighty happenings in our lives. One day after being told I need to be prepared to consult Stanford or UCSF to get an interdisciplinary team together to help me deal with a potentially complex cancer situation, we were informed that the likelihood of a second, different cancer is remote. In addition, my husband was offered a job. God willing, he will get the firm offer sometime this afternoon and be able to wait to begin until after my surgery.

God continues to bless us. He has been with us through the fierce storm of the past year. This storm in many regards is not over—including my pending cancer surgery in late February and further diagnosis, and in regards to the one we love who for now has forgotten who he is. But how thankful we are for relief of a bit of the pressure. Though we have been praising and worshiping Him throughout, it does make it easier to dance before His throne. We are grateful

Thank you to each of you who have prayed for us.  We appreciate you beyond words for He is about the business of answering and doing so gloriously.  Please continue to partner with us in prayer as we will also partner with you in your journey that through ALL things, He will be made known and visible in the way He knows is best and that daily beyond what we can see He will cause there to be eternal good effect in someone’s life because we chose to walk the path before us trusting Him.  To our Lord be ALL glory!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your  own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  (Prov. 3:5-6)

The End


God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.
This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time.  http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner, Accredited Financial Counselor and financial coach with a heart for helping people understand their money and steward it God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro  please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.   

GOD-Powered, GOD-Reliant; at Rest in All Storms

Lord, we trust in You for all things at all times. We are in awe of You; we dance before Your throne.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011

Many of us have been trained in an incorrect way.  We have been trained to be self-reliant and by self-determination to believe we can cause everything to happen the way we want.  Yet as followers of Jesus Christ, we know God is the One with the plan for our lives, and the power and perfect way to accomplish it.  When did we slip into the deception that on our own we have the power to cause anything to happen? When did we become God?

Working with God is a partnership for us as it was for Jesus.  Jesus listened; the Father gave Him instructions; then Jesus did as the Father said.  We are “followers” of Jesus.  Jesus was the example.  Therefore, this is how we are to work with God as well.

But to be Jesus-followers (who follow God the Father’s instructions as imparted to us by the Holy Spirit instead of being self-driven) changes how we are to be.  Where we were self-reliant, we understand ultimately God is in control, therefore we are God-dependent, trust in His provision and listen for His instruction.  We realize that as God His plan for our lives must be better than our own and so we seek it with all our heart.  Instead of believing we can make things happen by our own strength and self-determination, we realize it is God’s power at work in us and through us that enables all things.  If God is against that which we want to accomplish or the way (or timing) with which we attempt to accomplish it, He can and will stop progress.  Without His enabling power accompanying our efforts, we can achieve nothing – no matter how hard we try!

Faith in Him causes us to trust Him and that He will come through for us in the perfect way in His perfect timing, no matter what we see going on in the world around us.  Thus challenges, obstacles, actual problems and looming potential issues become as nothing to us.  Worry melts into praise in joyful anticipation, for we know Who we serve.  Yes, we understand the difficulties with which life presents us.  We know there will be struggles, suffering and eventual death, but we can be encouraged by the temporary nature of our bodies and our lives for we are bound for eternity.  We know who is at work in and around us and believe God will fulfill His promise to use all for good and not for evil in our lives and the lives of those around us.

In Psalm 46:1-2 we read: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…” Powerful imagery for such a time as this when the news makes it seem as if the world is falling apart in every regard.  Picture for a moment the earth giving way.  Consider the mountains falling into the heart of the sea – not the edge of the sea, but into the middle of it.  In order for mountains to fall into the heart of the sea would require a natural disaster of epic proportions!  And yet, even then He calls us not to fear.

How mighty is our God.  How great His power and way.  Thus our focus in all things at all times is to be as in Prov. 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.”

How awesome our God!  How exquisite His promises to care for us!  How inscrutable His Way!  How blessed we do not have to fear no matter what the news says, but can trust in Him.

Selah (pause, and calmly think of that)!


1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.

5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.  He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

10 He says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 

11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.


UPCOMING DEVOTION: GOD & The Financial Markets

PLEASE remember to view the new song, “ONE NATION UNDER GOD” on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d593RguxQI8&feature=share  SHARE the link!  Let’s let everyone know that the USA is and remains one nation under God and be encouraged in how God values every individual.

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.