Friday, December 16, 2011

The Gift of Grace Among Tangled Webs: An Izzy Update



“The sword of our soul does not acquire a keen sharp edge unless another’s wickedness hones it.” 
-St Gregory the Great
I write not because there is new information to share about Izzy, but because it is necessary to put into perspective the chaos occurring on some fronts of this spiritual battle.  Yes, spiritual battle.  Whether you believe it or not, all things of this earth have a spiritual component;  we are either striving for the Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of Self while walking this earth.  Some are on the front lines of such battles, while others like to believe they live in the void, totally removed from any religious belief or inclination*.    
For those on the front lines, this post is for you because you’ll understand what I’m talking about, knowing that Ephesians 6 belongs to you personally.
Any Christian who walks a path close to God is bound to encounter the attack of satan and his legions, indeed this is one indicator that you’re walking a path of faith.  It’s the high road, the narrow way in which the saints walk and beckon you who love God and the Kingdom of Light.    It’s the proverbial path less traveled, the one that takes effort, self-control, patience and perseverance, but offers greater rewards than our feeble minds can fathom.
This is the path my family treads, or attempts to tread every day.  We know it’s the way and yet we’re aware of the tangled webs looming at every curve.  We know that every good gift is from above and the wicked twisting of those gifts by our enemy.  The internet can be a tool of God, bringing people together in prayer and thanksgiving...touching lives for good in a matter of seconds, connecting many parts of the world in less time than it takes to say morning prayers.   It can also be a tool in satan’s arsenal; never doubt he knows and preys upon the weakness of men.
I will confess and tell you that one of my greatest faults is a short temper, giving in to anger that causes me to say and do things I shouldn’t...and then falling on self-righteousness to justify my actions.  I struggle with it... I’m aware of how my enemy will use this characteristic against me.  It’s a sticky web to fall into because when I cave to anger, I am no longer serving the Kingdom of God, I’m only serving my own chaos.
Another of those consuming webs is inherent in Facebook, the unleashing of the tongue that causes much harm (Psalms 39:1 and Proverbs 12:18).  The tongue of the wise brings healing, but reckless words pierce like a sword!  I could write ad nauseam about the anger I feel when reading audacious words about Izzy’s health and my sister’s beautiful family, but do you see what this accomplishes?  One sin feeding into another perpetuates chaos, the black cloud of hell.  God is the author of peace and clarity, conversely, satan is the author of lies, confusion and chaos.  When you write on Facebook, take just a moment to consider which Kingdom you are extending.


For those who love the truth, you will want to know that Izzy is well.  She is at home, joyfully anticipating Christmas, going to school, enjoying her new pets... happy!    For those who do not love the truth, you probably haven’t read thus far and it doesn’t matter to you anyway.  To give truth to those who do not love truth is to only give more reason for argument.  My role is to steer clear of those webs of untruth, of gossip and chaos inasmuch as is possible.  And, as you love our Lord and Saviour, I would encourage you dear reader, to stay away from deceit, loose tongues and gossip.  Let it end with you.
Your role, as much as Izzy is concerned, is not to do constant battle with those who wish to ensnare you in rumors and gossip, it is to declare the truth in peace and let it go.   It is not your role to call or message my sister and her family with every vile action or word that you hear, see or read.  Doing this perpetuates chaos, not peace.
Make no mistake though, for those who are entertained by deceits or harmful words or the details of other people’s lives; it is by your neglect and indulgence that brings harm to yourself as well as others.  If you wish to follow Christ, listen to His greatest commandment:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (St. Matthew 22)  Loving God means furthering the Kingdom of Light... it means practicing self-control, praying ceaselessly and using your words to bring peace, not confusion.
I am praying for all of you reading, for you must have a love of Izzy to be sharing in this post.  My prayer today is that each of you will have peace, contentment and joy.  It IS possible to experience God’s grace even in the mire... in fact, in my own life, I’ve experienced it time and time again and it is in this way that we can rejoice for our trials because, in the big picture, they only beckon us closer to God when we persevere and seek the Kingdom of Heaven. †

*It's called Secular Humanism...the religion of our modern age.

8 comments:

Dianna Thompson said...

It amazes me how quickly the devil works! As always I continue to prayer for your family. I lift Izzy up each night before I go to sleep and ask God for comfort and healing for her. It is with a grateful heart I hear that she is doing okay. Thank you for your updates and perspectives. God is working miracles through Jenny and her family. Merry Christmas and God bless. Please pass those sentiments on to your entire family.

Heath_827 said...

This is exactly why I didn't want to send anything before checking to make sure the story was valid first. Unfortunately there are a lot of rumors and they can spread like wildfire. Izzy is very special and if this is true, I would love to send her a Christmas card, though I pray and hope it would not be her last Christmas. We recieved this statment in our Journal Junction paper out of Martinsburg, WV:

"From Martinsburg:

I work at a local nursing home, and we received word about a little girl at Ruby Memorial Hospital. Her name is Izzy, and she is 4 years old. She has cancer and is going home with the help of Hospice to spend her last Christmas here on earth. When she was asked what she wanted for Christmas she said, "All the Christmas cards I can get." Please, please make this special little girl's wish come true. 44 cents is such a small price to make this girl happy. Please send your card to: Izzy McManaway, P.O. Box 53 Fayetteville, WV 25840. Thank you!"

Please let me know if this is true or not, or if the family wishes cards to be sent there. I will wait on your reply before sending anything. If you wish, you can send me an email instead to heather.barth@gmail.com. God bless and will be praying for the whole family.
The fact that I am writing this comment to you is a miracle in itself, b/c I was not expected to live past high school graduation due to a rare genetic breathing disorder I was born with. I am now 28 years old. If you are interested I would love to share that with you.

Hope to hear from you soon, Merry Christmas :)

amy said...

Dianna, thank you and I will pass along your heartfelt comments. I hope you & your loved ones have a very merry Christmas!

Heath 827,

Thank you for taking the time to discern the truth! And God Bless you and the miracles in YOUR life!

No, the statement you quoted in the Journal Junction is INCORRECT and makes me ill to read....

As I stated in this post, Izzy is at home, feeling good, going to school, anticipating Christmas and loving her new pets... all is well. She has never requested the Christmas cards, although a friend of Izzy's mom asked to set up the P.O. Box so that well-wishers could send their greetings there. This was approved, and, of course, these cards are welcome... but no, Izzy never made such request.

Merry Christmas to you & your loved ones. :)

Heath_827 said...

you are welcome, thanks for letting me know!

Anonymous said...

Please tell Izzy that her story, her post on Facebook, led me here to read this blog. I didn't want to repost the spam I had read without checking the facts first. I am a complete stranger who has been struggling with my relationship with the man above. You (who wrote this blog) have written some strong words I needed to hear for my own reasons and being led here was a blessing for me. You truly have no idea to what extent I say and mean, the words "Thank You". Bless you and your family and I am truly sorry for all the unecessary attention you have to deal with. In my case, it may be what ends up saving me with my struggles. Much love, respect and prayers to you, your family and Little Miss Izzy!!!

Anonymous said...

Izzy is a dear, sweet child who brings joy to all those around her. I can understand being upset that it has been posted on facbook that she is receiving hospice care. I wouldn't go as far as saying that facebook is the devils work. The people that take the time to repost or to send Christmas cards, are doing so because they care about a little girl with an aggressive cancer. The fact that Izzy's story can touch so many people that they take the time to pray, and show kindness, is not the work of the devil, but of God. I think the post office box for Christmas cards is a wonderful way for Izzy, and her entire family to see that her life and her story has made a difference in the hearts of every person who sent a card. God Bless the entire McManaway family!

amy said...

Thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts and gracious words... the fact that God would use this space to touch someone's heart is humbling to me.

I pray you all have a blessed Christmas and that you & your loved ones may experience the peace that only Christ gives.

Anonymous said...

I just found this unfortunately my family has already sent her a card out.. I do apologize and hope this is not a problem we had great intentions and most certainly meant no harm in doing so

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