Saturday, December 19, 2009


Have you seen those bumper stickers on cars saying "igbok"? I'm probably way behind the times, but I just found out what that means this week. "It's going to be ok." Of course, it was my savvy teenaged son who told me! And it was when I was about to embark on the second or third mini meltdown of the week. He turned to me and said, "igbok." I love that kid!

Once I clued in to the meaning of that acronym, I realized how much that it calms me down. I think it speaks to my innate need for comfort and security and I love to hear someone say to me that it's going to be ok.

Almost eleven years ago, when I was diagnosed with a malignant thyroid tumor, I remember talking to a good friend on the phone, telling him about what we had learned from the doctor. His words to me brought me such comfort when he said, "you're going to be ok." This friend wasn't a doctor, but I believe that God was using him to speak to me and remind me that my health was in God's hands.

A few weeks later, after the surgery to remove my thyroid, I had to spend three days quarantined in the hospital to receive radioactive iodine treatment. I was isolated in a room and couldn't have visitors. The nights were the worst, because my room was on an oncology ward and I would sometimes hear announcements of other patients "coding" and hear commotion out in the hallway. It was a dark and scary time for me. During one of those nights, I couldn't sleep and was afraid, so I turned on the TV to get a distraction. I channel-surfed and wound up on a Christian broadcast station which was playing a Michael English concert. I don't rememember much about it except the words of the song he was singing. "It's going to be alright," he sang over and over. What a huge comfort that was to me in the middle of the night lying in a hospital bed dealing with the word "cancer" being attached to my name! I was able to fall back asleep and was so thankful to God for once again bringing me comfort with those words. Thankfully, the doctors and friends were right. I was and am ok from that health issue (and some people reading this might not even know that I ever went through that experience).

God has been faithful to comfort me through other hard times in my life, some big, some small. I remember when I was going through the difficult days of my marriage separation, God comforted me with His Word in Isaiah 41:10:
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

For me, that was a huge "igbok" from the Lord. He didn't say that I wasn't going to go through the pain of divorce or that everything would work out the way I wanted it to. But He reminded me that He was with me and that He would be holding my hand. Igbok.

I did a little research about igbok and found the website of the people who coined the acronym. It is biblically-based and speaks truth that we can believe. At this season of celebrating the coming of the Prince of Peace, may we all find comfort and joy in those little letters. Igbok.

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