Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Between The Rains


Our Bible Study is studying Beth Moore’s new Bible Study, James, Mercy Triumphs.  Several months ago, I worked through the workbook with my friends from Bible Café, but did not see the videos.  Last Thursday, I was able to watch it with my Bible Study friends.  What a blessing!  I’m sure that she was speaking directly to me.  Don’t we always think that way?  She quoted James 5: 7, 8, Therefore, brothers, be patient until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient.”  
Waiting and being patient is always the hardest part, isn’t it?  God surely must be speaking to me about this because I received a beautiful comment on the Bible Café blog from Robin.  She sent me a sermon entitled, “In the Wait”.  She shared three important points.
  • Positive #1 - Know that whatever it is you are waiting on; know that GOD IS IN THE WAIT WITH YOU. If whatever it is you are waiting on is wearing you down know that God is with you and He is there to encourage you.
  • Positive #2 - Know that God will STRENGTHEN YOU "In the Wait", not in your strength but in His Strength.
  • Positive #3 - God wants to deliver you "In the Wait."

Beth Moore stressed that we must spend our time “between” the rains getting to know God.  She quoted Hosea 6:3, Let us strive to know the Lord. 
His appearance is as sure as the dawn. 
He will come to us like the rain, 
like the spring showers that water the land.” Deuteronomy 11:13,14 says this, “If you carefully obey my commands I am giving you today, to love the Lord your God and worship Him with all your heart and all your soul,  I will provide rain for your land in the proper time, the autumn and spring rains, and you will harvest your grain, new wine, and oil.”
God knows that I want and need to be healed from this cancer.  There have been so many prayers sent up on my behalf.  During this Lent season, waiting on The Most High God, I want to “give it up” and get to know Him in an even more intimate way.  As I wait for the “rains” to come, I bow down and worship my Creator and friend, Jesus Christ with all my heart and soul. 
“See, we count as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job's endurance and have seen the outcome from the Lord. The Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” James 5:11
For the next few days, I will be “on the other side of the mountain”.  Healing Drip #3 was  yesterday--just laying low in the arms of the Lord and “waiting”.


Friday, February 24, 2012

The Good Week


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

What a blessing this week has been!  So many good things have happened.


The spring flowers have started to bloom,
and
God is Good!

    Two weeks out from my second “healing drip," and I’m feeling alive again.  Sitting here in my chair, the windows open to the fresh air; listening to the beautiful wind chimes; I thank God for my week. This is what has happened:
  • Attended church--glorious praise and powerful teaching
  • Attended Bible Study with my friends (We're studying Beth Moore's, James)
  • Was treated to a Birthday Lunch by my two precious friends.
  • Hugged all three of my children and five of my seven grandchildren; was serenaded by all of them, some via Skype, some on the phone, and three in person.
  • Received a delightful "Hope"scarf from a dear friend. (She sewed silver charms that said, "hope, peace, love, faith, etc." on to the scarf.) Beautiful and so meaningful.
  • Blessed with a prayer shawl from another dear sister.  I know that she prayed with every stitch.  As I wrap it around my shoulders, I feel her love.

  • Went by Hancocks Fabrics and purchased four beautiful yards of material for headscarves. I have decided that this will be my new look!
Girl With A Pearl Earring by
Johannes Vermeer 1665
  • Friends have gone through their drawers and brought me their square scarves. :-)
  • Ate a wonderful meal, lovingly prepared by another sweet friend.
  • Birthday flowers have overtaken my house from friends and family.
  • Thanks to my daughter and friends, our freezer is full of casseroles, soups, and goodies.
We are blessed.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Grace Is Sufficient For You


Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick. When Jesus heard that, He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

Cancer is not fun--wild, crazy, out-of-control cells causing mayhem in my body.  A previously healthy, fit person laid low by the drugs that must now be used to fight this insidious disease.  But, I thank God for them.  I pray that God will direct these drugs specifically toward those cells like Pac-man chomping up the little dots.

God is a healing God.  At the beginning of this journey, He told me…“This is not unto death.”  Those words keep coming at me, wrapping around my heart as I lay awake at night, unable to sleep.  I breathe in and out   “Je..sus, Je..sus” .  And I hear him say, “I’m here, Cindy.”  He sits down softly beside me on the bed, his presence real in the dark room. He knows because He’s been there.  He’s suffered it all—more than I could ever imagine. 

Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus.  He would not have purposely caused them suffering.  He knew that their suffering would be turned into ecstatic joy and gladness—springing them into the Kingdom of God.  Mary, especially, did not understand why Jesus did not come and heal her brother.  But this sickness would result in glorifying the Healer of the Universe. 

Paul saw suffering in the same way, And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9,10

Amen

Monday, February 13, 2012

Don't Be Concerned


     It was going to happen; it was inevitable.  They told me it would take about ten days; and they were right.  I woke last Thursday morning and realized my hair was falling out.  The reason a person loses their hair in chemo is because the drugs attack the newest cells….like the bad cancer ones, but also, the good ones like your hair.  It’s OK, it really is. 1 Peter 3:3,4 says it this way, “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” Well, Lord, I submit my spirit to you; that's all I have right now.
            There were two sweet friends who offered to shave my head before all of my hair fell out.  But, when I woke up that morning, there wasn’t a lot of time to get with either of them and make it happen.  My second “healing drip” was scheduled for noon that day.  What was I going to do? I sat down in my chair to begin my morning prayer time with the Lord, when I heard my phone ping.  It was my friend, Rhonda, from church.  In her text she said that she was praying for me and had sent a special song to me via Facebook.  Rhonda! Rhonda was a beautician.  Maybe Rhonda would come and shave my head?  I texted her back. Yes, she would be happy to.  In fact, for some reason that morning she had lingered at home instead of going on to school.  Thank you, Lord.  You care about even the small things like this.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Recalculating


Two years ago, I flew from Arkansas to Massachusetts to attend a “silent retreat” at the St. Joseph Retreat Center in Cohasset, MA.  The entire eight days was devoted to silence, prayer, and just being with God.  It was so easy.  At the end of my week, my husband (a pilot) and I decided that I would rent a car, drive from Cohasset to New York, and catch a flight home to Arkansas with him.  I was game.  In the rental was an simple GPS system that would help me find Preston. He told me that I would be fine as long as I didn’t go over the bridge and end up in New York City. The trip went well with only a few “recalculations”.  That is until I approached New York City.  Looking at the map, I thought that I could “wing” it and not listening to the GPS, made a wrong and crucial turn. The woman’s voice got more and more demanding with her “recalculating, recalculating”!  It looked like I was going entirely in the wrong direction.  I knew I’d really messed up when I passed by the Bronx Zoo.  Uh, oh, I was in trouble.  It was 5:00 in the evening, and I found myself right in the middle of rush hour traffic in New York City.  As a small town girl (pop. 4,000), I admit to a slight………let me be honest and say……huge feeling of panic!  Taking a deep breath, I prayed that God would get me out of there.  Knowing that God and the GPS knew exactly where I was, I focused on taking the right turns, trusting with a blind faith that I could make my way through the maze of streets.  And it was a maze!  The GPS usually takes the shortest route, so I turned down side streets and one that even looked like an alley!  At one time, I was stopped underneath the Lincoln Tunnel and the GPS starting saying, "recalculating, recalculating" because she had lost her signal!  Long story, short……..I found Preston!  I was never so glad to drive into that motel parking lot, praising and thanking God!
            This journey with breast cancer may look very similar.  Faith is stepping out into the unknown, believing that God is there to lead us to the other side.  There may be some panicky voices from others, but I have to listen to His still, quiet voice.  God reminded me this morning that this journey of faith is like that of a small, trusting child confidently taking her daddy’s hand.  At this point, the ONLY thing that I can do is trust that God knows exactly what He is doing and where we are going.
Joining up with Jennifer at 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

God's Healing Drip


OK, I admit, walking into that chemo lab for the first time was a bit scary. The sweet nurse put my husband and me in a small room so that she could explain the process.  The first drug that they were going to give me, she said, was a powerful one; and because it is red, some people called it “devil’s tail”.  Well, there is no way that I was going to call it that, so I renamed it “the healing blood of Jesus.”  She explained that the chemo would target the fast growing cells in my body.  There were side effects that might take place, but they would do everything they could to give me something to off set them. 

A young woman came in and sat down, obviously at home and familiar with the process.  “Hi, I’m Jamie.”  Jamie has Crohn’s Disease and was there for an infusion of potassium.  I explained that it was my first time, and she started filling me in on how it all works.  She was funny and smart, wise beyond her years.  She shared her concerns for her children and her health. Before I left that day, we agreed that we would pray for each other.  “It’s going to be alright,” she said.

The next day, I was back for an infusion of fluids, anti-nausea meds, and a drug that builds up blood cells.  Guess who was there?  Her face (and mine) lit up as I walked into the room.  There was my new friend, Jamie.  Patting the empty recliner beside her, she invited me to come sit down beside her.  God has already told me that this journey would be one where He would introduce me to many new people.  

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NIV).