Monday, July 30, 2012

Thank You

You could have knocked me over with a feather.  On Thursday, my husband and I were planning on taking our granddaughters to my son’s Mexican restaurant.  When we walked in the door, I couldn’t quite process the fact that a group of my friends and family were sitting at a long table and smiling at me!  My youngest daughter, Starr,  had planned a surprise “no-mo chemo party” for me.  What a wonderful evening sitting and enjoying my precious friends and family…..a perfect ending/beginning to this journey that God has sent me on. I just wanted to hug everyone and not let go! 

How do I adequately say “thank you” to all of the people who have been and will continue to walk with me on this journey?  You have been God’s arms and legs to keep me company along the way.  The prayers, the cards, the food, the e-mails, the visits, the gifts……so many blessings.

Thank you to Christine from Women's Bible Cafe for giving me the opportunity to share my journey through the eyes of faith.  Thank you to all of the women at WBC who have written comments and prayed for me along the way.  Your own journeys have increased my faith.  What a blessing you have been to me! You will always be close to my heart.  I will continue to write about my journey here on my blog and will post updates at WBC. 

This coming Wednesday, I will have a double mastectomy to get rid of the last traces of this cancer.  It’s really, OK. Jesus still has a tight grip on my hand. 

I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you.  Philippines 1:3

Sunday, July 29, 2012

How Magnificent Is........

Monterrey Aquarium, July 2012

You made him lord over the works of Your hands; 
You put everything under his feet: 
the birds of the sky, 
and the fish of the sea 
that pass through the currents of the seas. 
Psalms 8:6,8

Monday, July 23, 2012

Soli Deo Gloria – Glory to God Alone

Cleansed, Clean, and Clear
Celebrating our 42nd Wedding Anniversary this week!

Did you hear it?  The huge sigh of relief and thanksgiving!  My PET/CT scans were clear; there were no signs of recurrence or metastasis.  The original cancer was deemed “mild” and felt to be post-surgical in etiology…and I haven’t even had the surgery yet.  The doctor was amazed.

Last Monday morning, I walked into the PET scan room with a sense of peace.  After my last chemo treatment the week before, I admit to having some anxiety.  But, as the week progressed, my anxiety was replaced with the “peace that passes all understanding”.  And so, as I lay on the narrow PET scanning bed with my hands over my head, I prayed.  The words “cleansed, clean, and clear” came into my mind.  God had already given me the word, “cleansed”.  Several months ago, I woke in the night after a difficult chemo treatment.  I sat up in bed and the word “cleansed” came to me in the dark quiet.  And now, God added the words clean and clear. 

Tuesday, the phone rang.  It was Dr. Gentry’s nurse.  “The reports came back early, and your scans look great!”  Wednesday morning Dr. Gentry went over all of the reports with us.  Preston and I couldn’t stop smiling!  We celebrated at the Purple Cow with a nice juicy hamburger.

Surgery and radiation are still ahead, but God has given us a confirmation that it will all be over soon.  And so, I wake every morning with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.  Soli Deo Gloria

Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ!
1 Corinthians 15:57

Monday, July 16, 2012

Faith Is . . .

It was another one of those times. Wednesday night during praise and worship, my heart was overwhelmed with all kinds of emotions.  I had just finished my last chemo treatment.  I was through!  Standing there in church and praising God, it just flooded over me—no more treatments!  Overcome, I knelt in His presence and heard Him say, “Confess your faith.”  Did I hear Him correctly? I had no proof that God had healed me yet; my PET scan and surgery were still in front of me.  With my heart pounding, I found my way over to Pastor Derek.  “May I say something?” I asked.  “Do you want to testify?” he asked.  “Yes, I do.”
Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.”  (Hebrews 11:1) Over the last six and a half months, I have prayed and hoped for healing. “Lord, it only takes a tiny little seed of faith to move mountains.”  I know I have that!  Honestly, though, I have to admit that there have been several times when I have prayed liked the father of the demon-possessed boy, who was thrown into the fire,

“If you can do anything, help us! Show us compassion!" Jesus said to him, "‘if you can do anything’? All things are possible for the one who has faith." At that the boy’s father cried out, "I have faith; help my lack of faith!" Mark 9:22-24
I started this journey here.  As I walk once again into the scanning lab this Monday morning, I take this picture with me.  All I know to do is to take a deep breath, pray, and believe.  That’s all the Lord requires.

Monday, July 9, 2012

How Has Your Suffering Been Redeemed?

The chemo room was like a turntable that morning.  When it was my turn to sit down, two sweet ladies we’re already sitting comfortable, receiving their morning drip.  Flo was 83 years old.  She was there because her first chemo treatment had just about knocked her off her feet, literally.  She told the nurse that she had felt like she was dying.  The other lady, Bonnie, a beautiful black lady, was in for her weekly drip, treating her over-multiplying white blood count.  Flo talked, but I don’t think Bonnie said anything except “Mmmm” when we talked about how God was the one who helped us through our sickness. Bonnie had this quiet dignity and gentle smile that spoke for her. 

In a short while, both Bonnie and Flo left replaced by Sandra and Summer. I met Sandra several weeks earlier.  She was in for her fourth bout with chemo.  With a shrug of her shoulders, she told me that she was about to lose her hair for the fourth time, laughing that each time it came in, it was different.  She has been fighting this ghastly disease for several years.   Sandra, however, wasn’t a victim—she was an overcomer.  She and her daughter had collected insulated bags from a local hospital, filled them with snacks and distributed them among the chemo rooms in several clinics.  She explained that sometimes you just get hungry during treatments, especially if a person is there for the day. 

While Sandra was talking to me, Summer sat down, curled her feet under her and turned her head away as the nurse stuck the needle in her port.  Summer was a beautiful young woman, about the age of my youngest daughter.  Her head was covered with the cutest grey cap, which she said her mother had made for her. Her story broke my heart.  She found out she had cervical cancer five years ago when she was pregnant with her little girl.  Choosing life for her baby, she put off her treatments until she was born.  By that time, the aggressive cancer had spread.  Summer has been in treatment for the last five years, only recently having her bladder removed.  But, she is a fighter!  Her precious little girl and handsome husband came into the room with us to check on her.  After they left, she told us that she would be in treatment for the rest of her life.

Yesterday, my husband and I attended church with my daughter.  The scripture was Isaiah 53.  The minister asked this question, “How has your suffering been redeemed?”  All of these ladies are suffering in their own way.  But, none of them blame God or feel sorry for themselves.  They are there to fight this hideous disease, knowing that God is fighting the fight for them.  They are strong and brave, holding on to God with all their might.    Yes, Jesus had already fought the fight, He bore the punishment
 that made us whole;
 by his wounds we are healed.”  We have been redeemed.

Monday, July 2, 2012

“If it were not so, I would have told you.”

"Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.  In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.” John 14:1-3

It’s a promise.  When God makes a promise, I believe it.  I believe that God is healing me of this cancer, but I also know that there will come a time when I will be with Him.  That is not a lack of faith, but a fact.  We all will spend eternity somewhere. 

Why don’t we spend more time thinking about Heaven?  That is what Christianity is all about.  Jesus died and was resurrected so that if we believe in Him, we will also die and be resurrected to live...forever.  That just fills my heart with joy!  When I think of heaven and spending eternity with the ones that I love, I just smile.

What is heaven like?  Randy Acorn wrote a book entitled, Heaven. Randy believes that, in heaven, we will all have some kind of important job for God, filling us with a fulfillment that doesn’t even compare to the best job here on earth!  Heaven will be the best of the best.  Think about the most joyous time of your life and multiply that times a million…. that is what I think Heaven is like.

Yesterday my husband and I toured Hearst Castle in California.  It was opulent to the extreme…beautifully perched on the top of a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  William Randolph Hearst spent 28 years of his life building his “ranch”.  He never even finished it, stopping only because of his health and (finally) lack of funds.  As we walked into the rooms inhabited at times by the likes of Cary Grant and Charlie Chapman—the beautiful Hollywood people, I felt only a sadness that these people lived for their day and not for eternity. 

Jesus promises “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) There’s no fear about going to Heaven.  Jesus said, “If it were not so, I would have told you.” I believe Him.

Swimming Pool at Hearst Castle