Nail -scarred Hands

Well, hello there. The last time I posted I was talking about God’s fatherly love. Right after that I ran out on an errand and caught 5 minutes of a sermon about that exact issue. It took me this long to sit down and catch the whole thing, and I’m so glad I did. God definitely set it up so I would catch that as confirmation of that type of love.

The sermon was by Adrian Rogers and it’s called the Stars and Scars of Christmas. http://m.oneplace.com/ministries/love-worth-finding/listen/the-stars-scars-of-christmas-241045.html
There was a ton of good stuff in it, but the part that goes with Fatherly love is that Christ experienced so much pain on earth, and not only was Jesus fully God, God is also the father who had to watch it.

Something else I found very applicable to this situation is that Dr. Rogers mentioned when we have physical pain, our whole body compensates and comes to the rescue. Like if you break your arm your other arm and muscles help to let the bad one recover. I strongly believe that is going on with the body of believers (and tons of nonbelievers) helping our family right now. I have never seen a community reach out like this and it’s amazing. Romans 12:4-5 says, “Just as each of us has one body with any members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” This is really big to me because I’ve been wondering why God is putting us on so many people’s hearts. There may be many other reasons, but demonstrating truth from the Word is a good one. It reminds me that the rest of it is true, too. I’ve said it before, but my family and I are so grateful for the outpouring of love and concern from everyone. Next to the stage 4 diagnosis it is the biggest surprise of my life. And it is definitely the best one.

Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.”

God the Father

Matthew 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Last night Naomi was sleeping in my arms while I was sad. I couldn’t wipe the tears from my eyes for fear of waking her, so I let them fall off my face and felt them land at the same time as hairs that were falling out of my head. Just as I inhaled to really lose it, God enveloped me with His love instead. I had been in the middle of praying for Naomi–that she wouldn’t go through this pain with or because of me–and felt His answer so clearly. Instead of assurance that she won’t suffer from this, I received what He knew I needed–a reminder that He is looking down at me the same way I look at her. I felt strongly that it pains Him as much to see me hurting as it does for me to think of my girls hurting. More, probably. 


I know that God is love, and that He created me in His image. But somehow it’s really hard to see and accept this fatherly-style of love. I don’t know if everyone struggles with this, or why it’s an issue with me, but it is. I hope I can retain this one in my long term memory for once. This cancer issue is part of His plan, but that doesn’t mean He has turned off the sensitivity meter and left me to free fall. Pain and trials are difficult to go through for us and for Him as our Father. I am so grateful to have my loving sovereign father (as well as an awesome earthly one!)!

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 :Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Breakthrough!

I’m so excited, I can’t sleep until I get this out. And yes, I do consider 9:35 bedtime these days. Anyway, I just had a serious breakthrough about the willing sacrifice issue I blogged about earlier. Such a huge weight has been lifted because I finally get it. ..

It’s not about cancer, it’s not about me, this is about God. Heb 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” If I have any faith at all, I will trust Him through this. I will follow Him. Willingly. With joy. No matter what the cost. God is supreme. He is the inventor of all things, and if He thinks it’s a good idea for me to go through this stage of cancer at this time of my life, I will go. With glee. He picked me for this job! He knows best.

How arrogant of me to say what is good or bad, what should or shouldn’t be! How quickly I forgot all the amazing things He’s done for me, and stopped praising Him so I could complain about Him. To think basically that I am smarter than Him and my plan is better than His. How ridiculous and embarrassing.

I thought about editing my last post to account for this breakthrough because it’s Christmas and no one probably read it yet anyway. But I want to be real, and I really was being that ungrateful and prideful for the past few weeks. That burden of stupidity is gone now though. I am relieved that I don’t have any say in who lives or dies. I don’t even have the burden of going through this on my own. I am not trudging alone to the grave, God is carrying me to the place I need to go. Deut 1:31 says “There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” In His arms is exactly where I want and need to be.

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding.”

Immanuel- God with Us

Luke 2:13-14
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, (14) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

He is with us. He came to live among us, and left His Holy Spirit as our counselor, who gives us wisdom and understanding. These are things I need.

I’m about to get pretty deep and possibly confusing. But I’ve been wrestling with this for weeks and feel like getting it out there. I feel that God is asking me to be a “willing” sacrifice for Him. The point of Jesus coming and dying for us was so He would be the sacrificial lamb, and He doesn’t require sacrifices now (Hebrews 10:5), so it’s a little unexpected. I’m thinking of it as not being required, just requested. Of course, anything He requests I will do my best to perform. I feel like He’s telling me this is an issue of getting my heart right. Not that I would try to die or stop trying to live, but I suppose more of a willingness to go through this no matter what the cost.

Obviously, I don’t have a choice in whether I die from this disease, so I feel like I’m currently trudging along to the grave, hoping to get pulled out alive. And now I’m supposed to keep walking that way because He wants me to, or sort of because I want to do it for Him. Not because I have to.

I want to want to please God. If I knew this experience would result in my healing–that I would live on earth and raise my girls–I would joyfully and willingly go through a short cancer/chemo trial for His purposes. But not knowing the exact purpose, and not knowing if I will live or die from it makes it really hard to do this joyously. I hate that my willingness to please God is still dependent on “if’s” and “buts”, and I guess that’s the evidence that my heart is wrong in the first place.

If I didn’t have kids I’d die if that meant someone would turn to Christ and spend eternity in heaven. But what if the whole reason behind this cancer stuff is just to get some stranger to know more about Christ, and then they still reject Him? Do I want my children to grow up without their mom for a stranger’s missed opportunity? Nope. I just don’t. I’m trying though.

It all looks like a non-issue on the surface, because I cannot control when I will die. God does that, and He controls or allows every issue on earth, whether it’s my advanced cancer or someone else’s stubbed toe. Below the surface, though, is a matter of the heart that I need to resolve. This is the anniversary of Jesus’ birth, and He struggled with the same thing when He asked God to take the cup from Him. It was much harder in that case, because Jesus had the power to actually stop what was going on, and couldn’t demonstrate it. Mine is a perceived control issue but I actually have no say in it.

In the end, I trust God. I just need to put on my happy pants and push away the “if’s” and “but’s”. He has an awesome plan and I am still honored to be a part of it. I just wish it didn’t make me feel so nauseated!

Ecc 3:11b-14 He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

Romans 12:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

All States Have Prayer Coverage!

Thank-you all so much for your help finding people to pray for us in every single state. There are a ton of international pray-ers as well. I’ll paste the colored map below and am so very grateful. I know God hears all our prayers.

Ephesians 6:18
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

John 15:7 
But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted.

 

Love

What in the world is God doing? The Bible is full of all these warnings about how believers on earth will be hated and all that. But in what should be the darkest, loneliest time of my life He is showing me nothing but love. Love through His people. Through people like you, who read this, stop me at stores, call me, leave or send me things. People who I know and maybe even moreso from those I don’t.

When I first had children I thought I got a pretty good handle on God’s love. He loves us even more than we love our kids, and that amount is far beyond measure. I get that, cognitively. But it’s hard to process. Like right now, I feel like if I’m going to go through this storm, I should be isolated, miserable and despised. I should be feeling like Job when he’s lost it all. But instead I’ve never felt so complete. I am showered with blessings and feel so loved. What kind of storm is filled with love? But that’s what this is. A love storm. I have to remember this. To embrace it instead of questioning it. I don’t need to wonder about the ending, just to enjoy today.

Deuteronomy 8:14-17 “be sure you do not feel self-important and forget the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt, the place of slavery, and who brought you through the great fearful desert of venomous serpents and scorpions, an arid place with no water. He made water flow from a flint rock and fed you in the desert with manna (which your ancestors had never before known) so that he might by humbling you test you and eventually bring good to you. Be careful not to say, “My own ability and skill have gotten me this wealth.”

Chemo Treatment #2

Abigail has become afraid that I’m going to leave and never come back. I have no idea where that idea came from, but it could not be timed worse. I guess none of us should ever promise that won’t happen, because we can’t control everything. James 4:13-16 says, “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” I’m really aware of all that right now. I want to promise and assure her that I’ll always return, but I just can’t. Now or after I’m healed. I will settle for promising her that I would never purposely stay or go away from her.

The second chemo treatment went well and if I wasn’t so tired I would be encouraged. The chemo nurse says I seem much better than the other people she gives these drugs (Thank-you, the Lord is my healer, Ex 15:26 and strength, Ex 15:2). Dr. Rassam noted my lump is much smaller, which means the chemo is working on the other parts of my body as well. He is really concerned about my going to Texas, thinks I should just do that as a last resort after standard treatment doesn’t work. I see his point, but I know God wants me to go there. So maybe I’ll get better results than the standard treatment. Or maybe I’ll go and glorify God to all the people who need to hear about Him there. Maybe I’ll be so humble that I’ll get out of His way and He can use me in the most amazing ways that none of us would ever expect. All these options are amazing blessings, and I can’t wait to see how He works. The appointment isn’t scheduled just yet but it will be the week of January 9.

Romans 15:5-7 “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”