Have you ever had a day where you had to dry off twice after a shower–once from the water, and the other from the tears that cover you so rapidly you require a second pass with the towel before you can get dressed? This is one of those mornings. I’ve had countless ones like this but they grow farther in between as time passes since my healing.
Sometimes it’s easy to see how good God is. He is everywhere. The sun is shining like only He can make it do, the birds are chirping the songs He taught them. Your children are behaving like the perfect little angels that only He (or the promise of chocolate) can convince them to be.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 “Always be joyful.”
Other times we are awakened at 4 am by the “puppy” that is bigger than a miniature horse, clawing at us to go outside. Then maybe the day gets worse so our head aches and we feel that we’re climbing up a mountain of infinite height the whole time. And when it’s finally time to sit and rest we glance at our phone to see bad news. Really bad news.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus.”
This is a day with struggles like that. God is good no matter what, but I sure wish I hadn’t just read that Kate died. I mentioned her on here before. She was really young (don’t remember, mid-twenties probably), and had ovarian cancer. I met her when she was scared, sick, and seeking God. She prayed with us for her healing but not for her salvation. As soon as I left her I knew I should have pushed for her to pray for the Holy Spirit to envelope her life. But I didn’t.
Ecclesiastes 9:12 “Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.”
She was in town visiting this winter, and was about to return to Colorado. Since then we emailed a few times and she implied that she was involving Jesus in her life, but I don’t know if she ever literally prayed a sinner’s prayer and accepted the Lord. That’s between Him and her now. I desperately hope that she did, and ask that you would all pray for her family to see Him through this tragedy somehow. Pray that her life and death would have a beautiful impact on the kingdom of heaven and that all who knew her would live for Him. And with Him, forever in heaven.
I’m just devastated that she passed away. She was really frail but was also on a strict diet so I sort of thought that was it. I can’t believe someone who was able to fly here and get around just fine a few months ago was sick enough to die so soon after. You would think I’d be used to it by now but I’m just not. This girl did NOT want to die. There wasn’t that lack of hope that would make her give up. And her poor husband actually married her after she was already diagnosed. They were newlyweds and never even spent a day of her marriage as a healthy person. She never got to have kids or to really celebrate the great things God gave her.
Acts 14:7 “…and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”
It’s really hard to see His goodness in all of this, but it’s there. It’s there in the little things, like letting her get diagnosed in time to appreciate the notice and share a lot of love and memories. It’s there in the fact that at least as of a few months ago she wasn’t in a lot of pain. It’s there because He led her to seek Him before she died. So many people do that. I think on some level they realize that the emptiness they feel has a source, and it’s not in the pleasures that healthier people enjoy so much. They start realizing that they aren’t in control of their own destiny, and maybe eternal life isn’t worth hedging your bets about.
John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except by me.”
It’s not enough to be a good person, or to help others. Anyone can do that. But not just anyone can go to heaven. I actually don’t live for Jesus because of the promise of heaven, I do it because He has redeemed me and I am overflowing with that gratitude NOW and want to share it TODAY. But when it boils down to it, it doesn’t matter what we do on earth, because it’s less than a fraction of eternity. There is no end to eternity. No second chances, no do-overs. That’s why a true Christian will love these non-believers enough to tell them about the Lord. He is the ONLY way. Honestly, I wish that wasn’t so, but I’m not going to lie to you about it.
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”
There are a lot of reasons not to devote yourself to God. It can be embarrassing. You might have to give up your lavish lifestyle. You have to depend on Him instead of yourself. But…we are not promised tomorrow and you will likely not have a clue when you’re about to die. I sure had no clue that I was dying at the time of my diagnosis, and I really thought I had a good handle on intuition. Hell is an eternal wrath, a complete separation from God. It’s not worth it.
Revelation 14:11 “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
There is no official prayer to accept the Lord but I’m going to paste one from here. You just have to acknowledge the God is supreme and Jesus is the only way to get to Him. Promise to change your ways (then do! He will help!). You could pray this and if you mean it (or really, just try to mean it. If there are parts you fail at or don’t understand you just pray for help!). If you do this, it’s the first step in a relationship with Him. Most of us don’t just “get” what to do next. If that’s the case, read the Bible, pray, find a church and repeat. I can help you find resources so feel free to email me here if so.
A Sinner’s Prayer:
“Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.
I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.
You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.
Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.
Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.
Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.
There are so many updates to share that I might not get to anything juicy today. I’m having a hard time getting my act together this fall. I took on too much so am always either overly busy, or so overwhelmed that I shut down.
I just got back from Jacksonville, where the latest FABA conference was held. That is the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis, and I haven’t been there in two years. I used to work for the company and have very few fond memories from it, meaning that I was losing sleep about going. In many ways it was as bad as I expected–it was the first time I’d seen all these people since before my diagnosis, so some people were weird to me and others didn’t recognize me. As a result of that and several other variables, I feel much more socially awkward than before. I noticed I had virtually nothing to say to people, so sometimes even avoided conversations rather than risking sounding stupid. My hair has grown in nicely but is currently at an awkward length, so tons of people who didn’t know about the cancer stuff talked about it. They said they liked it, but I am repulsive so doubt they meant it. Those talks generally turned into an awkward cancer conversation. I tried to avoid it, but people would keep asking why or when I cut it, so I had to say something. It gave me a great chance to tell people about how I was miraculously healed, but..I wasn’t really in the mood. I just wanted things to be normal again. I don’t actually want to be the one sitting around the coffee station telling them how I’m supposed to die soon. They just wanted to get a packet of Splenda and make small talk. They didn’t want the girl with bad hair to remind them of how mortal they are.
The highlights of the conference were when people (some were barely acquaintanes) pulled me aside to say how moved they were by my story. Some said they grew closer to God through it and, as I’ve mentioned many times, that makes it totally worth it. So, I need to focus on that.
There are other bits of recent good news, too. I saw Dr. Rassam before I left town and he said he’s not going by the book with me anymore, because I’m atypical. So, he’s sparing me the radiation that goes into regular PET/CT scans and instead will just get me tested if I have symptoms. He took my blood and all my markers were negative again.
I was interviewed for the Tallahassee Democrat (our local newspaper) last week. They are focusing on breast cancer stories throughout October, which is BC Awareness month. I did a written interview, then the reporter took a video of me sharing the story to be posted online. Wouldn’t you know–I royally messed up the video report. I misspoke and had weird, nervous inflections. So, I went home and prayed about it. Then a week later the guy emailed a big apology–the video somehow was messed up so he needed to reshoot it!!!! Coincidence? “Sure”. The second time went a lot better and I’m excited about it, because most of the stories will not have the same message of hope that mine does.
I do have to report some bad news, too. Both of the people I requested prayer for reccently, Angela Faddis, and Steve Kalogeras, have passed away. Those are the first unanswered prayers out of all the ones I’ve posted. Steve died almost 2 weeks ago and the funeral was last week. Angela survived a few weeks longer than expected but died yesterday of colon cancer. She was my age. Her husband had quit his job to take care of her. They set up an in-home hospice and her little children were with her until the end. I am so saddened by this. She loved the Lord and is with Him for eternity, but I know she didn’t want to die. Not at the first anyway. I imagine that by the end you kind of want to put the rest of the family out of their misery. That’s the worst part of the hospice stuff, to me.
I’m still wrestling with this issue of whether everyone can be healed on earth. I can’t get past it, because it changes the whole perspective. Most say no, but some of those who think it so are those who then are healed. My take home message from being healed is that God healed me because a) we all asked and b) I (with at least a few others) believed that He would answer. That His word is literal and true. His word says to pray and believe it will be done and it WILL be. Literally, it will be done. For me, it was done. For Angela, it was not done, and I have a hard time with it. I won’t presume that it’s because she and her family didn’t believe she would be healed, because that’s almost like blaming them for her death. I guess it goes back (again) to that stuff I keep mentioning about God putting desires in your heart, and that’s how you pray. But if that such an important thing, why is it barely mentioned in the Bible? It says TONS of time to pray and believe. It barely says that God gives you the desires of your heart, and that could sort of be interpreted differently.
I guess that is it. Enough sad and confusing issues for one day. This year at BSF we’re studying Genesis so I’ll probably bring in points relative to that. For now, remember that He created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1). He created each of us. Planned it all. Formed us in our wombs. Why? For His glory. It’s individualized because we’re all different people, but we are all working together. Every move we make should be pleasing to Him, even if it means living like an alien in this strange land.
“They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead–Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” 1 Thess 1:9-10
I’m close to a breakdown…not sure I can handle this…I just learned someone I knew in college recently died. Of cancer.