Suffering and all that jazz

Here’s what’s keeping me up on this lovely evening: Suffering. Not that I’m personally suffering more than usual, but there are some ideas floating in my head that I think the Lord is trying to teach me about. For one thing, I’m praying for two very sick women with breast cancer. Honestly, both are about to die. But one is ready and waiting for heaven, and the other is still praying for a miracle. She’s a believer, so is it her heart’s desire because He put it there and is waiting for us to pray and believe she will be healed? Or is she struggling to trust Him with her children once she’s gone? Afraid of this heaven we read about, which sounds so great but is eternal and, therefore, beyond our understanding? 

How do we pray for people who suffer when we don’t get marching orders straight from Him? Isn’t this faith that can move mountains big enough to expect and ask for things greater than our friends can hope for? Do we dishonor Him with safe prayers like those to “ease suffering”?

Jesus set the example with, “Father, if you are willing take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42. We can’t go wrong praying the way Jesus did! But Jesus was God and knew His mission was to die for our sins. Karen, the one who wants to live, has no idea what He wants. So, we pray for more faith for us and for her. We pray when she is too sick to do so herself, that angels will minister to her and lift her up. We pray for her broken heart to heal on earth, and that she will not feel ashamed or deserted, but will experience His true, unshakable love. And we pray in agreement with her to the only One who was given all authority on earth (Matthew 28:18) to completely remove all her cancer. That she will not die but live and proclaim what He has done (Ps 118:17). Then we close our prayer back in rightfully humble place, remembering that we are servants to the only one who is truly faithful. That His glorious and perfect will is done with both of these ladies.

Ephesians 3:19-21 “and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

Here’s a little housekeeping: I’m having some trouble with this blog, so for the past year or so people couldn’t “join” it. I thought it was weird that people kept telling me they read it but there were no new followers. I’m not sure how or if that differs from subscribers, which I can’t see at all but seems to send emails. So, if you haven’t ever followed it, please do so because I think it’s time to move off Blogger and that will be a way to make sure everyone gets the address change. Also, I’ve read a bit about what a pain that change is (and that I can lose access to this blog at any time, how sad!), so if you have tips or suggestions please send them my way!


My final update is that although I stated a few weeks ago that I was trying to write a fiction book about all this cancer, it’s just not coming together as I hoped. I guess I got the message wrong from the Lord, so please please pray for me to hear what I am supposed to do. I have several thoughts but don’t want to continue taking the wrong avenues. Over the past few years I have been blessed to verbally share my testimony on an average of every two months. But now I have none on the books and I’m not sure if that means it’s time to change my focus or not. I do LOVE to share what the Lord has done though so please let me know of any opportunities!
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Writing

God renewed my passion for writing about three years ago. I had it when I was little then it died off, as the creative bits of me were replaced with interests of a more scientific and concrete nature. I am sure it was He who rekindled it within me, in preparation for expressing this encounter with evil cancer and death. However, I don’t know if it was His original intention for me to pursue writing all along or not. Regardless, I know the novel I wrote a few years back was practice for blogging and whatever writing I will do in the future. Since the cancer journey began I have wanted to write about it, in more detail than this blog, but knew it wasn’t the time. But I’m quite sure now is finally the time. Passages and stories from my book (or articles, too early to tell) come to me whenever I’m not focusing on the kids. I’ll be driving, exercising, or trying to sleep and really good stuff comes to mind. I rarely am able to write it down before I forget, but I’m trying.

‘m going through this blog from the beginning as sort of a starting point for the book. I get anxious before opening each post, afraid I will be embarrassed by what I said back then, or that my heart will hurt so much when I re-live those moments that this time I won’t survive. But each time, God carries me through. I am amazed by the way He clearly carried me through the worst days. I am encouraged by the grace He gave me and the love He showed me through all you readers and friends.

So far, these memories have come back from reading through the blog: 

–I actually didn’t think it could get worse than finding out I had cancer (before we knew it had spread; Acts 1:7, “He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”)
–Suddenly had to wean Naomi and she was so distraught…but she finally took a bottle on Thanksgiving! (Matt 7:7-8 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”)–The first very sick person I ever saw, who made it all so real. I am still so sad thinking about her. She was young and her mom had to be a strong advocate for her. It was so pathetic and heart-wrenching to hear her mom begging for a bucket for her daughter to throw up in, as the daughter couldn’t hold a bag. The pessimistic side of me thinks that young woman has probably passed away by now. I pray for that whole family and wish I had the presence of mind to reach out to them back then. (Matt 17:20 “Jesus told them.”I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.)
–The love, love, love God showed me through all His children. (Proverbs 11:25 from the Message Bible “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”)
–It has always been about my not wanting my babies to grow up without me. With His grace, they won’t have to. (Mth 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”)

When I first started blogging I was fearful of going public with my innermost thoughts and fears. I hate to be judged and knew I was exposing myself for just that. But being able to be honest on here is what makes it cathartic for me, and is how I bond with you all. I am still amazed by the outpouring of love I have received from it, and am certain that it is the attraction we each have to vulnerability that makes it a success. So, in addition to thanking each of you for reading, praying, and loving on me, I suggest that everyone considers writing down the details of their trials. It might help someone someday, whether it’s the writer or the reader.


2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”