With my cancer diagnosis, it is becoming quite obvious to me that this will be a season of receiving on my part. I won’t lie, this is really tough for me. I am a type-a, list-making, jump in with both feet kind of person. I am active in my MOPS group, lead a Bible study at church, am active in my co-op, etc. I don’t say that to brag, I just naturally like to stay busy. Staying busy and accomplishing things makes me feel….well if I’m being perfectly honest, it makes me feel like I have value.
Being busy makes me feel like I have value.
What a lie from the pit of hell. My value, my worth, lies ONLY in being a daughter of God. I am worth more than GOLD to Him (Isaiah 13:12)!!! There is nothing I can DO or not do that will add more value or take any away. I have been so busy DOING, that I haven’t taken the time to BE. To BE still, to BE present, to BE receptive.
In this season, I don’t have a CHOICE but to BE still. During chemo and the other treatments, I will have to step back from some of my responsibilities, I probably physically won’t have the energy to DO much of anything for a few days at a time. Goodness, I won’t even be able to take care of my children or house without help from others! I feel like God has been telling me to slow down and “BE” for years but it has taken something as drastic as cancer for me to finally LISTEN.
My main focus has been on things of this world; of looking ahead to getting out of the Navy and moving where WE wanted to move, of checking off my to-do list, of eating the “right” foods and using the “right” household cleaners (another post on that later), but I still couldn’t escape cancer. I feel like I am seeing the world through a new set of eyes. My priorities have drastically changed, for the better. God allowed me to come to a place of complete brokenness and vulnerability, to face my earthly mortality. Why? I’m sure partially because I wouldn’t slow down to listen to him and I truly believe because he KNEW how I would respond. He knew I would come bawling my eyes out to him, a scared, frightened child. He knew that stripping away the layers of MY control would release a fragrant aroma as I began to cling to him for dear life.
Today at church, our church ohana (who remembers what that means from Lilo & Stitch?) laid hands on Josiah and I and another auntie/uncle who are affected by cancer. They anointed us and lifted us in prayer. Pastor Ken spoke on Exodus 17 where the Israelites were grumbling and quarreling against God and Moses/with each other. I always thought, how foolish of them. They prayed for 400 years for deliverance from Egypt. God delivered them in a MIGHTY way with the 10 plagues. Then when they were in the desert, stuck between the Red Sea and Pharoh’s army closing in behind them, God parted the waters and they crossed on DRY ground. God provided food for them to eat every day (except Saturday, he provided double the amount on Friday), and water to drink. He guided them the long way, rather than them have to fight others if they took a shortcut, a fight God knew they would loose.
It boggles my mind that after seeing such amazing miracles and God’s direct provision FIRSTHAND, they questioned him when they saw there was no water. They failed to trust that God would provide and instead DEMANDED water and asked why God brought them out there to die. Personally, I felt this was a forewarning for me. God knows this chemo will have nasty side effects and it would be easy and humanly natural to grumble and complain about it. The problem with complaining is that it is selfish and it gives the devil a foothold to my heart and mind. Give that guy and inch and he will take a mile!!!
Philippians 2:14-16 references the Israelites in the desert in Deuteronomy as Paul writes to the church of Philippi, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life….” How can I shine if I am busy sulking in a cloud of self misery?
Some of you may be thinking, yeah but this God you believe in LET this happen, how can you be ok with that? Why doesn’t he just heal you if he’s so powerful and save you the sickness, surgeries, and heartache? I’ll tell you why in my next post. I believe it has more to do with ME and how well he knows me 😉
Chemo starts tomorrow and while I am a little apprehensive of how severe the side effects will be, I trust that God is going to take care of me. We would appreciate prayers that the side effects will be minimal, that God will control the nausea, fatigue, bowel problems, and protect my heart from cardiovascular problems and my nervous system from neuropathy. Please pray that I will be a joy and light to everyone I come in contact with. I know many of them don’t have the peace and assurance that I do. Please pray that I stay HUMBLE too and that I don’t give in to grumbling or complaining, regardless of how bad the side effects are. We will also hear the results of my PET scan tomorrow. I am praying that the cancer is localized to my breast and lymph nodes but God’s will be done. Please pray for the kiddos too as they watch this unfold. I’m asking God to give them compassionate hearts and to tell us how they are feeling!
Mahalo and Blessings to you!