[This was orignally written for my newsletter list but after many request from friends and family to make it available for others to read, I decided to post this as a blog so it can be found on my website.]
There are many words that begin with the letter “C” that I like — church, creativity, chocolate, cherish, and Clemson. But then there are some words I don’t like — conflict, change, cancel, costly, and especially cancer.
– I lost my dad to lung cancer in April 1999 in 11 months. He was only 64 years of age.
– I was diagnosed with melanoma in 2007. I had surgery but no treatment was needed, thanks be to God!
– My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years later. She had surgery but no treatment was needed, thanks be to God again!
The “C” Word
Now the word I don’t like has stepped upon the porch of my life and is knocking again. Cancer.
Leukemia—Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL).
I hadn’t been feeling well for months and felt like it was stress catching up with me from the 16 months (and counting) of on going care-giving of my father-in-law in our home. After visiting my primary doctor earlier this year with an infection, she did some blood work and after seeing the results sent me to a Hematologist/Oncologist.
I’ve been going through a variety of test, waiting, more tests, and more waiting until finally on August 17th I got my diagnosis. It was definitely Leukemia—Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL).
Bad news—There is no cure. It will never go away.
Good news—It is manageable. I may never have to have any treatments. I’m at 0 level of 0-4, so it looks like we caught it early and that’s more good news.
What did I do during my waiting and am continuing to do after receiving this news?
Trusting God. While praying the night before my first ultra sound on my lymph nodes I never felt a sense of peace come over me but, I did hear God speak to my spirit. What I heard was Him saying, “Trust Me.” And I did.
Was it easy?
Did I have my moments when I was concerned
(ok, I’ll say it “worried and fearful”)?
Trusting and Abiding
In my journal I wrote these words in the waiting.
I hear the possibility of cancer . . .
God hears opportunity.
I want to scream with fear . . .
God whispers, “Trust Me.”
Doctor says wait . . .
God says “Abide.”
That’s what I tried to do—abide in Christ. I searched scripture and claimed the promises I found. In the book of Daniel I read and had the same feelings the three Hebrew men had when they were threaten with being thrown into the fire for not bowing down and worshiping the king. They replied, “ . . . we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. BUT IF NOT, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods . . .” (Daniel 3:16-18).
I prayed for God to deliver me from yet another diagnosis of cancer. I knew He was able but like the three Hebrew men I purposed in my heart “BUT IF NOT,” I would serve Him, praise Him, and worship Him anyway! And I am doing just that!
Are you waiting on God to move in your life, answer a question, deal with a situation, bring you a job, or heal you or someone you love? What if He doesn’t come through the way you want Him to come through for you? BUT IF NOT, will you still serve Him, praise Him, and worship Him?
Watching and Waiting
Now I will live in what they call “Watch and Wait.” Waiting for more blood work, watching to see if my counts change, watching to see if I begin to show more symptoms, waiting to see if the cancer will become aggressive. Waiting and watching to see if I will one day need treatments.
What will I do in the “Watch and Wait?” Trust God, abide in Him, and get back to life; taking care of my family, going to work each day, working in my yard, and being more consistent with writing my blogs (the book of Jeremiah still has so much to say to us!).
My prayer is that my testimony of trusting God in my circumstances will encourage you in what you may be facing. I have to admit that it’s a daily effort for me because weariness and stress make room for fear and doubt. But I do my best to press onward in faith. We need to remember that our Heavenly Father loves us and is with us and our situations at all times. Jesus said, “I will never leave nor forsake you,” (Heb. 13:5). He doesn’t and He won’t.
Of all the “C” words I know and have experienced, the one I hold on to with great faith is Christ, Jesus Christ. He is my anchor no matter what storms come my way . . . even cancer.
Until later . . .
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All photos courtesy of www.pixabay.com except for feature photo which is from www.unsplash.com
Scripture from NKJV