Dancing in the rain

In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song; this Cornerstone, this solid Ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My Comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ I stand.


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Five minute Friday: Notice

I teamed up this week with the Five Minute Friday Crowd: http://katemotaung.com/2014/11/20/five-minute-friday-notice/ The rules are follow the word prompt and write from your heart for 5 min, no edits, just straight from the heart.

Do I notice Him? Do I notice Him in the sunrise? Do I notice him in the breath of life? Do I notice him in my cancer? I was quick to notice him in my healing. I sang his praises on high… look what my Daddy did for me! But now, do I notice him now? As that question gives me pause to think, I look back and notice all the times I may have missed him. I notice him there, keeping the nausea at bay. I notice him bringing fits of giggles where there should have been tears. I notice him gather a community of support for me. I notice him in the warmth of a cat curled up on my lap. I notice him in my son standing strong. I notice him in the depths of myself, refusing to give up. I notice him ever so near, noticing me. He notices my pain, he notices my loneliness, he notices my disease and he pulls me into the embrace of his arms and he tells me he notices my strength and he notices my effort and he notices my triumph. What does he fail to notice? All that I feel I get wrong. That he doesn’t notice.

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Hope, where art thou?

It’s been a rough week. I’m coming off one of my more difficult chemo weeks. On the one hand, the nausea was the least it has ever been, but I was worn…physically and emotionally. Usually I turn the tide on Friday, but instead I found myself having to sit and rest in the middle of getting dressed. Every little action was exhausting. I could not believe how my legs burned and shook by the time I got to the top of the stairs. The uncertainty of my situation was taking its toll too. I’m having some stomach/abdominal issues but the oncologist insists on waiting on my scan until 3 full rounds are complete.

Intermixed in my struggle were little nudges from God. I could feel him pushing something to the edge of my consciousness. First, was the reminder of his timing in my situation over the last year. Not a single appointment or procedure has come too soon or too late. Then came numerous scripture references with a building theme, the culmination of which came at 11pm Sunday evening post by a friend:

Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”

So much of my struggle lies at the root of those two verses. When I first began this journey my faith and hope were impervious. I had read the stats and knew that nary a pathologist would think there was much chance my cancer had not already spread. Yet, I waltzed around telling everyone how I would be calling with my good news. These days, fear and uncertainty are on the verge of getting the best of me. What’s different? That’s what God has been trying to show me all week.

Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us to put on the armor of God…the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).

The belt of truth (his promises) reminds me of the weighted vests some kids wear to help keep them calm and grounded. The shield of faith deflects the harsh pelts of cancer. It is when I take up the sword of his world that I find that peace that goes beyond understanding, however, lately some of it falls on an acrimonious heart. “For I know the plans I have for you…” seems to continuously scroll through my fb newsfeed. My response? “Yeah, sometimes death is his plan.” … how’s that for your encouraging post for the day? But as I read through the Ephesians passage I see something I haven’t seen before, something I have been neglecting: “The helmet of salvation.” With salvation death has lost its sting. How easily we cling to this world, forgetting that death is not the end, but the eternal beginning. The helmet of salvation is the victor’s crown.

My hope has been migrating to this world rather than God. As I have settled back into putting on his armor the past few days, I feel a weight being lifted. No, everything is not all better, but I’m not caught up in the entangling web of negativity that threatens my very wellbeing. I see glimpses of peace that goes beyond understanding. Smiles and lightheartedness come a little easier, and tears flow less freely.

That is one thing both science and Christianity agree on, our attitude and outlook have a tremendous impact on our health. So I am taking back my hope from this world and putting it back where it belongs. Back in the one who wears the victor’s crown.

After writing this, Matt Maher’s song, Lord I Need You, came on and  it is amazing how well it fit, especially:

Teach my song to rise to You When temptation comes my way And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You Jesus, You’re my hope and stay

Every day, every hour…my one defense, Lord, I need you.

(The post below goes with this one….it is something I wrote last year after my recovery and is a good reminder of his faithfulness….)


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He Was There

I actually wrote the following about a year ago, but I found myself needing the reminder this past week….

Months, perhaps even a year ago, cancer invaded my body, and He was there, drawing the line that said, you may only go this far.

As the unsuspecting surgeon prepared for surgery, He was there, “Not yet.”

As the news of cancer set in and I was somewhat unsettled, He was there with words of reassurance and deliverance, declaring me His miracle girl.

When I was disobedient and read the horrible news of my recently named cancer online, He was there offering me forgiveness and more reassurance, “Whose words are you going to believe, mine or those of the internet?”

When I had to tell my friend my horrible news, He was there, selecting just the right timing for her.

As I sat in the oncologist office and reality began to set in, He was there, assuring me that He was not only with my doctor, but IN my doctor. He had not left me in just anyone’s hands, but kept me firmly grasped in His own.

When the time came to sit down with my baby boy and speak words that no mother should have to speak to her child, He was there, giving me strength, courage, and control that goes beyond all understanding.

In the short time leading up to my surgery, He was there, working fast and feverishly to build my confidence and faith, moving me from not just hoping, but believing.

The night before my surgery, when satan came to attack, He was there, helping me say, “No longer! You have no dominion here, GET OUT!”

As I lay in the hospital, fresh from surgery and overcome by all the emotion of the last month, He was there, with His big beautiful angel standing guard over my bed.

As I lay at home, more nauseous than I ever thought imaginable, He was there, bringing sleep that simply should not have been possible, and all the while snapping video and pics of my baby boy in his first ever marching band parade.

The day before getting results, He was there, using my mouth to prophesy His forthcoming miracle to all who would listen.

The day of results, He was there, keeping His promise and shining the sun just as bright as can be for His “sunshine” to show me how the heavens were rejoicing. Not only this, but also a special study started just for me so that He can keep an extra close eye on me, declaring not only that He WAS there, but will continue to be there.

Through it all, He was there, showing His faithfulness provision through His words and through many friends who loved and cared for me through prayers, cards, flowers, food, rides, shots, and loving words.


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Cha cha chia…

I have been rather amused by my chia like hair style…especially fresh out of the shower. Just cracks me up. Then, God began to speak something very intimate into my heart about the symbolism of my chia hair. It started out with the wonder of its rebelliousness…how it continued to shoot up in spite of the chemo. Then God began to unpack that. It wasn’t just rebelliousness, but strength. Strength rising up out of me. Strength in the face of adversity. Strength that was symbolic of being an overcomer. And it was all representative of something he had planted in my spirit when he created me.

I endured a lot of rejection in my childhood, but God didn’t allow me to give up. Honestly, I could have easily grown up to be a drug addict or in jail. But looking back, I see the fight and hope he planted deep inside. Others may not have believed in me, but somehow I had this suspicion that they were wrong. I believed there was something better on the horizon.

While others spoke things that tore down or simply withheld, my Jesus whispered, “no child could ever dance the way you do.” He tells me he is proud of me. He sees in me something that I don’t think any human has.

It reminds me of when you walk down the sidewalk and see a flower growing up out of a crack. How does that happen in the face of such adversity? For me, it is my Jesus. It is a special gift he has given me. With his great love and mercy, I have spent a lifetime defying the odds. My battle with cancer is no different. As I question, “could a garden come up from this ground?” he responds with strong, rebellious hair defying the odds and fighting its way to the surface.

Psalm 18:32 says that It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure, and experience tells me this is so.

For entertainment purposes I have included a pic of my chia hair. I was trying to get a pic for a friend and couldn’t really get it to show up so I decided to use my lamp to add some lighting… I fell into a fit of giggles to discover I was a chia angel!!

halo