Some days I feel like the person Max Lucado once wrote about who yells, "Eureka!" before they find the pot of gold. God's been gracious enough to give me a peace about my health and my future. In other words, I'm still being treated for cancer, but in my mind, I've seen the outcome and I know that this is all working to make me stronger. Still months away from putting cancer treatment behind me, I've seen the big picture. Eureka!
In three more days I will be back at the oncologists office getting chemotherapy #5 and I will once again have to look cancer in its ugly face. In the wake of my last chemo I let my emotions get the best of me. I had a "poor me" moment as I felt my body grow weaker and weaker. I wallowed for a second. And that's one second too long.
The truth is that I still see cancer as a blessing. I see how much it's made me lean on God daily instead of thinking my way is best. I see how much more Terry's picked up the Bible. And I know that our children will greatly benefit from having parents who've lived through something like this. We've got our priorities straight and our boys will grow up knowing who should come first in our lives.
I can look back over the past few years and see God working in my and Terry's life to prepare us for this. Our faith and dedication to Christ has grown exponentially in the last few years. I can look back and see how God must have been pulling us closer and closer to Him so that we could get this bad news one day and be able to say, "We trust you. Thank you, God!" I shudder to think how this would have rocked my life, our family, our marriage, had we not both been able to see God's face through the struggle. If we didn't have an eternal perspective, a secure knowledge that this world means so little and the next so much, this all would have been much harder to handle.
Having cancer has made me hurt so much more for the lost. Which I believe is also a blessing. I've seen what God can do inside a person. Since my own salvation came as a young child, I never did get to feel much of an immediate change like older people do when they accept Christ. But when we were faced with an illness that could rob my children of a mother and leave my husband a widower, we had to take all of this pain to God and say," We can't go on like this. It's too much to bear. We aren't capable of dealing with this on our own. Please take it from us. Please take the hurt and replace it with joy that only the one true God could give."
And when God was faithful and answered those prayers and changed our hearts, it changed our lives. And it helped us see the struggle that living without Christ in this world could bring. And of course, we can't even imagine how it would feel to live forever in an eternity where God's presence is completely absent.
It's time for me to come clean. There are some of you who will read this and never know how often I pray for you. How much Terry and I hurt for you whose hearts have been hardened. We love you and all of you are the reason I've sat at my computer and written this blog. To share God in hopes that you might find Him again. In hopes that someone else might find Him for the first time. Romans 1:16 says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes..."
I cry for our current state of Christianity when it's popular to be spiritual without ever having come into contact with God. I am angry at those in the spotlight professing their love for Christ while simultaneously distorting His word. I am saddened by those in church pews who love the world and look no differently in it than unbelievers.
Jesus' power is high-reaching, far-stretching, all-encompassing. He is a jealous God who demands your full attention. He wants to speak to you daily through His word and He wants to be there for you like He has been for me. Just think of it-- if He can take the mess Terry and I are in right now and use it for good, if I can wake up in the morning and look in the mirror at a bald head and a mutilated body and still rejoice for the wonders of my God, what more could he do in your cancer-free life? How miraculously happy could your days be if you woke up healthy, whole, and happier than you thought possible because you've finally admitted that you aren't strong enough to be your own God anymore.
Even at our best, we are flawed. Wretched. Not deserving. The world says "You can do it!" I disagree. How painful to live in a world where you've only got yourself to depend on. Instead, let God do it.
I've come face to face with mortality and I want you to find the answers long before you find yourself in that position. Please know that I've prayed for every person who will read this blog. I've prayed for your heart to be softened so you read my words, but feel God's love. He's got a plan for you on Earth and a place for you in Heaven.
"For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son. That whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
I love you enough to share this with you. Christ loved you enough to die for you. Who do you love?