Wonderful Things from the Faithful One

While surgery brings many challenges, God did many wonderful things throughout the process.  I asked God to send me one Christian in the process of my medical care.  The person at the surgery check-in desk goes to a local Baptist church and has heard a speaker I know from Minnesota.  I also met the CTCA chaplain face to face when he stopped by the hospital after surgery (I had talked to him on the phone before).  I prayed for one, but God sent me two.  

God made it possible for my parents to meet me at CTCA and drive me home to help me for a time after surgery.  I have an employer and coworkers who have given me support throughout this time that I needed to be out.  I have a church family who has reached out to help with a variety of needs.  These are just a few of the wonderful things God has done for me.

I need plenty of reminders of the wonderful things that God has done.  Life is full of challenges and I can get stuck worrying about the difficulties.  Instead, I want to share the goodness of God in the midst of trials.  This doesn’t mean that I will downplay or ignore the difficulties, but I believe this will help me to face struggles with more of God’s strength rather than my own.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessings and strength that You provide.  I ask for continued guidance as I navigate the difficulties You have allowed.  Please help me to focus on the blessings and view the trials with a God honoring view.  Thank You for Your faithfulness.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Grace Meeting My Needs

God brought me through surgery and a week and half recovery at this point.  I am so thankful for many things that happened.  I was definitely nervous, but God sent really nice people.  Everyone was gracious and caring.  One nurse was Anna from Poland.  She was fun to talk to and she did a great Minnesota accent imitation – she was spot on!  All of the medical professionals were amazing.  I hope to write down more stories.  I knew nurses were hard working, but seeing what the nurses and PCT (patient care technicians) had to go through just to get me up – wow!  They are amazing!

I know God is good, but I often need tangible reminders of His goodness.  It is my goal to pay attention and write down as many of those as I can.  Surgery was hard (the road to recovery has not ended yet), but these difficult things bring many opportunities to watch for God’s grace.  I pray that I always remember that thought.  Hard times are hard, but God is bigger and more gracious than the hard times.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me so much evidence of Your grace.  Please help me to remember the specifics of what You have done and dwell on them.  Please remind me of these stories when I struggle and doubt.  Thank You for Your goodness.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

All Sufficiency

God’s grace is an amazing gift.  2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us that God’s grace gives us all sufficiency…in all things…at all times.  All is a big concept in a little word.  All or nothing is rarely true – it IS true when talking about God.  Only God can be that consistent. 

When times are tough it can feel like we don’t have enough.  Worry and fear set in and we don’t respond well or do well in trials.  I want to live this verse especially in the next week as I have pre-op appointments and surgery.  There will be plenty of challenges, but my God is bigger than the challenges and my fervent prayer is that God’s name will be glorified through my life. 

Dear Heavenly Father, please show Yourself strong in the upcoming week.  I want to see and show others that Your grace will give all sufficiency in all things at all times.  I know You will as I give my circumstances to You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Little Gifts, Big Rewards

“To the great mind, nothing is little.” – Sherlock Holmes

Every week since I shared my diagnosis of DCIS, I have received cards, text messages, and other encouragement from friends.  While the big gifts are very nice (I received a large gift basket from coworkers), I also enjoy the “little” things.  I have received several cards of encouragement from friends.  I am working on how to post them at home.  I am running out of room.

I think we focus too much on the bigger things.  When we are able to work together, we can come up with bigger gifts.  Not everyone is able to do that.  Each person who has put the time to send me a card has put effort into encouraging me.  I get to re-live the encouragement every time I see the cards. 

If you have the chance, please consider giving a “little gift” for someone who might be in need.  It might make their day.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the many gifts You have sent my way. Thank You for the people who took time to encourage me.  Please help me to do the same for others.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Decisions, Decisions

This week for me was loaded with information and a few decisions.  Some I knew ahead of time, but some of the information caused me to rethink some decisions.  I knew that, ultimately, I have to feel comfortable with my decision.  I also knew that no decision is perfect.  No matter what I chose, there would be pluses and minuses.  I had prayed ahead of time that I would make a wise and appropriate decision.

God promises to lead us and establish our plans.  His way is the best.  As I submit myself to Him, God will lead me along the path He lays out.  I have confidence that the decision I made was led by God.  There is no greater peace.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing me through another week of medical decisions.  Thank You for the help you sent through CTCA.  Please give me strength for the weeks ahead. 

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Weakness, Strength, and Trust

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV)

My two-week break from medical appointments is coming to an end.  It has been nice to have some time away from appointments, but now it is time to move forward again.  Making decisions can feel overwhelming, but I have a Heavenly Father Who wants the best for me.  His best.  I need to daily place my trust in His care for me.  When I acknowledge my own weakness, God will give me His strength.  There is no better way to go through life than to have God’s strength readily available.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Please help me to go to CTCA in faith, trusting You and Your work in my life.  Thank you for what You have been doing and what You will do in and through me.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

What Does Cancer Do?

When we get a negative health diagnosis, we tend to look at the effects it has on our life.  Treatment, surgery, medication, and side effects are usually first on our mind.  That is understandable – health issues are life changing in those ways.

How often, though, do we think about the spiritual aspects of our life?  Does the threat of poor health draw us to or away from God?  I have prayed (and written several times) about making a difference.  I want to be God’s tool to draw people to Him.  I don’t want to deal with the struggles of a cancer diagnosis, but I know God can use even me to share the truth of God’s word with others.  My prayer is still that I would draw people to Jesus.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus to die for me and the Holy Spirit to guide me.  Thank You that You can use anyone to share the truth of Who You are.  Please help me to be a shining light for You to everyone I meet. 

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Taking a Break

This week I hit the proverbial brick wall.  I had been to several appointments in 2 ½ weeks and while I had the blessings of many nice people, I think I just reached the point of exhaustion.  There was so much push to start with I felt I had to make a decision and get going.  While I don’t like crashing, it pushed me to seek a second opinion.  I will be heading to Cancer Treatment Centers of America in about 2 weeks.  I like their integrated approach including working with the patient to help them understand and feel comfortable with the decisions being made.

While it is important to work through medical issues without delay, it is nice to have a break.  Taking time to rest is important.  We tend to hurry through life, and it can take its toll.  I will thoroughly enjoy no appointments for a time.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for a short time of rest from medical appointments.  Thank You for the encouragement from the staff at CTCA.  They have been a blessing.  Please help me to cling to You and show You to others as I face this journey.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Claiming Peace

As I continue on my journey of being diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer, peace can seem illusive.  When I allow my mind to go down path A, B or C there are so many variables I can worry about.  At this point I am waiting for the results of an MRI. I do not know what path I will walk down. I need to wait for the next step, not think about 3 steps down the road.

A friend of mine talked about claiming peace.  I think we get stuck on God giving it – thinking somehow He is going to miraculously make us feel good.  God promises to give peace. I think we need to remember to take it. God doesn’t force His free gift of salvation on us.  He isn’t going to force us to take the peace He offers.  I definitely need the help of the Holy Spirit to make the wise choice.  But I shouldn’t blame God when I have chosen to be anxious.  That choice is NOT God’s fault.  That choice is mine.

As I work at taking one day at a time, I am going to ask God’s help to claim the peace He so readily offers.  Peace is a great gift from a loving Heavenly Father.  It is mine for the taking.

Dear Heavenly Father, my mind and heart are so prone to anxiety.  Please forgive me for my lack of trust.  Please help me to claim the peace You so freely give.  Thank you for such a great gift that is mine for the taking.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.