Tag Archive | cancer

If You Are Willing

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5 minutes on a one-word prompt, without heavy editing, and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “willing.”

“While He was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man covered with leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him” (Luke 5:12-13 NASB).

I have a friend, Marcey, whose 22-year-old daughter, Julia, became very ill. After many weeks, a large mass was discovered in her abdomen that was pushing all her organs out of the way. She was in excruciating, debilitating pain. Surgery was performed and 90+ percent of the tumor was removed. Within 6 weeks, it had grown back.

The doctors were stymied. Even the top tumor experts were not able to figure out what this tumor was. It had never been seen before.

As friends were rallied to pray, radiation and chemo therapies were applied. At one point, Marcey told me they thought they were going to lose her. She was so weak. There didn’t seem to be any hope.

And yet we prayed.

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Julia sporting her new wig (photo courtesy her mom)

Just two days ago, Marcey reported that there has been a turnaround in Julia’s prognosis. The chemotherapy is working and the tumors are shrinking. The doctor’s are jubilant as is her family. Today she is off her pain pump and trusting God for a future that just weeks ago she wasn’t sure she would have.

She’s a walking miracle.

We asked God to be willing to heal her, and His answer was, “Yes.”

But we know that’s not always His answer in this life. But He is always our portion. Whether healed in this life or not, we always have our hope in Him.

Even though my 5 minutes are up, I’m going to add a note here that this is a way bigger subject than can be tackled in just 5 minutes. This story is fresh on my heart and I wanted to share it, but I know that there are so many people who have not experienced healing of either themselves or a loved one. I lost both my mom and my grandmother to cancer and have known many others who have succumbed to this dread disease. There are no guarantees of physical healing here on earth, but I stand on the fact that God is good. Whether His healing happens here or not, He is good and He redeems all things. If you or someone you love is in need of God’s healing touch, keep praying: Your will be done.

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Measure Up

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5 minutes, without heavy editing, on a one-word prompt and see what we come up with. Today’s prompt is “measure.”

Luke 6:38 records Jesus saying, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

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If you use kind words, kind words will be returned (ideally).

If you give generously, you will receive generously.

If you love greatly, you will be greatly loved.

I have a sweet friend who just underwent a series of chemo treatments for breast cancer. And then she had surgery. All the while she gave glory to God for the growth she had seen in herself. She always had tons of friends making comments to her on her Facebook page whenever she would post about her cancer journey.

At one point she thanked everyone for their support and love and prayers. She couldn’t believe she had so many great friends and family. The support really helped her get through it.

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As I read that, I just had to comment that people loved her well because she loved well herself. She wasn’t grumpy or a back stabber or unkind in any way. She might have been amazed at the quality of her friends, but it was because they were a reflection of her, and she was a reflection of Jesus.

The measure which she used was the one used to measure back to her. And it was a beautiful thing to behold.

The golden rule is right: treat others the way you want to be treated. Not the way they treat you, no matter how good or bad. Just the way you want to be treated.

Do you want a large measure used for what you will receive? Then use that large measure in your dealings with other people.

It just makes sense.

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Trusting in the Justice of God

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. I write for 5 minutes on a one-word prompt and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “just.” Check out all the other posts here.

I heard recently about a 2-year-old little girl who was just diagnosed with a form of ovarian cancer.

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I have 3 friends currently battling breast cancer.

I have another friend who is at this moment awaiting results from blood tests to find out if her 22-year-old daughter’s mass is cancerous or not.

All I can do is pray, weep with them, and trust that Deuteronomy 32:4 is true: “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he” (New International Version).

Do those situations look just? Not to our eyes. But if we can’t trust the character of God, all is lost.

Theologian and author Nancy Guthrie knows a bit about the justice and goodness of God. In a podcast interview with Lina Abujamra, she talks about hope, and her perspective is that we live in a broken world, and bad things happen. But God. It’s not all about us.

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I’m about to head out to a weekend women’s retreat where we will be hearing via video from Sharon Hodde Miller about taking our eyes off ourselves. Her book “Free of Me” is a must read for anyone who thinks life’s not fair or that anything at all is about them.

That would be all of us, wouldn’t it? My marriage is not about me. My family is not about me. My calling is not about me. It’s all about God. I can choose to let my circumstances dictate how I see God, or I can let God be the filter for how I see my circumstances.

If I want any joy in this life, the latter is the better choice.

ALL His ways are just.

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A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging—a book review and a giveaway!

Place to Land coverI’m a California girl, but I have lived in Florida for nearly 27 years. My parents are both gone now, and much of my extended family doesn’t live in the state anymore, but I will always consider California “home.”

There’s something about the place of our birth that binds us. It might be just a piece of land, but it holds a piece of our heart. But if that “place” no longer contains the people who meant so much, where do we find “home?”

I worked with an international missions organization for more than 30 years. People came from all over the United States to work at the headquarters. Along the way, many moved overseas to tell people about Jesus. Early on, my husband and I opened our home on holidays to friends who had no family nearby. To this day, we crowd our home with those who fit that category.

In Kate Motaung’s memoir, A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging (now available for order from Amazon), she wrestles with the question of home as she lives cross-culturally in South Africa and loses her mom to cancer while she’s overseas. (This is not technically a spoiler as it’s revealed in the very beginning of the book.)

Kate writes with candor about her home life, her parents’ divorce and her father’s remarriage. About forgiveness, about sin, about grief. And about home. Must we be all or nothing to the place we live? Does it matter where we live? If God has called us to service in one place, but all that we love is in another, do we lose? Or do we gain more than we can ever even see?Place to Land

In describing her feelings following her parents’ divorce, Kate writes, “One day, . . . Mom whisked Sarah and me off for a weekend away. When we got back, Dad was gone. The next afternoon, when I came home from school, he was still gone. And the day after that. And the day after that. Every morning that followed, for months, when Mom dropped me off in my second grade classroom, I went straight to the coat closet, tucked myself inside, and cried. Terrified that one day I would get home from school, and, like my dad, Mom would be gone too.”

Your heart will be captured when Kate expresses what losing her mom felt like. You will walk in her shoes as she eloquently describes landing on the foreign soil of South Africa. You will smile as she reveals how she felt when first meeting her husband, Kagiso. And you will weep with her as she lets go of her mom.

Turns out, “home” means much more than a location, and “A Place to Land” captures that truth in a story that you will not want to put down until you’re done.

A-Place-to-Land_3I will be giving away a copy of A Place to Land on April 6th. To enter for a chance to win, just leave a comment about what “home” looks like to you and why you would like to read this special book. I will pick a random winner on April 6th. Don’t miss a chance to be challenged and changed by this beautiful book.

Meanwhile, visit Kate Motaung’s author page here. You can also read the first chapter for free here.

 

 

Shelter

These are the things I find comforting:
My husband’s arms
My house on a stormy day
My slippers when my feet are cold
But mostly, no matter what, that God is in control. That’s very comforting.

Bad things happen. That’s a reality of life. Bad things happen to good people. That’s just a fact. It’s a sinful world. People
make bad choices, and we suffer the consequences of that. I have a friend whose son got drunk, drove, and seriously injured someone in an accident he caused. He has cut off all ties to his dad because he doesn’t want to be preached to. That’s very sad. And hard. But God is in control.

David and I miscarried three babies. How bad is that? I lost both of my parents within 16 months of each other. How much does that stink? Children die. Friends suffer from cancer. A faithful minister of the gospel loses his home. A family loses everything they own in a house fire. God is in control. And He weeps with us over our losses. But it’s a sinful world. Heaven awaits, do not despair. I don’t want to sound trite and say that these are light and momentary afflictions, but they are.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Psalm 91: 1-2 says: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'”

The shelter of His wings; the shadow of the Almighty. My God in whom I trust. I’m here for the long haul, fixing my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith. Are you with me?

Thankfulness list:

30. a 3-day weekend

31. the beautiful sites of America

32. freedom