44 days left of 2011, including today.
The toughest, roughest entire year of my life.
My personal nightmare started with a well woman check up and a mammogram on our 21st wedding anniversary: December 30, 2010 and every day since has been a hard battle. I wonder what the Lord will bring in 2012. The uncertainty itself is one of the hardest things for me. I wonder if I am doing all this terrible stuff to fight the cancer that goes against every grain of my being for nothing. Will God “make it work” or not? This breast cancer has a special affinity for metastasizing to the bones, lungs, liver, and brain. My Dad died of brain cancer and it was terrible. I hope that does not happen to me. I’ve been a nurse in the past to many patients who died of cancer. Some of them were in agony and “drowned” in their lung secretions, gasping for breath at the end–very hard memories for me. I can not stop that from happening but God can. God can also give me grace if He allows those things. I am absolutely confident that He can heal me if He wants to, just not sure that’s what He is going to do and am asking Him for peace about that, asking Him to help me trust Him implicitly no matter what. I want to live and am planning on surviving this but I don’t want to cling to this life when it’s my time to go either. I know that Heaven is wonderful and even if I do suffer, where I am heading afterwards is what really matters–this is all temporary.
It has been a scary and very vulnerable feeling for me to do the chemo and radiation. I have such little confidence in it. I wish I did but the truth is I don’t. I pray God will use it to heal me and I know that I am utterly defenseless from the damage these treatments and the cancer itself can do , BUT GOD. God can protect me. If God continues to allow hard things then they are for the good somehow. I’ve been hearing a lot of sad cancer stories lately. I have to keep reminding myself not to take on the cares of the “what ifs” but to “walk by faith and not sight”. People say that attitude is everything..in fighting cancer as well as all of life. I want a good attitude. I pray for a good attitude. Worry and discouragement are big wastes of time but these are natural inclinations that I fight, like how I am fighting thinking that does not line up with God’s Word this morning. God has much, much better for me than that. Good thing the Lord is in charge is all I gotta say.
I am trying to get a second wind as I walk this steep mountain. I am tired and weak of heart and the air feels mighty thin. This is not a perfect analogy but sometimes I feel like a little kid who is getting beat up in a brutal football game with players WAY bigger than he. “I don’t like this game.” says Junior. “This game stinks and it’s no fun and I’m losing and I am worn out and I hurt all over. Who thought up football anyway? I don’t understand all the rules and strategies and I hate this. I’m taking my ball and going home now. Bye.” Ha! As for me I’m not going Home until He says so. He has me in the game still so how am I going to respond just because cancer doesn’t “fight fair” and this battle I am in is hard and awful? Give up? No. Pray hard, play hard, fight hard, and do my best? Yes. I might not even be losing–maybe I am winning and just afraid of losing. I am going to assume that I am winning. In Christ I am a victorious overcomer no matter what. I will call on the “Coach”–tell Him I’m weak and tired, feel like giving up when I do and that I need lots of one-on-one coaching, ask Him to get in the “Game” with me and show me how to do this. I can hardly believe He has me in this game–I’d be lousy at football . Lots of people sure do a way better job at having cancer than me. I’m one of God’s scardey-cat kids, a work of His in progress. Where is my peace and joy and fearless fighting, victorious spirit right now? All wrapped up in Jesus alone, that’s where, Paula. Not in my abilities to “do this”… not in feelings or emotions. I must keep my eyes on Him. He will strengthen me in His Word. I lay every fear and doubt at His feet right now and crawl into His arms for a hug and help. I get overwhelmed by this all but He never does. I am weak. He is strong. I am His child and He loves me and has a future and a hope for me, even in the midst of this.
OK, my dear “cheering section” in the sidelines of my blog, I am boldly and unashamedly sharing that I have an ongoing need of lots of cheerin’ upping and cheerin’ onin’. I do. This is so hard. I’ve begun telling people directly lately that I need and want a lot of pep talks on the truth through this and I do, so if you have any loving, encouraging “pep talks” “You can do all things thru Christ who strengthens you–keep going, keep going!” type words for me, I’m listening. Thank You, thank you, thank you to those of you who are sending me Scripture and good quotes and doing nice things for my family and me I can hardly express my thanks and appreciation enough. I am asking the Lord for encouragement and He surely is using the Body of Christ to do that. I am grateful.
Lord, every single good gift comes from You…
(From James 1:7) One Thousand Gifts http://www.aholyexperience.com/
451. “In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”—C. S. Lewis
452. Romans 15:4 “Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled”.
453. Nicholas got to job shadow the Mayor yesterday and attend some great programs on leadership with him-wonderful opportunity that God orchestrated.