Tonight, You had me do something unexpected — something I needed more than I realized. You had me look back four years… to the days when You first birthed this journal. Your reason for this, I later discovered, was far more important than just giving me a trip down Memory Lane.
The journal entry quoted below was written in April 2011. I was recovering from my first real surgery ever — a double mastectomy, due to recently discovered and extremely aggressive breast cancer. I was undergoing additional testing in preparation for my next round of treatment — a regimen of extremely aggressive chemo, scheduled to begin in another week.
“Yesterday was a long and very blessed day at Moffitt… Three tests and one isotope injection — to “light me up” for one test 🙂 … ECHO (to ensure my heart is “up to” the rigors of chemo); CT-Scan and Bone Scan… for “baseline” and to make sure there are no tumors anywhere else. I’m believing that, by Your grace, these tests will be “negative” (which, of course is “positive”). Lord, I feel like I’m becoming fluent in “medical- ese”. Thank You for all You are teaching me, though I must confess I would have been quite happy to just be fluent in Spanish… Te adoro, Mi Vida! 🙂
The Rx for yesterday was to drink water, and lots of it. In fact, they told me “The more water you drink, the better the outcome.” So I drank water until I was floating!!! After the CT and before the Bone Scan, I checked the Caring Bridge. I was SO blessed by the new encouragement loved ones had offered yesterday by Your Spirit… and then it hit me: What I was doing in the natural, You were doing in the Spirit… through these dear ones who were pouring Your LIVING WATER into me! So the Rx was truer still, in the Spirit: “The more [Living] water you drink, the better the outcome.” AMEN and AMEN!!!
As if that were not enough (How You love to “pour it on!”)… I sat down next to a couple, married for 56 years. The man, 76 years old, had been healthy his whole life… until the last year (he has lost 50 pounds, for no apparent reason). This is his fourth trip to Moffitt for tests, still with no diagnosis. Bud told him they did find something in me and got it out, but now we’re about to start the next phase of treatment. The man turned to me and asked “Are you all right?” By Your grace, Lord, I answered, “I am SO all right! I am in the Lord’s hands. Whenever He wants to take me Home, I am SO READY to go! In the meantime, if He can use my life more with me having cancer than without it, I am OK with that. ‘Milk it,’ Lord, for Your good purposes!”
Lord, You had me live in the deserts of West Texas over thirty years ago. I have seen firsthand how the desert springs to life in response to a rare rain shower. Flowers burst into bloom, almost before your eyes. This dear man took my hands in his and I “saw” his spirit “spring to Life” as he soaked in the Living Water You poured out of me into him. The very Water You had poured into me, only moments before, through Your saints who had sent their special words of encouragement to REFRESH me in The Spirit at just the right moment! He was so grateful, adding: “I have lived a long, good life in the greatest country on earth, and have seen the most beautiful parts of His creation. I’m not going to “belly ache” to Him now about having some problem.”
How’s that for an earthy translation of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18?! “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Oh, Abba… Reading this and other entries from those early days in the Valley of the Shadow with You filled me with wonder and worship once again! And also, with a deep sense of longing… How I loved spending hours and hours with You every day! Countless hours of fellowship and intimacy uninterrupted by any other demands of life.
I had spent my entire adult life working hard in my business career. Suddenly, my full-time job was fighting cancer. No… in truth, that was Your full-time job on my behalf. My most important “work” became devoting myself to being in Your Presence.
How I miss those days, Lord! Crazy, huh? No. It isn’t the cancer part that I miss… it’s the constant communion part. The only “crazy” thing is letting anything in life distract me from fully devoting myself to such communion with You!
So my trip down Memory Lane tonight served its purpose… didn’t it, Lord? Looking back… so I would be eager to Leap Forward. Where You are waiting, with arms wide open…
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again…” (Jeremiah 31:3-4a)
See You in our Secret Place, Heart of my heart…