Friday, September 30, 2011

Thoughts of Recurrence

Obedience is so much more than what we do. It begins with who we are, our very character. Then it must be mastered in our thoughts.

"casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" ~2 Corinthians 10:5

Recurrence is something that tries to dominate the thinking of every cancer survivor. At times, it is easier to believe that the cancer has come back than that it won't.
Every lump (oh no!)
Every head ache (brain tumor?)
Every pain (ahhh, it's in my bones!)
A little rash (has it spread to my skin?)
Any new, persistent pain brings with it dread and fear.
These thoughts are normal. Yet, who can live like that?

"Rejoice in the Lord always." ~Phillipians 4:4
"Be anxious for nothing," ~Phillipians 4:6
"Fear not..." ~Isaiah 41:10

Does cancer trump these verses? Surely it's okay to worry about cancer? Right?
No. That's not right. The Bible is very clear, I'm not supposed to worry. Regardless of my circumstances, I'm supposed to rejoice. I know with confidence that whatever tomorrow brings, God will give me everything I need to get through.

So when thoughts of recurrence come, (and they do), I don't let them linger. I don't allow my mind to stay there.
It's a battle.
It's a battle between faith and fear.
It's a battle for my mind.
It's a battle for my allegiance.
And it's a battle that I must win.

Friday, September 16, 2011

We had hoped...

A couple of months ago, I tried to figure out how many treatments I had left. I need 52 weeks of Herceptin. I had 12 last summer, then started up again in January. I get 3 doses once every three weeks. My calculations determined that I had two treatments left (6 weeks).
When I saw the nurse practitioner a couple of weeks ago, her computations were different than mine. She said 3-4 more treatments. I was crushed, and frustrated. That's another 9-12 weeks.
I had hoped I would be almost done by now.
I had hoped I would be stronger.
I had hoped to be helping and encouraging others, instead of continually focused on myself.
I had hoped to reconnect with friends.
I had hoped to be a better wife and mom.
I had hoped...

Disappointment comes.
Discouragement creeps in.

I was reminded of the two men on the road to Emmaus, right after Jesus' resurrection.

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. ~Luke 24:13-21

They had hoped that Jesus was going to redeem Israel. In their minds, his death also meant the death of their dreams, of their hope. They had their idea of how things would go, of how God would fulfill His promises to them. And when things didn't go as they expected, they lost hope.

But the very thing that caused their hopelessness, the death of Jesus, was also the thing that provided the greatest hope the world has ever known. Jesus' death gave them exactly what they had hoped for: redemption.

I don't want to be like these men, who didn't recognize Jesus, who lost hope because things didn't go their way. I want to trust God, in all circumstances, with joy and with hope.

Perhaps the circumstances of my life, the things that aren't going the way I had hoped, are the very things that God will use to bring about the fulfillment of His promises to me, and to satisfy the deepest desires of my heart.