Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"Cancerversary" is a Word!

Yep - it's a real word and now part of my vocabulary! Two years ago today I heard the diagnosis, "You have lymphoma." In some ways it all seems surreal. Did I really have cancer? The dreaded "c" word? Well, I did... and I'm better because of it. 

Isn't it crazy how God orchestrates even the tiniest details of reading a particular devotion on a particular day to impact the meaning? I'm reading through Blackaby's Experiencing God Day by Day, and two readings this week focused on Hebrews 5:7-9 and suffering.  
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him...

Jesus prayed "with loud cries and tears" to be spared from death.
  • Been there, done that. 

Jesus "learned obedience from what he suffered."
  • Still learning.

Jesus' suffering made Him perfect.
  • Am I willing to suffer to become like Christ?

I'm sure I've read these verses many times, but I've never paid attention to how they guide my response to suffering - (the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship). And to be clear, I don't consider my journey as much suffering as just a "bump in the road" (to quote my sweet friend Linda Shedd). All in all, I've had it fairly easy.

My devotion explained that "God will always relate to me out of the context of His love for a lost world." It's not all about me. It's about God and His kingdom. I'm thankful for what I've learned and how my faith has grown during the past two years. 

With mixed emotions I welcome my "cancerversary" as an opportunity to reflect on how God is refining me and giving me purpose! I pray I will be a powerful testimony for Him.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Truth 1.3 --- Psalm 86:11

It's neat to see how others in our Documented Faith group pick out different aspects of the same verse to focus on and illustrate in their journals. 

Our verse this past week was Psalm 86:11.
Teach me Your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in Your truth;
give me an undivided heart
that I may fear Your name. 

Not only did David pray to be saved from his enemies throughout the Psalms, but he prayed that God would keep him on the right path. This reminds me that physical safety and healing is not the most important thing in life.

It seems like there are so many distractions that make it hard to give my full allegience to God... you know, life... and this verse is a wonderful prayer for God's guidance.

May I have an undivided heart and walk in God's TRUTH.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Truth 1.2 --- Psalm 25:4-5

This past week's verses for my Documented Faith group were Psalm 25:4-5. My Facebook friends know I love the Psalms and post a verse almost every day! Reading a chapter a day for most of the last two years (since starting my cancer journey) has been the best encouragement! So I was especially excited to see these verses!

Just a little bit of background information on Psalm 25 from The Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon. (This might be my new favorite book!)

This Psalm is an acrostic in the original Hebrew language. Each verse begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in order. Wouldn't it be great to know Hebrew and see the alphabetical song?!?!

David was probably older when he wrote this Psalm as he pleads that God not remember the sins of his youth. He most likely wrote it during a time when Absalom was against him.

I love that David is still asking God to guide and teach him. May the desire of my heart be for God to show me His ways and teach me His paths... to guide me in His TRUTH and teach me... because He is my God, and my hope is in Him. 

Send forth Your light and truth
let them guide me; 
let them bring me to Your holy mountain, 
to the place where You dwell.
Psalm 43:3

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, 
He will guide you into all truth.
John 16:13

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Truth 1.1 --- Jeremiah 29:11

In a previous post I talked about a group called Documented Faith where we are challenged with a word each month and then a verse each week to go along with the monthly word. It's designed as a way to artistically journal or "document" your faith journey for the year. While I love seeing everyone's artwork, I don't have the time - or the talent - to do all the drawing, coloring, painting, etc like some others. But, I'm going to try to be FAITHFUL (read about my year word here) in my Bible study of the verses!

The word for January is TRUTH, and the first verse is Jeremiah 29:11. 

This has been a favorite verse of mine since college. In fact, it was read at my candlelight - they way our dorm announced an engagement! I admit I just liked the verse without really knowing anything about it. I mean, who doesn't like knowing there's a plan for our GOOD!!! This past week I've been looking at the verse in context, and I like it even more!

It's part of Jeremiah's letter to the exiles in Babylon basically encouraging them to "keep on keeping on." To get the whole impact of verse 11, you have to back to verse 10.

This is what the LORD says: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.

70 years!!! Not tomorrow or the next day, but 70 years for the gracious promise to be fulfilled! That's longer than some people's lifetime!

Suddenly, verse 11 is a big picture kind of verse. God knows the plan for His people. It's His plan, and it's for our good... to give us HOPE and a future.

Don't you love that!!!

It doesn't mean we'll be healthy, wealthy, and wise. It doesn't mean we won't have hard times. In fact, maybe it won't be until eternity for the fulfillment of His gracious promise, but it WILL be fulfilled! That is an awesome TRUTH!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


One of my goals since cancer is finding ways to use it for good... finding my purpose. So if I can educate, encourage, and glorify God, I'm on board. And there are things about me now that are so much better than before.

Yesterday I had an appointment to have my port flushed. I would love to be a volunteer at Tulsa Cancer Institute, but living 70+ miles away makes that impossible. Sometimes I feel like I'm not DOING anything. But while walking across the parking lot, it hit me that maybe my role is to encourage those with whom I have some kind of personal connection. I don't have to be part of an organized group to have a purpose.

Before cancer, I had little desire to visit anyone in the hospital. I felt like I didn't know what to say, what to do, or how to act. I would be terrified and do whatever I could to avoid uncomfortable situations. But after my appointment yesterday, I visited a friend in the hospital who has just been diagnosed with leukemia. And I went all by myself! That may not seem like much, but the fact that I wasn't intimidated, apprehensive, or a nervous wreck is huge! 

I realized I don't have to worry about saying the right words or not saying the wrong words. I just need to be available when and where God wants me. He will show me how to...

"...comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
~ 2 Corinthians 1:4

Thursday, January 1, 2015


My word for 2015 is FAITHFUL.

A lot of people choose one word to focus on for the year as inspiration for their quiet time, scrapbooking, journaling, etc. I'm part of an on-line group (Documented Faith) that has challenged me to think about a word for the year to go along with the words the moderator has chosen for each month and verses for each week. I wasn't going to pick a word, because really, how do you decide? It's funny how God decided for me!

I want to be FAITHFUL... my Walk with God my relationships my work/ministry

...with my money/time/home

Through my cancer journey, I've never doubted that God is faithful to me. Now I want to show myself as faithful to Him. I tend to start strong (resolutions, projects, pretty much anything) and then gradually fade without finishing. So if you hear me chanting my 5K mantra - slow and steady wins the race - you'll know why! I hope to regularly blog about this new kind of journey as God teaches me how to be faithful in all I do.

But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him FAITHFULLY with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.
~ I Samuel 12:24