Thursday, February 10, 2011

STRUCK DOWN, BUT NOT DESTROYED

I have been having a party for the last day and a half. I didn’t invite many of you….only a few. It has not been a fun party. No fireworks, but plenty of waterworks. No drinks, no games, no appetizers, no riveting conversation. It has been a pathetic pity party. A desert party. A dry, empty, desert pity party.

The results from my PET scan were not encouraging. The chemotherapy did not reduce the tumors at all, and there is a new spot on the lung. The cancer activity within the tumors is very slightly less, but not significantly. Grief immediately pulled me against its chest and held me tightly. It was not what we wanted to hear. We were so sure that finally, there would be some good news.

Therein lies a large part of the reason for the sadness and despair. As my best friend Susan (who is invited to every pity party I have) told me, I set myself up for disappointment. I was choosing the PET scan as the moment God was going to reveal Himself in my healing. That day, that test, that moment. God had never promised me a healing on Tuesday. I was just expecting Him to move at that time. Susan reminded me that I am not God and that He is not influenced by my expectations. She said, “Mare, you have been walking on top of the water of fear for months now, but you took your eyes off Jesus and you fell in the water. You got wet. Now dry up and get back to walking on that water again. The fear is under you. Stop trying to play God and decide when He is going to do something. Keep walking on that water and keep your eyes on Jesus where they belong.”

My friend and precious prayer partner Julie came over yesterday to pray with me on her lunch break and reassured me that NOTHING is different. This news has changed nothing in our spiritual cancer walk. She reminded me that we continue to stand on God’s word, continue to pray and confess His promises for total healing, continue to believe without wavering in being cancer-free and we Do. Not. Quit. The results of a scan, meant to give an earthly doctor some earthly information, will have no power to dissuade us in our faith in God’s word. Amen.

And my niece Rachel, with wisdom born from heartache far beyond her 32 years, was another person I invited to the party, even though I knew she would verbally kick my butt from here to eternity when she heard me out. I needed her truth. Rachel knows my vulnerabilities and she knows how to get in my face and she knows all too much about fighting for LIFE. And this is part of what she stuffed in my face.

You are not dead. You are still living. Where there is breath, there is life.  THERE IS LIFE IN YOUR BODY, IN YOUR LUNGS, IN YOUR BONES. YOU ARE NOT DEAD. YOU ARE NOT DEAD. DO NOT ACT AS THOUGH YOU ARE. DO NOT CRY AS THOUGH YOU ARE.

Fine, have your moments of disappointment, cry on Dick's shoulder, sob. Let it all out. Then get back up and FIGHT.

I can't tell you how annoying it was, how demoralizing it was, to be told time again by "EXPERTS" that Lucy would die. That her death was imminent. That we would hold her for a few minutes after birth as she slipped away....

even as the ultrasounds confirmed some of their worst fears, we still HAD TO BELIEVE. we had no other choice. and neither do you. YOU STILL HAVE TO BELIEVE.

It doesn't matter what your family says, or what the lady down the street says, or even what your damn doctor says. IT MATTERS WHAT HOPE IS WRITTEN IN YOUR HEART.

what is written in your heart?    what?

And I knew that written in my heart was hope. Beneath the sadness of the scan news, there was hope. God has not changed from who He was 2 days ago. As long as Jesus Christ is my Savior and my Lord, there is always hope. I have to shake all that dry desert sand off of my heart and unearth my hope again. My belief in healing. My unwavering belief that my God still heals and that He is still in the business of miracles. Until the time comes when God speaks to me and tells me that accepting my death is my new path, I will sojourn on my trail of faith. God can do anything. He can excise tumors with a single thought. He can wipe out every cancer cell with a blink of an eye. What is impossible for man is possible for God. And until I am convinced that God wants me to die, I choose to believe that He will heal me.

My brother asked me why I look at it with such a dogmatic view. And all I can say is that it IS black and white to me. I either believe in my dying or I believe in my healing. Only one choice allows me to live my life. There is no gray area for me. There is no gray area for my husband and son and for our spiritual supporters.

The feeling as if I were wandering in the dry desert the past 2 days led me to the book of Exodus and there I found a word from God. It was rain.

When the Israelites were led out of Egypt by Moses, God promised him that He would make a way for them across the Red Sea. “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and he will chase after you. I have planned this SO I WILL RECEIVE GREAT GLORY at the expense of Pharaoh and his armies. After this, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”

The Israelites were scared and irritated and began to panic and cry out in despair as they saw 600 of Pharaoh’s chariots approaching them.

Moses told them, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch the Lord rescue you. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. You won’t have to life a finger in your defense.”

 





We all know the end of this amazing historical event. God kept His promise to His people. He parted the Red Sea, and the Israelites crossed over into the Shur Desert. As soon as all of them were on the other side, the Lord told Moses to raise his staff over the sea again, and the seawater rushed over all the Egyptians (and their 600 chariots) who were hotly pursing the Israelites. All perished.

********

The chariots of cancer are pursuing me. Has God allowed this so that He can receive great glory (at the expense of the oncological world, fancy steel scanners and the pharmaceutical companies) when he rescues me from the pursuit?? What I really revel in is this: God’s word to me to just stand where I am and watch Him move in His time. THE LORD will fight for me, as He did for His chosen people at the Red Sea ….. I don’t need to do anything but be still and wait on Him. The battle is the Lord’s, not mine!!

My sweet friend and spiritual sister Lee (she came to the party as it was winding down) asked me, “And do you think God allowed you to have an incurable cancer (by earthly standards) so that His glory may be even greater when He heals you?” It very well could be. There will be NO DOUBT on that day that it is God’s power doing the healing, because nothing else is purported to be able to. Radiation can’t, chemo can’t, surgery can’t. Lee, I think you are on to something that has weight.

And so, my blogging friends, I am cleaning myself up, drying myself off and discovering my fight and my faith again today. It may take a day or so, but I am on my way. Rachel told me that I could cry today, but tomorrow we fight and we don’t give up. And so we don’t.

You will all be invited to the victory party. Date and time of the Lord's choosing.


He is my God and I will praise him; he is my father's God and I will exalt Him. Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in power. Your right hand, O Lord, dashes the enemy to pieces. With unfailing love you will lead this people whom you have ransomed You will guide them in your strength to the place where your holiness dwells.

From Moses's Song of Deliverance
Exodus 15:2,6,13

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I KNEW you'd get back on that "faith horse"! As my Dad used to tell me on the ranch---if you get bucked off, you gotta get back on right away, that keeps the fear away!! And I knew you'd FIGHT BACK! Praise the Lord! LUV U to pieces! Julie

Cole said...

Oh Mary, your reaction was so normal! You think of all the things in your earthly life, the people you are living here for...but you have a very wise set of party-goers! I would like to say they're your cheerleaders! Maybe I'll get Rachel some posters and take her picture with some encouraging fight songs to cheer you on! =)

I have no doubt that God is working miracles through you, Mary. Truly, you cannot doubt that part of it! You know it, He's told you Himself, there's no disputing that. I'm praying VERY specifically and I can hear the hope in your words...abundantly! Keep the hope alive and when you get weak allow those to pick you up that are able to and lean on them when you feel this way. The feelings don't make you weak, they make you human...just keep remembering that God is above all of it, orchestrating his master plan for you life.

God bless, Mary. May you have a peaceful weekend.

Pipsylou said...

This is the most beautiful thing you've ever written.

And that's saying something.