Monday, December 31, 2012


It is 4 hours before 2013 settles itself in.

Do I have any resolutions? No. I plan on living through this coming year; I guess that is as ambitious as I will get.

2012 was a year of happiness and of struggle. Aren’t most years like that for everyone? 

And while it is human instinct to dwell on all that I do NOT have because of cancer, I will not give the devil the satisfaction of pointing out what he has taken from me. He loves getting the recognition. He will not get it from me.

I do not know what 2013 will hold, but I know Who holds my future in His hands. Without the Lord as my refuge and strength, I could not wake up day after day. I am so grateful to my Savior for his promises and his comfort. I am so grateful to my husband and son, both men of unwavering faith in my healing....the two of them are my oxygen and my sunlight.

I have my next PET scan 3 days from now. By Thursday afternoon, I will have an idea of what the next months will mean for me. I pray for good news, and I know God is good and faithful no matter what the news is. I wait on Him until He finishes writing my story.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012


I have always tried to read through the Bible every year. Sometimes it takes me more than one year because I skip days and get sidetracked with other devotionals and such. In the past two years, my chemo brain has not lent itself to study of any kind, but this fall, I made the commitment to start again.

I LOVE Genesis and Exodus. I could read the stories of Joseph and Abraham and Moses over and over. My intent is always to study one chapter each day and really meditate on what God is telling ME in that chapter. In the first two books, I get so involved that I read multiple chapters. It is better than any biography.

But then, Leviticus. Leviticus weighs me down every time. Too confusing. Too technical. Too many details of ancient Hebrew offerings, laws, punishments and ceremonies. I admit to skimming here.

I just finished Numbers. The many pages of census taking is laborious for me and feels irrelevant (knowing that the leader of Simeon’s tribe is Shelumeil son of Zurishaddai does not make me a better Christian). More rules for offerings that I usually skim. But then, yes, “the story” continues. The Israelites leave Sinai and journey on to take the Promised Land God has told them is theirs. God gives the promise…..they seek its fulfillment.

Numbers has struck a chord with me in a whole new way as I read it through eyes (one with an annoying detached vitreous, mind you) that are colored with cancer. This book really spoke to me this month as I read it. I too am between a promise and its fulfillment.

Numbers is filled with cycles of rebellion and belly-aching from the nation of Israel. They complain about everything from manna to the prospects of defeating the foreigners inhabiting the Promised Land, to the way Moses is handling his job. There is repentance and then as the Israelites cry out in desperation for forgiveness, God gives it. As soon as they sin again, God withholds His blessings until their impatience and irritation and lack of faith get the best of them and they repent. The cycle was to be repeated for centuries.

What spoke to me? God’s promises are fulfilled because of FAITH and ENDURANCE. I have to give those to my Father God. That’s what He asked of His chosen people. It is all He asks of any of us. He basically promised Israel everything they could ever want, IF they would simply trust Him and be patient for the promise to be fulfilled in His time.

God was looking for their faith and their character in that span between the promise and the fulfillment. That’s what He demanded. Be holy. Worship Me and only Me. Obey My commands. Stay in relationship with Me. Wait in faith that I will do what I said I will do. I cannot lie. Persevere. Trust Me with your whole heart.

It is exactly what God is asking of me. God has promised me healing through His Word. He cannot lie. I believe it is mine. It has not manifested itself on a computer screen, but that means nothing in the world of faith. I have a promise. I await its fulfillment. God reminded me through Numbers that he wants my patience and my faith without any complaining. I am determined to give my God exactly that.

Numbers 6:24-26

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Healing is on its way, both for the bronchitis/laryngitis and depression. I hate that I got that gene; my grandmother and her father both had to deal with it. But I know how fine life feels when the sun comes out again. People who have never walked in the darkness of depression can never fully appreciate the joy of what a normal mundane day can feel like. It is coming.

We went to Fargo for Christmas Eve and had a really nice visit with my parents. It was a quick trip, but a fun one.

I came home to the news of yet another friend dying of lung cancer. That makes 5 deaths of neighbor/cousin/3 friends dying in less than a year of the same disease. It is hard on my heart, but I stay faithfully believing in the promises in Scripture that reassure me that healing is coming.

A happy new year to all of you who still peek at this blog. I do not have much to offer anyone in these posts, but it is therapeutic for me, and so I continue. 

Monday, December 17, 2012


My life with lung cancer has been a game of Jenga, only the pieces are not wood, they are crystal. And this weekend, when it toppled over, it shattered. Pieces of myself, my husband, fears, anxieties, strivings, physical problems, energy……EVERYTHING shattered. It was a weekend where my neediness was just too much for my caregiving husband, a weekend where all the energy it takes to hold fast to faith and belief in healing nose-dived, a weekend where the dark tunnel swept down again to engulf me.

After an act of surrender, I am left to sweep up the remains. It is not easy when you are besieged with physical illness every other day. It is not easy when yet another friend (from Minnesota) has just died from lung cancer. It is not easy when the tunnel presses down and squeezes out fears that I would be best off in some mental institution. (Satan has tried that lie out on me many times and I buy into it every time)

I read in a devotional that faith is an act of will and belief is an act of the mind. I have had both, in great quantities, praise God. But the energy they both take has taken a toll. It has brought me to a place of TRUST. It is not the same thing. Trust is rest. It is an act of the heart, an act of love. The only thing I have to give right now is trust. Abiding. Resting. Trusting. It is a quiet act, a humble act. It is a place that is maybe where I should have been long before this.

I can’t read any more books about healing. I don’t have any more energy to rebuke Satan’s attempts to keep me afflicted all the time. All I have left is my Bible and a simple, “God, I love you, I worship you and I trust you.” I have lost none of my complete faith in healing. I have taken God at His Word and believe it shall be so. But I feel as if I have strived too hard to keep it at a level that almost made it into “works.” It has never been about the amount of faith I have….as if my working toward it would make it so. It has always been about grace. My healing is about what HE has done on the cross. That, and that alone. And, like salvation, all I need to do is simply accept it in faith. Jesus took my disease to the cross and redeemed it. I only need to sit back and trust Him. Abide in Him. Rest in Him.

Trust is hard. It requires a Type A person to do nothing except rest in the arms of her Heavenly Father and say, “Daddy, you promised me healing. And I will wait here in your arms until you make that known. I trust you to the ends of the earth that you are who You say You are. I rest here.”

And so it goes. Plodding through the dark tunnel once again. Learning to trust. And nothing more.

Prayers for this new phase of my life are welcome. It is a hard time of year to walk in the fog.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I can't seem to make it through one whole week without some physical problem. I am SO SO SO tired of fighting for health. On Sunday, I came down with bronchitis and by Monday morning, I had no voice. I still have a bad case of laryngitis...can't even squeak. Tonight I have a bad toothache (where is your brother when you need him?). I have reverted back to my childhood, rubbing Mentholatum on my chest and putting a hot rag and heating pad on me (where is your mom when you need her?) and drinking hot tea. What a weenie I am.

I have not spoken in 36 hours, am bored out of my wits laying on the sofa with trash on daytime TV, only so many hours my distorted eye can read a book, and coughing into thin air. I vacillate between self-pity and anger, helping neither my health nor my faith.

Late this afternoon I decided I needed to find some little joys that have popped up the past few days (before the latest assault). And so between Tom Brokaw's newscast and making myself a salad and hamburger for dinner (another reason for grousing....I was supposed to be with Dick at his work Christmas party tonight), I wrote down the following:

* Lighting all the living room candles and tree lights at night and listening to my favorite Christmas CD's...

* Picking out and wrapping presents for families who are challenged at Christmastime. I'm so grateful that my church family reaches out...we all get far more than we give...

* Getting a Christmas card and picture from someone who I haven't heard from in years and seeing how much their kids have grown...

* Having cranberries in the stores again after 10 months....must stock up...

* Being grateful that our family puts little emphasis on gift-giving which translates: NO PRESENTS STRESS...

* Slowly perusing holiday sweets recipes, and wishing I had the creativity to replicate those platters, but not caring that I can't....I just like to look...

* Gazing at my nativity set and reflecting on the great gift of Jesus to humankind....

And so, with my list of mini joys woven into my heart, and with Mentholatum fumes rising from this keyboard, I say goodnight, but I wish my dad were here to tuck me in. I AM a weenie.

Monday, December 3, 2012


The Israelites, while living in the desert for 40 years, were attacked one time by a tribe of Amalekites. Moses, their leader, told his designated successor Joshua to gather up Israel's best warriors and go fight the foreigners. The next day Joshua left to do as he was told, and Moses proceeded to take his brother Aaron and Hur with him to the top of the hill so he could lift his hands in prayer to the Lord. 

Hur is believed to be Moses' brother-in-law, but all we really know about him was that he was a "man of influence" and one of Moses' aides and right-hand men.

As long as Moses held up his hands, Joshua and his army were winning the battle, but whenever Moses lowered his hands, the Amalekites started winning. We know the effort it takes to keep one's hands lifted in the air for a long period of time. There was no human way that Moses could do this for a day, perhaps let alone an hour.

But the Bible shows us what two friends can do to turn the tide of events on your behalf. Exodus (17) tells us that when Moses' arms grew too tired, Aaron and Hur held them up---one on one side, one on the other. And we read that they held up his arms UNTIL SUNSET. We are talking HOURS here. Aaron and Hur enabled an entire nation to taste victory over an oppressor as Joshua and the Israeli army defeated the Amalekites. 

This story never fails to stir my soul, for you see I also have an Aaron and a Hur in my life. While I have felt the prayers of so so many friends, family, and mere acquaintances over the past 27 months, it has been my Aaron and Hur who have held my arms up.

Julie Rolfes and Mary Ruth Armstrong walked into my home a few weeks after my diagnosis and changed the course of my life. I had never met Mary Ruth before. Julie was prompted by the Holy Spirit to bring her. They came and taught me about God's will for healing and about standing on God's Word for healing, and about the redemptive blessing of healing Christians have because Jesus took both sins and sicknesses to the cross.

They prayed fervent prayers for me and left. Only to return Every. Single. Week. for an entire year, at least every other week for another year, and now, as often as we can get together every month, to pray. Their commitment to me was (and is) beyond anything I could have ever expected. 

We have prayed through tears and we have rebuked satan in anger. We have wept and laughed and pondered and claimed God's promises together. And not once, for 27 months, have they let go of my arms. When another physical assault has left my faith shaken, they have lifted my arms up a little higher. They are at the other end of a phone every single time I have needed their prayer and counsel. They are in my living room the moment they sense my arms are starting to lower. These two women WILL NOT let the Amalekites in my life have victory. God has given them supernatural strength in order to give it to me.

DECEMBER 3, 2012

I love these two sisters-in-Christ with all my heart, and I am so deeply grateful that they are my Aaron and Hur. They have laid down their lives for me. I have been blessed beyond words through their devotion to my complete and total healing and restoration. And the celebration can't come soon enough for the three of us!!