Thursday, October 31, 2013


I have put myself in self-imposed seclusion this week. It is my own personal rescue operation. I am spending many hours talking with the Lord, reading Scripture, dusting myself off from the grief of Sunday's reality, and trying to get back on the faith horse. I am spending time doing "normal" things that need to be tried with the "new eyes".....reading, writing, walking, watching TV. I am training myself in the new normal, praying for God to remove the intense self-awareness of the "greasy blobs" floating around in my vision. 

The bottom line has been God's question posed to me: MARY, CAN YOU TRUST ME? That is the fundamental question right now, and one that I have taken days to answer. 

I wish I could say that the doubts did not creep in. They did. But this period of seclusion with God from the outside world has helped me toss them out. 

Here's where I am. If I have complete faith in the Word of God which promises healing for my cancer and my right eye, why wouldn't I have faith for both eyes? Like God is only Healer enough for one side of my face? I mean, how shallow would my faith be? There are no limits on my God of abundance for total healing, and I expect it. BOTH EYES. LUNG TUMOR. ALL of it.

So with that backbone in place again, I now just pray that God will help me adjust to living with the blurriness until the day He chooses the healing. I welcome any prayers along that line. 

Appreciate your vision, friends. Every day. Every hour. It is more precious than you know.

Monday, October 28, 2013


I do not blame my son who says, even tongue-in-cheek, that he fears for his life because his mother has become Job. Job lost everything, and then lost his entire family. Don't think that Satan is incapable of doing that again. Seriously, he is out to claim victory over me.

On Saturday, I had a second large vitreous detachment in my one good eye, the eye I have relied on heavily the past year since my right eye has been so compromised from last November's vitreous detachment. It is almost too much to tell about the grief I feel over the need to learn how to do life without clear vision.

I spent my birthday on Sunday at the eye doctor, and in tears, trying to absorb the immediate reality of this loss. I ask you, Satan, what more will you attempt to steal, kill and destroy of mine?

I have not tried to drive. If I cannot, I can no longer drive to Fargo to visit my parents or even go into the city to do errands. This loss would be huge.

It is clear in Scripture that the Lord ALLOWED Satan to take everything from Job. He clearly has allowed Satan to do it to me as well. God could have prevented this. I do not understand His ways....they are always far above my own ways and thoughts. But I thought perhaps He knew that I have already reached my limit of endurance the past 3 years.

I had to cancel my long-awaited and planned-for flight to Georgia today. Another huge loss.

When Dick came in the house for lunch this noon, he said, "Mary, the word I got from the Lord is that you are to rejoice in all things, in all circumstances, and that He will get all the glory when He heals your eyes. And He WILL heal your eyes, because God's promises for healing are His word, and He cannot lie."

So, for right now, I am resting in God's arms, trying to muster up the courage to praise Him in this, letting the Holy Spirit just minister to me, and praying for strength to accept what feels unacceptable.

And the well-known verse from Job that I carry in my heart right now? 23:10. AFTER HE HAS TESTED ME, I SHALL COME FORTH AS GOLD.

May it be so.

Friday, October 25, 2013


I've had a really tough month of chemo side effects-----all in the form of the classic chemo-plug up. Yet again. Except this time I fear that my peristalsis is permanently damaged. I have had exactly 4 bowel movements in one month, all brought on by "excessive" efforts. The treatment that has been working so well for 5 months all of a sudden has stopped. If you need something to pray for, please pray that God would heal my peristalsis and that my bowels would be able to tolerate the chemo without me having to be wiped out for 2 days every week with treatment.

That said, I refuse to see that one large problem as being more significant than all of the smaller things to be grateful for, that make me smile, that impress me. So many good things have happened this week that overshadow my chemo-complaints.

***Those of you who know me well know I HATE to shop, and that a trip to the city to run errands is always a pained day. But this week I needed to go buy a new freezer because ours  (yes, full of fish and berries) was found dead one night this week. I had 4 other errands and each went swimmingly well. Each store either took my return without question, had exactly what I needed, offered me free gift wrapping, or just happened to have an item (on clearance) that I had been needing for a long time. It was not a pained day. It was really OK. That made me smile.

***I was so impressed to receive a thank you from my niece Tamela within 13 days of her wedding. Not too many young people today understand the importance of thank yous, and some come months after the fact. Tam knows her social graces. Kudos to her for being so thoughtful.

***I was asked to be a part of a team of people from church to design the new website, and I am so excited to be a part of this. I asked Sam's girlfriend Gretchen for any advice she had for the team, as she is passionate about this type of thing and works in marketing. She had done an internship at a church and worked on this same thing. She gave us a boatload of great suggestions and points to ponder. I was so impressed by all her knowledge and was so proud of her input!

***We went to our last "Parents' Weekend" at Dordt last weekend. 'Twas bittersweet! Got to sit with Sam in the booth as he broadcasted the hockey game. Then we went to the Alumni-Varsity basketball game together, took in some of the Praise and Worship hour at the student center, took him out for something to eat, and then came home. We were so incredibly moved and impressed by Dordt's Praise Team. Wow. Talk about real worship. When I said to Sam, "You mean, THIS is what you have gotten for the past 3 years," he said, "Yeah, I've been spoiled, haven't I." Dick and I are so grateful for this Christian culture he has been able to wrap himself in for 4 years of his life.

***Sam has his last broadcast of our high school football team next Tuesday. Anyone who would like to listen to him... he is at, click on the red Red Eye Sports box along the top, then click into the game listed on the right side. The game will probably start at 6:45 or 7:00. (It will be listed in a few days). We are so proud of his work. He has been asked to broadcast the Tanagers' basketball season too. Anything that brings him home for an hour, or even an overnight, we are excited about!


I am headed to Georgia for a week to see my best friend. I hate to fly like I hate to shop, but once I get there, it'll be great to be together again!

Monday, October 21, 2013


Any of you who have been following this blog for any length of time will know that I have been given an amazing gift of faith for my healing. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes through hearing the word of God, and indeed, that was all I needed to stake my faith in His promises. I have been taking God at His word, not knowing the timing of when He would reveal the healing, but believing it was mine before I saw any physical manifestation of it.

I have had faith for the healing of my vitreous detachment, which has given my right eye very blurry vision, my cancer, and my knee pain.

And tonight, I can tell you that God has healed one of those. My knee pain is gone. After 3 orthopedic evaluations and an MRI, none of which yielded the cause, and 19 months of 24/7 pain and locking, my knee is healed. 

Today I can put my legs together with my toes pointed forward for the first time in 19 months. Today I can walk without pain. Today I have no locking. Today I can put all my weight on my right leg for the first time in nearly 2 years.

Praise God.

In late August, I told Dick that I had better make that appointment for the arthroscopy that they recommended in May. He told me not to. He told me to wait.

And 3 weeks ago, I began noticing the change. And the healing seems to be complete.

I love what Jesus said to Martha when they were about to roll away Lazarus' stone. He said, "Didn't I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

Jesus says it to me, and He says it to you. 

If you believe (and when you wait on Him) in His word, you will be able to proclaim His glory for what He will do for you.

I serve an awesome God. And because of His power and authority and faithfulness to His own promises, I have my knee healing.

All glory to my Creator.

Monday, October 14, 2013


I have come to the point of feeling that one of the greatest frustrations for me spiritually is listening to people talk about healing who adhere to the gross Christian misrepresentation that God is glorified in illness.

It was at my women's Bible study, and the subject came up as a spider-webbed side-track. As much as I would have loved to share the truth in Scripture about this, it would have taken our study in a direction it is not meant to go. So I just listened, and remembered that I used to be all of them. I used to buy into Satan's great lie that God is glorified in sickness.

Oh, how sad it is when people believe this.

There is NOTHING in the gospels anywhere which supports this. Not in one instance did Jesus EVER say, "No, your leprosy glorifies my Father, so you need to hang onto that," or " 'Fraid not, sonny, your blindness brings God so much glory.....I just can't consider healing you."

Jesus came to earth to do his Father's will. He was the exact representation of the Father's will here on earth. He did nothing but his Father's will. 

And he healed.

Everyone who asked.

"Oh, you poor thing.....bleeding for so many years.....I know you touched my garment in hopes that I would heal you....but that bleeding does my Father in heaven so much good... he is so glorified by it that I have to let you continue to bleed."


I wanted to tell my Bible study-mates that God is no more glorified by illness than He is by sin. He does not tell people to continue to wallow in sin because it glorifies His father. And He does not tell people to continue to be sick because it glorifies His father.

As if His work on earth was not tell-tale enough for Christians to read and discern for themselves that healing is the thing that glorifies God, Jesus made one epic comment which should seal the deal for any doubters.

Lazarus had died and Jesus went there at the urging of his sisters. They blamed Him for not coming earlier. 

Did Jesus say that Lazarus' sickness and death was glorifying God? NO! 

When he heard the sisters' grief, Jesus told the family that Lazarus' life would not end with this illness, but that Lazarus' resurrection/ healing would glorify God, and in turn glorify Himself, God's son. It was the HEALING that would do the glorifying!

How much clearer can it be that Jesus got no honor and praise for sickness. He got no honor for sin either. He hated both sin and sickness and healed and saved all who asked Him.

If sickness glorifies God more than healing, then any attempt Christians make to get well would be an effort to rob God of the glory we should want Him to have.

If sickness glorifies God, then we should rather be sick than well.

If sickness glorifies God, Jesus robbed His Father of all the glory He possibly could by healing everyone.

We do not glorify God in our spirit by remaining in sin, and we do not glorify God in our body by remaining sick.

If I had bought into this theological misspeak 3 years ago, I would be long dead by now. I used to believe this, until I studied God's Word about the whole issue. The Bible clears this up pretty easily, and I am so thankful that He led me to the truth.

As healing evangelist T.L.Osborne says, "Let us not stand by the bed of the sick to sympathize with their pains. Let us never insinuate that it must be God's will to "take them," or that "it will teach them patience," or that perhaps "they will be drawn closer to the Lord" through their sickness. Let us rather declare war on every form of sickness and take authority over it through the name of Jesus Christ. Let us minister deliverance to those in need of healing."

The true glory, according to the Bible, that God receives is when his children are saved and healed and redeemed from the devil's schemes and lies.

My spider-webbed side-track here got a little long-winded. But I am alive today to BE long-winded only because I don't think my incurable cancer glorifies God in the least. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


My folks sold and moved out of their condo in May. It was stressful, labor-intensive and emotionally taxing for them as well as my brothers and me, who helped them with the final leave-taking. We laughed some, we cried more, and I’d like to believe we accomplished the task with grace.
          You learn many lessons about the fabric of your family when your parents pack up their home and move out. You hear heartbreaking stories about families being torn apart over “things”…..who gets Dad’s desk or the antique bedroom set or the patio furniture. The experience is a real test of values and relationships and there was an unspoken determination between us kids that this right-of-passage would not generate any splinters between us.
          I am profoundly grateful that my siblings and I didn’t have one contentious word over the division of the home's contents. Mom and Dad could only take so much to their new apartment in a senior living facility, so we three kids got more than we ever even wanted! What remained we donated or left for the new owners. Since my brothers and I have different needs, tastes and amounts of space in our homes, we each chose different things. My folks were so happy to see things being “claimed” that if Dad saw one of us even contemplating an item, he would say, “Take it! It’s yours!”
          My parents have always been unbelievably generous and this move was no exception. They could have pocketed the cash from an estate sale or could have made a big charitable donation and taken an income tax deduction. But they did neither. They wanted us to have anything we wanted. They were so happy for each of us to have the treasures we had always loved from home.
          Being given so much through this move reminded me of what the Lord has told us in Scripture about His own storehouse of “goods.” He has gifts of unspeakable worth that He will mete out to us simply for the asking. (Ask what you wish me to give you! 1 Kings 3:5)  He has promised us gifts such as peace, love, guidance, wisdom, joy, faithfulness, self-control, deliverance from generational strongholds, gentleness, discernment, patience, protection from temptation, paths through pain, healing, our heart’s desires, a purpose, and eternal life.
          I don’t know about you, but occasionally I forget that God is a generous, benevolent father. He wants me to have whatever resources from the heavenly arsenal that I want and need. All I need to do is ask for these things. Yet sometimes I don’t. Instead of praying for patience, I blame myself for lack of it. Instead of looking for his comfort and encouragement in tough times, I resign myself to increased anxiety. I can forget about God’s repository.
          I think my parents would have felt heartbroken if we kids had not wanted any of the cherished family belongings. I believe God feels the same way. 
         The Lord has heaven’s treasures in reserve, waiting for us. If we lack them, it is because we don’t pursue them and claim them. God’s coffers are full. Our credit, if we have faith in Him, is excellent and I imagine He is just yearning to whisper to us, “Take it. It’s yours.”

And we can be confident that He will listen to us whenever 
we ask for anything in line with His will. 
If we know He is listening when we make our requests known, 
we can be sure He will give us what we ask for.
1 John 5:14-15

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Today, I have been married for 30 years. (And where did THAT time go?)

I guess I have some thoughts about the milestone, lessons I've learned along the way....

* I've learned that as much as I would like "to be right" all the time, I'm not.

* Marriage has brought out the best in me----and the worst in me. But I know that no matter how selfish or frustrating or unforgiving I have ever been, there is always forgiveness, always love, on Dick's end. 

* I've learned that contentment in my marriage hasn't been based on what the savings account reads or how many things on the honey-do list are crossed off or how many gifts my husband buys me. It has been based on the fact that we dream the same dreams, love the same things, share the same values, and can catch each other's eye across a room and know the other's thoughts.

* Marriage has both humbled me and given me wings.

* I've learned that the grief we've shared through the valleys of infertility, depression, a bad business deal and a cancer diagnosis has only created a deeper bond between us. I've learned that you don't really know your spouse completely until you see his level of strength, integrity, and faith in the face of the worst life can throw at you.

* I've learned that you don't make it 30 years without a lot of work, compromise, chemistry, and friendship. You don't sustain a marriage without effort. You can have a good marriage without work. You can have a great marriage with work.

* I would never have believed 30 years ago that there are some things about marriage that just keep getting better with age. 'Nuf said.

* I knew I was in love with Dick on our wedding day. I never knew that I would fall in love with him all over again the first time I saw our newborn son sleeping on his chest, or when he made the bold choice to have unwavering faith in my healing.

* Maybe the greatest lesson 30 years of marriage has taught me is that love is not a feeling. Love is a choice. Love is an action and a decision. True love is choosing to honor and respect each other even if there are hours or even days when we don't FEEL loving. It is making an intentional loving choice apart from the fickle brain chemicals we call "feelings."

* I am blessed that with Christ as the center of our relationship, we have had access to every God-given tool and resource we have ever needed to walk hand-in-hand through the unique and winding seasons of our thirty years together. Our partnership has been solid because we have always known that God, not each other, is the most important relationship in our individual lives.

I praise God for 30 years with my husband. I praise Him for refining us and supporting us along the way. I praise Him for blessing these years with an amazing child, jobs, homes and friends.

Happy Anniversary, Richie. I love you past the moon.