WOW! What a few days it has been. Friday we received the call from the doctor with my PET scan results. It was great to hear, “no sign of disease in your body”. The words we all long to hear. Woo Hoo!!! Then on Sunday I was able to minister from the pulpit and bring a message of encouragement and focus on God’s redeeming work in each one of us. It felt good to be back in the pulpit after four months without public ministry. Sunday evening culminated with a lovely walk by the bay and dinner out with my sweetheart. Our 16th anniversary was 1 1/2 weeks ago and we had failed to celebrate due to the chemotherapy. It was good to be out and enjoying time with just the two of us. It felt very normal which is something I have missed lately. And then Monday...back to the bag of poison! Yes, despite the test results we just received, standard protocol says that two more rounds of treatment are given to be sure all last cancer cells are destroyed. As before, we are walking through this by faith and will endure the suffering in order to walk this out completely. One highlight from my visit to the Dr. on Monday was the Dr’s testimony. As he sat down to talk things through he said, “It was so exciting to see the results. This is something that I never see. Normally we see progress and improvement but we rarely see total disease removal”. WELL, PRAISE GOD! Three months from a stage 3 cancer diagnosis to totally cancer free, that’s pretty amazing! May God be glorified!
Friday when we received the news that there was no sign of disease in my body, I was somehow not surprised. Truly it was what we were expecting. We had prayed specifically that the scan would show my body had been rid of cancer and so many others were agreeing in prayer with us. We knew deep down inside and had a very confident feeling of what was coming.
God is faithful to hear and respond to our prayers. But sometimes when we try to work our faith we are hoping for an outcome that we really aren’t sure is going to happen. We hope that if we just pray more or can convince ourselves and maybe God that it should happen, then our prayers will be answered. True faith flows out of a firm belief, being fully convinced that what you are praying for is going to happen. Or being content that whether it happens or not it does not change my standing with God, and my belief that He is good and has a plan. True faith trusts God through thick and thin and answers to prayer do not change our faith or who God is.
When I sit back and think about my walk of faith, I have seen many times when I was praying for something and it never happened. Did I do something wrong? Did I just not believe enough? Or is there a greater plan that often I struggle to see? True faith is trusting God through any circumstance, we make our petitions known and believe God for that outcome but ultimately we need to yield to God’s will. Jesus demonstrated that in the garden of Gethsemene. Today I can look back on the past three months and see how my family and I have grown and in many ways benefitted from this experience. And I can think of how even some of you reading this have been impacted through this journey. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Even the ministry to the Dr., for him to see God working and make a testimony to God’s greatness. Whether or not he knew he was declaring God’s glory and His miracle working power.
Truly, pure faith is believing in something we cannot see, and a life of faith is trusting the God that leads us despite our not knowing what is coming next. Today I found myself in the book of James and in chapter 4 he is reminding us that our lives are but vapors and we really don’t know what God has for us tomorrow. Any such boasting that we “know” exactly what God has tomorrow is arrogance and James actually says it is evil. God’s reminder for me today is that walking by faith is a daily practice, living in today and fulfilling His desires and using this precious time to bring glory to Him. We can, with all our efforts, try to secure what tomorrow will look like, but ultimately we are in the hands of a great God who has an intricate plan for each and every one of us.
I have to admit, Friday’s news did bring some relief where there was a sense of anxiousness. No matter how strong my faith grows and how much I can trust God in the unknown, the human side of me finds comfort in knowing how things are going to be. And I am sure this is not the last challenge we will face to test our ability to trust God. My prayer is that His grace will continue to be poured out on me and my family so that as we walk by faith we can continue to see God’s goodness and His glory all around us.
As things stand now we will be finishing up chemo and other medical procedures until the end of August and the first of September. Then we have some vacation planned to rejoice in the journey we have passed through as well as some time with other family before we begin the push to get ready for returning to Uganda. Our tickets are scheduled for October 12th. We will keep you up to date with any changes or news that arrises. Until then may God continue to be glorified in all we do and reveal His glory to each one of you in His unique ways.
Blessings to you in the name of our miracle working God!
Hamburgers for all
Joy in the journey