Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rachel Barkey Explains Why Death is Not Dying

I want to preface this post with the mention that I have cancer. Ovarian cancer. That means, in all probability, that I will not live (as I once thought I might) to be 90 years old. My paternal grandmother and grandfather were 90 years old when they died. My father was 86. My mother is 88 and still drives her car the three blocks for lunch with her friends. I used to think that in all probability my genes would take me to a healthy old age. But here I am, 64 years old, with ovarian cancer. If I live to be 90 (or anywhere close) it will be purely by God's grace.

Having cancer is like knowing you are under the sentence of death. It's not that I didn't know death was down the road somewhere. Nobody reaches the age of 64 without having looked honestly at the fact that death comes to all...even to oneself. But somehow the diagnosis of cancer makes it all seem so abruptly close. If one has already acknowledged their own mortality, that knowledge has now become more point-blank, right in your face, in your daily thinking, in your prayers.

Oh, I'm undergoing chemotherapy and I understand that chemo will somewhat prolong my life. But I also know that my life will be much, much shorter than I used to believe. So I've looked at all that, wrapped my thoughts around it, talked to God about it, cried about it. And I've bowed down to God in all of it, knowing that He holds all my days and that however He chooses to deal with me will be right and just and good. Who am I to argue with God about His plans for me? I can only bow down and submit, knowing that His love is sure and certain. AnRachelbarkeyd I am grateful for that love.

This morning, I took an hour and watched a video. Rachel Barkey, 37 years old, is a wife, a mother of two children, and has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She is not expected to live to see her 38th birthday. Several weeks ago she shared a message with a large group of women entitled “Death is Not Dying: A Faith that Saves.” It's an hour long and I hope that you will take the time to listen as well. If you wish you can download Rachel's message to your mp3 player.

Rachel's faith is strong and her understanding of the Gospel is clear and good. And she says so well what I would like to share with all whom I love.

So having asked you to listen to Rachel's message, I also ask you to consider what the Apostle Paul told the Christians at Corinth in regards to death:

"I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
"Death is swallowed up in victory."
"O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

.(Thanks to Laurie at Beauty for Ashes for reminding me of this good Scripture.)


Meadowlark said...

Thank you for sharing this. And your faith.


Laurie M. said...

I feel blessed to have this time to get to know you from a distance. Before we know it we'll be able to meet face to face, in the presence of the Savior.

Thanks for the link. I'll watch it as soon as I can set an hour aside.

Angoraknitter said...

You leave me speechless. (((HUGS)))

The Broka Bunch said...

I truly believe God holds our days in His hands...that being said, just wondering if you ever heard of a book entitled, "Cancer Outside the Box", by Ty Bollinger. After reading Rachel Barkey's letters I was quite freaked out by chemo. There are some other options other than conventional treatment and I didn't know if you were aware of them. Chemo seems like it can rob the quality of life you do have left. Again, we can't pick the 'perfect' treatment, only God can extend our days, but perhaps, we can use more natural approaches and use our last days to bring Him glory with more energy & our hair!:)