Friday, October 23, 2009

When You Walk Through Fire You Shall Not Be Burned

Today I'm recommending a website for cancer patients...a place where forum members ask questions, encourage one another, and share information. Whether one's cancer is ovarian (as is mine) or otherwise, you may find a helpful forum there. (click here and find a forum) P.S. there are forums at this website for other illnesses, too. So check it out.

One of the issues that cancer patients experience (and patients with other diseases as well) is the realization that this disease will, in much likelihood, eventually cause our death. A death that will come earlier than we once envisioned. So the topic of death was brought up this morning on the ovarian cancer forum....do we think about it?...how do we deal with it?...is it morbid to think about death?

In responding on the forum to that question, I included the following thoughts. I write them here to share with you. And if you wish to not think on death, please feel free to "pass" and read no further.

I had debulking surgery in January and spent 8 days in the hospital. Then a week later, another 5 days. Surgery hit me hard and I thought surely this was the end. I thought I might never walk out of that place and that surely death could be near.

But time and treatment have done their job and right now I feel really good...better than before diagnosis. That does not mean that I am through with cancer. I believe this disease will get me sooner or later. (I'm only being realistic.)

As a strong Christian I believe God holds all our days in His hands. In Psalm 139:16 David speaks to God about his own life and says this: "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. "

God knows all my days. He has my path set before me and I walk it. Sometimes He gives me good days, full of sunshine and goodness. Other days are hard. It's that way for all of us, cancer or no. We are all in this thing, this life, together. Every last one of us.

Some will never experience illness and will live long and happy lives till the moment they keel over of a quite painless and quick heart attack or whatever. Others experience difficulty every day of their life. More difficulty than any of us here has yet experienced. But we, we few (for we are few compared to some other cancers), walk the ovarian cancer path. That path is hard and scary and it beats us up as we walk.

I do not fear death itself. Not that I am in a hurry to get there...I like Life! and I had planned to live to be 90 as my parents and grandparents. (Silly me! I thought I was in control of that! ) What cancer brings to us is the fear of what we will have to endure in terms of treatments, pain, side-effects, complications. Death itself is not the fear. It is the time between now and then that is fearful. At least to me. Frankly, I have never enjoyed pain. Imagine that!

So this is how I have settled my thinking. I try to live "today". I know that "tomorrow" may change and not for the better. But I do not have to live "tomorrow" today. When "tomorrow" gets here, I hope that I will recognize it still as part of God's path for my life and that I will walk it well.

A friend who is a 5-year cancer survivor gave me this scripture when I first went into the hospital...Isaiah 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."

While walking through cancer we are truly being overwhelmed by the flood of fear and we are truly walking through the fire. And yet God promises to be with us through all of it. He does not promise a rose garden. Not in this life. But He does promise to walk with us and bring us through the water and the fire of life. And into His presence when life here is done.


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9 comments:

Roxanne said...

Thank you soo much for this awesome website. And more for your wonderful testimony!! You are a tremendous blessing in my life:)

Kelly said...

Once again, I am reminded why I like reading your blog. I admire your attitude and love the way you share your thoughts.

Death is a subject that has never bothered me to think about or discuss. Perhaps in part because I share your faith. Also, because I dealt with death at an early age, losing both of my parents to cancer when I was a child.

I just read that scripture from Isaiah yesterday. So comforting, no matter what our trials!

Karen said...

What an inspiring post. God is in complete control of our lives, and He continues to walk with us through all the hills and valleys. Like you, I try to take it one day at a time, and know that He will never leave me. That's His promise to us all!

Debby said...

Cancer is a scary word. I was at a cancer support meeting and listened to a woman talk about her fear (14 years after her cancer) that it was going to come back. She said that she still cried every day about it. I listened and I thought, 'how sad! how wasteful!'

The fact is this: God has our stories. The beginning, the end, the parts in the middle are His works. We have to walk that path in faith, regardless of where it takes us.

Thank you for another prayerful thoughtful post.

Forrest said...

The perspective of a believer is always encouraging. Thank you for sharing. And for anyone reading who may be searching for this inner peace, may I direct you to Jesus Christ?

He died for your sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day. Trust Him. Believe Him. And receive Him. Call upon Jesus right now and receive everlasting life.

Praying for continued improvement, sister. "But if not...."

melissa said...

What's amazing is how you're blessing folks while you walk through your trial. That is a wonderful thing. :) Love your honesty.

And I find comfort in the reality that no matter what we're going through, if we're God's own, then He's approved everything we experience. That's a HUGE comfort.

Michelle said...

Beautiful post...and while death isn't easy for people to talk about, I think that it's not easy NOT to talk about when one is facing it more blatantly than another.

And I have to tell you...you quoted two of my most favorite scriptures ever, Isaiah 43...and Psalm 139. Love them both...

Fight the good fight...xoxox

Laurie M. said...

Good words for all of us, cancer or no. I always rather figured I'd end up with cancer some day. It hasn't happened yet, but may the Lord grant me grace to glorify Him through it all and be a blessing to others in the process, as you have been thus far.

John said...

What a testimony. Your faith is encouraging; may God continue to uphold you.

I miss your comments on my blog. Stop by sometime!