Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lessons Learned and How I Love Them

Albert Mohler had a post three years ago that I read for the first time this week.

He talked about his experience with a devastatingly quick life-threatening event...one which sent him to the hospital, to surgery, and then to intensive care. He mentions lessons he learned and you can read them here as written in January 2007.

I'm grateful that I read his list for it coincides with some lessons I've learned through this past year's journey with ovarian cancer.

With Mohler I can claim that I have been assured of God's sovereignty and love...that God is in control here, and I am not...that God knows my days from before any of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16). That has given me great contentment in the midst of living with cancer even with this year of recurrence and further chemo which I hope, due to the type, will be more kind to my body this time round.

Mohler states that his medical situation was not a freak thing, but that it was something that God intended as good for him. If you are not a believer in a sovereign, just, and loving God you may find this difficult to swallow. But I believe that cancer is part of my life's journey and I will learn lessons from it that are to my eternal (and present) good.

Mohler mentions the sweetness of Christ and the assurance of His faithfulness and he sites Romans 8. There are verses (Romans 8:28-39) that have been key assuring verses to me...that nothing in this life can separate me from the love of God...nothing. Cancer cannot do that. And I am grateful knowing that.

We really are, as Mohler mentions, made of dust. We are creatures subject to the law of death (Thanks, Mr. Adam!) and our lives show it every day. We live carefully, wisely, hoping to avoid the catastrophic happenstances that we read about every day in the news. We stop at stop signs because we know they are intended to prevent our frail bodies from colliding with something heavy-duty that can crush us even behind our seat bags. We eat healthy. We take our vitamins. We get good rest. We do all the things we can (if we are wise) to take care of our physical lives. Yet when all is said and done, we all live, and then we all die, and we die usually sooner or more unexpectedly than we might have thought. At least with cancer I have a heads-up, a "pay attention to what is important" message sent straight from above. I hope I have been doing that...paying attention....and I hope my family recognizes that I am A-Okay. I will be just fine. No matter what. No matter when. I want them to know, too, that they are frail, and it is wise to put their faith in God in the "here and now" so that "when and then", they will be okay, too.

My family has blessed me though all of this past year, gathered round me, loved me, prayed for me. Thanks, Family! I hope you know how precious all of you are to me. I don't express it well...I'm a failure at times...but you are precious.

My church family and community members have done the same...I have come to recognize more deeply how good it is to receive a simple "get well" card or a friendly "I'm praying for you." Thanks, Friends. I've become a better friend because of you. God has caused me to pray better for others because of your prayers for me.

Today's cancer patients (and all other patients) have the blessing of modern medicine. Our grandparents and the generations before them did not have that mercy. I am grateful to live in this time.

This past year has been a learning process for me...a prayerful learning process. My tears were (mostly) limited to those nights when I lay in bed, wondering if this symptom or that symptom was sign of something newly ominous, wondering what was coming down the road. But God has blessed me through those tears. And He has chosen to give me current good health and well-being in spite of the cancer. Who knows what lies ahead? I do not. But I am content to leave it in God's hands. And I hope that those of you who love me will be able to join me in doing the same..

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5 comments:

Karen said...

Oh,Whitestone! You and I are definitely on the same page! If you get a chance, read my most recent post and you'll see what I mean!

Blessings and prayers to you, dear Friend!

Pilgrim Mommy said...

Your testimony of suffering well is an encouragement to me. God bless you and sustain you. To God be the glory.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Each of us live with thoughts regarding our "down the roads...". Undoubtedly, those thoughts are shaped according to the current condition of our lives and where our faith fits itself into it.

Your faith is well-placed, well-lived, well-articulated. Thank you for the gift of your words and the privilege of a ring-side glimpse into your "down the road" which buoys my personal faith and gladdens my heart with the witness of a real God who gives us his real presence and real love in our present realities.

Prayers for you this day and as the Lord prompts in the days to come.

You stand as a living witness to the transformational truth of God's holy Word!

peace~elaine

Gregg said...

Since discovering you (your blog) you have been a real blessing. I don't mean to be trite or cliche, but God is to wise to make a mistake and to loving to be unkind. His purpose is to drive us all deeper in Him as He reveals His character and nature to us in even things like cancer. My prayers are with you!

Debby said...

I like Gregg's words: God is too wise to make a mistake and too loving to be unkind.

WhiteStone, it seems that collectively, a lot of bloggers are taking a deep breath and looking back. They are seeing things from the same general perspective that you are. I have a backwards looking post scheduled as well. As frightening as this time was/is, there are blessings, great, great blessings. We can only walk in faith, and endure with grace, and leave what happens next in God's sure hands.