Sunday, November 23, 2008

Giving Thanks

This post has been swimming in my head for more than a week. I wasn't sure whether to post or not, but as I think about the week ahead and all that I have to be thankful for, it seems an appropriate post. It's just one of those posts that is hard to write - it would be easier just to tell you, except that I would probably have a hard time getting it all out. And, now, I will have a written record of this to look back on.

Many of you know of my battle with breast cancer. Many of you who read my blog are family or friends who were there to pray for me and offer your words of encouragement along the way. You may be one who prayed, called, brought meals, invited Rachel for a sleepover at just the right time, sent a card, took me to a doctor's appointment, or if you happen to be my loving husband reading this - you took off work every Friday for 27 weeks to take me for my chemo treatment and sat with me for those long boring hours. I have said it before and I will say it again; there are no words to adequately express my deep gratitude to those who held me up through the greatest battle I have ever faced. As we approach Thanksgiving Day 2008, I am reminded of just how much I have to be thankful for, especially the fact that I am here, enjoying life, and all tests indicate that I am cancer free!! Two years ago, I was sick, bald, and definitely not enjoying life too much. What a difference!!

What I really want to share with you is how thankful I am for friends who follow the leading of the Lord to pray when he burdens their hearts and also how God works to meet our needs when we aren't even aware. A few weeks ago, after my quarterly checkup with my oncologist, I was scheduled for a bone scan to check out some back pain I had been having. I shared that information with my family and a couple of close friends and asked them to pray. If you have ever had cancer, you know that waiting for tests can cause great anxiety. I was doing pretty well keeping the anxiety level low while trying to also prepare myself for what might be. I just kept praying for the Lord to give me peace about it. The Thursday I was scheduled for my scan, Allan and I had to share a ride to town so I dropped him at the college and ran by the FBC Library to check out some school materials and a book to read during my wait time. It never even entered my mind that morning that it was the day for our Book Day group to meet at FBC (I had previously planned to not participate in that particular book day because of other commitments). I wasn't terribly surprised when I ran into one of the ladies who leads the group, but then the light bulb came on and I remembered it was book day. We said hello and chatted for a moment. I opened up and mentioned to her that I was going for a scan shortly and she told me the ladies in our group would pray. I left thinking about how glad I was to have seen her and to know they would be praying for me because my nerves were shot already and it was only 8:30 a.m. They would be meeting and praying soon. I headed for my 9:30 appointment at the hospital and I was finished with my scan by 12:30, then met a friend for lunch. The next morning, a neighbor, who I don't see much any more, other than in passing, called. She's a nurse and she helped me give myself the first shot I had to take daily during chemo ; ) We chatted for a few minutes and then she asked, "so, how are you doing"? I'm sure there was a pause on my end of the phone. I was thinking, "okay, I haven't seen her in a while, and she's calling me to see how I am doing. Is this just a coincidence or do I tell her I had a scan the day before or do I just skip that and say I'm fine?" Long story short - I told her what was going on. She told me she'd really had me on her heart lately and now she knew why. I hung up the phone and really began to think about how God was taking care of me. I finally got the call the following Monday with the scan results. I had been dreading the call, not just because of the obvious, but because, to be honest, my doctor's nurse is just not very personable. She's usually pretty short and curt. Well, it ended up that one of my favorite chemo nurses called with the results and she actually read the report to me with emphasis on the "no evidence of disease" and was just as happy as I was on the phone with her!! Then, the story goes even a step further. Rachel was talking to one of her remix leaders last week and she asked Rachel how I was doing and told Rach she'd been praying for me lately. She had no idea that anything had been going on.

Isn't God good?? Sometimes, this journey begins to overwhelm me with the realization that it doesn't really ever end and I get so discouraged. Then God reminds me through instances such as these that all I really have to do is to trust him because my life is truly in HIS hands. I believe God orchestrated every step of this to remind me just how much He cares for me and every detail of my life. How could I ever even doubt it for a moment? I want God to get the glory in this and that is my purpose in sharing with you.

I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." Romans 1:21


kel said...

Thanks for sharing that.
I know so many people pray for Brae and I don't even know it and it helps me so much.