I hardly know where to start – because I don’t want this to be my story…but it is.
I have recently learned that the unwelcome guest of cancer has shoved it’s way into my life and has no intention of leaving. I was recently diagnosed with metastatic cancer. The cancer that I thought was in my rear view mirror has returned in my left breast and somewhere in my abdomen. I will be having a petscan in the next couple of days to learn more.
Sooooooo. So that’s my story.
Yesterday I spoke with a friend who has also been diagnosed with metastatic cancer and she told me about a song which has ministered to her called Desert Road .
Here are the first two stanzas –
I don’t wanna write this song
I don’t want this pain to be my story.
I don’t want this desert road.
are you sure this is the Plan you have for me?
Out here in the dust and clay
God, if there is a bigger picture
it’s getting hard to see today.
But I KNOW that you won’t leave me.
I don’t know where this is goin’
but I know Who holds my hand.
It’s not the path I would have chosen
But I will follow you to the end.
Lord as long as I am breathin’
I will make your glory known.
Even if it means I am walkin’
Down this desert road.
I know there are many who read my blog who are not followers of Christ and might be thinking – where is your God now, Jackie? How could a good God let this happen to you?
Those are easy questions for me to answer and I will start with the second question first. Life on earth is not heaven. We live in a fallen world and bad things happen. Jesus tells us in John 16:33 –
“I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but take heart, for I have overcome the world.”
Notice Jesus doesn’t say we might have trials and sorrows. He says we will.
And to the first question – where is my God now? He is with me in the middle of the night when my mind is twirling and I become afraid. And every single time I pray He fills me with the Holy Spirit and I can literally feel His presence in my soul. This is not something I could drum up in my own strength.
He lives within each of my kids and their spouses as they give me just the right words of encouragement, or scripture, a meaningful song, or a devotional. It is uncanny how these came with the exact message I needed to hear and at just the right time.
He moves in response to the prayer warriors who hit their knees and plead on my behalf. The power of those prayers enable me to get out of fetal position and it sets my feet upon the ROCK.
He was right next to me during difficult procedures and enabled me to do what I cannot do. He knew ahead of time that I would be on my back (emotionally) when a nurse came into my hospital room and said to me, “I hope that all goes well for you. God is faithful and He will never leave your side.”
He nudged both of my nieces to send me videos that they knew would make me laugh until I cried. (I have kind of a sick sense of humor…)
I have seen evidence of God and felt His presence. But this is all pretty new and I know this desert road will be hard and filled with rocky parts and hurdles.
One of my greatest hurdles has been to mentally surrender to this path. When I was given this diagnosis I kept saying to God, “I really didn’t want to go this way. Why couldn’t I have gone suddenly? Seriously – I am not your girl for this – I CANNOT DO THIS.”
This is a great test of my faith. I am on this desert road and I so badly want to leap off it and get back onto the road I was traveling just a few weeks ago. But I am not God. If this is the road He has called me to, I know that He will enable me to walk it.
Over the past two weeks I have come to believe that God has been kind to us in this process. Most of you know how close our family is and this has been an incredible (although painful) time for us to talk about God, grief, suffering, having courage, going deeper in the Lord, the fact that life here on earth is one drop of water compared to an ocean of eternity, and, and, and… and I believe when my time comes we will all be OK.
So I am back to blogging. Partly because it’s therapeutic for me and also so that I can keep you updated. And selfishly – so that I can ask for your prayers.
You know… I have absolutely loved the life that God has given me. It is far more wonderful than I could have ever imagined or dreamed of. God has been GOOD to me. He is simply – good. I know that I can trust Him for this part of my journey. As the nurse said to me – God is faithful.
I also know that God can extend my days past what any prognosis might say. I have heard lots of beautiful stories of women who have lived many years past what the doctors anticipated. I am going to live with that kind of expectation.
My doctor finished our meeting saying he is “optimistic”. And these were his parting words to me.
”Jackie, Your faith, your family, and your friends are as important as your treatment plan. Stay closely connected to these things.”
So I guess you are part of my treatment plan and I thank you ahead of time for your support and prayers, I will keep you updated.
Until next time,