Thursday, March 29, 2012

When fearful can be a good thing

I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works, and my soul knows very well.
Psalm 139:14

     I have referenced the word fear just a "few" times over the last few months but wanted to look at the word from a different angle. I began thinking about this verse last night and woke up thinking about it again. I know what it means to fear but do I know what it means to be fearfully made? In a little bit of digging, I found that in the original Hebrew, the word 'fearfully' means: with great reverence and heartfelt interest and respect.
     In other words, we are not just thrown together at the last minute whim of God or our parents. God contemplated our very existence and created us with purpose and intent. This is quite a reminder in a busy world in which we can feel a bit lost sometimes. Yes, God is bigger than the universe, bigger than what we can comprehend. However, He took time before our creation to thoughtfully design and make you and me specifically.
     As we walk through difficult seasons and through seasons of rest, we can always know that God made us as a "marvelous work".

Love and blessings.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

When Jesus cries with us

Jesus wept.
John 11:35

     Shortest verse in God's word but quite possibly one of the most powerful. I was reminded while sitting in my sweet church this morning that not only does Christ hurt for us but He hurts with us. This week will be the start of a painful season for my family and I. Definitely the toughest time that we've had thus far. How do I know that we are not alone in this time? Jesus wept. How do I know that Christ loves us? Jesus wept and He has sent His people to be His body that can weep with us as well.
     I am beginning my rounds of chemotherapy this week that will work to eradicate any possible remaining cancer cells in my body for the next 12 weeks. After that, I will have 6 1/2 weeks of daily radiation and begin the process of recovery. God has sent His extraordinary peace to me and my family in these past few weeks. Have I struggled? Yes. I have had some dark moments but God has given me such a peace. The strength that you may hear or see when you are with me is not about me. It is God Himself, stepping into my life to carry me through.
     Let's talk about fear. Oh baby, do I have fears. But you know what? Several years ago, I watched a dear friend walk through the most traumatic and heartbreaking time of loss in her life. I found myself fearing isolation in a time of crisis. During her difficult time, I witnessed an amazing coming together of God's people with the sole purpose of holding up their friends with whom they had intimately shared life. Shortly thereafter, Jeremy and I prayed for a community of people that would surround us in our valley of life. I have seen the answer to that prayer come together over the past few years and culminate at the moment of my diagnosis last month. Absolutely amazing and completely humbling how God prepares us for battle and when the battle begins, you turn around and hundreds of people are standing with you, loving you and fighting with you.
     So, the fears are there but the fears also serve as a reminder that I am not in control. As long as I remind myself that God is sovereign, then I can rest. I can rest in the fact that He is weeping with us in this valley. God is God and God is still good.
Love and blessings.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Confidence in Christ when I am without my own

We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.
Hebrews 3:14

      I told myself that as soon as I picked back up on my blog again, that it wouldn't be solely about this thing I am walking through. So, I thought I would pause the writing for a while until I could think of a new subject. Guess what? I failed. For now, this is where I am. Although, I don't want this cancer to wholly define me and my entire life right now, I'm not sure how to process things spiritually without addressing the biggest issues at hand. So this is where I am-for today anyway. Jeremy regularly asks me the big question "How are you doing today?" That question has a much bigger meaning right now. A "Fine, honey. You?" will not suffice. The other day my answer was exactly this: "I am doing okay but every once in a while the cold fingers of fear creep up on me and I get terrified." That's quite an answer, huh? Be aware if you ask me that question, you might get a very real answer.
     There are a variety of fears on the table with this cancer. You could probably list them with me, especially if you have watched someone walk through it
     So, here are some of the fears that I am giving to God these days (subject to change without notice)  :)
  • that my closest friends and family will get completely worn out with me-I can tell you the correct response to this and what I would tell a friend who was walking through this but it is still a fear. I know that people love us and many will walk the long road with us but I still don't want people to avoid me because life is tough for us right now.
  • that I will be defined by this cancer-pretty soon I am fairly positive that I will "look sick" and this is a tough one for me. Call it vanity, pride, whatever. But the fact is, there will be no avoiding the fact visually that I am going through treatment within a couple of weeks. I want God to define me, not a disease of a fallen world.
  • that I will feel isolated-ok, I am just going to put it out there. Isolation makes me sad and lonely and sad Laura is no fun at all. So, to all of our friends that we "do life with", do not give us our space. We want you in our space. Capeche? Capeche. ;)
  • that my sickness will take joy away from my little family- oh, this is a tough one. I am a power-through-it type of person and this thing may not allow me to do that some days. I don't want my kids to see life changed because mom is sick. I have to let this one go because life will change in many ways, at least temporarily, and they will be fine. But, what momma wouldn't struggle with this?
  • that I won't allow myself to be transparent to others-I know God has given me a strength through this but I have had many many tough moments these last few weeks. It is one thing to have those tough moments with my husband but I worry about having those tough moments in front of others. I'm afraid that if I am a wreck, people will think I am not depending on God enough or that my faith isn't strong enough.
     Well, I've got some things to give to God, no? Just like life in general, I am on a journey with this. I know that this situation did not surprise God. I know that He has been preparing me for this for some time now. And I know that He loves me. I am thankful that through this life-changing diagnosis, that I have not doubted His love or presence. The verse I posted reminds me that He never changes even when life drastically does. He has promises that do not shift with our circumstances. He gives us people that we can share life with in Christ that can encourage, bolster, and love us.
     Thank you for walking through this with us, whatever form that is in. If you are simply reading this and saying a prayer for me and my family, thank you. If you have mailed me a card, cooked a meal, called me, emailed me, sent me a bible verse, or just checked in on us, thank you. Thank you for loving us through this. I can't promise you these blog postings these next couple of months will be fun but I can promise you that I will be transparent (and hopefully I won't wear you out)  ;)