A little over a month ago I received a phone call from my doctor that my blood tests indicated probable cancer. I had been feeling sick for about a month and went in for blood tests. They told me that the lab work indicated that I might have a rare form of an aggressive cancer that is most times fatal. My whole world stopped. Every thought for the future, all my dreams and aspirations suddenly vanished. Feelings of devastation, loneliness and desperation all washed over me. I thought, “I may not live to see my grandchildren grow up!” Thoughts of enjoying my children as adults, and growing old with Gracie would now suddenly be taken away from me. Every time I thought about it, it was all I could do to even manage to breathe.
Your whole perspective on life changes when you are told that you may not have much longer to live. Every moment became more precious to me. I scolded myself for all the things that I had put off in my life, meaning to do at a later time, telling myself if I had to do it again, I would not waste the opportunity to “carpe diem” – seize the day.
My physician made an appointment for me to see a specialist. I called the clinic nervously to make the appointment. When I was told it would be almost two weeks before the doctor could see me, I was livid. I was so disturbed by what my primary care physician had told me that I wanted to start treatment that day—I couldn’t wait two weeks. Told by the medical clinic that there were no openings until then, I got off the phone very upset.
I spent the next two weeks trying to figure out how I could squeeze 30 years of life into 6 months or a year – no matter how I sliced it, there was just not enough time. It wasn’t dying that I was afraid of, I was afraid that the time I might have left would not be enough to give and share the things that I wanted with my loved ones. I felt tremendous fear about what would happen to my family once I died. I found myself in despair, as comfort escaped me. I was distressed that I might completely disappear from my family’s lives and experienced fear about their lives without me. I just had not given to them all that I had wanted to in life.
I spent fourteen days in a season of life review, taking the opportunity to prepare my mind for the end of my life. I prepared my mind that in the next six months I would close old conflicts, seek forgiveness, and try to fulfill my life’s goals. It seemed to be a daunting, overwhelming goal. I prepared myself for the warm embrace of my Good Shepherd.
The days passed slowly at a snail’s pace until the day of my appointment. I sat nervously in the doctor’s office, my heart about to implode. The doctor came in explained the results of my previous tests, and scheduled surgery for a biopsy.
As he sat and discussed my case with me, he indicated that there might be a slight chance for positive test results and prescribed two weeks of medication for me. I would see him again on Nov ember 19. I had to face three more weeks without knowing, but I held on to what I now believed was a glimmer of hope that I would be ok. The inch of chance that he gave me became a mile of hope in my spirit.
Now I have prayed some earnest prayers in my life, but I can honestly say that I have never felt closer to God than I did for the next two weeks. As I took the powerful medication, it made me feel ill, and my stomach gnawed at my insides. I prayed that no matter what God had decided for my life, I would embrace it. I just told Him what I wanted that decision to be. I wanted to live. I even prayed please. I promised Him that if he prolonged my life I would step up plans and began to accomplish His plans for my life and not dilly-dally about wasting precious moments meant for my family and my Lord. After two weeks of meds and a week before my return visit and scheduled biopsy, I went in for more tests. I was told I would get the results in six days.
Monday, November 19, at 2:15 p.m. came faster than expected. As I sat on the bed in the examining room waiting on the doctor, the Lord spoke to my heart and let me know that nothing but a breath, a moment, a comma separated my life from life everlasting.
Life, soul, God, past, present, future, death, eternity
Not insuperable barriers, not semicolons, just commas.
He walked in, smiled, and told me that I did not have cancer after all, and that everything was good. Even after he told me I had to ask again, “so I don’t have cancer?” He told me “absolutely not”.
So this Thanksgiving I am especially thankful, probably more so than on any other Turkey Day that I can recall. I have been granted the chance to spend many more with my family and friends and I plan to take an assessment before every Thanksgiving of my life to ensure that I am on the right track, and fulfilling God’s plan for my life. I feel like God has brought me back to life. My cancer scare experience has shown me the importance of relationships in my life and helped me see what really matters. It has been a wondrous opportunity that has allowed God to show me some things I have missed in my life, and the opportunity to get on track.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future with hope.
Like I have felt this last month, do you ever feel so tired, worn out, broken, stressed and discouraged that you feel like you can’t even make it through the day? Do you ever fear facing tomorrow, and feel like you are completely spent, totally done?
Sometimes in life it seems that the only experiences that we are having are all bad ones. There are times that we fear of what tomorrow will bring, and our life is a disaster, and we are living in crisis. Do you ever feel that life has drained all the energy from you and you find yourself wiped out from the stress that you are dealing with?
Jeremiah felt that way when he cried out in
Lamentations 3:49-51 The tears stream from my eyes, an artesian well of tears, until You, God, look down from on high. You look and see my tears. You listened when I called out, ‘Don’t shut your ears! Get me out of here! Save me! You came close when I called out. You said, ‘It’s going to be all right.’ “You took my side, Master – You brought me back to life!
Psalm 4:8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
This Thanksgiving – Let us be Thankful
Many times as we are faced with difficulties with our marriage, family, and jobs, it is hard in the flesh to have a feeling of thankfulness. Many times in life we get discouraged and cannot see or feel thankfulness. But be of good cheer, we have a loving God that is working on our behalf and there are things in our lives that we sometimes take for granted that deserve our thanks. Things such as;
- To those of us that are married, let all be thankful for all the football games/chick flicks we have to endure, because that means the Lord has blessed us with someone to share our lives with.
- Be thankful for having taxes taken out of your paycheck because it means that you have a job.
- Be thankful for having the mess to clean after a party, because it means that we have been surrounded by friends.
- Be thankful for having clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means you have enough to eat.
- Be thankful for different political views than yours, and for those who complain about the government, because it means that we have freedom of speech.
- Be thankful when you have to park at the far end of the parking lot because it means that you are healthy enough to walk and God has blessed you with a mode of transportation.
- Be thankful when you have a large heating bill, because it means that you are warm.
- Be thankful when you hear someone sing off-key in church, because it means that you can hear, and that they have a voice to sing with joy to the Lord.
- Be thankful for birthdays, because it means another year you have been alive.
- Be thankful when you have to wash a load of laundry because it means you have clothes to wear.
- Be thankful when you are weary or tired the end of the day, because it means you are capable of working hard.
- Be thankful for anniversaries, because it means another year you are sharing love in your life.
- Be thankful when for the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours, because it means that you are alive.
- Be thankful when that person you know is always bugging you for help, because that means you have friends to share your life with.
- Be thankful when you have to change a diaper or go to a Parent/Teacher meeting, because it means God has blessed your life with the gift of a child.
- Be thankful when you are asked to give in a special offering for a cause, because it means the Body of Christ is helping those in need.
- Be thankful when it comes time to pay your rent or mortgage, because it means you have a roof over your head to live in.
- Most of all we need to be thankful for a merciful God, who became flesh and dwelt among us, and in love, offered Himself up as a living sacrifice for our sins that we might be saved and inherit eternal life.
- We need to thank our Lord for the very air we breathe, for Him being our Daily Bread, for being the Savior of our soul, and for being the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. He is the Lord our God, from who all blessings flow.
- God works in all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). We need to be able to thank God in every circumstance, good or bad. He is in control and He watches over us as we endure both good and bad times. But always His end result is to bless us. We believe in God, and a risen Savior, we can and should thank him for all that happens to us.
- Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow. Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement. Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.
Because of what we have in Christ, we as believers have a reason to rejoice even in the face of many tests and trials we face in life. Having a joyful spirit is not always easy. We need to trust our focus and faith in the Lord—His person, plan, principles, promises, and purposes to us as set forth in Scripture. This doesn’t mean life won’t hurt, but even in the midst of our pain, we can rejoice because we know that God is at work and in control on our behalf.
We have a lot to be thankful for indeed. So if the only prayer you can say is thank you, it will be enough.
I am especially thankful for my grandchildren Lilah, Mia, and Greyson Miles – My grandson’s picture is below.
- Thanksgiving! (thendley.wordpress.com)
- A Thanksgiving prayer (wnd.com)
- Thanksgiving (thehouseoftrue.com)
- What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? (colishia.com)
- Being Thankful (oliviasopinions.wordpress.com)