It's 3:04 am and I am up again! It's not so bad. I've tended to have some sleep issues as I've gotten older and I often find that after a few hours sleep, I wake up and it takes me awhile to get back to sleep. I so wanted to post yesterday, but because I was having so much company, fun and a night out, I just didn't have the strength before bed. I'm taking advantage of the quiet time. I feel the Holy Spirit close to me tonight.
Yesterday was an amazing day. First of all, two very precious ladies showed up at my home in the morning and totally pampered me. I was feeling better so I put on my clothes, "styled" my new hair cut and welcomed them. They did my laundry (not a small job at my house!), ran errands, cleaned out the refrigerator, vacuumed. All kinds of things that I'm used to doing without a thought. Thank you Paula and Marsia for ministering to my body, soul and Spirit. I so enjoyed my time with you. You are amazing.
Then I had a real treat! Jonya and Craig Schuman, long time Abilene friends, came to see me. Jonya is also battling breast cancer and is almost 2 years into her fight. She just finished her sixth chemo treatment a week before I started. This next week she gets a report on her newest scans and finds out where she is in the process! Can I ask you to please pray with me for a good report? A good word in due season is a like apples in settings of gold. She has been faithful in her walk and has never wavered in her faith. When I call to check on Jonya she ministers to me! I just call and ask what God's been doing and she begins to speak amazing revelation and wisdom. We've been friends for many years, raised our kids together, shared many ministry opportunities and she's like a sister to me.
When she came in the door last night she was wearing her wig. Before she got from the front door to the living room, Matthew blurted out, "Is that a wig?" Jonya gave him a sly look and said "yes, it is - do you want to see?" Well of course he did! As she took her wig off - he screamed - this exaggerated, funny yell - but still one of shock. Jonya just laughed and hugged him and let him touch her head. Then he was off - over another shock and better prepared for the days ahead - all because my friend is real and forthright and honest. Frankly, I thought she looked elegant in a manner of speaking. She has these amazing dimples, beautiful blue eyes and an outrageous laugh. She's free in this area - so I'm choosing to be free with her. What an inspiriation!
Then off to Romano Maggiano's for dinner. Neither one of us got sick or felt bad - even though it was quiet an outing for both of us! The conversation was inspiring and I'm so grateful for their going before us. On the morning Jonya heard of my diagnosis and called me, she told me I know that no one wants to be a member of this club, but I promise you that what God is about to reveal in you and through you is worth it. It's worth it! Can I just tell you that I love this woman!
At work there's been some discussion about what community means - trying to figure out how to help people feel a sense of care and belonging in the midst of a large church environment. I have to admit that this "community" I am experiencing is amazing and beautiful and changing me. I'm both humbled and exalted. Awed and lifted up. I don't recommend the disease, but I highly recommend submitting yourself to the hand of those who love you and letting God minister to you through them.
The last four days my blood counts have been low, so over and over I get the shot! Please pray with me that today my numbers are amazing. I'm hoping to go to a lake house in New Braunsfels with extended family on Sunday through Thursday. If I can get a release, it will be very restful for me! My kids are big enough that I will literally rest while they swim and play. We've had this planned since the first of the year and it's the only vacation we have planned this summer. Yesterday the doctor was giving me the shot and said something about maybe Monday I wouldn't have to have one. When I mentioned again my plans, he quietly indicated I should prioritize treatment before vacation. I'm working to see if I can find a center in the area who might take my counts while gone - so that I could go but give a daily update on my status. Could you pray for favor with that?
I've been standing on a teaching my Senior Pastor spoke a few months ago. He talked about how our Spirit is fully redeemed at the moment of salvation. Our soul (mind, will and emotions) is being sanctified throughout our lives - becoming more and more like the image of Christ, and finally our body is being redeemed, even as it decays, waiting to be glorified in eternity. I can testify to the truth of this in a totally different way. My Spirit is not ill. As a matter of fact, the worse I feel, the more I am aware of the "rule" of my spirit. I have been commanding my soul and body to submit to my Spirit. If my mind, will and emotions are stayed on the truth about who I am in Him and what God has revealed to me, I stay stable and upright. This supernatural peace can only be because my Spirit is ruling over my soul. So why not command my body to submit? I'm telling it to get in alignment with my Spirit - to be healed - to receive resurrection life - to prosper and be redeemed. When I speak to myself like that this, I feel powerful rather than weak - even if I'm weak. I'm meditating on it...don't quite have it all sorted...but I'm practicing in faith before I have full understanding. Like when David commanded his soul to worship God...
I want to thank so many of you for sharing survivor stories with me! The morning I went to my first chemo treatment, I woke up and thought "when I go in there today, I don't want to hear any pregnancy stories." I find that when a young woman is pregnant, older, more experienced moms sometimes want to tell their war stories of birth. I remember being pregnant with Ashley and thinking, why would you tell me that? I'm pregnant. I can't go back. I have to go through with this, and that is not encouraging.
As I'm entering this difficult journey, I know there are lots of "pregnancy stories." As a matter of fact, I have a couple of my own that our difficult enough. I know what can happen. I just don't want to spend my energy on battling negative thoughts. However, I find I misjudged people in this circumstance. Not one person has felt the need to share about the gory details, to emphasize the fear and pain, or to share a disasterous end. Instead, I've heard survivor story after survivor story. Each one comes as a little bit of a surprise and enters my spirit like a drop of water in the desert. People are so kind, so encouraging. They want to bless. I am so grateful. I've thought today that maybe I could ask the girls who made my blog if we could add a survivor story section - a place where we could "feature" all the good stories that people have shared. There are a lot more miracles, healings, restorations and victories!
Okay so I went from a tiny blog to a massive one. I apologize for being so verbose! So much is going on around me and inside me that when I start to share I find it hard to make it brief. I might need an editor! Thanks for hanging in with me...
Mary Jo gave me this verse today from Job 42:5 After all the hardship that Job went through, He answered the Lord with this comment: My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. I am believing that I am being given ears to hear and eyes to see! He is showering mercy on me.
Let me hear from you, my friend!