I was rummaging around in the CB attic again and found a blog near the bottom of my box of blogs. At the time of writing I was trying to make a determination as to whether I would have a lumpectomy or mastectomy. At this time we had no idea if the cancer was in the lymph nodes. It was a great time of uncertainty.
Looking back 19 months later, I marvel at God's response to this "dangerous prayer". Since writing this blog, God has provided me with the opportunity to minister to other women with breast cancer, minister to caregivers, minister to people through my Survivors of Chronic Disease group here at CB. I also am now running Princesses of God here at CB which is a ministry group for women. Has it been worth it? Absolutely and just think... the very best is about to be!
As a child, I remember a Sunday School teacher telling us we should never pray for patience. If we asked God for patience, he would put us in uncomfortable situations where we would have to practice patience. We certainly would not want something like that to happen! I must have only been about seven years old but even at that young of an age, something didn't seem quite right to me. I squirmed uncomfortably and raised my hand to ask a question. "What if God wants us to learn patience? Wouldn't it be bad not too learn patience?" Out of the mouth of babes... .
The real question is whether or not we are willing to let God do what he has to do to make us into who he desires us to be. Often the molding process is extremely uncomfortable. In fact, in all probability it is probably never a very comfortable process! This has probably become more clearer to me than ever this past month.
This past fall, I was in a small group study at church. We were reading and discussing the book "In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day" by Mark Batterson. During this study, we were challenged to not be content with just getting by in our relationship with God. We were challenged to take risks. I began pondering exactly what sort of risk God would want me to take.
A little over a month ago, I began to pray about something that had been burning in my heart. After many years in childrens ministry, I was really feeling a need to minister to women. So many are wounded and suffering and my heart would just ache for them. One evening, while driving home, the ache in my heart spilled out in prayer. "God, I want to minister to women in a way I have never done before. I want to make a positive impact in the world around me!"
I didn't care how God would accomplish this, I just wanted him to use me. I recognized that as I minister to others it is reciprocal in that I in turn get ministered to as well.
Little did I know that within just a few days I would be diagnosed with a disease that will affect one out of eight women. Even if treatment is considered successful, for the rest of their lives they will have to live with the possibility that it could return any time and any place.
When I've shared this prayer with friends and family, a few people asked me if I regretted that prayer. I've thought about that carefully. No, in all honesty, I don't regret it. God is taking me on the ride of my life. While it can be very scary and even painful, I am learning some valuable lessons that God has already allowed me to share with others. I am learning that God is on that wild ride with me and if I stay with him, everything will come out okay in the end... no matter what!
Have a blessed and happy new year, everyone! May we all be willing to ride along with God and be wherever he is. May we all impact the world around us everyday.