*This blog was written on 2/12/08. It was written 13 days after my lumpectomy and 17 days before I had my first chemo infusion. Since I do mention a tumor in this blog as well as upcoming chemotherapy, I wanted to post this message so that anyone reading this blog understands it was posted over a year ago. I also want to reassure my friends here...many who pray for me regularly, that I am not talking about a recurrence in this blog but events which have since taken place.
I have to tell you, it has been true. The glass I have has always been full! God did walk with me through a very dark valley and He continues to do so everyday. May this blog bless and encourage those who read it; especially those who are going through their own dark valley. May those of you who were here watching all of these events actually unfold, rejoice with me that my cup has indeed overflowed with blessings. Thank you to all of you who watched all of this unfold in "cyber real time" and walked with me then. I count you as one of those many blessings! I am further blessed in that you continue to walk with me now. I also praise God for the new friends who have since joined hands with me as well.
I'm one of those people who rarely ever remember dreams. Really. When I was little, I told people I didn't ever dream and I remember praying and asking God to please make me dream as I thought dreams would make sleep much more interesting. As I grew older, I realized I do dream but my dreams are "fleeting" dreams and altough sometimes I'm fast enough to catch a piece of them, they're usual much faster than me!
This morning I actually managed to catch one as it jolted me awake. This one hit my heart so much I just had to share it.
I'd gone out to a restaurant and my mom was with me. I was really thirsty. I ordered a diet Coke. I know. Pop dehydrates you, I should have ordered water, etc. What I ordered is actually not important as you will soon see. Besides, this was a dream:)
I knew I was going to down the small glass the waiter brought me in about 30 seconds or less so as soon as he set it down, I requested another one. He looked at me and told me I didn't need another one as there was a full glass right in front of me. I told him I was very thirsty and I knew it would be gone before he came back. He looked over at my mom and gave me a knowing smile. Mom hadn't ordered anything to drink yet. "I see," he said "you want another refill although your glass is filled but your mother doesn't have a drink."
I was irritated. He thought I was trying to get two drinks for the price of one! He looked at me and I have to admit I thought he was mocking me so I quietly asked to see the manager. I'm sure silly in my dreams! That's probably why they're fleeting; I'm embarassed
While he was gone, I decided to make sure I finished off my coke before the manager came. I quickly drank it...and watched the glass fill up again. What! I tried it again and again. No matter what I did, the glass would not get empty. What was this, some sort of new glass that always refilled itself?
I looked up and saw the waiter watching me. "You can't empty it, can you?" I shook my head. He smiled and said, "No one can. Remember, the glass that you have will always be full."
I woke up with a start. The glass that I have will always be full. A song I learned in Sunday School as a preschooler ran through my mind. I don't remember dreams very well, but my memory stretches back a long way. That song had the phrase "running over, running over, my cup is full and running over." I loved singing it and doing the motions that went along with it.
I opened my Bible and turned to the twenty-third psalm. I read the following:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Thou anointest my head with oil. My cup runneth over.
I love the poetic sound of the KJV. It's an old familiar friend. However, after getting cancer I purchased a Pray For The Cure Bible which was a New Living Translation Bible. The every day sounding words speak to me as well so I'm going to quote that also:
4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:4-6
Not only does God save us, he also provides for us. Far too often we think of God's provision in material terms. If we focus on our physical circumstances alone, we are going to be deeply disappointed and often feel like God has abandoned us. God's provision is so much more than "stuff"! He provides us with things that nothing can destroy and one of them is giving us what we need when we are going through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Yesterday, I learned that because my tumor was what is now known as "triple negative" I will have to go through chemotherapy even though my lymph nodes are clear. I had already known I was a triple negative and that I had an aggressive tumor. I'd done a bit of research so I was actually more than prepared for that bombshell.
This won't be an easy valley to walk through. However, I know that the Shepherd is walking with me along with a number of the children of God! Imagine that! I will have more than enough, even in the Valley of the Shadow of Death!
*8/18/11--This blog is now part of a series entitled Walking With God In The Midst of Cancer