As 2008 comes to a close, I cannot help but reflect upon this past year in a way which I have never done so before. If you've read and followed any of my blogs this past year, you know that I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2007. Due to a number of circumstances, six weeks elapsed between my original diagnosis and my surgery which took place on January 30, 2008.
One year ago, I didn't know how extensive the cancer was. We did not know if it had spread and the stage was unknown. It was a frightening time. To tell you the truth, I didn't know if I would even be here to write this blog. I realize none of us have the promise of tomorrow and we glibly make comments about it. However, that is just a lesson we've been taught and I don't believe we ever fully grasp the reality of it until we are truly confronted with the possibility that it's true.
Then, of course, there are those who sanctimoniously begin to say things like "I can't wait to face death. If you were really a child of God you would feel the same way!" Of course, these people are never the ones who have just been told they have a life-threatening disease. To those people I must sternly say, "How dare you take the gift of life God has given you so lightly! How dare you throw it casually back into God's face!" I know it can be hard to see sometimes but life truly is a gift from God and should always be considered as such.
In 2008, God simply confirmed what I knew to be true. He is bigger. He is bigger than cancer. God is bigger than my fears. God is bigger than any pit of despair. God is bigger than the "red devil" adriamycin and it's evil twin cytoxan. God is bigger than chemo bombs that wreck havoc at the cellular level. God is bigger than bone marrow and nerve pain which no drug can reach. God is bigger than raw nasal passages and burning eyes which are irritated due to lack of hair. God is bigger than radiation burns. That's a testimony in itself. The burns were there but they couldn't figure out why I couldn't feel them. They checked my sense of feeling. Yup, I could feel. I praised God, my radiation oncologist would shake his head, mutter that they must just be superficial...but they didn't look superficial...and then he would approve me for continuation of treatment. I finished on schedule. God is bigger.
In 2008, I learned that we are truly fearfully and wonderfully made. Don't ever take your body for granted. Whether you personally like it or not, it is an amazing thing...even if it is not as young as it used to be and even if it isn't functioning properly. It is amazing and we must not forget it is God's very own workmanship.
In 2008, God took weakness and turned it into strength. God required me to be vulnerable and to tell you the truth, that was pretty frightening. That was the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted to be tough and strong even though I knew I wasn't. God refused to let me live a lie and called me to be real. I'm glad I listened for a change. That was probably because I was too sick and weak to fight it. You see, when we lay our weakness down, that enables us to take up God's strength which is what we really need in the first place. God's strength is so much better than our weakness!
In 2008, I experienced the Body of Christ in a way I never had before. While "the bride" is not perfect, she is far more compassionate and loving than what is commonly perceived. This causes me to believe that often we don't really give "her" a chance to exhibit this. Those who have been hurt by other Christians may disagree with me on this one but I would like to lovingly ask, "Have you always been fair or have you let past hurts get in your way and you simply assume it's going to happen again?" This has been another 2008 lesson for me...try to be lest hasty in making assumptions and forming opinions. That's a tough one but I'm working on it!
One year ago, I was contemplating whether or not I would be here and if I were, what would it look like? A year later, I am obviously still here. Am I exactly the same? No and that is a good thing because if I were the same it would be an indication of no growth and growth means life! However, I am still standing and my love for God and His princes and princesses has become stronger than ever.
Oh, how I love life! How I love to feel, sing, speak, write, teach, discover and to give and receive love! I love to see, hear, smell, taste and feel the world around me. I love to contemplate that I am loved by God himself just because I am me. While I cannot even begin to conceive why, He says it is so therefore I must simply accept that He does.
It may seem strange, but in my mind's eye it is almost like sometimes I can see and hear so many of my CB brothers and sisters, working, loving, praying and ministering to their world. I am glad God has given me the privilege to break into your world and catch a glimpse of you. Someday, there will be a brand-new year...God's new year, when we will all stand in the presence of God face to face and there will never again be anything between us or Him. Until that time, be blessed, never, ever give up or forget that God is bigger and He turns our darkness into His light!
Wow! This blog is an old blog. I wrote it on December 31, 2008. That was post-cancer treatment and pre-subarachnoid hemorrhage. Yes, I still believe every word I wrote. God IS bigger and whether we see it or not at the moment, whether we believe it or not, God still will turn our darkness into light.