Surprisingly, I did not feel scared or panicked when I heard the news. I think this was partially because I have been through a cancer battle with my dad and I feel much better equipped to handle it this time. But I also felt that God was actively blessing me with a sense of peace, reassuring me that His hand is in this and He is in control. I heard, shortly after that, from my mom's sister and my own sister, who shared their own sense of peace in the Lord over this situation. My sister and my aunt are two of the most faithful believers in Christ that I know. I find it awesome that all three of us who are among the closest to my mom in all the world, would feel such reassuring peace at hearing such potentially devastating news. It's like our most trusted Guide and Friend came to comfort and encourage us as we were told that He would be navigating us through a difficult valley. There's nothing that inspires confidence like the assurance that the beloved Guide will be with you, holding your hand along the journey.
Last night I got the unexpected phone call from my parents telling me that they had just learned that my mom has ovarian cancer. I knew she had been having some tummy troubles but I had no idea this was a possibility. They said her cancer is probably at least a stage three (same as my dad's) and had already metastasized (spread). This is not good news, but we are gearing up for another battle, not a defeat.
After a good night's sleep, that knowing my tendency for insomnia when under any stress whatsoever had to be another of God's blessings, I woke up feeling sad for my mom and the awful battle she is going to have to endure. But the Lord had more blessings of assurance planned for me. As I reached for my ipod and checked my email, a dear friend had sent some comforting verses to me that were the first words that reached me this morning:
Psalm 22:24 -- For He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from Him but has listened to his cry for help.
Psalm 34:18 -- The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.And then I decided to listen to some music while I did my workout this morning. The words to Fernando Ortega's song "Hear Me Calling, Great Redeemer," blew me out of the water:
As I walk, Lord, Through the valley,
Hold my hand, Hold my trembling hand.
If I stumble by the wayside,
In Your strength help me stand.
The sparks fly upward while the wind blows
Like a spirit, Lost upon the sea.
I am torn, Lord, And born to trouble.
I am blind and I am weak.
Hear me calling, Great Redeemer,
At the foot of Your dark cross
Where You suffered for the sinner,
Bleeding, Dying, For the lost.
Go before me through the valley,
Speak to me, For I know Your voice.
Lead me homeward, Gentle Shepherd,
God of Love, God of Grace.
And as I exercised, blinking back tears and praising the Lord for His goodness in all situations and thanking Him for the encouragement I get from other faithful believers who write songs and send scriptures and share their love and their prayers with me, this scripture came to mind: After Hebrews 11 lays out the famous Bible stories of the great faith of the men and women who have gone before us, Hebrews 12:1 offers this encouragement to those of us still on the journey --"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." I wanted to come home and record these beautiful, reassuring thoughts for two reasons:
- So that, when this journey gets difficult, as I know it will, I will have the reassurance of remembering God's amazing faithfulness to me and my family.
- So that, one day, I might be counted among "such a great cloud of witnesses" to God's love and faithfulness.
Written By: Megan Lagoy