Friday, December 23, 2011

Life with cancer

Sometimes life can get in the way of living. I did not realize how long I had been out of commission, and IN what can only be described as a tremendous funk. I blame it on cancer. I blame most everything on cancer these days. My tiredness. My sadness. My apathy for my own health.

Cancer is evil, and cancer is all- consuming. It not only consumes the body of its victim, but also consumes the lives and thoughts and emotions their loved ones. Cancer is vicious in its attack. It does not hold back. It does not care who you are.

In the case of my mother, the cancer is winning the fight. Her treatments are not working. Not only are they not successful, but the cancer is getting stronger each and every week. There comes a point when you have to ask is the suffering and sickness from the chemotherapy worth it? When it becomes clear that your last resort is failing, at what point do you give up the fight? Or do you?

It is questions such as these that fill my mind. That keep me from peaceful sleep. It is not so much worry as it is just thoughts. Continual thoughts. Thoughts that cause me to wonder why at this point in life is my mother losing her battle with cancer, as my father is just beginning his? 

I wonder how many children have two parents with cancer the same time. I am sure it is many. I wonder what this means for my future health. I simply wonder. I wonder how to deal with it all. I wonder what the purpose is in the suffering cancer creates.

Cancer is evil. It strangles. It consumes. It sucks the very life from once healthy beautiful people. It causes chaos. It is overwhelming.

Until...I remember that everything happens according to God's plan and for His purpose. It is when I step back and remember this, that I can function in a semi-normal state again.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We will not have to say a word to convince them....

I have noticed that lately there are many, many friends posting their status as "re-post" if you are a Christian or "re-post" if you love God....with the last part of the messsage saying you are being tested, and that if you do not re-post you are denying Christ. The actual scripture from Matthew 10 reads, “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."

The problem I have is that in not re-posting this, I am in no way denying my Savior, and re-posting or not re-posting in no way reflects my relationship with Christ.

I believe firmly that our relationship with Christ will be evident in the way we treat others. They will know we are Christians by our love for one another, not by my facebook status. I can SAY I am a Christian until the cows come home, but if my life shows no evidence of Christ living through me, then I am nothing more than a fake.

 The real test of my Christianity is not in the decision to re-post a facebook status. The real test comes daily, (Sadly, I fail many, many times, but the good news is that I now recognize these failures almost instantaneously, so hopefully the failures will cease to occur.) and it looks a little more like this: Did I see someone in need and help them - even if I did not feel like it? Did I see someone broken down on the side of the road and stop to see if they needed help - even if I was in a hurry? Did I show kindness to the very grouchy customer when I wanted to shoot back with a little sarcasm? Did I give my last dollar to the man on the street, or the lady in line ahead of me who was short of cash and would have to put an item she needed back on the shelf? THOSE are what my daily tests look like. 

When Christianity is real, it becomes clear very quickly that it is NOT about me. It is about the other person. The person with whom I am face to face in the moment. What is THEIR current need, and how am I able to help? EVEN IF, or better yet, ESPECIALLY IF it "puts me out."

The list of the daily tests of our Christianity are ENDLESS. Scripture is pretty clear though, that as Christians we are to be active. We are to show love. We are to DO. We are to help. We are to BE love. "But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?" James 2:20.

In Matthew chapter 7, we are told that "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits." Our actions of love and kindness to others are our fruits. They demonstrate our love for Christ. His cup runneth over, as should ours. If we want others to know we are Christians, they will see us in action. They will see our love for others in all we do.It will not matter what our facebook status says.....

They will know we are Christians by our love, and we will not have to utter a single a word to convince them.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

There is no peace or faith in the worry of what might happen tomorrow.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

I have to admit I have been "off my game" lately. Not that I actually have a game of any sort, but that seems like the best way to describe life at the present moment. I tend to be a worrier. I want to fix things, and I want to control them.

I think about the plans we all make for ourselves each day, assuming that they will go as planned. Seldom do we stop and give pause to the myriad of circumstances that can often stop us dead in our tracks and the so-called "why" of it all. I think what defines those times of our lives is our response.

Most people who know me at all, know that Paul and I fully intended to have made a return trip to Haiti by now. We were captivated by Haiti, and our plan was to return as quickly as possible. As soon as we were home, we were planning our return trip...

Life, however, had other plans for us. We returned to find that my mother has Stage 4 cancer, and it has had a field day with her body. Needless to say, we are staying put until we know more about what is going to happen with her. I pray for God's healing for her body and her spirit, and I know that He can heal her if He so chooses. While I do believe, I still sometimes feel as if I have been punched in the gut. And as my mother's only child, I have felt so many things...Frustrated. Depressed. Angry. Overwhelmed. Stressed. Helpless. I think that helpless is the worst, and that comes from my inability to control or to fix the problem.

In the midst my roller coaster of emotions, I have, however, clung to the belief that there is indeed a reason for all that happens in this life. There is a reason that God tells us to take life one day at a time, and not to worry about what will happen tomorrow. Each day does indeed have enough trouble of its own. We have this day to live. We have this day to love. Worrying about what could happen tomorrow is a waste of the gift of today, and is actually evidence of a faith problem.

There is no peace or faith in the worry of what might happen tomorrow. Our only option is to trust that our God knows what He is doing. So while we may not see the ultimate plan while we are in the midst of our pain, we have to take comfort in the knowledge that He has us in the palm of His hand. He always has us. I think the only way to survive the stress of the unknown, is to let go of the reins, and let God.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Flying on Faith - Haiti Trip Two

Hi friends! Paul is getting ready to fly down to Haiti on Friday for an emergency trip to Aquin to help relocate 24 orphans who must be moved to safe shelter ASAP. They are currently living in a house that was flooded during Tomas and had police chasing criminals through it during the recent election violence.

We need your immediate help - as this orphanage needs a generator, proper lighting, wiring, clean water supply, nutritious food for the children, etc. Cholera has now found its way to Aquin, so it is imperative that they be moved to safety.

Please pray and ask what He would have you give - $10, $20, $50, $100. Whatever the Lord lays on your heart to give to this mission is greatly appreciated and needed. We cannot finance this trip without your help, so please consider your role in making this trip a success.

You can make a secure online donation by clicking "DONATE" now. Time is of the essence for this trip, as these children who lost their parents and/or siblings in the 2010 earthquake must be relocated to safe shelter.

Thank you all and God Bless.
Melody and Paul