As I approach celebrating six months (this Friday!) since my stem cell transplant, I find myself coming back to convictions that have steadily grown during my unexpected journey with Leukemia:
I find myself actually thankful for how God has spoken to Marcia and me through this unexpected journey in ways I don’t think we would have experienced on any other path. To be honest, sometimes more thankful than others, but He continues to bring us back to center when we are done with our self efforts and complaining for the day. :-). I have also been so thankful for opportunities to visit with people and share in their lives! Those have been rewarding times of renewal and of redeeming the time we have while we have it.
God has faithfully affirmed things we knew to be true and planted them more firmly in our hearts. And even when His plan didn’t include removing the pain, He never ever abandoned us. He reminded us that sometimes he calms the storm; sometimes He calms the sailor. Even when the tensions that come with a household invaded by cancer, His faithfulness prompts our commitment to draw closer – to Him and to each other. His joy, sometimes more one of inner contentment than gushing effervescent bubbly joy, becomes strength to those who trust Him.
Whatever long-term struggles you face, and even when life is going well, each day is a battle for the mind. Being aware of making daily choices that lift us, not enslave us, is crucial, isn’t it? Sometimes I don’t fight the battle as well as others. Sometimes I keep on fighting when it is time to simply stand in God’s armor and let HIM fight for me. It is true that faith makes all things possible, but not easy.
I have learned that most everyone faces tough battles that include physical illness, relational tensions, work stress, financial struggles, battles for the mind, and all sorts of grief and sorrow. I wish I could tell you a way to escape them, but we won’t in this world. However… we don’t have to remain slaves to their mental and spiritual bondage. We have a loving God who cares for us and is ready to help us become victors and experience a peace we couldn’t otherwise expect…even as the storm rages within and around us. The only hope for victory I know is to surrender our complete trust to Him….all of it, in all things. And for me, it is a hope for the soul, like an anchor that is firm and secure. I know today, I need to consciously shorten the anchor rope so I don’t drift farther than I should. (Hebrews 6:19)
Be blessed in growing your thankful heart and in trusting one who is completely trustworthy to bring you a peace you won’t find anywhere else.