Monday, November 30, 2009

What has been, and what's to come

It has been entirely too long since I've written anything on here, and for that, I apologize.  I was supposed to be writing a 50,000 word novel during the month of November, but I got stuck around 3400 words.  I intend to get unstuck, but since I have just entered the final hour of November, I am pretty sure it's not happening this month.  There's always December, right???

Since my last post, I learned I am cancer-free!  I got the all-clear on October 27th, and it was an amazing day.  I know those words seem feeble, but I'm really trying to settle into this new ordinary of not being sick.  Who knew it would be a struggle?  I also had that bothersome port removed since I last posted.  Turns out the bugger had just come right apart inside of my abdominal cavity.  My doc performed a simple surgery on November 16th, and out it came.  Yeehaw!  I spent a week recovering from that surgery, then spent a week on the road visiting family for this exceptional Thanksgiving.  Like in many years past, I spent Thanksgiving wondering how I manage to take so much for granted in my life.  There will be no more of that, thank you very much.  The Lord has blessed me in amazing ways, and even through the past 7 months of struggle, I still know it is Him who carries me--always.  

I started back to work today.  I'm doing partial days this week to ease back into things.  I think it will be good to have some normalcy again.  Instead of working in Killeen, where I was back in May, I am being moved to help w/two centers, one in Waco, and one in Temple.  It's very appropriate, considering the rest of my life is split between those two places.  :)

My next post will be an unusual one.  It is the text I intended to use for a testimony I gave at church at the end of October.  (I say intended because, as is usual when I give a testimony, I think I know what I want to say but don't ever get it quite the way I write it.  This time was no exception.  I veered into a lot of places I didn't expect to go, and I cried the. whole. time. I. spoke.  Seriously.)  The women had a brunch, and our theme was "Light in the Darkness:  Testimonies of God's Faithfulness."  When I had Debby read what I'd written, she commented that "it sure seems like an awful lot of dark and not a lot of light."  My response was something like, "It was dark."  Something to indicate that I hadn't seen a lot of light for a while.  Well, as I was writing, I forgot to mention some things that were light to me through the cancer ordeal, so I'll mention them here, just so no one thinks I completely missed those brief moments of light in all of this.  

1-Anytime I got to go to MY church on a Sunday, there was light, delivered in the preaching, the praying, and the love I received.  2-God working by finding me that apartment in clearly was done by His hand, and His perfect timing.  3-I sang a lot of hymns during these months.  I struggled to read Scripture, I could hardly pray, but I could sing.  My favorite was "Before the Throne of God Above."  I still have the lyrics on my dresser and I sing bits and pieces of it most mornings.  4-Though I couldn't see it at the time, all of this helped me to identify idols.  You know that first commandment that says, "you shall have no other gods before Me"???  Well, I found that I loved some things, at some times, more than I loved God.  How is that light, you ask?  In revealing what I treasured more than God, I was reminded that He still pours out His grace and mercy on me, more and more every day.  As that truth sunk in, I learned (or am learning??) to put God where He belongs in my heart and in my life.  5--Finally, I learned the power of prayer.  Not my own prayer, certainly.  There were days my darkness was so deep and distressing that I didn't know how I'd make it through the day.  Each time I'd hit that place, there was something outside of me that moved to make things manageable.  There were literally hundreds, and possibly thousands, of people praying for me, and those prayers moved to keep me....was it calm?  sane?  or just moving through the days?  Those prayers kept me from being hopeless, and for that I am grateful.