Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Walking on water miracles

A topic has reared it head in my life lately and I feel compelled to share it with you, who I feel I know just because you read about my life.  

I went to Gilda's Club this past Monday night.  It is an organization that supports the whole family through a cancer diagnosis.  Jadyn and Bryn began a 10-week support group and I went to an adult version as well.  Next week, Jake will attend one for family of a cancer survivor during the same time.  It was a good time for all.  Bryn, especially, has been asking how long until Monday so she can go back!  We are waiting to see if the teen program will start back up for Katelyn's age bracket.  If so, that will be two Tuesday's a month.  I will be excited to share how that goes with you.    

Well, there was a man in my group, Billy, (the only male by the way) who stated that his lung cancer is in remission and he knows it will not return because he is praying for it.  

Herin lies my problem. I prayed too that my cancer would be gone for good when the doctors first said it was gone back in September of 2005.  When it came back on my very next scan in November of that year, I was pretty mad.  Why had God not answered my prayers and the prayers of so many?  Will he answer Billy's prayer?  Why do some people die of cancer before they get a chance to even fight?  Why do some people find cancer at Stage I and eliminate it for the rest of their lives?  Why did he choose to heal me in September only for it to come back 3 months later?  I DON'T KNOW!!

But God has shown me so much since November of '05.  He has shown me that what I know about my cancer and the impact it will have on eternity is but a blade of grass in a field without end.  It sounds trite, but I take comfort in knowing that God knows the end of my story, and he knows why I am going through each trial.  Just knowing that someone knows is enough for me.  It's like having your best friend say that they have read the end of the tear-jearker book you're reading and it ends out okay.  I can go ahead and finish reading...  

He has shown me that I am right where He wants me.  I did not do something wrong or am not out of His will.  I did not eat the wrong thing, or someone did not pray enough.  I am in a storm, but it is a storm that I rest comfortably in because of who is with me in the midst of it.  I recently read, from my BSF class, in Matthew 14 how Jesus had sent his disciples in a boat to go on before him.  He would catch up later.  A storm hit, and Jesus came as promised, walking on water to meet them.  Jesus sent them into the storm.  He knew it was coming, he knew they were on mission with him, and yet he sent them into the storm anyway.  He also let them see one of the greatest miracles during the storm, Jesus defying nature and walking on water.  God knows the storm I am in right now.  In fact, he gave it to me to walk through. Not by myself. He gave me family and friends and so much support, and he gave me himself.  He speaks to me through the Bible and through the Holy Spirit, and in so many other ways.  He is with me in the storm too.   I am expecting to see a miracle in my storm too.  

But, I guess what is different about me and Billy is that I don't know for sure that my miracle from God will be my healing from cancer.  I know one day, I will not have to deal with cancer anymore.  But, if he chooses not to heal me of cancer on this earth, I have come to be okay with that. Don't get me wrong.  I have not, nor will I ever, give up the fight.  I desperately want to be healed completely.  I believe God can do that anytime through medicine, through surgery, or through a complete unexplained miracle.  But, I also am experiencing God's goodness and faithfulness all the time.  My hip is feeling better, I don't limp as much.  I am on a great chemo that has given me a break from feeling sick.  Even my hair is growing back!

But, I have to remember that around the corner just might be a hurt back, or the chemo I am on that does not make me sick is not working.  Will I thank God then?  Will that be okay too?  YES! I will.  I cling to the promises God has given me.  Two of my favorites are in the book of Jeremiah.  In the Message, it is written in Jeremiah 29:11, "I know what I am doing.  I have it all planned out-- plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." and then Jeremiah 33:3 in the NIV says "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

So, I think it is awesome Billy believes that his cancer will not return.  I pray that for him too.  I pray that my cancer goes away too.  It is reality for me that my cancer did return.  It is reality for me that I have a friend in the hospital right now battling for her life.  But the one reality we all have is that a loving God knows the storm we are in, he carefully places us there, and promises to walk on water to be with us along the way.  

(sorry for the long post)


Anonymous said...

WOW. As I write this, that was my first reaction while reading your post, then I realized it can also be an acronym for Walking On Water. WOW. We are all praying for miracles, for you and for Billy, and all who this awful disease has touched, but in the storm that you so accurately describe, we have all learned and grown so much through it, that somehow this awful thing has made us all better people, more caring, more appreciative of all that we have, better parents, better friends (hopefully better aunts!) and will continue to expand our capabilities.

Personally it has touched and moved me in so many ways, I can't even start to describe, all from watching and experiencing your strength and determination.

This is a storm you are not alone in Jess. I wish I could answer some of your questions, but that isn't for us to do. But we can all continue believing we will have the WOW miracle. I know I do.

All my love,
Aunt Janette

P.S. There is a big push at work tomorrow for everyone to wear red for the American Heart Association Go Red program. Not me, I’m wearing pink for my beautiful niece!
Xo j

Anonymous said...

Your faith and courage is inspiring. I continue to pray for you and all Cancer patients, regardless of where they are in their journey.

Lynne said...

Wow...your words and your journey touch so many.... God indeed works in miraculous ways...with love and prayers...

Julianna said...

I love that! Thanks for your example of faithfulness. Your BSF acquaintance, Julianna

Anonymous said...

As your aunt so eloquently, WOW. You make my faith seem so miniscule (that of a mustard seed). I too pray for all of you that are walking in the storm of cancer, to just be shielded and kept safe. Whatever that entails. You are so right that God does know what he is doing. Praise be to Him through all of this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jessica for sharing your thoughts and the things you are learning. It really gives us all the encouragement to have faith in God for whatever we are going through, also. Thank you!


Amy said...

I shared this post with my BSF teaching leader. :-)

Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought of publishing your blog in a book? You are so gifted in many ways and remind us all to lean and cling to Our Mighty God. I have often wondered about the same thoughts and am thankful that you shared yours with all of us. Once again you are an example of a Godly woman, wife, mother, and friend! You touch so many lives with your faith during your walk and encourage us all with your beautiful spirit. Jesus was there with his disciples even when they were fearful of the storm and sometimes I forget that and feel all alone, thank you for reminding us of his faithfulness. I love you and your precious family! May our Loving Lord continue to bless you throught this journey!
Carrie P.

Anonymous said...

Jessica, This is Amy Helling, I have been keeping up with your family through Sharon Shander for YEARS, but just today had the nerve to look at your site. Your Mom just recently got in touch and I saw Hope this weekend at work...She said your chemo is being good to you and a bone scan is scheduled this week...Will be waiting to hear your results. Meanwhile know that Our family is praying for you too. Your family is just BEAUTIFUL...what darling girls and a truly handsome hubby!! I will be visiting your site often and keeping in touch with Hope...Stacie works at AMH too and they will be trying to make a connection again. YOU ARE A GIFTED WRITER and I know you are helping others through their journey. Strong young people like you help us all to know we will be able to endure whatever life throws at us...something none of us can fore see! LOVE YOU ALL AMY, ROGER, STACIE, PHILIP, MARISSA

Anonymous said...

you bless me so much, Jess.
Love you, Pat Cooper

Carla said...

This is an excellent post. I am praying that you can see Him walking through your storms tonight.
love, carla