Wednesday, December 25, 2013


I have found myself in the midst of a war. The very first battle, between good and evil still continues to this day and I was blissfully unaware of much of it until recently. One thing is that I have been called to minister to and pray for sick people, mostly those with cancer, and it sometimes takes a mental toll on me. I start feeling like I'm praying the same words day after day, but just for different people. Like a broken record I pray from necessity rather than from the deep, wounded brokenness that overflows from the soul of an unworthy sinner. So I pray to care more, pray to break more, pray to yearn more. Then the worst thing happens--He answers those prayers. My circumstances change and I care more, ache from the inside out, cry out to the Lord for the ability to even comprehend the evil that surrounds me.

Psalm 34:15-18
"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

I'm so saddened by the circumstances around me, and I am trying not to allow them to interfere with the celebration of the season. We should reflect on the amazing gift of Jesus. He came willingly into the world, and didn't sin. He was the only one who didn't deserve death, but He carried our sins just because He loved us. And He is now the only way to get to heaven. None of that will ever change. Our interpretation, understanding, or circumstances all change, but those truths will stay the same.

Malachi 3:6, "For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed O sons of Jacob"

I am supremely excited to tell you that Debora and I will be giving our testimonies on January 16 at Four Oaks Community Church. I've been honored to share it at many other places, but Four Oaks is our church home! I've been praying for and waiting on this opportunity for almost two years now. It will be well worth the wait, because we get to boast about His awesomeness there! If you're in town please come rejoice with us about the amazing God we serve.

I'm going through some really difficult circumstances right now but I have to be vague about all the details. So instead I ask that you join me in praying for protection for my family and the families of all those we've prayed for in the past, that they would increase in faith and peace, and for help in focusing on the Lord. Pray also that the Lord will use us all for His good, and that we would see Him in all things. I have some prayer updates and new requests that I'll put below:

Barbara--We were praying for her clear PET scan. We didn't get that miracle yet, but we will not lose faith. Her liver looks better but it grew in other places, so they are trying to remove some to assess what best destroys it then use those drugs on here. Sounds pretty cool to me. Pray she will have total relief from pain, doctors will treat her properly, and for a complete and miraculous removal of all cancer cells

Sally--PRAISE: A long time ago I talked about her on here. She was diagnosed with stage 4 BC soon after I was, and hers disappeared. It's been over a year without cancer and she had a bad PET scan recently, but HOORAY, the Lord had that disappear and further tests showed it was nothing.

Alison--PRAISE! At her 6 month scan they saw she has been cancer-free for over a year and a half! Glory be to God!!!!

Ryan--He has stage 4 stomach cancer and has been on chemo forever. He has a baby and has battling this for two years. Enough is enough, it's time for this miracle. Let's believe it for them because they are weak, tired, and worn out. We will carry him to the Lord and the Lord will heal him because of our faith (Mark 2:3-5)

Crystal--She and the others below are new on this list. She is young and was suddenly diagnosed with stage 4 BC. It's all over her body and the chemo didn't work so they are radiating most of her torso. They fear it is in her brain and are awaiting a CT scan. Please pray for her comfort and that she will lean on Him, as well as for her family's peace, faith and comfort. Pray in the short run for immediate relief from her vomiting and that her brain scan shows absolutely nothing is wrong, and again for long run total healing.

Marlena--She is young and has already seen the Lord do great things with her diagnosis. There were fears that it had spread but He put those to rest. However, she's undergoing chemo and has had a really hard time recovering from that. Please pray He will strengthen her so she can maintain her role as a mother and that He will make anything she needs to give up or modify very clear.

Jenny--She is a pastor's wife who has had a recurrence of BC. She has a long list of awesome things the Lord has done to show her that He is in charge and is running things smoothly. She will have a bilateral mastectomy on Friday because she already had radiation. Please pray that the surgery goes well and with a smooth recovery and that the doctors have wisdom for all the proper treatment.

Teri--She loves the Lord and her triple negative BC did not spread, which is great. She's going through chemo and trying to stay positive, but it's really hard to work while undergoing treatment and she cannot take much time off. Please pray for her supernatural response to the chemo, that she would stay healthy and not struggle with the normal side effects of the treatment.

Contessa--This is the young mom whose home burned down a few weeks ago. She is doing well and has a new place to stay. We are collecting money for her utility deposit. Please pray she gets everything she needs and draws closer to the Lord through this experience.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Is anything too hard for God? (duh)

I told you at least once on here about a sweet woman named Barbara. She lives in Tallahassee and in February was admitted to the hospital for pain only to discover she had extensive cancer all over. Last I knew her treatments (and God...mostly God) helped remove it from her lungs but it was still in her liver. Her whole family is devoted to Christ and longs to see Him magnified through this situation. They've all rallied to be by her side and have prayed for her healing for 10 long months. I noticed that her first PET scan was scheduled at 2:30 back then and now it will be at that same time tomorrow. I imagine how scared and overwhelmed she was the first time around and pray that this time she will be filled with peace, love, hope and confidence. Confidence that there is no cancer, that Satan and all her cancer were cast out and the Holy Spirit created new, fresh, revived cells in their place. Join me now, and at 2:30 tomorrow (Thursday) in praying that the test will be performed accurately, and that it will show conclusively that every cell of cancer is gone (Like in Lk 8:43). We are not asking for the status quo. We are not "hoping for an improvement but settling for it not worsening". No. God is in charge of this woman's body and we are asking for and expecting complete and total healing (Mark 11:24).

Back before Barbara even had the official diagnosis, someone told one of her sons that he was in denial if he had any hope for her. Guess what? That person was right. There is no hope for her here on earth. No doctor can heal her entirely. No scientist can develop a drug in time to save her. But--thank the Lord--we do not put our hope in our powerful people, there is no hope for us there (Ps 146:3). And we wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.(Ps 33:20).

Adrian Rogers broadcast a sermon this week called Is anything too hard for God? It's good, follow the link to listen to the first part (second part can be found on his website). The answer, of course, is "NO!" Nothing is too hard for Him. Adrian recounts a story about praying for a really evil person who later accepted the Lord. God was in charge of having those men pray for that man's salvation. The victory is not just that the man accepted Jesus, it's that those people who prayed were emboldened to ask for more, more, and more, in His name. Because their faith was bolstered by each answer. God planned it that way because He wants to see such great faith. Look how thrilled He was with Abraham's faith. He blessed Abe because he believed in God's promises, NOT because he was such a sinless superstar (Gen 22, etc.).

God doesn't need us to ask Him for things. He is the boss, He is in charge. He doesn't do it for His own pride--He could get accolades in other ways. He does it for our own good. So we can see Him move. So we can see that the only limits on His goodness are the ones we arbitrarily set. Remember the time in your life where He did something so big that it could only be from Him? (If you don't, pray for one!) If He did that for you, why couldn't/wouldn't He answer the other prayers you have? Why couldn't He have Barbara's PET scan tomorrow come back completely clear? Why couldn't He have her doctor choke on his coffee when he sees the results and call all his colleagues to try to identify the Real Healer? Why couldn't He have revival break out in the Cancer Center with such a strong presence of the Lord that people can feel the Holy Spirit from outside the building (Acts 2)?

This is a great opportunity for us all to be more involved in the kingdom. Pray for Barbara, pray for your lost loved ones, pray for your faith to grow, and then wait with the urgent expectation that He will do it (Ps 65:5). He will do it so we are not put to shame (Ps 25:2; Romans 8:28). He will do it so you can understand Him more. He will do it so others hear His name. And He will do it because He is God (Isa 40:14).

Friday, December 13, 2013

Tallahassee Family in Need

I have been posting this all over, so you might have seen it, but I wanted to get it out as much as possible. There are SO many families in need that we can't help them all, but this one touched a core with me so I'm trying harder to help them out.
Hebrews 10:24 - And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
My mom has a young, single mother in a class at TCC who is a reformed drug addict. She’s been trying hard to get her life together but bad things keep happening—when she finally got it together she was falsely accused of more criminal activity so had to move in with her sister (who is a single mother of 4). She’s trying exceedingly hard to get a degree and better her situation and has no money. Now their apartment burned down so between them there are 5 young kids and they have nowhere to live and only the clothes on their backs. I think this is the time to show them that Christ came to save people just like them (all of us). And that He really is their burden-bearer and healer! They’ve never known Him as their true Abba father and their kids can’t fathom what that even means.
1 Timothy 1:15, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."
We will collect any donations for these people. Please let us know by Sunday if you happen to have something to donate so we can get it all arranged. Anything (used is fine!) would be appreciated. 
The kids’ sizes are: 2T girl, 3T girl, size 6 girl, and two size 6 boys. 

Matthew 5:16 - Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


I haven't posted in awhile because I needed time to digest, grieve, accept, and finally... rejoice over the loss of Jaime VanOrden. She's the one I begged you all to pray for in my last post. The one I stretched my faith to believe would be healed, and the one who died anyway, leaving me dazed and confused. 

I never met Jaime but I heard enough about her, and followed her friends' posts and updates to know that it was all by the book. I mean, The Book. She was a devout believer who wanted to live to raise her son. Tons of people prayed that she would be healed, and she even claimed it until the end. And now she is healed, but not on earth like I believed. She is in heaven, filled with more love than any of us down here could ever imagine.

There were a few times since my own healing that I started wondering if some of those denominations were right in their belief that everyone could be healed if they just did what the Bible says. My church and family don't believe that, so it was a stretch, but it would have answered a few questions. First, it would explain why Pentecostal denominations that emphasize healing see more healing. Because they expect God will do it and He does! It would also explain why I was healed myself, and would put an exclamation at the end of a few verses like, Exodus 23:25, "Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,", James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.", and Matthew 21:21, "Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done."

It is controversial to believe that everyone could be healed. When people aren't that into the debate, they push the possibility aside because there are so many Christians who die of illnesses. But when you've been healed or through some other type of miracle, it opens other realms of thought. And you start thinking maybe those people could have lived if they'd really believed, etc. Plus, my beliefs aren't dictated by the masses. If they were I wouldn't be sitting here in perfect health with a Bible on my lap.

So anyway, I really started seeking the Lord on this healing business, and when I heard how ill Jaime was I put my whole heart into praying for her. It was hard to believe she would be healed, but I made myself do it. Because we know all about the times that Jesus healed people because of the faith of their friends (e.g. Mth 8:5-13). 

God answered me when Jaime died. I know now without a doubt that He does not heal everyone. We (she had a huge group of believers praying for her) did everything that the glorious Word says. Checked off all the boxes. But she was still buried.

I am so sad for her family and friends. Especially with those who had the nerve to pray and believe that she would be healed. It's such a downer, and opens up doubts that niggle at our faith. But God is good. Note that I didn't say, "He is STILL good". Because that would be indicating He did something bad in the first place. He didn't. In the heavenly realm, where He is infinitely more intelligent than we are, where the whole picture can be seen and doesn't need interpretation, the earthly death of Jaime is a victory. She was a sinner (like all of us) and the wages of that sin is eternal damnation. But because of proclaiming the name of our Messiah, for depending upon and clinging to Him, she was saved for eternal glory. To spend forever praising His name with no tears, sadness, or pain. 

I learned it is still true that "It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God's mercy." (Romans 9:15). He will not be put in a box. We cannot follow a list of rules taken from the Bible to get them out of the hospital, any more than we can follow such rules to drag them into heaven with us. We are back to square one, worshiping Him with all our being and depending on the Holy Spirit to do the rest. We must still pray and believe He will answer as commanded, but be resolved that the One who knows it all makes the decisions.

For my part, I'm glad to know the truth, and see that going through the motions to "get someone healed" can not replace the value of brokenness. It takes the control off each of us and puts it back onto our burden-bearer. Where it belongs. I was going to title this post, "Bad News" but that would be inaccurate. The truth is, it is GOOD news to know He is in charge, He is involved, He is a personal God. He has great plans for us that are better than the misery we are suffering through today. One day our pain will be gone, the purposes clear, and the truth declared for all. That is GREAT news.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Not Enough

It's been almost 2 years since my diagnosis. This time in 2012 my dad drove from West Palm (7 hours) to watch the girls while I went for an ultrasound on the lump in my breast. I had prayed for immediate, good news and that is what I got. Too bad we learned a few weeks later that they were wrong!!!! During the ultrasound the technician proudly announced that my lump was just a clogged milk duct and cancelled the mammogram I was supposed to have right after. I thought that meant my dad had driven all the way across the state to help for no reason, and I had missed Abigail's Halloween parade, which was at her school at the same time. Of course, when we learned that it was actually a misdiagnosis and I had cancer, those details turned out to be the least of my worries.

I will always think of that day around Halloween, and it was on my mind today as I watched my biggest baby march proudly around the school in her unicorn costume. I can say with absolute certainty that she is no worse for having gone through my cancer and treatments with me. In fact, her faith is stronger and she sees the Lord in more things than before. We prayed so much that the girls would not be destroyed because of the attacks from the Destroyer, and God definitely answered those prayers. Plus, obviously, many, many more.

By the end of today's parade I was smacked in the face with the reality that the world didn't stop being a horrible place just because the Lord healed me. I learned that a strong, young believer named Jaime is days from death. She was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer when she had an infant, and that little boy is now 4 years old. By all accounts, that little guy is about to lose his mother. The cancer is in her liver and is causing her excruciating pain.

I remember ruminating once that this is how it goes: First, everyone has high hopes, then that fades and so do the prayers and belief that a miracle could occur. Finally it gets so bad that everyone starts praying for death to take you, to put you out of your misery. I think this has happened with Jaime's family. She has a husband and parents who love her and no one can stand seeing her in this pain. I imagine she would rather not live more days like this but feels so guilty succumbing because of her child. Her son. Her lovely, precious, and perfect son.

I don't know the boy's name but I know he's wonderful. And that he doesn't understand. And that he's on track to have to go through all the awful issues I prayed my own children could avoid. I often think the good Lord answered my prayers for my daughter's sake...and with some difficulty I'm going to stretch my faith for this next part: I BELIEVE HE WILL ANSWER OUR PRAYERS TO ENTIRELY HEAL JAIME . For His glory.

Many people remind me that He doesn't heal us all, but (I will say it again, and again), who are we to decide who He will heal? If we pray halfheartedly for healing "because He only heals some of us", do we actually follow His command to pray in faith (James 5)? And to pray AND believe (Mark 11:24)? Are we actually doing it because we afraid that if he doesn't heal the person and we thought He would, we will lose faith in Him? Is it just an easy way out to not really put our hearts into praying for healing?

It takes some difficulty to believe Jaime will be healed, but I am doing it. I did it for Debora and when He healed her it was so much more meaningful to me than if I had been just watching from the sidelines. Or waiting for her to die. So I challenge you all to pray with me. To suspend all understanding of what you know about science and the way things usually work, and to go all out in your prayers and belief that she will be healed. Ignore Satan and His lies. Those that whisper "it's too late" and "no one is healed at this point". By definition a miracle is a supernatural, unexpected change that we cannot explain away. So we do not lose the hope that He gave us two years ago. Or last week. We maintain this hope and earnest expectation of the good news to come.

Come, let us glorify the Lord together. We shall rejoice together for the upcoming healing of  the Lord's daughter, Jaime. For her sake, for her son's sake, and for yours.

Psalm 17:17
Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in them from their foes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Healing Party for Debora on Friday

There will be a healing party to celebrate the good work of our Savior in healing Debora's body on Friday (10/18) at Four Oaks from 7-8:30. I believe she will share her testimony. Come enjoy it. We should rejoice in all things, but what a nice chance to celebrate a miracle!

Revelation 4:11
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

Friday, October 11, 2013


He did it again. Her God. My God. Our God. He healed Debora. Her stage 4 cancer is gone. Her doctor is shocked. He didn't admit that it was a miracle but said he couldn't find any cancer and never expected that. She went through chemo but eventually stopped as the side effects were worse than the benefits. Since then she's been on Arimidex and that's it. Not even a diet change. Lots of chocolate. Lots of prayer. Lots of miracles.

Nehemiah 12:43 "Many sacrifices were offered on that joyous day, for God had given the people cause for great joy. The women and children also participated in the celebration, and the joy of the people of Jerusalem could be heard far away."

Many thanks to all who prayed. She was diagnosed in May, 2012 and it took this long to see the results. TOTALLY WORTH IT. I prayed a lot throughout, but especially this week, and was moved specifically to pray that God would heal her for the sake of those watching. For those who either don't believe He is, and thus wouldn't do it, and for those who don't believe He can and thus couldn't do it. He did it for those people. He also did it for all His children who have been praying and needed to see Him work. He did it for those who wrote her illness off as a part of life (and death). He did it for her, even though she would have been content with just being healed in heaven. And He did it for Him, so we would all know He is the Lord. 

Exodus 14:1"The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent."

Dear Tallahassee, God is here. He is still healing, still caring, still weeping and still seeking. Get on board for the ride of your life. It's scary. It's hard. But the joy you feel when you seek Him and find Him is incomparable. 

"1 John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. "

"Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Psalm 62:1"

Don't give up on praying for your heart's desires. Don't give up on your loved ones. Don't give up on seeking God because He hasn't given up on you.  

"Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?"

I love you all. 

Psalm 31
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
as for me, I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.
You have not given me into the hands of the enemy
but have set my feet in a spacious place.
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,b
and my bones grow weak.
Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors
and an object of dread to my closest friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
For I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
and plot to take my life.
But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
Let me not be put to shame, Lord,
for I have cried out to you;
but let the wicked be put to shame
and be silent in the realm of the dead.
Let their lying lips be silenced,
for with pride and contempt
they speak arrogantly against the righteous.
How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.
In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from all human intrigues;
you keep them safe in your dwelling
from accusing tongues.
Praise be to the Lord,
for he showed me the wonders of his love
when I was in a city under siege.
In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.
Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
The Lord preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

NOW is the time to pray

My amazing friend Debora, who knows pretty much everyone in Tallahassee, is having a PET scan today. At 1:30 actually. I think in the past she got her results faster (maybe immediately, but that might have been a different type of test) than I have but we'll see. So please, please devote a minute to praying for her accurate test results to show that all of her stage 4 breast cancer has disappeared.

Debora prayed for my miraculous healing then was diagnosed with the same thing just three months later. A ton of things have happened since then, and we have been amazed at how the Lord used her journey to draw others close to Him.

With that said, I know she was healed and I want this PET scan to show it. I know, we should be content in all circumstances. And God doesn't heal everyone. And we all have to suffer. But do you know what else? Jesus healed all who came to Him. And He told His disciples to go out and heal the sick (Matthew 10:8). Are we bigger sinners than the disciples? Probably. Well, we might be better than Judas. Sometimes. But sin is sin, and there is only one Holy Spirit. It's the one who came down as a dove and rested on Jesus. Then at pentacost the rest got it. So...was that Holy Spirit more powerful than the one we have today? NO. Did He care about healing back then but change His mind? NO. Did He love the people from back then more than He loves us today? NO. NO. NO.

James 5:14-16

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

I wasn't healed because I deserved it. He did it so all could see His glory. How He answers prayer. How He provides hope in a hopeless world. I want everyone to get to share that hope and joy that comes when you get to share His miracles. There is nothing like it. I can't think of a better day than October 9, 2013 for Debora to get to do that. And for all of us, who have prayed without ceasing for her, to get to hear it.

A few other little things--I was honored at the Cards for a Cure event that is a fundraiser for the TMH Cancer Center. It was so cool. We had a lot of friends there which made me so happy. And it made the small talk, etc. much more fun. Before my little speech they showed a video that I'll put the link to here. It's on Facebook so if you aren't a member and it doesn't let you see it tell me. Cards Testimony Video

I don't have time to brag about all the awesome stuff God has allowed me to witness lately, but it's a lot! At that event there were 450 people, mostly those I didn't know, gathered there to fight cancer. And they all got a brochure with my story, saw the video, and applauded when I gave a speech that said God was the hero of my story. It was a secular event so I was surprised I didn't get booed off the stage, let alone to have people clap! And tons of people approached me later and said it was so brave of me to say that. I guess in their world it takes more courage to share the truth than I was aware. It was SUCH a huge blessing, I get tears in my eyes just thinking about it.

The last thing is that a few weeks ago I missed noting an important day on here. I feel really awful about it. It was Mesothelioma Awareness Day. You know, breast cancer gets a whole month of press and everywhere you turn you see something pink to raise awareness. People with Mesothelioma just get one day and who even noticed it? It was September 26. Apparently most people diagnosed with it get just 7200 hours to live. That's 300 days. The man who sent me the information about it said his wife is a rare survivor of it. So, please check out this website and keep that awful disease in your prayers.

I love you all. Seriously. I do.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Events and Prayers

I have mixed feelings about keeping this blog going. It was such a huge part of my cancer journey, and I have been extremely blessed by the responses of people who read it.
Before I was healed I mentioned a fear on here that when people stopped supporting me as much I would feel irrelevant. That definitely happened, as it happens to most people who deal with illness. It's a natural part of life--whether or not we want attention, at some time of our life we get it and then notice during those times we don't. It bruises our egos. It has taken awhile to get over this, but I think I have, which is why I can express it better now. I am humbled by being less relevant and more unimportant, and this blog is an extension of that. But I feel like "ending" the blog would be like saying what God did is not important or relevant, either. 
Anyway, whenever I pray about closing down the blog, someone inevitably mentions it in a positive way. So I am keeping it going with less frequent entries until further notice. 

I am healthy. I decided to wait until next year for further reconstructive surgeries because my body has been taking a long time to heal from each  It has been a little over a year since I ended radiation, which was the final part of my treatment. I would say I have physically recovered from all that and have no notable side effects from any of it, besides the actual surgical scars. I consider those my war wounds from the fight for my life. 

I am still moved by people with cancer and have several that I'm praying for. It feels like an epidemic and it's a bit overwhelming to try to keep up with everyone's horror stories. But still, every so often in the midst of the storms, we hear good news. It is a tinkle of hope ringing in the distance, and we must search for it's source. It is the only way we will get through the journey.

Romans 15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

These are the current things we have going on.

There is a young girl named Anna, and her family, who really needs your prayers. She already beat leukemia once but it's back now. Her family has been through an enormous amount recently, so having this terrible disease come back was icing on the cake. Her mother has to work in Tallahassee, and Anna Grace is at Shands all alone (2.5 hours away). She is so sick only her mother is allowed to visit right now. They need support in every way imaginable. Here is a link to a blog with some information,, and if you want to help with any fundraisers it talks about a pancake breakfast on October 5 and I know a local coffee shop is donating funds during certain hours also. Please, please cover this family with your prayers for total healing, finances and peace. Also for protection from emotional problems that arise from all this.

Great Lessons:
Yaacov is leading a cool teaching on the Parables at 11am at Four Oaks Community Church starting next Sunday. You don't need prior knowledge or anything, just come prepared to learn more about the details of what Jesus was talking about. I'll paste a blurb about it below:
This class will discuss the origins and meanings of the parables of Jesus from a Jewish perspective and the decisions Jesus called his listeners to make pertaining to the gospel and the kingdom of heaven. The class includes an introduction to what a parable is, the context into which Jesus was teaching (including what the Rabbis were teaching during the 2nd Temple period and who the Jews expected the Messiah to be), and a study of 9 parables: 3 parables of warning, 3 parables of the gospel message, and 3 parables of righteousness.

Bible Study Fellowship:
I have been going to Bible Study Fellowship for 5 years, and it's a really great nondenominational Bible study. It is not local, there are weekly meetings all over the world. If you want more specifics shoot me an email and I can fill you in. But this note is because we have two women's groups and not one for the men in Tallahassee. They would like to start a men's group in town, but they need a list of 300 men who are interested in attending. It isn't a commitment to show up, just to say they would consider it. So, if you or someone you know is a man who would consider going to the group if it started up, please send Yaacov or me a message with your name and number for the list. Or put it in a comment beneath this.

Cards for a Cure:
We are really excited for the big Cards for a Cure fundraiser that is coming up on September 28 at the Antique Car Museum. The board is made up of lots of amazing people who have lived through or been touched by, breast cancer. The money raised goes to support the TMH Cancer Center, and this year my story is the one being highlighted. As a promotional tool our family was even featured in Tallahassee Woman's Magazine, which has a watered down version of my story. Lots of non-believers are finding out some truths about what God can do (page 38 So, not only would I love to see you all come to the event, I would also appreciate prayers for all the audience to learn about God's miracles and that there is always hope. .

Thursday, July 18, 2013


I just saw someone who is dying of cancer. I don't know how much longer she has. I do know she's worn out from fighting, trying, and just surviving. I know she might be content with death at this point, but would probably prefer to be completely healed and have many more healthy, painfree years with her children. I know the longer we fight this disease the less we expect to overcome it. And I know that the longer people see us fighting it, the less it matters to them. The less they pray for miracles and expect them to occur. The more they accept that it's our time to go. And most of all, I know: That Sucks.

These people who struggle for years deserve peace, health, and happiness as much as you do. As much (or as little) as I did. I didn't deserve to be supernaturally healed, I was just chosen for that path. These other people who are still sick could be chosen too. What would happen if God chose them to be healed too, but no one bothered to pray and believe they would be? We fail to pray for miracles when we don't believe they will happen. We profess to believe in Christ but we don't believe He will answer our prayers. So why do we bother praying for anything at all? Some of us are willing to pray that He will bless our finances but not that someone will walk away from her deathbed. We basically are willing to ask for help with things that we could just about do ourselves, but we don't trust in Him to do things we obviously can't control. Instead we believe the lies of the enemy, that there is no hope. What an insult to the Creator of the world that we would pick and choose what to believe He will do! That's not faith in Him, it's faith in ourselves. And none of us is worthy to make such big decisions.

Once a man named Jairus went to see Jesus. He begged Jesus to heal his dying daughter. The girl ended up dying for a bit and Jesus told Jairus, "Do not be afraid; just believe." Then He healed the little girl. Back from the dead. He healed her because Jairus asked and believed Jesus would heal his daughter. The daughter was already dead, she certainly wasn't expecting to be healed. (Mark 5:21-37). Was that girl more special to Jesus than our friends who have cancer today? No. 

It's hard but necessary to believe in miracles. To expect them. To respond to the opportunity to pray for such miracles as a blessing, not a chore. I'm not sure exactly why it's so hard or scary, but it is. When I was on my way to see this friend with cancer today I was humbled by the reminder that I haven't been expecting to hear the great news of her miraculous recovery. I thought I should run up to her and boldly tell her I knew she would be healed. That despite all evidence to the contrary, it was going to happen. Maybe I would pray with her right then...

Instead do you know what I did? I said "hi", "bye", and ran off, telling myself I needed to pray more about it before I could really announce that I believed in her healing. You know why? Because it's hard and scary to look at someone who is close to death and tell her she will live after all. Even though that is exactly what I was wishing for when I was so sick. Because even after receiving my own miracle I don't expect to see others. Because she doesn't give the impression of someone who is about to receive one. Oh, right, and because I am a hypocritical jerk. 

This is hard stuff, but am supremely blessed in that I have another day to try again. To try to believe that my mustard seed of faith allows me to say to a mountain, "Move from here to there" and it will move (Mtw 17:20). We will rejoice together at the amazing things He will do. And eventually every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil 2:10)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Wasted Life

I discovered an awesome show called "Extreme Weight Loss". I watch it with tears in my eyes throughout. In the last episode I saw (season 3, episode 3) there were many echoes of statements that all people I know who have been blessed with a miracle make.

The overweight man miraculously survived a horrendous car accident. At the hospital, the doctors were stunned and repeated, "We don't even know why you're here". I know those of us who survive have those thoughts too. But I also know the answer. We are hear to proclaim what the Lord has done (Psalm 118:17). That is my new career and I am thrilled to go to work each day.

Later the man was feeling bad about himself and said, "I feel like I'm totally wasting my second chance". We all know what to do about that at this point. Ephesians 4:22-24 says, "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

His personal trainer reported, "He lost his arm but he still has that spark of hope". We have that spark of hope too. Romans 15:13, "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Finally, the trainer in the show told him, "I choose you, Buddy". The trainer was talking about selecting the man to be a client for the show. But it is exactly what God says to us. It isn't because we are worthy. In fact, all are invited to walk with God, but few really go through with it (Mth 22:14). Ephesians 1:4, "Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes." It is so sweet to be chosen for this life, and I know I forget that sometimes. But if the angels can rejoice about it, so can we. And I hope you all do just that.

"In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of God's angels when just one sinner repents." Luke 15:10

Monday, July 1, 2013

Good and Bad

A week or two ago, I had a very bad day. I have excuses for it, but in the end I was just not being the generous, kind, loving, gentle person God made me to be. I stormed out of the house and took a drive to calm down. I found myself complaining loudly to God about all the annoying things that were going on, and I tried to remark that "this is not what I asked for". I was pulling the "woe is me, my life is unfair" card, I know. Anyway, as I was in mid-sentence, God changed my mind and heart so I announced (still loudly, I'm still me after all) instead, "this IS what I asked for. This is exactly what I asked for." And it was. I always made a point not to glamorize this life I've been given. When I begged for Him to take the cancer away, it was for His glory and so I could continue my work as a mother. I knew that both of those options are generally not highly appreciated tasks and there would be few accolades on earth to go along with them. The daily nonsense I put up with now is all exactly what I wanted and I am doing my best not to forget that.

We went to New Orleans last week. Yaacov had a business trip so the kids and I tagged along. It was the first trip with just the four of us since cancer. There were moments of craziness (all mothers remember what it's like trying to get kids to sleep in hotel rooms...parents have to tiptoe around in the dark starting at 7pm), but a few moments that were so special, I get tears in my eyes just thinking about them. One special time was in the early morning, when Naomi woke us all up and we were too tired to get up (plus, what is a family of four supposed to do at 5:30 am in New Orleans anyway?). I pulled her into bed with Abi and me. Yaacov didn't fit but he was snuggled up in the neighboring bed. We all cuddled and watched cartoons. The girls were warm next to me, and they giggled innocently at all the funny parts. It was a special time, another gift from the Lord. As I zoned out of the cartoon for a moment to thank Him, He reminded me like He had during the bad day: "This is what you asked for."

I am more aware than ever that He gives us good things but still allows bad ones. He wants the best for us. He is for us. For me. For you. Romans 8:31, "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?"

Monday, June 24, 2013


God renewed my passion for writing about three years ago. I had it when I was little then it died off, as the creative bits of me were replaced with interests of a more scientific and concrete nature. I am sure it was He who rekindled it within me, in preparation for expressing this encounter with evil cancer and death. However, I don't know if it was His original intention for me to pursue writing all along or not. Regardless, I know the novel I wrote a few years back was practice for blogging and whatever writing I will do in the future. Since the cancer journey began I have wanted to write about it, in more detail than this blog, but knew it wasn't the time. But I'm quite sure now is finally the time. Passages and stories from my book (or articles, too early to tell) come to me whenever I'm not focusing on the kids. I'll be driving, exercising, or trying to sleep and really good stuff comes to mind. I rarely am able to write it down before I forget, but I'm trying.

'm going through this blog from the beginning as sort of a starting point for the book. I get anxious before opening each post, afraid I will be embarrassed by what I said back then, or that my heart will hurt so much when I re-live those moments that this time I won't survive. But each time, God carries me through. I am amazed by the way He clearly carried me through the worst days. I am encouraged by the grace He gave me and the love He showed me through all you readers and friends.

So far, these memories have come back from reading through the blog: 

--I actually didn't think it could get worse than finding out I had cancer (before we knew it had spread; Acts 1:7, "He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.")
--Suddenly had to wean Naomi and she was so distraught...but she finally took a bottle on Thanksgiving! (Matt 7:7-8 "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”)--The first very sick person I ever saw, who made it all so real. I am still so sad thinking about her. She was young and her mom had to be a strong advocate for her. It was so pathetic and heart-wrenching to hear her mom begging for a bucket for her daughter to throw up in, as the daughter couldn't hold a bag. The pessimistic side of me thinks that young woman has probably passed away by now. I pray for that whole family and wish I had the presence of mind to reach out to them back then. (Matt 17:20 “Jesus told them.”I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.)
--The love, love, love God showed me through all His children. (Proverbs 11:25 from the Message Bible “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”)
--It has always been about my not wanting my babies to grow up without me. With His grace, they won't have to. (Mth 6:26, "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?")

When I first started blogging I was fearful of going public with my innermost thoughts and fears. I hate to be judged and knew I was exposing myself for just that. But being able to be honest on here is what makes it cathartic for me, and is how I bond with you all. I am still amazed by the outpouring of love I have received from it, and am certain that it is the attraction we each have to vulnerability that makes it a success. So, in addition to thanking each of you for reading, praying, and loving on me, I suggest that everyone considers writing down the details of their trials. It might help someone someday, whether it's the writer or the reader.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

Monday, June 3, 2013


Got the PET scan results cancer! It's been at least a year since I had any evidence at all of cancer. I knew I was healed of the life-taking disease last Groundhog day (who knew that was a real holiday?!), but there was still a bit of minor cancer in my original tumor. The scan I had around last Memorial day though showed no cancer cells at all. And it's still gone a year later. He did it, He kicked Satan and his disease out of my body and replaced it with healthy, viable cells (Deuteronomy 7:15).

Remember when Dr. Litton, the special expert I saw at MD Anderson, told me I would never be cancer-free for even a day? Me too. That was a lie from the destroyer, meant to blast any hope we had left into tiny shards that would poke at anyone whose path we crossed. But God Almighty turns all things the enemy intends for evil into good. That bad news is now part of my testimony, which I will continue to share at every opportunity. The testimony that cries, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" (Revelation 5:13)

Around this time last year I got to share my story when the Ride for Hope gave me their "Hero for Hope" award. It was an honor to share what God did amongst a secular group, and it was really cool to get that award. It is a great group of amazing people and raises funds for the TMH cancer center. That event will be held this weekend and they need volunteers. If you live in Tallahassee and have time, please volunteer! Or if you are a bike rider jump into the race! You can get more info at

If you are reading this, even if I don't know you personally, thank-you for supporting my family and me through thoughts, prayers and shares. I had a deadly disease that by all accounts could not be cured with medicine. Now it's gone. God did that. Because so many of us asked and believed He would do it. He did it for His glory, so that all would recognize His awesomeness. If you don't see it now, you have your reasons. It doesn't matter what those are, they all boil down to you being closed off to the Holy Spirit. All of us have those moments; for some they last seconds, for others a lifetime. The truth is that we all have a chance to open our hearts and accept Jesus' sacrifice for us. Doing that will take us down a path to spending an eternity with the Lord. But most of us won't go that way. In many ways it's easier not to believe and follow God. But if we don't we will suffer because of that choice forevermore. I pray that this experience God has involved me with will be the catalyst many need to decide to take the narrow path toward the Lord. 

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

Sunday, June 2, 2013

PET scan and Ballet

I had a PET scan on Thursday. Dr. Crooms sent me because it's been a year since my last one. The one last year was the first PET scan I had ever had with no cancer at all. I haven't gotten the results yet but know they will be clear. This will mark one year without any evidence of disease. During the test I had no nerves. I felt like an old pro, I wait for the results without a hint of fear. This confidence comes from God (2 Cor 3:4) and is one of the hugest internal improvements I've had since the start of this journey with cancer.

Abigail has the confidence from the Lord, too. I was reminded of it this weekend at her dance recital. I can look back on the day I was healed as the best news I've ever received, but as for best experiences ever, it pales in comparison to watching Abi do ballet. Her first recital was this time last year and I felt the same both times. Watching her dance with the grace of a five-year-old brings up every emotion I have felt since I had her. Her sweet smile brings me peace and joy. As she gallops across the stage I remember the ups and downs of bringing a child into the world to love, trying to carry her through the difficult times, and seeing her land seamlessly on her feet after all she's endured. All my prayers about her not having to lose her mom were answered and nothing hints that she's had to become wise beyond her years. Instead she exudes love. She shines like the brightest star, not like someone with doubts, who looks over her shoulder for danger, someone who fears taking a deep breath. She poses with the grace of a young lady who is entirely secure and for that I am extremely grateful and motivated. There is nothing more perfect than watching her dance and I know the Lord enjoys seeing His child perform, too. I know that we who struggle with adversity are hurt but not destroyed (2 Cor 4:9), and we should all strive to dance for Him as though we too were happy five-year-olds.

2 Samuel 6:14, "Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord."

God has been so amazing to us...always! He answers prayers, looks out for our best interests, and changes our hearts to line up with those interests. How great and majestic is He? How He loves us better than our earthly fathers! How He aches with us, yearns for us, sees through us. He is the Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth and all good things. He is to be feared not because of what He can do to us but because of His awesomeness! Everyone gets a chance to draw close to Him. Your chance is now.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

BRCA and Brains

Did you hear Angelina Jolie has the BRCA 1 genetic mutation and had a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction to combat the effects? Because I heard. I have heard about it more than the Boston bombings. I don't know if it's actually newsworthy or if my tiny world of breast cancer is highlighting it. I am glad she was tested and is taking it seriously. I'm glad she's drawing attention to it, because so many women don't know about it. People don't usually get tested until they are diagnosed with cancer. Obviously my life would have been very different if I had known. I think about it a lot because there's a 50/50 chance my kids have it (assuming I still do, I'm still waiting on the results of the study I enrolled in, just to see if God changed my genetic makeup when He healed me. Come on, it's God, that's nothing for Him). Anyway, the knowledge of the BRCA test results can create fear and I hate that. I hate that cancer can control us like that, and ESPECIALLY that just the fear of it can affect us for the worse. But I did read her article and liked the positive approach to it. Instead of living in fear, she just got the surgeries.  The ovary removal is another strongly recommended procedure, but that affects us much more, so it's a bigger deal. They won't test anyone under 18 so I have about 13 more years of praying for my girls to not have the gene, and that if they do we will know how to handle it. I hate that they might ever be faced with that uncertainty, or the disfigurement, but I know that doing it as a preventive measure is immensely better than the way I had to do it. I know that anyone with that genetic mutation can take a different approach to their future than those without, but that doesn't mean their actions will control cancer. But God can. He can control every disease, every germ, every multiplication or division of cells. We are all in for a miserable life if we confuse our ability to choose with the ability to control. 

Isaiah 46:9-10, "I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.'"

BRCA genes and brains don't exactly go hand-in-hand, BUT BRCA mutations lead to cancer, and cancer treatment messes with your...I lost my train of thought. Oh, right, your brain! People call it chemo brain, and refer to it in a similar way that you would joke about your brain when pregnant. Sadly though, I already went through the memory loss and distraction associated with having little ones, so I feel like chemo did extra damage to me. On a typical day it isn't that big of a deal because I don't use the same parts of my brain that seem to have been affected. On a normal day I just trudge through my to-do list, driving here or there, disciplining this one or that one, and trying to make it through the day without yelling. On a day like today though, I needed my brain. Yaacov had to leave town on a last minute business trip, so I had to organize two different babysitters for the monthly consulting meeting I go to. I prepared all yesterday so I would be on time and the kids would be adequately packed. So this morning I'm meandering out of the house when I remember to check which building my meeting is in. Turned out it was in a whole different city (and time zone), so I was terribly late. While sitting in the meeting I tried to speak and realized that the words I was trying to recall were lost. The concept is there, but I don't have any idea how to label them. Then, at about 4pm Yaacov and I spoke on the phone and he reminded me that Abi had a t-ball game at 6:30. Failed again. At 8 pm it dawned on me that we missed it. So, instead of complaining about it I'm going to research specific brain-improving (see, this is a time I'm quite sure there's a real term for what I mean) techniques, and I'm going to operationalize and track the improvement so I know what works best for me. If you have any theories, let me know and maybe I'll include them. Stay tuned!

Genesis 28:15 "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."

Monday, May 6, 2013


We were supposed to get the pathology results from my biopsy on Wednesday or Thursday. I was unfazed that we still hadn't heard by the weekend, but this morning was thrown for a loop. Dr. McAlpine left a voicemail first thing in the morning saying to call him. Then his nurse called my cell phone and hung up after one ring. I immediately called back and the receptionist said she couldn't tell me the results. So I waited, anxiously, for a call back. Confidence dropped, the tears fell. I was sure it was bad news, my mind reeled and imagined how I would remember this day when my world changed for the worse. As the minutes ticked by I tried to pray and found no peace, so I just repeated, "I trust you. I trust you. This is part of your plan. I believe in your plan." It was pretty hard to really believe during that time, though.

Finally, the phone rang. Lisa, Dr. McAlpine's nurse and I exchanged the required pleasantries. Then she told me..."No cancer, the pathology was all clear." Hooray!

God is awesome no matter what, but I sure appreciate getting good news like this. And as much as I hated the scary waiting, it made me even happier to hear that I am still cancer-free.

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it" 2 Timothy 3:14

I wish my faith was strong enough that I hadn't gotten flustered by the ominous sounding message. That I hadn't faltered when I thought the world was spinning out of control. Or that I hadn't even noticed it start to spin backwards in the first place. But I'm a work in progress. I am being perfected to become more like Jesus and less like "me". One day I'll get there.

"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" Philippians 1:6

Sadly, we are surrounded by people who are going through massive pain and sorrow. Some of them face more difficulties in a day than the rest of us ever deal with. Please join us in praying for a few of these people. Each of them was created by our God, for His glory. Each of them has the potential to be rescued in a miraculous way. Every one has been going through a fear-filled time like the one I described above, and could use a break. Let us support them in prayer, that no matter how closely they are walking with God, they will get closer, believe more, hope more, and expect more. This is the time to see God do amazing work, and I can't wait to see how He turns it all around.

"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from your majesty's hand..." Daniel 3:17

Cancer: One is a single mom diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Her daughter lives in an entirely different country, which makes it extremely difficult for both of them. We believe she has already been healed but needs wisdom about future treatments and scans, is getting some of the run around from doctors, etc. Jaime is a young girl who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer two years ago. It has been spreading and she needs wisdom about doctors and treatments. Let's just pray for total, miraculous healing and for confidence and faith in the meantime. Jessica is the one who had lung cancer with clear results last time. Today she had a routine scan, so pray that it is clear and that she will keep getting great news. Scarlett is a new breast cancer friend who has had many health problems in the past. She has a one-year-old daughter and is going through chemo right now. She is having a really hard time feeling God's peace and joy so pray that He would fill her with those and confidence. Yaacov also has a friend whose father was just diagnosed with kidney cancer, and pain brought him to the doctor in the first place, which is never good. Pray for faith and peace, plus of course total healing. Finally, there is a family member with a mass that we are believing is benign. Pray for an easy and accurate surgical biopsy.

"Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed." Hebrews 12:12

Babies: Baby A is having an MRI in a few weeks because she has some symptoms of a disruption in her right hemisphere. Pray for the test to go smoothly, accurate results, and absolutely no problem in her brain. Just have the symptoms disappear! Also, someone we love is facing an unexpected pregnancy and we pray for God to guide her perfectly and to help the family dynamics and make all the correct, important decisions. Finally, a praise! I think I forgot to follow-up in the past--awhile back I blogged that our niece's soft spot seemed to have closed up. The surgeon said it hadn't and she is fine! I know that He just fixed that.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The two best kept secrets about surgery

I've got the joy, joy, joy joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart, I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Down in my heart to stay!

Surgery went great. I am tired but can't sleep. Not much pain. He was able to do it laparascopically and saw nothing scary in there. The biopsy results should be in Wednesday or so. Because he didn't have to switch over to the normal cutting type of procedure it was outpatient. I have been home for a few hours.

I have had many surgeries now, so I'm a bit of a pro. Or, the angels have been ministering to me a lot (Heb 1:14). I have two huge secrets I have to share. I'm so excited I can't even type fast enough. This was the best surgery ever, I think it's quite possible that I've never been this happy before. Seriously. And it doesn't have to do with the surgery going well or the pain meds, as they haven't affected my mentally before.

Secret 1: Of course, God. God has given me peace and joy like no other, and I know it's because I've been really disciplined about getting a lot of good time with Him lately. The more I seek Him, the more He shows Himself. Sometimes it is not easy to get myself motivated to really focus on Him, but I push through that and then it gets easier and easier. No matter what your current walk is (or isn't) like with God, you can always do more. If you're feeling crummy, focus on praising Him about the good things and reading uplifting scriptures. I think reading straight from the Bible instead of just topically searching for helpful verses enhances the experience more. "But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 4:29)

Secret 2: Beg for a seasick patch. They are only by prescription so the anasthesiologist gives it to you. I never have bad nausea except when getting anasthesia, so it's not like I just have a sensitive stomach. I normally can't eat for at least a day because of it, and that makes the recovery much more miserable. Anyway, in Gainesville the anasthesiologist put a patch behind my ear and I was skeptical. But after that 8-hour surgery I didn't have any nausea at all. None. I mentioned it to the one today and he wasn't impressed, but my mom pushed for him to give me one. What do you know? No sickness at all. Not even for a second. It makes such a HUGE difference. I want to make sure everyone knows about it so it becomes more standard in Tallahassee. It is completely night and day compared to my other local surgeries. I imagine that you could ask for it during your pre-op appointment and then be more likely to get it, because the anasthesiologist really wasn't eager to give it today.

Those are my tips. Don't forget them. They are very important. I want everyone to feel this happy after surgery. And all the time! I love you all for praying and reading!
Remember, Deut 6:5, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." and John 15:11, "These things I have spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ready for Surgery

The part of Christianity that makes our message urgent involves the afterlife--we will all live forever, but whether it is with God in heaven, or an eternity separated from Him in hell remains to be seen. Jesus will stand there on judgment day and say, "I didn't know you" or He will defend you because He already paid for your sins on the cross.

Some people stop there. They think they have the basics down ("if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.", Romans 10:9) and can live however they want. But they miss out on the part that matters here on earth. Generally, devoted believers aren't spending their time focusing on getting into heaven or fear of hell, they are nurturing their daily relationship with God through the Holy Spirit. The closer I am to God, the more I am aware of my helper, the Spirit of God. He whispers to us, intercedes for us, and guides us. But the more steeped in sin we are, the less we discern His voice. And the more I am aware of Him, the more I obey and do what He wants. My desires transform to match His.

I first learned about the mass on my ovary over a month ago. I tried hard not to think about. The last time I had a cancer scare (when I was waiting for my primary tumor diagnosis), I indulged the fear. It was sinful, but not in an obvious way. Doubts would creep in, and little by little they would chip away at me. Soon I lost all focus on God and other important things, and was consumed by fears, what-ifs, and imagining the worst. There were times it took over my life, and the more it did, the harder it was to crawl out. It seemed like there was no helpful truth to hold onto or believe. 

While awaiting this biopsy I have been much more aware of those doubts and tendencies. Satan is clever but relatively consistent. He always starts with trying to pull me away from others. Just like he approached Eve when she was alone (Gen 3). He knows we are weaker when we're away from other believers, so he makes me try and pull away. When I would tell myself that many people have benign masses, he would remind me that my breast cancer journey was not like anyone else's. No one can relate. He picks at my faith by causing me to doubt whether I really heard from God about not removing my ovaries last year. Just like he asked Eve, "Did God really say..." He does this to get me to doubt whether I can hear God. When He gets me to doubt that, I lose confidence in future decisions that I need to trust God in. He also uses memories I have about other people's problems to make me doubt that God will take care of me. A few of these are, "You were never healed and this will show that", "The naysayers will think they were right", and "You will never be healthy again. You will always be going through some health problems. By  the time you die everyone will just be relieved." Satan is the father of lies and this is his fruit (John 8:44). But he disguises his words as common sense and gives evidence to back them up. If you aren't on guard, you will buy into them.

This time around I have been much more aware of the damage it does to everyone around me when I fall for this nonsense. It keeps me from being the best wife, mother, and friend I can be because I'm distracted by fear. So early on, I started rejecting those fears instead of letting myself consider them. The more I refused to indulge them, the less they came. Now I sit here, just one full day before surgery, with no anxiety at all. I am filled with peace and faith. I know God will take care of me and I completely trust that this is not cancer, and that He has a great plan for this. I am actually excited to get this surgery under my belt and see what amazing things He brings out of it. 

Romans 8:9, "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. "

1 Peter 5:10, "But may the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you."