Saturday, December 03, 2011

If you could help the poorest of the poor just by running an article, would you be willing?

I'm tithing my time to make a difference in the world and asking you to do the same with your blog. I have a beautiful article all ready to go, all you would need to do is post it. You'd be helping potentially millions of the world's neediest. Thanks in advance!

Here's the article: http://​www.inspireafire.com/940/

HTML:



We have much to be judged on when he comes, slums and battlefields and insane asylums, but these are the symptoms of our illness and the result of our failures in love.” -- Madeleine L'Engle



When my brother traveled to the Sudan he had an encounter that changed his life—and as it ends up, mine too.


He stood in Darfur at an orphanage filled with children leftover from the genocide. There were over 800 children, and during the night wild dogs were dragging them off and killing them.


My brother already felt shell-shocked from the travesties he'd witnessed in Uganda.


The day was hot. The sun beat down upon him. His camera had nearly been ruined from all the dust. He'd barely slept. His gear was heavy. Yet his conscience was seared by the numbness he felt, so he turned and confessed to a Sudanese pastor.


"We shall pray right now that your heart will be opened," he was told.


Not long after that prayer three young children approached Joshua and started to follow him. After a bit, his father nature kicked in and he stopped and sang Father Abraham. It didn't take long before the four of them were dancing and going through the motions.


When they finished, he asked the children to tell him how they came to be there.


The oldest, a girl, answered. "The soldiers came and shot my mother and father, so I came here."


The two other children nodded in agreement. "Me, too."


He was grief struck, but it was what transpired next that tore my heart. "Do you have a Mommy?" The little girl asked my brother.


"Yes," he answered.


"And a Daddy?"


Again, his answer was yes.


"Oh," she said, her voice hinting at a strange intermingling of numbness and grief.


Her question stirs me still. For I believe it came from her soul and revealed the thoughts of her heart. She didn't want to know what his country was like, what kind of food he ate, or what he did for a living. She had her own bullet holes leftover from the genocide. Her world consisted of this single question: Who still had parents and who didn't?


In her questions I heard her worry and fear. Imagine being trapped in a war-torn country, a land of famine, drought and disease. Imagine trying to survive it as an orphan with death threatening you every hour. No matter how much she's endured, at the end of the day, she's still just a little girl. And all she really wants is her Mom and Dad.


I imagined my daughter living as an orphan in the Sudan. If I were shot and dying, it would be my hope that my brothers and sisters would care for her. But what if her aunts and uncles were killed too? What was it then, that her parents hoped?


As members of the body of Christ these children are not alone. They have aunts and uncles. Multitudes and multitudes and multitudes of them. Talk about staggering! These kids are our nieces and nephews! Mine. Yours.


So who, I wondered, within the church has the responsibility to step in?


I didn't like the answer that came. Earlier that week I was shocked to learn that globally I was one of the richest people in the world—even though as an American, I'm pretty poor.


Like it or not I was the rich aunt. I had knowledge of the situation. That made me accountable.


I wasn't comfortable with the knowledge then, and I'm not comfortable with the knowledge now. But I am determined to do something. Anything.



That day Joshua had in his possession a picture book that someone had asked him to give to someone in the Sudan. It was a children's book with a story about how we have a Heavenly Father who always loves and cares for us. Joshua read the book and gave it to them.


An American woman took it upon herself to raise the money to build shelter. Every person who donated, even a dollar, helped to create a place where the little girl now sleeps safe from wild dogs.


When Joshua told me he's going to start a branch of Watermelon Ministries called Media Change, a non-profit encouraging Americans to give up a portion of the money spent on entertainment to serve those fighting world hunger and thirst, I wanted to support it.


For seven years he's helped non-profits raise money that serves the "least of these." He's seen the impact a small investment can have. This is a brand new initiative. He's not quite ready to launch, but you can sign up and be kept updated at www.mediachange.org. His first goal is garner the support of 10,000 people who are willing to give $10 a month. I'm number #3.


This is only a blog post, but who knows what one blog post can do.


What if the task of helping others isn't as overwhelming as we make it?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving and Contentment

"The voice of the special rebels and prophets, recommending discontent, should, as I have said, sound now and then suddenly, like a trumpet. But the voices of the saints and sages, recommending contentment, should sound unceasingly, like the sea." – G.K. Chesterton

Contentment - an elusive quality, and, for many, one that seems to fly in the face of our modern culture, in which we are ever urged to ambition and the accumulation of status symbols like new cars and bigger houses, bigger advances and better royalty percentages. Some would perhaps argue that contentment is a vice, not a virtue. Yet the scriptures advise that we seek it. The apostle Paul even goes as far as to say that “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6). He says he has “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…” (Phil.4:12).

I suspect a good part of that secret is being thankful. I suspect being thankful is the key to a lot of things in our lives.

I once spoke at a women's retreat in a tiny town in Alaska. There were over 200 women there from all across the state and the Yukon. Friday night was testimony time. One woman in particular touched me as she shared how her entire family had died, one by one, of Tuberculosis. When she was taken to hospital she knew she was dying but asked God to heal her. She said God responded in these words, "Give thanks before you receive." So she did. She lay in her bed for hours, through the night, thanking him for her life. Then she got out of bed, something she hadn't been able to do for days. When the doctor came that morning she told him she was healed. They took x-rays. Then they took them again. Then they sent her home.

"Give thanks before you receive." We do it before meals; why not do it before everything? Before getting out of bed, give thanks; before dropping your kids at school, give thanks; before driving to work, give thanks; before participating in the office gossip, give thanks; before blaming your spouse for all his/her failings, give thanks.

I suspect such a routine would indeed result in great contentment and great gain, perhaps in more ways than we could imagine.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." (Psalm 107:1)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Hope is a Dimension of Light

It had been a long grey day in a long grey week. The new chemotherapy drug they had said would be easier wasn't. It knocked me to the ground then stomped on me until every bone ached. I was seriously thinking about canceling the next dose. I didn't think I could do it.

Then, late one afternoon, I opened my eyes. A thin beam of light had pushed through the clouds, through my living room window, and along a slim tendril growing out of my small Spider plant. The tendril had looked so fragile as it reached out, pale and oh so thin. But when that beam of light touched it, it began to glow. Then the light illuminated the tiny white flowers that had just bloomed. The flowers glowed in that light. It took my breath away. And hope blossomed. I managed to get up off the couch and find my camera. It took a few tries to get a picture that wasn't blurry. But I managed to steady my hands and do it.

Hope. At that moment it was a living dimension - a shaft of real light that slipped into my living room along that tendril of plant at just at the right moment. At just the right moment God reminded me that He was here, watching, waiting with me and smiling as he made that tiny flower glow.

"When Jesus spoke to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

The light of life, the light of hope. It's Him. Jesus Himself. Right here. Right now.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Thankful for Trees - by Marcia Lee Laycock

The two Poplar trees stand side by side in the park across from my living room window. I've been watching them slowly turn golden for the past few weeks and a few days ago the fall winds came and began to strip them bare. A few stragglers are still hanging on, but soon the trees will be only trunk and branches. The inner sap has probably almost completely stopped flowing.

They mimic how I'm feeling these days as I continue through chemotherapy. Bare. Sparse. Dried out. Enthusiasm is a word that seems foreign. I've forgotten what it's like to have hair. There are days when I want to rail against what's happening to me, days when I'm just angry. But then I look at those trees and I think of the scripture that has so often come to mind as I've watched them fade into dormancy.

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. ... You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed." (Psalm 55: 8-13)

So I'm thankful for those trees that are standing guard so close by. I can see they're still standing, still swaying in the fall winds, waiting. I know the biology of tress; and though I know winter is coming I know their sap hasn't disappeared, it has just stopped running for a while and will run again in a few months. When it does they will sprout tiny green leaves that shout the word 'Revival' and will grow and clap loudly in the spring winds as their sweet scent permeates the air.

God is in the business of revival on all levels. But there is purpose in the dormancy. A friend sent me a link to a wonderful song, Blessings, by Laura Story. The lyrics rang true -

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can't satisfy?

Monday, September 05, 2011

Comfort Overflowing by Marcia Lee Laycock

Two doses of chemo over and I'm feeling like it's letting go of me again. Such a blessing to be able to eat normally and not have indigestion that makes it feel like a small block of wood is forcing its way through your intestines. Slept through the night last night too, another blessing I don't think I'll ever take for granted again. I even went shopping with my daughter today, though I sat through it while she searched the racks. :)

Sitting in the mall it was interesting to watch all the "normal, healthy" people. Some avoided my turbaned head, some smiled a wee bit, some just stared then looked away. Then I noticed a woman walk by whose neck was a bit crooked. Another had a slight limp, another dragged an oxygen tank behind him. Not so "normal and healthy." And I thought, how many times did I breeze by them all in a mall like this, uncaring, oblivious to all the hardships and pain around me. In the glitz and glimmer of a shopping mall it's easy to think the world is all as it should be as we spin along on our quest for consumer items, avoiding the pain, the sadness, refusing to look it in the face, refusing to do anything to alleviate it.

But the reality is, the world underneath all that shine and polish is rather sad and broken. A friend posted a quote from CS. Lewis on Facebook recently - "Human history is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him Happy." So very true.

Yet there is hope, there is purpose.

The author of the second book of Corinthians said it this way - "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows" (2Corinthians 1:3-5).

As we see the pain and suffering around us and attempt to minister to it, we enter into the ministry of Christ through His suffering. We enter into the humanity of our race, joining ourselves together with bonds that hold us all up as we stand at the cross. And in so doing we are made more human, molded more and more into the image of God, which is our true identity.

And some of the brokenness is healed, the sadness turned to joy, the reality of God's love made known. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
********

Please note - in honour of 9/11 I am offering my devotional ebook, A Traveler's Advisory for FREE at www.smashwords.com/books/view/54831 Just use the code GK32H for the freebie. I ask that if you are blessed by it you would consider leaving a review at Smashwords. Thanks and blessings to you all. Marcia



Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Clinging to the Rock

The far north is a place where things are pared down, taken to the lowest common denominators of life. Rock, water, sun, insects and wind. And of course, in the winter, snow and ice. It is a place where the word survival is never far from one's thoughts.

It was a marvel to me how the tiny delicate flowers of Baffin Island could survive. There is very little soil yet they spring up and cling to solid rock. Vibrant dwarf fireweed, saxifrage, anemones and the ever-present Arctic cotton. The tundra seemed to be in motion as they swayed in the constant wind, lifting their heads toward a far-away sun. We stepped around them, our heads bent in homage, our camera shutters clicking.

As I moved across that barren landscape I couldn't help but think of the barren landscape of cancer I have been wandering in. The similarities are stark. There isn't much to hang onto at times. The winds of fear and loss seem always in my face and the sun can seem oh so far away. But I stared at a bright yellow anemone and took heart. If this little one can survive in this, her desolate place, then so shall I in mine, by doing what she does season after season. Cling to the rock.

My Rock is more solid and everlasting than those slowly disintegrating across the tundra. My Rock speaks and comforts and holds my hand. My rock carries me when my knees buckle and cradles my head when I just need to cry. My rock hides me in its cleft and sets my feet on a firm foundation.

And when I "lift up my eyes to the hills," and ask, "Where does my help come from?" He answers - "My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber ... The Lord watches over you, the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming going both now and forevermore" (Psalm 121:1-8).

Chemotherapy begins tomorrow.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

What it's all About

Sometimes I have a problem with people. They do things I think they shouldn't, say things I think are inappropriate or just plain mean, act like they don't know who Jesus is and what he wants us to do.

Then they surprise me.

I was surprised the other day when I encountered a couple of these people I had a problem with a while ago. "We've been praying for you, they said. Every day."

Every day? Wham. Smack. Ouch. On my face again, tears in my eyes asking God to forgive me and please, please take this monumental log out of my eye so I can see as he does, hear as he hears, love as he loves. Please.

Then I realized maybe that's what all of this journey is about. Putting me on my face, on my knees, talking to God about things I've been trying to ignore for too long, putting me in places, like cancer clinics and hospital waiting rooms where there aren't many people I can have a problem with - just people in need of one another and God.

Not a bad place to be, in spite of it all.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ordinarily

Ordinarily I don't like it when people send me those forwarded-forwarded-forwarded emails. Ordinarily I consider them a waste of time and often delete them without opening them. But lately a dear friend who knows what it's like to be facing an illness like cancer has been sending them regularly. She has picked beautiful pictures, inspirational thoughts and, best of all, laugh-out-loud jokes. I've been reading them and I must admit I've even gotten to the point where I look forward to finding one in my inbox each day.

I guess my idea of wasted time has shifted a bit. I stare out the front window of our home more often, just to watch the wind ripple on the pond across the street - (I call it pondering ;0 ). Each time I walk by them I lean down to smell the flowers my husband bought for me last week when I had to spend the day having tests at the hospital. I scratch my cat's ears more than I used to. I stand on our back deck, watch the clouds and listen to the laughter of our neighbour's children. I lay awake in the morning and stare at the outline of my husband's face in the early morning sun. The accumulation of these little things seems to make a difference as life has slowed into a rhythm of waiting.

I've also found that scriptures - those oh-so- familiar passages that can seem trite or even cliché at times - have a whole new depth now that I have a deeper understanding of my need for them. I get regular emails with scripture delivered to my inbox too, and I open them first. The accumulation of verses seems to make a difference when my mood slips a little, when my heart is longing for something beyond this reality to hang onto.

One of the passages that arrived recently was this one from Philippians 4:8 -"whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable ... if anything is excellent or praiseworthy... think about such things."

I noticed there was no action connected to this passage, just thinking. You can do that anytime, anywhere, but to do it deeply you have to slow down a little. You have to pause, perhaps stare out a window at a small pond, and just think.

Ordinarily I wouldn't be doing such things. My life would be bustling with urgencies like deadlines and projects and to-do lists. But there is nothing ordinary about living with cancer. It changes things. It changes you. Ordinarily I would think that a bad thing but now I treasure it. I treasure the tingling awareness of this world now that I now how tenuous my hold on it really is. I treasure the small things, the pondering.

Interesting - I seem to be smiling a lot.

Monday, May 30, 2011

In a State of High Dudgeon

I found myself there this past week. "In a state of high dudgeon." - a state or fit of intense indignation; resentment; ill humour

A more common word for it is discouragement. It's a nasty word and an even nastier reality. But it happens. We have days when things overwhelm us, when bad news brings us low, when we wonder if God really has given us this task, this ministry of writing. And if He has, why doesn't He let a few others in on the secret?

I had one of those days this week. I'd been fighting it for some time, ever since learning that the treatments I'll have to undergo for cancer may be more extensive than originally thought. That could mean I'll have to cancel a trip to the arctic that has been planned for over a year. Then I got an email from my publisher telling me my next novel may not be published after all. And an attempt to solicit help from friends to promote my ebook was a dismal failure. A phone call from my sister who is watching our mother die in a town on the other side of the country left me on the edge. All of this has left me feeling tired and unwilling to keep trying to roll that huge ball of life uphill.

Discouragement. It can lead to frustration and frustration to anger and anger to lack of faith. It was my husband who reminded me of this. I guess he was seeing the signs. He reminded me that my worth is not dependant on selling millions of books. He reminded me that success does not rest on being on the best sellers list. He reminded me about some of the changes in people's lives because they've read my novel. He reminded me that joy does not rely on the circumstances around me but comes from knowing I am loved by a God who gave his own life for mine.

That lifted my head, made me look up again and realize that God is here, with me. He's the one who gave the ball a mighty heave to get it moving in the first place and I know he's not going to abandon me or let it roll back on top of me.

A friend sent me this scripture yesterday. It helped lift my head up too.

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:8).

And then there's this one - "I lift my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber" (Psalm 121 - 1-3).

So I am lifting my eyes to see the gifts of God around me - the burgeoning green of spring; the deep red of geraniums in my living room that just won't quit blooming; the hugs and prayers of friends who just won't quit encouraging me. And I am thankful.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Roadblocks

I was on my way to meet some friends for lunch and already running late. Seeing the flashing sign on the highway did not make me happy. Expect delays. Construction ahead. Haarrummph. Sure enough, the vehicles ahead of me started to brake. I slowed down with the rest of them and slid into the long line that was almost at a standstill. Then I noticed my hands were gripping the steering wheel rather tightly.

I took a deep breath and told myself to relax. Then I remembered commenting to my husband that it was about time this stretch of road was repaired. I sighed. The work was necessary for everyone's safety and there was no other way to do it than to make the traffic slow down and take a bit of a detour. Causing my blood pressure to hit the roof would not change anything. My friends would wait for me. I sat back and turned on a favourite CD.

Road blocks, whether on a physical highway or in our lives, are not easy to deal with. We have people to see, things to accomplish - delays look like nothing more than something that will add stress to our days. But, as a friend recently reminded me, they usually have a purpose. Like the construction on that local highway, the work is usually necessary - perhaps essential - to our mental, physical and spiritual well being.

I ran into a few road blocks in my writing career this week. They were frustrating and I admit they did not inspire me to praise. They almost pushed me to rage. I have books to write, books to market, words I know God will use to help and to heal - but the roadblocks keep popping up. Yes, I know God's timing is always perfect but these detours into cancer clinics and other road blocks that are suddenly thrown in my path don't seem to help. But yes, I know they do have a purpose.

Slowing down has its advantages. I'll be able to do more editing on my manuscript, since its publication has been delayed again. I'll have more time to pray about those who need to read it and how I should go about getting it into their hands. I'll have time, in those cancer clinics, to pray for and minister to people whose lives are all too real, all too painful. Perhaps stepping out of the realm of fiction into cold hard reality will give me a different perspective about my writing and about my life. Perhaps these detours and roadblocks are necessary, even essential to the work that God has ahead for me to do.

Perhaps there is no perhaps about it. I just need to "imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised" (Hebrews 6:12).



Thursday, April 28, 2011

Possibilites - M. Laycock

It seems that all the earth is waiting. Spring has been slow in coming, the warming breath of a stronger sun somehow delayed. Ice still skims the pond across from our home. The geese seem puzzled, flying low but not touching down. Each day we hope for warmer temperatures, each day there is disappointment.

But the clouds are looking more like the burgeoning mounds heavy with rain and here and there a sprout of green tells us the season is unfolding. Soon it will break forth, resplendent in green. Soon spring will be a reality, not just a promise.

Last Monday, lying on the cruciform table in a hospital's operating room, I prayed and wondered about waking up face to face with my creator. I thought about all the promises He has made to us about eternity, the possibility of living always in His presence. On that day, the possibility had never before been so real.

"There are always risks with surgery," my doctor had said. As the anaesthesiologist approached I stared at the sets of gleaming lights and gave myself, once again, into the hands of Jesus.

I woke a few hours later on a respirator in the ICU, my hands tied down so I wouldn't attempt to yank the tubes from my throat. Anaphylactic shock required intubation. One of the risks - being allergic to the radioactive blue dye they inject to find the sentinel node in the armpit, which they test to determine if the cancer has spread.

I was thankful for a medical team that was quick to respond; thankful that I woke; thankful to see my husband standing beside my bed; thankful the sentinel node is not cancerous. And then all the "what ifs" began to flow through my mind ... what if the intubation wasn't done quickly enough? What if I had died there in that sterile OR? I believe I would have been instantly standing face to face with Jesus, so the what ifs were not so much disturbing as intriguing. Like the reality of the signs of spring, I know what's to come. Someday.

But the time has been delayed. I still stand on the seemingly firm soil of this earth. God has plans for me still, it would seem. So I look to the future, look to His hand to guide, His Spirit to move, His peace to engulf me as it has continually since hearing the fear-ridden word, cancer. I look and see the new sprouts of green that tell me the promises are real. Life in His presence is possible, now, and someday ... then, when all the possibilities become reality.

Friday, April 15, 2011

When God Puts You in the Sidecar



My husband is a motorcycle enthusiast. So far he hasn’t gone out and bought one, but whenever he sees one he likes on the road he’ll point it out and say, “Nice bike,” then look at me to gauge my reaction. We were sitting at a stoplight not long ago and a shiny motorcycle pulled up beside us. It had a sidecar attached.

“There you go,” Spence said.

I laughed, imagining what it would be like to ride in such a little appendage. “I think I’d rather be on the bike with you,” I said, “or better yet, on one of my own.” Sidecars are for kids, I thought. You don’t have any control in a sidecar; you just have to hang on and try to enjoy the ride.

It seems God has put me in a sidecar for a time. I’ve just been diagnosed with cancer and suddenly my life is not mine to control. Doctors are telling me what will happen, when and where I will go. I don’t really want to experience any of what they’re telling me I will go through. But I have no choice. All I can do is hang on and find ways to cope with the ride.

In the book of John, Jesus tells the apostle Peter about a time when the same thing would happen to him. “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” (John 21:18-19)

I don’t know exactly what lies ahead for me. I’m hopeful that this cancer can be eradicated and I’ll go on with my life. I’m praying my time in the sidecar will be short. But perhaps God has another plan. In the meantime, I take encouragement from those few words, “by which Peter would glorify God.” What happened to him was not in vain. It had a purpose. The events of our lives all have purpose and are meant to bring glory to God. We have agency in that, by his grace and mercy - we can choose to hunker down and cling to the sidecar in fear, or we can sit tall and trust the driver.


I’m spurred on too, by the next words Jesus spoke. “Follow me!” That’s a path Peter tried hard to take, one that changed him into a man of God, a leader of men. It’s a path that leads to “a spacious place,” (Ps. 18:19), where God’s presence is evident, to the joy that comes in understanding God’s undying love and the peace that makes us lean into the wind and relish every moment on this earth – even moments in the sidecar.

“but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me” (Psalm 18:18-19).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Waiting

Waiting ….

I’m not good at it. But these things help …

Visits from friends and family who like to play cards, dominoes and laugh a lot.

The brightness of cut spring tulips yellow against the brown stone of the table.

Big geese breaking through thinning ice on the pond; laughing with my husband as we watch.

Driving across country watching the dark earth emerge in patches from beneath the white; willows turning red and beginning to sprout; a spring wind bringing rain.

Studying the Word with friends; scriptures written just for me, just for today, just for that moment.

Waiting … with blessings.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Awakening to Joy

You might find the title of this post strange since, for the next while I will be using this blog to journal about my experience with breast cancer. I don't know how long it will go on, or how often I will post, but I would welcome your comments and covet your prayers. Bless you all. Marcia *********************

On March 24th, 2010, I had a mammogram and ultrasound and then a biopsy on a lump that seemed to be getting bigger. (I had a biopsy last year which they said was negative but there was a bit of a bump there after the cyst had been aspirated and recently it seemed to swell). I saw my Dr. and the results of this second biopsy came back positive for breast cancer. I see a surgeon on Wednesday April 13th and will know more after that. I expect to be having surgery within the next 2-3 weeks and then, best case scenario, a short dose of radiation treatments as a safety precaution. If there is further sign of the cancer in the lymph nodes that will mean more aggressive treatment.


So ... only God knows what the future holds for me. It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride sometimes, but I have had that amazing "peace that passes all understanding" as I've been dealing with this. Now I understand what that phrase really means and it is truly amazing. God is good. Jesus is my strength.


It has been amazing to me how relevant scripture has been “showing up.” Friends have been sending them, of course, but for the past while we’ve been studying The Psalms of Ascent – a Beth Moore Bible study and in the two weeks prior to these results the scriptures seemed to be speaking directly to me. I also get a scripture quote sent to my email inbox every day. For the past two weeks they have all been about leaning on God or about his care for us in hard times. These words have been a great source of strength and even joy to me.


Joy in the midst of this? Yes. My husband and I were driving through central Alberta the other day. It was one of the first truly spring-like days we’ve had. The sun was warm, the mountains gleaming in the distance and I found myself thanking the Lord that this is happening now, when the earth is awakening and renewing itself. And the joy was there. Not just in a trickle but in a torrent, like the rivers that are breaking free of the ice.


Perhaps this is a spiritual awakening in me – no, not perhaps, it’s already happening – or perhaps it’s a picture of what death is – not an ending but a beginning. I find myself totally willing to accept either. How could I not? Both are gifts directly from the hand of God, purposed only for me.


Glory to His name.