The purpose of these troubles is to test your faith as fire tests how genuine gold is. Your faith is more precious than gold, and by passing the test, it gives praise, glory, and honor to God. This will happen when Jesus Christ appears again. I Peter 1:7
Dear friends, don’t be surprised or shocked that you are going through testing that is like walking through fire. Be glad for the chance to suffer as Christ suffered. It will prepare you for even greater happiness when he makes his glorious return. I Peter 4:12-13
We’ve all heard the Chinese curse – “May you live in interesting times.” Well, it has been an interesting few days. Physically, I’m kind of crashing. My blood count is extremely low again (the paperwork said “critically low”, but what does paperwork know?), so I had to have two more shots of the Neupogen to stimulate my bone marrow. This also stimulates a fairly intense headache, although unlike the Neulastin, it only lasts for a day or two, instead of a whole week. It also intensifies the joint pain that I already have from the chemo, so I am pretty uncomfortable right now. It’s hard to find a place to sit or lie or just be for more than a few minutes. I also have to stay basically isolated – no food from restaurants, no crowded places like malls, church, movies. I’ll watch church online tomorrow but it’s not quite the same. Much better than nothing though. I am very thankful that we do have the live streaming broadcast.
Adding to the sandpaper that God is using to refine and polish us, Sam is now out of work. This has obviously led to some anxiety and stress. We try our best to use the Bible not just like nice words to needlepoint on a wall hanging, but as step-by-step life instructions; so we have frequently reminded each other not to worry about anything but to pray about everything and that God is our source and our provider. We have stopped and prayed together often. We have talked through the various “what-ifs” and come down to the very worst case scenario – if we lost our house, car and everything else, we have family and friends who wouldn’t let us live on the street. We would always have our relationship with God and our love for each other and our families. We would be ok. I even got an email today from a friend saying that they would make sure our COBRA was paid if we couldn’t pay it, so that my health coverage wasn’t in jeopardy. Wow. We have incredible friends. (Not that we think we will have to take them up on it – but just the idea that someone would offer that…)
In case that sounds just way too nice and churchy, let me say we have also been scared to death. We’ve said “What will happen if….” We’ve worried and stressed. We are real human people. BUT- we have tried the best we could to let God use this to grow our faith, and to learn to trust him more. This trusting thing- the hardest thing about it is that it isn’t something you decide and then you’re done. You have to keep doing it and doing it. I can pray and say “Lord, I trust you,you will take care of this”, and five minutes later, I’m worrying again. It’s like wiping the kitchen table when you have preschoolers. It has to be done almost constantly to be kept up.
You would think we would have gotten good at this already with the cancer, wouldn’t you? I guess we just needed more refining. I know we need your prayers…