Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lacing Joy in the Midst of Despair

So, yesterday I went on a run and the Bradford Pear were in full glorious bloom! So beautiful! God has given me so much to be joyful about. I could obsess about cancer, or I could smile at the billows of flowers against the Carolina blue sky. Choose to smile!

Then, after my shower, on to the MRI to see what other joys my poor body might have hidden from the impending scapel. The MRI was inconclusive, which means more biopsies (not fun)...but I did find out some good things. First, I am NOT so claustrophobic that I cannot do an MRI. Secondly, I am NOT allergic to the dye they shot into my veins to highlight whatever cancerous growths might be lurking. Thirdly, twenty minutes lying stock still while a machine whirls around you going KERPLUNK every few milliseconds affords plenty of time to pray.

I prayed for my folks, my kids, my siblings, my friends....I sang "Jesus Loves Me" in cadence with the KERPLUNKS. I recited scripture. It was almost peaceful.

And there was the first piece of good news I have heard since getting the breast cancer diagnosis. I have GREAT RECEPTORS. Don't worry if you don't know what those are. I didn't either till my doc called me. I still don't really know what they are, but not everyone has them, and those that do respond really well to a critical medicine in cancer treatment. Yay me.

Here's the deal. This is a SEVERE struggle. It is not like a hangnail. It is serious. But in the midst of it, God sends little beacons of light, of joy. Bradford Pear blossoms that frame the street with breathtaking beauty.  The kindness of friends giving gifts that will calm nerves, and send healing oils to my body. The call from a breast cancer survivor with advice and cheering me on, and reminding me God is there right beside me. Having great receptors (whatever they are), and a doctor that tells me, "I want you to know I am praying for you."

No one expects joy with a cancer diagnosis. How gracious of God to lace the despair with such inexplicable moments of blessing.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

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.

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