NOTE: This post is from my wife, Sherri, who has been fighting stage four cancer for three years. Read it carefully. You will be blessed.
It’s so simple. “Jesus love me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
Yet, it’s life changing; it’s more than we can really understand. I’m not sure how to express in words how I feel. But I wanted you, my fellow prayer partners to allow me to share my heart.
I started chemo last week, praising Him for side effects, and after a few days, I’m back to my old self. I went to the State Fair with a dear friend yesterday and had so much fun, even discovered my new favorite fair food, Texas Tornado Taters!!
I will keep you updated with my chemo treatments and any new developments. Of course, we are praying this particular treatment works without any problems!
In the meantime, God has been delving even deeper into my heart. He has been bringing out things all through my cancer journey, but this time, I’m not sure there are words to explain how deeply I feel His love. Deeper than ever before.
I understand it has nothing to do with me, but just Him . . . loving me, and asking me to go deeper into that love so that He will be glorified. I’m not sure how that will be “played out,” but I have surrendered it all to Him. My life has always been in His hands, but this time, I think I truly glimpsed the peace and holiness of complete surrender.
When people go through tragedies, or suffering, or hard times, sometimes other people run away from them. They don’t really know what to say, and they don’t want to see the suffering that their loved ones or friends are dealing with.
Yet, instead of running away, Jesus rushes to me, knowing exactly where I am, how I feel, and what’s going to happen in the future. There is nothing ahead of me that He doesn’t hold securely in the palm of His hand. He has a major purpose for my life, all the way to the end of this physical life, and beyond into eternity. He will guide me through it all, whether that’s tomorrow, six months, six years, or much longer.
I read an article earlier this week that has broken my heart. Brittany Maynard, a young lady 29 years old with terminal brain cancer, was told in April she only has six months to live, and that the suffering will be horrible. My heart is broken for her pain, and I truly relate to her feelings in so many ways. I don’t want to suffer physically in a terrible way either, or know that my family would go through that pain.
Yet, here’s where Brittany and I differ. She has decided to choose the “Death with Dignity Act” that some states have legalized. She has chosen not to suffer, but on a particular date that she has preset, sometime after her husband’s birthday on October 26, she plans to take action to end her life “peacefully,” with her family by her side.
I can’t stop thinking of her and praying for her. She is taking “control” of her life, yet, she is “playing God.” Her doctors may be correct in their medical assessment of her future, but God always is above doctor’s knowledge.
Countless testimonies have been given of people who have lived years after they have been told such devastating news. God is able to miraculously heal her if He chooses. He is sovereign.
The decision is just not “up to her.” I grieve deeply for her, especially if she hasn’t given her life to Christ. Her present suffering on earth will be nothing compared to her eternal suffering.
Let’s talk about not wanting to suffer. No one “wants” to suffer. I understand completely, and that has been a struggle for me in my own journey.
Yet, as God delves deeper into my heart, purifying it, I understand that suffering is so often the one thing that can deeply change lives. I pray that through Brittany’s suffering, she would come to know and love the Jesus who suffered even more greatly for her sins— so that she can live eternally with absolutely no suffering!
Suffering can often be the greatest testimony for others to see and know how much Jesus loves them. He never does anything that isn’t for our good. Over and over, His word tells us how suffering gives us strength, and the furnace of testing shows a faith that comes forth as gold!
“But He knows the way that I take, when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).
I hope Brittany will listen to Kara Tippett’s words in her letter to Brittany. Kara herself has metastasized breast cancer, but her walk with Jesus provides her with an entirely different perspective:
“Knowing Jesus, knowing that He understands my hard goodbye, He walks with me in my dying. My heart longs for you to know Him in your dying. Because in His dying, He protected my living. My living beyond this place.”
Praying, not just for my own journey, but for yours . . . for so many who don’t know Him . . . and for Brittany.