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Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday From the Heart: A Strong Shepherd

So, it is time to confess...I have been living with an underlying fear through all of this that has been popping up occasionally haunting me. And before you all get in line and say "everyone would have that kind of fear" I will say, "sure, but are we supposed to"? Yesterday my loving Shepherd stood up to me and from the words of Philippians reminded me that fear and anxiety will no longer be part of this protocol.

I spent the first part of this week feeling awful. Yes, it was partly from the affects of the second surgery and partly from the concert and over doing it at the fair, but a lot more than I would have admitted is the fact that this time around there is more than just healing from a surgery, chemo is coming and venturing into the unknown is not something I do very well.

Gently, I was reminded that sheep are not burden bearing animals. I have a Shepherd so stop trying to carry this burden...of course. Do I trust in my God who knows every end at the beginning? Do I trust my God who knows every single microscopic cell in my body? Do I trust that I can actually just be still and watch Him work all these things around me, performing exactly what He has purposed?

Worry is sin...I heard it yesterday from two different Bible teachers - coincidence? I would say no, not the day before my oncologist would be laying out the plan for the next phase of this journey. Anyone can worry and act as though they don't know who He is, He wants me to act like His child, a sheep in His pasture.

So I have to ask myself...am I His? Than I need to start acting like it. In case anyone else who belongs to Him has a tendency to worry, lets review the benefits of being in His flock. (for those who have never thought about it or never made that decision, Psalm 23 is where you can find this comfort)

Because the Lord is my Shepherd:
  • I will want for nothing
  • I will graze in green pastures
  • I will be led beside still waters
  • Restoration for my soul
  • A righteous path as I follow Him
  • No fear of evil in the valley of the shadow of death
  • Comfort by His rod and his staff
  • I eat in peace in the presence of my enemies
  • My head is anointed with oil
  • An overflowing cup
  • Goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life
  • I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever
There can be a separate post that focuses on each one of those very important things to remember. All I know is I have not let the Shepherd carry ALL of my load. And trust me, I am no burden bearing animal! I was dreading with a very unhealthy fear hearing which day on my calendar would be the day that chemo starts. In His perfect timing and a little gentle reprimand the day before my appointment, He gave me a better perspective and with that rod, steered me back on the path.

So, that being said, what did I find out today? Well, chemo will start on August 16th. As I shared in my post yesterday, I will continue reading and finding ways to build up my strength naturally as I begin and continue through the chemo treatments. If all goes as it is supposed to, I could be done on December 20th which would make for an extra helping of celebration this Christmas! I walked out of the doctor's office feeling much lighter and ready for the challenge ahead. I am not carrying this load. Praise the One who can!

Specific prayer requests:
  • reduction in the drainage from the lymph node site under my arms. I still have a drain from the first surgery in place. Hopefully that can be removed in the next week.
  • safety for the three children in our home who will be off on various trips during the next week.
  • continued healing from surgery so that I will be ready and strong for the start of chemo.

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