Yesterday I was at the pregnancy center talking to Dana, DPC nurse, and a fellow volunteer about some pretty sad stories of people with cancer, one who had passed away recently and another person, a very close friend of Dana's, who is rapidly declining in health. And still another recent client who is pregnant, with possibly terminal cancer who is now having to make adoption plans for her children because she is a single mom. As they were talking I had a knot on my throat. Sickness and death seems to be right around the corner from everyone. The Bible says that our life is but a vapor so this news should not come as a big surprise, but it does.
As I listened to the stories I wondered how I would handle cancer and death. With my blog obsession I recently came across the story of David Wensel. His wife is a totally cool photographer. They both are awesome Christians who are going through the battle of cancer. David was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and may or may not have about 10 years to live. I have read some of his posting since they received the news and this section of one of his postings really stood out to me...
3. It's not Science at all.
The reason I am telling you all of this is because by reading this, you have expressed interest in following God's story that happens to include me. (And thinking about it like that, this story already includes you too - hope that's cool) But if I were to leave out specific parts of this story, you might miss an important plot point that God is sharing. So by not telling you that I may (or may not) have 10 years to live, I would be holding back information that God thinks is important for this story. So, we move forward together with full disclosure. Cool?
It's somewhat difficult not to lie in bed after receiving news like this and begin to wonder where I may fall on the 'Oligo Bell Curve O' Survival'. These verses have been such a comfort to me:
"My *tumor was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be."
- Psalm 139:15-16
* ('Tumor' was definitely tossed in by me. I think it's a funny addition. Originally was 'frame')
How freaking beautiful is that writing, not to mention what it actually means!
I'm so glad that God knows me more than Dr. Awesome knows me. While I openly appreciate Dr. Awesome for his knowledge and passion to save lives, he simply didn't know about my tumor until he saw it on an MRI. God knew about this tumor from the beginning. While case studies anticipate life-spans, dietitians predict results and doctors offer scientific reasoning, I trust God knew exactly how many days I had on this earth before even one of them came to be.
It is so comforting to know that God has (for some time now) been designing this new thing in my life. And He is currently orchestrating the climax of this story for His benefit, not mine. If I were to live my entire life with this type of understanding, with this clarity, what type of person would I be? How would I treat people differently? How much more often would I kiss my wife?
"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." - Psalm 90:12
-David Wensel from I may (or may not) have 10 years to live, June 24, 2009.
I pray that I like David will hold steadfast to God's word and His promises whatever comes my way.
Now the real reason that I decided to write about this is that I just received an e-mail from a couple in our Sunday School who just received news that the husband Kevin has colon cancer. Kevin has battled cancer before. Here is a copy of the e-mail I received...
Today, Kevin and I found out that he has cancer again. This time he has colon cancer. I am still a little shocked that this is happening, but am asking for your prayers right now. Kevin has a consult with the surgeon on Monday and will hopefully be scheduled for surgery on Wednesday of next week. It is not yet known how aggressive the cancer is, so we do not know yet if he will need Chemo, radiation, or both. Please pray for our family as we have another challenge to face. The power of prayer is so strong as we all know. I have prayed that the Lord gives me strength and guidance through this time. Thank you for all your love, care, support and prayers.In Him,Angela