It is so hard to put into words how I feel about what I have gone through this past year. For so long, I wanted so badly to communicate to you the change that has taken place inside of me...deep in my soul, but I could never find the words. It is a change that never would have taken place had I not gone through cancer. I have a new appreciation for suffering and the impact it can have on one's life and their relationship with God. I recently came across the following message and it puts my experience into words perfectly:
There is a divine mystery in suffering, one that has a strange and supernatural power and has never been completely understood by human reason. No one has ever developed a deeper level of spirituality or holiness without experiencing a great deal of suffering. When a person who suffers reaches a point where he can be calm and carefree, smiling at his own suffering, and no longer asking God to be delivered from it, then the suffering has accomplished its blessed ministry, perseverance has finished its work and the pain of the Crucifixion has begun to weave itself into a crown.
It is in this experience of complete suffering that the Holy Spirit works many miraculous things deep within our soul. In this condition, our entire being lies perfectly still under the hand of God; every power and ability of the mind, will and heart are at last submissive; a quietness of eternity settles into the entire soul; and finally, the mouth becomes quiet, having only few words to say, and stops crying out the words Christ quoted on the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
At this point the person stops imagining castles in the sky and pursuing foolish ideas, and his reasoning becomes calm and relaxed, with all choices removed, because the only choice has now become the purpose of God. He can now let the circumstances be what they may, and continue to seek only God and HIs will, with the calm assurance that He is causing everything in the universe, whether good or bad, past or present, to work "for the good of those who love him."
Oh the blessings of absolute submission to Christ! What a blessing to lose our own strength, wisdom, plans, and desires and to be where every ounce of our being becomes like a peaceful Sea of Galilee under the omnipotent feet of Jesus! The main thing is to suffer without becoming discouraged. --Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman
I now know what my Dad meant when he was excited to see me experience going through cancer. Not that he wanted to see me suffer, but he knew that the end result would be this change deep in my soul. He was right. Don't get me wrong, for quite some time I often called out to God the words stated in this message...why have your forsaken me? And there are times I get anxious about the future. But I am finally in a place of peace and I am getting closer to that state of complete submission to God. It is so true...suffering does develop a deeper leavel of spirituality. For this, I am thankful I went through all of the sufferings I have this past year. For without it, I would never have experienced God's power, His love and His miraculous ways.
Today I am celebrating the birth of my daughter Mackenzie. Nine years ago today she was born 4 months early weighing in at 1 pound 1 ounce. She a miracle and constant reminder of God's faithfulness. Mackenzie is a survivor and she handles her life's challenges with grace and strength. I love you Mackenzie! You are a blessing.
Today, I am also celebrating 10 years with the love of my life, Jason. Without his support, I never would have made it through this past year. He has been there for me every step of the way holding my hand through the ups and the downs. He is an amazing husband and father. I am so blessed to have him for as my husband, partner and best friend. Happy Anniversary J!
My feeding tube finally has been removed. Without it I feel one step closer to "normal". And my trache hole has FINALLY closed and I no longer have to hold my neck when I am speaking or coughing. I am still struggling with the swelling in my face. But it is starting to go down. It will be a long time before all of my wounds are healed, but I know I will get there one step at a time.
Please continue to pray that the recovery process will continue to go smoothly and quickly. I thank each and every one of you for your prayers, cards, meals, gifts and support. You all are blessings to me.
With much love,