“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” Hebrews 5:7-9
Jesus asked his friends to stand watch with Him, at the Garden of Gethsemane. While He cried out to His Father to save Him from death, and during this heartfelt prayer He sweat droplets of blood, His friends slept. Jesus asked if there was some other way for God’s Plan to be realized other than the Cross. God the Father said, “No.” Jesus accepted that, and willingly walked to the Cross. How precious, how magnificent! “…He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.”
Today is my birthday! Happy Birthday to me!
If you have been reading my previous posts, you will know that I’m currently going through chemotherapy and have now finished the third of six treatments. As I celebrate my birthday today, I am already gearing up for the fourth go-round in a little over a week. It has not been an easy time of it. I developed a blood clot in my left leg after the second round and I have battled on-going and extremely painful neuropathy in all my joints caused by the chemo since the first round. I have cried out to God so many times before, during, and after my treatments to just miraculously heal me so I wouldn’t have to endure another round, but God has seen fit to “perfect” me. He is using this time of struggle, to strengthen my character for His purposes, and so I persevere through this health challenge and fully trust in Him throughout the process.
One of the ways I cope with my current situation is by writing about my personal journey on my blog, Journey Thoughts and right here on IWO. It is not only therapeutic for me to write about what I’m going through, I have found that so many of my readers are joining me on this journey either by praying for me or they too, are in the middle of great struggle and so they find encouragement in following my blog posts.
I hadn’t originally thought I would write so openly about my battle with cancer, but I felt a real prompting of the Holy Spirit to not only write about it but “keep it real”. Readers want authenticity. I write about the many aspects of this journey with a life-threatening disease. There have been many days, especially the weekends following a treatment, where I am at my lowest, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It’s hard to put on a brave front. I weep, I gnash my teeth, and I pray for the pain to stop. My poor husband takes the brunt of those outbursts during those very dark days, and he is the one who ministers to me practically as well as keeps me focused on the One Who loves me even when I wonder if that’s true. Yes, in that chemo fog, I question why God would allow this to happen to me. I forget He is Good, and Perfect, and Sovereign. On those miserable days, I only feel pain and I feel sorry for myself. Thankfully, I have some incredible prayer warriors who petition on my behalf, and when I struggle to pray, they take up the prayer gauntlet for me.
When I write about my “down” days, some well-meaning readers and friends have responded, “That’s perfectly understandable. You’re entitled to feel miserable.”
Doesn’t that speak of lack of faith? Does it say that I don’t trust God? Absolutely not! David, Jeremiah, Job, and other great men and women of the Bible cried out to God when they found themselves in circumstances beyond their control. That’s what I am facing right now, something totally out of my control, and something I know I won’t get through without Him. I KNOW God is bigger than my circumstances. He can take my cries of despair, along with my praises, and I KNOW He works all things out for good. Our IWO verse to ponder this month, Romans 12:12, I have always found to be so challenging and powerful, but even more so during my current time of “affliction”.
I appreciate all your prayers, IWO writers and readers, as I face three more rounds of chemo in the months ahead. I will keep writing, and pray that I will continue in keeping it real!
Lynn Dove is the award-winning author, of the YA “Wounded Trilogy”- a contemporary Christian fiction series with coming-of-age themes. A wife, mom, grandmother, and free-lance writer with articles published in several magazines and anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul books, her blog, “Journey Thoughts” is a Canadian Christian Writing Award winner. Readers may connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and at lynndove.com