Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A rutted road

3:16 p.m. Today's project was to spend the day with my dear friend of 30+ years, Monica. A visit from my dad made it possible for me to be gone away from Steve for several hours.

She is on the mend from cancer surgery, but still receiving chemotherapy through a pick (sp?) line inserted into one arm. Like I experienced with my own cancer surgery in 2003, she also wears a compression sleeve to combat the swelling that comes from the removal of multiple lymph nodes.

Today, my pal looked jaunty in her bright red Angels cap and matching top, and was in better spirits than yesterday when it seemed to her that all was just caving in on her--hair loss, difficulty sleeping, radiation therapy coming up this June, and the multifaceted effects of the assorted meds prescribed for her at Loma Linda. I remember my concerns, too, back in 2004, getting physical therapy for the sweling and scar tissue, and undergoing radiation. But the Lord was with me, I can truly testify!

I am reminded of what God said to Abram (Abraham) in Genesis 15:1b:

Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, and your exceedingly great reward.

God went on to promise Abram countless descendants, and the land of Canaan for him and his family. As God shepherded me through my breast cancer experience, He will do so for my friend.

It was a fun day at her home. Church members had painted the room her kids will be moving into a lovely taupe on top of a white chair rail, with deep cocoa on the bottom third. I gave her a pampering facial while we waited for lunch--mine from my lunch bag, hers a delicious tuna salad made by her daughter. We enjoyed a soda made with Stevia--pretty good, not too sweet. Amazingly, a friend brought them a free 5' x 7' storage shed, just blessing her socks off. Then came the delivery service with her meds and compression sleeves, in good supply for keeping the wounds clean.

Monica and I discussed her question about where the Lord wants her to serve, and I felt that He is using her in writing questions for the junior high retreat, posting amazing scriptures on Facebook, and as a loving support to her family behind the scenes. Fear of illness and infections from the nasty flu bugs and serious colds going around now, as well as having her painful arms squeezed in hugs, has kept her from attending church. But now that the weather is warming up, she can sit just outside the door and partake of the worship and message on Sunday. Praise the Lord! We need our fellowship!

For the last four years, the family has had trials of different kinds, one heaped upon the other. Like the deeply rutted road that leads to their home, it has been season after season of rough travel as nevertheless they have remained faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ. They have not lost hope, and the joy of the Lord is resoundly clear in their home! At times she and I talked quietly of serious matters we both face, and know we can count on one another's prayers as she is physically able to take that time, considering the many medical appointments she has each week.

The Lord knows each of our hearts--as II Timothy 2:19 says,

The solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: the Lord knows those who are His.

We may travel a road of limiting ruts, find smooth pavement on our way, or most likely experience both, but God Himself allows and engineers each of our circumstances for our good, and for His glory!

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