Tuesday, October 12, 2010

God is My Umbrella...

Well, this is my last week of eating solid foods and doing sit ups.  At least for awhile.  Starting next Monday, I can only drink my calories in preparation for Wednesday’s surgery.  And then the real fun begins Tuesday afternoon. I get to incorporate magnesium citrate.  Two bottles of it.  Two 10-ounce bottles of it.  Don’t know what this is?  You’re lucky!  The bottle reads, “pasteurized sparkling saline laxative.”  Laxative being the operative word.  Lemon flavor.  Yum.  Can’t wait.  
But I knew this was coming.  My doctors told me that when they found my ovarian cancer, they also believed they found kidney cancer.  They said because it was so small and slow growing (thank God!), they would deal with it in six to twelve months.  Well, it’s been almost a year, and the time has come.  And once it comes, it will soon be over.  Yay!
But what’s more exciting to me is that the time has come for me to share my story of how God has helped me through this storm called cancer.   And not on my blog.  But to a room full of 200 women.  Yes, I will be public speaking.  Ahh!   Me, the girl who freaked out about oral reports in seventh grade, is actually excited to do this.  Slightly terrified, but more excited.
I received my diagnosis when I was in Chelsea Cameron’s 24/7 Family class last year.  I was blessed to be in there, surrounded by women who prayed for me and my family each week, and blessed us with good meals for my kids.   Their kindness will never be forgotten.  I love that group of women.  
Women who strive to put God first in their family and their lives.
So about a month ago, Chelsea asked if I would share my story with this year’s class.  “YES!” was my answer.  I couldn’t believe I didn’t say no.  I couldn’t believe I didn’t want to go home and think about it.  “Yes” is what my heart sang to her request.  Because I really did feel that God would use my cancer to help me reach out to others facing similar storms.  My cancer brought me closer to God.  And to my husband.  And to my kids.  And to my family.  And to my friends.  And to complete and total strangers.  Gotta love it.
And God continues to give me peace.  And strength to tackle my fears.  Did I mention I’m excited to speak in public?  Uh, that’s called a miracle!  And that’s also called an answer to prayer.  
“I can do all things in Christ Jesus who strengthens me.”  Phillipians 4:13.

And boy, is He.
Remember, 20 years ago, I cried out to God and asked Him to use me.  I hope to share with everyone in that room Monday morning that I sometimes thought my prayers fell on deaf ears.  Twenty years is a long time to wait.  And I wanted to give up, but I never stopped praying.  And I never stopped dreaming.  I am honest when I tell you: I am living my dream.  To be used by God is the second greatest gift I have received.  Grace is the first.
So with really short wavy hair that I kind of hate and a pounding heart, I hope I am going to teach others that God is ready, willing and so very able to carry them through their storms of life.   It doesn’t have to be cancer.  It can be a difficult marriage, a sick child, the loss of a loved one, a divorce, the loss of one’s income, of one’s joy.  Anything.
God is my umbrella in life’s storms.  And it’s raining joy.
The next time you see an open umbrella, think of Jesus.  He is there to cover you and protect you when the rain is pouring down.