Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
I decided to write down some of the things I have felt the Lord teach me during Andrea’s treatment. On June 28th 2005, Andrea and I went back to the doctor to get the results of her bone scan, one week later on July 5th Andrea was receiving chemo. By the end of July we found out the cancer was in her liver and lungs as well. Although this journey started in August 2003, when Andrea found a lump in her left breast the intensity of the experience has been mostly felt over the past eight months. What I’m saying in the following journals is not that before this time I was not saved or I had no faith. I have felt God with us our whole marriage and over the past 26 years God has been preparing us for this moment. These are just my thoughts on what God has taught me during this part of our journey in life. If I had to say the area I have grown the most it is reading His word and listening to Him, and then letting go and trusting God.
When we were first told of the bone cancer, Andrea and I went for a walk, and we discussed what we felt we were most lacking in. Both of us said it was our knowledge of the bible, and not having scripture committed to memory. We had plenty of experiences in life that I truly felt God had used to change me, and through those times I would say I knew of the bible. Meaning I could tell you ideas that were in the bible and if you told me something in the bible I would recognize it but could not tell you were it was from in the bible. I just never invested the time to learn the bible, to spend time immersed in the bible. I had not internalized God’s word so I was not ready with the complete armor of God for this fight we were about to begin. And by not spending the time in His word I had never experienced “hearing God.” Now I will be the first to tell you I always looked at someone who would say, “This is what God said to me”, with a look of sure He did. Although I confess I wanted to hear God’s voice, many times I would be facing a decision and I thought it would be neat to hear from God. But you know I never heard from Him because I never stopped to listen. I was just hoping He would scream over me. I have found that God does not scream over the noise in our life, He just waits for us to turn the volume down. Things like the TV, the radio, our work, friend’s advice or anything else we clutter our mind with, God does not holler over what we are doing, He wants us to sit and listen to Him. Much like when I try to talk to my thirteen-year-old son. I may be trying to tell him some advice, but if he is staring at the TV or has headphones on, he is not listening to me. So I just quit talking and wait for his attention, for him to turn off the music and look at me, then I know he is ready to listen. God is the same. And when we turn it all off and look at Him we hear His voice.
Believe me metastasic cancer makes you give God your undivided attention. The following is what I have heard the past 8 months. I hope it has some meaning for you, because we all are facing trials and we will all face more in the future. I’m not writing this to point to Andrea, or me but to point to God who is so faithful and has supplied all we have needed. We have spent many nights on our knees not because we have such great faith but because we realized how deficient we are and how much we need God. I don’t expect my life to be smooth sailing when this is over and I’m sure I will need to look back on these words and remember what God showed me. God does not waste a single hurt or trial. I’m not writing having seen the end, we are still amongst this trial, but God is faithful and true and I know He is with us. These stories are my experiences with God along this journey.