Friday, April 11, 2008

Enduring Faith

I have been thinking about the verse in James 1:2 where it says, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." This is a verse that I have heard several times, but it is so amazing when God uses circumstances in your life to make His word fresh and alive again. I know that God is good and does good, and everything that happens in my life is for my good and his glory. But, I do have to say that in the back of my mind, I pictured this trial being over at the end of David's treatments, and that life would go back to normal. Not that that means I don't have to trust in God anymore, but that there would be an ending date to this season in our lives. I was hoping it would be in about two months. I don't think this is how God wants me to think, where I decide how much I can handle and set an ending date for it. God wants me to consider it joy. Joy is not a natural response to losing a dad and having a husband with cancer, but it is something I can choose to have. Why would I choose joy or consider this as joyful? Because the testing of my faith produces endurance. And enduring faith will have a perfect result. One day, I will be perfect and complete lacking in nothing. When I have been looking at the other people's Hodgkin's blogs, it seems like there is a pattern of everyone being cancer free after the first treatment, then several of them got a recurrence at some point. (This is what happened with David's cousin too.) We asked the doctor how common it is to get cancer again, (we aren't relying on statistics, but it is nice to know) he said about 30% will get cancer again in the first 2 years. If you get a recurrence in the first 2 years, then you have to get a stem cell transplant, because it is too soon to do the ABVD treatment again. ( I'm not a doctor, but this is how I understood it) Anyway, it hit home that we are in this for longer than I expected, and I can either choose to learn how to trust God, consider it joy, and submit to his will now, or accomplish nothing and worry, stress and be anxious every time David has a PET scan or feels sick for the next 2 plus years. That would seem like a miserable life to me. So, I would like to choose to set my heart to God for the long run, and be able to say like the psalmist in Psalm 57:1,10, "My heart is steadfast, O God, My heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes I will sing praises! Awake my glory! Awake harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens, And Your truth to the clouds. Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory be above all the earth.


Mersch Family said...


Kelli I. said...

God is being honored and glorified through the life of you and your family. So many people are being encouraged and challenged by your faith during trials. Keep trusting in the LORD and know that you are loved and being brought before the LORD in prayer.

catlover160 said...

Lauren - I've been in remission 6 months now, and as much as I thought it would NEVER get any easier, it does a little. One of the hardest times during my treatment was when I realized that it never would really go away. When I was first diagnosed I was so hung up on wanting to know every statistic and every possible thing that could hapen, and then what if that happens, and so on...God finally made me realize that each day is a gift and should alwasy be treated as such, sick or not. I won't lie, it's always in the back of my head, and it effects decisions I make and will make in the future. About a week after my boyfriend proposed I had a meltdown - I told him I couldn't marry him because what if I got sick again. He thankfully reminded me that we should enjoy each day no matter what. I'm glad I've learned at an early age to not take things for granted, and this will be a great lesson for your kids to learn early as well!! It definitely brought my family closer together, and it sounds like you have such a strong family already - God will only use this to bring you closer together and strenthen you if you'll let him. It still doesn't make alot of sense to me...I'll never understand why such an awful thing as cancer exists - but I'm thankful for what I was able to learn from it. Hope you guys have a great rest of the weekend. Thank you for the post, and your encouraging words!

Natalie said...

Not sure if you remember me but Tracey and I were friends what seems to be ages ago now! Anyway, I was blog hopping and came across to your blog. I want you to know that I am praying for you and also blessed by your response to how the Lord is working in your lives. I will continue to "visit" and see what the Lord continues to do. May He give you the strength and comfort to get through each day. I am currently reading through "Calm My Anxious Heart" with a small group I lead and this week's chapter is on the "What if's" of life. The author says this regarding a similar trial that her friend went through. This is what her friend said "I asked God to give me the strength to live today, just today, to leave the fears and worries of tomorrow with Him". May God allow you to do the same.

Psalm 94:19
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Thy consolations delight my soul.

Pray for His grace in your lives,
Natalie (now in Samara, Russia)