I got the word that it’s back…thyroid cancer. Found the little knot on my neck while I was on vacation this summer and the waves were set in motion. Only this time it’s been different.
Five years ago I found another lump on my neck to match the one they had been watching for several years. Scans turned into biopsies turned into surgery. A complete thyroidectomy was performed to remove the cancerous nodules that had embedded themselves in my thyroid gland. I was devastated and full of plenty of anxious cells to boot!
God spared me then but also gave me a trial run of sorts …boot camp to prepare for another battle.
Fast forward to recent days …
Early on in this new journey, I heard several key phrases that I believe were from the Holy Spirit…
“This is not a death sentence” … “routine” … I was counted worthy (to suffer for His name’s sake) …the situation I’m facing right now will be a “journey, not a destination” …”I will live-I will not die” … my “destiny” is in Christ alone–not any word from any other.
The Spirit has also clearly spoken that I’m supposed to write through this journey not just for my own message of hope but one for you as well!
Other promptings have included praying that what they really find in this lump is “gold” and perhaps, in only a way that makes sense to me (given my love and fascination with hearts) — a heart of gold. And it’s okay if you just started singing Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” in your head like another friend of mine did when I shared this thought. His words, “I want to live. I want to give. I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold. Keep me searching for a heart of gold,” fit perfectly!
Other beautiful moments that have occurred along the way have been the gift I’ve been given of friends gathering around me to lay hands on me and pray over me. These are treasured times that I wouldn’t trade for anything else…the wounded warriors praying over another wounded warrior for hope and healing.
In those times, the Spirit has spoken. He’s shared with me that as He heals me, that healing will flow out from me onto others as well. To another friend who was praying for me, the Spirit gave her a vision of the finger of God touching my neck and rubbing a healing balm on it.
Here’s the rub however … I’m still in the middle between the hope and the healing. There’s still the unknown of how this will happen and when and to what degree of suffering I might need to go through before the promises are fulfilled.
I’ve often read about those who have suffered and written about it after the fact …when the victory was clear and evident and confidently established. However, it’s in the middle that most of us really live. We’ve been given a diagnosis, or a severed friendship, divorce, chronic pain, loss of job or financial security, home or family. Places of suffering and loss and loneliness have begun with no end in sight. We’re still in the tunnel and the light feels as if it’s only coming through a slight pin-hole into our dark moments.
What then? What now? How do you live in the middle?
I honestly don’t know all the answers but as God reveals them, I feel I’m supposed to share these moments of hope and glory with you …writing out of my own journey for OUR hope and healing.
When I feel the anxiety creeping through the walls again and threatening to defeat me, I go back to these things of hope the Spirit has shared with me and others and I rehearse them …remember them …speak them out loud …write them out in my journal so I won’t forget their impact.
I sing the songs God has given me during this season to strengthen my soul as only music can. My theme song for this season has been “In Jesus’ Name” by Darlene Zschech and I sing it over and over — worshiping God through it all …loud and clear for all to hear! (Even throwing my arms up in worship as I #walkitoutwithJesus on trails and on the main roads in our neighborhood!)
I soak up Scripture and ask the Spirit to show me and reveal His glory to me as in this morning’s reading …
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord;
I run to you to hide me.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
on a firm footing.
11 For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life.
Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.
12 In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies
and destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.
So while I’m in the middle, I want to speak truth to myself and also share this with you, my friend … Whatever your “enemy” is today, Jesus is fighting for you. He will overcome. He loves you more than you can ever imagine and He longs to show you His love every single day of your life. His love is unconditional and always there for you. He will never abandon you. He is faithful and longs to show you His love and power and glory.
In Jesus’ name, I pray that we are healed and that our lives will be a reflection of His glory. I pray that every day we’ll have a sweet and intimate encounter with our Savior through the Holy Spirit speaking over us and through us. May the LORD Who bursts through — burst through your pain and suffering and heartache today and bring peace and hope and healing …in Jesus’ name.
Ask God to show you His glory as you go about your day and keep watching for the Father’s hand as He works in miraculous ways over you. It’s happening. He’s working. Can you see it?
The middle won’t last for long. Joy comes in the morning!