My Heroes

James 1:2-4

I was going to title this message “Cancer Stinks” – actually, I was going to use a stronger word than “stinks” – but, although it would have captured my thoughts about the cancer struggles with my daughter, it placed the focus on the cancer rather than the ones who are really in the middle of the battle.

On January 24th, our twelve year old daughter was diagnosed with an advanced stage of ovarian cancer, and since that time life has been a blur.  Even though we can call this blur a New Normal and we are all learning how to adjust, it is still extremely difficult.  Two weeks ago we saw that Kaylee’s hair had begun to fall out because of the chemotherapy, and she decided to get a short haircut in order to minimize the mess of hair on her pillow and clothes.  Well, the new haircut lasted almost one week.

On the morning we were to enter the hospital to begin her second round of chemotherapy, the day which also happened to be her thirteenth birthday, after larger and larger clumps of hair began to brush out, she made the brave decision and asked me to shave her head.  Of course, I have been telling people for years that bald is beautiful, but now I think everyone will have to agree.  These little baldies are gorgeous!

There are many young bald heads around the Children’s Cancer area of the hospital, and also many at the Ronald McDonald house where we stay.  And, although the initial loss of hair is traumatic, all of the patients and families I’ve talked to agree that the loss of hair ends up at the bottom of the list of concerning issues.  There are much bigger things that consume your day!

The younger girl in the picture is the three year old with brain cancer we met in a previous message:

http://gdwm.org/index.php/2013/02/the-faces-of-cancer/

She was not having a very good day because her blood counts were low and she needed a transfusion.  Since then she had to go to the emergency room because the transfusion did not seem to be working and her fever was beginning to rise.  Our daughter is smiling in the picture, and was having a good “moment,” but the smiles are few and far between these days.  Cancer….stinks!

I have been pondering a biblical application which I have studied, thought I understood, and have written about in the past.  However, I’m realizing how our experiences must be allowed to interact with what we read in order to yield true meaning.  The following passage is often quoted in showing us how we are to face our trials.

James 1:2-4
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

I believe I have previously written that we ought to get to the point in our walk of faith where we can actually be thankful for our trials because we know the good it is bringing into our life.  After all, isn’t that what this passage calls us to do?  Well, if that is what the passage is saying, and if children’s cancer can be classified as a “trial,” then I have no other choice than to reject the passage.  I now think we sound pretty foolish when we smile and tell people to have joy in trials.  I sure hope we can make large allowances for trials where there is no joy to be found; where it is alright to NOT have joy in the trial.  Or maybe we need a term other than trial for certain levels of hardship.  Let me know what you think.

The day may come when our family will look back on all this and be thankful, even joyful, for this segment of our journey.  As many of you have done, we may consider this the most significant part of our spiritual and emotional growth.  But we are not there yet.  My heart aches for our daughter, for my wife, for my other children, for the many families we have met thus far, and for many of you who are going through your own hardships at this very moment.  Right now there is no joy in this particular event.  However, I am thankful for the endurance of my daughter, how she continues to mature, and how our family is working together during this hardship.  Regardless of how this journey progresses, cancer will always stink and those who are thrown into the battle will always be my heroes!

Have a Christ Centered Day!

Steve Troxel
God’s Daily Word Ministries

**** Reading Plan ****

Mar 25 Deuternomy 4:1-49; Luke 6:39-7:10; Psalm 68:1-18; Proverbs 11:28

http://gdwm.org/index.php/resources/

333.23 miles in 2013 : Goal 1509 miles

 

25 responses to “My Heroes”

  1. Pastor Cliff Beveridge

    Steve,
    As you well know, the trial itself is not joyful. I have taught verse-by-verse through James and that passage doesn’t tell you to consider this trial joyful. It says that you can have joy in your heart in the midst of this trial knowing that God was not surprised by any of this and that He is making all of you stronger in your faith through this trial. That new strength of faith will allow you to persevere. It is precisely when we ache in our hearts that it becomes even more clear to us how desperately we need God. When your heart is aching, turn your eyes upon God and see how He is drawing you closer through all of this. That is a the reason we can have joy in such difficult times…

    Pastor Cliff Beveridge

  2. Carl Fontenot

    Steve, My Family will offer up ours prayers daily for your precious daughter and family, God Bless!!! Our Prayers are for you and family have a Happy Easter Together, Carl and Family

  3. Nita

    Thank you for trusting your readers with the truth. Thank you for being honest. I just prayed for you and for your family.

    ps – Your daughter is so lovely just as she is above.

  4. Jan Hickey

    Kaylee is such a beautiful girl!! Steve I pray for you and your family. I can feel your pain, frustration, and even anger in this devotional and I find myself wishing I could do more. Saying I am praying for Kaylee and for you and your family seems like it isn’t enough but I trust God, who knows my heart, transfers my comfort to you in tangible ways. It must feel like you’re stuck on a roller coaster! Thank you for sharing yourself and your spiritual wisdom with us, especially during such a difficult time in your life. In Christ I send my love and thoughts to Kaylee and also to you, your wife, and your other children. May heaven’s fiercest warriors surround you!

  5. Carl Fritsche

    Hi Steve, Just a note to let you know that I am keeping you, your family, and especially your daughter in my prayers. May God’s love sustain you all through this storm. -C.

  6. Isaac Zulu

    Good day Steve,
    Its dificult for me to even start writing anything meaningful to you, I just stared at the computer for a while feeling sad. One thing I know is that I have been reading the devotionals since 2005, and have been blessed by your writtings through thick and thin in my life, through divorce, unemployment, bankcruptcy, rejections and finally triumph and contentment, you scattered the seed, and Christ made it grow in me.
    I may not know or understand the pain you are feeling, but one thing I know is that our redeemer lives. May Christ bring forth total healing to your daughter and comfort to you and your family during this period.
    Yours in Christ,
    Isaac.

  7. Beverly Ross

    Hi steve, I am praying for you and your family. You have been a tool that God has used in my life for many years. Just what I needed to hear that very day. I know that cancer (stinks) but has the last word. I am surviving leukemia and I lost my Mother 4 years ago May 1st. God is faithful!!! He wants you to trust Him completely. You will look back and say WOW GOD!!! He will never leave you. I am sending my love,hugs and Kisses from Macon, MS.
    In God I trust,
    Beverly Ross

  8. Bernice Martin

    Steve,

    As I read your post this morning my heart is filled with love and compassion for you and your family. I want you to know it is ok to not have joy in the trail and in the moment you are dealing with pain and suffering of a loved one. I believe the word of God supports us whe he says weeping will endure for the night but joy will come in the morning. Only God knows how long the night will last but rest assured he is faithful to his word and we can trust that JOY will come again. May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding be with you and your family today. Your sister in Christ.

  9. Cecilia Jackson

    Steve, as i read your words i to can’t help but feel your pain in my heart. I myself not too long ago i suffered two great losses in my life. I couldn’t understand how such horrible things could happen to me and my family. I remember saying i prayed for my family, and i go to church, i try to live life as God would have me. How could this happen to us? All i can say is something amazing happen to me God let me look into heaven and showed me this life is not the end. I believe God heard my cry and he gave me the peace i have now. I still miss my son and my baby brother but God gave me comfort so i can move on. I will see them again. You stay strong it wont always be like this. No matter what God love us. I pray God will be done for your daughter. May God Blessing be with you!

  10. Lubuna

    My prayers for the heroes…

  11. Soph

    Hi Steve,

    I admire the peace you and your wife have within yourselves. I pray that our God almighty wil continue to pour out his peace that is beyond all understnading on Kaylee, you and your family. I lost my daughter who has cadiovascular when she is only 6 months old. We were so heart broken since she is our our first and only child.
    Eventhough what has happened i continue to thank God for her and ask his Peace to be with me all the time. He is with Us all the way through and now we are expecting another in October. Whatever the situation is, I pray that Our Lord God Almight grant you peace. He is with you all the way through.

    Thinking of you and you family, you are in our prayers.

  12. Tossie

    Steve,
    We have hope in Him who conquered the grave. Nothing is greater than our Almighty God not even cancer. Seeking God’s counsel is the only way we’ll remain with the peace of heart that cannot be shaken by anything. Be encouraged because no tribulation lasts forever, healing comes from above and I pray God who understands your heart and situation will surely answer each and every prayer made concerning you and your family. Kaylee shall be healed in Jesus name.much love!!
    ps. have a Christ centered day.

  13. Sharon Dickman

    Precious Troxel family, my heart is saddened to hear this news. Of course there is so much pain and uncertainty, but one thing for sure and lasting is the unending love and steadfast joy that is in Christ. We live in a fractured world and because of the fall, there is disease and sickness. But, God is with us! He is for us! It grieves His heart that your precious one suffers. I know He is weeping with you. One day, this pain and heartache will be gone, when we see Him face to face. We have this comfort knowing He will never leave us, and His grace and mercy will see us through. I will pray for you all daily. May His peace that surpasses all understanding, pain, dissapointment, fear and anger be yours this day! I have a 13 year old daughter also, and when I see her from now on, I will pray for sweet Kaylee. I pray for healing. I pray that all of you receive comfort and steadfast endurance as you walk through this dark place. May the love of Jesus overwhelm you and gaurd your hearts and minds. You have helped me through many difficult days with your ministry, and now it is our turn to return thanks by standing with you in constant prayer. Sending much love and lifting you all up,
    Sharon Dickman

  14. Emmah Tekwa

    I remember not too long ago that you lost a sister through cancer. And now its Kaylee. keep the Faith, your family is in our prayers. to Kaylee i say, continue to fight the good fight ,you will finish the race. our God is faithful.

  15. Maren

    Hi Steve,

    I couldn’t help but notice this blog post as my own dear sweet sister died of ovarian cancer stage 4, 2 years ago and she was my best friend since I was a small child. My younger sister, age 20, died almost 7 years ago in a car accident and I was not able to even say goodbye to her as she died on impact. That first experience staring death in the face I didn’t do so well. I cried almost nonstop and became very angry and bitter. It literally changed my personality from a happy, upbeat, positive person or more likely I allowed it to. I had watched my younger sister be born into this world and had even put her 1st diaper on. It took me 3 years to emerge from depression. Always thought I knew what depression was before then but I didn’t have a clue. Then a year later my only other sister who is older than me, after having her 3rd child was diagnosed w/ ovarian cancer and the worst part was that the doctor had seen the cyst w/ her last pregnancy but instructed her she didn’t need to remove it. I know we are different people and we have circumstances that are a little different but I know about the kind of aching pain that you feel … and the frustration w/ having little control over the outcome. If it were my choice I wouldn’t have chosen chemo as the success rate is not that great but the nice thing about being a part of the gospel is knowing that faith can work even when medicine is poisonous if God wills her to live. She is young and usually the young have greater vitality, strength and stamina. It is important to love her, cancer and all. I know our society teaches us to hate cancer but cancer is a physical component of our bodies and in order to heal we must love all of ourselves, the good & the bad. I feel it is important for people w/ illness to have things to live for and a positive attitude when possible as well.

    The joy you speak of wanting to have in this trial, I know very well. For me it came because my older sister was not taken immediately and instead I was blessed with the gift of time. How deeply grateful I am to a loving Heavenly Father who had compassion on me and gave me more time to spend w/ my sister and more time to show her how much I love her. In the end she was poisoned to death w/ painkillers, narcotics that would kill a small child. Funny how we think what is bad for our children is not bad for us as “Adults.” I know of many people who have taken the natural path to healing and survived their cancer which I feel is a more positve way to go. Turmeric is a scientifically proven anti-antiogen cancer healing herb that is as strong as the top cancer drugs without the poisonous side effects … but most probably your doctor has had you sign a waiver saying you will not use anything else to save your daughter but will completely trust her to their “care.” I still feel a sense of shock when people implicitly trust a system that isn’t proven to work instead of trying every possible avenue of healing. It is not out of judgemeny but empathy in a society that implicitly trusts in a medical system that doesn’t have the best care in all areas. It is possible that your daughter is strong enough to survive it all … and if so I hope that you will do the research and do everything possible to heal her naturally as the success rate of chemo is based on a survival rate of about 5 years which many make it to but then pass away there after. Some good things to research as well are the Gerson therapy and the ph miracle. It is ok to cry when things get hard, tears are very cleansing and healing. I wish you all the best and will pray for a miracle and will ask for the faith and prayers of many others. If it is God’s will she will live and there is a reason why things happen the way that they do even if they don’t work out the way we would like or we don’t understand, God still loves us and wants the best for us. I do know for a certainty that everyone has their time to go and there is no stopping it but what a glorious gift is the gift of time & our ability to show our love and care. Love you Steve and know that God loves you still.

  16. Lynne

    Hi Steve. Kaylee’s times are in God’s hands. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”. I am also going through chemotherapy at this time and have also lost my hair. I hope that Ecclesiastes 3:3 blesses and helps Kaylee, you and your family as it has blessed and helped me. It says, “A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up”. Kaylee and I are going through our time to kill and break down. The prayers of the righteous and chemotherapy are killing and breaking down those things in our bodies that God did not create us to have. Unfortunately, chemotherapy also kills some of the good things in our bodies also – but we serve a BIG GOD – there is nothing that He can’t fix – in the meantime, we should allow His Grace to be Sufficient!!! We will then go through our time to heal and our time to build up. Psalm118:17 says, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord”, therefore I declare and decree that Kaylee and I will not die, but we will live, and proclaim what the Lord has done. Be it unto us, according to your Word, Lord. We consider it done, and so it is. God Bless you Troxel family and I will keep you in my prayers. Yours In Christ.

  17. Kathy

    You have been through so much and I know that God will see you and your daughter through yet another challenge. You are in my prayers! And your daughter is beautiful!!!!!

  18. Karen

    Prayers for you, your beautiful daughter and your family. Thank you for your honest transparency in the midst of the storm.

  19. Lynne

    To all who are praying for Kaylee and the Troxel family. Let us remember, KAYLEE IS A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG LADY, AND IS LIVING AND BREATHING. Let’s NOT talk about our relatives and friends who have died. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”. Although some of you may mean well, it does not help to hear that. Let us speak life, peace, wholeness, health, security, serenity, well-being, contentment, harmony, and joy into this situation. Everybody does not die from cancer, and prayer and chemotherapy have done wonders in so many people’s lives – my cousin is still blessed to be in the land of the living ten years after receiving chemotherapy (and she has a beautiful head of hair and is healthy). She also comes from a praying family who believes that GOD IS STILL IN THE HEALING BUSINESS. IN GOD WE LIVE, AND MOVE, AND HAVE OUR BEING. Kaylee is a child of the Most High God. REMEMBER: There is power in our words. Let us speak life, peace, health, and wholeness into Kaylee’s situation. This is the kind of prayers that will bless and sustain her and her family. Psalm 27:13 NIV: “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”. This is my prayer for Kaylee, Steve, and the Troxel family. PEACE BE WITH YOU.

  20. DANNY

    Steve,

    It’s my prayer that the Almighty God heals Kaylee right now. The pain is gone and the healing power of God has entered into the body and the blood of Kaylee. She is healed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. God says we should call upon Him, and He will answer us, to show us great and mighty things which our minds cannot comprehend. The Supreme God has promised us in His word that ,He will never leave us nor forsake us, therefore I want to encourage you not to give up but STAND FIRM.

  21. Jan Bassett

    Psalm 33:20-22

  22. Ann

    I admire your faith….the bible says the challenges of this world are inevitable, and they help us to persevere of which God gets a character from us….the most encouraging thing is that nothing happens in our lives behind God’s back!! he already knew it and had already defined a way out 1 Cor 10:13. He will give a way out and we thank God since after this,a new testimony more glorious than before will be born!!
    luke 22:31-peter was told by Jesus, satan has ben releases to sift your faith . And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.Take courage man of God for what you are going through its not for you but to encourage others in the same situation…May God give you courage and strengthen your faith.

  23. Lizette Strauss

    Hi Steve
    We pray for you and your family and wish to comfort you with Psalm 23.This is a refining process and a time that you are walking in the valley, but your transformation is around the bend, where all of you will all be exalted. Keep on being such wonderful example and continue to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. You have a beautiful daughter. God bless you all.

    Lizette Strauss

  24. Craynos

    In our prayers. He who called you is more than faithful and He will see us through this difficult time. We break the bond of this devil in the name of Jesus. We have hope and faith in Jesus that our beloved sister will finish the course successifully. Psalm 46vs 1-5. God bless.

  25. Sharon Gittens

    Dear Steve and family:

    What a beautiful young lady! May God continue to carry her as she goes through this journey. By God’s grace, she will continue to be strong as she endures the treatment.
    I appreciate your candor. God’s blessing that the angels will continue to minister unto you and your family always providing comfort, profound peace, love and patience as you continue to bask in his loving arms. Our God is an awesome God.

Leave a Reply