[Note: This message was first sent out in March of 2013. Please do not think this is our current situation. Kaylee is doing quite well! However, as I read this message tonight I realized there were so many important points worth repeating. This was indeed a difficult time for our family, but God taught us many wonderful truths along the way.]
Ten days ago, she said, “I don’t think I can do this for three more months.” And then she started to cry.
It’s been two weeks since I sent an update message on Kaylee, our twelve year old daughter who is walking through the journey of ovarian cancer. Thanks again for all of your prayers and general encouragement. We continue to learn as we walk down this path together as a family. Many of you have been down similar paths; one day you are going about life, making plans for this and that, and the next thing you know…everything changes: “Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that'” (James 4:15). One thing we certainly learn through a trial such as this is that life can rapidly change; we are in much less control than we realize.
Kaylee received her last treatment of the first round of chemotherapy two weeks ago today; three more rounds to go. We have been at home these last two weeks and are settling in to what I have termed the “New Normal.” Things are quite different than they were a few months ago, but this is now part of our particular normal life. Kaylee has had a few good hours here and there, but never a full good day. Between stomach pain and general nausea, we are continually trying to balance her medications. This weekend we were back in the hospital because of low blood counts and possible infection, but we are now back home and praying her fever will stay down. But this is somewhat to be expected with chemotherapy; it’s difficult, but it’s also a normal part of the process.
We praise God for the advances made in cancer treatments. Researchers continue to find better drugs to attack the cancer cells, but the the chemotherapy drugs are not all that smart. As they enter the body, they fight cancer cells, but they also fight many other types of important cells throughout the body. One is white blood cells, which then make it difficult for the body to fight off infections. One other, for reasons I’m not certain, is the hair follicle cells which hold your hair to your head. Friday morning, Kaylee noticed that she was starting to lose her hair. As we tried to brush, large bunches were pulling out. She knew this day was coming and had made plans to get her hair cut next week so the process would not be as messy. She had picked out a short style and was actually looking forward to seeing how she would look. On Friday she made the quick decision to move up the cut date. The “New Normal.”
Ten days ago, as I was trying to comfort a crying daughter, I told her I wasn’t sure I could do this for three more months either. But then I asked if she could make it through one more day. We talked about the day and she thought she had just enough strength for one more. From the first day of this journey, my wife and I pray at night, thanking God for giving us the strength for the day just ending, and asking for strength for whatever we will face tomorrow. God has been so faithful! He continues to walk by our side and ALWAYS provides just what we need. This has given me a new appreciation for the first part of what we call the Lord’s Prayer.
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.”
I have always talked about trusting God for our daily bread in terms of our physical needs, our daily resources, or how we ought to be fed through the daily study of His Word. But, on our current journey, daily bread has come to represent things like patience, a calming of fear and anxiety, and a general increase of strength.
Most of us, at some point in our life, will find ourselves entering a severe trial completely unprepared. Perhaps you are even in the middle of a trial right now and are feeling completely overwhelmed, unable to see how you will make it to the end. The promise of God is not that He will remove the trial, but that He will walk with us and comfort us every step of the way. We don’t have to know how we will navigate through all the obstacles ahead, or how the journey will even end; we simply need to face the current day and trust Him with all our heart. Though what we face may be difficult, let’s hold tight and remember His love. Let’s pray and always trust His promise to provide us with our daily strength.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Jun 5 2 Samuel 23:24-24:25; Acts 3:1-26; Psalm 123:1-4; Proverbs 16:21-23