Brooke’s Cancer Journey Post from January 9, 2018

Still waiting and trusting…

Justin and I will be heading back to Houston next week on Wednesday for further testing and biopsies. A critical part of the pathology study came back indeterminate (the Her2neu status). After Dr. Layman did some digging with the pathologists, it was determined that there was not enough tissue. I will have a core biopsy (instead of fine needle) of the lymph nodes. While in Houston I’ll also have a biopsy of the sternum and right lung to get clear answer on those suspicious spots (which may or may not be radiation inflammation).

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster. I’m weary of this whole process in addition to the daily demands of life. I’m thankful to have had a “Selah Day” this past Saturday. (Selah means “pause and reflect”). I was renewed while spending a chunk of the day in solitude and quiet reflection/prayer – looking back at 2017 and praising God for His faithfulness and looking ahead to 2018. It has been my tradition to ask the Lord for a “word for the year”.

This year the word He gave me is “through”. I wouldn’t have chosen this word – to be honest I don’t really like it. I realized that often we pray for the Lord to take us AROUND affliction and trouble, but sometimes in His perfect plan He walks with us THROUGH it. My verse for the year is Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

Trusting Him to walk with us through the waters; to provide sustaining strength through the rivers; protection through the fire and renewal through the flames.

Continually grateful for your love and support. Your messages here are such an encouragement to me — I read every one!

I will post specific prayers in another post —

This devotional below is from John Piper’s “Solid Joys”. It was of great encouragement to me. I’m learning in these days to delight in the grace SUPPLIED, not despair in the grace DENIED.

below written by John Piper
“Grace Denied and Supplied”

Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22)

The need for inner strength arises not just from the depletions of everyday stress, but from the suffering and afflictions that come from time to time. And they do come.

Suffering is inevitably added to heart-weariness on the way to heaven. When it comes, the heart may waver and the narrow way that leads to life may look impossibly hard. It’s hard enough to have a narrow road and steep hills that test the old jalopy’s strength to the limit. But what shall we do when the car breaks down?

Paul cried out three times with this question because of some affliction in his life. He asked for relief from his thorn in the flesh. But God’s grace did not come in the form he asked. It came in another form. Christ answered, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Here we see grace given in the form of Christ’s sustaining power in unrelieved affliction — one grace given, we could say, within the circle of another grace denied. And Paul responded with faith in the sufficiency of this future grace: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

God often blesses us with a “grace given” in the circle of “grace denied.”

For example, on a beastly hot day in July, the water pump on our car stopped working, and twenty miles from any town we were stranded on the interstate in Tennessee.

I had prayed that morning that the car would work well and that we would come to our destination safely. Now the car had died. The grace of trouble-free travel had been denied. No one was stopping as we stood around our car. Then my son Abraham (about eleven at the time) said, “Daddy, we should pray.” So we bowed behind the car and asked God for some future grace — a help in time of need. When we looked up, a pickup truck had pulled over.

The driver was a mechanic who worked about twenty miles away. He said he would be willing to go get the parts and come back and fix the car. I rode with him to town and was able to share the gospel with him. We were on our way in about five hours.

Now the remarkable thing about that answer to our prayer is that it came inside the circle of a prayer denied. We asked for a trouble-free trip. God gave us trouble. But in the midst of a grace denied, we got a grace supplied. And I am learning to trust God’s wisdom in giving the grace that is best for me and for unbelieving mechanics and for the watching faith of eleven-year-old boys.

We should not be surprised that God gives us wonderful graces in the midst of suffering that we had asked him to spare us. He knows best how to apportion his grace for our good and for his glory.