Tag Archive | Thankful

I Don’t Want to Be a Cancer Survivor

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 43:5)

March 28 marked the anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis. The entire month of March was gloomy for me. I could contribute my funk to the weather as some suggested. But the weather usually doesn’t affect my moods so much. And I feel better since Easter even though the sky still displays a grey overcast most days. Therefore, it’s safe to say the weather had little to do with my downcast spirit.

Since I had gone through a depression several years ago due to my thyroid, and now chemo had messed up my thyroid again, my thoughts drifted toward another dark season on the horizon. That is one place I never want to return to. I consulted the doctor and, after blood tests, found out my numbers were all good, ruling out the thyroid theory.

What was causing my blues?

The memories of the past two years, last year more so, darkened my soul and mind, making my days dreary and arduous. I wanted to cry most of the time and had no desire to do anything other than read or sleep.

I had no choice but to ride out the emotional storm and pray it wouldn’t last long.

Throughout the month of March and the first week in April, my memory ran rampant. The doctor’s voice telling me my test came back positive for breast cancer and his statement, “It was a miracle we even found it” replayed in my mind. The oncologist’s encouraging words echoed in my ears as he prepared me for treatment. The vision of Gene almost collapsing when I told him the cancer had metastasized to my lung. The brain MRI, thankfully, showed a sinus infection and nothing else. Then treatment started.

At the time, everything flashed so quickly I had not time to think about what was happening. During the next six months of treatment and the following five months of recuperation, I concentrated on healing, getting my strength and my life back to a recognizable normal. I’m still not there, but it’s getting better. But now, the memories replayed in slow motion as I relived every detail.

Today I’m writing this post, thinking I don’t want to be a cancer survivor. That statement might sound odd to you. But I really don’t. I don’t want to have cancer at all. Yes, I’m grateful beyond words to be as healthy as I am. I have no regrets, not even after having going through chemo. I know it was the treatment God wanted me to have. He has taken care of me through it and because of it. But I still don’t want to be a cancer survivor.

Here’s why:

1. Cancer is for brave souls who can withstand a great deal of discomfort. I’m not one of them.
2. I want to be the prayer warrior who takes them to the throne room and kneels before the Lord and requests healing, peace, and comfort for them.
3. I want to be the arms that wrap around them, giving reassurance that they’re loved and not alone in this battle.
4. I want to be the mouth that speaks comforting words.
5. I want to be the hands that bring needed meals.
6. I want to be the feet that do the shopping when they can’t
7. I want to be the shoulder they cry on.

I don’t want to be the survivor in need, wondering when cancer will put me in that place again. I want to go back to health and no worries.

But we can’t go back, only forward.

I’ll be okay. The funk has past, enabling me to write this post.

God is awesome all ways, always. I love Him. I know He loves me too. He has carried me through. And I remember the peace that enveloped me for the past year. I am blessed and thankful for all He has done, and yes, I’m thankful to be a cancer survivor, even though I don’t like wearing that label.

How about you? What label do you wear that you’re not thrilled about, but thankful for all the same?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

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Wigs and Miracles

The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Wigs don’t feel comfortable in hot weather. They make you sweat. So I haven’t worn mine since the onset of summer heat and humidity.

However the past few days, low humidity and tempts drew my attention back to fake hair. I’ve grown so accustomed to wearing hats, having a full-head of hair looks almost as peculiar to me as being bald did in the being of my treatments. But my mother used to say, after not feeling well for a few days, how doing her hair rejuvenated her. So I thought wearing my wig would give me the same sort of pick me up. And it did.

Nevertheless on Sunday, I hesitated to wear it to church. You see, there’s a sweet, six-year old, with luxurious thick, curly hair, who has told me several times she’s praying for me to have hair—so I can be like everyone else she added one time. I appreciate her innocence as well as her prayers. I didn’t want her to think God had performed a miracle and made my hair grow thick and quick. Children at that age are very observant and take everything exactly as they see it. Knowing this, I don’t want little Sadie to be devastated or bewildered the next time it’s too hot for a wig on Sunday, and I show up sporting a hat to cover my baldness. I want her to continue praying and believing God can make my hair grow again. I want her to see the true miracle He performs when it does.

I’m trusting God that sometime between October and January I’ll see signs of that miracle in progress. In the meantime, I’ll wear my wig with thanksgiving in my heart for the Lord’s provision.

My wig now serves as a reminder of how we often grow impatient with God when it comes to waiting on His promises. We want instant gratification. It’s our society’s new norm. Everything happens in the blink of an eye these days. So we try to apply the same timeline to the Lord. He does not comply to our standards or our timetables. He works out His promises according to His ideal for our situation. He’s never reluctant, slow, or late. But that’s not fast enough for us. We attempt to rush, even force the promise into existence. The outcome usually is as effective as putting a wig on a bald head—close but not the real thing.

Instead, let’s remember God is not slow in fulfilling His promises to us as we consider slowness. He has a purpose in His timing which cannot be altered. Our time will be better spent in praising Him for the promise as though it has already been completed.

How about you? What promises are you waiting for God to fulfill in your life?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Forecast: Hail

And there shall be a booth for a shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge, and for a hiding place from storm and rain. (Isaiah 4:6)

I didn’t see the storm brewing.

A few weeks ago, a hail storm hit my friend’s area. Both his vehicles sustained damage. Jed complained if he’d known it was coming he would’ve taking precautions like covering his car and truck with blankets. But the weather forecaster never mentioned hail. The following week another storm hit the area. This time the forecaster predicted damaging, downfall of ice pellets. Jed rushed out and covered both vehicles with heavy blankets. The wind blew. Rain fell. But no hail pelted his autos. Jed seemed almost disappointed when he told us about his efforts. He said wet blankets were all he got.

Like Jed, our efforts to prepare for the storms of life often seem fruitless. We work hard making sure we’re covered when calamity happens only to find our sweat amounted to just that sweat.

The truth is, like the weather forecaster, no matter how well informed we are. we cannot predict how hard and fast or when the storms of life are going to strike.

But we have a Father who, not only knows all about our storms, He controls them. He also prepares us for them in ways in which we are not aware. It’s like being covered with a heavy blanket. Hail falls. Damage occurs. But we receive far less wounds than we would’ve had we not put our trust in the Lord prior to the onset of the tempest.

I never saw the storm of cancer coming. Every year for sixteen years, I had gone for my yearly mammogram and checkup with the same results—0% chance of breast cancer according to my family history and other information gathered through the years. But this year something peculiar happened. This year my lymph nodes were enlarged. This year the storm hit. The hail fell. Damage occurred. But I know my Father has me covered. I sense His presence every day. I enjoy His peace, rest, and protection continually. Because He has been busy preparing me for this billowy time of my life, I have no fear of this disease, the treatments, or the outcome. I cannot tell you the exact steps He has taken to bring me to this point. Previous trials have definitely taught me to trust His decisions. Through it all, I’m learning the deeper meaning of Philippians 1:21—For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

How about you? How has our Father prepared you for your current storm?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

 

Good News

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NIV)

Jesus is Coming Soon

Jesus is Coming Soon

 

This morning I called my mother. She wasn’t feeling well. She thought her heart “acted up” again last night. When that happens, she feels tired and not quite with it the next day. I’m thankful she’s doing as well as she is.

As our conversation continued, I told her my mother-in-law fell over the weekend. She, too, was okay … stiff and sore, but nothing broken … another blessing. Then, I told my mother that one of my former classmates passed away last week suddenly. I was so very sad to hear about it. Mother was as well.

Then she said, “Don’t you have any good news?”

I said, “Yes, Jesus is coming soon.”

“What?”

“Jesus is coming soon.”

“What?”

“Jesus is coming soon.”

“I think I suddenly went completely deaf. I still didn’t catch what you said.”

“Do you have your hearing aides on?”

“Yes.”

“Jesus … is … coming … soon.”

“Who’s coming soon?”

“Jesus.”

“I’m still not getting it.”

“J-e-s-u-s, Jesus.”

Silence.

“Mom, did you hear me?

“No. I’m sorry. I still didn’t understand what you said.”

“It’s okay. Look it up in the Bible.”

“Oh!” She laughed. “I get it now. It’d be great if He came today.”

“Yes. It surely would be.”

Funny how she heard all that bad news without any problem isn’t it? I promise I didn’t talk any louder. She just couldn’t quite comprehend what I said.

Isn’t that how people are though? We hear all the bad news, all the negative comments, and all the meaningless dribble. But when someone mentions the Good News of Jesus Christ, something goes amiss. Our hearing suddenly deafens. Our batteries die. A bird sits on the phone wire. We simply fail to comprehend the significance of the message.

I told Mother Jesus is coming soon, because she wanted some good news. I couldn’t thing of anything better than that.

I shared our conversation with you, because I thought you needed to hear some good news too.

How about you? With whom can you share the Good News today?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

G is for Go

Go Tell all the Nations!

                      Go Tell all the Nations!

Go. Go. Go. From now until December 25th, we’ll be on the go. Go to stores. Go to office parties and family get-togethers. Go to rehearsals. Go to Christmas programs at schools, churches, and theaters. Go ’til we drop. Then pick ourselves up and go some more.

But that’s not why I’m thankful for GO. I’m thankful for GO because Jesus said told His followers to Go and make disciples of all nations. They obeyed. And through the ages, others continued to take up the command to GO. One day, a preacher in my lifetime, obeyed the command to Go. He came to the church I attended as a child and spoke about Jesus’ saving grace. I trusted in the Lord’s name that night. Now, it’s my turn to Go and tell others about Him. It’s your turn too. Let’s not get so caught up in all the places we have to go to this month that we forget to GO and make disciples for Jesus.

 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20)

How about you? What are you thankful for that begins with the letter G?

See you in a twinkling

Brenda K. Hendricks

N is for New

Angel 1 4 webNew accompanies the holidays like snow in winter. We scurry from store to store to buy new decorations and of course, new gifts for everyone on our lists. We look forward to receiving new stuff too. We start the New Year with new dreams, new goals, and hopes for a new, smaller dress size.

And sometimes new doesn’t have to be brand new, just new to us, like a new previously enjoyed car. Last night, Gene and I bought a new water softener and were happy about it. It was new after all. New makes us happy, feel accomplished and special.

But that’s not why I’m thankful for new. I’m thankful because I’m a new creation in Christ Jesus. And He transforms my life by renewing of my mind with His goodness and restores a right heart within me.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

How about you? What are you thankful for that begins with the letter N?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

I is for Imagination

 

Pirate Princess--Imagination at Work

Pirate Princess–Imagination at Work

Imaginations turn my living room into a forest with a hideout. I become “big foot.” Two-month-old, Lilly, becomes Angel Baby. All thanks to my grandactives.

My imagination enables me to write stories, paint pictures, or design this blog.

Without the imaginations of great minds, there would be no Internet to post my blog. There wouldn’t be channeled electricity, cars, or any of the modern conveniences we’ve all grown to enjoy.

Yes indeed! Imagination is a vital part of human existence and separates us from all other life forms. Imagination is also one of our most taken-for-granted, thus, one of our least thankful-for commodities. God truly blessed us more richly than then we can imagine by giving us imaginations.

 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

How about you? What are you thankful for that begins with the letter I?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks