Monday, November 19, 2012

Blank Spaces

It is approaching now, that time I dread, that time I pretend doesn't happen.  Those spaces on the calendar that remain blank out of necessity.  My feet never touch down on their empty space...I see them in the future in the form of next week, then as mysterious as the wind they appear in my rear view mirror.  I don't experience them as they come with fresh air on my skin and sunshine on my face.  Only the stories of others remind me that life continued on, filling this expanse with activity.

The shadows grow long and I wish I could blink away the next few days.  I lay in bed wondering when the chemo curtain will rise and let the light back in. I know that these are payment for the days I am blessed to enjoy.  The poison that saps all my strength and bites away at my joy is the same life-sustaining drugs that are keeping the tumors at bay.  So even in the darkness the light still peaks around the corner.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder...darkness makes the light brighter.  I feel such an urgency on my bright days.  I want to minister to the hurting, sharing the gospel of God's amazing, saving grace.  I want to knit hats and scarves to shield the homeless from winter's bitter cold or make a craft to brighten someone's day.  There are so many things to do and such a small amount of  time.

Although my Thanksgiving week will be spent recovering, I am no less thankful.  Jesus Christ is my Savior, God has blessed me with family, friends, a home, and so many, many other things I do not deserve.  I will take this time to rest and when I'm back on my out!

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."  Psalm 30:5

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

I am working on a new project that makes me really excited!  It is not quite ready to be unveiled yet, but hopefully very soon.  It seems strange to me to begin something new.  I have been told several times that I would not be walking the earth by this time.  So to start something new almost feels rebellious...and I like it!!

I am quickly approaching the four year mark on my cancer diagnosis.  At this time four years ago I was feeling weak but didn't know why.  Now I know.  Hindsight is 20/20.

Two and a half years ago I was told that cancer would win, that I was dying.  We came home and started "closing up shop".  I worked for as long as I could, then reluctantly, closed that door too.

Each holiday has approached and passed with my thought, "is this the last one?"  It is mentally draining to carry that thought daily.  (Helpful hint: don't ever tell a dying person to not think about dying, it's not possible)

It is difficult to learn to live while dying, but I think I'm figuring it out and I want to take you along for the ride.

The unveiling of my project will be soon.  Until that time....

Tune in...same bat time, same bat channel!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Acts 20:24

What am I suppose to be doing?  This is a question I ask myself almost daily.  When my life was a struggle to balance the corporate world and being a mom, I never seemed to have time to even ask the question.  

This is not a question of what to do with my empty time.  It is a question of what to do with God's time.  Am I fulfilling the purpose - God's purpose for my life.  I refuse to believe that my purpose is to make it through the rest of my days as best I can.

"However, I consider my life nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given to me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."  Acts 20:24 NIV


"What matters most to me is to finish what God started."  Acts 20:24 MSG

Same verse, different version.  I like the eloquence of the NIV translation, but I can remember the MSG translation.

I want to live an Acts 20:24 life.  That is what matters most to me.  Whatever work God has started in me, I want to finish.  It's a 'no regrets' life.  When I am taking my last earthly breaths I want to know that I lived for God, shared His love with others, praised him with full abandon and worshiped him with every fiber of my being.

This is my view on the days I can't get out of bed. Just wanted to share. 

 "Give me a revelation, show me what to do, cause I've been tryin to find my way I haven't got a clue, tell me should I stay here or do I need to move... give me a revelation, I've got nothing without you."

 "Give Me a Revelation"
   lyrics by Third Day

Hey!  You can now follow me on Twitter:  irfreed


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Do They Know?

What should I say?

How can I say it?

How can I convey the hope, the courage, the strength, and the peace that I want to share?

All the convictions I feel deep down in my soul, emotions so deep that they are not a part of who I am, but they are the whole of whose I am.  These traits, nothing of which I can boast, are not of my own doing.  I didn't set out to gather these like a basket of apples.  I didn't search for them as one searches for a friend.  I wasn't even aware of their presence until the day that nothing else mattered.  The day when a loved one's touch, a friend's kind word was not enough.  Though I relish those things and enjoy the warmth of them, they cannot sustain me in the dark of the night.  I found these deep within me when I released the reins of my life.  How funny that I thought I could sway my life to the left or to the right. But when I relinquished my control I found them - hope, courage, strength and peace - God's gift to me.

There is a time that comes when sickness is more than a diagnosis, more than a file that is 8" thick, more than medicines and side effects.  It is in that moment when the question is asked - will this sickness define me?  Will I be the woman with cancer or will I be God's child that walked the path laid before her.

Hope, courage, strength, peace.

I want everyone to look deep within themselves and see these gifts that God showers on those that seek Him.  I see the faces of those with cancer.  I see the young couple that probably hasn't celebrated many anniversaries yet; I see the aged couple - one trying to have enough strength for the other; I see the new patients, bewildered by all the information they have been given.  It is frivolous to say to them that everything will be okay.  They know, they all know, that sometimes it is not all okay.  Sometimes the disease wins.  Not because they didn't fight, not because they were weak.  Sometimes the disease just wins.

Do they know?  Do they know these sufferings are only temporary?  Do they know the God of our tomorrows, the King of kings, the Great I Am?  That despair can be exchanged for hope, fear can give way to courage, our weakness can make way for His strength.  Do they know He is the Prince of Peace?

I cannot be satisfied with knowing these things for myself.  Everyone must know.  I begged God for a purpose larger than myself.  I prayed for the chance to make a difference.  I have been gifted with this opportunity to live my life out loud.  They have to hear!  They have to know!