Saturday, December 5, 2009


I have wind in my sails again.

Where to start...

I’ve been struggling against crushing darkness for roughly the last month.

A big part of it was feeling like I had to make a huge decision at the end of this month about my work. Another big part of it was seasonal depression. Another big part of it was a bunch of physical problems. Another part of it was just the reality of how much this cancer thing has affected every area of my life.

Part of understanding the issues, to try to get some resolution, was trying to sort through the layers of what was physical, what was emotional, what was spiritual, what was mental.... Unfortunately, those things don’t sort neatly into nice little organizer boxes with tidy little labels.

When I first found out I had cancer, I had this idea that my spirit could somehow be kind of separate from my body. I thought I could compartmentalize my spirit and prevent the physical stuff from affecting it. Not possible.

The bottom line is that we are integrated beings. Things are all tied together, with bonds that cannot ever be torn loose. All of our parts, our spirits, souls, bodies, minds, wills, emotions—however you choose to define the parts of us—they are all inextricably intertwined.

I can’t have something wrong with my body that doesn’t affect my spirit. The same with all of my other parts.

As I agonized over what was going on, God used a variety of interventions to minister peace and wisdom and healing to every part of me.

He used my sister-in-law to communicate to me about Vitamin D3. Taking Vitamin D3 has made an incredibly dramatic difference in my attitude, my emotional resilience, and my physical energy.

He relieved me completely of several physical symptoms I’d been having and gave me direction in eliminating some others. Right now, I feel pretty well for the first time in months.

He used three very intensely encouraging experiences at work over a two day period of time to tell me that what I am doing there is of value and that I am to keep working there. Any one of those three experiences would have made a huge difference but all three combined had the effect of being struck by a lightning bolt. There is now no looming decision to worry about making in the end of December. He has already showed me what to do. He made the decision for me. He directly answered my prayer and He did it more than three weeks early.

He showed me that when I’m feeling sorry for myself and all of the ways that cancer has affected my life, praying for other people takes my focus off myself.

He also pointed me toward the story and music of Emmanuel Jal. Emmanuel is from Sudan and was forced to be a child soldier and nearly starved to death. You can listen to one of his songs HERE and you can read his story HERE. The suffering he experienced could have destroyed him.

Reading his story and listening to his music has brought a sort of revival in me. In some way I can’t articulate very well, the stories of other people who have suffered deeply bring me peace. Maybe it’s simply the reminder that other people are also suffering deeply. Maybe it’s seeing how Emmanuel has chosen to respond to his suffering by choosing to use it as a force for change and hope and transformation, not just in his own life but in the lives of so many others. Maybe it’s seeing how God can use broken, damaged, nearly destroyed, frail, fragile human beings to bring hope and light to other people. Maybe it’s how he shares his story with courage and passion and isn’t afraid to be graphic and tell it like it is.

The light has obliterated the darkness.

God has kept His promise to never leave me or forsake me. God has answered prayer with answers that can’t be questioned.

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD;
I will wait for the God of my salvation
My God will hear me.
Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy
Though I fall I will rise;
Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me.
Micah 7:7-8


  1. where's the kleenex?! i so relate...and this helps me, to hear you express the connection idea. and my dear, CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING AWARDED "TEACHER OF THE YEAR" at your school!!!

  2. I'm so happy to hear that you have been feeling better then you have in months :-) Still praying!