From Today On, Your Life Will Never Be the Same


Image courtesy of mrpuen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of mrpuen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Those are the words that my oncologist shared with me this week as he explained next steps.  You see, when you are diagnosed with a disease that can potentially take your life from you, you change.  You look at relationships differently, you don’t get upset so much over stupid things, you never take a day for granted and you put a big smile on your face every day that you wake up, are alive and feeling good. Well, at least that is the way I look at things.  I know there are others who will choose to retreat into their own little world, become angry with God, begin feeling like they are owed something for their sufferings and are basically bitter and miserable every day of their lives.

Each one of us is required to make choices when change comes into our lives.  When I go speak, I talk about the fact that people either run towards God or away from God when they face trials.  Personally, I choose to run towards God.  I have learned in my 29 years of following God that He is always faithful.  He may not answer our pleas for help in the timing that we think He should.  Nor does He always answer our prayers with the answer we asked for.  But one thing I’ve learned…even when we don’t see Him, you can rest assured He is there.

I went to two oncology offices last week…one was hematology for meds and/or chemo.  The other was for radiation treatments.  My first appointment of the week was very upsetting.  It’s a long story but let’s just leave it at that. On Thursday, I went to the second oncologist and I was petrified as I sat outside of their office preparing to go in for my appointment.  I certainly need to trust these doctors who hold my life and well-being in their hands.  If I were going to have an experience like I did on Monday, I was thinking about just ignoring the fact I have cancer and just going on as usual.  I know that’s not a reasonable thought, but if I couldn’t trust those in charge of my care, I had no hope.

I read the Bible every morning…or at least try to do so. I typically follow one of the reading plans with the You Version online Bible.  That way I can check off what I have read and track my progress.  My reading the last couple of days had been in Ecclesiastes and then the Song of Solomon.  Although each book has its benefits, I didn’t think they would provide me with the encouragement I needed for that particular day.  I kept thinking, “I should read the book of James today.”  However, life got in the way.  Robin Roberts had returned to Good Morning America and I needed to check in to see how she was holding up on her second day back.  Then I had to check Facebook and answer some emails.  All of a sudden I looked up and I only had about 20 minutes to get a shower and be ready to leave for my appointment!

I was feeling bad that I didn’t get my reading in so I took my iPad with me so I could read a little while waiting to go into my appointment.  I also chose to keep the radio off during the drive there and prayed instead.  When I arrived I sat in the parking lot thinking to myself, “Maybe I should just forget all of this stuff.  They are going to poison my body and give me other bad things to heal this already bad thing I have.  At least most of the bad things they’re going to give me won’t actually kill me like cancer.  They will only make me miserable as time goes on.  But then I was reminded about how I want to be here for my grandchildren.  I want them to know who I was as I don’t remember mine other than one grandpa.  I want them to understand my faith in God and I want to tell them about Him when they are old enough to understand.  I need to fight.”  So I bravely got out of the car and went inside.

I tried to put a big smile on my face as I was greeted by the receptionist but it just came out about halfway.  As I sat down to wait, I pulled out my iPad and opened it to James 1.  As I sat in the waiting room, I had tears streaming down my face as God literally met me there with His Word.  James 1:2-4 (NKJV) says: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

It has been confirmed.  I know now that life as I knew it is going to change.  God is taking me to a new dimension of knowing Him.  He is using my circumstances to stretch me, mold me and teach me His ways.  I need to have praise on my lips and patience in my heart as He once again shows me more of Him.  How can I not get excited knowing that He loves me enough to be there for me in my time of weakness and sorrow so that some day I might be perfected… complete…lacking NOTHING!

So yes, I will have days in my humanness that I am sad and ask, “Why me?”  However, I hope that there will be many more days of praising Him for what He is doing and has done in my life through this current trial.  Again, I will ask but with different meaning, “Why me?  Why not choose to use someone who is a much better person than me?  And then I will smile because I know that with my suffering, God will give me joy and meet me right where I am.  He will fill me with more knowledge of Him and from today on, my life will never be the same.  With that, I choose to praise Him all the rest of the days of my life! I have found my hope!

What trial have you been through that changed your life?  Have you praised and thanked God for that experience or did you become bitter, missing the opportunity for growth?  I realize that yes, it is important to trust my doctors.  However, it is even more important to trust my Lord and Savior.  He is the one that holds the answers and will see me through.  I hope that you will be inspired to give God that struggle you have in your life today.  No longer will you put your trust in man; rather, you will trust the God who is right there with you seeing you through.   I promise you.  If you make the choice to trust God today, your life as you know it will never be the same!  Be blessed this week and don’t forget…go out and be a blessing!

A couple of more inspirational thoughts sent to me from friends…

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

“God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain.” — C.S. Lewis

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tristine Fleming
    Feb 25, 2013 @ 10:50:45

    It’s funny how a life threatening disease can do 1 of 2 things: make you better or make you worse. For my mother it made her worse…until those final days when she really realized, “This is it!”

    The trials I’m facing right now are having to deal with a very strong willed, soon to be four year old. I was very angry with God for a long time for giving me my heart’s desire with this complicated and ever-challenging child. I lost a lot of time being upset about it, because I had envisioned something else and was unhappy with what God had given me. But suddenly I realized, “This is it!” This is the last time I’ll have a child and the years are flying by so quickly. I better appreciate every single second, even those moments that drive me mad. And it changed me. We still have our moments of battle, but I don’t let them get to me like they used to. I just see him now as this beautiful creation of God.

    I know that having cancer probably feels like an party for one, and I can’t imagine what you must be feeling or going through. I just want you to know that I’m thinking about you and praying for you. I know God has a great and mighty plan for you! I don’t doubt that!

    Reply

    • Lori Kempton
      Feb 25, 2013 @ 11:42:06

      Tristine,
      We all have our burdens in life to carry, don’t we? I know God blessed you with Tavin because He knew you could handle him. Not only that, but He knew you would raise Him to be a man of God. You’re right. In a short time you will look up and he will be grown. Praise God for our blessings seen and for those we don’t yet understand! I pray for you all often and have the confidence that this too will pass! Love you, my friend!

      Reply

    • Lori Kempton
      Feb 25, 2013 @ 11:45:10

      Oh, Glenda. It’s certainly not pretty everyday. The good news is that God is patient with us until we work it out, isn’t He? He gave you a great lesson in your suffering and its a joy to see His end result. Love you and once again, thanks for reading and for your encouraging words!

      Reply

  2. Glenda Kremer
    Feb 25, 2013 @ 11:35:58

    Lori I so hope if I’m ever faced with what you are going thru that I will handle it the way you are and with God I’m sure I would! actually you reminded me of the horrible year I went thru when thru my pain and tears I begged Jesus to let me die and go home to Him! I may have already told you of the 2 AM time that I worked my way downstairs–very difficult when I could barely walk but I went out on the deck and screamed at God telling Him I no longer believed Him and asked Him where He was because I wanted to die! thankfully and almost immediately I repented and begged His forgiveness and as you said–there He was! thanks again sweet friend. have I told you that I am so thankful that God’s plan for my life includes you??????
    love
    Glenda

    Reply

  3. Cecelia Lester
    Feb 25, 2013 @ 11:59:59

    Lori:
    This is the most beautiful blog post I have ever read. Please know that God IS with you in the dark times as well as the happy times. When I spent time with my stepmother in 1996, transporting her to the doctors and to radiation, we had a special time. God WILL take care of you and your family during this time.

    Reply

    • Lori Kempton
      Feb 25, 2013 @ 13:08:49

      Thanks, Cecelia! From now on I expect nothing less than Him meeting me there! God and I are going to make a great team! Thanks for reading and for your kind comments!

      Reply

  4. Dawn
    Feb 25, 2013 @ 12:52:35

    Lori, Your positive outlook is inspiring and truly a joy to those who hear your words. I feel so much love and respect for you in my heart, it is a blessing that we met and I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. Please let me know what I can do for you.
    Much Love
    Dawn

    Reply

  5. Lauren
    Feb 25, 2013 @ 15:56:11

    Your posts are so encouraging. Thank you. I was born with a heart condition and even now I’m recovering from heart surgery. Realising that everyday is a gift from God certainly changes a person’s view of life. You’re in my prayers.

    Reply

    • Lori Kempton
      Feb 25, 2013 @ 15:59:09

      I am so glad I could be an encouragement. That’s why I write. I will have you in my prayers as well, Lauren. Be sure to keep in touch with your progress. God bless you!

      Reply

  6. Unshakable Hope
    Feb 25, 2013 @ 16:25:03

    Thank you for this encouraging post, Lori!

    Reply

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