As so many of you have been so kind as to lift us up in prayer for the follow-up MRI on my tumors yesterday…I am posting this quickly to update you all on my trip to Houston. The results were as good as they could be!
Needless to say, these trips to Houston are always a test of our faith, as so many different things can arise depending on the findings. The docs said originally that the “gamma” might not work at all…and then they must consider other more drastic treatments. They originally offered us the “percentage” chances of it stopping the growth where it was…and said that would be considered a good result. Then…the “ideal” result would be to see them shrink in size and finally possibly even show evidence of the lesions dying off from the inside after treatment (although they said that is not very often the case in situations like mine). So…we were about to find out.
I got the MRI at 8:30 AM and went to the Radiologist at about 11 AM to hear what they found. With God’s great favor and mercy, we were informed by my doctor (with a very uncharacteristic big smile) that it had indeed worked, and, additionally, they had shrunk significantly in size…. and they showed the signs of “demise” we were hoping and praying for along with so many of you. What a blessing and what a gift. And what a relief indeed.
Of course, I will be followed up again in a few months… but I am certainly still absorbing the wonderful blessing of such news. I know that, as with everything, our Lord is the ultimate healer… and the doctors are His instruments (and I am grateful for their skills)… and that my life and future are in His mighty hand…what a relief to know that! Nancy was, and is, a “rock”…. and was lifted by your prayers and comforted so much by all the notes and messages from so many. She was at peace all along, and I was encouraged too as her spirit has always been a great and reliable source of what God is doing.
A couple of quotes I read recently that pertain:
LIFE ISN’T ABOUT WAITING FOR THE STORM TO PASS…
IT’S LEARNING HOW TO DANCE IN THE RAIN !
WE CANNOT DIRECT THE WIND, BUT WE CAN ADJUST OUR SAILS
We have certainly been asked to make those choices this year, and again these past few weeks. Dancing in the rain is the gift of a growing faith. Can we dance before we see the sun…or only after? I continue to work to pass these tests of our faith, and I am doing much better. As we each use our time in the waiting room (life’s waiting room and MD Anderson’s), we draw closer to Him and we see the fruit of a stronger faith…which brings peace and joy in the storm. Cool! I am certainly looking forward to some sun too though!
The biggest point I wanted to make today is to THANK YOU ALL! For the endless prayers and the fasting and the amazing show of support from so far away…. as well as my closest buddies here. Let us never forget the power of prayer. Speaking of prayer, I hope none of us forgets that when we humble ourselves and bring everything to the Lord in Thanksgiving, we see what God has provided for us and we learn to trust and rest as we rely on His promises.
Listen to what one of America’s greatest presidents said in his address to the nation in 1863:
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, the many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.
We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us!”
— Abraham Lincoln, 1863 Proclamation.
One of the biggest blessings I have seen from my “Journey” is the return to prayer of so many, and the awareness that none of our abundance or prosperity or “success” is worth a penny unless it is used for His eternal purpose, and unless we acknowledge and are aware of His hand. May we never be too proud to pray, or to give God the glory for our incredible favor. Being fully aware of the blessings and danger of becoming “intoxicated with unbroken success” (as a nation or an individual), and becoming too self sufficient, or too proud, to pray to the God that made us and delivers us.
Your prayers have been heard indeed.
Can I share one more fun and inspiring story about the great man of God, George Mueller?
I went to America some years ago with the captain of a steamer, who was a very devoted Christian. When off the coast of Newfoundland he said to me, “The last time I crossed here, five weeks ago, something happened which revolutionized the whole of my Christian life. We had George Mueller of Bristol on board. I had been on the bridge twenty-four hours and never left it. George Mueller came to me, and said, “Captain I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec Saturday afternoon.” “It is impossible,” I said. “Very well, if your ship cannot take me, God will find some other way. I have never broken an engagement for fifty-seven years. Let us go down into the chart-room and pray.”
I looked at that man of God, and thought to myself, what lunatic asylum can that man have come from? I never heard of such a thing as this. “Mr. Mueller,” I said, “do you know how dense this fog is?” “No,” he replied, “my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life.”
He knelt down and prayed one of the most simple prayers, and when he had finished I was going to pray; but he put his hand on my shoulder, and told me not to pray. “First, you do not believe He will answer; and second I BELIEVE HE HAS, and there is no need whatever for you to pray about it.”
I looked at him, and he said, “Captain, I have known my Lord for fifty-seven years, and there has never been a single day that I have failed to get audience with the King. Get up, Captain and open the door, and you will find the fog gone.” I got up, and the fog was indeed gone. On Saturday afternoon, George Mueller was in Quebec for his engagement.
“I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25).
This time, in Houston, God answered our prayers as we would have wanted. When our faith is strongest, we can have the same joy regardless of how, or when, He answers….but we can know that our prayers are always heard and always matter to Him.
You all matter to us in a very big way!!… and we look forward to continuing this life journey together. More later as the Journey continues, and please know how much we are lifted by knowing you are all out there.