"Can you stay the course?" This is the question my doctor asked me right before Christmas. At my last MRI, the radiology report was not available when I met with my doctor. My scans looked good in that the tumor is smaller. However, there was a new enhancement in the scan that he pointed out to us but was not overly concerned about after discussing it with one of my other doctors. Therefore, he concluded I should continue on and do my next MRI in February. Several days later, I received a copy of my radiology report which is always written carefully and in detail with all possible outcomes. In the conclusion of the report, it was stated that the enhancement most likely reflects progression of the disease. When I read that I cried. After discussing the report with Josh, we agreed that I should email my doctor. I spent some time praying and reading and this verse encouraged me and gave me the peace I needed.
You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope. (Psalms 119:114 NLT)
My doctor called me later that morning and said that the conclusion was referring to the enhancement we discussed at his office. He also informed me that he discussed my scans with the review board and they all were in agreement that I should stay the course because it is within the area that has been treated. So when asked, "Can you stay the course?" I confidently replied, "Yes, I can stay the course." I know I can do this because it is not in my strength that I am relying. I am certain that I can trust The Lord to help me.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:1, 2 NLT)
I can honestly say this has been the most difficult year of my life. It has also been a year where I have experienced a peace I have always longed for, but had never experienced. This year, I experienced great heartache and pain but I have also experienced great joy and comfort. Through this year, God has used my journey of cancer for greater things. I am thankful that even in our darkest times he can still use us and give us a purpose. I have been quite overwhelmed this month as I think about how much this year has been difficult but also full of blessings. Only a God who loves us so much can take our pain from this imperfect world and turn it into something good. Only the One True God loves us so much that He sent His Son into the world to save us. To meet us right where we are. I think Christmas meant so much more to me this year because of the hope that sustained me this past year. This hope is from God coming down to earth so that we could know Him and be saved through His grace. I do not know what the coming year holds but I do know I can trust in God who is already there. He has a plan and a purpose and He knows the path I will walk. I am confident that I will not walk it alone.
Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. (Psalms 25:4, 5 NLT)