“5 Year Clean” Anniversary

Like a marathon runner stepping over the finish line, I have reached the “MARK” – and the medical field supposes I can breath easy now – I made it!

I am enjoying my  “5 Year Clean” Anniversary season!

CLEAN & CLEAR of detectable CANCER!

WOO- HOO!

This is what every cancer survivor hopes to do –

step over the numbered-year-mark that science says gives you the highest likelihood that you will not have a return of the cancer.

So here I am.

I have arrived.

Now what?

In anniversary fashion, I  am taking a look back to see from where I came.

The journey was unexpected – nothing I would ever have chosen.

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When God says He has a plan for each one of us, none of us imagines that the plan might include cancer.

Yet, mine did.

I never imagined that I would write a book either; but God included that in the plan for me as well.

This is how it happened:

I got Cancer. I endured and survived horrible treatments. I sat down to write about my experience, in hopes to give “my story” to my family, members who may or may not know the God who carried me through.  So, I had a few friends proof read it, to make sure I kept out any Christian-jargon, so it was understandable to all.  One friend said,
“More people need to read this.”

With some awkward disbelief, I said, “Really?”

Meanwhile, months previous, a few of my close friends bought me a ticket and took me on a cruise to celebrate the end of my treatments! (I never expected that as part of God’s plan for me either!)  As we boarded the ship, and checked in, the last check point person asked me,

“Do you have an appointment with an editor?”

I said with a laugh, “No, but how do I get one?”

I was told that you had to book one when you bought your ticket…..but if I wanted to check back after check-in was over, I could see if someone didn’t show up. I chuckled to myself and said, okay — like who doesn’t show up for a cruise!  For laughs – I came back – and lo and behold – ONE person did not show up – and so they gave me the editor’s meeting.  This was for a 15 min. block of time to show the designated editor your stuff.  As this was unexpected, I had not even one line written to show – all my pages were at home.  Nonetheless, empty handed I went.  And since I was the last meeting on the schedule – I could stay and chat with this expert editor as long as I wanted.  She gave me 45 minutes of her precious time.  Keep it authentic, was the take-away for me.

Yup – this was part of God’s plan for me too.

Simultaneously, as I arrived home from the cruise, another proof reading friend said,

“I know a publisher that would like to read your manuscript; she said just to send it to her”

I sent it.

Tracy Ruckman, then publisher of Write Integrity Press/Pix-N-Pens, called 2 weeks later, and said she wanted to publish my book.

This journey too, was unexpected — nothing I had set out to do.

Wham!

Wham!

Wham!

That is the sound of God throwing open the doors to my adventure in becoming a published author.

God did it.

He planned it.

And it was awesome!

Towdah, A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope was published in 2012.

Over the next several weeks, I am going to share what God did for me so that perhaps you may be encouraged to persevere and hold tight to God’s hand through whatever trial of suffering you are enduring.  God planned this all for me –

so that I could be used by Him,

to share His love with you!

Follow my next several posts if you want to hear authentic telling of my suffering and my awesome God!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

 

But Mom, “He could be another Hitler!…”

But Mom, “He could be another Hitler!…”

“Can we move to Canada?” inquires the daughter

We can’t run from our problems,”answers the Dad.

So…

what do we do?

Originally, it was the people who begged for a king, because they didn’t appreciate or acknowledge that God, the King of kings, was enough.  And so in the end, God conceded and gave the people a king.  And throughout history, there has been, and continues to be, good rulers and bad rulers; people have been blessed and people have suffered at the hands of appointed leaders.

But one thing remains:

GOD.

Is HE enough for us?

In Towdah, A Cancer Survivors Song of Hope, I asked the same question, as I wondered about my future; was I going to live or was I going to die?

You see, suffering was inevitable, and fear grew.

Just as fear is evident in my daughters words….and suffering seems inevitable.

But instead of running, my husband is right, we must stay.

We must stay and stand and endure the battle before us, in whatever form it comes.

AND, my question still begs to be answered:

GOD.

Is HE enough for us?

*****

LOOK.

 I see a man who was mocked, and bullied, and humiliated, and whipped.

I see bruises, and lacerations, and sweat, and blood.

I see suffering: physically, mentally, and emotionally.

This man hung on a cross…

YET,

…the One afflicted, looked up!

Jesus, filled with love, looked up and loudly called to the Father saying three things:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46

and

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Luke 23:46

*****

I believe we must do the same.

You see…it has everything to do with TRUST.

Jesus first spoke to His father; He trusted in his Father’s plan and knew it was all for the best.  He knew also, that the people were ignorant of God and had no idea of the depth of their mistaken filled actions.  In the suffering, Jesus also felt the pain of separation from the Father as He bore all the sin of the world. Yet, Trust prevailed and Jesus used His last breaths to speak of total surrender; Trusting His father fully, committing His life and soul to Him.

He endured, to make salvation of our souls possible.

All who believe in Him, must be like Him.

So, I ask: Will you do the same? Will you be like Him?

Speak loudly to the Father in heaven – PRAY.

(“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14)

Have a heart of forgiveness for the ignorant folly of man….

Endure the suffering that is allowed…

Trust in God.

If you are a born again believer, now is the time to stand and pray and be like Jesus.

This is going to be a super charged election season, even still, will you stand with me and say:

Yes, 

GOD.  

He is enough!

Give Hope: Weep and Laugh

JUST BE THERE.

Don’t try to change things.  Don’t try to ignore things.  Don’t make excuses for things.

Just be there. Fully and genuinely.

When a friend or loved one is suffering, they just simply need you to be there on their side, in their corner, with them in the present moment.

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King Solomon clearly said,

“There is a time for everything….a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1a & 4

Being there is not always easy.

It takes effort to clear the schedule and make the time to be there.

It takes courage to join a suffer-er in their space and be open to the moment of just being there.

It takes love to sit in silence and hold a hand, to weep, to laugh, to mourn, and to dance in the being there.

BUT – please have confidence that you can do it.  

This is probably the one thing that meant the most to me as I was enduring my battle with cancer.

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“David walked into the room and took me in his arms.  Without words, I drew close to him, leaned against his chest and hugged him. We swayed gently to the music….no words. Emotions gave way with an ever so gentle explosion of sighs and tears….I felt so loved, so uplifted, and strangely refreshed.  Through the reach of my husband, God comforted me….” p. 34 & 35 Towdah, A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope

A time to weep….

“Walking across  the parking lot on a short shopping outing, my girls chuckled along with me as my shoe flipped off flying ten feet in front of us!” p. 68 Towdah

A time to laugh…

Joining in and engaging with me was the most precious of all things that helped ease my pains, both physically and mentally.  In these moments, HOPE reigned because there was love in the being there with me, no matter what the moments held.

 

Suffering is all around us.  Many are afflicted.  I pray that  you will trust in God’s equipping you to find ways to ease the pain of a friend or loved one this Christmas season.

Be His hands and lips and feet.  

Carry the burdens,

intercede,

encourage,

do good and share,

and love by just being there in the moment.

Offer HOPE.

TOWDAH

Be the first to comment on my blog today and I will send you a free autographed copy of my book and  a letter of encouragement to your friend or loved one who is suffering this Christmas season.  Message me on FB with your address & details – just click on my name below:

Sheryl

Merry Christmas!

Give Hope: Be His Hands, Lips, and Feet

Enduring prolonged illness can be lonely.

Life, as it use to be, seems to halt for the one suffering while life for everyone else seems to just keep moving on.  During my many months of isolation from fellowship, I remember wondering…does anyone remember me?

God knew my wondering and he prompted the hands and lips and feet of many saints to write and call and visit.  THIS is another way to ease the pain of loneliness of a friend or loved one who is suffering prolonged illness or disease during the holidays.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,” Thessalonians 5:11

Hope prevails

Hope prevails

You see…

When someone is going through a difficult time and enduring hurt, pain, or suffering from circumstances, disease, or illness….hopelessness is not far from the thinking.  In hopelessness here is certain loneliness.

Friends, you can spur the suffer-er on!

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These were blessings I received – perhaps  you are equipped to bless your friend or loved one similarly:

WRITINGS:   “I had nearly one hundred cards layered and hung, on six strands of ribbons…” p. 44 Towdah, A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope

CALLS:   “Jesus came in the form of two dear friends over the phone, caressing me with caring words.” p.100 Towdah

VISITS:   “Twenty or so of my friends lined up an down my stony front walk, displaying all varieties and designs of pipe cleaner antennae on their heads! A myriad of voices were singing, ‘ The ants go marching!’ p. 77 Towdah.

I was so encouraged and so built up in my time of weakness!

I am praying that  you will take the time to be God’s hands and lips and feet TODAY. 

Do you know anyone who is suffering during this season of HOPE?

Then by all means, encourage them!

TOWDAH

Be the first to comment on my blog today and I will send you a free autographed copy of my book and  a letter of encouragement to your friend or loved one who is suffering this Christmas season.  Message me on FB with your address & details – just click on my name below:

Sheryl

Merry Christmas!

Give Hope: Dump an Omelet in the Trash!

The Holy Spirit works in amazing ways and sometimes

may call you to do the most unexpected thing!

Several months into my journey of treatments and surgeries related to my cancer, I found myself suffering and unable to eat for days – yes – days, not hours.  The phone rang  and then this happened:

” He said, ‘I just have to tell you…’ ”

“He said he heard the Holy Spirit prompt him to stop, not eat his omelet (which he had just labored to make), and throw it away……with confidence, this brother declared, ‘The Holy Spirit wanted me to share in your suffering today.’ ”

“I only share this with you to encourage you…to let you know the Holy Spirit is working and that you are prayed for.”  Excerpts from; Towdah, A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope — p. 110 – 111

End of phone call.

I was speechless.  I was stunned.  

I was filled with an immediate sense of the fullness of God himself!

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Intercessory prayer is powerful.  

The second way you can help ease the pain and suffering of a loved one this holiday season

is to pray for them.  

Deeply.

Pray for them deeply and with compassion.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for the saints.”  Ephesians 6:18

Peer into the space your loved one occupies in his suffering and listen to how the Spirit directs you to pray.  You may not have to dump an omelet in the trash…yet, the Spirit may call you to do something else equally as stunning as is fitting to your loved one in need!

Deliver HOPE by telling the one who suffers that you are praying for them.  

Bless them with that moment of knowing they are loved immensely.

TOWDAH

Be the first to comment on my blog today and I will send you a free autographed copy of my book and  a letter of encouragement to your friend or loved one who is suffering this Christmas season.  Message me on FB with your address & details – just click on my name below:

Sheryl

Merry Christmas!

Give Hope: Carry!

Traditions, and everything-as-usual, flies out the window when you are suffering with illness or disease during the holiday season. I should know because I suffered greatly through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter in 2010 & 11.  I am a cancer survivor.

Over the next five days, I want to share with you how you can help ease the sadness and pain of a suffering friend or loved one during this holiday season.  God has equipped you for this good work: you have opportunity to be His hands and feet and give the comfort that is so dearly needed.

“Carry each other’s burden, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:2

Illness is  a burden.

Disease is a burden.

Both renders  the one afflicted, weak.

And the one afflicted needs help carrying the weight of the every day life that is suddenly too heavy to carry alone.

What does this mean?

Meet your loved one at their level of  need.  Often times that means making yourself available to do the mundane – the physical load that they are too weak to do.

The laundry, the dishes, the shopping, the meals.  There is no mystery about it.  It is the daily-do’s.

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“…we received at least one hundred and four meals,…my hands could not run under cold water or manipulate knives very safely,and as my nausea and fatigue plastered me to the couch more days than I liked, I was blessed by the hands of many, many people who prepared and labored to ensure that my family had good meals to eat.” P.47 Towdah:A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope

The simple act of offering a meal had more impact than you might think.

 It gave me peace of mind; one less thing for me to think about.

I was able to take that nap I needed.

The burden of meal making was lifted off of me!

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Do you know someone who needs a burden carried this holiday season?

Pray.

Consider how God has equipped you to help carry the burden. Be God’s hands and feet.

In this simple act you will fulfill the law of Christ, loving your neighbor as yourself, and give hope to the one who is suffering.

TOWDAH

Be the first to comment on my blog today and I will send you a free autographed copy of my book and  a letter of encouragement to your friend or loved one who is suffering this Christmas season.  Message me on FB with your address & details –

Sheryl

Merry Christmas!