“Cease striving and know that I am God”… Psalm 46:10
What I know for sure …
Ever since my breast cancer diagnosis 9 months ago, I have been grappling with the answer to that question, “What do I “really” know for sure? “I have searched my heart for answers, I have battled with my mind to focus on the truth of what is known rather than to allow my thoughts to wander and inevitably end up on all that is unknown – the “what ifs”. The nagging question, “WHY?” has prompted me on to an endless study on every subject that you could possibly imagine. I know more now than I ever did before, about organic foods, toxins, Monsanto, GMOs, BPAs, and Parabens … I have read medical journals on chemotherapy studies, considered holistic alternatives and questioned Western medicine. There have been moments that I thought my doctor might fire me as a patient because of all my questioning. Equally there have been moments in my extreme physical suffering that I threatened to fire Dr. M. and quit treatment altogether. I know for sure there are secret notes in my file written in red pen and highlighted – “She is crazy!” I would not be surprised if there are also notes in my file from my family. I can just see my husband, like a hostage who is trying to escape, slipping the doctor a handwritten note on a post-it, begging and pleading for help. The search for answers didn’t stop there. In the last 9 months I have studied, in-depth, precept upon precept (verse by verse), the book of Esther, Genesis, and Ephesians. By far the most powerful study I have been able to do has been on the topic of Covenant (a solemn binding agreement) throughout the Bible. I have had numerous, deep, and provocative conversations with God, friends, family, doctors, nurses, and other cancer patients sitting in hospital waiting rooms. Overloaded with information, and operating with 2 brain cells (chemo brain), I can honestly say that at the end of the day the most important thing I’ve learned is to listen. In the stillness, in the moments of just being quiet and listening, God brought to mind what I already know. God whispered in my ear and ever so gently and lovingly, reminded me that He had already written the truth on my heart. This truth is what I find myself sharing over and over again with anybody that will listen and in this season of suffering, it is this truth that has become … an anchor for my soul.
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
You see, cancer has done nothing but confirm what I already knew to be true. Simply put, in the physical world, cancer is nothing more than my very own cells acting out. When I look into the mirror it reflects the physical. I am bald, my eyebrows have fallen out, and there are dark circles under my eyes because of sleep deprivation. There are deep scars across my chest and at least 20 pounds of extra weight on my small frame brought on by steroids and a drawer full of other medications prescribed to “help” me. In the mirror, my physical body is but a shadow of the woman I once was. But on a spiritual level, cancer is a mirror to my soul revealing the refined essence of who I am … who I really am. Cancer has stripped away everything external, everything perishable, everything about my life that was superficial and noisy. Having the external physical life stripped away, I have been left with the ability to sit quietly in front of the mirror and contemplate what I know for sure.
“Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding, For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding;If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” ~ Proverbs 2
What I know for sure is God desires for us to know Him. To really know Him for ourselves, and the only way to know God, is to know His Word. He desires that we (believers and unbelievers) would seek to know Him for who He really is, not who we “think” He might be through a bad church experience, religion or dogma. You also can’t make a decision about God over 1 or 2 verses that make you uncomfortable. I love spiritual books and I know devotionals have their place. I am the first to admit Oprah, preachers and evangelists have the gift of inspiring the masses, but dear friends my plea to you is simple. If you really want to know God, you cannot love the words of men more than the Words of God Himself.
“You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies, for [Your Words] are ever before me. I have better understanding and deeper insight than all my teachers, because Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I keep Your precepts. I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your Words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
What I know for sure is – I know our God. I know Him, intimately and passionately, He is the love of my life. I know the strength and sincerity of His character can be trusted, and I believe He will keep the promises He has made to me because I understand what covenant means to God. I know God because I know His Word. I know God because He Himself has taught me. It has always been my desire to be like Moses, who spoke to God face to face as a man speaks to his friend ~Exodus 33. This year I have been face to face with God more so than any other time in my life. So far it has been humbling to say the least. Blood, sweat, and tears – repeat… Although my flesh has failed me and my mind at times has been in emotional turmoil, I can say without a shadow of doubt – my Spirit ( my inner self ) has been renewed, revived, and strengthened. Having been rooted and grounded in the love of God, I feel the fullness of God overflowing from within. I know that this has all been for my good and most importantly for the glory of God.
This is my prayer for you,
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
~ Ephesians 3:14-19