Friday, March 25, 2011

Not consumed...

My Facebook status for the day is: The things of this earth may not be perfect, but I serve a God who is.

So true, right?

Life's not perfect, often times not pretty, and never turns out the way we plan it. But I happen to believe in a God that can turn any situation around for good if we step back and let Him do it. Some people out there in the world may find that belief absurd, but I happen to base my life on it these days. There were times, when I was younger, that, even though I believed in God, I may not have believed He cared about me, longed for me, craved to bathe me in His mercy. I was lost then, and now I'm not. I am refreshed in God's grace, sins wiped clean with Jesus' blood. I am human, and He loves that about me, and He's willing to take every single part of me and turn it into something beautiful.

So, cancer sucks and happens to be part of that whole not perfect part of my life. But cancer is not of God. (I'll be honest; the English major and mother in me hates the word sucks. But when it comes to discussion of cancer, there are other much more inappropriate words and colorful phrases I'd rather use, so I stick to sucks.) So what I can deem from my humble attempts at reading God's word is that He can take this experience of my mother having cancer and make some good come through it. Perhaps like panning for gold ~ in the midst of all this debris and silt and downright dirtiness there are little shiny bits that may need a bit of refining to be of value but are there none the less. That's the thought I am resting in today.

The results of my mother's scan were not as good as we hoped they may be. But, they weren't as bad as they could have been. The spots on her liver have grown, but there are no new spots to report. The fluid around her lung has returned. These two things show the doctor that the second treatment regimen was not effective in fighting the cancer. Yesterday they administered a new medicine via injection, and she will be monitored monthly to access her status. There are other options her doctor wants to try first before resorting to chemo for obvious reasons.

So, there's my clinical discussion of the results. I can't say that I can really describe my emotional reaction to the news. Anytime someone you love as dearly as I love my mother is ill, there are a wide range of emotions you encounter. Yesterday, I sorta felt a numbness. But that's a state I've perfected in my life, a place I've learned to go internally when I don't know what else to do with the feelings swirling inside of me.

What a blessing that I have been doing this memory challenge this year. I've got these six verses inside my head that are ministering to me constantly, even though I can't recite them perfectly or tell you the exact chapter and verse. But this one from Lamentations speaks the most to me today:

Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. Lamentations 3:21&22

We are not consumed. Not by cancer. Not by nastiness. Not by depression or fear or anxiety. We may be shaken. We may be a little deflated. But we are definitely NOT consumed.

God tells me in Isaiah:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2

Let me paraphrase the verse in Isaiah: you will not be consumed nor overtaken.

God never promised perfect. He didn't promise pretty and nice all the time. But He did promise He'd be with me. And, to be honest, He's the only thing that's keeping my head above the water and my skin from setting on fire at this point. He's the one perfect thing in my life. And He will never fail me. He has provided me an amazing web of support, and I am so grateful.

Please continue to pray for my mother and the doctors that treat her. And for our family as we learn to depend fully on God for the faith and supernatural rest only He can provide our souls.


Nana's Notes said...

It pleases me that you take comfort in God's promise not to abandon you. It took me much longer in my life to learn and believe that. Life is indeed stressful and joyous all wrapped up together in one package. We unwrap the package a little each day and take whatever is in that part. And we deal with it. Because we have to. But we are never, never alone. You are wise beyond your years. God has blessed you and He will continue to do so. I love you and I am always here for you. Aunt Norma

ctstrickland said...

Amen...Tamara. We are not comsumed, derailed sometime but not comsumed. I take comfort in Psalms 30:5 "Weeping may endure for the night, but Joy comes in the morning." Knowing this helps! Keep the faith sweet girl....I love you! Aunt Carol

Brandee said...

Tamera, I have loved reading your blog and all that you share. May God pour His healing upon your mom and continue to speak into your heart these words of truth you so wonderfully shared today.

God Bless,
Brandee, TN

Brandee said...

Tamera, I have been so blessed by reading your blog and the way that you express all that God is showing and teaching you in your life. May He pour out His healing hands upon your mom.

God Bless,
Brandee, TN

Brandee said...

I meant to ask you if you were doing Beth Moore's SSMT? I am doing that as well this year :)

Kelly O'Dell Stanley said...

Thank you for your words and these verses. My mom has cancer — lung cancer that has metastasized to her liver and now brain. We had not-so-great scans a couple months ago, and are still reeling - adapting, adjusting, ups and downs, new emotions hitting when least expected. I will pray for your mom, and for you. I can't really get my head around what it is like to be the one with this terrible disease, but I definitely know what it is to be a daughter who loves her mom so, so much, trying to deal with the unexpected surprises from there. Thank you for sharing this post.