I am a believer in Christ, and I have breast cancer. On August 17, 2017, I was diagnosed with an aggressive (HER2+), recurrent (hormone negative) type of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.
My deepest desire and prayer in this trial is to magnify Christ - to my family, to my friends, to anyone I encounter - because I firmly believe that God has a plan in all things, even our suffering, and that His plan is ultimately for our good.
Journal Entry ~ 09/13/17
19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,
20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, - Acts 3:19-20
If we're being completely honest with ourselves, we could all admit our struggle with the sin-confess-repeat cycle — we try and fail, we fall and get up again, only to fall again and feel so discouraged. Paul reminds us this struggle is as old as time, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Romans 7:19). How those words resonate with me! It is from this frustration and pain that eventually we cry out to God that we want to change....and we can change with a repentant heart. No matter how long we've been trapped in a pattern of defeat, listening to the enemy's accusations, we can change. But it isn't easy. The problem is far too many people only invest enough for a surface level change, but that does nothing to glorify God, and only ends up throwing us back into the pit of sin. We see our impatience or sharp words, we know we are holding on to a hurt and not releasing in forgiveness, we recognize that we have once again put our own needs over our time with God, and we confess it. At best, we'll say the words of confession in a prayer because we know we should, moving past it quickly to get to our requests, but this isn't repentance. You see, this is only confessing behavior. Be aware - confessing behavior will never bring about a true change. Repentance is about confessing what lies deep in your heart - the sin or stronghold that is causing the behavior. Repentance is a brokenness that comes from recognizing how our sin separates us from our God and Father. Repentance happens only as we sit with Him, allowing Him to reveal to us the deeper underlying cause of our surface level sin, and being broken as you come to a understanding of how He sees our sin. When you get to that deeper sin or stronghold, and you are broken over your sin, that's when you will break the sin-confess cycle and you will see a real transformation of your heart. Don't just confess your sin of impatience - dig deeper and figure out why you're impatient. He will reveal it to you - are you not getting your way? Or are you fearing the response of man because someone is causing you to be late? Think deeply about why you chose those harsh words, or why it is so hard for you to let go of a hurt. Is it because of a deeper hurt in your life? Are you protecting a dark place in your heart that needs to be brought into the light? Press down on the reasons you continue to prioritize your busy schedule over time with Him. Don't simply confess it and move on - ask yourself why you have put things before Him. Is it because you haven't truly surrendered a part of your heart to Him?
We can find freedom from the accusations and lies in our minds, the chains can fall and the bondage can be broken if we choose to repent. I love the promise in this verse - that if we repent, we will find times of refreshing. What a beautiful thought after an exhausting season of trials. If we find ourselves overwhelmed in life by all that we're up against, or all that we have to do, it's time to take a seat and search our hearts for where we need to repent.
Trials afford us that opportunity. If you're walking through something difficult, you can be confident God has something in this for you, there is something He wants to reveal to you. Even if the trial you're under is not your fault, or is the direct result of someone else's choices, He's allowing it because there is a need for repentance somewhere in your heart. Sitting on my couch for 2 weeks recovering from surgery allows plenty of time of reflection. It's truly a gift in that it's allowing me to dig deeper into all different parts of my heart. Anybody who knows me knows I don't sit idle well. I love my quiet time with God in the morning, but then I am a doer. Most days I have an agenda before I even lift my head, and I've wrestled for years over the fact that my sense of worth comes from checking every item off my list. So what does God do with someone who doesn't sit still well? He knocks them on their butt and takes away their ability to accomplish much of anything. This time is a gift because it's allowing me to dig deeper into this places in my heart that I've guarded for years, hidden under the behavior, and to find repentance for the brokenness in my strongholds. I just love His plan, and His constant desire to pursue us and grow us despite our ability to avoid it at all cost.
I am a believer in Christ, and I have breast cancer. On August 17, 2017, I was diagnosed with an aggressive (HER2+), recurrent (hormone negative) type of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. At this point, they have not yet staged my cancer because they are waiting for the biopsy results from a suspicious spot in the second breast. The biopsy is scheduled for September 5th, with a lumpectomy to follow on September 7th. They will formally stage my cancer after they biopsy my lymph nodes, which will be taken during the surgery. It doesn't make any sense to me that I have a cancer diagnosis - I am a fairly healthy woman who runs 2 miles almost every day and eats a gluten-free, primarily paleo diet, with no family history at all. But it makes sense to God, and so here I am. Update ~ They found 4 isolated invasions during the lumpectomy. Due to the nature of my cancer (HER2+ and ER-), the recommended protocol is chemotherapy and radiation. Beginning in October, my chemotherapy regime
When we launched our new blog we had no idea if anyone would see it or be helped by it, but we knew that the LORD was prompting us to step out in faith and just do it. The response has been amazing and we are looking forward to how God will use this space for His glory. We have learned over many years of service in a variety of ministries, that God does not require human assistance to realize His plans for individuals, churches, nations, or the human race. But the story of the bible is the story of God’s will playing out through the words and actions of the His children. So…we pray, meditate on his Word, and write from the heart about the truths that mold our faith, guide our actions, and inspire our hearts and minds. Please visit the site and subscribe to continue receiving posts. https://graceinmarriage.com/ It is our sincere hope that you are blessed by our work here and welcome your input on how we can make Grace in Marriage even better. Thank you for your support.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:25-26 What believer would not want to experience the kind deep devotion to God found in these verses? This kind of loyal commitment is the desire of every person of faith....yet it eludes so many of us. If you've been a believer for long, you know there are times it does not come easy. There is a great price involved in reaching the kind of faith found in these verses. This level of commitment is only achieved through fierce struggle. The battle between Spirit and flesh is constant, but it is in the battle that we are strengthened when we choose to lean in and trust God, to turn to Him for our strength in the battle, and to keep our eyes fixed on Him despite what the world throws at us. Asaph wrote these words only after a difficult and confusing crisis of faith. He was tempted to com