So, if you read my post about Mountain Top Moments being where you least expect them you will know already I’m in a season of stretching. I say this because that’s what it feels like God is doing through this storm myself and my family find ourselves in.
Now, this could be a scary place for us and one where we get overcome by fear BUT that is not the case! This is no valley!!
When we found out the shocking news about The Lovely Mr B having throat cancer we could have run for the hills and cowered in fear, but we chose in that moment to stand up to cancer and defiantly say NO!
We decided there and then that cancer would not be a word that would overshadow us with fear, but instead we would overshadow cancer, because we have a God that is way bigger than cancer!
We listened to what the doctors said when they gave us the cancer diagnosis and we prayed, we listened to the various treatments available to us and we prayed, we chose a course of treatment and we prayed, we attended multiple hospital appointments for scans, blood tests and many more tests to check body functions before treatment began and we prayed, we were told we couldn’t go on holiday because of all the appointments and we prayed, Mr B lost 9 teeth, just to be on the safe side because of radiotherapy damage (who knew) and we prayed, Mr B was due to preach 3 days after the 9 teeth were removed (incl wisdom teeth) and we prayed, we went to have a PICC line inserted (it sounded scary and ominous) and we prayed, we witnessed to everyone that we came into contact with about how we were getting through this and we prayed, we got through a week before chemo when our cooker broke down and we prayed, we went to have an 8 hour session of chemotherapy in the most amazing new Cancer Centre at Guys Hospital in London and we prayed, we came home with a mobile cancer pump to have the next four days chemo delivered at home and we prayed, our washing machine broke down in this first week of chemo and we prayed, we got an infection on the last day of chemo, in this cycle, and we prayed, we woke up on the first day after a week of cancer treatment and we prayed and thanked our heavenly Father for carrying us through it with barely any side effects or noticeable pain.
I have used the word we throughout because that is how it feels. Even though I don’t have the cancer we are in this together and I don’t just mean me and the Lovely Mr B but we are in it with God and that my friends makes ALL the difference.
Matt 18:20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Ecc 4:12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
We have been blessed beyond measure over the last few weeks and when you are in a storm you realise why God places you in a family. It has been mind blowing to me seeing the gospel in action as friends, family and colleagues have gone out of their way to bless us. They will never know how even the smallest of blessings have impacted our lives and made us feel so loved and supported.
God has been meeting our needs even before we knew we had them because He is that good and He cares about the smallest of needs. Nothing goes unnoticed with the Father, no prayer, no tear, no angry outburst of frustration, nothing. In fact, we have experienced so much unbelievable peace in this most ferocious of storms, and in the current climate of weather patterns in the world it’s easy to picture the gale force winds blowing over our lives currently. But, here is the strange thing and if you know anything about me you will know this is strange, I have been relatively calm and peaceful!!!
Yes there have been a few episodes this week where the waves have got a bit splashy in the face and being back at work whilst the Lovely Mr B is home recuperating or at court has got to me. But, I have managed to hold on and knowing God has got this.
Phil 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
As with most things in life the unknown is the bit that can be scary and this is a lot of first for us as we come up against a whole host of new, unknown experiences and medical terms and operations that we have never heard of. But through each one we have felt unbelievable peace and at times this has been a problem! The nurse trying to insert Mr B’s PICC line was struggling because in her words he was too relaxed! This of course led to an amazing conversation about the source of his peace and when Mr B bumped into the lovely lady on his next visit he was able to thank her again for the amazing job she did. He asked her if she could put it in next time to which she responded-NO!
She wagged her finger at him and told him in no uncertain terms that he was going to pray that this would be the first and last PICC line he ever has!!!!!!! AMEN.
We decided early on that we would be vocal and out there with what is happening in our family, to encourage and inspire others with all the breakthroughs that are happening until Mr B gets a full bill of health, which we are totally believing for.
We want people to come on this faith journey with us and share in the celebrations and to glorify God every step of the way, in the big and in the small.
As I read Mr B’s status’ on social media I have been utterly amazed at the transformation in him already and what God is doing with him through this cancer journey. I truly believe that cancer is merely the vehicle that God is using to do a great work in Mr B and my family for His glory. He truly uses every situation in our lives, good or down right rubbish to turn it to good.
No experience, good or bad is ever wasted in the kingdom.
Just before the treatment started, on the day of Mr B having 9 teeth removed I had tickets to go to an event where Shawn Bolz was preaching. I debated whether to go because I didn’t want to leave him but he insisted he was fine so I ended up going. For those of you who have not heard of him, he is a prophet who has been gifted in words of knowledge and he is incredibly accurate (check him out on Youtube). Well long story short, he called Tim and I out by name and proceeded to talk to us about what God was doing in this season. He also talked about my two boys and called one out by name.
There is a video coming which I will post when I get it, but he talked about how we must have been really serving the body because God says;
‘You’ve looked after my body, now I’m going to look after your body, your physical body’.
He talked about all the big prayers I had been praying and then began to prophesy over me about being a prophetic witness and that;
‘God is going to touch your family and your friendship circle‘. He asked if I was a writer and told me that the calling on my life was to write and he said ‘you will have so much to write about because so much goodness is going to come to your house and you are going to see God do amazing things through you’.
To say I left that meeting encouraged and blown away by the fact that my heavenly Father knows everything that is happening to the last detail was an understatement. God’s kindness in that moment has not left me and Tim and I are humbled by the way he spoke through Shawn to reassure us yet again that everything would be well with us.
As I said at the beginning of this, ‘The lovely Mr B‘ was due to preach 3 days after having all those teeth out and despite the doctors saying he would be swollen like a hamster and giving him lots of meds (the strong stuff) he barely took anything apart from a few Ibuprofen and the swelling was so minimal nobody could tell. He preached that Sunday and the subject matter is almost laughable. It was the last section of the Lord’s Prayer;
Matt 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
As he prepared for this he asked God how he would know that he had really got his feet on the rock and not just a knowing in the head but how would he really know!!! Well I guess we have been finding out and can say in no uncertain terms that YES we have our feet firmly on the rock. I have linked to it here as it is a powerful word that bought lots of people into freedom and equipped them for battle.
This quote from Nicky Gumbel sums it up well;
Life as Christian isn’t a playground but a battleground. Nicky Gumbel
As Tim says in his preach, even when things get rough if you have got your feet on the rock and you know where your help comes from, you can say hand on heart,
As I write I am thinking about all the little things where God has shown His goodness in our lives from messages of support, prayer, meal rotas, surprise gifts, #kickcancersass goodie boxes, lifts from here to there, hugs, paintings, grace, operations with no side effects, appointments moves so we can go on holiday, opportunities to bless others with our story of God’s goodness, even plums from the veg delivery man after we cancelled our veg box for next few weeks because he heard they were good for cancer and so much more besides. I am literally counting my blessings and running out of paper. When you count your blessings you realise just how very blessed you are.
Even in the eye of the storm there are so many blessings, it’s ridiculous. God is so good it’s scandalous.
I hope that my story so far, has encouraged you as you read it, and my prayer is that you too will know the peace that surpasses all human understanding in the midst of any storm you are in.