How The Story Ends

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It never gets old to say that I am a cancer survivor of four and a half years and counting. This post is my heartfelt thanks to those many people that prayed for the happy ending to my cancer story.

A cancer diagnosis evokes a reaction. Sometimes that reaction turns into a story. As I shared my breast cancer diagnosis in 2011, I heard many stories, including stories without the happy ending. “My first wife fought it for three years before she passed away.” “My mom died when I was in the sixth grade.”

The words from well-meaning people were a reminder that a cancer story can have a sad ending. Those were hard words to hear at any point, but especially so when the details of my cancer diagnosis were still unknown. I knew that their intent wasn’t to scare me. These people were deeply affected by cancer and it was their way to connect with me in my cancer story. Perhaps their words were poorly timed, but their compassion was evident in their broken and still healing hearts.

We were in this together. That was the point. That was the encouragement. There were people praying for me. There were people who knew exactly how to pray for me because they had endured a version of their family’s cancer story. There were people who loved and lost, but still survived cancer’s pain through God’s grace. I much prefer the happy ending. Regardless of the outcome, we are never alone.

Romans 12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

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 have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 

 

 

 

Puffy Pink Parka

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PPP Pix No 1

Brrr… this winter has actually felt like, well… winter. For the record, I am so ready for spring. In the meantime, I am thankful for my P.P.P., short for puffy pink parka. First, you can’t miss the color: the stand out in a crowd (i.e., never get hidden from view in a snow storm), but hopefully not too obnoxious, pink. It is down-filled which cushions me in a layer of warmth. Let the storms rage. I can grab my P.P.P. and venture outside, knowing that I will be safe, warm and comfortable.

Do you have a P.P.P. for the storms of your life?  The elements of this world can be harsh.  Can we venture out, fully prepared to handle what comes our way?  This is my spiritual P.P.P.: People, Power and Praises. Surround ourselves with people that keep us accountable and cheer us on. Power: not the expendable type subject to reliability issues.Instead, the inner strength from the supernatural and the divine. And praises. If we can praise God in the blinding storms, then our eyes are on our future with God and our hearts are filled with joy to carry us through those storms.

Right now, are you thinking I missed a really significant “P?” That would be prayer, of course. Why didn’t I make it P.P.P.P.? I like word plays, but pretty, puffy, pink parka is too much of a mouthful.  More importantly, prayer is the common thread weaving people, power and praises together to make it work in our lives. People to pray on our behalf. Power in answer to prayers. Praise in our prayer time with God.

Be careful out there and stay warm!

Ephesians 6:10-11

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

 

 

Verses with a pattern of three:

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.