Crushed? Run.

sustain me notes on cancer faith infused encouragement for stage four cancer patients

I was working in the office yesterday sipping on carrot juice and waiting for The Phone Call. You know, the one every cancer patient ponders after scans. Pinned mentally between thinking you feel really good but knowing one sentence could change everything. Again.

I dialed the office number at 11:01 AM to ask if they had results per my doctor’s instructions. I was hoping, as I had bartered so with my younger daughter that morning, that since they had not called the day before, it meant there was nothing to be concerned about and everything to feel hopeful about.

“Let me get your message over to the team,” said the receptionist. “Someone will call you back shortly.”

PET scan for stage four colon cancer after treatmentTwo days earlier I had chatted with the doctor before going in for the PET scan. The scan was the one year mark from my second round of radiation (more targeted this time, just on the mass in my iliac artery) and chemo (no port in my chest this last time, just a daily pill) to lasso stage four colon cancer.

“If this test comes back clear, we won’t need to have you come back for another year,” the doctor had said. “The window of concern is from one to two years after treatment.”

I was one year out from treatment. Would the day’s test set me free for another twelve months or reel me in backwards? God, will you please keep me moving forward? I’ve been wounded enough, right, please? But what if going backwards physically is Your choice of “forward” for my life? How much of this is on me to juice and follow the wellness plan, and how much is about me claiming – no, crying out to You – Your promises, and how much is about Your complete control of my life and my submission to Your plan? And what about the hundreds of thousands of other people suffering and dying from cancer? What is this all about? Deep down I know the answer for me. Maybe it’s the answer for you, too. It is all about God’s loving plan for my life. However He chooses for that to play out in life or in death. Wounded thoughts. Crushed hopes? Grace-filled, personally invested, merciful God. No matter what.

The cell phone buzzed and pulled me back to the present. It was the doctor’s office.

“Mrs. O’Connor? Your scans were clear. Everything looks normal.”

And my day went back to … normal. Just like that. Work issues… personal concerns… family needs… but no cancer. Normal.

psalm3418 verses about crushed in spiritAre you crushed maybe between physical illness, or spiritual wounds, or brokenhearted over personal battles that you never signed up for? The Lord is close. Don’t run away. Turn around and run. As fast and hard as you can to Him. He is near you today. His Word, as the songwriter says, will not fail you. Not in life. Not in death.

Speaking about turning and running to the Lord, here is one of my favorite songs about turning to Jesus in times of trouble. Sometimes we have to choose to focus our eyes on Him to hold off the crush of life. The words encouraged my heart all this week, along with reading from Psalm 34. Hope the words and music from this song lift you up a little today too.

piano note turn

 

 

 

 

 

Verse 1: O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free!

Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.

Verse 2: Through death into life everlasting, He passed, and we follow Him there; O’er us sin no more hath dominion—, For more than conqu’rors we are!

Verse 3: His Word shall not fail you—He promised; Believe Him, and all will be well:, Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell!

Written by Helen Lemmel, 1922. Arranged by Sharon O’Connor.

Before we go our separate ways, a question. Have you been rescued by God from troubles? Upheld by His love in great difficulty? Would love to have you share briefly here in the Comments a verse of scripture or a meaningful quote for others in need of  encouragement. Let’s help each other thrive through the “crush”.

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11 comments

  1. I ran to Him yesterday and I run to Him today for the same thing – trusting Him to work in your life according to His perfect and holy will. I run to Him right now with thanks-giving in my heart and mind and words. He is ever faithful. Along with your immediate family, we offer Him our praise.

  2. my thoughts take me to the grand and wonderful song of “How great thou art”When Christ shall come
    With shouts of acclamation
    And lead me home
    What joy shall fill my heart

    Then I shall bow
    With humble adoration
    And then proclaim My God
    How great Thou art

    Then sings my soul
    My Savior, God, to Thee
    How great Thou art
    How great Thou art… This song speaks loudly and clearly to my soul and when i hear it and listen to the song in its entirety i have no words to describe how i feel. to me this speaks to what you are talking about because when i feel broken hearted and down and feel alone the emotion i feel when listening to this soothes my soul and reminds me that God is almighty and meeting him someday is the ultimate end of this journey here on earth and thats what it is all about,life here on earth is but a blink of an eye but eternity with God is what we strive for. As sad as it is the thought of leaving earth early or what we percieve to be,we as christians have to remind ourselves or at least i do that there should be no fear of death just as jesus said in John 11:25 I am the resurrection and the Life, Who ever believes in me,though he dies,shall he live.,When I am reminded at times like this Sharon when I believe that your being clear of cancer is a miracle from God,even if the juicing helped contribute to your healing,isnt that why God gave us remedies to help ourselves so that we might live,in my case insulin? I believe that in itself is a miracle. Even if in another year the cancer were to return,it doesnt take away from this miracle.Whether by old age,a car accident,diabetes,heart failure whatever the reason for dying,in the end it doesnt matter,we are all going to die. Some sooner than others,but that says to me that you accomplished what God sent you here to do,and that is a blessing. Being humans we cant help but feel angry,sad, and jipped out of a longer life with our loved ones,I personally strive continuously to reach or find a calm about my time,I find satan interjects into my thoughts alot about the fear of death. I guess in an odd way that helps us because we strive harder to learn more from the bible and reach out to our fellow christians and GOD FOR SUPPORT AND STRENGTH TO GET THROUGH,AND YOU HAVE DONE A WONDERFUL JOB OF GROWING AND BEING BRAVE, YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION..

  3. Tami, thanks for sharing those thoughts! There is nothing like the words from the old hymns and “How Great Thou Art” is one of my favorites. Yep, one day at a time for sure, and we all face different fears. You are an inspiration, too! Love ya.

  4. Rescued by God in the midst of difficulties? Yes! So many times in so many ways.
    • Rescued from massive facial lacerations and other injuries from a potentially fatal head-on collision with a drunk driver while a teenage passenger in a VW bug.
    • Rescued from several other potentially fatal traffic mishaps, explainable only because of divine intervention.
    • Rescued from a variety of health problems with drive-you-mad itching, searing pain, and/or any number of other embarrassing problems that zap your energy and your confidence.
    • Rescued from the double delusions of thinking that those who desire to please God are exempt from the trials of life or from feeling that we face those trials alone.

    God works in such mysterious ways! Sometimes His deliverance is so instantaneous that we almost miss the miracle. Other times, we cry out for deliverance in the midst of devastating situations. My deepest memory from the head-on collision that nearly took my life is the deep peace I experienced in the ICU as God poured out His incredible peace.

    God doesn’t promise to deliver us from all the difficulties of life, but He promises to walk with us as we go through them. What a priceless Redeemer and Friend!

  5. Patti, thank you for sharing those experiences. Wow. Praising God with you for His protection! I like your last point (maybe I relate to it more!?) about “double delusions of thinking that those who desire to please God are exempt…” How true. Thankful for your testimony and all that you do!

  6. Normal, is so good. We don’t realize how much we crave normal until it’s gone. Normal days become perfectly wonderful days. So glad you can enjoy good days and praying they never end 🙂

  7. Melissa, agreed on those normal days, and thank you for your comments – I know anything can change in a moment (makes one appreciate the “new normal”), and am very sensitive towards those who are in the struggle daily. You are an inspiration to me!

  8. It’s 2009 – “Glory to God for His healing” is what I heard from the Lord after my husband was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer at age 41, with over 15 tumors scattered all over his liver, lungs, and abdominal lining. I asked God for help and I made the choice to grip him tight no matter where he took my family. “Healing” – what did that mean? Physically? Not in this case, but God healed all of us emotionally and spiritually, and allowed for a tremendous shift in consciousness and increased love for the Lord. It was God’s plan for my husband to live 43 years and I give God all the glory for each healing moment in the past, present, and throughout the future. Thank you Sharon for assisting God in healing others. Words have power and your words soothe and calm the soul and allow the spirit to thrive.

  9. Melissa, thank you for your beautiful words and thoughts. I’m so sorry for what you have been through and the loss of your husband. Thank you for sharing. Your words are an encouragement to me today and a reminder that, yes, God sometimes heals by taking us Home. Blessings to you.

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