August is gone and September is here. There has been a lot of remission celebrating these last two weeks. On August 31 I had a remission party and a kickoff leading up to Light the Night Walk (Oct. 2) which supports the Leukemia & Lymphoma society.
On September 2 I spoke at a Team in Training dinner, which also supports the L &L, to encourage and support those athletes getting ready to race. These athletes raise money for the L&L through people who sponsor them in a triathlon, marathon, half-marathon, etc.
Through both opportunities I was able to share how God is my Healer and how He has given me joy and laughter through this cancer journey. I’m not sure how God will use this story in the lives of those listening who didn’t know Him, but I have to trust that somehow He will.
On September 5, I joined my friends Chris and Christy as they competed in a local triathlon for Team in Training. I cheered them on as they swam and biked and joined them on the 4 mile run. What a joy it is to be able to run!! Um, and they are taller than I am, so they run fast!
It’s fun to celebrate this new remission chapter. But as I was preparing to talk about this new chapter, God gave me the idea to put some punctuation between the “e” and the “m” in remission, which causes the word to look like something you’d see in a subject of an e-mail “Re: Mission.” This changes the definition of remission from: “a state or period during which something is remitted” to re:mission: “More than being cancer-free, it’s an opportunity to respond to the mission of making God famous around the world.” I was already on a mission before I was diagnosed and now I will continue that mission here and soon in Vienna, Austria with even a greater gift to share.
not quite yet (a church support update)
As for getting to Vienna, the funds aren’t quite where they need to be yet. I did travel to Ohio on Aug. 24 and presented to a church there on Aug. 25. My time there was such a blessing! This church is unable to come on with monthly support at this time, but God has opened the doors for continued communication with them for the future. Go God!! Only He knows what He’s doing because many times I’m clueless!
please secure your personal belongingI saw a TV show that featured a group of people who were challenged to stay on a roller coaster as long as they could to win money. The last person left would get the cash! The more times the group went around the more irritable people became. They held so tightly to this hope of winning the money and thinking all of their problems would be solved, that they weren’t about to give up even though they were extremely tired and hungry.
That scenario is a good picture of how I’ve felt too many times. I’m quite guilty of being determined in my own strength and holding tightly to my personal belonging while on the roller coaster of life! It can be exhilarating and yet exhausting to put all of your hope, dreams, emotions and expectations in your lap and try to ride your circumstances. I get so built up with the excitement of the ride and the anticipation of the next that I lose sight of the potential big drop ahead.
And then it comes . . . you hit a huge bump and the coaster of circumstances takes an upside down loop, sending everything you were holding onto flying to the ground, including your belonging/identity. This leaves you feeling sick rather than smiling. You think, Why did I hold so tightly to that hope? Why did I believe that riding this hill would lead me to contentment? Why did I try to secure my own personal belonging?
I’m not sure that we can just get off the roller coaster, because life happens. There will always be ups and downs and twists and turns and upside down moments. But I think there is something different about riding a roller coaster when your hands are free.
A few posts ago, I mentioned that I’m learning to walk again, in a spiritual sense. Jesus is showing me all that I have in my hands. Oh and there is so much I’m holding so tightly to. (I guess when learning to walk you grab onto whatever is within your reach.) He wants me to ride with my hands free. He wants to be the I AM, so I don’t have to focus on who I’m not. He wants me to know that I am HIS and if that’s all I have then that’s enough. He wants me to be secure in who He is, our unchanging, always faithful God.
Romans 8 was really speaking loud and clear to me today. Here are a few verses: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us . . . For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently . . . If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all— how will he not also, along with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:18, 24, 31-32).
What does this hands-free living look like? I’m thinking it can go along with tandem living: being so closely connected to God that I can’t help but know who He is (my only hope; if God is for us . . .), who I am in Him (my secure belonging) and seek to go and glorify Him in and through everything (get your hands up, get your hands up . . .).
If my personal belonging isn’t secure in His hands then I can almost guarantee that bumps and loops will send it flying. Oh, I long for hands-free living! Hands that are free to point and praise and rejoice in who God is! Join me in seeking and praying for that in our lives.
a look at the September calendar
This month is jam-packed! I’d love you to join me in praying over these upcoming dates. Later this week I’ll talk more about the specific monthly support need and how we can join forces to pray the rest of this funding in.
Sept. 10-11 – high school ministry fall retreat
Sept. 12 – sharing with one of my supporting churches’ missions committees about this latest journey
Sept. 16-19 – trip to North Carolina to visit staff and friends from CIT (the training center I was at in February before being diagnosed)
Sept. 19 – sharing about Austria missions with a Sunday school class in Rutherfordton, NC
Sept. 22-25 – trip to Chicago (visiting current and potential supporters); meeting with one of my GEM field directors
Sept. 27 – sharing about Austria missions at my local Perspectives class
coming later this week . . .
• what can this prayer power really do
• health update: oh where is my hairbrush
• photos and memories from Seattle