Whatever is Pure - August 2010
When We Are Weak, He Is Our Strength
It all began 14yrs ago. My good husband had a growth on his tongue. Doctors didn't know what it was or what was causing it. They removed the growth several times via lasers or surgically removing the growth. Biopsies showed high margins of candida, fungus, but nothing more specific. "Just keep an eye on it.",they would say. He did like they said. Each time they removed it he was in great pain for several days having to take pain killers to rest.
Finally one doctor sent him to an internal specialist. She prescribed Dyflucan. After a couple of rounds the new tumor began to shed off, becoming so small we just knew it was going to be gone in no time. Then he got a sinus infection. He went to our local physician and she gave him a very commonly used drug called Prednisone. The tumor took off again and this time a knot appeared on the side of his throat.
In August of 2008, after having an emergency biopsy, we received the results of an emergency biopsy en route to the Louisville, Ky airport. The oncologist apologetically broke the news - squamous cell carcinoma. CANCER. My husband is a very strong person, physically, mentally and spirtually. Me, well, I am pretty much a weakling all the way around. I was brave around him it was a miracle, that day as I arrived home safely, without causing an accident. I drove through uncontrollable tears. Anger is apparenly an inherited response on my side of the family. I yelled at God, begged God, questioned God and apologized to God the entire hour and a half drive home.
On October 2nd 2008 my husband underwent a bilateral lymphectomy. The tumor had continued to grow to a massive side and was removed along with one third of his tongue. We were in the hospital for 3 weeks. The surgeon was an amazing man and we are forever grateful to him and his God given talent. The treatments that followed were very difficult. Three rounds of chemo and 38 radiations on his mouth, neck and clavical area. A feeding tube was placed in his stomach so he could receive the vital nutrition he needed to do battle against the cancer.
Fortunately, as winter approached, I was able to do most of the barn chores. Our amazing friends assisted me as we kept our horses training business going. As we were self employed, we had no health insurance and just before all of this started my husband had begun changing life insurance companies by cancelling it all together. We had just refinanced our entire lives to the tune of about $250,000. Really, we were and are in deep financial crisis.
Several miracles have taken place along this streneous journey. In the past two years, my husband has had 2 more surgeries; one of which was to deal with a reoccurrence of the mouth cancer. Praise God, it was caught in time to avoid any chemo or radiation! However, as a result of the surgery, he struggles to be understood due to his shortened tongue and overbite. He has never stopped though, even through the darkest of times.
There was a 60 day period during Christmas and his birthday in early February where his recliner became my husbands home. When he was not using it, I was. I cannot tell you how difficult it was to listen to him breath at night.
The memory of those stormy days haunts me still along with so many other fears. I consciously force myself to put my fears at the Lord's feet. He consciously feeds me His word sending me peace, strengthening my faith. I still deal with anger and helplessness, my husband only has so much tongue left and there is no telling what is going to happen to us financially. This is the family farm we own but whatever we need to do we are willing, wanting and waiting on God, the Father of Heaven and Earth to lead us into whatever He has in store for us to do.
You changed my mourning into dancing; you took off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. With my whole being I sing endless praise to you. Oh God my God, forever will I give you thanks. Psalms 30:13 (New American Bible)
Angela is a Latin-American in her mid-forties who lived a very difficult life. Angela tried to commit suicide many times. It is amazing that she is still alive. She has much potential, even after being in the mental health system for many years. She has many questions about Jesus and has a hunger to know Him.. She knows He cares and that she will be loved and cherished, no matter what. When asked about her faith, Angela quickly responded, without Jesus, she wouldn’t be alive today.
She encouraged me to start a non-denominational faith group in our program. I contacted my supervisor and explained how I would not emphasize my own faith, but let members talk about theirs. I gave my supervisor an agenda of what I would cover, and the proposal received approval. Angela wanted to lead the group, and I encouraged her to do so. I talked with her before the group met, to explain how this would be a safe place for people to talk about their faith without judgement.She seemed enthusiastic, and shared her excitement with the group.
Now since she has been the facilitator she has made no major suicide attempts. She mentioned to me that being able to share her faith and being with others has helped her feel understood. She feels like she fits into the world. She sees herself not as a "mental patient" but a woman of faith. She helped me realize spiritual wisdom can come from anybody at any time if we are open to the light of Christ.
From a Worm to a Butterfly
I felt like a fly caught in the web of a spider.
Is It Time To Let Go Of Your Night Light?
1 Cor 13:11 (NIV)
"Peek-a-boo! I see you!" Anyone who has entertained a baby knows that this old stand-by is a perennial favourite. Babies love the suspense. Will Mommy's face appear behind those hands? Will Daddy really pop up from behind the chair? In an infant's mind, out-of-sight really means 'Mama's not there and who knows if she is really coming back'. What they cannot see with their eyes does not exist. In the middle of the night, a baby finds little comfort in Papa's voice coming from down the hall, they need his touch and his husky whisper in their ear to truly be soothed.
As a well-adjusted child develops past toddlerhood into pre-school years, he learns to play independently and doesn't always need to have his parents in his sight in order to be at peace. A reassuring word from the kitchen as he plays in the living room is often all he needs as his mother prepares supper. The sound of his father's voice on the telephone is enough to tide him over until he races into his Papa's arms at the end of the day.
However, many children go through a phase of being afraid of the dark and wanting a light left on in order for them to feel secure enough to sleep. A wise parent does not allow the child to dwell on this fear for long and weans their child from the need for a night-light as soon as possible. Often, this requires the parent to stay in the darkened bedroom with their child, as their child drifts off to sleep. They allow only their physical presence to act as the child's comfort. A child must learn to trust that his Papa is there even when he cannot see his Papa's face or hear his Papa's voice.
Many Christians regress to childish behaviour when they are faced with times of darkness and uncertainty. They doubt God's love toward them when they cannot see his face or hear his voice. Some begin to doubt God's very existence when the 'dark night of the soul' extends for too long a period. Much like a little child, they foolishly believe that darkness causes their Heavenly Papa to disappear from their presence. They demand for the 'night-light' to be turned on so they can see their Heavenly Father once again and be reassured that he is indeed there. God longs that his children move past such infantile reasoning. He longs that we take him at his word.
Isa 49: 14-15 (NIV)
God's ability to draw near to us is not contingent on our ability to sense that he is near There is no power on heaven or earth that can separate us from his love.
Psalm 139: 7-12
Father God, your word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path and we place our trust in you.
Romans 8:38-39 (The Message)
©2010 Katherine Walden
As of May 2012, "WHATEVER IS PURE" ARCHIVES will no longer be seeking submissions. As most authors and poets now have their own blogs, we noticed a significant drop in submissions over the past year and felt it was best to move on to other endeavors.