Today’s devotion is from Ingrid. Although this is an update written by Ingrid, it is inspirational, challenging, and heartfelt. Please continue to pray for her as she “Enjoys the journey”.
Count it all joy.
I have had perhaps the most trying yet incredibly wonderful couple weeks of my life.
As many of you know, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer that presents in the bones in the form of lesions. It sometimes presents as soft tissue tumors as well.
After a short time getting used to the idea that I had cancer and making plans to treat my multiple myeloma which, although it has no cure, treatment options are improving. Giving patients great hopes for long term (up to 11 years) remission -I had my first oncologist visit at which I learned that the oncologist was no longer certain that I had multiple myeloma (mm). Instead he gave me a 20% chance of having mm and an 80% chance of having a different kind of cancer. He listed off five other cancers that are the likely culprit….which, again, I have an 80% chance of having. All of which have a life expectancy of less than one year.
I felt like I had the rug pulled out from under me. Like I had the wind knocked out of me. I admit joy and contentment we’re not the first attitudes that I chose to embrace.
I was scared (oh so very scared), confused and I thought that I had every right to embrace whatever attitude I to chose.
God had different plans. And I am so very thankful.
Over a rather short period of time God replaced my tears of grief and fear with tears
of thankfulness, humility, silliness and pure joy.
God has placed just the right people in my life to help me along the way. One individual who’s been through cancer herself said.,” enjoy the journey- regardless of what the doctors say, you don’t know how much time you have left. Only the Lord knows.”
Enjoy. the. journey. What a beautiful way to sum up this adventure. Not all journeys are easy. Some have bumpy roads along the way; flat tires; transmissions that go out; cracked windshields. Some journeys take you into the dark recesses of valleys. While others take you soaring high on the mountain top where you feel as though you can touch the sun…views so beautiful they put tears in your eyes; oh the smooth sailing.
But, I thank God for cracked windshields, bumpy roads and faulty transmissions, for without them, I would have never known the love and generosity of my family and friends.
My sweet family and friends have given of themselves in ways that I would have never dreamed. They’ve given money, resources, time, sweat, tears, and prayers.
I spend each day in a hospital room filled with family and friends. Smiling, giggling and joking. I sport polka-dot toenails lovingly applied by my best friend who flew from Virginia to be by my side.
And at night, my room is cram packed full of as many people as we can fit. My sweet girl, Emily or my sweet husband, Shane Ling, unusually sleeps with me in the hospital bed.
I may not know the type of cancer I am facing. I may not know how long I have on earth. But I know that God is with me on this journey. And He gives me the strength daily, to smile, to laugh and to enjoy this journey. A journey of joy and contentment that only God can help find the beauty in.
Thank you all for joining me on this beautiful journey.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. James 1:2-3
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001