August 5, 2008... can you believe it's August already? Wow.

Does summer seem to be flying by to anyone else? It sure seems that way here. The church camp I have previously talked about was held July 17-27. My dad and husband worked really hard in building us a new cabin to stay in. We were thankful to have a place to stay this year and my mom and I were able to spend more days there together than we have for many years. My family met us there on the weekends and it was so nice to get to see people that for the most part, we only see once a year. Traditionally, the last Friday of camp is when the healing service is held. I was asked to share my testimony for this particular service. While I share my testimony every time I post an entry, I have only previously had the opportunity to share it in person one time and to a hand full of people. I gathered my thoughts on paper so I would not forget anything, although I knew I would not read it word for word. I wanted to go back to 2004, because Jeff's story is very much a part of my own. He, in many ways, helped save my life. Had he not gone through his set of circumstances just a year prior to me, I would not have pursued help when I did. It also made me believe it was not a coincidence, but a deliberate attack from Satan on each of our lives, and also the well being of our families. As I walked up to share that Friday at camp, my heart was pounding. This was something I took very serious, and I did not want to rely on my words but those of God. I tried not to cry, but still the realization of the words I spoke brought me to tears. It still does, even as I type. It is so difficult to speak of Jeff in past tense. As I finished what I felt God had wanted me to say, I felt exhausted. And yet it felt so good to publicly deny Satan and what he has tried to steal and say that I still chose God and His promises over my life. Just a few days prior, I was holding Emily as she fell asleep for her afternoon nap. I can remember when I was told this cancer had come back, I felt as if I pleaded with God to let me stay here at least until all of my nieces and nephews would remember me from their own mind and not from someone telling them about me. They are all young, but Emily was not even a year old yet. She was just starting to like coming to me. Jeff had not even met her and I didn't want her to have an aunt and an uncle which she had no memories of on her own. As I held Emily that afternoon, she just clung onto me. Those feelings of desperation came back over me and I just prayed. "God, please let me stay here long enough so that these kids remember me. Please... I want them to know I love them... not because someone tells them... but because they remember..."  I had said " I don't know what You have planned for me..." And my sentence was immediately interrupted. I heard a whisper in my ear that said " For I know the plans I have for you... plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ( Jeremiah 29:11). It came to me so quickly that I knew it was God speaking to me. I do not have my own children so the love I have for my nieces and nephews is the closest thing I can relate to. How hard it must have been for Jeff to surrender not only the plans for himself, but also those of his family.

My husband and I are going to be celebrating our 5 year anniversary on September 27. We went to Ocean City, MD for our honeymoon and so we've decided to go back for our anniversary. Because I have scans set for August 25-26, we decided to take our trip the week before. The day after we return home from that trip, we will be on our way to Chicago for my three month scans. I have had a little but of pain here and there in the last couple of weeks. It could be from trying to be more active, but could also be because of Satan would love for me to have my faith shaken. I have to remind myself that God does not give us the spirit of fear, so if I am afraid, I need to give that over to Him. God does not want me to live as a prisoner to this disease. My body is His temple, not a prison. Not everyone can understand what it feels like to go in for these kinds of scans and tests. I feel so small sometimes... like how David must have felt against Goliath. But Goliath was defeated, and it was because David had God on his side. I continuously remind myself that nothing is too big for God. Cancer is so small compared to what God is doing in my life.

As Mike and I went to church this Sunday, I was really praying that God would sent someone to pray with me or for me. As the congregation bowed their heads to pray, I closed my eyes. Shortly after, I felt someone touch my arm and heard praying. There was a woman who followed God's lead to come and pray with me. If God is leading you somewhere, my advice would be to follow. You never know how God can bless you or someone else because of that obedience.

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