October 2, 2004

he words of Jesus from John 10:10: ďThe thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.Ē It has been more than 2000 years since Jesus walked this earth. Yet there is still a battle raging between the thief and the giver of life. I have been especially aware of that battle over the past month or so. My life is not my own; I live for Christ. I am aware that Satan would love for me to give up the fight so that my fruitfulness for Christ will come to an end. The battle has been very intense. It is impacting not only me, but also my family.

As we were getting ready for bed yesterday, Kaylee said, ďSatan sure is attacking our family.Ē It is a very accurate statement of spiritual awareness from an eight-year-old. We all got our Bibles and read about putting on the full armor of God from Ephesians 6. As we read, we acted out putting on each piece of the armor: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, feet fitted with the readiness from the gospel of peace, and the sword of the Spirit. The passage also instructs us to pray in the Spirit on all occasions. The battle is the Lordís, but we must be equipped because we are the targets of the enemy. He is trying to steal, kill, and destroy in our family. We have taken our stand. The battle is more intense than Iíve ever experienced. Satanís fiery darts are coming in the form of fears, doubts, stress, and emotional overload. Even though Iím the one fighting disease in my body, Iím not the only one being attacked by Satan. I see the effects of the battle in every member of my family. As the head of the household, it makes me angry to see the attacks of Satan against them. Please pray not only for my physical healing, but also for emotional and spiritual stamina for my entire family as we do our best to stand firm against the devilís schemes. Our family is very weary from the battle, yet God remains faithful.

I had an appointment with the eye doctor earlier this week. I was referred to him because of poor vision in my right eye. As he tested my vision, it was evident that I am nearly blind in my right eye. Although I wasnít supposed to have another MRI for another thirty days, the eye doctor felt that we could not wait that long to determine why my vision has deteriorated so dramatically. He scheduled an MRI as soon as possible, which ended up being Thursday, September 30. The next morning he called to tell us what he saw. There is tumor growth on my right optic nerve. He could not say whether it was new growth or if it had been there all along. I remember the day my eye first started causing problems for me; two days before I started radiation treatments. Apparently this growth has survived the radiation. Some trust in doctors, and some trust in treatments, but I trust in the name of the Lord my God. He will heal in His time and in His way. Remaining patient is the hardest part. I still believe that He has allowed this disease to enter my body not to end my life, but to make me more mature and useful for Him. I have an appointment with the chemo doctor this week. I have been praying that chemo would not be necessary. I wanted the MRI so show that God had done his work and that chemo would not be part of my treatment. But I desperately want to be well, and if chemo is part of Godís plan Heíll see me through, just like he did with the radiation. God is so big, and this disease is really so small to Him. He could bring healing in a moment. Iím seeking it, and seeking Him, with all of my energy. He is so good to me.

Iíve been reading in the Gospel of John lately. One of my favorite stories of all time has been when Jesus raised Lazarus back to life. It must have been absolutely amazing to be an eye-witness to this event. What a tremendous display of the power of Jesus. If he can do that, he can do anything! But as I read the story this time, I noticed something Iíd never seen before. Lazarus was brought to life in John chapter 11. Many Jews followed Jesus as a result of this miracle. The chief priests were angered by this and made plans to arrest Jesus. They wanted to put an end to His miracles and the life-changing effects those miracles were having on the Jews. As I read further into John 12, I found that Jesus was not the only one the chief priests wanted to arrest and kill. They made plans to kill Lazarus, as well. The chief priests targeted both the miracle worker and the miracle receiver. This made me aware that when God does heal me, the spiritual battle will not be over. In fact, the battle may become more intense. I believe that God is working in the lives of many people through my struggle with this disease. I anticipate that His healing touch in my body will impact many people for Christ, as well. Either way, Iím in this battle for the long haul. Iím thankful that his strength is made perfect in my weakness. I need all of His strength that He can give; for my healing, for my family, for our emotional and spiritual strength.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Iím very blessed by the email messages so keep sending them!

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