October 9, 2008
Mike and I went to church last Sunday. Although I have been feeling good, I was unable to go the two Sundays prior, so it was nice to be able to go again. Our pastor said something in his message that has really made me think the last few days. His message was on not just surviving circumstances, but actually thriving in them. He mentioned how there can be a terrible wildfire that destroys everything in its path, and yet a few days after, wildflowers appear. A field that was so desolate and destroyed, black with ashes can be transformed into rolling, lush fields of bright wildflowers only days later. When I got home I researched this a little, and this really does happen. There are actually certain species of orchids that rarely flower without a fire. If there was a fire in the summer, they would flower the following spring, and possibly grow for a few more seasons, but then lie dormant until the next fire occurs. I found this picture on a website with the following story.
This picture was taken of a zambia one week after a brush fire.
This was taken of the same plant, eight months later. "One particular zamia (Macrozamia riedlei) that I’d thought was dead on my visit a week after the fire was happily growing tall, while still surrounded by its burnt branches." (Source: "Flowers After Fire" 18 November 2007 by ClaireSnow)
This to me, is an unbelievable picture of strength. A tall, healthy plant that is growing despite its burnt branches. It turns out that fire is a necessary part of certain ecosystems. It causes old flowers to come to life again. It produces beauty that would otherwise not be brought into existence. And when you think that there is nothing left, you are not seeing what lies deep. That can be where the miracle is.
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
God has really continued to sustain me and protect my body. I am healing quickly and without any problems. My follow up visit is scheduled for Tuesday, October 21. I am seeing my surgeon and my oncologist to see where we go from here. My surgeon let me know that this cancer has all of the same characteristics of the first, so it is most likely from the original tumor. He also said that the chemo resistance testing came back within about 10 days, but he did not go into specifics. I will learn all of that information at my follow up. I really feel like God is continuing to use this fire that was meant to destroy, and instead bringing beauty. Beauty that would not have been brought to the surface without the fire making a way.
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