October 22, 2007

Sometime in either late 2005 or early 2006, my family sat down around the dining room table for a meal together at my mom and dad's house. I cannot remember the exact occasion it was for, but I know that Jeff was there and it was before he had progressed to the point he had in the summer of 2006. Our family get-togethers could not go by without reminiscing about stories from the past and laughing together. I can remember on this particular occasion, Jeff was telling a story a little different from the funny ones we normally told. He was telling us that one night he was having a hard time sleeping, so he decided to lie on the couch in their downstairs living room. He had fallen asleep there and when he woke up, the house was dark. He decided that he would go upstairs to go to bed but wanted to make sure the house was secure and all of the doors were locked first. He went around to each door, checking to make sure each was shut and locked. As he came to the door to their back porch, he did the same check of the lock as he did all the rest. However, he said he looked into the glass window pane on the door, and saw a man on their porch. Jeff froze. As I said, Jeff had been sleeping, so he looked again to see if he was seeing clearly. The man was standing close to the door, as if he was about to try and enter. My family listened to this story, feeling uneasy that something like this would happen at their home. Jeff said all kinds of thoughts went through his head as he thought of his family sleeping upstairs. Should he run and call 911? Would Jeff be able to defend himself and his family should the man try and enter their home? Jeff said he looked him square in the face and saw the same look of fear in the man on the other side of the window. As Jeff looked closer, it became clear that the man he had been fearful of was his own reflection in the window! He had been looking at himself, and the darkness coupled with tired eyes had deceived him, making him think that someone was trying to break in. You should have been there to hear Jeff tell the story. By the end, he was laughing so hard that his eyes were watering and his face was red! He may have been a bit embarrassed at the fact he had scared himself, but he was a good story teller!

At first, I didn't know why I was reminded of this story so long after it was told. I started to think, though, about what fear can do to a person. I have had doctors tell me that I have an incurable disease. A lot of fear could easily be instilled into a person after hearing these words. Every pain you feel, every odd feeling you have, they can make you crazy. I have to keep reminding myself that I am in God's hands. He will not let a single day go by that He is not in control, let alone every second in every minute.

Psalm 23:4a

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

Sometimes what we fear are just the shadows. This passage tells us that even when we see those shadows, we don't have to be afraid because God is with us. We can trust that He will be our Protector.

Psalm 56:3

When I am afraid, I will trust in you.

Health update:

I am feeling pretty good at this point. I have been tired a lot, but have been having trouble sleeping at night. I am preparing myself mentally to go back to Illinois at the end of the week. I am praying for God to really intervene and get me through this next round. My hair is falling out more and more each day. I am not afraid to shave it again, but I am waiting until I just can't take it anymore. One of the intravenous chemotherapy drugs I am on is actually red in color. It runs concurrently with a saline solution, which hydrates. It is really strange to have something red pumped into you. I can remember during my first round, I was reminded of 1 John 5:6-12. I imagined the red chemotherapy to be my Savior's blood, washing through my body. I will end my entry with this passage.


1 John 5:6-12 

 This is the one who came by water and bloodóJesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

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