tomorrow…

tomorrow…

God is huge… really huge; so huge that it would be impossible for me to shrink him down and cram him into my pint-sized capacity for understanding. Still and yet, there are days when he breaks himself down for me so that my “pint-sized brain” can experience a measure of what it is to know him more fully, more intimately. These past few days have been some of those days for me.
God has tenderly knelt beside me, met me eye-level, and cradled me close to his beating heart. There has been more laughter than tears, more joy than sadness, more hope than despair, more faith than unbelief. I am grateful for my “more” that has anchored in sacred soil rather than in the tainted, diminished earthen sod that cradles my temporal steps. I’ve also been surprised by it… been overwhelmed by the gracious, sustaining hand of my Father who has not only made this cancer diagnosis bearable for me, but even more so, understandable.
I cannot explain the rational, reasonable response of my heart; whereas even a month ago I would have told you that I couldn’t possibly “do cancer,” I’m doing it today. I’m living with my diagnosis, with the stresses and strains of having to make some difficult decisions because of that diagnosis, and with the reality that I’m still a mom and wife with laundry to fold, bills to pay, and homework to be managed. That kind of “living with” can only be filtered through the lens of peace.
God’s peace—Jesus Christ. Not as the world gives (thank you God), but as he so determines. The world’s offering of peace is limited, is budgeted according to fleshly understanding and carnal appetites. God’s peace, however, is limitless and is budgeted according to kingdom standards and based on holier appetites—soul cravings that issue forth from a deep hunger to get more of our huge God crammed into our pint-sized understanding.
I’ve been living in kingdom peace these past weeks, and the cravings of my soul have been amply fed by the hand of the King who bends low to listen to the heart cries of his children… who stoops low to “raise the poor from the dust and lift the needy from the ash heap” (Ps. 113:6-7). I am exceedingly grateful for the gift of his sustaining presence and his willingness to be heavily invested in the story of my cancer.
God is so very willing to be part of all of our stories, friends. All he is waiting on is our invitation to him to start writing his memoir through us. You may not think your life particularly fantastic or worthy of print, but when you hand our Father the pen, he scripts authenticity into your story—every chapter, every line, every word, every letter. Every year, every month, every day, every hour. When God is given the publishing rights to our manuscripts, he promises to make everything count—the good, the bad, and all the mess that resides in between these extremes.
I’m taking him at his word; I’m believing him to make my cancer count—not for my sake, but for his. To get to the end of it all, regardless of where that “end” resides, and to have lived it selfishly and without regard to God’s greater understanding is to waste this precious time. I choose not to “live” there. I choose to live better. By doing so, I pray I learn more about my Father… about an intimacy, perhaps, that might have never been shared between us had I not been allowed this road.
I don’t want to waste my cancer. I want to embrace it, and in doing so, become more of the woman that God desires for me to be. If that can be said of me down the road—that in fact I’m further along in my faith journey because of my cancer—then it will have been worth it. If not—if I become a lesser woman of faith because of my cancer—then it will have been wasted.
Pray it’s not wasted. Pray, instead, that it will be my continuing perfection. I love you all and will be thinking of you in this next week as I will be off-line in order to take the next step in this journey.
After consulting with my oncologist yesterday regarding my MRI, we’ve decided to proceed with a mastectomy of both breasts. The surgery will be tomorrow at 1:00 PM. After a time of healing, a chemo/radiation plan will be put into place. Thankfully, those treatments will happen very close to home. I will have an overnight stay at the Surgery Center (can you believe that a mastectomy is considered out-patient surgery… I’m not kidding?!) before coming home. This was an unexpected “gift” to me and has gone a long way to relieve my initial concerns about learning how to care for myself before going home. Post-surgery, I am limited in the use of my arms, and my husband has vowed to make sure that I comply. Accordingly, I won’t be posting, but I’ll make sure that my husband updates you regarding my progress.
Through it all, I am humbled by the overwhelming support you’ve given to all of us, and I can’t help but wonder if I’ve not been granted some extra favor from God because of your prayers. I don’t think God and his angels have ever heard my name more clearly than in the past week. I like to think of your prayers simmering there before God’s throne. You, good friends, make me want to be a better intercessor for others. You’re living a good faith on my behalf, and I am blessed by your generosity.
Take good care of your heart in this season. Tend to it; till it, and plant some good seed. The harvest will be good—God’s kind of good—and we will all share in the feasting together! As always…
Peace for the journey,

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68 Responses to tomorrow…

  1. Agreeing with you in prayer that not a moment, not a drop of this will be wasted, that He will be glorified in and through all of it, and that yes, you will be closer, ever closer still to His heart.

  2. Hi there, I can't tell you what a blessing this post and your heart attitude is…only the Lord could give you the peace I hear. This should be printed for every person dealing with cancer. This is how I would hope to respond if I was in your situation. Hang in there sister, many are upholding you and will continue to. Hugs and blessings.
    Noreen

  3. My heart is so full, dear friend…

    Praising God for His perfect peace and healing power in your life.
    Trusting God and His promises for you.
    Knowing God loves you even more than your family and friends, and that His power and glory will be revealed even more to you in the days ahead.
    Exalting God for who He is…in your life and mine.
    Thanking God for the gift of His son, Jesus, and that through Him we all have victory.
    Loving God…and loving you.

  4. Elaine, thanks so much for sharing the details of your surgery with us so we can be loving and supporting you in prayer. I love your attitude — love the way you're trusting God and resting in His peace, and I love the way He's helping you do that. Praying for you, my friend.

  5. P.S. Wish I could be there with y'all tomorrow. Hug each other for me. One way or the other, I'm coming to see you – soon!

  6. Elaine:

    First, I can tell you that already… your cancer has NOT been wasted!! It has my attention like a steel pole!! I am watching what God is doing, in you… for you… and for all of us, and it's already good!

    Second… YES, His peace has come because you are stepping into that place of taking Him at His word, and SO MANY are lifting you up every day!!

    I am blessed to know you, as I know everyone who reads your pages is also feeling!

    Prayers continue, one day at a time, as we all trust together.

    HUGE hugs Elaine!!!

    Sonja

  7. Dearest Elaine…
    My prayers will be with you, the doctors, and your entire family tommorrow (and beyond).
    Today the title of your blog resonates more than ever!

    Peace for the journey…

  8. What a blessing you are…to so many! Please know that you are being lifted up in prayer (by more folks than you even know that you know!) Sending you a (tender) bloggy hug!

  9. Elaine, I am praying for you with fervant, glorious expectations of God's unfailing love at work in your life.

    With every thought of you, I pray, and with every thought of you, I am inspired to be like Jesus.

    Your peace is an amazing testimony!

    I will continue much in prayer for you.

    Love,

    Andrea

  10. Elaine, I had no idea. I've had such a busy summer that I feel out of the loop. I am so sorry!

    Now that I know – I will absolutely be praying for you and I'll be praying specifically tomorrow at 1pm!!!

    Your outlook is such an encouragement to me. I can't imagine what this feels like, but I love your trust in the Lord.

    I am sending love and prayers your way!!!

  11. Elaine,
    You are in my prayers and even more prayers will be said tomorrow afternoon and in the coming days afterwards. I KNOW God will use this cancer in a huge and mighty way! I know lives will be encouraged and changed because of this situation. Bless you and your family!!

  12. "If God is here for us and not elsewhere, then in fact THIS place is holy and THIS moment is sacred." Isabel Anders

    Each moment you have had Elaine has been holy and sacred. Each moment to come will also be so. The God of the universe is steadfast and faithful and you are His beloved. Rest well in his arms.

    I will be praying with you and for you – now, tomorrow and in the days to come.

    Love,
    Denise

  13. And in every purposeful step you take you continue His will. It looks amazing my friend. Prayers being lifted that you remain fully wrapped and consumed in His peace! Amen!

  14. Praying for you, Elaine. I find much encouragement from your peace in this journey(in this post esp). You inspire me to stay close to Jesus. Thank you for sharing again. Now go rest and just be. Receive the care needed. I'll peek in and see if your husband posts.

    May God continue to speak life over your heart during this time. I'm believing for complete healing.

    You are precious.

    Love you, sister,

    tiff

  15. Elaine, your blogging friends are behind you all the way. We'll be praying you through it all. I was thinking of you this morning because I called Kathleen (Sassy Granny). Btw, I'm sure you know she loves you. 🙂 Anyway she told me the date of your surgery was tomorrow so I started praying right then and there in my car. And I will continue to pray. Peace for the journey is the perfect name for your blog. God wasn't surprised by cancer. And He is with you through it all. I know you will draw even closer to Him through this experience.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

  16. I think I missed something somewhere down the line, but I am so glad I stopped in today to read your post! Praying for peace and healing, strength and encouragement for you and your loved ones! He is already using your journey for His purposes!

  17. You can count on us to be on our knees until God sees you through all of this. Thinking of you and your family as you embark on this "journey". I know you are finding "peace" in your Father!

    Praying that God will hold you very, very close and in the palm of His hand.

    Love you!

    Lori

  18. My husband and I have been praying for you and will continue to non-stop. I know this isn't easy but I pray that the Lord's Spirit more than equips you for these coming days. He is faithful. This you & I know.

    I pray peace over you for this journey.

  19. Dear Elaine,

    Trusting for you and all your family. Our God is Faithful and I am grateful for your Peace as you walk through this season.

    Much love,
    Debbie

  20. my girlfriend had this surgery several years ago along with the chemo/radiation regimine…she is doing wonderfully these days. So, I'm praying your recovery will be as quick as hers and as successful. May God wrap you in His oh-so-warm shawl of caring friends and family. Rest and recuperate while He heals you…with all our love that He has given us…

  21. Elaine, I am thinking of you and Billy and the kids and lifting all of you up in prayer. The way you share of yourself through your blog is amazing … you have a gift for the world. I'm so uplifted every time I read what you write. Peace be with you as you go through this journey.

    Ginger Woolard Newbold

  22. Oh Elaine! I have been away from blog world and have not seen any of your posts!! Sweet sister I am praying for you and your family. YOU my friend are an amazing testimony to who GOD is! YOU shine HIS light so bright!!

    Love you friend.

  23. Tears are in my eyes, precious one. I think they are tears of joy. Tears because I am watching you in all of this and you are bearing witness to the faithfulness of God. You "get" God… You are familiar with His ways… You are familiar with Him filling us with the desires of our hearts.

    I am praying for you and have asked those in my blogosphere to pray for you. 1pm tomorrow. Okay, so that is 10am my time.

    "You, good friends, make me want to be a better intercessor for others. You’re living a good faith on my behalf, and I am blessed by your generosity."

    Romans 8:26-27 "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will."

    I love you.

  24. Dear Elaine,

    I am praying for you sweetie, and you are in all (Scott, Bill, Dad, Mom, Allyson, Billy III, Valerie, Jacquie, Barbara, Cooper, & little Charlie) our thoughts & prayers!! We love you beyond words, and admire your devotion to your wonderful family and God. 🙂 Please know that if you ever need to talk, I am here for you girl! With great big love and hugs, Carolyn~ xoxoxo.

  25. Elaine,
    I will surely be praying for you tomorrow! I can feel the PEACE given you FOR THE JOURNEY you are currently on more so in this post than any you've ever written. What a great testimony to the power of Christ in your life!

    Love you friend!

    Marilyn

  26. Praying with and for Elaine! I know this will not be wasted…already you are sharing more of HIM and HIS Love is flowing our of you touching soo many lives!

    Sending Love and Hugs!

  27. Elaine – I came here after receiving an email from Liz, asking me to pray for you tomorrow. I will definitely pray that God will continue to hold you close to His heart and guide the hands of the surgeon. I am believing for recovery that amazes everyone – and much more of His grace through many years ahead. I will be back to see more of what you have to share.
    ~Adrienne~

  28. Elaine, my prayers are with you and your family tonight, and they will continue as you go through this journey. I remember my night before the double mastectomy very, very well as it was just two short months ago. The peace I had could have ONLY come from Him, as it made no sense and was so hard to decribe to someone who had not ever experienced it….my faith was strengthened through it all, and yours will be as well I am very , very sure. We will all be lifting you up tomorrow and He will go with you into the operating room and guide the hand of the surgeon. I pray you recover quickly and His peace will continue to wash over you as you begin the rest of the treatments…Again, if you have any questions at all, please feel free to have your hubby or someone e-mail me. Some things only a fellow sister on the road would understand. Much love to you, and may the Lord bless you and make His face to shine upon you now and always, Debbie

    Yes, AMAZING I was in the hospital only over night as well. Seemed hard to believe, but truly the pain was very manageable.

  29. Lord Jesus, thank you for the unfathomable peace you've given Elaine for this journey. It's obvious that her mind is settled securely in the middle of your peace-giving heart. May this surgery go smoothly, and may ever cell of cancer be removed. Bring people into Elaine's life who need to see what true faith looks like. Glorify Your Name through your beautiful daughter, Elaine!

  30. Elaine, our prayers are with you and Billy and your children. You are amazing and an inspiration to us all. Your faith and courage are remarkable. You can tell because of your faith and obedience to God that He has given you peace. Like your other friend wrote, "this is how I would hope to respond if I was in your situation". You are an amazing writer and you are such a channel for others to see Jesus/God.

  31. Praying with you and for you this day and beyond. Embracing all that God will do with you for His glory.

    It seems this 'cancer' is really a hidden gift from God – one that He will make good for His glory so that none of it – not one minute of the pain of it – will be wasted! This is another opportunity that will prove God's Faithfulness!

    His goal with you in this – is the
    INTIMACY that you spoke of! There is nothing like a deeper enveloping of THAT! He is precious to me and to you… and never forget…

    Jesus loves the little children,
    all the children of the world,
    red and yellow, black and white,
    they are precious in His sight.
    Jesus loves the little children of the world.

    That means YOU!

    Choosing JOY, Stephanie

  32. Elaine, I will be praying today as you go into surgery and in the coming days as you recover. I pray for clear margins and a quick recovery.

    I also prayed and still pray that God wouldn't let me waste my cancer but that it would be used to perfect me and to offer hope to others. I love this quote, " I am exceedingly grateful for the gift of his sustaining presence and his willingness to be heavily invested in the story of my cancer." Oh how He has invested in my story and I pray you experience the returns of His investment in yours.

    Peace and protection,
    lisa

  33. Oh sweet friend. I am praying.

    I am waiting with expectant hope to see ALL He does in and through you.

    I Love you Elaine

  34. My LOVE and PRAYERS of FAITH are with you dear sister and friend!!!

    I am bowing before the Throne of GOD right now with great thanksgiving and praise because I KNOW HE IS HUGE AND HE IS FAITHFUL AND HE IS WITH YOU and your family!

    I love you!

  35. Praying for you my friend. Knowing that our God has placed you in exactly the right place for this journey. Believing that His Peace is more than enough.
    You are amazing and as always I am honored to know you through blog land!

  36. Praying with you and for you sweet friend and lifting you up to our Father continually. Your words are such a blessing and your strength and faith are very evident in every word written. Praying that He surrounds you with His Shalom Shalom every minute as you travel this journey.

  37. You are on my mind girl. I know the Lord has been flooded with your name in prayer. How 'wow' is that! I think most of us don't realize the power we have in prayer. I am including myself in that thought. The Lord will not let this be wasted. He knows your heart Elaine. You name is being lifted up to heaven and your Fathers hears all. Thank you for having Billy update us. May God's perfect peace continue to surround you. hugs, B

  38. Praying, dear friend. Even today, what you are going through has not been wasted, by sharing your heart…you have already blessed me more than you know with your strength and faith.

  39. Elaine,

    You're in my prayers for sure. I love your frame of mind. It's liken to mine. I praise God for these kinds of times in my life as well as the good times. Love and hugz to you Elaine.

  40. Well agreeing here in prayer too, and praying God's wonderful hand of grace be upon you, hugs my friend, and God is what we need for any journey. Barbara

  41. Sweet, Elaine. You are a mighty warrior of God. No doubt about it. Your post is a blessing to read and touches the very depths of my soul.

    As I'm reading this, you are most likely in surgery if it wasn't delayed. Praying God's best over you and your precious family right now. May God's healing anointing be poured graciously over each and every one of you.

    Prayers of blessings and healing,
    Rebecca

  42. I'm praying for your surgery, recovering and plans for the next part of your journey.

    Thank you for your post. It reminds me that I don't want to waste a moment of the life God has given me.

    Please know that you are being prayed for daily.

    Sheryl

  43. I dare say your name has filled the universe from the looks of the number of prayer warriors storming heaven on your behalf.

    As I walked this morning I not only prayed for you and your family, but I had the most amazing sense of God's watchful gaze upon each of you as He stood near the surgery room, and now stands near as you begin the early hours of recovery. What a gaze; what love!

    We wait, expectantly and hopefully, for good word following today's surgery.

    I love you, dear one.

    Kathleen

  44. Well, I read this late and your surgery is over…I pray it went well and will be praying for your recovery…

    Let me add my accolades…you are an amazing daughter of the King…

  45. Wow Sweetie,,,You are sooooo full of the Spirit!!!! His Spirit!!!
    That is the ONLY explaination for your peace!!!
    I am in AWE of HIM and of you too.
    May Gods Blessings Cover You and Yours!!!
    Hugs Dena

  46. Elaine,
    Wow. I have been following your blog sporatically for a couple of years now and I have to admit its been at least a couple of months since I've popped in. All I can say is, you amaze me. Your faith, your surrender, your trust of our Father is……I am speechless and so grateful for you!! Its an honor to pray for you sister!! Debbie

  47. I totally know what you mean, Elaine, about this intimacy with Christ that seems to come no other way but through suffering. I went through a cancer scare back in '97 and while I don't want to go through the experience again, I do miss that very special intimacy I felt so strongly while He carried me through it. And He is carrying you too. The peace we can know during these times, and you know, is real, and is enough. God bless you and your family as you walk through the coming days. We all look forward to hearing from you again. Love & prayers…

  48. Oh Elaine, I had NO idea. I'm so sorry about this diagnosis and am believing God for a good report from your husband soon.

    Please know you are in my prayers! May the surgery be completely successful, and may God grant you fast and complete healing, eradicating every single cancer cell from your body.

  49. My love, prayers and heart is with you and will remain. Came back over today to tell you that. I love you!

  50. Elaine,

    I pray that your surgery was successful and that you are recovering well! You wrote that "That kind of 'living with' can only be filtered through the lens of peace." You are so right. Today I pray that God's peace that is beyond anything we can understand, is upon you and your family. I pray that He grants you strength as you continue this battle with cancer. God never, ever wastes a hurt. so, I know that as you desire, He will not waste this. Your witness is an inspiration in His Kingdom. Thank you Elaine.

    Living for Him, Joan

    P.S. I received Sandi Patty's book – thank you so much! It was a true blessing to win!

  51. Hey dear Elaine! I'm learning of your surgery late but want you to know that I continue to lift you and your family in prayer and stand upon His promises for a quick and full recovery. As I was thinking of you earlier, Elaine, I felt the Spirit impress upon my heart these words from the Fathers heart….

    "I'M CARRYING HER THROUGH"

    So, as I felt His presence, I lifted you before the Throne of Grace believing that you KNOW and EXPERIENCE His warm embrace, abiding Peace and overwhelming Love for you as He CARRIES YOU THROUGH!

    HE IS FAITHFUL!!

    Luv, Hugs and Sweet Blessings!
    Jackie

  52. Elaine, I've been missing from the blogging world for a while and just couldn't believe what I was reading. Please know that I will be joining with the rest in prayer for you. I just received your book "Peace for the Journey" and am looking forward to reading it. Even more so now as I will be reading what you will be applying even more so in this journey with Him.

  53. You are such an amazing women of God Elaine…God must be so pleased!!

    Believing Him~Pamela

    • Thank u Lord tth i stummble upon this GOd bless u , my husband was digonosed with brain tumor back in jan had all the treaments and tumour came back , now new treatment , My God restore u to compleat health u sure have blessed me and gave me hope I am standing for my husband
      and you

      • Darlene:

        I’m glad you stopped by. I’m doing much better than I was nearly two years ago. Thank you for sharing your need with me. I’ll be praying for you both as you travel through these strange waters.

        Blessings~elaine