How Has Your Suffering Been Redeemed?

This post was written  by Cindy Hamilton as she shares her breast cancer journey with our readers. Please pray and support her journey of healing.

The chemo room was like a turntable that morning.  When it was my turn to sit down, two sweet ladies we’re already sitting comfortable, receiving their morning drip.  Flo was 83 years old.  She was there because her first chemo treatment had just about knocked her off her feet, literally.  She told the nurse that she had felt like she was dying.  The other lady, Bonnie, a beautiful black lady, was in for her weekly drip, treating her over-multiplying white blood count.  Flo talked, but I don’t think Bonnie said anything except “Mmmm” when we talked about how God was the one who helped us through our sickness.  But, Bonnie had this quiet dignity and gentle smile that spoke for her.

In a short while, both Bonnie and Flo left replaced by Sandra and Summer. I met Sandra several weeks earlier.  She was in for her fourth bout with chemo.  With a shrug of her shoulders, she told me that she was about to lose her hair for the fourth time, laughing that each time it came in, it was different.  She has been fighting this ghastly disease for several years.   Sandra, however, wasn’t a victim—she was an overcomer.  She and her daughter had collected insulated bags from a local hospital, filled them with snacks and distributed them among the chemo rooms in several clinics.  She explained that sometimes you just get hungry during treatments, especially if a person is there for the day.

While Sandra was talking to me, Summer sat down, curled her feet under her and turned her head away as the nurse stuck the needle in her port.  Summer was a beautiful young woman, about the age of my youngest daughter.  Her head was covered with the cutest grey cap, which she said her mother had made for her. Her story broke my heart.  She found out she had cervical cancer five years ago when she was pregnant with her little girl.  Choosing life for her baby, she put off her treatments until she was born.  By that time, the aggressive cancer had spread.  Summer has been in treatment for the last five years, only recently having her bladder removed.  But, she is a fighter!  Her precious little girl and handsome husband came in the room with us to check on her.  After they left, she told us that she would be in treatment for the rest of her life.

Yesterday, my husband and I attended church with my daughter.  The scripture was Isaiah 53.  The minister asked this question, “How has your suffering been redeemed?”  All of these ladies are suffering in their own way.  But, none of them blame God or feel sorry for themselves.  They are there to fight this hideous disease, knowing that God is fighting the fight for them.  They are strong and brave, holding on to God with all their might.    Yes, Jesus had already fought the fight, He bore the punishment 
that made us whole;
 by his wounds we are healed.”  We have been redeemed.

“If it were not so, I would have told you.”

“Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.” John 14:1-3

This post was written  by Cindy Hamilton as she shares her breast cancer journey with our readers. Please pray and support her journey of healing.

It’s a promise.  When God makes a promise, I believe it.  I believe that God is healing me of this cancer, but I also know that there will come a time when I will be with Him.  That is not a lack of faith, but a fact.  We all will spend eternity somewhere.

Why don’t we spend more time thinking about Heaven?  That’s what Christianity is all about.  Jesus died and was resurrected so that if we believe in Him, we will also die and be resurrected to live…forever.  That just fills my heart with joy!  When I think of heaven and spending eternity with the ones that I love, I just smile!

What is heaven like?  Randy Acorn wrote a book entitled, Heaven. Randy believes that, in heaven, we will all have some kind of important job for God, filling us with a fulfillment that doesn’t even compare to the best job here on earth!  Heaven will be the best of the best.  Think about the most joyous time of your life and multiply that times a million…. that is what I think Heaven is like.

Yesterday my husband and I toured Hearst Castle in California.  It was opulent to the extreme…beautifully perched on the top of a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  William Randolph Hearst spent 28 years of his life building his “ranch”.  He never even finished it, stopping only because of his health and (finally) lack of funds.  As we walked into the rooms inhabited at times by the likes of Cary Grant and Charlie Chapman—the beautiful Hollywood people, I felt only a sadness that these people lived for their day and not for eternity.

Jesus promises “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) There’s no fear about going to Heaven.  Jesus said, “If it were not so, I would have told you.” I believe Him.

Outdoor Swimming Pool at Hearst Castle

The Vision

And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, Acts 18:9

This post was written  by Cindy Hamilton as she shares her breast cancer journey with our readers. Please pray and support her journey of healing.

Do you believe in visions?  Throughout the last six months of my illness, God has presented Himself to me in all kinds of ways.  I’ve felt his soft touch and comforting presence in the middle of the long, dark nights, been encouraged by Him through other people, and heard from Him in His Word.  He has been my constant companion, never leaving my side.  But the other night at church, something really special happened.

Our church has a wonderful praise and worship team.  They are there to lead us in worship, giving us the opportunity to truly praise God.  It has been my life-blood these last six months.  Last Wednesday night, as I was praising God, I lifted both of my hands in worship.  I felt in my spirit that Jesus was standing right in front of me.  He grasped both my hands in the air and threaded his fingers through mine.  As we stood there, He leaned over and rested in forehead on mine.  I felt this amazing peace and power—and love.

The wonderful part about this night was that He was not just ministering to me, but to many other people there.  He is omnipresent and has the ability to love all who reach out to Him.  There is no doubt in my mind that many people felt his touch that night.

I can’t get this picture out of my head.  I wish that I could paint, and even contacted a lady about the possibility of painting it for me.  She told me that she was not comfortable painting Jesus.  But, even without this picture on paper, I have this vision of Jesus standing over me that I will cherish throughout the rest of my life.

 

Keeping My Eye On………..

This post was written  by Cindy Hamilton as she shares her breast cancer journey with our readers. Please pray and support her journey of healing.

Four more treatments—if I don’t count this week, then there’s really only three more weeks, thank you, God.  I started out with 20 weeks of treatments, and I only have four more left!  But, why is it that the last few miles of a trip or the last part of anything seem to drag!  Starting out on a journey, we are fresh and excited, full of strength and energy—time speeds by.  Let me be honest with you, it’s not that it’s difficult to keep my eye on the goal; it’s just taking so long!  So, I reach out to my God to give me the endurance and patience to reach out to the end.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have quite a lot ahead of me, surgery and possibly radiation treatment, but oh, brother, I will be so happy to be through with these healing drips!

So where do I turn when I get discouraged? I can always count on Paul to set me straight.

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.

Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street.” Philippians 3:12-19  (Message)

So I reach out to Jesus because God is beckoning me onward to Him!  I keep my eye on Jesus because He is worthy to be my goal.  Healing, life, and health are all worthy goals, but all fall short of the Ultimate Goal. God will sustain me through this illness, and He will clear my blurred vision.  I’ve just got to keep my eye on Him. To God Be the Glory.

Joys

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”        John 15:11

This post was written  by Cindy Hamilton as she shares her breast cancer journey with our readers. Please pray and support her journey of healing.

This week was a week of joys; a week that lit up my soul and perked up my spirit.  Not only has He blessed me with personal joy, but He has also allowed me to experience other people’s joys.  Isn’t that just like God?

Her face was beaming.  She was standing at the check-in desk at the doctor’s office, proudly showing off a huge sheet cake.  It took me a minute to understand what was happening, until I realized that she was holding up a celebration cake for her daughter’s last chemo treatment.  Her 18-year-old daughter had just graduated from high school and chemo!  She is a beautiful, bright young lady, ready to start the next cancer-free phase of her life.  Oh, joy!

 Owen is a precious six-year-old boy who has spent the last two years of his life in and out of St. Jude’s hospital, enduring the rigors of chemo treatment.  This last week was supposed to be his last treatment ending with a “No-Mo Chemo” Party today.  At the beginning of the week, he started running a high fever, putting him back in the hospital one last time.  One night last week, the minister and others in his church came to his hospital room to anoint him with oil and pray for him.  The next day, all fever was gone, and Owen was back on track for his big party!  Oh, joy!


This weekend, a young friend played in a softball tournament. Gracie wore this ribbon in her hair in my honor as her team played in the Pitch For A Cure tournament in Springdale. Oh, joy!

Finally, my daughter and grandchildren were here with me this weekend.  Picking up another granddaughter and two grandsons to complete the mix, the weekend was a buzz of non-stopped fun-filled energy! Double joy! We played in the dirt, went swimming, and attended a “Princess Tea” at church.

There may have been some difficult moments these last five and a half months, but I can honestly say that God has infused my life with huge amounts of joy.