Really, though. For me there was so much irony wrapped up in this award business because my medical circumstances and my spiritual reality both work together to make survival sort of a non-issue for me. I know that:
1) I will die. Don't know if it will actually be from brain cancer.
2) death will not be the end of me. Jesus said, "because I live, you also will live," and, "I will come again and bring you to myself that where I am you may be also."
3) my days on earth can be lived in freedom. Because of Christ's complete work on the cross, I don't need to spend my time ensuring my future. I can live in pursuit of loving others, developing talents that I enjoy, and seeking truth. I can live in Ohio or move to brazil. I can go through the drive-through and eat crappy food with my kids at their school.
|both sets of parents came into town for the fun.|
|yup - those dresses are exactly the same!|
Also, I got a trophy so my kids are really proud of me.
I know Ben is just itching to post a video of the thing but I would prefer that not happen. To try to hold him off a bit, I'll share some pictures and the text to my speech. I'm more comfortable writing than speaking.
I find this so ironic because I stand before you as someone who has made it through a long year and a half of my cancer journey, but someone who has a cancer with a 100% recurrence rate and no cure. So being a “survivor” is quite temporary. And
what kind of Champion of hope am I if there is no hope? How do you have hope when it is so dang hopeless?
But I do. I have so much hope. Because, to me, cancer isn’t a battle at all. I don’t like to call it a battle because that implies that there are two options winning, which is beating it, and losing, which is dying from it. And probably unless I get hit by a bus first I will die from this (hopefully not for a very long time). But, I can’t lose, because my victory has already been won for me.
Cancer can take away my security, my future, my abilities, my energy, my sanity and even my ability to go to the bathroom. Cancer can and probably will win the battle. But the things that I need to be victorious faith, hope and love, have already been given to me and can’t be taken away from me.
I can be sad at the losses my family has had and will have because of cancer. I can be heartbroken at the thought of my kids losing their mom someday. I can worry that I might not be there when they need me, but I can’t lose hope, because my hope isn’t in surviving and it isn’t in a cure that might be found someday. It’s in what already happened thousands of years ago when my savior gave His life to ransom mine so that whatever kills my body cannot threaten who I am in Jesus.
I know that all of us here think differently about spiritual things, but together as patients, caregivers, loved ones and medical professionals, we’ve all had to face mortality, and so we’ve all given it some thought. For me, facing my death has made it more important that I examine my longheld beliefs to find my reason for hope, and I’d like to offer that reason to you: not in what might be, but in what already is. You are already loved by the God who created you. He already paid the price for not only
your sins, but for what this broken world has taken from you. He is already standing at the door to your heart, asking you to let Him in. He has already bought you your hope and your Life, and waits to walk through your journey with you. And that’s where I find hope in the hopelessness.
I brought this book that I read to my kids. And when they’re not there, I read it to myself because I love it so much. It’s called The Jesus Storybook Bible, and it’s my favorite Bible. There’s a part I want to read to you. It’s right after Jesus died, and then came to life again, and paid a surprise visit to his friends to show them that He was alive and real.
Jesus’ friends were afraid. So they were hiding in an upstairs room with the door bolted shut. But that didn’t stop Jesus. He just walked straight through the wall.
“It’s a ghost!” Thomas screamed and hid under the table.
But it wasn’t a ghost.
Peter gave him a fish. They all hung back and watched him eat it. This can’t be, they were telling themselves. It’s impossible. It’s not happening.
But it was right in front of them.
“Delicious!” Jesus wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and grinned. “Can a ghost do that?” He winked. And then they all laughed.
“I’m really here!” Jesus said.
And he really was.
The friends felt their hearts would burst from the happiness. They ate together and chatted happily. And every now and then, they’d just gaze at Jesus, and have to touch him to be sure they weren’t dreaming.
Jesus had a real body but this body was better. It had come through death and couldn’t get sick or be killed again. This body would live forever. Jesus had come back with a brand new body.
Not only were sad things coming untrue, the friends realized, they were becoming new again. Was God going to make everything new?
Jesus said, “I am the Savior and the Rescuer of the world.” And they knew, because he couldn’t stay dead, because Jesus had come alive again, that somehow everything would be alright.
Oh and guess what? Some papers we needed have arrived from brazil and on Friday we are taking a quick trip to DC to try and apply for our visa. You know what to do! (pray)