Victimization, Despair and Heaven

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; 2 Cor. 10:4-5

I often times can be found at my computer reading devotions in the morning. The kids are sleeping, the house is quiet, and I can sit uninterrupted with my cup of coffee. This morning I read the following devotion:

Just the other day, a young patient sat sadly, telling one of our chaplains that she just didn’t have the strength to fight her cancer. She wanted to live, but she just had no energy to fight, so she was resigning herself to the fact that she was going to die.

The chaplain told her, “Well, you basically become what you focus on. So if you focus on dying, on being weak, on having no strength, you probably will die. But wouldn’t it be better to focus on what makes you happy, what gives you hope, what gives you strength? Then you might find out that you do have the energy to fight this disease and to live.”

Good advice. Because when cancer strikes, the battle for survival must be engaged at the mental, emotional and spiritual levels as much as at the physical level. Thoughts of death, dying, resignation, victimization, despair, depression and hopelessness are as lethal as cancer itself.

And because God knows that and knows how weak we are to Satan’s suggestions, doubts, lies and whispers of death and destruction awaiting us, He gives us supernatural weapons to win the battle for our minds and thoughts, including His power, His Word and His authority, when we’ve given our lives to Him.
Engage your mind in the battle with cancer

How true that is! Lately I have found myself wondering about what the future holds for me and my family. I have laid awake at night, pondering on this over and over, and the answer remains the same: The future holds hope. Whether I am to live another 50 years, or merely days… The future Holds hope..

Barbara Johnson, who I recently found out died of a brain tumor, said it best…

The worst that can happen is the best that can happen.

The worst that the future holds for me is that I will die. Cancer didn’t change that reality for me!! It certainly will not steal my hope and joy while I am here! I love how Barbara Johnson ends that thought:

Christians know the truth of that statement. For surely the worst that can happen is that we die- and that’s actually the best that can happen because we know that we don’t go from life to death. As singer Kathy Troccoli says so emphatically, when we die we go from life to LIFE! We sigh out that last earthly breath and breathe in the glorious atmosphere of heaven!
-Plant a Geranium in your Cranium, Barbara Johnson

Now don’t get me wrong… I have alot of living left to do! I just needed to remind myself (and possibly someone else out there) that We have so much to look forward to in this life, but it veils in comparison to what we have to look forward to for eternity!

Worry Borrows.
Worry Borrows. It’s a disease of the future. It borrows the unknown trouble of tomorrow The worrier loses the beautiful spirit of hope because worry paints such a gloomy, shocking, dreadful picture of the future.”
-Joyce Landford

Amen.

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Comments

  1. Beautiful! A wonderful reminder for all Christians. Live for the hope to come! Blessings on you!

  2. This was a great post, even for us that don’t have cancer. I worry about getting in my car and dying in a car wreck. Why ponder on that?

  3. Live on Heather – Live strong!

    Heavenly Father – I pray that you infuse Heather with Your COURAGE – that she may be STRONG because of you, inspite of herself and that she is on guard – for the tempations of the evil one – and that You are her CONQUERER. God – I pray that you continue to live out your purposes through and in Heather. Fill her heart to overflowing with LOVE and let that love spill over. Bring her JOY in what you have planned for her and remind her that YOU ARE NEAR – always – You are Near. And lastly God, when Heather is despairing, give her a glimpse of the JOY that You have for her not only on this earth but in Your arms. Amen.

  4. mtnmamaof4 says:

    Hang on to hope! Hope in the Lord never disappoints!

  5. The cup of life the Lord gives us is neither half-full nor half-empty, it is filled to overflowing!

  6. Beautiful post. I didn’t realize that Barbara Johnson had died. I have read all her books and was just talking with my mum a few weeks ago about her, wondering why she hadn’t written any more books. I had no idea.

  7. (HEATHER) you have deffinately spoken to my heart here!!!
    As your posts usually do!!!

    I love you sis! and will be calling you soon!
    I also want to hear what you think about your new jewelry!

    Love you sis!

  8. Could it be that God knew how powerful our thoughts are — whether we’re in a life and death struggle like cancer or a daily grind that brings discouragement — when he had Paul pen Phil 4:8?

    Good words, Heather. Thank you for taking the time to share these precious lessons with us. They are like refined gold, forged in the fire.

  9. OH, I also was going to tell you a little rumor I heard, Something to do with EVERYONE getting together for Christmas! have you heard it? Call me, if I don’t call you before!

  10. Thank you, Heather. A wonderful reality check for anyone and everyone…

    Prayers continue.

  11. Good Morning Heather, It was so nice to start my Monday morning off with a cup of coffee and a post from you. It reminded me of how 11 years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, the Lord removed my roots of worry and replaced them with roots of Hope. Worry had such a stronghold in my life up until my visit with cancer. God used it to show me hope of my future which had always been in His hands. Cancer, chemo, and radiation all sucked big time, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for the wisdom and peace He gave me as I watched my loved ones and friends do the worrying. I learned so much during that time about what really matters in life.
    Some people would think it to be morbid, but there is a real peace in facing death and watching the Lord conquer it through us. Trading worry for Hope was a blessing in my life. And how blessed are we that the Lord works through us inspite of our human limitations.
    I pray for your continued mending and Hope during this time Heather. I am asking God to allow you the personal time it will take for you to climb back into your skin and run forward in Hope at your own pace. Do not worry about doing it faster for everyone else out here who cares for you. Take your time and do it for you first, and for your family who loves and needs you. This is your Hope. Sharing your life experience with us here should remind us to search our own hearts and lay our concerns at the feet of our Lord. My Hope for you this week is that as you continue to mend, the Lord pours his Love and Joy all over you and your family, returning the normalcy to your lives in deeper ways than ever before. He loves you so very much and I know He has blessings for you ahead that you can’t even imagine. Stay true to yourself and to the Lord and He will guide you through your future.~*~Have a most wonderful week in the Lord and your mending~*~Laurel in Ca.

  12. Lovely post, you always make me think

  13. Thank you for your post today – it hit home it spoke volumes – thank you.

    Ruth :)

  14. Thank you Heather. My “worries” are not so life threatening but they overwhelm me at times. I’m dealing right now with making peace, if that is even possible, with never being able to give birth to a child. Never having that experience. The “neverness” of it all is eating me up and I must find a way to make peace with it.

    And now that I think of it, anything that overwhelms us is “life” threatening isn’t it? All the stuff that takes away from us fully living the life we’ve been given, disappointments and all, is threatening to put us in the place of living a lesser life. Maybe that is what I should worry about.

    Thanks again for always being honest. Always.

  15. You will never know how much this ministered to me this day! Thanks so much!
    In HIM –
    Mindy

  16. my aunt jane was diagnosed with a rare ovarian cancer and given 6 weeks to live. she hated what the chemo did to her, but she wasn’t ready to die just yet. she live for 3 more years and in that time she told everyone she met of God’s love and how he had given her the strength to continue. God bless.

  17. These are such wise words for all of us, Heather. We should all start living our lives in fullness and gratefulness to Him who has given us those lives and not because of the fact that we will die someday but for the fact that God allows us to live just one more day! Each day is precious!
    Hope you are feeling better and better every day!
    God bless!
    xo

  18. These are important thoughts, Heather. Thank you for sharing with us.

    Have you seen Leroy Siever’s essay for this morning? It is one of his absolute best. I think you will agree.

  19. Heather,
    I love your blog but I am having a hard time reading it because of the color. I don’t know if it’s just me and I’m not sure how to fix it on my side. I am praying for you!

    In Him,
    Terri Sue

  20. Heather, this is a great devotional for all. Thanks for sharing and don’t forget to plant that geranium in your cranium!

    Karen :)

  21. While I’m not dealing with cancer or something life threatening, I soooo needed this post today. Lately, with my only American friend here moving away, I’ve been feeling very afraid and worried. I’ve been afraid that I would fall back into despair and depression. Your words today reminded me that I’ve got a choice. Sure, I’ll still need to grieve the loss of my friend here, but I have hope and a future that is good because it belongs to God. So from today on, I’m going to choose to have hope despite my loneliness, despite my various fears for life here, and despite my overactive imagination that is prone to dwell on what-ifs. I will hope, because God is still here and will always be here.

  22. Heather,
    As many have already said, what you said today was good for all (not just those with cancer). I personally have not had to go through cancer myself, but lost my mother to cancer very young. I understand your worries as I saw my mother ponder much during her short illness. The one thing that sticks with me though to today and it was in your post today was the message of “hope”. She proclaimed it. You’ve proclaimed it! Going through everything cannot be easy. I thank you for finding the strength to be an encouragement to all! May God continue to bless you and your family. May you live long and prosperous and tell you story for many, many years. You are covered in prayer.

    Many Blessings,
    Paula

  23. Heather – great post today. Applicable to all. I love to think that there are those reading your blog, who have no idea that they are hearing vital information – they are just storing these nuggets in the back of their minds, and they will pull them out at a time when they are in desperate need, and they’ll be thankful for your insight. Keep up the good fight.

  24. Lynne B. says:

    Again Heather, your words have comforted me greatly. It has really been difficult for me to get my brain around the fact that my best friend’s death was the best new day of her life! That is the HOPE we all have in Jesus. This weekend is our towns Relay For Life, and I will be praying for you as I walk the track, and thanking God for your wisdom beyond age, and the blessing yo are to all who read your blog. (By the way, my friend often recited the Corinthian verse you shared in the beginning of your blog) Keep fighting the good fight.

  25. Heather – Did something happen to your main page? The red is really off center and the whole left side of the screen is missing…..

    Keep fighting!

  26. Heather, I think Amy at http://wilhoite.blogspot.com/ could really do with reading this today. She is a year into her battle and is weary right now. I continue to pray for you and your family as well. She needs so many prayers too.

  27. I have a friend who is battling cancer yet again. She will not win this fight here on earth, yet we know she will ULTIMATELY win. I think you two would be great friends. Spunky, fun fighters who know the Truth and have HOPE. I know people tell you all the time that you are an inspiration… it is true. God is using you in incredible ways.

  28. see, here’s the thing…

    We’re all gonna die.

    Full Stop.

    Any of us can obsess about the whys and the hows, but those of us who walk in The Light already know that none of us know the day the time or the cause.

    You can look at your kids and long for what will never be, or you can look at your kids, and take THIS MOMENT, this exact moment, and be all you can be in their life. Fully present. Fully faithful. God will be in that moment and give you all you need.

    Set your mind on things above.

    I don’t have cancer but I have spent a whole lot of my life trying to control many circumstances. It is in the understanding of WHO MY SAVIOUR IS that I am finding freedom from that. One minute at a time, no scratch that, one second at a time because that is all I truly know for sure. This second.

    and hey, sister in Christ, God has you covered this very second.

    With love from Canada,

    V.
    http://www.bricksmom.voxtropolis.com

  29. Heather,

    Thank you so much for your honesty and for your post today. It is EXACTLY what I needed to read at this moment!

    But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us!

    Blessings,
    D

  30. Thank you Heather. I wonder if you know how much you have ministered to others during this time. We have found what you have written to be abolutely true. Much, much wisdom Heather.

  31. Heather,
    One day at a time! Do not live in the “what if’s” God has given you this day, so rejoice and be glad in it and make the most of it.
    May I suggest an encouraging book? It is called ” Praying Through Cancer” and was written by several women who have had cancer, one of which was Barbara Johnson. I read it over and over during my cancer last year. It is written as a daily devotional, but I guarantee you will have a hard time putting it down.
    I am praying for you every day!
    ~Gina

  32. Oh, I love this post. I’ve always said that Steven’s journey is walked in hope. But really we’re all walking in hope, aren’t we? And this hope prevents the “what ifs” from entering our thoughts. It’s such a powerful lesson, really.

    Thanks for sharing.

  33. Thanks Heather…love Terry

  34. I needed to read this today. Thank you for posting and reminding us how precious life is and to focus on the good things.

  35. Thank you for being the blessing that you are Heather. Thanks for putting out there what God lays on your heart. You can’t possibly understand just how much I needed this reminder tonight.

  36. I’m glad to see you posting again. Loved your message today. Keep up your positive attitude.

    (fyi…like a few other commenters, I’m having trouble reading your blog too. The red makes it hard to read sometimes.)

    Hugs!
    Kat

  37. Bless your little sweet heart, Heather. You do such a great job posting, and we enjoy hearing from you. Remember- God is our hope. :-)

  38. Heather, your quote reminded me of another, from Corrie Ten Boom, the holocaust survivor. She said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its troubles; rather, it robs today of its strength.” I think you also have found the secret to not worrying, to hoping instead. God Bless You.

  39. susanwalkergirl said…
    Dearest Heather,

    My beloved Pastor Chuck Obremski bravely battled cancer. While it claimed his body…his mind remained strong and focused on the Lord. To quote Chuck, “There’s no panic in heaven…only plans.” “You will not die a day sooner, nor a day later that what God has planned since before the foundations.” “It’s a divine appointment that God has for each of us.” God has a plan and purpose for your life…it sounds like you are focused on your Lord…and seeking His will, wisdom and knowledge to live each day. Blessings to you dear one as you fight the good fight! Susan
    Heather…if you would like some CDs from Chuck…I would be very happy to send them to you. Feel free to e-mail me.

    July 31, 2007 1:28 AM susan.bunts@gmail.com

  40. So very true Heather. Often times our own thoughts become our worst enemy. Realizing the truth that death is only the beginning of life releases us to defy the enemy of our souls and his “stinkin’ thinkin'”!

    You still rock!

  41. Great post! I tend to be a worrier, mainly of silly little things, really. I loved that quote about “Worry borrows” So true.
    I’m keeping you and your family in my prayers.
    God bless :)

  42. Thank you for that gentle reminder. I needed to hear that this morning. I hope you have a wonderful day!

  43. Beautiful. A great reminder.

  44. I am praying for you Heather.

    You are one of the many that stand closest to ‘the door’, even at times you rest your hand on the knob that will allow you access to the Beautiful. That is always what I picture with those who are sick.

    We all do hang on to this world and it’s “charms” but if you should go before us — it will be your priviledge! We are all coming there eventually too, but many of us stand at the end of the line —looking up a head, many wishing we could be closer to the door to Everlasting Life!

    May God bless you today with joy, happiness, hope and thankfulness. May He strengthen you today. I appreciate your thoughts and writing. I pray for you when the Lord brings you to my thoughts.

  45. OK, I’m up at almost 2 am, pondering ‘stuff’ and then I read about how worry ‘borrows’. Yup, you’re right. Again, you’re inspring me. I’m off to bed! God bless! D

  46. Hi Heather
    Well said! So often believers in Jesus assured of their salvation and place in heaven forget Eternal life is not something waiting for us on the otherside. It is something we already Possess. We HAVE eternal life and we are living it today right now, all that is left to be determined is the address where we will be living it out. So continue living Sweet Siter in Christ and let Jesus determine the address (Acts 17:26-7)

    Because of Jesus, Bobbie

  47. Hello Heather~ This verse was in my morning reading & you came to mind, so I thought I would share it.
    Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
    I’m praying for you!

  48. Thank you. I could go on and on and tell you about how I’m terrified that I may lose my mother next Thursday to a spinal tumor. I won’t. I will memorize this post and keep it in my heart.

    I believe God’s promises. I trust Him with my heart. I just need to trust Him with my mother’s life.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.