However, "normal" is nothing like what it was 5 years ago when this all started. All in all, it is a good thing, in most areas it is a great thing. Cancer taught me, my family, and my closest friends that God can do amazingly great things in the middle to terrible circumstances, if we follow Him through the valley. God grew me through those years of being sick. He matured me spiritually and emotionally.
There were some other things that went on during that time that forced me to "grow up" as well, things that I won't go into here because it would only reflect poorly on the people involved. I learned a lot about forgiveness and about how HARD it can be to forgive someone. I learned that the best way to deal with gossip is to confront it head on, get everyone in a room and talk it out. I learned that people will make assumptions about a person based on THEIR history and THEIR feelings and beliefs and emotions more so than on those of the person they are making assumptions about. I learned that God can use ALL "bad" circumstances for His Glory....if we turn to Him and follow Him and do things HIS way. I learned that you are responsible for your actions and your words...no matter how you FEEL.
Galatians 2 talks about dying to self and letting Christ live in me. This is a wonderful feel-good concept, unless you really look at what it says and really commit to live this way.
Galatians 2: 19-20 says:
19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
It is easy for me to claim "I no longer am bound by the law!!" It is, however, just as easy for me to place that yoke of bondage on others (you need to be in Sunday School, you need to be in church, you need to read your Bible every day, you dont need to wear skirts that short, you need to stop using foul language, you need to....). God did not call me to be the legalism police. How often we act as "fruit inspectors" and pass judgement on people and their spiritual condition without even CONSIDERING what FRUIT is!!! Galatians 5:22-23 says "22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
When we "inspect" people's spiritual life, what do we look for? The ONLY things we can use to determine whether a person os TRULY growing as a Christian is to inspect their fruit...
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control. THESE are the things we are given by the Holy Spirit. A person who never misses a Sunday morning church service, but is not kind, gentle, peacful, joyful, faithful, patient, loving, and self controlled is just another body inthe pew on Sunday Morning. Being there every Sunday does not make a person a mature Christian. Yet, we are often more concerned with someone's church attendence than we are their God given Fruit.
It is easy to claim grace for myself and trust God to forgive me. IT is harder for me to extend that same level of grace to others.
It is easy to say "I am not the person I was before I knew Christ", but much harder to "die" to what I want for MY life every day so that I can be who GOD wants me to be.
It is easy to trust that Jesus died for my sins so that I can go to heaven when I die, but harder to live each day as a new creation in Jesus Christ.
It is hard to live and speak and act and love in such a way that those who see me do not see me, but see CHRIST in me.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
So simple, yet so complex.
So, not that I am "well", my posts will naturally move on to other things...like marriage, kids, work...all the stuff we all deal with every day.
BUT before we go there, I am 6 months cancer free (the 2nd time) and my voice IS improving. I am doing physical therapy to correct a lot of the damage done by all the surgeries and radiation...and to correct bad posture habits I have developed along the way.
I'll see Doc S on Friday for my bi-monthly check up. I am taking the rest of the day off to spend with the kiddos.
I'll let ya know how the Dr visit goes.