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Courage in the Shadows by Claudette Goings

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  • Courage in the Shadows by Claudette Goings

    Very interesting I found this online.

    In May 2000, I was diagnosed with a terminal, inoperable stomach cancer. That was obviously a crushing blow to me, my husband and my family. My testimony today, however, is not about overwhelming grief and struggle. It is about faith and God's grace.

    Shortly after my diagnosis, I felt an unbelievable peace about what was to happen to me and my family. If you have ever experienced this kind of peace you know - deep inside your heart - that it is not earthly.

    Ears to hear

    God began to speak to me and I realized that He wanted me to live for Him and not feel sorry for myself or give up on life. He still had a purpose for my life and wanted me to participate in His plan for me.

    This prompted me to get back on track with my devotions and prayer life. We can't possibly know what God wants us to do unless we are in regular constant contact with Him. The Bible says to "pray without ceasing," so a couple times a week isn't enough.

    Since spending "quality time" with my Lord, I have learned so many things. I cannot tell you all the times my prayers have been answered, but I will highlight a few.

    A miracle!

    In early August, my sister underwent a test for the same cancer I have and it was discovered that she had the same kind of cancer cells. This was almost harder for me than my own diagnosis. Again I prayed, and again, I felt peace. Late September she had surgery to have her whole stomach removed, and when the pathologist examined the stomach, he could not find any cancer cells! The doctors said there is no reason for her to have any chemo. I feel that God healed her.

    God even answers "little" prayers

    When I first started chemo, I was told of the many possible side effects, which included mouth sores, hair loss and diarrhea. I have not suffered any of these except for the hair loss! As well, the symptoms of this disease are very minimal, and so I lead a very normal life and am blessed to be able to be home with my children. God cares for us in every aspect of our lives. Every time we need Him He's there-even in the seemingly small details of life.

    One of these times was when I had been not sleeping well for a few nights, waking up with discomfort in my stomach and abdomen. I was still feeling a bit of discomfort before bed and was preparing myself for having to wake up in the night when I thought, "Why am I not praying about this?" So I prayed simply for a good night's rest and woke up the next morning feeling fine.

    Each time I have taken a step of faith and trusted God, I have been shown His grace and received that unbelievable peace I mentioned earlier.

    Tough decision, simple answer

    More recently, I was struggling with the decision of whether to continue chemotherapy or take a break for at least six months. We have found out that the medical community does not have a lot of answers with cancer. So my doctor could not advise me which would be better, because he didn't know. I really wanted someone else to make the decision for me - my husband wouldn't even do it. So I began to pray about it and the answer I got was, "Trust Me".

    Now, that still didn't help me make my decision. So I prayed some more and got the same answer: "Trust Me".

    As the days passed I felt more and more that I wanted to quit chemo, but I thought that I was maybe just afraid because at my last chemo session I had gotten quite sick. There have been a lot of other people sicker with chemo than I had been, so I thought I was just a big chicken.

    All this time I was still praying and still getting the answer -- you got it --"Trust Me." So I talked with my pastor, hoping he'd have the translation and say to me, "Claudette, God is telling you to continue (or to stop) chemo." Instead he told me, "Try to remember how it felt like the other times God has lead you". Well, I felt that I was not being objective, and so I didn't trust what I was feeling.

    Finally, I phoned my doctor to tell him I would stop chemo, again thinking that I could change my mind in a few days if I had second thoughts. But, you know, after that phone call I was totally at peace! I never had any doubts at all! Why was that such a big deal? I am still learning to trust God. His answer to my prayer was there all the time and His grace allowed me to feel at peace with that decision. Wow!

    Whatever happens…

    I know that no matter what happens, God will take care of me and will always be with me because He has a plan for my life. I don't know what the big picture is and I have more peace than if I did know.

    Many people would not consider cancer to be a blessing, but in many ways cancer has been a blessing in my life. I no longer have a mediocre Christianity and I am eager to continue living the life God intended for me.

    I have been a Christian for many years and have had faith, but I had not been trusting God to lead me. I was too busy trying to do all the right things and figure out my life on my own to stop and listen to God.

    Even though it seems to have taken cancer coming into my life to get me to the place of fully trusting God - it doesn't have to happen that way for you. He is there just waiting for you to reach out to Him and He will take care of everything. It's really that easy!! And it will change your life forever as it has mine.

    God wants to be our leverage in living, empowering us to feel better about ourselves, more excited about our future, more grateful for those we love and more enthusiastic about our faith.
    Angela aka sleepyangel30
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