If you’ve managed to squeeze precious time out of your busy lives to read my often very wordy posts (Sorry, I fail at summarizing), then you probably already knew my original surgery time of 4:30 today was going to create a conflict with my husband & I attending our children’s Christmas performances at school. JT had his Christmas choir performance tonight at 7PM. K’Lee had her Christmas Improv Show at 7PM, and she was so excited because she had a solo. I was broken hearted. I hate having to split up to attend stuff going on at the same time, but I’m thankful that can be an option if needed. Knowing no parent would be in the audience for either of our children because I have cancer, and Friday was the only day they could squeeze in my surgery just didn’t seem right.
I took it to God. Friends prayed that something would work out.
The hospital called me Thursday afternoon and told me I needed to arrive at the hospital at 12:15PM on Friday. I was so confused at the extremely early arrival time. I finally asked why I had to arrive so early for a 4:30 surgery. The lady asked me to hold, and then came back on the phone and made me reverify my full name, birthdate, and procedure I was having done. She paused for another moment and said, “I have your surgery scheduled for 1:45PM. It’ll take 20-30 minutes. You’ll be in recovery 30 minutes to an hour. And I’m pretty sure you’ll be on your way home before 4:30PM. I hope that’s not going to be a problem.”
A problem? No, way! I call that a personal miracle!
My surgery was short, sweet, and without complication. I was home in time to even take a nap before it was time to go to their shows.
My husband went with our tuxedo dressed son to his choir concert. Chelsye, my always going out of her way for me precious daughter, took me to K’Lee’s Improv show and protected me like a mama bear protects her newborn cub. Cancer didn’t win – AGAIN!
John 15:7 states, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” God granted me my wish, but I’ve learned to read verses in context, and this story is an amazing parable. Everyone should take the time to read, or reread, the parable of ‘Jesus is the Vine’: John 15:1-17. No matter what’s going on in your life right now, let this story sink in and allow God to speak to you.
1“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. 12“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 14“You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17“This I command you, that you love one another.”
I’m quite certain God is “pruning” me right now, so I might “bear fruit”. I won’t lie. It’s painful. It looks a little ugly at times. But pruning my rose garden showed me what amazing flowers came in the spring and early summer from cutting back all the branches and destroying all the sick and dead ones in the fall.
I’ve been the useless branch before that didn’t produce anything positive. I hate to admit that, but it’s true. Never again do I want to be the branch left to dry out to later be cast into the fire to be burnt.
I never chose cancer. It chose me though. And as crazy as this is going to sound, it’s an amazing example of how I want to live my life for Christ. My cancerous cells were very fast growing. They were dividing and multiplying until one became over 3 million in a short period of time. They took over my entire breast, and potentially have traveled throughout my entire body. I want to be that kind of disciple for Christ. I want Him to use me to bear fast growing, dividing, multiplying, and invasive Godly fruit. On the flip side, I pray God is using breast surgery, chemo, and whatever treatments follow as a way to cut away all the ugly and deadly parts of cancer, so that I might be stronger and allow me a second chance to live the second half of my life in accordance to His will.
This is sort of off topic and the writing teacher in me would tell my students to throw it out because it doesn’t fit, but I’m breaking the rules because I’m not receiving a grade for this piece.
Verse 11 spoke to me deeply as well. I can honestly say I now know what this verse really means. I’m experiencing God’s joy, and it fills me with joy every day no matter what is going on. It’s almost as though all the positives in each day are illuminated in this bright light, so they stick out like when you highlight important lines in a document. It’s not that the negatives aren’t there because they are, but it’s almost like they only exist in the shadows now or beneath the fog.
I end this (once again very wordy and lengthy post) as the parable does: Love one another!