As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:1-3 (ESV)
A few months ago I was trying to catch up on my year through the Bible. I had gotten behind after my surgery. One night, I read the verses above. I have read these versus about Jesus healing the blind man who knows how many times. That night, I ready it differently than I think I have ever read it.
I finished my reading in John that night and went back to these versus and read them again. The next day I was still thinking about these verses. I had received a card and was putting it up with all the cards that I have received since my diagnosis and decided to pull a few cards from the back of the bowl thinking those are probably some that I received right after my diagnosis. One of the cards was from a ministry here in our town and one of the guys wrote in that card, “Hey Amanda, we are praying for you and know God is at work in your life!”. Guess what, that scripture came back to my mind again. God has been and is still at work in my life, and through this cancer journey so that the works of God can be displayed through me, just like John 9:3 says.
Cancer is not anything I would have voluntarily signed up for. When I was first diagnosed I wondered why me? Someone said, why not you?
Losing a child is not anything I would have voluntarily signed up for either. When our first child, Kate, passed away, I wondered then too, why my baby?
I learned a lot from Kate’s death. As a friend and I were talking on vacation last year , we both talked about how what I went through over the past 12 years has helped prepare me for what I went through this past year. God made me a stronger person through Kate’s death. I have realized in the past 12 plus years that God can carry me through anything!
God has spoken to me more than once through His word. but He spoke to me again when I read John 9:3 like I had never read it before, especially the second part of verse 3, “but that the works of God might be displayed in him“.
Sometimes we go through sufferings and trials for God’s glory. We only see such a small piece of the picture but God is looking at the whole picture.
I believe God intended to use my cancer so that He could shine through me. I always hope that I did and still do let Him shine through me wherever I may have been or where I may be. Doctor offices, chemo room, labs, the hospital, at scans, and the list goes on but I think that you get it. Anywhere and everywhere, I want God to shine through.
During cancer, God gave me a new mission field. I went to appointments and places I would have never gone had I not had cancer. We never know how God may use us in these places. We never know how a friendly smile, giving someone saran wrap because they forgot theirs, giving them the info on where a scarf was purchased because they liked it and asked where it came from can brighten someones day. We never know how God will use such simple things to minister to others and His works are being displayed through us.
During the spring Bible study I was in, the speaker on the video talked about how God uses things to make us loosen our grip (I think that is how she said it). It made me think back to how me, the over protective helicopter mom, had to loosen my grip. I could not be everywhere E needed to be. I had to rely on my friends to get her to and from places for me. A friend of mine that has helped me so much with E this past year mentioned recently how I am less stubborn after this past year. In other words, I say ok, can you pick E up and can she play at your house so I can rest? Or she may call and say, I am taking the girls to Sonic can E go with us and I am like sure. Where before, I probably would have still said sure, but I may have gone along with them or just worry the whole time until they were back home and I knew they were all safe. I am sure I drive my friends crazy when they have E and I say, when y’all get out of the car in the parking lot, make sure she is holding your hand or walking right beside you. I think I still say that a lot.
Another friend mentioned how anyone that really knows me knows that the only way I have walked this journey is God. They were saying this because the Amanda that people know, worries about things. I use to tell people, you do not need to worry about that, I can worry for you because I worry about everything. Cancer, BUT GOD! Don’t get me wrong. There were times I have worried about what if the chemo did not do what it was suppose to do. What if one of the spots I have had checked or biopsied was cancer. What if…..but I gave this to God. Even last week I was worried about the cough I had and the difficulty being able to get a good deep breath. I finally told myself whatever the results of the test would be is what it would be. Praise the LORD everything was OK!! He has walked and carried me through each day and still does.
Thank you all for your many prayers!!
To GOD be ALL THE GLORY!!!
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, Ephesians 3:20 (ESV)