Thursday, September 8, 2011

Go Throw Yourself Into The Sea

Trust is a subject from which I will never graduate or accumulate all knowledge. Understanding that is the essence of trust. Most subjects are taught and learned before mastery begins but TRUST, is mastered before the explanations are given. We don't learn 'trust' by hearing alone, we learn it through practice.

I thought I had a handle on trusting God, that was, until June 2nd, 2011.

I had trust in the fact that God had led me to discover the mass. And I had trust that His providence made provision for me to walk through a few weeks of instability. I remember the morning I went in for the follow-up sonogram. The Dr. spent a long time rolling the gel covered device over my chest, taking pictures from various angles. I ask her if this was routine, given I'd never had a mammogram before, I didn't know. She said, "No this is not routine. I am very concerned about this." She informed me I would need a biopsy and then left the room.

After she left, I sat up on the bed and thanked the Lord for leading me to this place. All I could say was, "Thank You Jesus. Thank You. Thank You." At the time I thought this was an odd response. But it was unbidden. In my heart, I knew that I had heard a warning and I was grateful for His word and for my own obedience.

A few days later, following the biopsy, I asked the Dr. what she thought I was dealing with. She said, "I think you have a small breast cancer, you'll have a lumpectomy and radiation and it will all be over. Thank God you caught it early."

My heart told me that her preliminary diagnosis was correct. And I hoped that my path would be as simple as she suggested. Although I was shaken, my trust in God was complete through the span of MRI's, total body Pet Scans and even the double mastectomy on June 22. Although the process was much more costly to me physically than the first Dr. suggested, I still had a complete and resonating faith that God had my best in mind.

My biggest battle came when Chemotherapy was suggested. Until then I saw all of this as just a small bump in the road, a minor detour in life, a molehill. But when the "C" word (Chemotherapy) was mentioned the pruning cut deep into my tree of TRUST. For the first time since this ordeal had begun, I started to question God's purpose for my life and that was a Mountain.

"What if I trust God and His outcome for this situation is not what I want?"

"What if His purpose for me here is nearly complete?"

Essentially I realized that I may be trusting Him to get me to my destination (86 years old) and He could have a different destination in mind. This was definitely a mountain I couldn't get around.

After Chemotherapy I experienced the most hellish days of my life. The first few days were fine, then on day three, I felt as if my bed was propping open the gates of Hell. More torment than I can define or describe came upon me. I rocked back and forth in the bed and moaned and wept for the deep sadness and hopelessness that covered me. My mother cried with me but for her own nightmare. She described looking into my eyes in those days and seeing me go away. Like an astronaut, I was sinking into the space around the backside of the moon, where for several black moments I was completely out of range of communication. I have never felt so separated from the peace of God. I now know the nuances that shade the depths of the "shadow of death." There are dimensions of feeling and emotion that I will never forget. By days I was drawn into the the valley and by days I came out.

One week and one day after Chemotherapy I emerged with victory. It was a Saturday and I spent most of it in bed crying. My parents came over and spent a few hours with me, laying on the bed, encouraging me. My dad finally got me to agree to go to dinner with the family. After dinner I came home and got in the bathtub. I knew my family didn't need to hear me crying again, so I hid my sobs under the sounds of the faucet on full blast. As I sat there weeping I had a conversation with God.

Many times through my trial I heard individuals quote the scripture, "It rains on the just and the unjust." This statement was my gripe with God. My argument was that as I understood it, this scripture basically meant, "the same consequences come to the righteous as the unrighteous." And I just could not square that with my knowledge of God. So I said, in a rather pitifully demanding tone, "God, you are gonna have to explain this to me. If the same bad things happen to your children as they do to those with no covenant, what hope do we have of ruling and reigning in your name?"

As I sat in the depth of my valley, staring up at Mt. Cancer, He simply said, "The JUST are joint-heirs. With my authority, you can say to the mountain, "MOVE!" and it will be cast into the sea. Yes, it does rain on the just as well as the unjust but the JUST live by faith. In My name you can speak to the storm. The rain may fall, Amie. But you will not."

In that moment, I was the prodigal child. Not in that I had foolishly left the comfort of home but in regard to the realization of how out of place I'd been. I was a favored child found wrestling with miry thoughts. With the instant clarity of remembering my way home, I began to speak to the mountains my friends were facing. I'd like to say that I'm just unselfish in starting with them and not with myself but honestly I was just more fearless on their behalf. One by one as I spoke my authority increased until finally I felt strong enough to look at my mountain: Mt. Cancer.

"Mountain's stand in the way, obscure perspective and block vision. I speak to the Mountain of Cancer, "'Move.'" You will not be the first thing I see when I open my eyes. Cancer will not obscure my perspective nor will it block my vision of the future."

It was so simple. And yet I knew the Mountain was gone. The real enemy had been fear. Not cancer. And I felt no fear. I had come through the valley of the shadow of death and I could finally say, "I fear no evil."

The shadow was gone with the mountain.

When I was done speaking to all the mountains, the wind of my breath had cut a path through the mounds of bubbles in front of me. I stopped crying and started laughing. The mourning ended right then.

The part of this battle that I truly believe can change your life is the dissection of trust and confusion. I had been hearing "it rains on the just and the unjust" and I had been interpreting, "the consequences are the same for the righteous and the unrighteous." My misinterpretation was primarily due to the way in which this scripture is quoted. This scripture IS saying that the battle for the just and the unjust are the same but it is NOT saying that the outcome is the same.

It rains on the just and the unjust. We cannot control what comes to us but as joint-heirs with Christ, we do have input in the victory. It rains on the just and the just, reign.

Take a look at what is blocking your path, obscuring your view. It might be time to name that mountain so you can tell it where to go.

Mark 11:23
"Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them."
NIV

10 comments:

  1. Sooo good! Thank you for sharing during your journey! I am truly encouraged! It rains on the unjust, the just REIGN!

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  2. Thank you for sharing... what a powerful word and revelation. Praying for you continued strength. Blessings, Danon Carter

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  3. Amie, this is very thought provoking and inspirational to me in my darkest days right now as I discover things that are difficult to wrap my brain around. THANK YOU for sharing! -Jandy

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  4. Powerful! It's encouraging to know you can be real and expose yourself in such a way. People often forget that pastors are real people just like everyone else. Your life inspires and provokes a movement of faith and trust to speak out to our mountain...whatever it is. Thank you for opening yourself up and sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings.

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  5. The just Reign, because of our yoke with God. The rain will fall but we won't! I can live with that! Thank you for continuing encouraging others in your journey. You reign rain or shine.

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  6. WOW!! Thank you for sharing this, I didnt read it through the other night as I got sidetracked, and I will say I closed it without reading tonight as well, then felt drawn back to open it up and read it. I needed to be reminded of that... GOD truly is in control and by trusting in him and believing, I to shall overcome what I am facing. Thank you!!

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  7. Pastor Amie, this post has brought such confirmation and encouragement as I just found out yesterday that they are telling my father he is probably going to have to get a heart transplant. They have said that he will go on the list, but even if he gets a heart it will probably only give him 15 years. I am not bowing to this mountain my family is having to face and I sincerely thank you for all the wisdom and experience you are shared. Thank you for your light.- Emily Merrill

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  8. Your faith energizes my spirit. You are truly a vessel unto honor for God.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Dami

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  9. Hello,
    I have a question about your blog. Please email me!
    Thanks,
    David

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