My dad always said that high school friends fade, but college friends are friends for life. That is true for me. I have some really great college friends. (We met at Greenville College in Southern Illinois) We get together at least once a year and more often if possible. When I found out I had breast cancer, my dear friend Karin sent me a package (one of many cards and other things she did for me….and by the way….they live in Nashville and her husband Matt is a music producer and he recently published his first book called “Illuminated,” so check it out…..it was a great read!). In the package was a hat she knitted herself that I wear every evening and morning when I am cold and a wonderful little ring that is engraved with this inscription: “Fear Not.”
The biggest challenge in the cancer battle is not really one of health. It’s not even really the little day to day things like feeling sick, losing your hair or being tired. The biggest challenge is fear. The first few weeks after a cancer diagnosis is a daze. I remember my first meeting with my family physician (who we absolutely adore and who has been so helpful with complimentary medicine). I remember he said…..”you can’t be afraid Jen…..don’t let fear take over you.” He also wanted me to stay away from jumping on any “sure thing” bandwagons. He wanted me to eat healthy, do some complimentary medicine as well as chemo, but not get caught up in following every possible cure. This causes more stress….and anymore stress right now is not good.
Fear causes us to do many desperate things. We are overcome by it at times. But I’ve learned a few things about fear over the past few weeks. It’s a daily battle. And it is a battle. I’m not battling cancer as much as I am battling fear. But fear isn’t from God. ! John 4:18 says, “there is no love in fear. Perfect love drives out fear.” Right before that in the middle of verse 16 it says “God is love.” GOD IS LOVE! (I’m repeating myself to make sure I get it:)) I don’t need to fear, God doesn’t want me to fear and fear is definately not from Him. We could refrase verse 18 as “there is no God in fear!” He sets up camp in our hearts with love, and….I love this…..He drives out the fear. He doesn’t want it around me or you. I’m envisioning my God running after my fear with a big stick…..saying get out…..you don’t belong!
So I battle with Satan for my sanity and my stress level. I’ve decided he really doesn’t deserve my time….not with God and a big stick. But those questions creep in late at night….like “will they get it all.” “What will I do when they take off the bandages after the mastectomy,” “How bad will radiation hurt,” and then the big ones….”what if it comes back or Metastasize,” and if so, will I get to see my kids grow up?” Lots of what-if’s…..which we all live with daily….we just think about alot more with a serious condition like cancer.
Then in church last week the passage was in Jeremiah17:7-8 which says this:
“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord. Whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when the heat comes, its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
So I’m sending out roots, and even when the heat comes I’m trying to stay green with my God of love…not fear:)
Oh…And I love the ring that reminds me “Fear Not” everyday.