Gratitude

Three years.

That’s how much time has clicked off the calendar since I sat down in that recliner and watched those first drops fall into the tube that ran into my chest.  Red Devil. They called it that because it was, one, reddish in color and, two, it had devilish side effects.
Four. Two weeks apart. It took that long to recover enough to take another. Eight weeks to get past the dreaded Red Devil and twenty weeks for the next ten rounds of the second kind.  Ending with the last spaced every three weeks. 
But we did. With my loving Boaz by my side for every drop, we kept walking… through the valley to the other side of treatments.
A year and a half later came those sweet words stamped across my chart “Complete Remission.”
We celebrated with a week at the beach with our family. God had healed me and brought us through. It was indeed a sweet celebration!!!
Today I go for my now annual PET scan. You know, where they inject nuclear medicine into my vein and run me through a surly, expensive machine that requires one to be still as a church mouse, all to see if I will glow in the dark! For a year and a half I got one of these glowing (or can I just shout and say, not glowing!) reports every six months.  And because of those good reports, they’ve now spaced the scan to yearly.
Back in July when I went for a scheduled checkup, I was switched to just seeing the nurse practitioner instead of the actual oncologist. I now understand that that’s a good thing, ie., they actually don’t think there’s anything to worry about. The nurse can read the blood tests and answer any questions. Like… is that pill I take every night to prevent me from catching cancer again the reason I can’t remember some things? You know, the pill that they want me to take for five years since, if it’s “going to come back,” statistics show it will be in the first five years. And as it turns out, the nurse practitioner says it may have more to do with my age. My age!?! Did I mention for that very reason I didn’t really like her bedside manner!!!  Me? Old? Ppuuhh!
 Sorry, I digress.  PET scan today, office visit on Wednesday for results.
It’s nice that all this falls in January. We’re in the middle of 21 Days of Prayer. I have peace and faith that only comes from a purposeful season of refocusing my eyes on Jesus. Start the year off right by giving God our first.
But I would be remiss if I implied that this isn’t hard….that cloud wants to always be looming out on the distant horizon. And the closer to these tests, the darker it wants to appear.
Week one of prayer focused simply on drawing closer to God.
Every morning we were given action words like, Worship, Surrender, Dependence, Anointing, and Revival. All things we can do to draw close to Him.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8
What a simply perfect promise.   If. Then. 
What does that looks k like for me?

Gratitude

That’s what does it for me.  It’s gratitude. 
That’s how I draw close to God. I start thanking Him for how good He has been to me. I think of all the times, because of selfishness, pride and envy, I have not been thankful. How too often I’ve done things my way, the wrong way.  The selfish way.   And EVERY time I repent, He has ALWAYS been there with arms open wide, welcoming me back. Certainly one more thing I am grateful for.
For the most part, my life has been easy. You betcha we’ve walked through some hard and dark seasons, BUT God has set my feet on the Solid Rock, and like my favorite song these days… He’s never failed me yet!

I am so grateful.


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Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is ten years new to Birmingham, Alabama.  Her sweet husband of 38 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice. ~ To read Cindy’s BoP Bio click here.


Feature Image Photo by Tim Wright on Unsplash

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