Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Romans 8:35, 37 (ESV)

“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:13-14 (ESV)

My bride, Lynda, wasn’t there when the call came in around noon that day a few weeks ago. She had recently gone through some additional mammograms, including one in conjunction with an MRI and needle biopsy, to rule out some suspicious shadows the doctor saw.

Once the doctor who was calling had confirmed who I was, he gave the suspicious shadows a name—breast cancer. My bride has breast cancer.

Funny how surprises like that affect you. Readying to tell her the news when she returned shortly from a meeting with some of her dear friends, I called my son and daughter-in-law and haltingly shared the report with them. Then I busied myself straightening up areas where Lynda spent time—her reading and study spots, where she worked on her computer, and where she rested. Then I washed some home-grown tomatoes—a gift from a dear friend—in hot soapy water. Lynda always wants fresh fruit and vegetables cleaned—but suggested to me later—that was overkill. But they were clean.

She handled the news as I expected—also surprised, but ready to do the necessary to press on through this valley into the rest of her life. What’s next, was her attitude—as it usually is when faced with whatever is before her or those she loves.

So many family and friends have lifted her in their prayers. Friends who have gone through a similar situation, offered real-life encouragement with their positive outcomes.

Surgery was a success, after our surgeon first led us in prayer before Lynda was wheeled into surgery. The cancerous tissues were removed, and others sent for biopsy came back clear.

At home the next day, my bride—pretty sore and tired—snuck by me to trim some hydrangeas in the side yard. Of course, when the radiation oncologist called that afternoon to check on her and lay out the game plan for radiation treatment she is facing, I took that opportunity to throw Lynda under the bus. And my bride received a gentle but appropriate scolding, suggesting that her body needed to heal itself with some rest, not yard work.

Her healing has been slow but steady for a while since that admonition by her doctor, so much so that she decided to mow the back yard on the tractor last week—and was a bit more sore for the experience. But the lawn looks nice, and my bride continues to reclaim who she is with Him.

No matter what the surprise in our lives, the path from where we are to where we need to be begins with an attitude of “what’s next?” With an attitude of pressing on through whatever it is, with Christ, as the Apostle Paul encouraged us to do.

So where do we find the confidence to press on, and to stand strong before the news of cancer, or before the uncertainty of each day? Where do we find the spirit of boldness to be able to see the sunrise that is always there to greet us each day, no matter what we face, and to move us beyond today and into all we are created to be—to press on and seek after “what’s next.”

We will find it in the truth that we are children of God, and are never separated from Him. That He not only is with us in our todays, but He has all of our future—all the way into eternity—in His strong and caring hands.

So press on my precious bride.

Cancer! Or whatever it is we face—God’s got it—so what’s next?

In His Name–Scott