Where does my strength come from?

In the six months since my cancer was diagnosed, (yes, it’s been six months already!) many of you have commented on my strength. While I’m both flattered and encouraged by your kind words, I feel I must give credit where credit is due.

The strength you speak of is not my own. I believe with all my heart that it comes from my relationship with the living God, creator of the universe. Oh, it’s true that tough times in the past have made me stronger and I’d be remiss not to mention that I have the support of a loving husband, family, friends and community but ultimately, if it were not for my relationship with God, I’d probably be a basket case by now!

I grew up in a church-going family but by the time I reached my late teens, I’d turned my back on the things I was taught and gone my own way. It wasn’t until I’d made a huge mess of my life that I heard something I’d never heard in all those years of Sunday School and church. I heard about a God who wanted to have a personal relationship with me and that made all the difference in the world! It wasn’t about a religion and following a bunch of old-fashioned rules. It was simply about someone who could take the mess I’d made out of my life and turn it into something beautiful. That’s where my strength comes from!

Does the fact that I have cancer mean that God has forgotten me or worse yet, that he doesn’t exist? Absolutely not! I have no idea why he has allowed this to happen but I am confident that the words of Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” are as true for me today as they were for the Jews who were living in exile in Babylon in the days of the prophet.

In addition to acknowledging the true source of my strength, I must also admit that I had an amazing example in my oldest daughter who died at the age of five following a 14 month battle with leukemia. She endured so much more than I have with incredible dignity and grace. Though her wee body was ravaged by chemotherapy and radiation, her faith never wavered! She certainly knew where her strength came from and her legacy lives on in those whose lives she touched. I am inspired to fight the fight as well as she did!

Ready to go home after an 8 weeks stay in hospital

Ready to go home after an 8 week stay in hospital

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maureen Lyons
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 17:32:06

    Thank you for your words, Elaine – they are precious and true.

    With love, Maureen xox

    Reply

  2. crazyanneca
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 18:17:59

    I found the same thing. God held me up when I had no more strength. God was there with me in the MRI, keeping me calm.

    Nice picture of Janina. I remember her cheerfulness and now that I’ve been thru chemo myself, I do not know how she managed with that beautiful smile on her face. She had incredible faith.

    Reply

  3. Doris
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 04:03:48

    Thank you Elaine. My cousin has a 5 year old granddaughter, Browyn, who is fighting leukemia right now. She is waiting until she can get a third transplant. So today you are back on my prayer list again too! God is still good. Our times are in his hands. I still believe in His healing touch.

    Reply

  4. Doris Johnson
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 10:54:08

    Elaine. You have been much in my thoughts lately. I have wondered where you get the strength to keep on “keeping on”, although I already knew (as you have just explained). I am reluctant to tell you that yesterday we attended the service for my dear friend in Red Deer who supposedly lost her battle. Of course, we know SHE won! and she is with the Lord. The service was a huge testimony of what a gracious and Godly woman she was. Just sayin’ though, that I’d much rather have been meeting her for lunch than going to her funeral. I am praying for a far different outcome in your life!

    Reply

    • edebock
      Feb 25, 2014 @ 11:40:38

      Thank you, Doris! I’m very sorry for your loss. I think you’ve hit on something important here… how much better to spend time with people when we can than to wish that we had when it’s too late.

      Reply

  5. Helen Ann Bucher
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 16:31:24

    Thanks for sharing, especially the picture of Janina. I was touched when you shared your story in Saipan. Now look where we are today. May God continue to richly bless you.

    Reply

  6. Mrs C
    Feb 28, 2014 @ 03:40:43

    Elaine, I am speechless. I never knew about your daughter and I am so sorry for your lost. Everything falls in place now, I feel like I understand/know you better. You inspire mend I am sure others too.. I believe that God sometimes put us in unfortunate situation because he loves us, because he wants us to look for him as it should be. For us to remember that there is a greater force that is beyond us, that we are merely mortal and that this life is just temporary.. God bless, my dear.

    Reply

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