Monday, December 15, 2014

Doing Battle, Week 12

Last week after I spent those two days being afraid, I stopped to wonder why I was suddenly giving so much airtime to fear.  And I realized the thoughts that kept tumbling through my head were focused on the bad, the pain, the misery. At the risk of sounding like I'm over simplifying things, or worse, wrapping all my troubles in a neat little package, I really think much of my struggle was because of where my mind was focused.

I had to stop and think about what I was thinking about. I recalled one of my favorite verses:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Over the years I've trained my brain and made it a habit to reign in bad thoughts.  I can go from wanting to divorce my husband to thinking I'm the luckiest girl in the world, all in my head, without my circumstances changing.  My kids go from disobedient wretches to tender hearts who need to be nurtured, just in the time my thoughts about the situation change. Its all about making it my habit of thought.

I heard someone say once, Fear and faith are both powered by focus. When I heard that it struck me that both require effort, its just where I want to place my focus.

When I'm having a particularly hard day, I will say the above verse over and over and when a negative/selfish/fearful/bitter thought comes looking for a parking space in my head, I'll run through the list to see if the thought can stay.

Is it true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious, the best, the beautiful?

If its not, then I do my best to send it away and replace it with something from the list. Is this always easy? No! In fact, sometimes its really, really hard and I don't get it right. Sometimes?  Hmm...maybe more often than sometimes. ;) Its not easy, but once it becomes a habit its easier, and the peace...the peace of God and the God of peace that follows is worth it.

Carry on, Warrior

One day this week my uncle texted me that we are prisoners of hope and children of promise.  Yes!  Paul wrote his letter to the Phillipians from a prison cell, but he said he wasn't a prisoner to the Roman government, he was a prisoner of hope. He'd learned to hold out hope in hopeless situations.

Unlike Paul I am far from being in a hopeless situation. And that's what bothered me after I posted last week that "I will do another treatment....that I have to."

I have to??  No, I get to. Seriously.

After I was diagnosed, we talked to my doctors about how we were going to treat it not if we could. My cancer was caught in time to be treatable. Not only that, but we have good enough insurance that we are not wondering if we're going to lose our house to pay for chemo drugs. And just 30 minutes away there is a good cancer center that can help me....we didn't have to relocate to get treatment. And we have a large family, both relatives and church family, who are stepping in to walk this journey with us, carrying much of the burden.

I can't shake the thought that SO many would love to have the privileges I do....affordable, accessible, life-saving care with an incredible support system. No, I don't have to go through chemotherapy, I get to.

So today I am off to take in Round #5. Not without some fear and trembling and dread and can't-I-do-this- again, but also with much gratefulness.

Thank you for your continued love and support and prayers. I covet them today and this week.


sara said...

loved this post. such good words. prayed for you this morning as you start this next round.

LuAnn said...

You are such a witness to others. Hope round 5 goes so much better! Keep the FAITH.

Amy said...

When's your book being published? You have definitely done the work to train your brain. You're walking it, not just talking it! == What does the mug say?

Karen said...

Dear Lisa, what a wonderful post. You are amazing and I see God thru you. Thank you for your outlook and reminding us to be grateful and confident in all challenges because we are children of God. Onward, warrior woman! Looking forward to our Christmas time all together. Love you lots!

Laura said...

Thank you sweet friend - tried to comment early this morn but my phone was not liking it - well here is how your post reached greater than those of us reading it - I sent the verses to a friend going through a hard time and she was grateful - nice and easy to copy and paste so thank you. Working on message for outreach group on Friday and I will use the fear vs. faith focus point and I know it will inspire them - will even encourage them to read your blog - so much Godly wisdom to absorb for us all and worth passing on - keep fighting the good fight - you will win - you know we love you but it is good to hear again and again - lets facetime again one day soon:)

lily said...

I'm so thankful to have you in my life. You are an inspiration to us all and a true warrior. I admire your positive thinking and will think of you when I need to put it into practice! Our God has you and your precious family in the palm of His hand and under His wings. Much love!

The Bug said...

I'm going to remember this post the next time I whine about having to get up early to go to work. For heaven's sake - I'm healthy, I HAVE a job, I LIKE my job & I'm in charge of whether or not I get enough sleep.

I smiled this Sunday - I was Intercessor & I got to read your name aloud along with the others on our prayer list at church.