I am a cancer survivor.
In the fall of 2018 I was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma. Last year I underwent 6 chemo treatments. I am in partial remission now, getting some tests and a simple treatment every 3 months. Having cancer has not been as life changing for me as heart-changing.
I memorized something years ago that made a difference in how I processed that difficult experience. This question and its answer come from the Heidelberg catechism and it is resonating with me again in this current pandemic. May it encourage you as you visit with me here at my blog:
Q: What is your greatest comfort in life and in death?
A: My greatest comfort in life and in death is that I am not my own. I belong, body and soul to my faithful saviour Jesus Christ.
This truth comforted me in my fear and exhaustion and nurtured a posture of surrender in my heart. Comforted, I regularly expressed appreciation to the doctor, nurses and cleaning staff. This attitude of giving way to the lover of my/our soul changes me, changes us. It helps our souls be like gardens in spring time that give way/open up to the transforming work of the sun, the rain and the divine gardener. In comfort and surrender, the fruit of the Spirit can grow, that is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness… (Gal. 5:22, 23).
Jesus, I belong to you, body and soul. As we are impacted by COVID-19, and even in life and in death, let this truth that I belong body and soul to you, comfort, nurture and transform me.
This is my first post to share a piece of my life with Jesus, wondering if it will connect with anyone who joins me here!
We thrive when we live according to our design. We are designed for connection with God and one another. My experience is that the more I connect with Jesus, the more I get to know, love and follow him, and the more He frees me... to connect in love with Him and others.
I write this as the COVID-19 virus challenges us in different ways around our world, including our connectedness. It is also Lent, a season of remembering Jesus’ courageous journey to the cross, for our sake.
In prayer today, I joined Jesus in the upper room (John 13:1-17) - just hours before his betrayal and crucifixion. I noticed how, despite knowing what lay ahead, He was able to take his eyes off Himself and minister to his friends. Secure in His Father’s love, He loved each of His disciples by washing each's road-weary feet. I suspect that with each washing He also offered an honest, personal conversation. They would need His counsel going forward... What did He commend His friends to do at this critical time?
“I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you
…So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved
you, you should love each other.” John 13:15, 34
Jesus' Spirit echoes this counsel to me, likely to us as we move forward. He asks us to connect and love creatively at this unsettling time, while respecting the government health guidelines.
Jesus, help us to connect personally to You, and receive Your love, your care, your peace. May we follow your example: teach us what it might look like in these extraordinary weeks to connect with and to love others like you do.