Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"But I'm going to Africa!"

I am one of those people who like to have a schedule, like to keep a calendar, like to make lists and check things off. I can see you smiling already because you know what has happened to my plans! Obviously the past week has really blown my schedule to pieces!

The first thing I said when I was told of the tumor was, "But I'm going to Africa!"

My all important question for the surgeon yesterday was not a medical question. I asked him, "I am supposed to leave for Africa next week and be gone for a month. What do you think about that?"

Of course he smiled and said, "You need to just go ahead and cancel those plans. Let's get you well first."

I don't take kindly to having my plans messed up! In fact it made me a little angry! I was having a conversation with God about this situation the other day and it went something like this:

"I am supposed to go to Africa in June! And I'm going with the group to Costa Rica in July! And I'm going to my nephew's wedding in August! And we're moving Ashley to college soon. You can't just come in here and mess up all my plans! I mean, who do you think you are anyway? God??"

- silent pause -

"Oh, yeah, you ARE God. I guess maybe Your plans are better than my plans."

This revelation led to the exchange of my calendar and my plans for God's. I know His plans for me are perfect.

My sweet friend, Dave, wrote this recently and it stuck with me: "So many times God has denied me the desires of my heart only to provide me with the needs of my soul." And I think that's what He's doing now in my life.

We received the report of the second biopsy today. They found cancer cells. I will have the PET scan tomorrow to check the rest of the body for cancer cells. I will go see a radiologist and oncologist the end of the week.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'" Jeremiah 29:11


  1. Laura,

    Jesus will over-come!!!!


  2. Oh Laura and Mark:
    Jim and I both identify with every word you have written. I think often we as Christians really do feel as though we live in a bubble...not us...not cancer. However, we have seen and experienced so many of the attributes of our Savior-God Almighty that prior to our cancer journey was just a head knowledge. I so understand the "two people"...the everyday routine one and the family living with cancer. Know that we are praying for you and yours...each family member. Will you please pray for us as Jim's kidney cancer is now in his lungs. God is faithful to meet all of our needs even when it doesn't "feel" like it. Praise be to Him who sits on His throne...and we are seated in the heavenly places with Him.

  3. Laura,

    My prayer for you today is for God's will, grace, comfort and mercy first and formost, and if His glory can be revealed through a clear PET scan. Let Him carry you, as He always has.

    Isaiah 46:3b-4

    I have cared for you since you were born.
    Yes, I carried you before you were born.
    I will be your God throughout your lifetime—
    until your hair is white with age.
    I made you, and I will care for you.
    I will carry you along and save you.

    Much love to you and your family from me and mine.

  4. Laura,

    Today be light hearted and smile at God's plan for your summer. He is not surprised by where you are and where you are supposed to be.

    Stupid joke for you. Do you know why cannibals do not eat divorced women? To bitter!

    Have a Great Day in Our Lord

  5. I just got the prayer request via "the board". Though we do not know one another, know that God has saints praying for you all over the world. Im sorry to hear the news but I rejoice in hearing you cling to your Treasure. May He bless you through this and may your relationship with Him increase greatly... no matter what His plans are for you.

    Remember, His plans may not include you alone and Im certain that they do not. How both the unbelieving, as well as the believing world, see you are included in those plans. The Light the unbelieving world will see will be as a beacon pointing them to Christ. As well, the response you give to the believeing world can prove to be an encouragement and an example because they will be able to see and remember the way you respond to this when they are in a similar situation. Hopefully they will be able to say, "This is how Laura glorified God during her time of need and that is how I want to respond during my time of need."

    Laura you are a beacon pointing the lost to Him and you are also an example encouraging the saints to cling to their Savior.

    I want to encourage you to embrace this thorn that has been given to you. I also want to encourage you to continue to try to see your situation through His eyes and not your earthly ones. Last, always, always, always remind yourself that He is good, He is always good. The trials that you are going through and will go through pale in comparison to what He put His Son through on the cross. And we know that He loved His Son. So take heart in knowing that we worship a good God; a God that is love; a God who loves YOU.

    May you remain in the safety and the security of your Mighty Tower. May His Name be known among a lost and dying world, and may you joyfully be a messenger of it.

    In Him,

  6. Vigilant, cool word, rhymes with diligent, makes sense, every hour on the hour -feel it, know it, you are held....

    Nona Kelly

  7. You know the funny thing about Africa? It will still be there when the cancer is GONE! And what an amazing road you will have traveled. And what an overwhelming testimony you will have to share with our family in Africa. And how many people you will bring to Christ with your testimony and your ever faithfulness in Him.

    Africa will still be there. And Costa Rica too. And you will be both places soon enough.

    Love you!

    Kristy Deslatte

  8. Dear Laura,
    I have dedured much pain in my life but now I feel such PAIN in my heart. I'm so sorry that you are going through all this, you and your family.I love yal so!! XOXO
    I read this on the Beth Moore(GREAT)blog and thought it might help you: She writes:
    No matter what sets a woman up to live in fear, it is NOT the will of God for us to give way to vain imaginations and waste our valuable mental energies dreading all sorts of things that may - but probably won't ever-happen. And, if they do, we'll have the grace to handle them at the time but we don't get the grace in advance to cover fear and dread. We're just out there on our own, wrestling made-up angels. It's exhausting. SO, if you resonate with that, consider Psalms 112:7
    They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.
    I hope this helps you a little, it really hit the spot with me.
    Linda Carter

  9. Laura and Mark,
    We are praying for God's healing and for His peace in your lives. We serve an Awesome God and know that He is in control when we feel we are out of control. We love you.

    Victor and Lizette

  10. Sweet Laura,

    I KNOW what you are going through... every thought, every fear, every emotion. I experience them daily. I know we don't know each other well, but we are so much alike. I know that is what God is teaching me in my journey with cancer as well... to stop making my own plans. I am still hard headed and He is still trying to get it through my thick skull. His ways are higher than my ways... Even though, right now... His ways (cancer journey, chemo, daily faith walk...) are painful. His refining process... OUCH! You are in my prayers. It sounds like you have your cancer support team, but I am here if you need someone to talk to who is walking the same path you are. God is in control, even though our lives are out of control!

    Much love,
    Stacey Gaecke

  11. Laura, I totally can relate to you and "your" plans. When they found my breast cancer I told the doctor I had 1 1/2 hours on Tuesday of the next week to go to the surgeon/oncologist bc I had speaking engagements for Lottie Moon that week. God has a way of making our plans HIS...

    We love you and will continue to pray for you, Mark, the kids, and your parents during this time. You're a wonderful woman of faith and HE is in control.
    BLESSINGS and much love,

  12. Laura,

    I have been so moved by your faith and honesty and feel so blessed that you would entrust us to your most intimate details. I have prayed so hard this week for you.

    I will continue to pray for you, I just can't imagine the Lord is ready for someone who touches so many lives to leave us. Stay strong and keep on laughing, it seems to be the best medicine!

  13. Wow, i was just catching up on your blogs. This is my favorite verse. It keeps me in check when I forgot whose plans really matter. My mom has prayed this verse over me through some difficult times I know it will sustain you too!