Oh September. You are month of milestones and memories for me. But you also have caused untold mishaps and misery for millions of our human family in Houston, Florida and Mexico. And today is only the tenth of the month.
Today marks a milestone for me. Four years ago today I had the first of two surgeries that were six days apart for Medullary Thyroid Cancer. Anyone who is told " You have Cancer", has a multitude of emotions. I was like the countless millions who have heard this diagnosis; scared, confused, anxious for a time and then coming to a time of acceptance and the fight that fuels from inside you to fight this however you can.
I used to think that having thyroid cancer was the easy one of the cancers. UNTIL three days post op, my surgeon called and informed me that I had the type of thyroid cancer that could metastasize and I would need a much more extensive surgery. The second one took 4 1/2 hours and took part of my hypothalmus along with a sizable amount of tissue. Not to mention, the "J" scar I have from the top of my ear to midway around my neck.
Four years later, I still need two pillows to sleep. I still get occasional nerve pain and am still mostly numb around my scar. I also have had my thyroid replacement hormones switched multiple times trying to get a range that will keep me in a normal rythum. That still has not happened. I have suffered so much insomnia and have gained weight. But as I reflected this morning, I AM ALIVE.
I am so grateful that God has given me these extra four years. I have seen both of my sons marry and became a grandmother for the 3rd time. I also got to celebrate my 2 other children (from another mother) get married and one even had a baby.
I have continued in my job in Young Life College; and now I get to work for national and international YLC as the Coordinator of Prayer and Resources.
I have gotten to witness hundreds of kids stand up and say they began a relationship with Jesus each summer.
I indeed have been blessed by being given more years to live!!
One more milestone this week is I turn, what I have come to call " Medicare" age. How the he** can I be 65 years old? What the What? That really makes me a senior citizen. (well the one plus is all the discounts of these so called "seniors"). Why don't I feel 65? Do I look 65? This is way more weird than turning 60, which I absolutely hated. Now I have two insurances, so in case I get hospitalized, I wont pay a cent. Sheesh. This is crazy. Can I still be a contributor to society? to Young Life? This Medicare card has caught me in a conundrum of thoughts. Well, lets face it. I can do nothing about this milestone. Just try and embrace the facts. And also be thankful. Sixty Five years is twenty more than my mom had. And its been a good life. Ups and downs. Joys and Sorrows. But I have been sustained by a Faithful, merciful and loving God. That is what I must reflect and meditate on.
Oh but September, you have created havoc on our world. Between the end of August and today, you have had two Category 5 hurricanes hit our soil and do incomprehensible damage to the city of Houston and surrounding areas, and today your Irma tore through Florida to major cities and we don't know the extent yet, of the damage but the estimates in Florida already are over 200 Billion dollars.
My heart has ached for the devastation in our country and then there was an 8.1 earthquake in Mexico, where hundreds have died and destruction looks catastrophic.
The incredible meleé caused by the horrific 185 mile per hour winds is almost hard to really comprehend.
Where are you GOD?
Do YOU care?
Do YOU see?
How many of us have asked any of those questions?
I truly believe these "forces of nature" have grieved God's heart too.
What is the purpose? Why do these things happen?
I am no meteorologist. I don't understand much about seismic activity. So I have no answers to these questions.
But I am almost sure that God didn't "cause" these disasters because Trump was elected president or that being gay caused this.
I don't believe with all that is in me, that the God I love and serve, works like this.
YES, HE did in the Old Testament.
But we are two thousand years past the death and resurrection of Jesus who loved us so much, He was willing to suffer and die so that we might be reconciled to God.
Today, I believe that as always, God welcomes all of us, ALL OF US, to His Table. All can come and feel loved and accepted no matter what their nationality, no matter what their race, no matter their sexual orientation, no matter their color, no matter their financial position-the poorest of poor and the richest of the wealthy, male or female-WE ALL ARE WELCOME!!
Our world is a HOT MESS.
Natural Disasters, wars, poverty, racism, exploitation of many in the sex trade, sickness and disease, mental illness-which often results in people taking their own lives, drug and alcohol addiction, marriages in trouble, parents abandoning their children and spouses, families not speaking. Not to mention despicable evil rulers around the world, and people in America having the least regard and trust in the president than any previous president in our nations history.
YES, our world is a mess.
Obviously I have a faith in God and I often wonder if this is the beginning of the times when soon we will see JESUS return to earth as He promised?
I don't have the answer to that.
What I do know is that in the midst of turbulent times, I believe that God, the Sovereign ruler of the Universe, is still in control. That ALL of our times are in His Hands, not man's, not nature.
The peace that brings me is indescribable.
I am praying that you know this peace as well.
If you don't , I would be happy to talk with you.
Keep your prayers and thoughts on Florida, Houston and Mexico, no matter what you believe. We are all brothers and sisters in the human family.