From the moment Miss Kirabo LaTorre was put into my arms last December my whole life has stepped onto this fast paced exciting ride. I don’t prefer the word “busy” as it seems to always be laced with complaint. This ride I stepped on has been more than fun, it’s been thrilling and interactive as I watch God reveal blessings, gifts, miracles, opportunities, partnerships and so many unexpected surprises.
It has not been without obstacles and I’m frankly old enough to have expected them. I welcome the obstacles set before me by God as I trust that He puts them there to grow and encourage my faith. (and I’m not just saying that from my head, I’ve learned it the hard way over and over again.) And what’s more I know He’s given me a keen sense of discernment to interpret His directions from the enemy’s detour signs.
It is no surprise to me that the closer I get to doing the will of God and serving the children I love at the orphanage in Uganda the more spitting mad the enemy becomes. And that bad guy knows all of my secret buttons. (But he ought to remember I used to teach kick boxing.) About a month ago my anger was unleashed to a point of distraction. Whoa what powerful force anger can become when it is uncorked unexpectedly. Yikes. I thank God that He showed me through prayer and the Word that anger is a pit of sin to fall into, and if I fall into that pit I won’t be any use to the team I’m leading or the kids in Uganda we are serving. I walked out of my anger remembering and practicing the power in forgiveness. I saw the enemy there enticing me to jump into that pit, and I said, “NO way. I’m not going down that road. I’ve got work over here to do for my Father.”
The moment I recognized the temptation to be overcome with anger and blinded from God’s will, that’s when peace flowed through me. It was as if a feather pillow that had exploded in a room became a film that played backwards and all the feathers went right back into their pillow case, zipped up and in their place. The calm in my soul of being surrendered to God and His rule in my life helped me see which way to go.
I poked my finger out at that nasty enemy and I said, “Ha you can’t touch me because the one who is in me is greater than you!”
I wish he had just slithered away like the snake I might ride over with my bicycle. But instead he waited for me on my way back with his mouth open and his teeth glaring. I’ve seen that before, and what a scream a sight like that can produce. This time the enemy is trying to deter me with fear.
Five years ago I took a literal and figurative walk through the desert with fear. I spent time identifying all my fears, and I was surprised there was a long list. The biggest one I learned in those days was the fear of getting cancer. I was crazy afraid of it. Just the thought would bring on terrible anxiety attacks. But the lessons were ingrained in me and I walked out of that desert knowing the worst can happen to me but I am always protected by the Love of God and his peace is possible in all situations. He never leaves me alone.(the big lesson…I am not in control…of anything.)
It’s a good thing I had those lessons because yesterday I went in for a diagnostic mammogram after they found some spots in the original screening. I sat in front of the radiologist as she said to me, “I don’t know what these are, I just can’t tell. If benign is 1 and cancer is a 10, you are a 5. She wants to do a biopsy. (Ok, I admit, that’s a scary word.)
Back in my desert dwelling days there was a time in a dermatologist’s office when he put those weird goggles on and looked at my back and said, “That’s something. There’s a cancer.” I tell you straight, I fainted. It was thirty minutes before I could walk out of that office. And now I wear a big ugly scar because he cut it out.
But yesterday, I didn’t even shake and my breathing remained calm. My skin didn’t go cold and nausea couldn’t leak out. I said, “Let’s do it.” I drove home and I began to process. I had a little cry in the car but it wasn’t angry, and I wasn’t scared, it was just sadness that I have this on my otherwise full plate. I immediately recognized the temptation to fall into another pit, the really scary one for me: fear. But God is strong in me, and I am entirely yielded to the Spirit within, so I could once again see that ugly bad guy with the detour laid out for me. I told him, “I won’t go into that pit of fear ever again. Go away.”
My first reaction is always to remain private about intensely personal matters. But this one is war. And I’m drawing up an army of prayer warriors. So I boldly ask you for prayer. As I told my sons last night, don’t waste your breath now praying it is not cancer. It is what it is. And we’ll change our prayers when we find out. For now, pray there is a wall erected around me and the enemy cannot get through it. Pray my eyes are open and my ears are pricked keenly able to discern the will of God. Pray I am not distracted from the good work for the orphanage. Not by moving, not by illness, not by anger or any other trick. Pray that I hold tight to the promises of God.
The promises of God are where I draw my comfort. Here are a few of my favorite:
Have I not told you? Be strong and have strength of heart! Do not be afraid or lose faith. For the Lord your God is with you anywhere you go. ~Joshua 1:9
For I am the Lord your God who holds your right hand and who says to you, Do not be afraid, I will help you. ~Isaiah 41:13
When you pass through the waters I will be with you. When you pass through the rivers they will not flow over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned. The fire will not destroy you. ~Isaiah 43:2
For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind. ~2Timothy 1:7
He will cover you with His wings. And under His wings you will be safe. He is faithful like a safe covering and a strong wall. You will not be afraid of trouble at night or of the arrow that flies by day. You will not be afraid of the sickness that walks in the darkness, or of the trouble that destroys at noon. ~Psalm 91:4-6