It was just a little over a year ago that I was in Chapel Hill, NC with my husband, Kelly, who was going through his first round of chemotherapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Sonja, our nurse, encouraged us to start keeping a blog on the hospital’s Care Pages so that our family and friends could be updated about how Kelly was doing. We started writing the blog together (www.carepages.com/theanchorholds) and it was something I felt called to do. I made a lot of trips from our home in Fayetteville, NC to the UNC Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill. On the way back to the hospital after a few days home with our daughter, Claire, that I heard a song I’ve always loved. It’s one of those songs that fills up your heart and makes you feel like you’re going to burst and one line particularly jumped out at me, even though I had heard “How Can I Keep From Singing?” a thousand times. Chris Tomlin can write a lyric like very few can: I know I am loved by the King and it makes my heart want to sing. Sitting at a stoplight on the 15/501, God put the calling to write this blog and its title in my heart. I even wrote about the entire experience in my journal. But as I am sometimes apt to do, I put this calling from God aside. I continued to blog on the Care Pages site. Kelly went into remission after his very first roud of chemo and from January – April 2011 , we spent our time in and out of the hospital with his follow-up treatments until the doctors told us that he was in complete remission. They sent us home and he’s been in remission ever since.
During the first ten months of 2011, God continued to speak to me about starting this blog and I continually changed the subject on Him. It was during our fall women’s Bible study that I knew I could no longer put God on hold. If I wanted a relationship with Him that was “Deeper Still” (the name of our Bible study), I knew I would have to give myself over to Him. All the fears I had used to fend Him off during those months since He’d spoken to me faded into a strong desire to do God’s will and to share my thoughts and my life with others. I want you to know that if God can love me, He can love you too.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 New Living Translation (NLT)
Some of you who are reading this know me well and some not at all. But let me say that this love Paul writes about is not human love, but God’s love for us. It is a love we, as humans, should aspire to. But let me tell you that as a Christian, I always fall short where love is concerned. I am NOT patient. I am mostly kind. I occasionally am jealous (not to mention covetous). I try not to be but I am boastful, proud, and rude at times. I can be the most irritable person, especially when I’m being impatient. I can hold a grudge with the best of them, but I’ve actually improved a great deal in this area. I have been known to secretly cheer when bad things happen to certain people that I’ve come across in my life. I don’t always love the truth (because it can be painful) and I don’t always tell the truth. I have given up and lost faith. I try to be hopeful but let circumstances way me down at times. I can be one of the most unlovely and unlovable persons anyone has ever known.
Yet, despite all of my shortcomings, I am loved by the King. I’ve learned not to set resolutions because in my humaness (read “imperfection”) I know that I will break them. But every year I do want to love more because that is the example that Jesus set for me. To love more and to become a better version of myself through prayer, Bible study, acts of service, and giving are my goals for 2012 — and to help you understand better that YOU are loved by the King as well. If you’ve never heard the song, here is “How Can I Keep From Singing?”
“How Can I Keep from Singing?” (Chris Tomlin) http://www.youtube.com/embed/WEzEbtA9ba8”