Today started out dreary. When we made our way to the car this morning, we were both soaked by heavy rain. I didn’t say anything to Kelly as I took his hand. As we always do when we start our journeys to the UNC Cancer Hospital, we pray: for our safety, for the safety of those we leave behind, for the safety of others drivers that we encounter on the road, for the witness we may be called to provide to those we meet along the way…and for Kelly’s blood work to be good.
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Never before today have I ridden to Chapel Hill with a heavy heart. Never before have I been scared of what the outcome of Kelly’s blood tests might be. Since the first time he went into remission, I have always been secure in the fact that God has more for Kelly to do on this earth and that God intends to keep Kelly healthy to serve Him.
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But today the devil lied to me, yet again, and I believed him for a while. All he had to whisper today was “What if?”
Lie #3: What if ______________?
Today, my “what if” was: what if the blood work shows that the leukemia is back? The hematology clinic where they take Kelly’s blood always has patients in various stages of the cancer process. Today, it seemed there were more people who had lost their hair, or their ability to walk on their own, or had to wear a mask because they were in a neutropenic state and could not afford to come in contact with germs of any kind.
Kelly During Chemotherapy – December 2010
We were blessed again today with good numbers and a vote of confidence from the doctor: instead of coming every six weeks for follow-ups, Kelly can come every three months.
Oh, how my faith faltered this day. And not because what the devil presented me with was something that I recognized as an out-right lie, such as “God doesn’t love you, Sandy,” but because it was what I initially perceived as a half-truth. There is always the chance of recurrence with cancer. It happens every day. In fact, most cancer patients will tell you that the initial cancer diagnosis isn’t as scary as the thought that it might come back.
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On our ride home, God would not let me rest until I realized what He was trying to teach me: if it’s a half-truth, it’s still a lie. This is perhaps Satan‘s most successful tool — the “What if” lie. He takes something that is real in our lives and creates a half-truth with it. Our job is to remember that even if he uses real circumstances, his half-truth is still a lie.
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What, you may ask, would I have done if the numbers had not been good? I would have been shocked. I would have been upset. I would have cried. But I would have been all these things on my knees. I would have called on my family to pray. I would have contacted my friends and church family and asked them to pray. But I would not have been weak about it like I was on the ride to Chapel Hill today. If God gives me the chance, I will never make that trip with a weak heart again.
So my dear brothers and sisters, stand strong. Do not let anything move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your work in the Lord is never wasted. 1 Corinthians 15:58 (New Century Version)
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My dear friends — what’s your “What if?”