Saturday, November 1, 2014

A New Thing

Wow it’s been a crazy little bit of time!
I’m sorry I haven’t updated you in a while about the progress we’ve made, but we’ve been pretty busy!

I had a CT scan about three weeks ago to see if this new treatment was working and….it is!
Praise the Lord! My tumors are decreased by about 60%.
Most of them are under 1 cm now, which is fantastic!
I feel great, my Hodgkin’s symptoms are gone and I finally have energy again!
However, I struggled to really embrace this good news.
We’ve heard good news before. We’ve been told treatments were working before. Heck, we were told that I was in remission before.
But each time we were horribly mistaken. Each time we allowed ourselves to dream again, we were thrown back into reality with terrible news waiting for us around the corner. So it’s understandable that my heart has been hesitant to accept this.
It’s hard to shake the fear and the doubt and the second-guessing. It’s hard to keep hoping. Honestly, it’s hard to hear good news and fully believe it to be true.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the last three weeks crying and being upset about a variety of things. I’m struggling, I’m changing. God is working and I can see it all around me. It’s overwhelming and I just want to share. God is showing me his love and mercy by doing a lot of new things…
1) South Campus

Last Sunday we had our first ever service at South campus and I had the privilege of overseeing the kids and preschool areas.
This meant a LOT of furniture building, cleaning, organizing, recruiting, toy purchasing, late nights, and leaning on other people for help!
Everything went so well and we were blessed to have over 600 people in attendance last week and 15 salvations! I’m looking forward to what God is going to do with this amazing new campus and group of people. He’s taken something old and turned it into something new and amazing! This old building has life again! The parking lot is full, the classrooms are buzzing, the people are singing and God is doing something new! He really is bringing revival to the mountains of East Tennessee!
2) Baby Gideon

Our friends Andy and Caitlin had their first baby as well and it was such a blessing to be there at the hospital in the waiting room and wait for that first cry. It was so sweet to see Andy’s face as he came to announce the good news. It was so precious to get to hold that sweet new life and pray that God would bless him and use him in a mighty, new way. His name means warrior, but I believe God will use him to soften hearts. I can already see it happening. God is doing something new and something amazing with this little miracle.
3) Clinical Trial
We had our Candy Tailgate at church on Wednesday and then I headed to New York for another treatment.
My doctors are all impressed with my scans from last time and my continually improving bloodwork. They said that I’m making medical history and that I’m the poster child for this study.
As hard as it is to believe that this could be a cure or a long-term life-changing remission for us, I find myself softening and ready to receive it. He’s doing a new thing. My immune system is actually fighting off this wretched disease for the very first time. God is using this treatment to do something new in my body.

I see God working so much around me and doing all of these new things.
New buildings, new churches, new movements, new leadership roles, new babies, new treatments and I feel more than ever that I’m ready for something new in this heart of mine!
Usually we fear things that are new. I’ve always been a creature of habit and change has not always been something I embraced, but at this point in my life, I find my defenses weakening against the new. In fact, I desire it!
Lord do a NEW thing in me! I’m tired of the old way. I’m tired of the insecurities and doubt that I’ve stored up in my heart for decades. I’m tired of the crippling fear and feeling left out of life. I’m tired of questioning every step on this crazy journey and doubting your love for me. I’m ready for a new thing!
I’m tired of struggling with the same sin. Hurting my friends the same way. Getting frustrated about the same things. I’m sick and tired of making excuses for my sin. I’m sick and tired of falling back into my old habits. I’m ready for something NEW!
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19
Lord change me. Don’t let me stay the same. Shape my heart. Make me into something new. Cast off these chains that have weighed me down.
I choose to trust in you!
This is just the beginning…

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