On January 06, 2023, I went for my third chemotherapy treatment. I have now made it halfway through! After a good appointment with the PA on the oncology team, I headed off to treatment. It was a full waiting room and took a while for me to get a space. All twenty-three rooms on my side of the hall were full, except for two, and one was to be mine.
Making a Choice
Due to technical issues, my treatment was delayed two hours. Joel and I realized this would be a very long and tiring day, with a three-hour drive home on top of treatment time.
I had to pause and purposefully choose joy. Despite the hurdles that were keeping me from getting started on time, I reminded myself that this may have caught us off-guard, but it didn’t catch God off-guard.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NLT
Positioned for Praise
Talking through our chemo regimen for the day, the nurse surprised me when she said that she would give a slow injection, a 10-minute shot in place of one of the chemo medicines that usually takes four hours to dispense by IV.
Things were looking up! I would now be able to do the whole treatment in three hours instead of the seven long hours of my previous two treatments! This was great news!
Treatment three provided me with much to praise God about.
Praise God I had no reactions to Chemo treatment three!
Praise God that my left arm could be used for the IV, as the doctor wanted my right arm to rest, due to the reaction I had on my last treatment!
Praise God for a 10-minute shot to replace a four-hour IV bag!
Praise God for multiple spiritual conversations throughout the day!
Praise God that if all goes well with my PET scan, I will only have one treatment left!
Praise God for safety traveling to and from Cleveland! Coming home it began to snow hard. A city snow plow barreled across two lanes of traffic right in front of us! Thankfully he was dropping salt which enabled Joel to slow down without hitting him and navigate around him. As Joel hit the brakes he exclaimed, “We just went through two angels!” We certainly felt God’s divine protection.
“The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” Psalm 121:8 NLT
Overall…treatment three started the latest in the day; but ended the earliest of the three treatments. This enabled us to get on the road for our three-hour trip home at a reasonable hour.
To top off our joy meter, on the way home we stopped at a Chick-fil-A drive-through for dinner. There are very few places I can eat with my dietary restrictions, so with Chick-fil-A being one, this is always a treat. We got up to the window to pay and they informed us that the car before us had paid for our dinner! God certainly was over-the-top in blessing us today! It is hard to not say “thank you” for such a kind gesture to someone you have never met. God knew what kind of day we had, even if the giver did not.
Care of Community
On our ride home, I generally send out an update to all who have been praying for me. My phone is usually flooded with people who have prayed and who want to know how my day went. Welcoming others to this journey has been a highlight for Joel and me. We need this community; yet we also want God to get the glory that He deserves by sharing of His faithfulness with others.
As I was reading through responses that people texted and sent through Facebook, I came across one from my niece that instantly brought tears to my eyes.
“So, so happy to hear how God worked it all out in His perfect way. It thrills my soul and makes me feel so seen and loved by God when he orchestrates something I pray for in a way, better than I could’ve even imagined.” LJ
As I responded to these touching words, my niece later shared with me how God has shown up in her past personal experiences to show her His love…”by orchestrating even little things better than I’ve even prayed.”
Seen and Loved by God
As I re-read her words, this phrase jumped out at me.
“It thrills my soul and makes me feel so seen and loved by God…”
What a beautiful picture. God sees us when we pray. The one praying is seen by God, as well as the one the prayers are offered up for.
This touched me in a deep, intimate way. I am seen and loved by God! To be seen by God is just so profound. So personal. So giving.
“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a NLT
What a profound thought that God sees us and loves us. No matter what situation we are going through, we are never forgotten by God. He knows what we need. He knows the struggle we are going through. He hears us when we pray and He hears the prayers of His people as they are being lifted for us.
God knows me! He knows my deepest longings and my greatest fears. When I lean in a little closer to God, He offers up peace. A peace that quiets the most anxious of hearts. He dispels my worry and offers up joy!
“But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.” Psalm 33:18 NLT
On this day of what could have been a deeper struggle and disappointment, I sensed the eyes of the Lord directly upon me. He not only looked at me with eyes of love, but he saw me with the beautiful intention of strengthening me. And in this I know that the Lord will continue to see me as I take the next steps in this journey of lymphoma. I am seen by God!
God knew before the beginning of time just what I would need today!
I was reminded often throughout the day of all who have been praying for me and I feel abundantly blessed.
What are you facing today?
I don’t know the struggle that you may be facing today. I desire that you might know that prayer is the power to all who believe in Jesus Christ.
May you look for ways that God wants to show you His amazing love by orchestrating even the little things in your life… better than you even hoped or prayed for.
A Personal Prayer for God’s Watch Care
God, Thank you that you keep watching over me as I come and go. You are Jehovah El Roi, the God who sees me. You know just what I need and when I need it. Thank you that when I place my trust in you I will be kept by your merciful hand in a covering of perfect peace.
God, I desperately need your watch care over me. Keep me relying on your unfailing love. AMEN (Scripture prayer taken from Psalm 33:18; Psalm 121:8; Isaiah 26:3-4; Psalm 121:8)
In one of the Facebook texts, a friend reminded me of something I had written in my new book. Praying Life in the Word: A Woman’s Guide to Praying Scripture.
How humbling for someone to give you back your exact words at this needful time. They were a good reminder to me that I can choose joy when I trust, rely on, rest and lean more fully into God. God has got this! He was not surprised by the delays. He is my all-sufficiency!
*“Regardless of your circumstances will you trust me, rely on me, rest in me and lean into me? In so doing, you will discover that I, the LORD your God, I am your all sufficiency.”
During our early afternoon delay, I was tempted to choose to grumble over joy. I was tempted to point the finger at who had caused the delay, over choosing joy. I am so grateful that the Holy Spirit has a way to nudge our hearts before we choose these caustic responses; but the choice for joy is always ours. I can say from this experience that choosing joy reaps huge dividends from God and the blessing is all ours!
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” Isaiah 26: 3-4 NLT
Linda Jane Dingeldein: Different by Design
*Praying Life in The Word is available on Amazon in paperback and electronic format.
*Linda J. Dingeldein, Praying Life in the Word: A Woman’s Guide to Praying Scripture (KDP publishing: Amazon, 2022), xxiii, 6.
Being creative during my treatments floods me with amazing calm. It has also given me fresh artwork for my Linda Jane Design Co note card sets.
*Click on my website SHOP to find an assortment of Linda Jane Design Co watercolor notecards.
Here are a few new watercolor offerings for my spring collection.