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Sunday, March 16, 2014

He Answered

If you’re on Facebook or received my personal email message, you have read of my health update this past week. If not, word on the street is…my PET scan was clear!  The doctors have declared that the cancer is in remission. I am claiming God’s healing grace and offering Him my humble and thankful praise.

The next step is to continue appointments every two months with my ENT along with a six month check-up with the oncologist.

God is incredibly good—isn’t He?

On another note, I would appreciate your prayers for a dear friend of mine as she continues her journey in battling the ugly cancer beast. She is traveling to Kansas City this Monday to consult with doctors regarding a new cancer treatment program. Please join me in praying God’s sovereign hand in her situation as they meet with the specialists on Tuesday.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20

Thank you, praying friends.

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When I ended my chemotherapy and radiation treatments last November, I wondered, What’s next, God? Since then, with thanksgiving and awe of His grace toward me, I began to pray, “Lord, thank you for carrying me through the most difficult journey I have ever experienced. When I wanted to give up—in every instance, Your mercy was greater. Every single time. So God, I surrender. Whatever You want from me, I’ll do.”

Each time I prayed that prayer, I meant it. And you know what God did? He answered.

Several weeks ago, I was asked to pray about sharing a small portion of my testimony in church. I've mentioned in previous posts of how speaking in front of crowds was definitely out of my comfort zone. But as I remembered my prayer of submission, I realized, this was one of the What’s next, God? opportunities. So last Sunday, I did it—I shared. Even though speaking in front of a large crowd was a little daunting, I realized once again, this wasn’t about me. It was an opportunity to share about a relationship—a God relationship.

Oh my. God is teaching me so much during this crazy journey of mine. And for some reason, that only my heavenly Father knows, I’m still here. But one thing is for certain, through every trial and victory I continue to experience God more and more.

Because you see, it’s all about the relationship.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Conversation With God

The following is a conversation I had with God this past weekend. At first, I hesitated sharing it publically because it was so personal to me. But I believe there is someone reading this right now that needs to know how important a trusting relationship with God is. When He speaks, we need to listen. And when He is silent, we only need to trust.

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I went to bed Friday night around 10:30 pm. My body was tired, but my mind wouldn’t allow sleep to come. As I lay in bed, I began to mentally converse with God.

You know, God, I enjoy so much of what You continually bless me with.

My two spunky grand-boys keep me smiling. I love watching them play, listening to their rough-house giggles as they wrestle with their Gpa, and mostly, hearing them say “I love you, Gma.”

My entire family is an incredible bundle of joy. We express love for each other easily and they bless my heart in each of their quirky ways.

And my church family surpasses all others, in my books, not to mention the wonderful friends You’ve placed in my life.

So, if You don’t mind, I’d like to be around to enjoy all of these blessings a while longer. I guess, what I’m saying is…I just want to live.

And God said, The world you live in is broken. Living here on earth will bring more heartache, pain and suffering.

I know. I said.

God continued, Life in heaven is an eternity full of joy…it is the definition of perfect.

Yes, I know. I replied.

And then there was silence.

I struggled to hear that still, gentle voice again while tossing and turning in bed, but the only sound breaking the silence was the soft snore of my husband beside me.

Several minutes passed in the quiet night.

And then I prayed, Father, even if the cancer returns, no matter what, I will always praise You.

Then sleep finally came…with peace. Yes, sweet peace.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Thank You, God

Medical update:
This week ushers in “the biggie”…aka the PET scan. After several months of successful healing from chemo and radiation treatments, the scheduled scan will determine if there is any cancer activity remaining in my body. So, my fellow warriors, I’d appreciate your prayers this Wednesday as I travel to Wichita for the 2–3 hour procedure. Results will be discussed during my follow-up appointment the week after. As always, I am amazed at God's hovering grace and peace…and of course the continued support from my wonderful prayer partners. Thank you, once again.

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As I sat in my living room typing this today, my eyes drifted over my laptop screen, gazing through the french doors into my backyard. I began to stare at our wooden deck where glistening ice had formed, along with a few spots of dusted snow that had clung to the ice, seemingly hiding from the swirly wind. The day proved bitterly cold.

But in that moment of gazing at the taunts of winter, I found myself thanking God.

Thank You, God, for the seasons You provide. Each transitions beautifully in Your perfect timing. As I tire of winter and wait anxiously for the budding of spring, Spring waits patiently for Your glorious entry command.

"He made the moon for the seasons; the sun knows the place of its setting." Psalm 104:19

Thank You, God, for the wind that blows. It reveals Your faithfulness to a sinner that is saved by grace and trusting in You alone—even when the journey ahead seems difficult.

"And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock." Matthew 7:25

Thank You, God, for the covering swirls of soft, white snow. It is a beautiful reminder of Christ’s death on the cross and through a personal relationship with Him, my sins are covered, completely forgiven, and washed as white as snow.

"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the Lord, "Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they arred like crimson, they will be like wool." Isaiah 1:18

Now it's your turn.

Thank You, God,...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Joy is in the Journey

Hello everyone!
I don't have any medical updates to share as yet. I'm doing well and enjoying every day life. As I prayed about what to share this week, God brought to mind some "Joy Journeys" to blog about. I hope it encourages you with hope in your relationship with our blessed Savior. God bless all of you!  --Jacque


When I was ten years old, I made a decision that would affect my life forever: I gave my heart to Jesus. I remember one Sunday our pastor gave an invitation at the end of the service. He asked if anyone would like to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, to step out of the pew and come forward. My heart pounded as if it was going to explode…and then I froze, unable to move. I told my mom later that day what had happened. “Next week, I’m gonna do it—I’m gonna go forward!” I said. The next Sunday when the pastor gave the invitation, my heart began to pound like crazy again. But the pounding didn’t compare to the joy I experienced when I took that step of faith and publically proclaimed Jesus as my Savior. From that day forward my journey in eternity began. It hasn’t always been easy. I stumble in my faith, say and do stupid stuff and sometimes make a mess of things. Thank goodness my faith is in a Savior that loves and forgives. Because I’ve found that as I trudge through my messy life, ultimately, Joy is in the Journey.

Fourteen years ago, I lost my dad to cancer. Before he passed away, I had the privilege of spending some quality time with him while he was in the hospital. It was late at night and he asked me to stay with him…just a little bit longer. “Being here alone at night is the worst…I just can’t sleep.” he said. So as I sat by his bed stroking his thin, weary arm, Dad began to share with me some of his personal experiences growing up. His eyes sparkled as he reminisced of places he had lived and ornery things he’d done as a kid. Through my sadness I couldn’t help but smile. It was the most precious time I had ever spent with my dad. Then all too soon, it was time for me to leave. As I drove home from Wichita in the early morning hour, tears blinded my eyes from emotions mixed with joy and sadness. A week later, he died. The best part of my dad’s journey was accepting God’s gift of eternal life. And because of that, he is now living fully in the presence of God. Even through the painful paths of life, while walking daily with Christ you will find it: Joy is in the Journey.

My brother, Jeff, died at the young age of 49. His earthly journey was cut short by the ugly disease, pancreatic cancer. The last time I saw him, I had travelled to his home in California. As I sat on the edge of his bed, we talked about our kids, his fancy boat and the future. The future, as in his heavenly future. In the 49 years of my brother’s life, I remember many times of joy. And because of his claim of Christ, I have no doubt that Jeff is now present with the Lord. Even if the journey is short, look for it, it’s there. For Joy is in the Journey.


God is always present and desires an intimate relationship with each of us. I hope throughout your own life, whether in good times or in challenges, with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you will find that Joy is in the Journey.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Spiritual Gifts

One of my most frequently asked questions lately has been, “How much weight have you lost?” When I reply, “Close to 40 pounds.” more often than not, a response follows, “What a hard way to lose weight!” It has been hard…not the losing weight, mind you, but the journey. Even through the tough days, what has kept me strong is my faith in God.

Months ago, Pastor Dave encouraged the FBC congregation to take a Spiritual Gift survey to see what our gifts were. After answering the questions, the survey determined my predominant spiritual gift was Faith. I hadn’t really thought much about faith as being a gift. Trusting God has always been second nature for me—never perceiving it as something uncommon. Even in my deepest trials, it has been very natural for me to trust that God is in control of everything.

I remember one particular day I was struggling with nausea. It was a treatment day and I literally had to drag myself out of bed to get ready. Even brushing my teeth and getting dressed was a huge ordeal. The only thing I had enough strength for was to pray. And even so, “God, please help me!” was about all I could muster. It was awful. But you know, God heard and answered my cry—just as I knew He would. That trial wasn’t the most pleasant thing I had to go through, but God gave me the strength to make it to my treatment that day—and eventually back home to my warm jammies and comfy bed. It also reaffirmed my faith in a God that cares about every detail of our lives...big or small.

I guess I say all of this in hopes to encourage you in your own walk of faith. (Oh, by the way, encouragement is another one of my spiritual gifts.) The walk is not always easy, but knowing God is with us gives hope for those weary days when you want to throw in the towel and say, “I don’t think I can do this anymore.” Believe me, I’ve been there and said that. But I’ve also said, “God, please help me!” And God lovingly says, “I am here, my child. Have faith and trust in Me.”

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Go Deeper! Again?

Today in church, Pastor Dave challenged us from the Word in Luke to “Go deeper” in our Christian walk. One of the questions he asked wasAre you willing to go deeper in your own walk in order to grow and mature spiritually? I had to ponder on it for awhileA part of me wanted to proclaim boldlyYes! I’m willing to step out of the boat and 'go deeper!' while another head-voice rationalizedI think through this cancer journey I’ve had my fill of deep challenges. Thanks anyway, but I’ll take the low road this time. My argument sounded fair enough, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the attitude God wants me to have. Basically, we’re talking about some real commitment and trust here.
I have a scan coming up in March. It’s the biggie…the PET scan. I’m pretty sure PET stands for “Patient Eventually is Traumatized”. (Just kidding, I have no idea what it stands for.) Regardless, I can sit around and worry about it, or I can say, Okay, God. I think I’ve learned some things along this journey, and have hopefully grown some. You have proven how trustworthy You are to me over and over again. I guess it’s time to go deeper. Let’s do this.
I actually did say this today. And in all honestly, I will probably have to say it every day for quite some time. The great thing is, I don’t have to go deeper on my own. God is already there to meet me, and in some cases, to carry me.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know Who holds the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stretching...It's Not Always Easy

Just recently, two separate people have asked me to share some of my testimony…out loud. As in, speaking—in front of real, live people. Did anyone else just get chill bumps other than me as they read this? I mean, the scary bumps that grow leg hair.
Let me share with you one of my deep, dark secrets. I don’t enjoy speaking in crowds. In fact, I forget to breathe normally—my skin turns freakish shades of splotchy pink—my nose runs incessantly and my eyes water because I forget to blink. Am I painting a clear picture here? Surely some of you know what I’m talking about. So when approached by my two friends to share, certainly you can understand my inner-response, Are you nuts? as reasonable.
Now let me back up a moment by stating (because they are probably reading this), it was only a temporary thought and I don’t think either of them is truly nuts. I was actually humbled by their sincere request as they asked me to pray about it. I think my initial prayer went something like, “Lord, you know my fears. Surely you don’t want this of me. I’ve already written out my testimony like You asked…what more is there to do? Plus, I can’t even speak clearly!” (Does that sound like some famous bible character you’ve read about, or what?) Once again, I realized it was pointless to wrestle with the Master. After a brief sigh, I replied, “Okay God…how many times am I going to have to be reminded? It’s not about me. It’s about sharing how a right relationship with You is most important. I get it—again.” And I surrendered.
I shouldn’t be surprised that while God continues to guide me through this incredible journey, He also stretches me out of my comfort zone. Most of the time, it’s during the stretching process that I grow the most. It isn’t always easy, but it has great rewards: An intimate relationship with my heavenly Father as He keeps me primed and able for the journey.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16