GOD’S NOT DONE WITH YOU!

Victory is mine!

Victory is mine!

Victory today is mine!

I told Satan,

Get thee behind.

For victory today is mine!

This song resonated in my head as I danced through Miami Cancer Institute September 2019, with my penny-filled 16 oz. water bottle tambourine, making my grand entrance to my chemo suite, where I was welcomed by a room filled with over-joyed staff, in celebration of my last day of a long 22-cycle treatment.

Today was the day I would ring the bell, in victory of what God had done for me.  With the onlooking crowd of family, friends, co-workers, and a caring staff, I was in full anticipation mode to strike the bell THREE times because victory that day was mine.  But before I struck the bell, I shared with everyone where my healing came from, how far God had brought me, and attributed all glory to Him.

This day just couldn’t come quick enough predating back to that well anticipated moment when I would hear Dr. Diaz say, “The cancer is gone!” After your last cycle of chemo, you will be done, and you will only need to come back every three months to see me.

I said to him, “Wow! Your done with me? You mean no more lab visits, clinic, or chemo treatments every three weeks?”

Must I say it felt freeing not just to know that I no longer had to leave work early to rush to Baptist all the time but most importantly, that this disease that has taken the lives of so many, was finally out of my body and I was finally done!

During that month of cancer freedom, God began to give me revelations in THREE’S.

1) On my way to work, my hubby text me three of his devotion questions that he wanted me to answer so he could make comparisons.  Well, I went into this long, lengthy response, directing it to myself rather than him, because I completely misunderstood that he was asking me to write my answers based on what I thought were from his perspective for himself. LOL

It was actually after proofreading “my” responses, that it hit me. “Lord, are you telling me to start a small group?”

In conversation with my hubby later that night, laughing about it, that I made it about me rather than him, I expressed to him that I was beginning to wonder if God was calling me to lead a women’s group.  I shared with him that I just haven’t been able to find a Women’s Small Group that I felt a sense of unity and cohesiveness; of women who not only shared in the Word of God, but also experienced life together.

His response to me was, “Well babe, maybe the reason you can’t seem to find one it’s because God is calling you to start your own.”  Needless to say, I gave him the side-eye and quickly dismissed the thought that God would really be calling me to lead a ministry.  He tenderly said to me, “Just pray about it!”  I thought…”Ohhh, oh ok, yeah!”

In my sense of humor, I said to the Lord, “Father, if you really want me to start a Women’s Small Group, then I need You to let Michelle tell me so.”  Well, the joke was on me! God giggled at my request and must have thought, “Ok…Done! That was easy.”

2) It was just a few days later after having that conversation with the Lord that I was sitting on the bed after finishing my “Quiet Time” that I received a text. Guess who?  Yep…it was Michelle.  In conversation she randomly says this…

 

 

I sat there dumbfounded saying, “Lord, You are really telling me to do this!” Not only had He provided the confirmation I needed, He responded the way I had asked Him to. Incredible!

 

Michelle’s texts goes on to say this…

 

She even shared with me the text she sent to her brother.

 

Did I mention earlier that God was making Himself present to me in THREE’S?

3) A few days later, towards the end of the school day, I received this random text from one of my parents asking me if I have ever heard of VDC (Via de Cristo)?  Immediately I googled it and learned that it’s a Christian Retreat.  Where the conversation led to after that was strictly God preparing me for what He had in store.

My three month CT scan was Monday, September 30th and I was supposed to leave for VDC on Thursday, October 3rd.  The irony of it all is that I would not receive the results of my CT scan until Monday, October 7th, just one day after getting back from the THREE day retreat.

The theme scripture for VDC, October 3rd through October 6th weekend was:

The moment my eyes focused on the scripture, I instantly felt the Holy Spirit being stirred up in me that He was directing His Word to me.  I am to rise up, because He had already made known to me the task He has for me.  I was to take courage in the spiritual journey I was about to embark on, which was to lead a women’s small group.  Yet, He was also preparing me for the news I was about to receive once I went back for my follow up visit regarding my CT scan results.

During that retreat, I experienced a spiritual awakening as well as a spiritual recharge. The Lord knew I needed it because the news I was about to receive was not what I had expected.

Unfortunately, the cancer came back.

I just remember seeing the somber expression on my doctor’s face as he skipped the small talk and went straight to the results with compassion and sympathy.   I knew it was not good news  so I reflected on God’s word, “Lord, You promise never to leave me nor forsake me. You are with me.”  I tuned back in to Dr. Diaz as he said, “After getting the CT scan report from Imaging, I called to confirm their findings.  After they confirmed, I told them let’s sit together and go over it again to make sure we are seeing the same thing.”  At the conclusion of the report, and after hearing that THREE new nodules had appeared, I looked at my doctor and said, “Dr. Diaz, I know the God I serve.  I will be ok!”

Beloved, do you know what the take away is from all this?  The truth is that we are not forgotten, grace knows our name.  Tauren Wells sang that truth so well, reminding us of such:

God’s not done with you                                                                                                                Even when you’re lost and it’s hard                                                                                             and you’re falling apart

God’s not done with you                                                                                                                  It’s not over, it’s only begun                                                                                                             So don’t hide, don’t run                                                                                                              ‘Cause God’s not done with you!

He’s got a plan, this is part of it                                                                                                    He’s gonna finish what He started

God’s not done writing your story                                                                                                No, He’s not done                                                                                                                            God’s not done with you.

Henceforth, I decided to refer to these THREE nodules as The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  If this cancer was brave enough to return, then I was going to label them with a force to be reckoned with….The Trinity.

It’s comforting that when we are walking in the light of His Word, He bestows upon us a peace that surpasses all comprehension, and He uses others in the faith among us to impart spiritual wisdom and confirmation.

A friend of mine shared with me that she has been praying for me, but specifically praying about the three nodules.  I was so astounded by her revelation. “Patrice, those three nodules that I’ve been praying about, the Lord is telling me that they represent The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”  “No way Norma,” I said. Are your serious! That’s exactly what I referred to them as.

God, You are simply amazing!

Everyone has a journey.  For some, that journey might take them through twists and turns, up hills and valleys, through bumpy terrains, or down paved roads where the path ahead is clear.  God might allow one chapter of your life to come to a close so that you can start a new beginning.  In some instances, your journey might be unpredictable, not knowing what lies ahead for you.  Yet for some, it might very well be a happy ending. Whatever your journey, just know that God’s not done writing your story.  He’s got a plan and He will use every part of what you go through to see it to completion for His glory.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  ~Philippians 1:6~

So, as I strive to share my journey of my continued battle with ovarian cancer, it continues to be my prayer that I will be a voice of encouragement; reminding you of God’s faithfulness.  Encouraging others to hold steadfast to their faith, and trust that God is doing a “new thing” in your lives.

Let your faith be unsinkable as you trust God to do the unthinkable.

I read this statement in one of my devotionals that I thought was so profound and I hope it will deepen your reality of who Jesus is in your life.

“The greater our awareness that Jesus is the Healer, the more we will witness God’s miracles.”

Just be encouraged and know that, whatever you are going through, God has a plan and what you might see as the end, it could very well be the beginning of something only God can orchestrate, turning things around in your favor.

But, as it is written,“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” ~1 Corinthians 2:9~

And so, I’m thankful that God’s not done with me because what an exciting journey it is to be on when I have the assurance of the ultimate tour guide and His name is called Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, and He uses His Word as my GPS to light my path and direct my steps.

 DiVine Women Small Group          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author:

Young, vibrant, and physically fit...Patrice is living life! Married to a devoted, God-fearing man, who not only loves the Lord but loves his wife just as Christ loved the church. Keeping Christ interwoven at the center of our marriage, we are reminded that, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves, but a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” With a very fulfilling and rewarding profession, teaching is my passion. I absolutely love and adore my fourth grade darlings. Seeing the sparkle in their eyes when they are ecstatic about doing a fun project or their expression of excitement when they have done well on a test. But the truth is, nothing warms my heart more than when they tell me that I’m the BEST teacher they’ve ever had! Let’s just put it out there that going on a memorable and unforgettable vacation makes life worthwhile. Experiencing the food, the culture, the scenery, the people....now that’s living! This was the year we were going to Spain and Portugal. On a past summer vacation, we enjoyed 21 glorious days with our daughter and son traveling throughout Italy. As my vacation planning was on the way, my hubby suggested that we skip a trip this year and focus on the renovations we had already started on our home. Reluctantly, I had to agree with him. With the kitchen completely gutted and confined to living in the family room as a result of the whole house being retiled, junk foods and take outs became my specialty. During this time of renovation unrest, the various symptoms I began to experience all seemed like just the regular ailments that resulted from poor nutrition and diet. After all, Cheetos, Crunch and Munch, and Goobers were all my cravings of choice after a long day’s work. Symptoms of gassiness, constipation, and gas pains that I started experiencing, I figured would have gone away once my unhealthy eating choices changed. Well, it was not until I witnessed my stomach bloating up and that unbearable feeling of abdominal fullness that my husband suggested I go get it checked out because something didn’t seem right. The sight of my stomach was enough proof that this was MORE than just gas pain! I figured I would confess to the doctor that I haven’t been eating healthy as of late, hence the reasons for my discomforts. Instead, “You have Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer” became my new reality. I was bombarded with treatment plans, appointment dates, endless procedures, and the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial. I decided after hearing my diagnosis that I would stand firm on the Word of God and not on the word of man and their statistics for my recovery. No fear! No crying! No self-pity! No questions asked, “Why me Lord?” Instead, I lifted my hands to Heaven and said, “Lord, I surrender this sickness to You because in my weakness You are strong and this battle is Yours to fight.” With God fighting my battle, I knew I was already victorious. I was ready to put on the full armor of God in order to stand firm with the belt of truth. I must be geared with the breastplate of righteousness, having my feet planted and fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace. I would pick up my shield of faith, take up my helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit; the Word of God. Come with me on my faith-based journey to cancer recovery. I hope you will find courage to face your own “giants” and be encouraged by the strength I have found in relying solely on the Healer and not the healing.

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