Food For Thought: When you consider your role as a father, does it measure up or surpasses that of your father?
It was Cycle 3, Day 2 Post Chemo and as I rushed out of bed in the morning to use the bathroom, returning to the bed, suddenly, the thought hit me. I had forgotten to say a prayer of thanks like I usually do before my feet touched the floor.
Praise God! Another morning I woke up PAIN FREE!!
Immediately rushing back to bed, laying there in silence, I began to thank God for being my Good Good Father. Then suddenly, I found myself humming the tune to the song Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin. I felt the urgency to just lay there and soak up the lyrics to the song. So grabbing my phone to play it, I realized I would have woken up my hubby, so instead I whispered the lyrics that I would be able to sing it under my breath with accuracy, validating what was truly on my heart of who my Good Good Father is and how much I’m loved by Him. ♥️
Qualities of a Father
🏅He’s a Good disciplinarian
🏅He allows his kids to make mistakes
🏅He teaches his children to appreciate things
🏅He accepts that his kids aren’t exactly like him
🏅He spends quality time with his children
🏅He leads by example
🏅He’s supportive and loyal
🏅He challenges his kids
🏅He teaches his children lessons
🏅 He shows us unconditional love
🏅 He protects his family at all costs
These qualities not only describes that of an Earthly Father but are also evident in the qualities of our Heavenly Father. Just like an Earthly Father would discipline his child when he misbehaves, we too receive correction from our Heavenly Father. The Earthly Father allows his child to make mistakes in order to grow, so does our Heavenly Father who gives us free will to choose to do what’s righteous and pleasing unto Him. The Earthly Father knows that his child is not going to grow up to be just like him, so does our Heavenly Father who understands that we are sinners and will never measure up to who He is. An Earthly father enjoys spending time with his child just like our Heavenly Father who looks forward to us spending time in prayer talking to Him. An Earthly Father tries to be the role model to set a good example and our Heavenly Father took on human flesh to lead us into all truth. The Earthly Father is supportive of his child in the same way our Heavenly Father cares about us and is faithful. The Earthly Father allows his chid to experience challenges to help him grow and our Heavenly Father gives us tasks that He prepares and equips us for to bring glory to His name. The Earthly Father instructs his child through life’s lessons, in the same way our Heavenly Father convicts us so that we can repent of our mistakes. Just like an Earthly Father is supposed to love his child unconditionally, so is the love of our Heavenly Father who demonstrated His unconditional love for us by dying for everyone. The Earthly Father will do whatever it takes to protect his child, just like our Heavenly Father who is our rock and our refuge in time of need.
We are blessed to have two influential figures in our lives, our Earthly Father, providing our immediate physical needs and our Heavenly Father, providing our EVERY need.
From your perspective, how do you perceive your Earthly and Heavenly Fathers through your lens of perception?
I found that it was my personal relationship with my Earthly Father that has molded and shaped my understanding of who my Heavenly Father is and how I relate to Him on a spiritual level.
As I reminisce on my Earthly Father, reflecting on the role he has played in my life, it’s easy to surmise that my self-image, character, and strength is defined by the indelible impression he’s left on me as a result of his love.
MEMORIES OF MY EARTHLY FATHER….
Nothing compares to the love a father has for his child. It is the result of his caring and comforting attitude that provides the child with validation of his love. Many of us growing up experience our father’s love through his nurturing behaviors and the physical touch of his powerful and loving arms. His arms of embrace is much like a security blanket, cradling with affection, swaddling with love.
My Earthly Father’s Love
“Daddy’s little girl” is the loving image I saw in his eyes for me. As I got older, he always expressed to everyone that I was his “favorite”. We shared a lot of special moments together, whether it was me working alongside him to mix concrete, demo a project, typing his invoices, having our father-daughter talks, keeping him awake on the phone as he would make his long drive out-of-state, or holding his hand as we walked together to his next doctor’s appointment. Whatever it was, just spending time with him was always an enjoyable moment. The best part of it all is that he always reminded me of how much I’m loved by him.
The Gift Giver
Daddy was a very giving person and always had a spirit of trying to please everyone to make them feel happy. As a child, he would often call me and say, “What do you want your Daddy to bring home for you?” Whether it’s ice cream, a chocolate bar, eggnog, cookies, crab, etc. …I could expect something yummy. There were times he would buy me roses from the side of the road or bring me a piece of furniture from a job site. I looked forward to him “greasing my palm” as he would refer to putting money in my hand. I could always expect something because he never came home or visited me empty-handed. He was a giver of good gifts and I loved it!
The Power of his hands
Daddy was the most hardworking man I know. He was a provider, though a workaholic. Hard work was engrained in him because after the death of his father, he provided for his mom and siblings. He always instilled in me that “Man must work!” He labored hard and he was the Jack of All Trade! There is nothing that he was incapable of doing. He was extremely knowledgeable and skillful with his hands. Daddy was definitely a power house!
Instilling Faith in His Daughter
The example daddy taught me was to look at a glass half full rather than half empty. These were not spoken words, however, it was demonstrated in his attitude. He chose to see the good in every situation and responded to life with a positive outlook. His continual positive spirit even during life’s struggles and despairs taught me how to have faith in God. I watched him experience many losses but he always maintained an attitude of praise, acknowledging that God goes with Him and teaching me through his example that I must talk to God and trust Him.
There was never a time when Daddy would be leaving to go away for work and I would tell him to drive safely that he never responded with, “Yes Patty, God is sitting right next to me!” His Faith in God was unshakable and despite the trials he faced, he trusted that God would take care of him. “Give thanks and praise,” were his truth that he lived by.
Stricken by Cancer
Due to various health ailments, Daddy was only given chemo in pill form. It was difficult watching this strong man of stature lose his strength to walk without a cane or being transported in a wheel chair.
Once the cancer spread to his lungs, I placed him on Hospice to prevent him from experiencing pain.
His Faith Overcomes
His cancer was his nemesis but his faith became his strength. He was strong in the faith and held steadfast to the Lord. I recall going to the Nursing Home to visit him and as I was walking up to the outdoor seating area, I could see that he was holding an in-depth conversation. When I approached him, I asked who he was speaking to, which was something I was quite used to when I was growing up because he often reasoned with himself. He replied, “I’m speaking to my God and I told him, “ If He’s ready to take me home then I’m ready, but if He’s not, then I’ll stay and fight.” Need I say more? My Daddy was a God-honoring man who loved the Lord.
My pastor visited him at the Nursing Home and had a discussion about his salvation. He was quite pleased with his responses and was confident that Daddy understood that there was only one way to Heaven and that was through Jesus Christ.
His Final Breath
I recall when Daddy was experiencing his final hours on earth, my sisters and I encircled him, serenading him with songs of praise that he enjoyed listening to and reading scriptures he loved to hear. It was unbearable to watch his unconscious body struggling to take in gasps of air through his laborious breathing.
At the time, my fear of death and feelings of despair of not being ready to say goodbye to my Sweet, Sweet Daddy caused me to run to the bathroom and hide as I sobbed behind the door in desolation. My sister Cecile bolted in the bathroom, grabbed my hand and said to me, “No Pat, you need to be out here. Daddy needs us!”
As I looked upon my helpless Earthly Father struggling to take his final breath, I later understood that it was the final breath of my Heavenly Father as He hung on the cross, which made the way for my Earthly Father to receive eternal life.
I remember Cecile telling our Earthly Father, “It’s ok Daddy., you can go in peace. Go in peace Daddy!” As a result of our faith in what Jesus Christ did for us, we had the confidence in knowing that he was journeying to be with His Good Good Father.
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8
My Sweet, Sweet Daddy took his final breath. The long, unexpected moment of his 76 years had finally arrived. The cancer may have taken his mortal life from this Earth, BUT it was his Good Good Father who received him as he journeyed to be with Him for ALL eternity.
Can I tell you that as special as my relationship was with my Earthly Father, the love that permeated the room when he walked in, or the excitement I felt knowing that I was going to see him, will never compare to the love I have for my Heavenly Father and the faith, trust, and hope I have in Him.
REALITIES OF MY HEAVENLY FATHER….
From a very young child, my mother made it her duty to take me to church and to share with me who Jesus is and that He lives in my heart. I learned many wonderful old hymns of who my Heavenly Father is through the songs she sang while cooking or cleaning the house. She instilled in me from small about God’s love for me and that He sent His only Son, Jesus to die for my sins and that one day I will get to meet my Heavenly Father.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
This is the BEST thing my mother could have ever given me aside from giving me life. I just can’t imagine how I would have been able to face this cancer both Godless and faithless. Scary thought huh?
My Heavenly Father’s Love
How do I know my Heavenly Father loves me? When an inventor is making something, a lot of skill, design, and effort is poured into his masterpiece in order to create it with perfection. Well, that’s exactly the thought process that my Heavenly Father used when He chose to create me. The Book of Psalm goes into an in-depth and detailed description of when our Heavenly Father created me at conception.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
After He created me, He loved me so much that He wanted to spend eternity with me so He died, that I might live. WOW!!! THAT IS AN EVERLASTING LOVE!!!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
My Gift Giver
My Heavenly Father is a rewarder of good things, blessing me with my husband, a roof over my head, food on my table, my abilities, wisdom, my profession, being able to travel, and countless things. He takes pleasure in blessing us with good gifts.
Growing up, when my Earthly Father would buy something for me, it gave him great pleasure in knowing that not only was he providing for me but also rewarding me with what I asked for or surprising me with something nice. So if giving me a gift brought my Earthly Father so much satisfaction, you can only imagine how much more joy it brings my Heavenly Father to give me something that I’ve been praying about.
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
The Power of His Hands
God will lay His righteous right hand upon us.
For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
As a young child, I became very ill and as my caring and nurturing mom explains it, she could see the look of death in my eyes that no mother would ever want to witness. She said I told her I wanted to die. However, I had a praying mother who prayed over me and pleaded for life not death for her young child. God was NOT ready for me yet, He had greater plans for my life.
Some years later, my family, all driving home together in the same vehicle, got in a car accident. My Heavenly Father spared the lives of my family from what could have been a fatal crash on the winding, mountainous roads of Stony Hill, Jamaica.
My Earthly Father, half asleep, driving home, ran off the road into someone’s yard, crashing in their house. I walked away from that accident with just a chipped front tooth that I wore for many years as a reminder of God’s grace. Again, my Heavenly Father wasn’t ready for me yet!
On my way home from work , lost in my daydream, I did not see the red light, consequently crashing in a corvette. The impact expelled the airbag, causing my lips to swell. First on the scene was my Heavenly Father who buffered the impact, preventing me from being seriously injured and the driver of a corvette from being expelled from his convertible.
As I waited for the police to arrive, second on the scene without a phone call of being notified of the crash was my Earthly Father, who happened to be in the area. The story he told me was that he was leaving a job site on his way to another job site and spotted the crash and happened to see that the driver behind the wheel was his baby girl. Rushing into his loving arms, I knew that was the divine intervention of my Heavenly Father leading him down that road to bring me physical comfort.
Who knows what hills, valleys and bumpy roads I might have to toil in the future, but it’s ONE thing I know for sure is that My Heavenly Father’s hand is upon me and He promises NEVER to leave me NOR forsake me!
Instilling Faith in His Child
One of my favorite scriptures to repeat over and over when I’m faced with something challenging is:
“I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”
I have always taken comfort in that verse because I know His Word will not come back void. I trust Him that He gives me the courage to face any God defiant giant such as this cancer. This indescribable joy I continue to feel, with laughter in my soul, a smile on my face, in knowing that my Redeemer lives and whatever I have to battle during this fight, He will allow me to face it in faith NOT fear.
“We begin to battle on our knees and face it from a stance of victory.”
Stricken by Rejection, Betrayal and Suffering
Our Heavenly Father came to provide salvation through the cross and despite the verbal abuse and abandonment He endured for our sake, He loved, forgave, and healed. His rejection, betrayal and suffering was not just at the hands of those who accused Him of being a blasphemer, but also, those who walked closely with Him and knew Him intimately as a friend. His own people gave Him up to the Roman Governor to be killed. His disciples, Judas Iscariot gave Him up for coins and Peter denied knowing Him three times before the cock crowed. He was spat at, slapped, and mocked. He was whipped brutally, yet in agony He stood there WILLINGLY in love as He endured the beatings for us.
His Faith Overcomes
Jesus wasn’t captured in the Garden of Gethsemane, He gave Himself up willing, just as He laid His life down voluntarily. They didn’t TAKE His life…He GAVE it up freely for US!! He had faith in His Father that God had to allow Him to go through this suffering for our greater good.
His Final Breath Became the Breath of Life
Jesus died and through His death brought us eternal life. Our Good Good Father through the CROSS provided us the free gift of salvation. For all who would acknowledge Him as their Savior, He gives us His Holy Spirit to keep us comforted as a reminder that He is Emmanuel, God is WITH us.
The love of an Earthly Father is in no comparison to that of our Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father’s love was poured out as the Red Sea, revealed in the stripes that camouflaged His back, with arms of a cross as an extension of His love for us.
What a vivid image of the depth of our Savior’s love. As much as we consider the love of our Earthly father, it pales in comparison to the eternal and sacrificial love of our Heavenly Father.
“Oh, it’s love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love, love, love
You’re a good good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am”
SONG: Good Good Father Link
By: Chris Tomlin
As kids we grew up singing the children’s song, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” But, have you ever tried to visualize His love? The first time I watched the movie, “The passion of the Christ” created through an artistic rendition of the actual events described in the Gospels and being portrayed through film, I cried uncontrollably. It was an unbearable sight to behold. All I could think was, “When will the floggings stop?” I wept silently as I considered the agony and torture my Heavenly Father had to endure to demonstrate His love for us. He did NO WRONG, yet He was crucified for His pure, unadulterated love, compassion, forgiveness, and miracles.
Was there a pinnacle moment or experience you have had when you came to the realization, “Oh yes, Jesus loves me?”
I HAVE! And yet, my Heavenly Father continues to PROVE IT to me OVER and OVER again!
He has shown up once again on my behalf, demonstrating His love for me by answering countless prayers for HEALING. How could I not consider Him my Good Good Father?
“The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.”
GENETICS TESTING RESULTS…
A Genetic screening test was done a couple of months ago using my blood to perform an analyses of 34 genes in my body associated with Hereditary Cancer. This test was done to determine whether I had any mutated genes that could possibly cause other types of cancers.
I have posted an Ovarian Self-Awareness poster. Please take the time to share it with friends and loved ones. No other woman should have to develop Ovarian Cancer. Be self-aware!!
The results of the tests indicated:
1. Pathogenic Mutation(s): Non Detected
2. Variant(s) of unknown Significance: None Detected
3. Gross Deletion(s)/Duplication(s): Non Detected
Testing did not find any disease-causing mutations in the genes tested.
NEGATIVE: No clinically Significant Variants Detected
THE CA125 TEST…
Before starting chemo, I remembered the doctor telling me that sometimes the treatment is not successful and the cancer could possibly spread. Hearing that was alarming to think that the medicine that is supposed to help might not work.
It was in that moment that I had to remind myself that God is my Healer. I chose not to become fixated on the Medicine but rather the Miracle Worker, Jesus Christ.
Throughout the three chemo infusion cycles, I trusted God to be the chemo that flowed throughout my body. I focused on the Words of my Heavenly Father:
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.
My Heavenly Father heard my prayer and that of my Prayer Warriors and He answered our plea. Not only was my body responding to the treatment, but the results were showing a steady decline in the CA125 Test.
What does CA125 show?
“A CA 125 test measures the amount of the protein CA 125 (cancer antigen 125) in your blood. A CA 125 test may be used to monitor certain cancers during and after treatment. In some cases, a CA 125 test may be used to look for early signs of ovarian cancer in people with a very high risk of the disease.”
The Results of the test over the period of the Three Chemo Cycles indicated:
Cycle 1 on May 11th, the CA 125 Level was 1081 (high level)
Cycle 2 on June 13th, the CA125 Level was 322
(This was a 759 points decline from cycle 1)
Cycle 3 on July 11th, the CA125 Level was 40
(This was a 282 points decline from cycle 2)
Yesterday, before receiving the results of the CT Scan from my GYN Oncologist, I shared with Jesus that no matter what the results revealed, I was going to praise Him because His Will was done. I knew that all along I have been praying for God’s Will to be done, so I was confident in knowing that if the CT Scan showed favorable results allowing me to have surgery, then God’s Will was done, and if the CT Scan was not in my favor of having surgery now, I STILL knew that God’s Will was done.
You see, when you sincerely pray for God’s perfect Will, then you are TRUSTING that He KNOWS best even if we don’t understand His answer to our prayers. That is part of what faith is, trusting through the “Not Nows” and the “No’s.”
Well, as a result of aligning the desires of my heart to the Will of God, He answered my prayers. The Oncologist said, and I quote, “The CT Scan doesn’t get BETTER than this!” The chemo has done a lot of the heavy lifting. All of the lesions are mostly gone. It has melted away a lot of tumors .
As a result of the CT Scan, the Oncologist will proceed with surgery on August 1st. He said that since the CT Scan gets no better than this, there is no need to do a Laparoscopy, which was initially done before the onset of chemo treatments. He goes on to say that, he is looking for “optimal results” and aiming for the “cure”. Therefore, he says, “Everything must go!”
The procedure involves removing the remaining lesions and tumors which may require removal of organs such as the spleen, appendix, etc. He said that there is a 25% chance he will have to take part of the intestines and a 10% chance that he won’t be able to reattach it, which would leave me with a temporary colostomy bag.
Once he begins the procedure, he will then decide if the surgery will be performed robotically or an open surgery. If he performs an open surgery, I will have a large incision, or as he calls it, “The Funky Zipper”.
You wanna know my response to him in regards of “The Funky Zipper?” I told him that my Funky Zipper will be my battle scar to tell my story. My God Fights For Me! Remember that song in a past post?
Depending on the type of surgery, whether it is robotic or open surgery, I will finish off with the three cycles of the four chemo drugs I have been taking. Then I will start twenty-two cycles of maintenance treatments of Bevacizumab and Atezolizumab (this is the clinical trial drug that is not disclosed to me whether I am actually getting it or the placebo). These twenty-two maintenance treatments is to ensure that the cancer does not come back.
With that all said, I remind myself of my J.O.Y. (Jesus Only You!)
There may be a possibility that I am not receiving the placebo of the Atezolizumab and actually receiving the drug itself since one of the side effects is a decline in vision called, Uveitis, which I have been more dependent on the use of my glasses.
MY CHEMO CAPE WILL LIVE ON….
The Nurse Practitioner shared the most exciting news with me. She said that my Chemo Cape was such an inspiration to her. She will be having an event for Ovarian Cancer patients. Through her fund-raiser, she was able to raise sufficient funds to provide gift bags with a CAPE for participating Ovarian Cancer patients. This will be done for an Ovarian Cancer 5K Walk and she wants me to be a part of it.
GUESS WHAT? I will be keeping you posted about this event in case you would like to join me in my 5K Walk as I Fight Like A Girl through FAITH!
The truth is, we CHOOSE how we see our Heavenly Father, through lens of a microscope or lens of a telescope. As our BIG “G” God or our small “g” god. As the God who parted the Red Sea or the God who caused you to drown in your sorrows because He failed to answer your prayers on YOUR time or how YOU wanted Him to.
Don’t you know that your problems will appear less of a burden to carry the faster you cast all your cares on Him?
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28, 30
You never have to feel defeated by your circumstances, but rather feel uplifted by the renewing of your mind of who our Good Good Father is and ALL He is able to accomplish in your life when you remove the chains and shackles that imprisons your heart from receiving the Freedom AND Redemption that comes from Jesus Christ.
Let Go and Let God Fight your battles, restore your FAITH of who He is, and cause you to feel inexplicable JOY (Jesus Only You) in knowing that He’s a Good Good Father who willingly carried the sins of this world through His suffering.
Our Earthly Father, limited in His love, will never satisfy or reward us in the way our Heavenly Father can. Our Earthly Father is powerless, yet our Heavenly Father is powerful (omnipotent). Our Earthly Father fails in knowing, yet our Heavenly Father is all-knowing (omniscient). Our Earthly Father can’t always be present with us, yet our Heavenly Father is everywhere (omnipresent).
I enjoy watching this video that was made for Easter but what a beautiful reminder to watch year round of the descriptive and specific character traits magnifying and elevating our Good Good Father.
You GOTTA watch this video!!!
Do You Know My King?
THAT’S RIGHT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>THAT’S MY KING!!!
WILL YOU LET HIM BECOME YOUR GOOD GOOD FATHER?
Questions to elevate your Spirit…
1. What Are Your Thoughts of What Our Good Good Father is like?
2. Do you know Him on a personal level….where you talk Him and He talks to you?
3. Have you experienced the indescribable love of our Good Good Father?
4. Have you ACCEPTED Him in your heart as your Good Good Father?
Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
When you feel the struggles of your fight is too great, don’t wait until you have no fight left in you, surrender it all to your Heavenly Father who will meet you right where you are, at your lowest point, to carry you while you are in the midst of your struggle, and saves you as He takes you through it. It is at that moment when you feel the strength to rise up and stand on God’s Word that your eyes will be opened to the truth that He was carrying you all along when you were too weak to carry yourself.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father, but by me.
Whether you decide to accept Him as your Good Good Father now or later on in life, make sure you do it before it’s too late. Whether you have hardened your heart to the Truth of the Gospel, that Jesus Christ is Lord, the Bible says:
For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Thank you to ALL my Prayer Warriors our there, supporting, standing, and positioned in prayer, believing that we serve a Good Good Father who is able to heal me!
I just want to express a very special thank you to my best friend’s dad, Jose Silva, who took time from his very busy schedule as a Pastor in Nicaragua to write and record this beautiful and inspiring song for me. Sit back, relax, and allow the Words of the song, “Keep Holding On” to speak to the depths of your soul.
Song by Jose Silva