After blogging bits and pieces about my dear friend Cheryl, I’ve asked her permission to write a post about her. Cheryl and Roger started coming to our chapel and joined our care group—enough years ago that I can’t exactly remember how long it’s been. Cheryl and I became good friends through singing together in our ladies’ ensemble as well as on worship teams, participating in ladies’ Bible studies, etc! If it weren’t for Cheryl, I wouldn’t know my way around the various coffee shops in GR. She keeps me from working incessantly, and you know how we all need somebody like that in our lives! 🙂
At any rate, we became especially close when she developed breast cancer about four years ago. Her husband is legally blind and can’t drive, so I had the privilege of helping commute her to chemotherapy and various doctor appointments some. Since that time, she’s been a great comfort to me during some very difficult times in my life. I went with her for her followup mammograms, and we’d celebrate over each clear report. And then, suddenly, horror struck. Around Christmas time she was diagnosed with metastatic lung and brain cancer. We’re halfway through her radiation treatments, and then she starts into chemotherapy. Throughout all this, Cheryl’s buoyant faith and spirit has been a constant source of blessing to me. Here, in her own words, is her response to her personal “extreme challenge”:
In my previous e-mail, I referred to my cancer diagnosis as “a gift.” Some of you may have thought I was being sarcastic, but that is not the case. I truly am trying to view this recurrence as a gift, though at times it is difficult. Since the discovery was made at Christmas time, I found myself identifying with Mary.
In Luke 1:28, the angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Verse 29 says, “Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.” Confused and disturbed is a very accurate description of my state of mind in recent days. Very disturbed. In v.34, Mary asked a question, which Gabriel answered without chastising her. Then she responded, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants.” Please pray that I remain willing to accept the Lord’s will for me.
…I’d like to close with a quote from “Come & Behold Him!” by Jack Hayford: “God has gifts for you, and in quantities you never dreamed. These gifts are infinitely more valuable than the tinsel and materialistic toys pursued so desperately by the world. He has gifts of peace, strength, joy, fulfillment, and a sense of significance in life that will draw you out of bed each morning like a magnet.” May we discover them!
And soon following, this note came from her husband:
Thank you for your continued prayer support. We got the news today that there are several small tumors in Cheryl’s brain. That information means that Cheryl does not qualify for the clinical trial we were considering and that radiation treatments will start soon, probably this week. We will know more after we see the Radiation Oncologist on Wednesday. We thank God that the clinical trial required the testing that revealed the new tumors so that Cheryl can get the most appropriate treatment. While we feel a little ‘dazed and confused’ we know that He is the Faithful One.
God is Good All the Time and All the Time God is Good (Even when we don’t understand)