As I continue to walk this cancer road, I am amazed to see the way God has moved ahead of me, working out details and moving people into my life for such a time as this. I wrote a post on this two years ago. And as weird as it is, I’m going to quote myself here. Stay with me, because I think you will see quite clearly where I am headed with this.
So…I’m not sure…when you quote yourself are you supposed to use quotation marks? That’s a weird one. Ha! Well, as awkward as it is, here’s what I wrote about the anticipatory love of God in January 2014:
“I guess some would call it provision, but to me it is more than that. He pulls people and events in to partner with Him in such an artful, creative, magnificent way. So many times we merely look at the tapestry from the underside, seeing all the strings and disorder. But on those days, those marvelous days, when we have a glimpse of the beautiful tapestry that He is weaving of our lives we find it amazing and breathtaking. All of those colorful, random strings of people and events come together to form a masterpiece. His masterpiece. You. Me.
If you look at the definition of anticipation, there is always excitement involved. How incredible is it that God works with excited anticipation of the things ahead for us, putting people and plans together so it will come together at just the right moment. Here’s the thing. If I am hungry, God could provide a loaf of bread. I would eat it and no longer be hungry. Done. Provision given. Hunger removed. Sometimes that’s what he does. But my experience has been that more often than that He uses His people to move in and out of each other’s lives to meet needs – providing bread, providing comfort, providing laughter and beauty along the way. He carefully orchestrates each step. But here’s the amazing part – He begins that plan way before the event happens, putting the players in place and filling them with His power and anointing.
I have an image of a great artist bending over his canvas putting swaths of color here and there – working in what appears to be randomness until finally, at one awesome moment, the colors come together and form the thing of beauty that he imagined it to be. Friends, how awesome it is that he allows us to be a part of his palate! A life yielded to him absolutely becomes a thing of beauty in his hands.
I have several friends that are walking through difficult days right now. While the circumstances and events of their lives are challenging – illness, job loss, depression – what is amazing to me is the way God is using these people in the midst of their pain to accomplish his work. One of these friends is facing a cancer battle. This sweet friend absolutely walked me through my first two years of widowhood after losing Keith. She prayed for me and held me up when I couldn’t take another step. Now, I have been given the precious task of gently walking with her on this cancer road. And here’s the amazing thing: she and I became friends 35 years ago when we were both college students. That is amazing to me that even 35 years ago God was looking at us and saying, ‘These gals are gonna need each other in a few years. I need to be sure they find each other now.’ That’s the anticipatory love of God.”
So, here I am. One of those people now walking through difficult days. The friend that I mentioned with cancer? Yep. It was breast cancer. So now she is walking with me through this. God’s anticipatory love.
I am seeing the tapestry from the top these days. I am seeing how God has been at work in the background moving people into my life for such a time as this. And it is awesome.
I have been completely overwhelmed by the texts and notes and emails from everyone. As we have done life together all of these years God was preparing us to walk this together. I recognize that and I am so thankful.
We have a surgery date. The surgery will be on July 11 at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. Right now the surgery is scheduled for 10:45 am. Prayer request right now would be for the lymph nodes to be clear. As long as that’s the case, the surgery should take care of the cancer.
I find it a little interesting that 5 years after Keith’s last week of life I will be having cancer surgery. That’s the ebb and flow of life, though. And my friends, I can assure you that God is there through each step.
I am spending a lot of time with this passage right now. It is my anchor. I want to leave it with you tonight.
I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Blessings, my friends!
Simply beautiful words and amazing you are! Your writings encourage me so much and even more knowing that you are in the midst of a serious health diagnosis! Love you friend! Praying daily for you! 😘
Jackie Evans said:
Lee Ann…you speak words of comfort to me! I am amazed at the way you can put together words that make things so clear. Please know that your name is in my prayer journal and you are prayed for every morning..You are such an encourager and I should be the one encouraging you! Thank You!
Brenda Stone said:
I will be praying for you. Thank you for sharing.
Stephanie Hall Wharton said:
LeeAnn, I’ve not written much to you (maybe not ever) but it has been my honor to pray for Keith (and you) during his illness, experienced bittersweet joy at his Homegoing, watched and rejoiced as God made a new path for you and now, I am mentored by your transparency as you face this new challenge. All the while, continuing to point us to our faithful Father who loves us and planned ahead for us in such a beautiful way. I am so encouraged in my faith as you show us many ways He has orchestrated your life to meet this illness through friends’ love and encouragement. Take this “tapestry” and wear it like armor! It says, “Our God is faithful and true!” Thank you for much encouragement in my life as a result of your blog. It reaches far! David and I will be interceding on your behalf!
Susan Jovanovich said:
You are in my thoughts and prayers each day❤️
Dave Bailey said:
Thank you so much for sharing this LeeAnn. You shared writings are a blessing to many, and prayers for clear lymph nodes for you are going up to our God. He is a GOOD God who loves and cares for us continually — if we will just let Him.
This was a beautiful blog, LA. I love the analogy of seeing this journey from both sides of the tapestry.
I keep you on my heart and in my prayers.
Karen Graves said:
Leann-I am moved and challenged by your words. I’m so grateful you are seeing the splendor of God in this journey. I am humbled by your humility-allowing God to take you where He wills all the while seeing His goodness in it! Praying for your surgery and complete recovery – please keep writing! Karen Graves
Cindy Totty said:
As many of your friends have wrote before me your positive attitude and love for our Lord is very inspirational to all of us. You are an amazing woman!! I am so sorry you are having to go down this cancer road again. We will be definitely be praying for your surgery and for a complete healing. We love you!!