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” 1st Corinthian 2:9
This November 18th, marks thirteen years of being diagnosed with my disease of Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). A lot has happened over the years. If you are to ask me in high school to write a five-paragraph essay on where I see myself in ten years, the farthest thing from my mind would have been saying something like . . . “having multiple blood clots” . . . “running out of treatment options for NF2” . . . “Going deaf and having my vision fail” . . . “or moving into a nursing home”. But, this is where I am and a lot has happened over the years as I just said. Looking back, I see all the changes and how they are perfectly planned in Gods timing. One would think then that I would be used to change. That is not so. Even here, there are always new changes of nurses and aides. Another change is how I am transported from chair to chair. I even have change in how I sit as I now have a new wheelchair. There are always the new medicines, and I cannot say much about newness to the food menu! Then, there is how my body reacts to the food menu. My body is always presenting new challenges. The only thing I can count on being constant is my faith in Jesus Christ. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Forever is something that has been on my mind.
I am finding my biggest pet peeve is not being able to tell the time. I am always asking for the time. I want to know the specific time and not rounded to the half-hour. I am a history fan, so I always love reading about the different time eras and learning how it effects us today. As far as time for me, that is a different story. I never liked being late to church events, band practices, doctor appointments and rarely was I tardy for class. In high school, that took a twist when we sisters started taking responsibilities on getting each other to school and to the buses on time. My senior year was probably the worst. All the schools are centrally located at one end of town. Why they put the middle school on the farthest side across town is beyond me. That year, we had a new bus driver. I could never figure out his schedule. The buses never left at a constant time. I guess my morning habits did not end there.
My freshman year of college, I slept through my alarm a lot. As soon as my alarm was going off, my roommate would throw pillows at me. She was on the tennis team and she had good aim! Things get better after that because a small group of us decided to meet at breakfast at 7:30 a.m., then on to our 8:00 a.m. class.
Once I graduated and started work, I also restarted chemo. The one morning, I accidently slept through my alarm kind of late when I got to work at Target. I thought I would be fired. When the leader came in, she said to quit my crying and put myself to work. She offered me grace and mercy.
Over the years, I received a lot of grace and mercy. I have also given a lot of grace and mercy. It is also called love and forgiveness. The greatest grace and mercy is from God. His love and forgiveness is something that is pardoned because of the free gift of salvation that came when Jesus died on the cross, rose again conquering death. You see, now I sit in blackened days of blindness. I only wear my sunglasses to protect my eyes. Like the darkened days we all were born into a sinful world, the prince of darkness wants nothing more than to keep us in the darkness. It extends to all. There are no cultural boundaries and no favorites. The decision is simply to open your heart and ask God for forgiveness and let Jesus into your life. When this happens, God no longer sees a sinner, but His Son! That is the greatest grace and mercy that one can ever receive.
We say things such as “friends are forever” . . . or, “waiting in line in stores takes forever.” Sometimes, I get frustrated waiting to get transferred. This seems to take forever! This life is only temporal and I believe with my whole heart that when my time on this earth has truly ended, I will enter into “forever”! That is something I cannot fathom. That means that there is not an end. With my longing to be free of this suffering, knowing that one day I will be free is what gives me HOPE. That is why it is so important for me to share this with you. In this life things will be hard. There is always HOPE! This hope is for you, too. You must decide to believe.
2nd Corinthians 4:7-18
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.