Since my diagnosis of stage 4 ovarian cancer in early February, I have received an outpouring of prayers, cards, gifts, love, and support. It fills my heart with joy to have so many people that care. But if I’m being completely honest, I have also found myself a bit out of my comfort zone accepting help and gifts.

Accepting help from others can be humbling.

It’s one thing to have a friend drive me to an appointment (thanks, Wendy 😘) but quite another to have a group of friends come and clean my house. Yes, that’s right. Four dear sisters in Christ showed up with mops, dusters, cleaners, and a vacuum to clean my home last week while I was in bed resting.

Friends from women’s Bible study praying over me.

The ladies had inquired about cleaning for a few weeks before I finally consented. I felt uncomfortable to have them cleaning my messes. But the truth was, I needed help. I’ve been pretty sick for a while and my house had been neglected.

So, as their sweet voices mingled with Chrisitan praise music from the downstairs making its way to my ears upstairs—I prayed. I told the Lord how uncomfortable it made me, but how grateful I was. And do you know what the Lord said to me?

“These women are my hands and feet. To deny them the blessing of helping you, would be to deny me.”

Ouch. And to think, I’d been putting these dear souls off for a few weeks! God had coordinated the blessing and I had been telling Him “no” because I was too embarrassed.

The blessing is for the giver, if not more than, for the receiver.

I have received more gifts from other dear ones: meals, gift cards, flowers, handmade blankets, and more. What blessings, indeed!

You see, I have been on the giving end many times throughout the years. I know what a blessing it is to allow the Lord to use me in some small way to help a friend. You probably do, too. It’s another matter altogether, however, to be the one on the receiving end. 

We read in Scripture about how the Lord demonstrates His love through His people.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:40

Not only did my friends deep clean, but they brought a gift, flowers, a delicious meal, and dessert! They have even set up a rotation of cleaning for when I start chemotherapy.

The cleaning crew: Kassidy, Heather, Jen, and Janet.

Speaking of chemotherapy, I will have my first session today (more on that later). Because my cancer is stage 4, the medications will be quite aggressive. I am told to expect some pretty nasty side-effects such as nausea, vomiting, pain, weakness, hair loss and, more. The fact is, I’m going to need help. 

God has provided His hands and feet to help, and I’m going to accept the gift. 

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:16-18

Another way God’s people have been present through this trial is with the power of prayer. I am once again blown away by the faithfulness of the prayer warriors God has placed in my life. Most mornings I wake up to texts, Facebook, Instagram messages, and phone calls telling me I am being prayed over around the clock. There is even a Facebook group that is fasting and praying! 

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Life-long friends and sisters, Julie and Jill

As I’m able, I’ll let you all know how chemotherapy is going.

Love,

I love hearing from you in the comments below.

 

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“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours.

Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world.

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.

Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

~ Teresa of Ávila

 

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