Sometimes you smell something, but you don’t know what it is or where it is.
Summer of 2017, I was on a hiking vacation with my family when my best friend from college called me to pray for her, as she was having a biopsy for breast cancer. We prayed for wisdom for her and she was quickly diagnosed with Triple Negative IDC, a very aggressive form. I smelled something.
The thought of losing my dear friend was terrifying – but constantly reminding myself of the truth that God is sovereign over every detail in our day brought comfort.
When we returned home, on my to do list was that mammogram that I kept putting off, thinking it was a box to check off my long running late summer list before school starts – four days later I was sitting in front of my OBGYN hearing “You have cancer” in disbelief and uncertainty of what lay ahead. It was serious smoke for sure.
In a whirlwind of daily appointments, scans, etc. – we had to make decisions and fast. The Lord was so gracious to provide wisdom and establish a team of doctors and nurses that we felt confident to take this on. God provided generously when we were not sure how to meet all the bills pouring in. God protected us when days before our major surgery, Harvey hit, as well as an outlet that caught fire AS WE WERE LEAVING home – we smelled smoke and could not pinpoint where – the Fire Department came, and found an outdoor outlet that the GFCI did not work. Our entire house would have burnt down had we left!
Despite all of this, God ‘s goodness poured out on us through supportive family, friends, and church community. God gives wisdom as we continue on a preventative path to get to the root causes of my weak immune system. God also gives healing in allowing me opportunities to be a vessel to share in my sufferings with newly diagnosed breast cancer friends. The smoke dissipated.
God brings trials into our lives to prove and increase the strength and quality of our faith – so what will you do when your trial comes? Will you embrace it as an opportunity to grow? Or be angry and bitter? You have a choice! Count it all JOY. Trials are an opportunity to test your faith into a deeper communion with God and greater trust in Christ. Now, there was another scent–a sweet fragrance.
While we don’t know if a recurrence is in my future – we do know that we have a God who loves and cares for us and wants to be in our midst – whether the days are certain or not – He is unchangeable and we can rest in His constant unchangeable character! “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have it’s full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).
Photo credit-Dawid Labno