Yesterday was Clay’s second treatment. But, before I can tell you about how it went, I have to tell you about what happened Wednesday just after I posted my blog……
We got home from the treatment and Shannon came to bring us dinner. We visited with her for a few minutes, and when she left, Clay asked me if he could lay down for a while. I know that sounds funny that he asked me, but we are on a schedule with his medication, so he really did ask permission! Ha. Anyway, he laid down, but I needed to wake him within an hour to eat so he could take his meds on time. Well, an hour and a half later, I was still trying to wake him up. When I finally got him to sit up, he asked me what was going on in our life right now. What??!! I got him to the kitchen and he was just not himself. Finally after talking for about 30 minutes, he woke up a little, but he couldn’t remember anything that happened all afternoon. He couldn’t even remember being at the doctor or anything about the treatment. I was sure that this was a side effect of the Xanex he had taken to relax himself.
I hated this feeling. It brought back lots of difficult memories from our time at MD Anderson while he was recovering from the surgery. Every time he would forget the entire story and I would have to remind him what had happened, it would scare me that he wasn’t ever going to be the same. So, I was immediately adamant that we needed to throw the Xanex in the trash! Clay was not so sure. He kept saying, “It’s great that I don’t remember it.” I just knew that he could make it through the treatment without the help. So, we “discussed” it for a while. Now, there is a fine line between encouraging someone in the Lord, and fussing at them. Well, I crossed that line a little. My encouragement quickly moved to more of a pointed finger preaching. So, I said it wrong, but here was my point….
How can God be glorified through Clay’s testimony if we don’t look to Him at every turn? My prayer all along has been for God to guard our testimony. To keep us from sin. To keep our hearts pure and steadfast in trusting Him for everything we need. Clay couldn’t even remember the people he interacted with all day, and those people could be the very reason God is bringing us through this. I believe that God loves every employee at Dr. Russell’s office enough to send us through this trial just so they can experience the power of God at work. I believe that Clay needs to be present and in his right mind for those moments. And, Jesus is our strength. He can bring Clay through the treatment. As difficult as it may be to have your head bolted to a table, the Holy Spirit is stronger than that fear. He can help Clay overcome.
Wives, learn from my mistake. Don’t get mad. Don’t get aggravated. Don’t preach at your husband. Love him. Be patient with him. And, encourage him in the Lord. Then, let the Holy Spirit deal with his heart. Because I didn’t do it right, the Lord used Clay’s parents to help him see that trying the treatment without the medication was a good idea. They stopped by yesterday while Clay and I were having breakfast on our patio. They encouraged him and told him they knew the Lord could help him through it. He agreed in a very pleasant way and I thanked them for helping us. (I am blessed with wonderful in-laws who love the Lord.) And, that was the last time we talked about it. The rest of our day was very pleasant. In fact, he just laid down beside me when his parent left, and took a long nap.
(Shout out to Amber for the amazing book and Jeff Lee for the Coke shirt that you bought for Clay. And, don’t laugh at my PJ pants. This is true….I bought them for Clay while we were shopping on our honeymoon! I stole them shortly after because they are so soft and I still wear them all these years later.)
Clay did not get anxious all day. He was not worried, at all. We arrived for the treatment and he remained calm. He got his playlist ready to play his favorite Selah album.
Ben and I walked in the room with him and he was able to see exactly what would happen. “Oh The Blood” was playing through the speakers and he was completely calm. The technicians are so wonderful. We love them already. They even smiled for my camera!
We had to leave the room during the treatment, so we just sat in the waiting area and read. The whole time we waited, I just prayed that God would please come through for Clay. I knew He would, so my prayer was very calm. But, I really reflected on how I was praying. The Lord was speaking to me about the reason for my prayer and He reminded me of this scripture:
“May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him.”
Why are we asking God for healing, or help, or salvation, or blessings, or hope, or grace? Insert whatever it is that you are currently praying for God to do. Then, ask yourself this question, “Why do I want God to do this?” Is it for you? Is it so you can be more comfortable? Is it so you can be more blessed? Is it so you can be well? Or is the reason behind your request for God? Look at the prayer in Psalm 67. The Psalmist is asking God for blessings SO THAT His way may be known on earth. SO THAT His saving power can be known among the nations. SO THAT all the ends of the earth can fear God. The cry of this heart is for God’s face to shine on him, not for him, but for God.
What is the cry of your heart today? My prayer for Clay yesterday was that God would help him through the treatment without medication for the sake of God’s name and for the sake of our testimony. So that Clay could come out of that room and give glory to God for helping him through a difficult task. So that Jesus could be lifted up. And, guess what? Jesus was lifted up. This beautiful song that reminds us that the blood of Jesus sets us free was playing over those speakers and Clay was perfectly calm. When he came out, the first thing he said to me was this, “I am SO glad I didn’t take that medicine.” Then, he praised the Lord for helping him. Amen.
This is what God wants from us, y’all. He wants His power to be displayed through our lives. I know that God does not make us suffer for suffering’s sake, so we are trusting Him that He is bringing us through this trial so His name can be made great. Of course, that can happen through a divine and perfect healing, that only He can provide. But, it can also happen through little moments like yesterday when He proved that His presence is real and His peace passes all understanding. And, while it goes against human understanding, God’s face IS shining on us right now. He IS being gracious to us and blessing us, as the Psalmist prayed. In our most difficult moment, He is doing what we’ve prayed for….blessing us. And, His name is being lifted up for the world to see. Praise God!
And, just a side note. In our imperfections, He is gracious. Although my intentions were good, my method yesterday was not right. But, God was speaking that Word, and so He fulfilled it. He just used Clay’s parents to get Clay where he needed to be. And, although Clay needed some persuading, once he submitted to God’s plan, he was able to see how the Lord was right all along, and he gave Him glory for it. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself. No matter how strong we are spiritually, we are still human and need our Savior. So, let God work out your imperfections. Repent and let Him live through you.
This will continue to be our prayer. We are praying for God’s divine healing, and we believe with all our hearts that He can do it, but we are praying that His name will be glorified through our lives and our testimony. That is the most important thing.
I pray that you are blessed by this message today. Be encouraged, no matter your situation, that God is working. He is able. He is speaking. Read Psalm 67 again, and let the Lord search your heart. Be open and honest with Him. He sees it all anyway. So, just lay it out and ask Him to show you the truth. What are the motives in your prayers? If you discover that they are not right, then just tell the Lord and ask Him to change your heart. Ask Him to show you what He desires for your life. Let your prayer be for His name to be glorified through you….no matter what that means. Amen.