Saturday, February 11, 2012

That C Word - Challenges

Let me tell you about some people on my mind lately.  The four of them have some important things in common. They are warriors.  They have cancer.  They are all members of my church.  Two are family members.

Cynthia - Cynthia is my cousin, and a couple years old than I am.  She lives in Arizona, and we spent some time together as children and teenagers.  I have not seen her nor chatted with her for many years, other than a quick wave and glance at family funerals.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer last Fall.  She is undergoing treatments and has a very beautiful, loving supportive family.  She and her sister give me updates every now and then about how she is doing.

Craig - Craig is my brother-in-law, married to hubby's older sister.  They live in Utah.  I've known him almost as long as I've known hubby.  He is being treated at the Huntsman Cancer Center.  He has been battling tumors for many months.  He is quiet about it, and wears the challenge with dignity and dislikes greatly talking about himself.  He is hilarious, a big tease, and loves his family deeply and with great dedication.  I often wish I lived nearby so that I could support him and his wife as they walk through this together.

Spencer - I knew Spencer as a little boy, and remember him playing in my basement one day when his  mother came to visit me.  He has big beautiful eyes, and loves basketball about as much as my son B used to breathe it when growing up.  His family moved to Virginia when he was very little, and all I know about him now is through his mother's blog and through Christmas cards.  His parents are righteous, valiant souls who love God and are dedicated to raising righteous children.  A month ago they learned that, at age 16, Spencer has leukemia.  He will undergo a bone marrow transplant very soon.  His dear and dedicated mother has decided to blog about the experience here.

Lisa - Fabulous Lisa and her great husband and adorable kiddos lived near us and attended church with us during dental school, and now live in Utah with their four children.  They used to sit behind us during Sacrament Meeting and we loved to hear the sweet angel voices of their little ones as they quietly chatted with each other and with their parents. We smiled as the parents taught them how to behave and how to love their Heavenly Father.  She is a runner, a crafter, a clogger, a sewer, and a blogger.  She reads this blog  - (Hi, Lisa - don't be mad that I'm talking about you :-) ).  Lately I have seen what an amazing fighter she is.  If anyone can kick the tumor that plagues her brain, it will be her.

Our family has a list of missionaries that we pray for together each night. We have done that since our children were little ones. We now have our cancer list.  These dear loved ones are mentioned by name every night as we pray for Heavenly Father to bless them with strength and power to overcome the obstacles they face.  They are all on my mind every day.  How does one explain what they are having to endure?  A young grandmother, a father of great young adults, a 16 year old athlete, and a beautiful young mother.

This of course is proof that Heavenly Father is in control.  We endure these challenges better when we work our way to accept that, and put the outcome in His hands.  These situations turn us to Him.

Matthew 11:28-29  
 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

This passage of scriptures was what I have held onto during the most difficult times in my life in recent years. I would literally picture in my head letting go, and tossing my burdens upon the Lord.  What a blessing that image is to me.  It allowed me to continue walking through the mud and trudge to the other side. I know the Lord loves me. He loves you, too.  He will watch over these four loved ones and their families.  I know it.

Hopefully they will only have to WAIT a little while to feel it, if they don't already.


  1. Thank you Deon! What a nice thing to read this Sunday morning. I'm so grateful for all the love and support. Don't forget to pray for Cody too in your prayers. As a spouse to someone with cancer, I know this isn't easy on him either. Take Care!

    1. Lisa, oh yes, we pray for these families every day as well. XXOO to you.

  2. Thanks for your post. My dad was diagnosed with Leukemia 2 months ago. It's pretty unreal. I've taken a lot of comfort in the atonement.

    1. So very sorry to hear, Jenn. Sending you love - you will find your strength, I know it.


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