11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
There is a CD that we play for Dawit when we are riding in the car. It is a CD that has 50 Bible songs. There are actually 2 CDs to complete the impressive collection of 100 Bible songs, but one in particular gets a lot play in the car. Some of the songs are good but some of the songs we skip right past. Dawit likes the songs, probably because the songs are sung by kids and they are upbeat and catchy. Again, for Jonathan and me there are several of the songs that we totally skip the second we hear the first note. Though the majority of the time the music is playing as background noise, the messages of the songs pop into my thoughts often throughout the day. The other night as I read my Bible, I began reading Psalm 46 and immediately recognized the first verse of the Psalm because of one of the songs we repeatedly hear in the car; “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
It has been a rough few weeks. The holidays were wonderful but Jonathan and I had the weight of our trip continually at the back of our minds. As we enjoyed the comfort and love of family, friends and lots of good food we were always running through a to do list to get ready to leave. Now, in addition to a leave date spinning through my mind, our family was rocked by some news that has slowly been added to and clarified over the last week. My mother found out Monday, December 28th that she has stomach cancer. The next day we all met with her oncologist to get an idea of what the diagnosis meant. On Wednesday my sister and I accompanied my mother for a CAT scan and a bone scan. Then we all waited for her PET scan on Monday the 4th. On Tuesday the 5th we met with her oncologist again and got the full scope of her cancer. My mom has stomach cancer and it has spread to her bones. I don’t know about my mom or sister, but I think all the air was sucked out of the room the moment when the doctor said, “it’s in your bones.” As I type I am sitting next to my mom, today on the 6th, while she gets her first chemo treatment. My mom is a breast cancer survivor as well as a strong, faithful woman of God.
As I thought about my mom and prayed for my mother’s healing I was thinking about one of the songs on Dawit’s CD, ” This I know, the plans I have for you my little children. This I know, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, NO!’ Admittedly, I really cannot wrap my mind around my mother having to battle cancer again. I also am having trouble processing leaving the country while my mother is sick. I am finding comfort in Jeremiah 29:11. The Lord has planned for Jonathan, Dawit and me to go to Ethiopia to work and show His love. That much I know. I don’t need to worry about the other, it is in His hands. Jonathan has already started having to deal with me playing the “what if” game. There are lots of thoughts about my mother’s cancer that scare the heck out of me. Even though I don’t know all of His plans I do know that my mother has faith in Him. I also know that even if she never knows healing in this life, she will know it in eternity with the Lord. And, we’ll be together there. What a beautiful plan!