Dear Family and Friends,

We just returned home from Princess Margaret and my third round of treatment.  It was pretty uneventful, the IV went in on the first try, there wasn’t any pain and the time went by quickly.  Nathan enjoyed his time at The Magic Castle and Jeff was able to get some work done.  I was able to fit in a regular treatment (scheduled once a month) before a quick visit with the doctor to monitor my progress.  To be honest, there’s not really much news to report.  Things are going well and I have follow up scans scheduled in August for after my last treatment to see how my body has reacted.  My cough has changed dramatically in the past few weeks since my treatments and I am not as quick to get out of breath as before.  These are good signs.

Last week while I was having my treatment I sat and listened to two messages that influenced our decision to go ahead with the bone marrow transplant two years ago.  (You can read about that decision process in the Archives section, July 2009). The first was titled Mighty To Save and the second was about Faith, both talked about the story of David and Goliath. I was encouraged again by these messages, especially the one  on faith.

Now, I’m guessing that most of you know the story of David and Goliath but that’s usually where we stop telling the story.  David defeats Goliath and that’s the end, right? Wrong!

Take a look at 2 Samuel 21:15-22

Wars Against the Philistines

Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted. And Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David. But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, “Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished.”

In the course of time, there was another battle with the Philistines, at Gob. At that time Sibbekai the Hushathite killed Saph, one of the descendants of Rapha.

 In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod.

In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot—twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha. When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimeah, David’s brother, killed him.

These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.

***

Did you know that part of the story?  The Philistines came back. The Israelites had to fight again. And again. And…

This was of great encouragement to me as I sat receiving treatment for the lymphoma in my lungs.  I had thought that this cancer story was coming to a close, that I was close to the finish line, that the war had already been won. But just as in the story of David, Goliath, the Israelites and the Philistines, the last 12 years from my diagnosis until today have just been part of my story.  There have been many battles along the way and many victories won. I celebrate each one, because of God’s great faithfulness to me.

As I listened to the message on Faith the speaker began to describe some of Goliath’s armour, his shield.  He described it as being as large as a door, made of thick wood, so heavy that soldiers would have worn spikes on their shoes to stop the shield from falling right on their feet. And before the soldiers marched into battle, these shields were drenched in water in order to extinguish fiery arrows from the enemy.  Doesn’t that give you a new picture about the Shield of Faith  as part of the Armour of God that Paul describes in Ephesians 6:10-17?

I want to finish this post off with the chorus of a song that has been of great encouragement to me throughout the years.

He Will Carry Me by Mark Schultz

Chorus:

And even though I’m walkin’ through the Valley of the Shadow
I will hold tight to the hand of Him whose love will comfort me
And when all hope is gone and I’ve been wounded in the battle
He is all the strength that I will ever need
He will carry me

***This is true for me in the middle of my circumstances, the valley, the mountain and the road between.  This is true in the middle of your circumstances, the valley, the mountain and the road between.  His love will comfort you. He is all the strength you will ever need.  He will carry you.

With love and joy,

Heather

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