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Have you ever had one of THOSE days? How about years? That was 2015 for me. I watched my Mom’s health declined and her mind starting the slow decline into dementia. We moved her into an assisted living facility after months of dealing with a brain aneurysm, a heart attack and a diagnosis of Lewy Body dementia. A move that lasted all of one week. The detached retina was the final straw that sent her over the edge. She’s now awaiting placement in a Care Home in a safe hospital room where there is 24/7 watchful medical presence. She’s living in her own 007 spy novel. The visits are sad but in their own bizarre way, somehow entertaining as she regale us with all of her adventures. Somewhere in the midst of all of that, I experienced one of THOSE days – you know the ones. Where a post-menopausal woman has a day of gushing, heavy, no mistaking THAT symptom, kind of bleeding. The kind where they tell you to run and not walk to your doctor.

Diamonds in the rough

I just want to say that I have to thank my God, my heavenly Daddy who absolutely KNEW what was going to happen and He opened all of the doors for me. Instant appointments with the family doctor for check up and biopsy (which showed a condition called hyperplasia – not the “c” word, WHEW!), a quick appointment with the regional gynecologist, a very swift ultrasound (my sympathies to you gals who get these regularly while pregnant – goodness, getting your full bladder pressed on???!!!! Who invented that test anyway?) He also created a space in the OR so I could have a complete – “take it all out” – hysterectomy on November 20.

I just about managed to finish up the year without any other events. Just about. Almost. Finished. And then the phone rang in the middle of December. Could I please come and see my gynecologist right away? It’s not an emergency BUT could I come? Okay. She asked nicely so I went. My gynecologist looked at me with great pity as she showed me the pathology report. The words leapt off of the page. ENDOMETRIOID CARCINOMA. Yep, the fancy terminology for the “c” word. Have a Merry Christmas!

The moment stood still and then I made a decision. I would NOT be defined by those words! There was beloved family coming home, Christmas dinners to prepare and eat, Christmas concerts to attend, parties to go to, presents to wrap and open and, best of all, the birth of my SAVIOUR to celebrate! Jesus! My Saviour. My Healer. My Deliverer. King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The ONE who paid the price on the cross for my healing! And you know what? I had a wonderful, joyous Christmas! The BEST ever! BEST! EVER!

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8-10

This is a promise I have hung onto as I begin to navigate the new world that suddenly erupts into life when you receive a cancer diagnosis. And it was confirmed one evening in January. I had been up to the hospital for a quick visit with my Mom in between more tests. I came out of the building feeling a little depressed. It was one of those nights where the air was still and there had been just a skiff of snow. The parking lot lights came on and the pavement looked like it was covered with millions of diamonds. The beauty of it all just took my breath away. And I was caught up in the wonder of a God, a Creator, who could make something as simple as a snowflake look like a brilliant diamond. And I began to thank Him for the “diamonds” as I walked to my vehicle.

I got into my vehicle and turned on the ignition. And I burst into laughter because this song by Hawk Nelson was playing on the radio:

“Diamonds”
Here and now I’m in the fire,
In above my head
Oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh
Being held under the pressure,
Don’t know what’ll be left
Oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh
But it’s here in the ashes
I’m finding treasure

He’s making diamonds, diamonds
Making diamonds out of dust
He is refining in his timing
He’s making diamonds out of us

I’ll surrender to the power
Of being crushed by love
Oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh
Till the beauty that was hidden
Isn’t covered up
Oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh
Oh it’s not what I hoped for
It’s something much better

He’s making diamonds, diamonds
Making diamonds out of dust
He is refining in his timing
He’s making diamonds out of us

Oh the joy of the lord
It will be my strength
When the pressure is on
He’s making diamonds

Oh the joy of the lord
It will be my strength
When the pressure is on
He’s making diamonds

Oh the joy of the lord
It will be my strength
When the pressure is on
He’s making, he’s making

He’s making diamonds, diamonds
Making us rise up from the dust
He is refining in his timing
He’s making diamonds out of dust
Making diamonds out of us

I won’t be afraid to shine
I won’t be afraid to shine
I won’t be afraid to shine
Cause he’s making diamonds out of dust
Making diamonds out of us

The story isn’t over but I’ve read the end of the book. Jesus wins! While adversity totally sucks, I choose not to allow it to define who and Whose I am. Oh the joy of the Lord, it will be my strength. When the pressure is on He’s making diamonds!

Until next time. Shine. On.