Do you know who you are?
Identity is not always clear and concise. Who we are and who we think we are can change over time. It may take years but can also occur over a few minutes, especially if we allow circumstances to dictate things. How we respond to things is often due to who we are but can also determine who we become.
Last Sunday morning, Steve Atkins started a series on Ephesians. He began the series by demonstrating how Paul began by defining clearly who he was and who he was writing to. Paul is an apostle of Jesus chosen by God. The individuals he is writing to are called saints, holy people, and faithful followers. Paul identifies himself and the Ephesians as blessed, loved, and chosen by God. There can be no doubt who anyone is, and as a result what they can expect or what is expected of them.
I started chemo today. It’s the next step on a journey that I would like to have avoided. But I’m here nonetheless.
It is a bit clearer what is happening. I have a Stage 2 Grade 3a/3b follicular cell Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. There is no organ involvement and my bone marrow is clear. Because of the mixed grade it’s not totally clear what form of chemotherapy is best but consensus is to go with a combination of chemo and immunological agents called R-CHOP. I’ll be getting a day of treatment every three weeks for just over four months. There’s the potential for a bunch of different side effects but only time will tell. Right now I feel fine.
I also feel assured as to who I am and who I am not. I am not a cancer victim. This is not denial. This is not positive thinking. This is just knowing the truth. I know that God has plans for me, that He is in control, and that because of Him and His righteousness I am counted along with the Ephesians. Not through anything I have done but because of Christ.
That means I am a child of God. I have been adopted into His Kingdom. I am His. And that means even though I am afflicted by cancer, I am not defeated. I am not crushed, not in despair and not abandoned. I can have complete peace knowing without any doubt that Jesus is with me and will never leave me or forsake me.
And that makes this whole journey a lot less lonely.