The Calamity of Cancer

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Team MWMS

Several of Michelle’s students and colleagues from Mt. Washington Middle School participated as a team in the 2012 Komen Louisville Race for the Cure this past Saturday. Only our 14 year old daughter was up for the run but thankfully the event included a 1 mile “Family Walk” for those of us with bad knees (me), short legs (Cai), or who prefer to use our energy in other ways (Daniel). After a tough week recovering from her second chemo treatment, Michelle was feeling well enough to join us. As you can see, she earned her medal!

I told her last night how proud she had made me during this battle. We are only about three months past her diagnosis. In those three months, she has endured the shocking news of her illness, two surgeries, the grueling days spent recovering from her first two treatments, her husband shaving her head, and the tangible uncertainty of whether anything she is undergoing will, in the end, make a difference. And yet, she has embraced every piece of news, life altering treatment, and miserable moment with the unquestioned assurance that Jesus is not only the author and finisher of finisher of her faith, he is the author and finisher of her life. In her words, “If God knows the number of hairs on my head, He surely knew they were going to come out.”

Indeed, as Scripture teaches us, “Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?” (Lam 3:37). When coupled with Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” God’s sovereignty over the calamity of cancer is something we have chosen to embrace. That decision has yielded Michelle (and her husband) a comfort that my words cannot begin to express.

So how’s she doing? Physically, some days are better than others. Emotionally, stronger than I even knew. Spiritually, I stand amazed.

I would be remiss if I did not add that the prayers and support we have received from our brothers and sisters in Christ continue to be wonderfully overwhelming. Truly, our burden rests on so many shoulders that at times we even forget we carry it. We testify that the Law of Christ is being fulfilled (Gal 6:2).

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26 Comments

  1. nannie davis
    Posted October 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m thinking of you and praying for you. God will be with you all thye way and you will be stron
    ger and you will feel blessed. Love you.

  2. Tara Long
    Posted October 15, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    We were so glad to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer research. Just an update, our team has raised of $1500 that will stay in the Kentuckiana area. We are so glad you all could make it!

    • Posted October 16, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Tara, thanks for organizing the effort! WOW! We are grateful for the contributions toward finding a cure. Wonderful to see the kids involved.

  3. Toni Pendley
    Posted October 15, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Good luck Michelle!

  4. Anthony Foster
    Posted October 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    We are standing with you, praying that in this ordeal you will all continue to experience the loving arms of Jesus about your family!

    The Fosters

  5. Rhesa Umbarger
    Posted October 16, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Paul,
    What a beautiful tribute you have written! Michelle’s strength, courage and faith are both moving and inspirational. Please be assured that Michelle and your family are in our prayers.
    Phillip and Rhesa Umbarger and family

  6. Carla J. Combs
    Posted October 16, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    What an amazing tribute to Michelle and her faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Brian and I have been praying for her and your family. I look forward to the day when I can meet all of you. May God continue to work in and shine through Michelle during this journey.

    • Posted October 16, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Thank you Carla! Grateful for the ministry you and Brian undertake on behalf of our Lord and Kentucky Baptists!

  7. Deena
    Posted October 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Michelle, you are still beautiful, still amazing, still strong in the Lord. I miss you. I love you and am praying. God bless.

  8. Toni Dorris
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    What an inspiration this was to read. I could only hope to have a small bit of the grace she has shown during this illness. If attitude plays a part in recovery, she’ll be back to her young self in no time! God’s continued peace on the whole family-plus, tell Michelle she can really rock a head scarf! She looks great!

    • Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Toni! I agree on every point! Hope the Dorris family is well.

  9. Lange Patrick
    Posted October 20, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing your lives with those around you. It is a great encouragement to see your faithfulness and God’s faithfulness displayed so wonderfully. The Patricks continue to pray for you both.

    • Posted October 20, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Thank you Lange! God is faithful. Looking forward to your leadership at Shepherding!

  10. Ruth Smith
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Beautiful as always, inside and out. I’ve been praying for and thinking of your family since I heard the news. So glad to read this loving tribute and update on Michelle.

  11. Stacy Crawford
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    I ran the Komen race with a couple of friends. On the way, I told them about Michelle. Obviously, I talked about her diagnosis, but more than that, I talked about her spirit. What I have loved and admired about Michelle for years is her “realness”. She’s like the rest of us–a ‘real’ woman, a ‘real’ wife, a ‘real’ mother–with everything those roles bring. That authenticity is one of the things that drew me to her, along with that beautiful smile! After having her on my mind all morning, it was such a treat to see Michelle and Cai sitting outside a coffee shop across the street from the race! She looked, as you know, BEAUTIFUL!! We talked a bit about her upcoming treatments, and her plans to run the Komen race next year. God’s grace was clear in her smile, and once again, I left her presence with a blessing. She is amazing and I know you are so proud of her. Keeping you all in my prayers!

    • Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Thank you Stacy! You are so kind. We hope you and your family are well!

  12. Brenda Smothers
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    So glad for the update on Michelle and to know she was able to walk in the Komen walk. That is a wonderful group of people. Please let her know we are still praying for her and she is often in my thoughts. So glad she has all the support of her family surrounding her as that is a very important
    thing at this time in her life. I remember well as Roger was with me.
    I know she is a strong lady and will come out a winner in the end with God by her side.
    Blessings to a wonderful family.

    • Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Yes, the Lord is her strength and her Redeemer! Our best to you & Roger!

  13. Murrell Porter
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Not a day goes by that Judy and I don’t think of and pray for Michelle and your whole family. It surely is amazing how those who love Jesus can weather such storms and grace and hope. Please give Michelle our best.

    • Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Murrell! We have tremendous love and respect for you and deeply appreciate the prayers of the Porter family.