*sigh* My mom called yesterday to give me an update on my aunt. The doctors are almost positive that the tumor they removed was cancerous. They took out around six inches of her intestines (sorry for the "grossness"), and think they got all of it that was there. They are running tests to see if it is elsewhere in her body but have yet to find any evidence of it spreading. That's a definite praise.
Even with that, they will begin chemotherapy on her in about a month. They would begin sooner, but she does not have the strength to endure it right now. Even with the positive outlook of the doctors, much of my family is still pretty worried and scared. Right now all they can think about is another aunt (the baby of the family) who died of cancer nearly six years ago. (You have to understand that my mom had eleven brothers and sisters and they are all close because of being a Southern, agrarian (i.e. redneck) family.)
Right now, my aunt is in an enormous amount of pain from the surgery and its after effects, but her spirits are high. She knows that God is her Savior and Sustainer and Healer. She is safe in His hands regardless of a healing in this life or one on the other side of death. I talked and prayed with her and it was a great time.
I do want to thank all of you who have emailed, commented, called, etc. Your words have been a blessing and encouragement to me. I ask that you would continue to pray for my family and me. There are many unbelievers who have nothing to cling to right now except their false sense of religion. They have no relationship with God. Pray that my aunt, my parents and I will be able to witness to them, sharing the gospel of a God who desires a relationship with them in Christ. Also, please pray God would heal my aunt and that the pain would be in check.
But, regardless of what happens, we must remember that God is in control of all things and is fully deserving of our praise, adoration and love. Like the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abumblebee, God will deliver my family from this. And even if He doesn't, we will not bow to discouragement, anger or blame. We may go through an entire range of emotions, but we will end up standing firm in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is all right to ask why, to be angry and even yell and scream. God's big enough to handle all of that and He's loving enough to bring us through all of that at the same time. I pray God will work in this situation in an incredible way and that those in my family (and there are many) who are non-believers would be brought to life by the gospel that they see and hear in us.
until Christ is formed in us...