Friday, November 1, 2013

Where is your faith?

I have come through a major storm. But the winds are still gusting. The waves are rolling my boat. The lightning comes threateningly close. I am on the precipice of a decision that will, for the rest of my life, be somewhat of a challenge.

I have chosen to have my ovaries and uterus removed, thus removing the high possibility that I will get ovarian cancer, and also removing my main source of hormones. 
You see, I tested positive for the BRCA 1 gene mutation, which means that my body doesn't have a great capacity to suppress breast tumors, ovarian tumors or peritoneal tumors. I got an opinion from two different oncologists who both said that I was a ticking time bomb, because they estimate that I have a 60-80% chance of getting ovarian cancer - especially since I have already had early onset breast cancer.
Besides, my breast cancer grew on hormones, so eliminating them permanently decreases my chance of a relapse.
Here's my fear: I don't want to live without hormones for so long. I'm afraid. I'm afraid of bone loss. Memory loss. Hair loss. Dry skin. Aging skin. Heart problems.

But this is the thing: God, for some reason or another, allows storm after storm after storm in our lives. I don't always know the reason, or if there is even a reason besides that I make a broken world my home. I guess I don't need to know the reason except to know that if it weren't for these storms - why would I trust Him at all? I might instead trust myself and my capacity to earn, do, take care of, and fix. I might put my faith in a trusty pay check from a cushy job. I might lean on our incredible technology and the amazing feats of science. Except that I know - beyond all doubt - that all of these things fail. They fall short. They don't last. They don't love me. They can't work miracles.

He said to his disciples, "Where is your faith?" Filled with awe and wonder, they said to each other, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him!" (Luke 8:25)

Sometimes, He asks "Where is your faith?"
 He is not asking you or me to muster up some more. He is not saying that we can be in control (or even that HE can be in control) only if we HAVE enough.
No, He is literally asking us - WHERE have you put it? Have you put in the hormones that keep your body running young and smoothly? Have you put it in healthy food and exercise? Have you put it in your ability to work hard and make money? Have you put it in doctors, or family or friends? Or perhaps have you have just kept it for yourself, hoping that if you collect enough it will mean something?

When Jesus asks "Where is your faith?" He is asking you to place it in HIM if you haven't already. Which is why his disciples immediately ask "WHO is this?" And it is the question WE should be asking instead of "Why?" Of course, they know who he is, and you may too - but they are learning WHO He IS. He is different. He is not just a teacher.

 He is the ALL. 


"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross." (Colossians 1:15-20)

Now, I am asking myself in these moments of crippling fear (and I should be asking myself every single day since I so quickly forget) "WHERE have I put my faith?" I know that if it is in Jesus Christ, who commands the storms, it is right where it should be and I have nothing to fear.

Where is your faith?

P.s. I always hate to ask for help, but I believe I will once again need some after this surgery. Here is the link for my meal train, if any of you feel inclined to bring a meal.


Earl Burns said...

beautifully articulated Amanda and an impressive show of God's gift of strength to you in this storm He shows His love through. This is such an unpopular topic today with all the name it claim it, God does what we beg Him to do-kind of theology being spouted today and will no doubt incur a loss of apparent respect from people who know you or read this blog. But be encouraged Amanda, God has cast you in the role that he has in this day and time on this stage of life for the same reason he chose the Children of Israel in the OT, so that they would be His witness in this world. Thank you for this call to obedience to God from what he's doing in your heart. Beautiful!

Joan Del said...

TRUTH, incredibly voiced faith. I love you.

Amanda Conley said...

Thank you,Earl, for your encouragement. And thank you Mom. :)

Cindi Burger Barrett said...

I relate to this so much. I consider you immensely blessed, Amanda, that God has extended his grace so beautifully over you. You have such a powerful story that blesses so many. I will continue to pray that God will remind you that is He everything and to place your faith in him.