I really want to give Facebook a rest for a while. I’ve felt this way for a while now. Really, the only thing keeping my Facebook account active is this website (Facebook is the primary way that I publicize these updates). I feel responsible to keep my friends and family (and even many people that I do not know) up to date on my wife’s battle with breast cancer. Why? Because there are so many that have been praying for us. If you are one of those people…if you are one of those who have been praying for us…THANK YOU! Seriously, it means the world to us. Your prayers have been, I believe, a matter of life and death.
Here we sit in the chemotherapy bay at Physicians East in Greenville. Today is Carmen’s fourth treatment, which puts us more than halfway through this part of our journey. To this point, I believe that Carmen’s response to the chemotherapy has been, as the title suggests, as good as it gets. To the praise of His glorious grace, God has brought Carmen through three full cycles of chemo with very few complications. For the most part, she has felt relatively well. She has not been sick. She has only had one real negative reaction to the medications and the oncologist seems to have solved that problem quickly and easily. God has been so good to us and shown us such favor all the way through Carmen’s battle with breast cancer. She was hospitalized for one night during the first treatment as a result of fevers caused by low white blood cell counts, but that was resolved within a day and the fevers have been held at bay since the first cycle ended. Praise God! He has given wisdom and insight to our medical team, a spirit of mercy and generosity to our church, friends, and family, and He has shown enormous favor to us throughout this whole process. It seems that God has brought much glory to Himself through the exposure my website has gotten since this all started and through my relatively public ministry in the Outer Banks. We are so excited to have seen God work in such mighty ways on our behalf thus far.
Carmen and I have been absolutely overwhelmed at the exposure my last post received. The famous Christian philosopher, C. S. Lewis once remarked on suffering in this way: “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” This has certainly proven to be true in our lives and in the responses of my readers. God has indeed used the suffering He has placed in front of us to rouse our attention and our dependence upon Him. And it appears that God has used our trials to minister to thousands of readers as well.
This past week has been the worst time of Carmen’s and my life. We have each gone through troubling and trying times, but none compare to what God has put in front of us over these last nine days. Members of our church and friends from all over the United States have been praying for us and we deeply appreciate the support. We have received hundreds of text messages, calls, emails, and Facebook posts supporting us as we fight disease and trying circumstances, and for these we are eternally grateful. If you are just catching up in this conversation, let me fill you in on what has been going on lately in the White family.
I met a very interesting person the other day. I was in a Bojangles (yuck) with my students in Virginia on the way back home to the Outer Banks after a weekend evangelism conference. The man immediately caught the attention of my wife. He sat by himself at a table behind us wearing a three-piece suit, a fedora, and a bow tie. But neither his clothing nor his epic mustache caught Carmen’s attention…it was his Republican elephant cuff links that drew her eye. She pointed him out and I thought to myself, “This will be fun!” I had to engage the man in conversation. I walked over to his table and shot from the hip:
Last week, I wrote about my Dad. He is awesome. I am truly blessed to have such a great father with whom I am so close. But over the last two and a half years, I have learned that I am doubly blessed. Not only do I have a great father, but I also have the privilege of having a godly man as my father-in-law!
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
Father’s Day is a special day for me. See, my Dad is my hero. He has been since I was a little boy and he will be until the day one of us dies. The simple instruction above that Paul left for the fathers in his letter to the church in Ephesus is crucial. The legacy that the father leaves in his home is monumental.
Disclaimer: Some parts of this blog involve me divulging information about myself of which I am not proud. Sometimes I plumb the depths of my depraved heart for the edification of the reader, even at times at the detriment of my reputation. But the truth is that I just want to be real with the reader. I want you to know that everyone struggles and we are all in need of God’s grace every single day. So, what I’ve written below is a somewhat embarrassing disclosure of some ugly parts of my heart. But I write with a purpose…that you may walk with the Spirit.