April 2, 2019: Wait it’s not over yet

Since my last post, the month went by very fast. I found that I was very burned out and so very tired. We were on the home stretch of driving every day and Amy completing her radiation cancer treatments. Sorry I have left everyone in the dark for a while. Here is the latest in our journey.

Last Monday Amy finished her last radiation treatment! Yaaaaaaa!

We lit off some fireworks to celebrate. Just kidding. I would if I had some though.

The last two weeks of the radiation treatments really hit Amy like a ton of bricks. By early afternoon she was wiped out and had to rest. One of the things that is frustrating is some of the medication that you end up on while going through radation causes side-effects too. So, she was dealing with that too while trying to finish up radiation treatments.

The Last Week

The last week of going to Dartmouth was bitter sweet. The last two days really hit us. This is it, it’s almost done. Then the last day we finished up the puzzle that was on the table and said our goodbyes to department 2K at Dartmouth. That was the last treatment that Amy was going to have for radiation.

She got to take her mask home after her last treatment. With brain cancer and radiation you lose most of your hair, but it will grow back. That is one of the things that I was hoping wouldn’t happen to Amy as much. Thankfully, she didn’t lose all of her hair. She still looks beautiful though. I told her at one point that I would shave my head so we could be buddies walking through the same thing as much as I could. She told me no, that I didn’t have to do that.

It does remind me of a funny story though. When we were younger I would get tired of having my hair long. Even though it wasn’t really long, I just don’t like long hair. I find it annoying, but that’s me. So, one day I shaved my head. There goes the hair. Well, my wife, who used to be a hairstylist informed me that I don’t look great bald and that I will never be allowed to cut my own hair again. It was funny! Really.

It wasn’t really this long, but you know….

Thankfully, my wife for the past 18 years has cut my hair and one of the things that came to mind when she was starting to go through her treatments was, “I am never going to cut my hair until she can cut it for me!” Now, would I follow through with it? I am would certainly try, but thankfully last month she was feeling much better and cut my hair. It was getting pretty long.

Turning The Corner

Turning the corner of life

Since we found out that Amy has brain cancer, she really has improved tremendously. My bride that married me so many years ago has gained back so much of herself it is amazing. She is up and around the house, taking care of the kids and getting out to the store once a week or more.

Where did technology come from?

I praise God for the technology that we have to be able to treat cancer. We as mankind think naturally that we invented it and it was by our own creation that we have the very technology. But that is a view that doesn’t acknowledge God in any part of it.

When God gave man the directive to have dominion over the earth (Genesis 1) this knowledge can be used for God’s glory and man’s good. The Lord allows us to accumulate knowledge to develop incredible technology like radiation treatments. This technology can be used for good or evil. The good is for treating cancer and the evil is for nuclear weapons to destroy mankind. All of this technology falls under the sovereignty of the Lord. This brings up the question:

Does God Control All Things At All Times?

The simple answer is yes, of course!

First God does everything according to His will. Ephesians 1:11 is a good example of that very point. “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.”

Who’s in control ultimately?

God works all things according to the counsel of his will. What this means is God controls all things at all times. There is nothing outside of God’s control. God governs over all human plans and human acts.

  • Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Just a general statement.
  • Proverbs 20:24 reads, “A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?” A general statement about all his steps.
  • Proverbs 16:33: “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” Human beings decide all kinds of ways to make a decision. They try rolling dice, and they draw lots, and they put out pieces of cloth on the ground — whatever. The point here is whatever means they use, it’s going to be God’s will in the end. Every decision is from the Lord.
  • Proverbs 19:21: “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Whatever humans anywhere in the world are planning and doing, what stands is God’s will.
  • Jeremiah 10:23: “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.”

What these passages are saying is that at the end of the day, everything that human beings do is to the will of God. Now this is where you might say, what about free will? Is God permitting or controlling? I am going to let this paragraph by John Piper say it best. After all, he has been studying God’s Word a lot longer than I have.

Permitting or Controlling?

Lastly, God’s permission for Satan or man to act is nevertheless part of God’s ultimate design and final control. I’m trying to respond here to someone who says, “Well, God doesn’t control everything, but he permits lots of things.” I’m saying that’s right. He certainly does permit lots of things. How should we understand an all-knowing God with perfect foreknowledge permitting something in his infinite wisdom?

Are we steering or is God?

Here’s what Jesus says in Luke 22:31: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Notice he does not say, “If you have turned again,” but “when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

“Every kind of event that comes to a city is ultimately from the Lord.”

In other words, “Yes, I’m going to give Satan permission to sift you like wheat, and I know it’s going to involve three denials. I know you’re going to turn, and I know that the purpose of bringing you back according to my prayer is that you might strengthen your brothers.”

Even in situations where God is permitting, he is permitting by design. When you permit something and you know what it’s going to do and you know all of its outcomes and you go ahead and permit it, you permit it wisely if you’re God — and then it wisely fits into the overall pattern of what you are planning and doing.

Let me end with a statement and a question. The statement is that human beings are responsible, accountable, praiseworthy, or blameworthy for what they do. God’s sovereignty does not diminish human accountability. That’s the statement.

The question is, which world would you rather live in? One where humans or Satan or chance govern what happens to you? Or one where an infinitely good, infinitely wise, infinitely powerful God works everything together for the good of those who trust him and for his glory?

What’s Next In Our Journey?

Next is…..we wait. We will wait out this month as Amy gets over the side affects of the radiation treatments. Then at the end of the month we’ll back at Dartmouth for more tests and results. At that point it might be chemo-therapy. We have to meet with the teams and get a definitive answer.

This journey is not a spring that is for sure. It is an ultra marathon! I am just so very thankful that my wife is here with me. Three months ago, we thought that was it. The were going to be her last days. But now as she has finished radiation it is looking like there will be years to come. Ultimately we don’t know, but the simple truth remains.

TREASURE THE ONES YOU LOVE, THEY ARE HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW!

Thank you God Almighty for the grace that you pour out on our daily. Without you and the body of Christ surrounding us, we would not be able to walk this path.

My hope is that if you are walking through a trial in life, no matter what it is, that you find the hope that is beyond this world. Jesus gives hope when there is none left in the world. He is the light in the darkness and the rock upon which we stand as shifting sands rush about underneath our feet.

Thank you everyone for your loving support, prayers and donations. I praise God for you all!

I am a husband, father, business owner and follower of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. My hope is that you find these articles helpful in your walk through life.

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Anna Thorburn
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Anna Thorburn

Thank you for the update! We are so glad to hear of the improvements Amy has had, even in the midst of the suffering of treatments and side effects. We are praying for you and routing for you and your family. May God continue to strengthen and uphold you every minute of every day on this journey.

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