August 05, 2010

I, Robot

Yesterday, I went for a fitting for my radiation mask.

Under this perfectly-formed, hard mask of green swampy-looking mesh, Krang will be attacked by radiation with up to seven beams from different angles. The fitting itself was an interesting experience. The mesh was placed in hot water so that it would mold perfectly to my form and then I was strapped down firmly to the bed with a headrest underneath. It felt very futuristic, and I am glad that the pictures look just as futuristic as it felt. Let me tell you, that thing is tight. The technologists let it slip that they are not professionally allowed to use the word "claustrophobia" around radiation patients.

This picture makes me think of a few things. One is that it makes me think that I have just been uncovered somewhere on a prehistoric dig, like Encino Man. Another is that I am about to go into a procedure, where I will inevitably come out looking like this: thanks irobot!

Or I might come out with only part of me altered:

This cat here on the right is the first cat to have a bionic paw transplants. This story hit the news shortly before we left Beijing. I'm hoping that the cost/benefit analysis of this operation was determined by the advances it would lend to science rather than by level of value placed on the cat!

Anyway, it looks like I will be starting six weeks of radiatheraphy, as of Thursday, August 12. We go in five days a week, and this may or may not be offset by chemotheraphy. This will be determined by the results of some genetic testing which a sample of Krang was sent away for.

Lightheartedness aside, there are a few things that I want to say on this blog. The more well known my situation has become, the more people have been responding to it. I have appreciated all the responses, but I can see how some of what I have said would lead to confusion about what my meaning is. I feel a certain weight about this blog. I feel a responsibility to maintain it and to be open, but at the same time I am aware that I open myself up to other's scrutiny and personal belief systems. I can not answer for the ways that others believe, I can only answer for my own personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Having said those things, I hope to make a statement on here that will help some people understand me a little better if they are willing to do so. However, in order to do this I have to ask people to read what I am saying and not what they think that I am saying. More than a few people have presumed from the things that I am writing that I have somehow given up hope, given up my faith that God heals and even made a few other more outrageous assumptions.

Let me pose a question:

How does the Bible define faith? Hebrews 11:1,2 says that "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, for by it, the men of old gained approval from God." Verse 6 says, "Without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he IS and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him".

Is the point for me to have faith in my faith? No. Rather, HE is the assurance of my faith. On this dark path, I have received comfort beyond all my expectations and imagination. These are the things that I have heard all my life that God does.

Before now, I had faith that God provides these things. Now that I am going through this experience, I have the assurance of them. I used to understand that he is with us in dark times. Now I know it to be true. I believed that he is faithful and that he provides. Now I feel him beside me. I heard of a peace that passes all understanding, but now that peace is MINE.

This afternoon I laid down on my bed, feeling heavy, feeling weighty and inside my heart cried, "Father I can't bear this. My mental processes can't bear it. Be to me the counselor that you promised in the book of John."

Slowly but surely the helplessness lifted, and even though my body was still heavy from lack of sleep and exhaustion, and my mind was overstimulated, peace came.

My faith is in the character and the nature of God. He proves himself in so many different ways over and over and over again. My faith would have no footing if it was based on how strong my will is to live.

Do I have a strong will to live? Absolutely! Can I add even a minute to my life by worrying about it? No! Do people die? Absolutely! How can these things be reconciled? They are reconciled through a faith that God is a rewarder of those who seek him. If he puts me on a dark path, I want to seek him on the dark path and receive the rewards that can only be found in those places. Light never shines so bright as when it shines in a dark place.

This has already been my reward and I know that there is more to come. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am not alone! Where he wants to take me on this journey of faith is up to him. What my reward is, will be for him to decide, but it will be more than I could ask for or imagine. It will be good. It will be full. HE WILL BE FAITHFUL to me, because it is in his nature to be so and he never changes.


Dustin said...

one word... AMEN

Tanna said...

Jessica and James, thank you for sharing what is happening in your lives right now. We will pray for strength for you and your family during this time. May Our Lord's will be done! - Daniel and Tanna

Betty said...

Thanks for sharing your heart! Amen! May the peace that only comes form the Lord Jesus be upon you! Amen and Amen

Denton & Betty
North Dakota

Kris and Char said...

May God continue to be glorified through you. It's a beautiful thing. Amen.

Larissa said...

Jess! I heard recently about what you are going through. I want to thank you for writing it out for us to be blessed and encouraged by your faith, and so we can know how to pray for you.
I am so sorry you are walking on this path, yet glad you are not walking it alone.
Larissa (used to be Plett, way back when....)

敬周喜 said...