What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Autumn Reflections and Reality Checks

I feel so far behind in my writing and reading of other blogs that I enjoy...please forgive me, friends, for not commenting and communicating.  As many of you know, we were on vacation last week, visiting our son and his family in Maine, and then when I got home I had to play catch up at work and here at home. Still trying to climb out from under the dust and laundry and mail, well, you know how it is.  You need a vacation to recover from your vacation!  I'll get there eventually, but some things just have to be set aside and overlooked for now.

Therefore I would like to reflect a bit on the journey I've been traveling for the past few weeks.  I am calling this "Autumn Reflections and Reality Checks".    First for the Autumn reflection part:

Yes, this is a real picture of a real place.  It was so serene and tranquil, I told my son to stop the car immediately and pull over so I could take a picture!  My family became rather accustomed to these sudden outbursts as we traveled through the woods and mountains of the White Mountain National Park in Maine and New Hampshire. Unfortunately, there weren't always great places to pull over and/or the traffic was such that it wasn't safe to do so as quickly as I wanted, but we did manage to capture a few great pictures.

I won't bore you with a travelogue of our entire trip, but suffice it to say, the scenery was magnificent...and the company was even greater.  We were there to celebrate our grandson's 14th birthday and spend time with our middle son and his family. We live in Florida, so the visits with this part of our family are way too few and far between.

And that brings me to the "reality check" part of the journey.

You see, our son has cancer. He is in the fourth year of this battle against the rare "childhood cancer", Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor, (DSRCT) that hit him when he was 37, and the reality is, he's not getting better. I guess you could say he's "maintaining"...not exactly getting worse, but not improving either. And unless someone comes up with a cure or a better treatment plan, he can't stay doing what he's doing for much longer.  Chemo is poison...and although its purpose is to kill the cancer cells, it also kills good cells, and after a while the body just can't take any more of it. Other parts of the body start breaking down and there is even the possibility that other forms of cancer could develop. So it isn't a winning proposition.  Without a miracle, the future is not very bright.  I've had to face this reality, and it isn't pleasant. It hurts deeply. I don't want to think about it...I want to ignore it and hope it will go away, but that's not being realistic. I have to acknowledge the reality that my son is not getting better and that we could actually lose him.  But we are not without hope.

While driving to work one day this week, I listened on the radio (JoyFM) to a portion  of a message from Pastor Francis Chan, who was speaking at a conference for high school and college young people.  Here is the full message: Francis Chan, "God is Faithful" from Passion 2013 Conference, if you want to listen.  The part that I heard that struck me was found around the 26.00 section on the progress bar of the video.  He played a clip from a friend of his, a radio show host, who was talking about death and does man actually have a soul, and how our bodies are just the earthly container that holds our real self, our soul, our spirit...the part that lives on for eternity.  The example this man gave was that he drove a motorcycle, and that he knew that at anytime on the freeway a vehicle could drift over into his lane and cut him off and he could be killed instantly...but he was saying that if that were to happen not to grieve for that broken bag of bones left on the freeway, because that is not the real person, that's just his body.  The real person is the soul, which goes immediately to be with the Lord in heaven.  The amazing part of this story was that just 3 hours after this man made this statement on the radio, he got on his motorcycle and headed down the freeway, and the exact thing he spoke about happened to him.  He was struck and killed that very day.

None of us are guaranteed any number of days or years upon this earth. Only God knows the number of our days. Psalm 139:13-16 tells us that God formed us in our mother's wombs, and that He has known us since we were "skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth."

Verse 16 says, "Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them."  

II Corinthians 5:1 tells us that "if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

Verse 2: "For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven."

Verse 4: "For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by LIFE." (MEANING: ETERNAL LIFE).

Verse 5:  "Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, Who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee."

Verse 6:  "So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord."

Verse 7: "For we walk by faith, not by sight."

Verse 8: "We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord."

Verse 9:  "Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him..."

Our hope is in the Lord, who made heaven and earth, and Who created us in His image.

II Corinthians 5:17 tells us, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

We have this hope in Christ Jesus. We know that our son is a child of God, a follower of Christ. We are confident that if he were to die today, he would immediately be in the presence of God, in heaven.

Philippians 1:21 says, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."  

I know, you are probably saying that it's easy to say all these things now, while he is yet living. But what will you say when that day really comes?

I sincerely pray that day will not come for many years. But the reality is, it could happen any time...to any of us. Those of us who are healthy could be like the man on the motorcycle...perfectly safe and healthy one minute and even talking about it...and go out on the highway and be struck dead in a moment...or have a heart attack...or some other disaster could hit us.  The important thing is to be ready. Always ready.  And to realize that this earthly temple is not the real me, or you. The REAL me will live eternally. So will my son. I can live with that reality.

What about you? Do you have that same hope and confidence? If not, perhaps you needed this reality check as well.  I hope you will think about these things today...and seek God while there is yet time. He loves you and would love to introduce you to His Son. If you need some help with this...let me know. Maybe I can help you find the answers you are seeking.  It would be my pleasure to do so.


  1. Ok, now the tears are flowing once again. Dear Pamela, my heart hurts for you and rejoices with you because you know the truth. The real reality. The beautiful reality that will help you through the ugly reality that MAY come. But we will join you in prayer for your son and each one in your family. God is all around you in the gorgeous place you live and I am asking Him to be exactly what you need right now my friend. Love you, Susie

    1. Thank you my sweet dear friend. I know I can count on you and many others to be the prayer warriors and support system I need in the days to come...even if from a distance. It is comforting to know that we do not walk alone in this world...we have the Lord...and He gives us precious friends in such amazing ways. I am okay...because I know Who holds our future...and there is no need to fear. Remind me when I forget, OK? :)

  2. I am so glad you had this vacation, what treasured memories are being made...it is true, we don't know how long we have...this temporary tent must be left behind so that the tent dweller may return to the true home- Heaven...our glorious hope, destiny and forever tent. With new bodies. Prayers and hugs to you, hang tight to the good- as you are doing...and a beautiful post shared. Love you and I know I have been so behind in all as well...no worries. Together in the journey. love you, Pam!

    1. I guess I forgot to hit publish when I responded before. Now I forgot what I wrote back to you!. Thank you for being a sojourner through this journey, even if from a distance. I so appreciate having you as a friends and encourager! You are a blessing to me. Thank you Dawn! Love you too!

  3. Beautiful scenes and then to read about your son, I pray for the healing of Jesus for him. These Scriptures you include are true and I noted them down. A favorite of mine and for your son in my prayers is "I will restore your health and I will heal your wounds, says the Lord". Jeremiah 30:17

    1. I love that scripture. Thank you for reminding me of it. Sometimes we get too caught up in the impossibilities and forget that with God all things are possible. Yes...He IS our healer...and we need to remember that. Thank you Terra, and blessings to you today.

  4. Pam, I'm so grateful that you were able to spend this time with your son and his family in Maine. Our daughter-in-law recently posted some pictures they took last weekend and they were absolutely gorgeous. Much more color than we had here in WV!

    My heart aches for you in your hurting. I pray that it will be a long time before it would become reality, but I find joy in knowing that you are being prepared by the One Who gave Himself for you. Praying for you, my friend.

    1. Thank you, Dianna. Your words are comforting. We know with God, all things are possible...and I need to remember that as well. He may have a totally different plan than what the world expects at this point. I am not giving up hope...just trying to be cautious. Perhaps too cautious. I've seen God work miracles before in this same child. I don't believe He's forgotten. Thank you.

  5. Oh Pamela, this is such a heart-felt post from a grieving Mama. And yet, full of hope too. Yes, our bodies are just our earthly shells, but they are precious too.

    I have a friend with Stage 4 breast cancer. Her treatments make her so weak and spacey. Poor woman. But we both have hope and will never give that up. Ready for anything? Yes. But that includes a miracle too. We'll stick in this, won't we? We know that God is with us, and with my friend and your son.

    God bless you, my friend,

    1. Thank you, Ceil. Yes, it is a difficult process not allowing ourselves to give up hope. We keep our eyes on Jesus, and know that He is in control, and therein we find peace and hope. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers today. Sorry I just saw this a week later!


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