The Good Fight: Preparing your heart for cancer

The Good Fight: Preparing your heart for cancer

Many of you may not know that my college major was Sport Management. Crazy huh? You should also know that I was NOT an athlete and a lukewarm sports fan. (Recently became a bandwagon fan for some NY teams because I love the game.)

WHY the major then? BECAUSE…

I love SPORT.

Sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

Sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

You see, I enjoy the sportsmanship which is an attitude that strives for fair play, courtesy toward teammates and opponents, ethical behavior and integrity, and grace in victory or defeat.

The game or sport (baseball, football, and rugby are a few that I enjoy watching) involves physical exertion and skill. It requires more than just walking onto a baseball field with a ball and bat. The player must learn how to hold the bat, swing the bat, and read the pitch. All of that is skill and it is learned through time and repetition. Along those same lines, you cannot just warm a bench or sit in the grass waiting just hoping that when the day comes for YOU to perform it will just magically happen. NO! There is a conscious effort that must be made to gain success. To lead you to victory.

My favorite verse – ok not really, I have several favorite verses – but one verse by the apostle Paul that has always stirred up my heart is:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:7 NIV

Immediately, I see a boxer in the ring. The desire and passion to win the fight. Another fun fact, my husband is a trained MMA fighter and we met training in a Muy Thai Kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu gym. So yeah, I get it to small extent. You have to TRAIN to WIN a fight that you earned with your own GRIT.

But what is a GOOD fight? I will get to that in a minute.

I am then attracted to the race. In this sentence Paul says that he has finished the race. Once again, it is easy to relate to a race. Running on the playground against your classmates or competing in track meets you have more than likely competed.

In middle school, I ran track (again not an athlete so enjoy the mental image of my goofy running gait and ALWAYS being one of the last people to cross the finish line).

However, I didn’t run because I thought I was fast and would win but because it was thrilling and worthwhile to put forth the effort into training for the race. The comradie with my trackmates and other teammates throughout the years bring back fond memories even in defeat.

“Not that you won or lost but how you played the game”

Yet, I know deep in my heart that I didn’t give it my all. It would be thrilling in the beginning but over time the luster would wear off and my discipline would as well.

But that is the sweetest part of Paul’s message. The GOOD fight isn’t about my skill or physical exertion but my faith in Jesus Christ.

Right now I am facing my biggest opponent ever. The biggest fight of my life thus far. It is watching my husband battle for his life against cancer.

But I have acquired the skill and physical traits needed to fight this by reading the Bible, praying incessantly, not giving up in meeting with others, and leaning into GOD and not my own understanding (in everything not just this situation). I have kept the faith. My foundation is built on rock. A solid ground that cannot be shaken. The wind and storms may try as they might but God has already overcome. He has won.

With that knowledge and promise in my corner I can face this fight with hope. With JOY. Even in defeat I can face the result of this physical trial with grace.

Take it’s Heart: How to fight cancer

Take it’s Heart: How to fight cancer

 On Feb 20th, 2019, my husband started his fight his against Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Try as I might to express how we are enduring this battle there is nothing like getting it straight from the mouth of the one who is fighting. My beloved took his time to sit down and write down his own perspective on “how he is running into the fight”. Enjoy this guest post from Peter.

Taking on Giants: “1 Samuel 17″

It has been some time since I’ve had a free moment to share any updates since my original one a few weeks ago. But I’m reminded and inspired as I read one of my all time favorite stories in the Bible. If you would like, please turn to and read with me 1 Samuel 17.

The story of David and Goliath. Many know the premise of the story, but few have taken the time to actually read it from God’s word itself. If you would join me in reading this tonight, I can promise that you will not be disappointed and that you may be inspired to try and take on a giant in your life as you read through this story that is so applicable to us all.

Taking your opponents “heart”

Those who have been involved in sports, especially combat sports, can probably relate to me when I refer to a time in a game or a fight, where a turning point takes place. Many times in a fight it’s when you’re opponent has given you all he has and he realizes that you have an answer for it all and that he cannot beat you. You can feel his hope slip away as he mentally has been defeated and is basically just waiting for you to finish him. I’ve always referred to this point in a fight as taking your opponents “heart”.

How to face your opponent

Most of the time, this happens during the fight. Sometimes, if you’re facing a weak minded opponent, it can happen before the fight even starts. And as you move up the ladder and fight more difficult opponents, you’ll find that some people have no quit in them and will fight you with all they have until the bitter end.

One of the things I always enjoyed most about combat sports was the mental aspect of it. Few things in this world are still as pure as one person facing another in hand to hand combat. There is often a mutual respect that’s gained among martial artists that win or lose, you faced a challenge, you gave it your all, and you either succeeded or you failed in doing so. And through that, respect is gained on the behalf of both opponents.

The fight I’m in now is a new type of fight for me. But in many ways, some similar goals still apply. One goal in particular that will remain the same is to take my opponent’s “heart”.

Just as David did in 1 Samuel 17:51, when he stood over the giant Goliath, drew his sword from it’s sheath, and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw this, they turned and they ran. Then, the Israelites surged after them with a shout and ravaged them all the way back to their homeland.

Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David.

 

He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 

 

He said to David,

“Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?”

 

And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”

 

David said to the Philistine,

“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

 

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.

 

Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath.

 

After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

 

When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines!

One of my favorite parts of this story that is often never spoken about or even noticed if you don’t read it for yourself straight from God’s word is how David approached Goliath. It’s described in 1 Samuel 17:48 when it says, “As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.” I like this because it shows David was not afraid, there was no chance that his “heart” was going to be taken, he approached the giant with confidence and boldness that God was going to deliver him. There was only one outcome that he was going to accept. He didn’t tiptoe his way towards the giant cautiously, he ran towards him as fast as he could and in doing so took the “heart” of all of the Philistines on the battlefield on that day.

The humility, faith, and courage that David displayed on the battlefield on that day is something that we can all learn from and incorporate into our own lives. How will you face the giants in your life? Will you be like the Israelites who for 40 days stood there shaking in their armor at the momentous challenge that had been placed before them? Or will you sprint towards it as David did, boldly in your faith, knowing that any man with God in his corner IS the majority.

Sprinting toward the battle line EVERY DAY

As this fight has begun and chemotherapy has started, I can feel the progress in my chest as the primary mass that was roughly 10cm in the center of my chest is shrinking. Pressure in my head, neck, and chest is being relieved; and I’m able to lay down flat and breath again. Veins that were constricted in my head and neck are subsiding. And I can feel the grip of this disease starting to weaken. The fight is now underway, and I’m pleased with the quick and apparent progress with how I feel. However, I cannot underestimate my opponent. I must continue to sprint toward that battle line every day just as David did, until the giant falls and I can cut off it’s head, thus ending this fight once and for all.

I need to take it’s “heart”. But most of all I need to trust in God…

Thank you for joining me in this Bible study. God bless!

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