Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Wonderful Sunday

I had the privilege of seeing my husband Matt perform his first baptism - the baptism of our newborn son, Samuel. As Matt reminded the congregation, baptism is a symbol of belonging to God's covenant community (the Church) and of God's promise to cleanse the hearts of everyone who trusts in Christ alone for their salvation. The name Samuel belonged to my great-grandfather. It is a Hebrew name that means "God heard." While we did not know about my breast cancer when we chose that name for Samuel, it is fitting that over the coming months his name will be a continual reminder that God does hear our prayers. That is always a comforting truth, but it is especially comforting given all of the praying we (and many others) are doing for my health.

Speaking of my health, this will be an important decision-making week for us. I mentioned before that my doctors are recommending that I do my full chemotherapy treatment now and then have surgery to remove the tumor next Spring. Although my BRCA genetic testing came back negative (meaning I do not have a genetic predisposition to breast cancer - making the chances of it returning significantly lower), I will still need about 4-6 months of chemotherapy. So on Tuesday we will meet with Dr. Taylor, my oncologist, to determine what type of chemotherapy treatment I should receive. While I want to be aggressive in doing all I can to treat the cancer, I am also nervous about the various side effects of the chemotherapy. While some of those side effects cannot be avoided, I am praying I will have the strength to care for my children the whole time.

Whatever my chemotherapy brings, I know that every detail of the months ahead is in the hands of God my Savior. He was not surprised when I got breast cancer and He is in full control of every test and treatment of this trial.

This morning in church I sang a hymn during the Offertory called, "All the Way My Savior Leads Me." The text was written by the famous hymn writer Fanny Crosby in 1875. Crosby, who was blind, writes beautifully of the comfort of knowing God is our guide through every trial:

All the way my Savior leads me; what have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy, who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort, here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me, cheers each winding path I tread;
Gives me grace for every trial, feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter, and my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me, lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me, O the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised, in my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal, wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages—Jesus led me all the way.

In 2003, I wrote a tune to go with this hymn. And in 2009, I recorded it for a collection of hymn arrangements by several members of our former church in San Diego. You can listen to that recording below and, if you are interested, you can read about and download the entire hymns album for free here.

UPDATE: The two links above have been fixed. Thanks.