One year ago next month my Oncologist doctor told me that my life on this planet is month to month because the Leukemia that had been defeated inside of me had now relapsed to my brain. Now, as I write this blog on my 54th birthday, the facts are that I’m still in remission and still here on the planet doing God’s bidding wherever I find opportunity. I’m very grateful. Yes, I have spinal cord damage that took my legs and there are really bad days. Days with no energy, no passion and honestly I just want to be done. But then to be able to wake up in the morning and know He allowed another day for me to breathe and enjoy what life I have and give to others and “quit being so selfish, Dave” - is a real gift.
Carol and I are learning our new normal in the hand dealt us. Our perspective has changed immensely. Times that we have with Andrew and Kayla, Paige and Austin are invaluable. Those twenty-somethings have taught me a whole bunch and I love my kids. But there’s nothing like Mr. Smith! That’s my 1.1 year old grandson. We are buddies and when he looks in my eyes I see amazing grace and amazing love that only God can speak through a child’s eyes. I’m saying, family is important, but my and your relationship with Jesus is more important. He holds the future and does have a plan. Don’t try to figure it all out, just land. Land on Him as your leader and forgiver – why wait? You have no idea what an awesome 2014 awaits you as you renew your relationship with your maker.
Inland Hills Church continues to be a solid place that offers a relevant message of hope and life. We saw our highest attendance in our 22 year history last month. There’s authentic life-change happening like never before. This year I look forward to teaching now and then on Sundays as well as leading our staff towards excelling in our mission. I plan on being around! I love our church and am so thankful to all of you who continue to pray for me. I need those prayers; you need His perspective. So don’t give up, please.
When my doctor told me that bad news a year ago about the relapse, I just asked the Lord if he’d give me at least another year here – but I’d gladly take 20! So, as He continues to give me one day at a time, I intend on not wasting one of those days. How about you? Are you confident that God’s Got This in your life? The promise is that “all things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28). The only other option is to say, “I’ve got this.” That’s saying, “thanks, but no thanks, God. I’ve got it covered.” Ha. Believe me, that’s not the way to go. I’ve tried it. It only leads to more self-centeredness and hopeless eternity.
As I live here in my wheelchair and hospital bed, please know that I am very thankful for your prayers and encouragement. Please know that I pray continually for you. My prayer is that you would grow in God and that you would turn to Him in your own struggles – those pesky struggles that we all have, the big ones and the small ones. I know what it’s like to need God more than I ever have in my life. But I have also experienced His hand of mercy and grace and presence in the middle of overwhelming circumstances. I want that for you, too.
Expecting good things in 2014!!