Life with Leukemia

From the Pit to the Palace – the BIG Picture

Sometimes I struggle with the things that I’m going through. Oftentimes I wish upon a wing and a prayer that I could just go back to my life before leukemia. I already declared 2014 is my year of greater and restoration, but ever since the year began, it’s like I’ve had one setback after the other. My 2014 started out with a head cold that I am not able to shake because my immune system is not strong enough to fight it. My kidney and liver numbers took a decline. The weather has been an arctic apocalypse, to say the least, and has caused significant difficulty in going to my doctor’s appointments and physical therapy. I received some extremely disappointing news from my company’s HR department. To top it all off, my doctor called with the results of my 6-month post-transplant bone marrow biopsy (say that 5 times) and they found some cells that are similar to my lymphoblasts from the leukemia. I’m just like Lord, I need a break! Seriously, I’m not sure how much more I can take. Then I remembered the story of Joseph in the Bible. [If you haven’t read it, check it out! Genesis 37, 39-46]

Joseph had a dream and was thrown into a pit by his brothers because of their jealousy. But the Lord was with Joseph! At every stage of his process – a slave, a prisoner or a king, God was with him. Joseph was a teenager when he was thrown into the pit. He didn’t make it to the palace as ruler until he was 30. I just shake my head in awe. Joseph had to have wondered why in the world is this happening to me? All he did was share a dream and it landed him into slavery then ultimately into prison. But, the key was that he held on to the dream and somewhere between his teens and his thirties he must have stirred up the gift because the story goes on to say that he began to interpret dreams which ultimately landed him in the palace!

I may not like the position I’m in right now, but I must remember that God is with me. I may not be comfortable where I am, but He is teaching me valuable lessons. Hardship can be a training ground to prepare you for your next level like nothing else will. I saw an Instagram post the other day that had all the ways you could add to 10 (5+5, 7+3, etc.). The caption said, “Sometimes God answers in a different way than we expected, but the end result is still the same.” I’m sure Joseph would’ve preferred a different route to the palace, but the process he went through prepared him to become a ruler. I think Joseph recognized above all else that everything he went through had a bigger purpose. He knew that it was preparation for his destiny which was to save lives. He stayed focused on the dream and God showed him favor.

My favorite part of this whole story (and believe me, it’s tough to just pick one) is Genesis 41:50-52. “Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph.” Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh (which means “to forget”) because “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim (which means “twice fruitful”) because “God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” There is a pearl of wisdom in my Bible that says “When God restores you, He does so in a way that suddenly you are walking in the light and you can hardly recall how dark your life was.”

If you are struggling with the place you’re in right now, here is a simple prayer you can use.

Dear Lord, I will joyfully and expectantly wait for you, no matter what stage of the process I’m in. Lord, help me not to “freak out” when things start to go awry. I realize that these are just speed bumps in the road of life and my blessings will far outweigh my trials. Help me to stay focused on the big picture as I anxiously await to see all of the things you have in store for me. I will endure until my promise is manifested because God I trust you. I know you will restore far beyond my imagination. Let this time of healing be preparation for my purpose and destiny. Walk with me through this dark season, so that I’m prepared to come into the light. Thank you for using me for Your glory! Amen.

MEL-STRONG

comment (15)

  1. Jessica

    29 Jan 2014 - 8:02 pm

    I wish there was something I could do to take some of this burden off of you. Continue to be strong & don’t give up! I love you chic!

  2. Mom Beverly Cole-Bennett

    29 Jan 2014 - 8:16 pm

    One thing that you can count on and that is we are bombarding heaven with prayers as we stand with you.

  3. Jovan

    29 Jan 2014 - 8:57 pm

    You have no idea how much this has helped me. I really needed to read this. Thank you. God is with you. God bless you 🙂

  4. Rick Reifenberg

    29 Jan 2014 - 9:54 pm

    I remember clearly that the first 6 months after my transplant were the hardest. It seemed like things would never really improve. Slowly but surely the body and immune system recover, but it is always slower than we want. You have already survived the highest risk period. You have incredible faith and an incredible family and friends who support you. How can you not succeed in the long run? I still keep you and your eventual full recovery in my prayers every day.

  5. T Gordonpo

    29 Jan 2014 - 11:22 pm

    Hi, I do love Joe’s experiences, but I think Job’s experience identifies with you more. Bad news afer bad new kept coming to Job. Regardless, the important thing to note is God was with them and He is with you now.

    Remember, whenever God is getting ready to do something big, He first give the recipient the test of a life time. First he or she must be stripped of All self. Self-centeredness and self-relience must die. The love for God must be found in every cell of the spirit-man. Love Him that much!

  6. Wendi

    30 Jan 2014 - 7:37 am

    My my my. You hang in there Mel. I’m continuously praying for u. I know it can and is hard to go through constantly being sick and then one minute u feel good and then the next u don’t. I feel u on so many levels with my own health issues. Just know you encourage me every time u post. I’m sorry you are going through what u are but like u said God is with u. Be bless and know what ugoing through is helping me on many level. I thank God I found out about u. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV) it’s working for ur good

  7. Mary Ann Williams

    30 Jan 2014 - 8:38 am

    Every time I read your updates, I get encouraged to move on a little further. I truly believe that your situation is preparing you for the greater good and that is to be a profound encourager and deliverer of God’s holy word to others. Please know that there are so many praying fervently for you and we are rejoicing with your victories and crying at the set backs. Although we can’t see it with the natural eye, we know that God is working things out for your Good and it doesn’t matter how you get through it, just get through it because this Race is not given to the swift but to them that endured until the end.

    Thank you for sharing Joseph’s story with me one more time which gave me a new perspective. Love you

  8. April

    30 Jan 2014 - 9:43 am

    Thank you for sharing Mel. Through tears there is regeneration. The light is within you and I thank you for reassuring and enlightening all of us with Gods grace. My prayers are with you for your regeneration
    Of health and well being.

  9. Doretha

    30 Jan 2014 - 10:13 am

    I am sorry that you are experiencing a “down” time right now. Know that we all go through them and after it’s over, we have a TESTIMONY ! Ask God to keep you strong as he prepares you for your greater purpose. Thank you for sharing your story! It has inspired me so very much.

  10. Janice Ballard

    30 Jan 2014 - 11:17 am

    My dearest Melanie, as you web said MEL-STRONG. You are a strong woman, but the scripture said the race is not given to the swift nor the strong but to the one that endure to the end. VICTORY, Melanie. As I’ve said many times I’m here with you and constantly praying. We’ve got a wedding to plan. Love you lady.

  11. Diane Burhardt

    30 Jan 2014 - 12:13 pm

    Admire your faith and optimisim. You are a delight and inspritaiton to all!

  12. Aunt Barbara

    30 Jan 2014 - 3:43 pm

    I’m so glad that we walk by faith and not by sight! No matter what the day may bring, keep praising God! Remember… You are already healed… just “Focus on the Promise”. I am waaaaaaaay excited about your future! Auntie loves you BUNCHES!

  13. Mr Blessing

    31 Jan 2014 - 8:12 am

    Hi Melanie,
    I sent you an awesome message via the contact link here on your blog.
    May God bless you and stay strong and wise. 🙂
    Ezekiel 47:12 ESV

  14. lennie the 2nd

    31 Jan 2014 - 8:24 am

    Super encouraging and a right on time word. a lot of people are in the midst of a test right now, but after the test comes the testimony. It’s amazing how God uses the natural to enhance the spiritual.

  15. Aisha Young

    31 Jan 2014 - 5:07 pm

    Hey Mel, its Aisha from FWC….. you are such an inspiration. . Just know you are in my thoughts and prayers… Thank you for being a vessel unto the glory of God….. love you

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