Completion of Prerequisites
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,
for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
On September 12 I emailed the rest of my beloved colleagues at HCA. The principal and I agreed to keep it from the students until the last school day before my surgery, October 31. I did not want it to become a distraction to their learning process. My email to my colleagues read as follows.
“He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7
Because of God’s demonstrated faithfulness and the prayers of God’s people, it is with confident anticipation of God’s continued care and provision that I must share with my HCA community that I was diagnosed with cancer in August. Having met with my surgeon yesterday I now have sufficient information to plan for the continued learning of my students and a broader communication of my situation. The surgeon agreed to postpone my surgery until November, a month with many scheduled interruptions. Yesterday’s meeting with the surgeon resulted in a great deal of encouragement! Please know that I love my students and my ministry here at HCA and am looking at options for effectively promoting their continued success. Please pray for wisdom as I plan and, most importantly, that God will be glorified. I praise Him for all that He has done so far and look forward to all that He will do! Claiming Joshua 1:9 I enter the “classroom called cancer”!
The days that followed were incredibly busy! I prepared the house and yard for winter and did all my Christmas shopping before my surgery. (I praise God for two ladies in my neighborhood who saw me working in the yard and prayed with me with passion and confidence.) I also prepared for my absence at school, spending long hours recording lessons on my SMART board. There were nights when I did not leave my classroom until 11:00PM. It still amazes me that I was given such a clear direction to take in my preparation. How the Lord ever helped me record the lesson on sinusoidal curves and chemotherapy with such enthusiasm really is beyond my comprehension!
I was able to “test drive” my planned procedures in October. On the fifteenth I went into MSK for pre-op and to meet with my plastic surgeon. On the sixteenth and seventeenth I followed through with my attendance at the ACSI conference outside of Albany, commuting each of the days. Things at school seemed to work fine so I continued with my late-night preparation and finished everything by October 30. Some of the faculty met me in my room after school and laid hands on me and prayed over me.
On October 31 I shared with my students. During homeroom the tenth graders surrounded me and some also laid hands on me and prayed over me. I was greatly moved by the sincerity and maturity of their prayers. God carried me through the rest of the day, as I shared with my classes with peace and confidence in God’s faithfulness.
On Saturday I made certain that my house cleaning and grocery shopping were completed. Not knowing what they would find during surgery and being alone now forced me to try to anticipate my needs and arrange things to avoid heavy lifting.
On Sunday the 8:00 AM Bible study I attend prayed for me. The pastor anointed me with oil, the members laid hands on me, and they prayed. As usual, I enjoyed the worship and teaching during the 9:00 service.