Thursday, July 23, 2015

We are grateful

This is just a quick update to say thank you everyone who has been praying for Victoria and our family for the past week, and for all the encouraging messages of support. 

Our weekend away with Camp Quality was the perfect place for us to be. The camp was held at a Christian conference centre and all the main rooms displayed the poster above - what a wonderful reminder to us throughout each day that Jesus has come to give us life, and life to the full. Once again we were grateful for another example of God's grace and a reminder that He is with us wherever we go.

We certainly did live each day to the full at camp, including the Christmas in July disco on Saturday night, where Ken spent most of the night on the dance floor with one of the girls. It was excellent to get away, dance, laugh, explore and have fun as a family. We are so grateful to Camp Quality and all they do to support families who are doing this difficult journey.

Please continue to pray for God's peace for Victoria as she struggles with anxiety and fatigue. We, as parents, need so much wisdom to help her continue to live her life to the full, in spite of the negative emotions and tiredness, and to meet the needs of our three other children as best as possible.

Do not fret or have anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. 
And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul reassured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 AMP

We are grateful that we aren't alone on this journey. We are grateful to our God who makes His peace so readily available to us. We are grateful to you for standing with us. Thank you.

PS: We are also very grateful for my mother visiting from Auckland and the awesome spring clean she is giving our home!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Victoria Grace

We have been loving the word 'stable', but this week we heard another word that we didn't want to hear.

Victoria's scan was scheduled for next week. However I had put her on the MRI cancellation list, just in case there was a cancellation and she could have the scan in the school holidays rather than interrupting the first week back at school. On Sunday afternoon the hospital phoned to say that there was a cancellation on Monday 10.30 and did we want it. No hesitation - yes. 

Victoria hadn't experienced any anxiety leading up to this scan, and we wanted to do all we could to keep it that way for her. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for her regarding the anxiety.

On Monday morning Victoria did the scan perfectly, being the champion that she is. We had the expectation that we would have to wait until next Thursday to get the results, but there was a cancellation for the oncologist on Tuesday, the day after the scan, so we were able to get the results on Tuesday this week. 

God has been gracious to us, as few people knew the scan had been rescheduled, we have been able to start to process these results in our time and space. 

Once again, as He done many times in this journey, God had gone before us and pre-organised the support we would need on that day. Firstly, the family that was looking after one of our children while we went to the hospital appointment, knew first hand what it is like to get this sort of news. When we picked the child up, there was no need for words, the mum knew exactly how I was feeling - that is grace. 

Tuesday afternoon had a meeting scheduled at the Camp Quality office to review the videos we had done for the Dine at Mine campaign. (if you are considering participating in Dine at Mine, please do so, Camp Quality is an amazing organisation. We have set up a team, called - The Conquerors, please join it). We decided, despite the news we had received, to continue with the meeting. The Camp Quality staff were fantastic, occupying the children, giving Ken and I the privacy of an office to cry and talk, to cry and talk, and cry some more. During the talking one of the staff mentioned that someone they knew had heard my Mothers Day talk at church and was greatly impacted by it - that is grace.

On hearing of the impact of what I had shared on Mothers Day, I thought, 'Okay God, You are all over this. Despite the circumstance you have and will continue to work all things together for good. I am choosing to continue to put my trust in you.'

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labour] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. Romans 8:28 AMP

While talking with Camp Quality staff, they said there had been a couple of cancellations at a Sydney camp this weekend, and offered us the opportunity to go the camp. We are going, and we are going to have fun and laugh as a family - that is grace.

So while this news is not the news we wanted to hear, we will continue to pray and believe for complete healing for Victoria Grace. We will continue to endeavour to live our lives to the full despite these circumstances. We will continue to look for things daily to be thankful for.

Be happy [in  your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]; Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. Do not quench (suppress or subdue) the [Holy] Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 AMP

We have much to be thankful for including:
1. Victoria experiencing no anxiety leading up this scan.
2. The cancellations that allowed the scan to be done earlier, so we could have time as a family to process the results.
3. The change in the tumour does not require treatment at this stage. Another scan will be done in three months time.
4. Camp Quality and all who donate to that organisation, enabling people to provide staff and programs that greatly assist families in this situation.
5. You, family and friends who continue to stand with us in prayer and support our family in many different ways.
6. Our God, and the grace and love He continually pours out on us.

Victoria is aware of the change, as are all our children. She has had questions, which we have answered. Satisfied with the answer, she continues on with whatever activity she is doing. We will continue to be open and honest with her, and encourage her to look for things in her life to be thankful for, and to see and know God's love for her.

The next scan is scheduled for 30th September, getting the results on 6th October. 

If you feel led to pray for Victoria and our family, here are some prayer points:
1. That Victoria will continue to know in her heart that she is loved by God.
2. God's perfect peace to reign in Victoria and our family
3. Complete disintegration of the tumour in Jesus Name
4. Complete healing in Victoria's body, in Jesus Name

Again, we claim Victoria's name sake over her life - Victoria - Conqueror, Victor, Grace - Favour and Blessing.

Finally, if you are involved in our daily life here in Lake Macquarie / Newcastle, we ask that you please do not talk about this change with Ken and I in front of our children. As I said, our children are aware of what has changed, but they do not need to hear about it continually. Of course, if you see Ken or I without the children, we are more than happy to talk and pray with you about it, well probably 'cry and pray' is more accurate. Thank you for respecting this request.

Finally, finally, here is one the scriptures that God gave me for this year. I pray it will encourage you, especially at this time, as God's word continues to encourage me daily.

Be alert and on your guard; stand firm in your faith (your conviction respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, keeping the trust and holy fervor born of faith and a part of it). Act like men and be courageous; grow in strength! Let everything you do be done in love (true love to God and man as inspired by God's love for us). 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 AMP