Last weekend I had the (dis)pleasure of spending the weekend in Buffalo, NY. It was pleasurable, because it was nice to be in a different place with new scenery as I waited for the results of my CT scan and brain MRI. It was displeasurable because it had the audacity to snow actual snow flurries while I was there! Where does THAT happen in the middle of Spring! Nevertheless, it’s always a good time when I can stay in a nice hotel for a few days and not have to make up my own bed.
While in Buffalo, I gave very little thought to the scans or what the implications of their results may be. I did, however, give a lot of thought to this breast cancer journey in totality thus far. It’s highs and lows, bumps and bruises, moments of uncontrollable laughter and inconsolable tears… It has been a life-changing ride thus far; one I am beginning to understand I may have actually signed up for.
One of the mornings in Buffalo Jesus started our daily morning conversation by asking, “Are you willing to be poured out as a drink offering for Me?” Before I could respond, knowing I did not understand what He was asking, He continued, “A drink offering is simply a choice to have ones life used in magnificent abundance by the Father unto perpetual overflow. To do this you must first be broken, restored, remolded, reshaped, remade. THEN you are stretched; so you are bendable, spendable, and sendable. It is then your life can be poured out upon the lives of others and used in a way that becomes a sweet smelling aroma in My nostrils.”
I wish I could say I immediately jumped up and down in the hotel bathroom, did a dance, and shouted, ‘Yes, Jesus! I would absolutely LOVE to be poured out as a drink offering for You!Thank You for asking!’ But the truth is as I sat on the bathroom floor, my heart tightened beneath my chest. I thought of Paul as he spoke to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:6-7 (NIV), “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” I could hear the weariness in Paul’s voice. But he knew, what I sat on the hotel bathroom floor wondering. Had I, to this point, fought the good fight? And if this particular fight was not over like I hoped could I really continue to do so? Did I really want to be poured out like that? I mean, aren’t a stroke, breast cancer, and the plethora of Lifetime-Movie-of the-week worthy events of my life enough?
Not until I quieted my soul (my own mind, will, and emotions), did I really hear and understand what Jesus said that morning. He invited me to a life of perpetual hugs, praying for people, and making them laugh, which is what I told Him I wanted to do. On the surface it looks and sounds like a lot of suffering. That is why I am getting much better at not looking at things with my eyes, but rather through the lens of purpose.
I have gained so much from this breast cancer journey. I barely even remember my B.C. (Before Cancer) days anymore. Out of something so very painful and ugly, Jesus created a beautiful masterpiece – my NEW life! He gave me a beautiful gift. The wrapping paper was just really ugly.
I had a consultation with my oncologist on Wednesday. My brain MRI was perfect and my CT scan showed no formed tumors anywhere in my body. The next step is a breast MRI of both breasts and if that comes back clear, he will just watch my tumor makers to see if they continue to elevate and go from there. The best part of the visit was when he said, “Ms. Ransome I was surprised you were so calm when I called to tell you your tumor markers were elevated.” To which I responded, ‘There was nothing to get upset about. I am not afraid of cancer or dying. I belong to Jesus. My Bible tells me this place where we live is my Father’s footstool. So, this is not the Utopia. I have my eyes fixed on Home. This is just a place I’m passing through.’ He smiled.
For today, I am so very grateful that I am able to say I do want to live a life that is fully poured out for Jesus. I want to be a completely empty vessel whenever it is time for me to go Home, having poured out, down to the very last drop, everything God deposited in me to share with others.