Cancer comes only to steal and destroy

7:32 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

John 10:10 devotional
A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. John 10:10 (MSG)

“I had a rough night. Better once they gave me something for nausea. I just want to come home though.”

I woke to that message from my husband and I felt angry and sad and helpless.

He’d typed that message while lying in a hospital bed 40 minutes from home and I could do nothing to make him feel better. I had to just trust that the incredible nurses looking after him would do everything in their power to make him as comfortable as possible. 

It was then a verse I’d memorized in my childhood came to mind,
“Cancer comes only to steal and destroy but I have come to so that you can have life, real and eternal life, more and better life then you have ever dreamed of.”
Okay, the bible doesn’t say cancer, it says thief, but cancer sure feels a lot like a cat burglar who takes what it wants and leaves destruction.

Do you know what it is like to be alone?

6:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

No one really knows what it is like to be alone
Am I only a God who is close by, and not a God of the farthest reaches? Am I a God anyone can hide from? Do I not see what happens in secret? Am I not everywhere, filling heaven and earth? Jeremiah 23:23-24 (VOICE)

Hospitals can be lonely places. 

Lots of empty corridors and quiet rooms, activity that you’re not part of, conversations that you’re not invited to join. 

For the next few weeks while my husband undergoes a stem cell transplant all these things are part of our world. 

It’s easy to feel lonely when I’m driving from the hospital on my own. 

Coming home to a cold, empty house, knowing that I’m leaving my husband alone at the hospital. He has nurses come in and out - very attentive nurses - but as I am sure you know having people present doesn’t mean you can’t be lonely. 

Often when I’m driving to and from the hospital I’ll ask God to select a song for me to listen to.

For when you've made a mess of life and need hope

6:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

{Guest devotional by my Dad}
there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 (NLT)

There is a gentle tap on my door.  ‘Oh no! It’s another hopeful,’ I think, ‘what am I going to say to this one?’
  
A young lady, Ann*, comes into my office. She is panting from the exertion of coming up the stairs to my office. She sways and I think she is going to fall. I motion her to sit in my only visitor’s chair.  

She sits and I wonder,  ‘What now?’

I am sitting in my office at University. It is the end of the first semester which is good and bad. Good, because the lecture programme is finished until next semester. Bad, because it is the time when marks are counted and it is determined whether students qualify to write the end of semester exams. 

Sort of like judgement day.

Why you should clean a public toilet

6:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

devotional on proverbs 2011
Youth reveal their true natures by their actions whether they do what is pure and right or not. Proverbs 20:11 (VOICE)

Weights, mats and balls lie everywhere.

It’s an early morning gym class and everyone is in a rush to leave. Some are rushing to drop children at school, others need to shower before heading to work and a few making their way to a spinning class. 

I return my equipment and head back to grab my water and keys. 

I’m in a rush to make it to work. 

As I walk out I notice abandoned mats and weights scattered around the room. 

I slow. I think about picking it up. I take a few more steps towards the door. I stop.

I collect up some of the equipment and stow it at the back and I think about the verse in Proverbs that talks about how we reveal our true natures by our actions. 

Often it isn’t the big things we do that give away who we really are but the little things we think no one else sees. (tweet this)

How to live when depression lingers

6:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

{Guest devotional by Rebecca Aarup}
Rest on God's word devotional
Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on His God. Isaiah 50:10 (NIV)

Shaking my head I punched the “End Call” button on the cell phone while thinking, “That didn’t go too well. Lord, I wish she would at least try to see things from my perspective.” 

She didn’t understand what my “problem” was, she made it clear she couldn’t relate to me in any way, and also made it clear that due to my struggles, she could no longer support me, my writing, or the ministry I believed God had called me to. 

She thought it would be better if I figured out my “issues” first before jumping into serving or helping others. 

How often had I wondered the same thing? 

How often had I doubted my calling, and waited for healing before reaching out to serve? 

When prayer is more than a nice idea

6:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

There is hope in prayer
Brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. 1 Thessalonians 5:25  (VOICE)

In a couple of weeks doctors are going to kill my husband. Or at least they are going to try.

In just 18 days he'll be starting his stem cell transplant. A procedure so life changing that all the days leading up to it are counted -3, -2, -1. In essence my husband will be -10 440 days old on the day they give him the stem cell transplant.

Medical professionals term the day they infuse the stem cells day 0 or your second birth. 

In medical terms my husband is going to be born again that Friday they infuse life into his dead bone marrow. His old blood will be gone and a new life begins. 

I spoke to someone the other day about how this procedure is a medical marvel but I didn’t really feel that way, to me this procedure is something that scares me. 

I’m becoming a caregiver who doesn’t want all the facts - just tell me what I need to do when it’s needed. I don’t need to know all the variables that can go wrong.

I can’t find words to describe how I feel at the moment, to paint how I feel about waiting for my husband to go into hospital and receive a whole new immune system. 

Denial might be the best word to describe how I feel. 

For the past few weeks instead of the upcoming procedure we’ve been focusing on a holiday we’re taking a few days prior to the procedure. A holiday we’re currently enjoying, and not thinking about all the things that come after that. 

I’m scared of the after. 
Things happen which would not happen without prayer Elisabeth Elliot

I find myself praying at the oddest times, praying when I didn’t even realise it, uttering words I don’t understand to God, pleading that everything will be okay.  

There is honesty in the prayers that I rarely show in person. 

But I can’t live here forever so I’m asking you to pray for us: for Xylon, for me. 

I ponder if Paul sometimes felt the same when he penned in his letters: "pray for us". I wonder if he sometimes wrote it out of fear because he was scared of the hard times coming in the future. 

Perhaps Paul requested prayer because of hope. 

Prayer gives hope that everything might not be okay but that in hard times God will be close.  (tweet this)

Today, I want to encourage you that if you’re going through things that are more difficult then you could have imagined you would be hopeful enough to ask people to pray for you. 

There is a quote I love by Elisabeth Elliot:
Things happen which would not happen without prayer. Let us not forget that. (tweet this)
There is hope in prayer. Hope that tomorrow might feel different then today. (tweet this)

{Prayer} 
Lord Jesus, please help me to make it through the hard times that are coming. Thank you for the hope that I have in you that after having done everything I can all I need to do is stand while you fight for me.

If you need prayer I’d love you to post your prayer request in the comments so this community can pray for you. If you post a comment please take a moment to pray for the two people before you. 

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Picture credits: Sunset & IV bags: Wendy van Eyck | Mug: creationswap.com | Design: Wendy van Eyck

Longing to be fully known

6:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

{Guest devotional by Cailin Henson}

fully known by God 1 corinthians 13:12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV)

Who knows you? 

You can probably count on one hand those who you would consider to really know you:

  • A parent. 
  • A spouse. 
  • A best friend. 
  • A sibling. 

But how well do they know you? 

Maybe they know your favorite color, your talents, what makes you frustrated or what foods you don’t care for. 

God? Do you care about me?

6:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

God gives good things

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matthew 10:30 (NIV)

My husbands’ hair is all over the house. 

The bathroom is the worst. There are tiny black hairs everywhere as if malting dogs have just shaken themselves off in our tiny, tiled room.

I can’t even blame him.

My husband is having chemotherapy and his hair is betraying him.

It’s falling out of his head, his arms, his chest and his soul patch.

I look down at the trail of hairs my husband’s leaving and I wonder if it’s true that God knows every hair on our heads. I wonder if God feels sad, like I do, that my husband is losing his hair?

I wonder if it matters to God and I realise my real question is do we matter to God? 

God? Do you care about me? (tweet this)

I asked my husband how he knows that God cares for him and he said, 
“I know God cares for me because the good stuff out weighs the bad. It’s disproportionate. There is a lot of bad but the good stuff is always better than the bad.
There’s my cancer diagnosis, that’s really bad, but then there is the fact that I got the best job I’ve ever had while receiving treatment, the last 4 chemo’s I’ve had almost no side effects and God surprised us with a trip to Italy. 
Through all those things he shows that he is carrying us, that he’s there and that he cares. There is still bad stuff. Life is still hard but God gives us good things in the midst of it to remind us that he cares.”
Does God careI liked his answer. It made sense to me. My husband didn’t speak words I wanted to hear, he uttered truths he is living. 

Listening to him I realised I often complicate my view of God. I try to look for tangible things that signify he loves me. 

I want to see my name written in the sunset but God just wants me to live like I matter to him. (tweet this)

Maybe you are like me, out looking for one big sign that God cares while God’s out scattering good things amongst the bad. 

Have you ever wondered if you matter to God? What 3 good things have happened in your life today that reminded you God cares about you? Take a moment to thank God for them.

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Sunset photo credit: Chloe Hague. | Basin: sarah_browning | Graffitti: `David | All via photopin cc | Design: Wendy van Eyck