Pathology and the Red Sea

Anna Marie shares the tough news they received today. Thank you for praying. Love, Sarah

Dear Friends,

We just met with our family doctor and learned the basics of my pathology. It is Stage II cancer; it sounds like it was just beginning to spread to the lymph nodes, and margins may be questionable. “Margins” refers to how much clean tissue surrounded the tumor when the surgeon removed it. Because of its size and location, mine had a very small margin—but we don’t yet know if that means there were cancer cells left. 

The good news is that it sounds like this type of cancer is fairly responsive to treatment. We have an appointment with our oncologist on Monday and will find out more information and next steps from there.

Meanwhile, my recovery from the surgery continues to go well. The doctor said the incision is looking good, and my pain has been minimal. We’ve been blessed with lots of help which makes it easier that I’m not able to use my arm normally quite yet. My parents and sister arrived yesterday. It was special to introduce them to Simon Peter, and we are enjoying having them around.

A dear friend sent me this poem the week of my surgery and it’s been a great encouragement to me.

Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life,
Where in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out, there is no way back,
There is no other way but through?
Then wait on the Lord with a trust serene
Till the night of your fear is gone;
He will send the wind, He will heap the floods,
When He says to your soul “Go on.”

And His hand will lead you through – clear through –
Ere the watery walls roll down,
No foe can reach you, no wave can touch,
No mightiest sea can drown;
The tossing billows may rear their crests,
Their foam at your feet may break,
But over their bed you shall walk dryshod
In the path that your Lord will make.

In the morning watch, ‘neath the lifted cloud,
You shall see but the Lord alone,
When He leads you on from the place of the sea,
To a land that you have not known;
And your fears shall pass as your foes have passed,
You shall no more be afraid;
You shall sing His praise in a better place,
A place that His hand has made.

-Annie Johnson Flint

Since she sent that, I have been thinking a lot about the Red Sea. When God told the Israelites to go through, there was a strong wind blowing, water piled up on either side of them, Egyptians following close behind, and they were going into a land they did not know. None of those sound like particularly restful elements of the situation; in fact, I might say it sounds downright scary! But God told them to “fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you today” (Exodus 14:13). Despite their perception of the situation, God had it completely in His control and the story has been told for generations to recount the faithfulness of God.

And that’s our prayer, whatever the outcome of this: that God will be magnified and His faithfulness clearly seen.

Thank you for praying!

Anna Marie

“Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he
might make his mighty power to be known. He rebuked
the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led the
through the depths, as through the wilderness.” Psalms 106:8-9

36 thoughts on “Pathology and the Red Sea”

  1. I am so sorry to hear the tough news, I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers through this season!

  2. Thank you for sharing this season of your life. Your gentle spirit and trust in the Lord shines through in your writing. We will continue in prayer for you and your family.

  3. Thank you for sharing with us your journey, Anna Marie. It’s a beautiful message of where we can be when we put our trust and confidence in our Lord! What peace and true joy we experience! And seeing your victory through this (yes, doubts come, but when we can hand them back to the Lord, it’s victory!) it spurs us on, and reminds us how close the Lord is and how we can truly trust in Him and His promises. Continuing to pray for you and your family!

  4. Thank you for your testimony throughout these rough waters…. Continue keeping your eyes on Jesus! God bless and sustain you.

  5. Anna, I will tell you what my oncologist told me at my first appointment following my breast cancer diagnosis…you will be fine. You would be shocked to know how many sister-survivors you have, living their wonderful lives decades after their treatment. My mom is in an assisted living facility; every one of her tablemates, all in their mid-90s, had breast cancer years ago when treatment was not what it is now. I was so very thankful during my treatments for all those who had gone before me and took part in trials that made my treatment as simple as it was.

    Whatever adjuvant treatment is recommended- radiation alone, chemo and radiation, medications- remember that you are getting the best care and have a team of people supporting you. Our Father knew this was going to happen from the second you were conceived, it is His plan and he will provide what you need to get through it.

  6. Two verses from the life of Hezekiah come to mind…
    “And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord.” Isaiah 37:14 “Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord.” 2 Kings 20:5
    I encourage you read the whole story in both chapters when you get a chance. I am praying for you!

  7. Our family and pastor’s family in Chicago have prayed for you and waiting with you. This was so encouraging to read. Although cancer is not something that is ever convenient, my dad had cancer 5 years ago and was able to witness to many people at his treatment center. Five years later, he is cancer-free and thankful he met people he would have never met without a cancer diagnosis. Blessings to you, sister. By His Grace and for His Glory!

  8. Thank you for sharing the update and the poem. We are praying for you, your family, and your doctors. This was so beautiful. It is a picture of a faithful Christian trusting in the Lord.

  9. Thank you for the update. And thank you for sharing the beautiful poem, so much truth there. Enjoy your time with your parents and sister! As always, continued prayers.

  10. Oh, dear Anna Marie,

    you are in our prayers. We don`t know why this happens and why in this time. But what I learned from your mother in law is, that God is good, always.

    Hugs from Austria,

  11. Dear Christopher and Anna Marie, “Let not your heart[s] be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house, there are many mansions…”

    We suffer your pain with you, and we also set our hope in God with you – you have ministered so deeply to our household here though we are so far away. My boys have been listening to your teaching on success and failure, and we are gleaning mighty things from it.

    I think of the mighty men of David, and how it was adversity that gave them the opportunity for faith in God, and for public victory. As you share in Jesus’ sufferings, may you be given wisdom for each step and decision. May you feel in person His holding of you. And may you be reminded by that gentle Voice, that “I am with you always”.

    This is all that we may put our trust in the living God, who raises the dead. The posts above are very encouraging, aren’t they, seeing the LORD’s deliverances!!!! For our God is a God of deliverances!

    I hope little Simon Peter is a constant, daily reminder to you of how gently God thinks upon you, and how tender He is, in this time to come.

    We know He will meet your EVERY need. Keep persevering in leaning on those everlasting arms, and being still.

    His healing be upon you, dear sister.

  12. I have a absolute faith that will come through this and be healthier and stronger than ever!
    The doctors these days are amazing and they really care about their patients. Research continues to abound in this area and some of the latest advancements are so very promising.
    You have the strongest gest faith and the abundance of love from your large extended family and with those two things assured you just need to recuperate rest and take all the time it takes to heal.
    I am thinking of you from nz. Xxx

  13. I have two dear friends walking through the Red Sea of cancer right now. How amazing that we can pray for one another without having met because we share being covered by the blood of Jesus. I was sharing with my daughters that in 1 Corinthians it states that God gives us the good gift of the Holy Spirit – He gives us Himself. How I pray you will continue to rest in Him as He walks with you. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness!

  14. Thank you for sharing during this difficult time.

    Your faithfulness, courage, and peace are and inspiration to me and all who read this.

    May God bless you and your family and take you through this time with victory in your hearts.

    Your sister in Christ

  15. My boss just went thru some sort of breast cancer, stage II, and was in similar circumstances. She is “clear” now. We may not agree on everything, but I truly am praying for you.

  16. Dear Anna-Marie,
    I’m so sorry to read the news. I will continue to pray for you and your whole family as you walk this path. Thank you for your testimony of faith,
    Love from Austria, Anne-Laure

  17. I cannot believe that you are enduring this during what should be a wonderful time with your new baby. God does have this in his control, but some times it is difficult to be so trusting. I pray for a good outcome for you.

  18. My heart is heavy at this news, but I am thankful we know this did not surprise our Heavenly Father and that He is in complete control. I am continuing to pray for all of you!

  19. I add my prayers and well wishes along with all these others and agree with all of their comments, especially what Missy and Tresa said. We all know this wasn’t the news you hoped to hear, but it just means that this particular “detour” in your life will take a little longer to navigate. Know that you have many people holding you in prayer! So nice for you to have your parents and sister there for a visit.

  20. You and your family are in my thoughts. Many of us have walked this path. You’re abundance of family love and support will make this journey a little easier and a little less frightening. Women are strong women are survivors and women are supported by so many other cancer survivors, even those they have never met.

  21. So sorry the news wasn’t better. Will continue praying as you walk this next step. Praying for wisdom. God is good all the time. Remember He sees a different picture than we see. He is there for you the same in hard news as in good, and He will lead and direct just as much through this next step as He would if this was the last step.

  22. Dear Anna Marie and Christopher,

    “For though the LORD is high, He regards the lowly;”…

    “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou dost preserve my life;
    Thou dost stretch out Thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Thy right hand delivers me.
    The LORD will fulfil His purpose for me;
    Thy steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of Thy hands.” – from Psalm 138

    May you receive every bit of help and comfort offered by your family, and may the tenderness and innocence of your little Simon Peter be a constant reminder of what Jesus is like, how He is softly and tenderly looking upon you and loving you through all this.

    Praying for the journey ahead.

    “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions:” – John 14

    Our household (including 3 boys) has been blessed by Christopher’s “Success or Failure” download over this past week – thanks for the ministry you continually give.

    Love to you both and all from NZ

  23. Thankyou for sharing your journey with us all. Your strength is astounding and your faithfulness is encouraging. I will continue to pray for you and God’s will. May your family know the comfort of God

  24. Dear Anna Marie, praying for peace and healing as you go through this tough time.

  25. My thoughts and prayers are with you & your family during this very challenging season.

    I just returned home from visiting my grandmother who is going through her 3rd healing journey with breast cancer. While at first the news was very hard to take when she received the diagnosis last year, looking back I can honestly say it’s been a blessing as we have all learned so much about our health and she is making positive progress.

    May the Lord give grace and peace as you walk this path of healing!

  26. Praying for you and your family at this difficult time. May God heal you, your body and sole. May your pain disappear and may your strength increase.

  27. Isa.46:3,4 says that God is with you from birth to death and He will carry you and deliver you.

    “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands;… Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” Isa.49:3,16

    “For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river…”Isa.66:2

    “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. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”Jer.29;11-13

    Rejoice in the Lord
    “God never moves without purpose or plan
    When trying His servant and molding a man.
    Give thanks to the LORD though your testing seems long;
    In darkness He giveth a song…”
    He is ALWAYS with you. I am praying for you, Anna Marie!

  28. I just want to tell you, Anna Marie, that I appreciate your testimony in this trial. You continue to lift up Christ, and while we may never understand the things the Lord permits in our lives, it is evident you are leaning on His everlasting arms. May you continue to allow Him to carry you through this and His grace be sufficient for your and your family’s every need.

    God bless you.

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