Anna Marie Update: Only What’s Done for Christ Will Last

We know it’s been awhile, and we have an update for you from Anna Marie! Happy Monday, y’all! Love, Sarah

Hello Everyone,

What a delightful week Christopher and I had that last week of May/first of June! We are so thankful for everyone who helped that come together! We’re so blessed by the help from both of our families making this time of chemo out here possible—Christopher’s mom doing school with the children, Anna and Mary helping with meals and “life” for hours each day, my dad driving me for chemo and Vitamin C IV’s, my mom and sister caring for Simon Peter… the list could keep going! And then for Anna and Mary to completely take over with our children (right after Mary experienced her foot injury!) for just over a week was a tremendous gift. Among other things, we especially enjoyed a day trip to the Mount Rainier area where we honeymooned, and once again had a delightful time sitting and talking by a lake not far from the cabin we stayed at. Nearly ten years has definitely seen a lot of change in our lives! 

When I wrote my last update, we didn’t know if chemo could resume right away or if my blood levels would be such that we would have to delay for a week. As it turned out, there was a week delay (combined with the week delay when I was in the hospital). We were disappointed to have the setback, but also thankful for my oncologist’s caution. He switched me to a different medication to boost my white blood cells since for whatever reason I was not responsive to the first one they had me on (which is probably why I ended up in the hospital with neutropenic fever).

The new medication is working great. My blood levels were such that I was able to resume chemo treatments on Tuesday, June 2nd; and then rather than decreasing following chemo, the blood counts continued to climb and looked great last Tuesday, June 9th. Praise the Lord! At this rate, if all goes smoothly, my last treatment should be July 14th. It will be great to be HOME; but meanwhile, God is giving me opportunities and through them, deepening my walk with Him in this season of chemotherapy and quiet rest.

Mary made a beautiful plaque as a wedding gift for John and Chelsy with a line from C.T. Studd’s poem—“Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

I thought the plaque was beautiful; and as I thought about it later, I realized what a foundational truth that is in all of lifeparenting, schooling, etc. I found the full poem (will copy below), printed it, and began reading it to the children frequently at breakfast time. (It’s really sweet as they all like to chime in on the “chorus” saying “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”)

Fast forward a couple of years and here I am, twice a week in a clinic with other people battling cancer. The hope and joy and testimonies of the brothers and sisters in Christ I have met there is a tremendous encouragement to me. But the hopelessness of others is a grief that is waking me up to the fact that, by allowing me to have cancer and be in this unique position, God has, in a way, sent me as a “missionary.” (And really, aren’t we all, in whatever place God has us right now?)

Just last Tuesday, a newfound friend (who is battling stage four pancreatic cancer) and I were talking about the opportunity cancer presents to share Christ. She expressed the same sentiment I have been feeling more and more: cancer brings into full view the reality that “only what’s done for Christ will last.” As she and her husband say frequently, “Everything else is going to burn.” It gives us quite a platform to share from, and we want to be making the most of every opportunity to make Christ known to others.

Christopher and Simon Peter

It starts in our own hearts: having a soul that is quiet before Him, content with what He has given us, believing the Truth about Him as laid out for us in His Word—such as, He is always good, always in control of all things, always will give us the grace we need, etc. Over the past few weeks, I have been doing a Bible study titled Quieting a Noisy Soul that has been a huge blessing to me as I am seeking to quiet my heart. It has been my habit to easily be stressed, frustrated, or worried about things that are a daily part of life as a homeschool mom; but the reality is that stress, frustration, and anxiety stem from a heart of unbelief (rooted in pride). God is glorified when we can approach the pressures of life with a quiet heart confident in HIM!

I am grateful for all your prayer support! Whether that the chemotherapy would be effective and that God would protect me from any long term side effects, or that I would have a meek, quiet, and peaceful heart, or that He would use my feeble attempts to share Him with those who are, quite literally, perishing—thank you. 

Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say, “Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

— extra stanza —

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.
    -C.T. Studd

Love,
Anna Marie

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus
Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious
stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest:
for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the
fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:11-13).

21 thoughts on “Anna Marie Update: Only What’s Done for Christ Will Last”

  1. Anna Marie, thank you for your update and for your personal, heart-felt thoughts as you experience your faith as you walk through this season. Prayers for your continued healing, the health and safety of your family, your ministry to others (through this blog) and for your return home.

  2. What beautiful words, Anna-Marie! Thank you for sharing. Cancer can seem like such a beast, but it’s encouraging to see you walk through it with such grace from our Lord.

  3. This is a beautiful post, Anna Marie. Thank you so much for your honest and vulnerable words and encouragements, even in this season of your life. May the Lord continue to bless and keep you and your family!

  4. Anna Marie, You are prayed for faithfully every single morning after breakfast. We pray for our Samaritan family, you and your family and several other precious Saints are lifted up before the throne of Grace! Thank you for the updates, so we can better pray!(James 5:16) And also for the poem! God be glorified in your weakness; praying many souls come to Christ! Our children are great treasures and healthy reminders of God’s faithfulness when we forget… One morning, your name was not mentioned in prayer, one of the children piped up and said, “Mama, you forgot Mrs. Anna-Marie Maxwell!” Love to you all!

  5. Thank you for the update and sweet encouragement and good challenges. Praying for you amd your family.
    Side note here, does Mary ever make and sell those plaques? Absolutely love that one!

  6. Hi, back again!
    Looked up the study you mentioned. Have you done other studies by Jim Berg? They look interesting, especially the Changed Into His Image.

  7. Praying for you and wow! “the reality is that stress, frustration, and anxiety stem from a heart of unbelief (rooted in pride). God is glorified when we can approach the pressures of life with a quiet heart confident in HIM!” Thanks for sharing this.

  8. God bless you Anna Marie! I appreciate your positive, Christ-centered attitude. You are counting your blessings rather than focusing on the difficult things. You have been a great source of inspiration for me lately, and I am praying for you and your family! Thank you also for sharing so many lovely poems.

  9. Dear Anna Marie,
    Having prayed for you even during your courtship with Christopher, and keeping up with your family for years, I feel like I know you even though we have never met. Your journey has not only brought great glory to God, but has encouraged me and my faith as well. You have been an inspiration to me from the beginning and now like righteous Job you continue to bless the Lord and trust Him. How amazing that God had impressed me a few days ago about ordering the exact study you were referring to. My mommy hearts aches for you and this extending separation, but you are courageously trusting Jesus , and of course He takes care of our every need , as you have so beautifully testified. God continually brings you to mind and I am praying for His mercy and divine healing. Thank you for sharing this lovely poem.

  10. Thank you for sharing your heart Anna Marie. Your words are always inspiring! Your mother-in-law told me about that Jim Berg study last fall when I was struggling with anxiety and depression during a tough stretch in my marriage. Also, my dermatologist had found melanoma on my arm. Like you, we have 6 kids, 3 boys and 3 girls (though mine are age 11 down to 1), and the melanoma opened a doorway to all kinds of new fear in my life. I had been thinking I should find a counselor, but instead worked through that study and found it to be so very helpful, better than counseling! Even just sitting quietly, listening to the teachings and praying, felt calming–as opposed to trying to verbalize to a counselor all I was thinking and feeling, which would have been exhausting. It was a turning point in both my marriage and my fears about my health. I think of you often and find myself encouraged when I think of your example, how you always sound so grateful and peaceful even in this incredible trial. I am praying God brings you through it into full healing to continue the work he has given you to do!

    1. Mrs. Maxwell also has directed me to the book God is More than Enough as well as the study of Quieting a Noisy Soul and it has been very helpful to me as well. I struggle with worry constantly. This has and continues to help my focus to be more on the Lord.
      Anna Marie, you are such an encouragement-as a child of God, as a wife and mother. Your attitude toward everything is amazing. Thank you for sharing with us to help us be more of what we need to be for God and where we should be in our walk with Him!!

  11. Dear Anna Marie,
    I don’t know you, but I love you. God is using your situation for His glory!
    What a blessing your example has been to me.
    Continued prayers.

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