Sunday, January 21, 2018

My Cup Runneth Over: Does Yours?

July 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Manna

When I first heard the diagnosis, “stage 4 metastatic colon cancer,” I sat in the hospital bed, looking at the faces of my family trying to hide their fear from me. I had already had a preview of this possibility when the surgeon doing the liver biopsy had shown me an MRI the day before, and in response to my seeming disbelief at what I saw, abruptly spouted, “Ms. Coons! Your life is about to change – drastically!” Score zero for his bedside manners, and thank goodness that after that hospital stay ended, I had an option to seek treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Treatment Center (MDA) here in Houston.

I went home from the biopsy on July 2, 2009. And I began to evaluate my options, and to reap the benefits of a loving family, loving friends, and a loving God. It seemed like a long wait before I had my first visit to MDA, during which time my body was constantly fighting high temperatures (due to the tumor in the liver), my mind was struggling with going from being an independent, healthy person to a seemingly partial invalid in only a matter of days, and my spirit — was at peace. This article is about that peace, how it has grown, and some (all would be too numerous for this article) of the tangible and intangible things that God has done over the past two years to show how He has been and remains faithful to me.

I quickly began discovering ways that God had made provision for me, and would continue to make provision for me, long before my diagnosis. One example is the rapidity with which I was accepted as a patient at MDA. I had no physician to refer me, so I was seeking to be accepted on my own. After finally determining who to communicate with, I was told that it would be 3 to 4 months before I could be accepted. (I later learned that MDA has approximately 6,000 new patients per month. I also later learned that I would have died during that waiting period, had I not had treatment.) However, I learned through my employer that a former work acquaintance was also President of the Board of Regents for MDA, and when asked, she very kindly helped to accelerate my admission into MDA’s system – from 3 months to 3 weeks.

Another example of God’s tangible provisions is that I had just a few months earlier declined a job offer that would have removed me from my employment where I’d been working for nearly 20 years. At the time I declined the offer, I wasn’t sure why I was doing so, because I really respected and appreciated the people with whom I would have been working. Now, in retrospect, I could clearly see that God wanted me to remain where I’d been for so long because I already had in place things such as my medical insurance, short-term disability income, long-term disability income, and an unbelievably large network of coworkers who still to this very day amaze me with their prayers and generosity. Additionally, a few years earlier I had made a monetary decision that didn’t seem to make sense in the world of finance, but I made it based on the cautious mindset of a single woman. Due to that decision, which I now believe was from God’s guidance, I have felt less pressure, economically speaking, as I continue to live on disability income.

While those tangible, physical provisions are comforting evidence of God’s hand on my life, the intangible, spiritual provisions have far exceeded anything I would have ever anticipated. I could fill many pages sharing how the Holy Spirit has manifested in my life during these last two years, but space requires that I be somewhat general here. God has and continues to refine me through this cancer journey, to draw me into the intimate love relationship He desires with each of us, to teach me to rely on Him, to learn and know His voice, and to be obedient – sooner rather than later! He is teaching me to try to see people through His eyes, and that obedience to His commandment to love one another leads to peace of spirit. He has awed me with His almost immediate, faithful responses to my obedience in several areas. He surprises me with periodic, unexpected visitations and confirmations of His love and power – things I had never remotely experienced in my life. And I now am a person who more boldly proclaims the gospel of Jesus Christ. MDA is obviously a ripe field of harvest and each time I go there, I ask the Lord for a divine appointment – and He never lets me down. Indeed, I have tasted of the Lord and He is good!

Yes, my life HAS drastically changed, but not primarily in the ways the rude surgeon predicted. Yes, as I see posted on the walls throughout MDA, “Cancer Changes Things.” But through it all I have to say without reservation that if my current relationship with God was possible to achieve only through this cancer journey, then I embrace that journey for the spiritual good that is harvested from it. What satan intended for bad, God has used and is using for good. In fact, God has revealed to me to not always pray for people to be delivered from trials, but pray for Him to lift them up and hold them in safety during their trials so that His refining work may be completed in their lives.

It’s all about perspective – having an eternal one. My eternal perspective tells me that my cup runneth over with goodness and mercy. What about yours?

John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Born and raised in a small suburb of Houston, Nancy grew up the middle child of a working-class family.  After a decade of exploring and living in Alaska, Arizona and Oregon, her family ties led her back to the Houston area, where she currently resides as a single mother of a 25-year-old.  Throughout her adult years, she has acquired her associates degree and paralegal certification, while working alongside nationally recognized legal teams to provide clients with excellent representation. Managing one of life’s many potential curve balls, she is currently two years into a cancer journey – waiting patiently as God does battle on her behalf — and continues to rest in the power of the blood and name of Jesus as she seeks to live out God’s plan for her life. Oh yes – and she loves to sing and participate with friends in karaoke!

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8 Responses to “My Cup Runneth Over: Does Yours?”
  1. Jill says:

    Great testimony Nance… I felt that peace the day they found my husband in the bottom of a grain bin.. and for months after… I can not imagine living life without the Lord! I have heard good reports about the Houston cancer center.. praying for you..
    Love Jill

  2. clyde kimsey says:

    Amen, Nance!!!!

  3. Rick says:

    What a powerful experience I had reading your powerful words. All I could think of was to what degree Satan was overcome. According to Rev 12:11, Jesus and you took him “out” over and over again. “DING” “MATCH OVER” “WINNERS BY A CLEAR AND DECISIVE KNOCK-OUT THROUGH TAG-TEAM….THE LAMB AND NANCY CONNER COONS!!”

  4. Joan says:

    Nancy….you are an inspiration. You have been such a blessing to me!
    Love you!

  5. Pam Huggins says:

    Indeed the LORD is good, Nancy! His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Only God can use what satan plans to use for evil to destroy us and use it to show us His amazing love, provision, protection, and abundant life! I know the same kind of surrender and miraculous love you have come to know in Him. On the morning of Nov. 30th in 1994, when my husband died suddenly in mine and my children’s arms, our lives changed forever. Over the past seventeen years, I have been awed and humbled by His mercy and grace for both my children and myself. Truly, he is “a husband to (this) widow and a father to (my) fatherless.” Thank you, my beautiful friend, for sharing the amazing love journey you are on with our LORD. He will never leave you.

  6. Celeste says:

    Nance, you’ve been on my mind for the longest time, and I’ve been praying for you. During Christmas we on the R&D Boards were talking about the jibjabs you did a year ago, and many of us sent prayers that you would stay at peace. I wish I had had the chance to meet you in person, but I know I’ll see you in heaven and I look very much forward to that. I still have the emails you sent me a year ago, and I plan to keep them so I can
    “hear” your sense of humor. You’ll be missed greatly, and you displayed such strength during this challenging time of your life. You are truly a gift from God.

    Celeste Holden

  7. Tom Sundberg says:

    God bless you Nancy! Prayers of love and peace coming to you!

  8. Susan Dreyer says:

    Dear Nancy,

    I remember you well from Christian Mingle and what a lively spark you are! You will always be an energetic being of love and grace. Jesus and you are such a team, now and forever. May you be surrounded with abundant love and continue to know and feel that. I heard a song last weekend about how Jesus is closest and dearest to us in the darkness. He is true light in the soul.

    Many, many blessings to you. Thank you for sharing from your heart. To God be the glory in all things.

    Balsam Fir (Susan)

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