Waiting on God

I recently found this video on Marybeth’s phone.  She would occasionally record video devotions on her phone and talk about what God was speaking to her that day or thoughts from the week.  When I would ask her about posting them later, she typically would say, “yeah, I didn’t think it made sense so I deleted it!”  Haha.  Well, this was one that thankfully she didn’t delete (or post). To give some perspective, this video was recorded the day before she was admitted to the hospital for 8 days due to a severe case of pneumonia.  Even through those toughest days, her heart  was to worship God and depend on Him.

~ Matt Perkins

Lost Keys, Hair, and Other Things That Matter

All of us have been asked by someone, “Do you know where my keys are? I can’t find them.” That panic that sets in  when we are running late and need to leave.  The loss of our keys prevents us from doing so.  At that moment the car keys are the most important.  We cannot do what we planned to do because we cannot find our keys.  In life there are so many things that can be lost.   Some seem less important than others.  Other things bring a blow that knocks us off our feet and changes our life.

Losses in life like a job, a relationship, finances, a loved one, or health.  These things can come crashing in on us making it hard to catch our breath.  In the first six months of 2015 I have been fighting to regain my “lost” health. What a fight and daily battle this has been.  I have watched others through more difficult things stay strong in God and persevere through the thing they have lost.  These followers of Christ have given me encouragement  and strength through their testimony.  The question is not if we will experience loss but how will we respond?  What will we do?  We have a God who stands with us and makes our feet secure to move on to the heights. (Hababbuk 3:19)  One version says to make spiritual progress upon my high places of trouble and suffering.

As we lean into God with our loss he gives us strength to overcome and move on.  When I was facing losing my hair in some ways it felt like losing my keys. After all it’s only hair, right?  Then there were other moments the thought would overwhelm and it felt like a death.  I ended up landing emotionally and mentally in-between the extremes .  Leaning into God with my loss and finding strength and comfort in His arms.

I wanted to share this video that we took describing my emotions before I lost all my hair and shaved my head.  May God speak to you clearly in your loss today and give you peace.

A Glimpse Into My Cancer Journey

I am approaching my last chemo treatment in the next three weeks.  I wanted to take time to share  some moments from the past 6 months.  The following are glimpses into my “cancer journey journal”.  I chose one or two entries from each month. My prayer is that God uses these to bring, hope, peace and encouragement to you in your journey.


December 29, 2014

I had my appointment with my team of doctors today.  I found out I have invasive ductile carcinoma.  My diagnosis is that the cancer is stage 3 (in breast tissue & lymph nodes), grade 3 (aggressive & fast growing), and triple negative (not hormone receptive).

This does NOT define me!

I have had good moments and hard moments in this journey so far. God has been with me every step of the way.  Plus the support of my family and friends.  Matt, Breanna and Alyssa are my greatest joy and treasures.

January 25, 2015

In the mid morning I started to struggle and focus on how my body felt and then focus on how I felt emotionally.  This became overwhelming and I didn’t see how I could make it 5 months.  Thank you Holy Spirit for coming  like a flood and turning my eyes on you.  You and You alone are my hope and strength.

January 28, 2015

The day is made of moments

And moments fill my days

These changing moments

These changing emotions

One constant remains

It is you oh Lord

Your presence

Your peace

February 1, 2015

Lord, I am amazed at how close you are to me.  There have been moments when I literally feel you holding me.  Your presence is my strength carrying me through each moment.  Just the mention of Your name & peace overwhelms me.  Even in my sleep last night as I would wake my mind would just think Jesus and your presence came flooding in. Peace overcame anxiety and I fell back asleep.  I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone oh Lord make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

February 2, 2015

I am trying to prepare myself for losing my hair.  there is now way to do this.  I cannot imagine myself without hair.  I am concerned I will look so ugly.  I am worried my head will be bumpy.  Really the list goes on.

God has been so close to me in each appointment, test, and procedure.  He will be with me when I lose my hair , along with my amazing family.  The scripture came to mind that he knows the number of the hairs on my head. (Matthew 10:30)  His care for me is of personal and precise. when my hair does fall out He is the only that knows the number.  WOW! I can face this with You oh Lord my rock.

March 19, 2015

Today is treatment day.  I gain a new med today and schedule.  Go every week for 12 weeks.  So thankful for God’s peace overwhelming me.

Everything went great! No allergic reactions and I feel good. I was fearful, anxious and dreading this day last week and especially a few weeks ago.  You oh Lord made it a great day!  Only YOU- You take my fears, anxiety worries and go before me throwing them out and hand me peace, joy calm, and healing.

March 29, 2015 (during hospital stay)

I have never been this sick before.  In the night when I was struggling so much physically I was worshipping in my heart.  The songs I listen to just ran through my heart and mind.  Matt also played worship music all night a few nights.  Declaring God’s truth.  My physical body was fighting and struggling but my Spirit was strong, praying and worshipping my God!

April 16, 2015

Praise God I was able to have chemo today.  TEN more to go! Thank you Lord being with me.  I feel good and I am thankful fryer strength and help Lord.

I love 2 Corinthians 12:9 (Amplified) Lord show yourself off in my weakness and infirmity.  Pitch the tent of You presence over me and dwell there!

May 7, 2015

Chemo day!

Today was emotional.  Dr. Perkins let us know after my exam that the tumor is not  responding to degree that it needs to.  He added another medication to my treatment.  This medication has been through clinical trial in treating triple negative breast cancer with good results.  Matt and I had seen this studies in our research, so it made the decision easier for us to agree with adding it.  Dr. Perkins is a great doctor and I trust his expertise.

I am trusting God that I will respond wonderfully. This tumor will disappear in Jesus name. I am very concerned and battling worry and fear. I have to actively come against those thoughts and focus on God.  He is my hope and His perfect love casts out fear!

May 14, 2015

This morning is hard emotionally.  Emotions of all of this just came at me.  It all just stinks!! I don’t have hair.  I am so ready to have hair.  It gets consuming dealing with the side effects.  I let myself cry more about it than I have before.  I realized I have to give myself more of these times to grieve what I am going through.

May 27, 2015

So many feelings and some just too hard to put into words. Thank you God I can pour out my heart to you.  You take my thoughts and feelings and make them obedient to Your Word.  You strengthen me in your grace to move on.  Moving Forward!

June 11, 2015

Dr. Perkins had to leave the office for an emergency, so I didn’t get to see him today.  One of my nurses, Katie, checked my records and according to what is there July 2nd is my last treatment.  I am so excited to reach this milestone.  Just THREE more to go!

When Life Takes a Turn….

In this journey called life we experience great joy and pain.  Life can sometimes feel like a roller coaster with all the twists, turn, loops, climbing and stopping.  What an amazing adventure!

When Life Takes A Turn


My adventure brought an unexpected turn into my life.  On December 23, 2014 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  What a crazy day that was for me, Matt and the girls.  We were getting ready for our first presentation of the Christmas Program “Perfect Christmas” that night.  I had tried to have my consult appointment on the 22nd, but nothing was available.  The earliest appointment I could get was 11:00 am on Tuesday.  As Matt and I were waiting in the room, our minds were going and the nervousness of wondering what the doctor was going to say was setting in.  It felt like hours of waiting, but it was only a few minutes.  The doctor came in with the nurse and told us that my biopsy showed I had breast cancer.  I just began to cry along with Matt.  We were speechless.  The news sinking in to our hearts and minds.  They were so kind and patient as we processed and asked a few questions.

What do we do when we are faced with the unexpected twist in our life journey?  These twists and turns can be financial difficulty, illness, loss of a relationship, or job loss.  The difficulties we face do not have to overtake us.  Jesus did on the cross so we would have like and have an abundant full life. (John 10:10)  This is not what our mind and heart naturally lean to in moments like this.  We have to choose to overcome the difficulty and not allow it to overtake us. It is possible to live in Joy, peace and hope in the midst of a situation that is hopeless.  God keeps in perfect peace those who’s mind is stayed on Him. (Isaiah 26:3)  We have to choose and resolve with all our being to keep our shouts and focus on God.  When the thoughts and feelings come like a raging storm to overwhelm us God is the one to calm the storm.

I have days of crying of and on from simply trying to manage the feelings of having cancer.  Some days it was all I could do just to make it through physically. The days of being sick in bed, hospitalized and not being capable of living my “normal” life gets overwhelming.  These feelings are normal to feel.  God understands and lovingly draws us to Himself  during these times.  During these times I had to choose to give in to these feelings or lean into God with my pain.  We cannot ignore the feelings and thoughts.  We have to acknowledge them and take them to God.  He created us and knows our struggles and died so we do not have to stay in these negative thoughts and feelings.

There are a few practical things that I do when I am faced with these moments that bring me peace.

Journal: I have journaled for years.  Mainly they have been prayer journals, dreams I have, and things God has spoken to me.  During this specific journey I have a journal for my cancer journey.  I write each day.  I write down my thoughts, feelings, physical donation, what I did, test results.  Anything that is on my mind.  This helps me come to terms with how I am feeling about my treatment,  and my physical challenges that keep me form doing the things I love.

Say It Out Loud: I spend a lot of time talking to God.  I say out loud to Him how I am feeling.  I talk to Him lie He is sitting in the chair next to me.  I know He already knows how I am feeling and what I am thinking, but it is so beneficial for me to verbally tell Him.  He can handle being told the hard stuff.  He has experienced everything we will ever deal with in life.  As I am communicating with God I feel His love breaking into my circumstance and calming my current storm of feelings.

Have a Thankful Heart: I continue with thanks and prayer.  I thank God for the strength, victories, prayer and support of friends and family to name a few.  I pray and declare God’s Word over my life.  His Word literally brings life to my being.

Be Quiet: I sit quiet and allow God to cover me with His presence.  I give time for Him to speak to me.  Isaiah 30:15 says, ” In repentance and rest is your salvation; In quietness and trust is your strength.” As we quiet ourselves before God and lean into Him in trust He gives us strength to make it through.

I am forever thankful for God’s relentless, amazing love for me.  His perfect love casts out ALL fear (1 John 4:18).  Every day, every moment I call to Him and He answers.  He is truly caring for me every moment of every day.  He is there of you too. No matter what twist you are facing in your life journey. Lean into God int he pain and uncertainty.  He will meet you there and uphold you with His right hand.  (Psalm 63:8)