Letters to My Sheep: Cancer Letter #1

[Context:  I was diagnosed with colon cancer on Feb 28 and had surgery on March 8th to remove the cancerous part of my colon.  This was read at our worship service this past Sunday, March 17]


            I wish I could be there to worship with you, but the time is not quite right.  I look forward to that time, more than you can know.  My recovery is slow, though most days we can see areas of improvement.  Sometimes my patience is tried by my desire to not be dependent upon others or just to feel normal.  This, I know, is part of the trial.  We will go to see the surgeon for post-op appointment this Thursday and we will have referrals to an oncologist and a radiation oncologist.   And here is yet another aspect of this trial – that we can’t plan out life the way we want or accustom to doing so, but have to live with the unknowns of what lays ahead. 

            And yet, our (and by that I mean you and me) mission remains the same at North Hills.  We want to make the grace of Jesus known inside and outside of our church.  Sometimes we will do this in small and seemingly unnoticeable ways.   Let me give you two quick examples, one personal and one corporate. 

            Toward the end of my hospital stay, one of the physical therapists came into give me a walk,  Her name was Joy.  Those PT’s are always pushing you to move!  But when she came I had actually just gotten back in bed after a short walk and a longer sit in the chair.  I was tuckered!  Joy understood and as she was leaving she mentioned that she was just glad to be able to meet the patient that everyone said had such a good spirit.  I was surprised by her words, but I have never wanted to use my medical condition as an excuse to be mean or rude.  I tried to learn the names of every nurse, orderly, etc… (and there are so many people that come to do various things – especially about 3am!).  I simply tried to treat them with respect.  That spirit, has to be attributed to the Holy Spirit and the Fruit of the Spirit that we have.  In some small way, I hope, while I was there I left some folks at Crestwood with the grace of God. 

            And now back to you.  Sometimes we make God’s grace known in small, personal interactions.  And sometimes it is written with big letters in the sky.  I think that is what y’all have been doing for us.  Demonstrating God’s grace so that it becomes part of the story – not just the suffering.    It is impossible to put into words the depth of our gratitude for how you have stood with us during this season of suffering.  We have been overwhelmed in the best possible way by your love.  That has come in multitude of ways: prayers upon prayers, thoughts, notes & cards, emails, facebook messages, gifts – small and large, practical help, meals, visits, calls, and on and on.  We are blessed beyond measure.  Thank you for being the instruments of God’s grace to us. 

            And so we will learn, grow, and belong together in new and unexpected ways, so that we can proclaim the wonders of our God who saved & redeems, heals & restores.  Until I can be with you again, I pray and seek God’s best for us all.




6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Steve W on March 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Love you bro!!!


  2. Posted by Karen Heirendt on March 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Adam, you were always so gracious when we worked together at CTS and even though I haven’t see you for several years I know this virtue is still a firm part of your character.
    It sounds like you are surrounded by a wonderful community of believers and for your sake I am so thankful. Blessing to you as you continue this fight of your life and I pray that through it all God will be glorified and you and your church community will grow stronger in the Lord as a result.


  3. Posted by Marianna on March 18, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Continuing to pray for you. God is being glorified in and through you. Much love you your sweet family!


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