With this cancer I have realized how important it is for me to keep moving forward; whether this be forcing myself to get up and put one foot in front of the other on a bad day after chemotherapy, or battling negative thoughts and attitudes, or continuing to try to keep typing with hands that are numb and tingling and sometimes painful. But isn’t this true for everyone, no matter what someone’s struggles may be? We all need to keep moving forward.
I remember the saying on a magnet we used to have on our refrigerator years ago…
"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." – (Will Rogers). We all need to keep moving forward, but moving forward with purpose – not aimlessly.
I love trains. Don and I have traveled to New York City many times on a train. You don’t have to worry about the hassles of driving to and through the city, and you avoid the high parking fees and tolls. You can get some rest on the train, or do some work if needed. You can watch the scenery out the windows or take time to think, dream, and anticipate where you are going.
I also love the sound of a train whistle in the distance, knowing it is going somewhere and warning people that it is coming. I have a friend who recently told me of their experience living beside a very busy train track, especially during the night. About every hour, a train would come by, shaking the house and disrupting their sleep! This reminds me that trains are powerful as they move forward with a purpose, toward their destination.
Several days ago, an old chorus from my childhood church days started playing in my head… “This train is bound for glory, this train. This train is bound for glory, this train. This train is bound for glory, if you want to get to heaven, then you gotta be holy. This train is bound for glory, this train.”
As we continue to pray for my healing, knowing the treatment can only hold the tumors stable for a time without God’s intervention, I think more about my purpose and destination. I’m on the train headed for glory - for heaven. If you know Christ, you are also on that train, but you may not think about it frequently if you aren't being faced with leaving this life early.
We can look at the church – Christ’s church – as the train. We are moving forward toward the same destination – heaven. God has given us all a purpose and gifts to use to fulfill this purpose. Ultimately, we want to get more people on the train! Some choose to get off the train and get lost for a while. Some people are afraid to get on the train because they are still not sure where they want to go or if they want to travel this life on their own, which can be a rough and lonely road. There are many reasons why people are unsure about getting on the train. It takes faith to get on this train, but requires no payment as Christ already paid the price.
I chose to get on the train at age 12 and have never regretted it! I grew up in the church and was blessed with many people who set a great example for me and encouraged and taught me along the way. A friend recently shared with me how she grew up going to church and how her father and grandmother instilled in her a love for the church. But her home life became difficult with struggles between her parents, and when she was 16 years old, her parents got divorced. Her parents did not go to church again for the next 28 years. However, my friend still loved the church and never stopped going. She even went to her youth group gathering the day her parents told her they were getting a divorce. She is so grateful that she was on the train and refused to get off, even when she saw her family doing so. She is now very active in ministry and empowers other women who are leaders in their churches. How awesome! She is still moving forward with purpose and still loves the church!
In November, when our daughters were in Southern Asia meeting and working with our Gail’s Girls (see www.Gail’sGirls.org if this is new to you), they took a train to travel between destinations. As they were waiting on the train platform, Rachel knew they would have to run fast when their train got there, but she was also enthralled with the many sites, colors, people, and even the rats on the tracks. She looked down momentarily to fix something on her luggage and when she looked up, she did not see the rest of the group! She turned to the left and started running to find the others, however, they had all turned right! Andrea looked back and saw Rachel running in the opposite direction and yelled her name loudly. Fortunately, Rachel heard her and turned around. She saw the perplexed looks on the others’ faces, wondering why she was running in the opposite direction! She thought about how badly things may have gone if she had not been listening. She turned the right way and got on the right train! Many people need our help and a calling to get on the right train.
Even though I have no doubt that I am on the “glory train” headed to heaven, I still have a purpose to fulfill. I’m not ready to leave here yet, but I have no choice but to continue to trust God and His eternal plan no matter what. I’m so grateful to still be here! My CT scan yesterday showed that the tumors are stable in size and have some more calcifications in them, which shows the chemo is still working. I am receiving large doses of chemo, which causes a lot of side effects, but it is giving me more time. I so appreciate your prayers!
Time with my family is so important. They have all been so supportive and helpful. Don is taking care of me so well and we are enjoying our time together! I love our church and the support and prayers from so many. There is more to do for our Gail’s Girls in southern Asia as we continue to raise support for them and hear the incredible stories of what God is doing through these women leaders in transforming their communities and starting house churches even amidst persecution. They are witnessing healings there and I’m so grateful that they are praying for me also!
We are all on a journey through this life. Another song came to mind lately as Don and I were talking about this. The lyrics are below. “People get ready”.
"People Get Ready"
People get ready There's a train a-coming You don't need no baggage You just get on board All you need is faith To hear the diesels humming Don't need no ticket You just thank the Lord People get ready For the train to Jordan Picking up passengers From coast to coast Faith is the key Open the doors and board them There's room for all among the loved the most There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner Who would hurt all mankind just To save his own Have pity on those whose chances are thinner Cause there's no hiding place From the Kingdom's Throne So people get ready for the train a-comin' You don't need no baggage you just get on board ! All you need is faith to hear the diesels humming Don't need no ticket you just thank, you just thank the Lord I'm getting ready I'm getting ready this time I'm ready this time I'm ready
Songwriters: Curtis Mayfield
People Get Ready lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc
Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart - People Get Ready - YouTube