I’m blessed to be sitting with my twin sister for a few short hours this afternoon. She’s lying quietly in her “London Room.” This room was full of her memorabilia from her journeys to London. It is a place that she loved. She’s moaning right now, unable to say anything or even open her eyes, but her heart rate is good. Her pain has been managed very well by my sister, Dina, and my brother, Richard. They are wonderful caretakers. My mom and dad are sitting with Denise then taking breaks now and then. My two brothers, David and Dathan, are here and doing what they need to do as we have different needs.
Pain–it’s a horrible thing. No one wants it. No one likes it.
My twin sister does not like pain. Her chief concern was that she would not be in pain during the dying process. None of us want to see her in pain anymore either. She’s a fighter though, and this means that she’s fighting the fight of her life. And she has done it so well. Her form may look weak and frail, but it’s her attitude, her belief. She helped us to believe that she could beat this cancer and we were all rooting for her. She helped us to believe in family coming together again as a single unit to minister to each other. She has done all of this. And you know what? She will beat this cancer!
“How will she beat it?” Well think about it. When she passes from this life people will inevitably say that cancer beat her because it killed her. Others will say that cancer beat her because she has not had much quality of life. I would like to answer these two false beliefs and then present to you the truth of the situation.
Cancer beat Denise
Yes, this last year has been hard on Denise. It has been hard on the rest of our family as well, but not like it is with Denise. She has been sick with vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and various and sundry things. She did whatever her doctors told her to do as they, too, we’re fighting for her life. The pain at times in her abdomen were excruciating. She would be keeled over in her recliner with her heating pad on her lower back. She sometimes didn’t take her pain medicine for fear of becoming addicted to it. Denise has struggled all year long with this disease that has attacked her little body.
However, Denise has not been defeated by cancer. I know people will say to my family, “I’m so sorry for your loss.” Denise knows where she’s going and so do we. We are not losing her. Rather, she is beating cancer! How? By leaving it behind of course. She’s not leaving us behind. We happen to be traveling this same road as she. Perhaps we may not have cancer, but our bodies will give out here just the same and then we will be Jesus Christ our Lord. Read what Paul the apostle wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8:
6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord—
7 for we walk by faith, not by sight—
8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
Isn’t that great? You see, Denise is not being beat by cancer. She is just about to receive the greatest victory of her life. To be sure, cancer is not beating Denise.
Quality of Life
Now some of you who know Denise, and those of you who don’t, will say that she’s not had quality of life since all of this began. I don’t think she’d see this way at all. Again, her siblings and parents have all been united in her care. That’s quality of life. She has not been in excruciating paint that’s quality of life. She has all of her affairs in orders that’s quality of life. She knows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That definitely quality of life.
Now I don’t even know where this idea of “quality of life” originated, but who determines the qualified life? The doctors? No, they didn’t improve it for Denise. Do you or I determine quality of life? No, we don’t have control over anyone else’s life except our own.
I will tell you who determines the quality of life: Jesus Christ Himself! Read what John the apostle wrote in John 3:16:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life
You see, God determined that life has quality that He is willing to give it to anyone who believes Jesus Christ unto salvation. Read the account in Genesis 2:7:
Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
If He is the One who breathed life into the nostrils of man, then life has quality. Furthermore, read how God has formed each of us according to the psalmist in Psalm 139:13-18:
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
So the days of life that have been ordained for Denise is qualified by God because He is the One who formed her–who formed us–in our mother’s womb.
The Truth of the matter
I believe with all my being that we are not losing Denise and I do not agree with the idea that she has no quality of life. Every breath is qualified by the Maker of heaven and earth. And even more importantly than that, her quality of life is about to change to that of a greater kind. Although she will be absent from the body, she will be present with Jesus Christ. Paul the apostle said it best in Philippians 1:21:
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
See? For Denise to die is gain! That’s quality of life! She inherits everything. At the point of death here in this life she will inherit and see that which already belongs to her. She will see “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6).
Thanks, Niecey! You’re showing us and still teaching us how to live. I love, 1/2!