Misplaced Hope

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Last week, a friend of mine (who also is battling cancer) experienced some disappointment over her lab numbers, and she reached out to let a few of us know.  In her text she mentioned that in revealing her sadness to us, she was exposing that her hope had been misplaced.

Misplaced hope.

For whatever reason, that phrase stuck in my head and I’ve been replaying what that means over and over again for days.  What my friend meant was that she had put so much hope into having the right lab numbers for chemo (as a patient, your labs must reach a certain number in order for you to have chemotherapy), that when hers came back as less than desirable she was disappointed.  Well, I said to myself, ‘Who wouldn’t be?!’.

But then it got me thinking about hope.  I dare say that all of us put our hope into things that are unpredictable, ever changing, and not secure.  Whether that be our house, our belongings, our health, our careers, our kid’s success, our appearance, our finances, etc.  All of these things are so temporary and can be compromised in a split second.  Just look at the news.  My heart is broken for those in Houston, Port Arthur & Beaumont who have just felt the wrath of Hurricane Harvey (click here for ways to help).  And for those (specifically my sister in law and her family from Tampa) who are bracing for Irma.  The devastation alone is almost too much for our human minds to process.

But last week, LAST WEEK, my heart was broken into even more pieces.  My husband’s cousin lost his precious wife in a car accident.  Emily was just 37 years old and an incredible mother to SIX incredible children (two of whom were adopted at birth).  And just like that, so many lives were changed forever.  Trevor and I went to Kansas this weekend to be with the family.  Just sitting in the midst of such sadness made me wrestle even more with the concept of hope.  Trying to comprehend the pain her husband, mother, father and brother are feeling is next to impossible.  But Emily knew Jesus, and that definitely acts as a salve to the wounds of everyone she loved and left here on earth.  Her husband, Matt, knows that she is in heaven with the Lord, all the while HE IS GRIEVING.  But he is not grieving like the rest of mankind who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  His hope is in something predictable, unchanging and totally secure.  His hope is in the Lord, REGARDLESS of circumstances.  (“But now, Lord, where do I put my hope?  My only hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7).

I say all of this not to depress you.  (I realize this post is very different from my others and I might should insert a pic of me in the cold cap for levity about now.)  On the contrary, I say this to encourage you that there is someone out there worthy of our hope.  Living with cancer and all of its ugly has changed the way I feel about bad things.  Bad things (and sometimes very bad things), hurtful things, and painful things happen.  Life is hard.  That is a fact and something that is mentioned in the Bible several times (Psalm 34:17-19; 2 Corinthians 12:10; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9; I Peter 5:10; Romans 8:35-39; John 14:27; 2 Corinthians 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 2:3; James 1:2-4).  But if I continue to place my hope in circumstances that are beyond my control or things of this world, I will be disappointed a lot.

We are not promised a beautiful life filled with only good things.  But we ARE promised a relationship with the God of hope if we choose. Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  How amazing is that?!  This same God of hope is the one using YOU to send me cards to let me know you are praying for me.  He is using YOU to give me hugs and send me funny texts.  He is using YOU to drive my kids all over town.  He is using YOU to deliver hope to me on a daily basis.  The kind of hope that is unexplainable during difficult times.

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Words fail me at a time like this when I feel engulfed in bad news.  I wish I could just put my heart on this paper (screen) instead.  My heart, even in the midst of sadness, is full.  It is hopeful in spite of my diagnosis.  It is filled with compassion for others who are brokenhearted.  It sees life differently after walking this journey.  It yearns for others to know the God I know.  Because when bad things happen, God still provides indescribable hope.  He is preparing us for something even greater than life here on earth.

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Tomorrow I will be heading to Baylor to have my blood work drawn and to see the doctor in preparation for chemo #3 on Tuesday morning (September 12th).  I shared in a previous post that I was concerned about a spot on my leg.  Well, it was confirmed to be a squamous cell carcinoma (a fancy way of saying skin cancer).  Since then, a few more spots have popped up and I had another biopsy done of one spot that was only an inch away from the first.  This one was also a squamous cell carcinoma.  I have cried and cried about these crazy spots and what chemo might or might not be doing to wreak even more havoc on my already weak body (I will try to get more answers tomorrow during my appointment).  But I am confident that the Lord will continue to remind me to not misplace my hope in my health improving or my body getting stronger, but instead to fix my eyes on Him no matter what comes my way.

“For my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless.”  Psalm 141:8

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4:18

Thank YOU for helping me remember that as well.

Please join me in praying for all of those affected by the hurricanes, for my fellow cancer fighters (Amy, Heather, Stephanie, Susan, Kay, Angela, Ed, Sterling, Leslie, Beverly, Louise, Patrick and so many others) and especially for Emily’s family.  We ALL need hope.  Pray that we have the courage to place that hope in something everlasting.

Until next time…much love to you all & make every day count,

Jamie

PS: Gosh, that post was SO SERIOUS.  Sometimes I just get on a roll.  I couldn’t let you go without a laugh, however, so I’ll leave you with this…IMG_6721.JPG

Bring it, #3!

38 thoughts on “Misplaced Hope

  1. Jamie- another beautiful post! I’m praying that the chemo is doing its job, along with those crazy hats! 💁 I’m so sorry for Trevor’s cousin and his family 🙏🙏 to you all. Love, anne

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    1. Thank you so very much, Anne!! Been praying for all of you in Houston as well. I hope you didn’t lose too much (if anything!). Thank you for taking the time to comment – it means a lot to me! Much love!

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  2. Thank you Jamie for your wonderful, encouraging words… words we as believers need to remember everyday when we get bogged down with the temporary and lose sight of the eternal… which really is the only thing that matters. Thank you Jesus for loving us!!! Praying 🙏 ❤️❤️❤️

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  3. Jamie Berry, you are the most wonderful angel on earth. You say the most wonderful things that are so full of truth and life – and HOPE!. Without the Hope of Jesus, we have nothing. And your reminders and eloquent words are a perfect reminder. A blessing. Thank you for always anchoring me and teaching me that I have so much further to grow in my own life. xoxo

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    1. Elizabeth!!!! Thank you sweet friend. You are such an encourager! I appreciate you being a cheerleader for me – I literally cannot do this without my prayer warriors! Thanks for following my journey and for making me smile. Much love to you and ALL of my friends in Houston!!!

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  4. Jamie, your words brought me to my knees. I’m devastatingly going through a divorce, but your words touched me and spoke to me in just the right way. Thank you! You are in my prayers!

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    1. Rachel, I am so very sorry to hear that you are going through a divorce. I will add you to my prayer list. I’m thankful that God used my words to speak to you. You are loved and will make it through this! Thanks for having the courage to reach out!!

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  5. Oh Jamie so sorry about the skin spots

    Thanks for the good reminder about where to place our hope and how to pray
    Hugs
    And will be thinking about you tomorrow
    Mary Emma

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    1. Thank you Mary Emma!! I appreciate your prayers and encouragement. Hope you are enjoying your new home! Think of you every day when I walk in my house and see your beautiful painting. Always receive so many compliments!

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  6. Continuing to pray for you! I love this post and your perspective. So many people are being touched by your writing. Thanks again for always sharing your heart.

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    1. Thank you Jack. I got the sweetest note from Stacey and was blown away by her kindness. We have been praying for you guys during this difficult time for your family. Bob was such an amazing man, and he left a beautiful legacy behind in his daughters and grandchildren. Please give Stacey my love.

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  7. Thanks for sharing your hope, Jamie.

    Reminds me of this song: https://youtu.be/y6TJ8UdOsGM

    And this verse: “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. Psalms 39:7 ESV http://bible.com/59/psa.39.7.ESV

    -Matt Martin

    On Sep 10, 2017 9:32 PM, “The Breast Case Scenario” wrote:

    > Jamie Kraus posted: ” Last week, a friend of mine (who also is battling > cancer) experienced some disappointment over her lab numbers, and she > reached out to let a few of us know. In her text she mentioned that in > revealing her sadness to us, she was exposing that her hope h” >

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  8. Jamie,

    Disappoinment, bad things, painful things – these all come in my category, “Mysteries of life.” I think perhaps God allows these in our life on earth so that we do not become too tied and enamored with our life here and lose sight of a glorious life in heaven. Just my thinking on this, especially after Laura’s death.

    However, we should never lose hope in God here on earth, because we don’t know how He wants to use us in the future.

    I will be thinking about you in preparation for your 3rd chemo – think of this as being 75% DONE!

    BTW, the cold cap reminds me of a hairdryer that my mother had, and I used in high school when I rolled my hair on huge rollers. It had a similar cap and was attached to the motor by a flexible tube. She also had the home version of the big dome, like they have in salons.

    Love you,

    Susan

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    1. You always make me laugh with your stories! I can picture the hairdryer now! Just as lovely as my cap. And yes, ‘mysteries of life’ – I like that. I so appreciate your cards, Susan. Thank you for constantly sending me reminders of encouragement and love. I cannot tell you how much they mean to me. I love you and pray for you and your family daily. GRATEFUL for you!

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  9. Jamie, I have no idea how I’m just now seeing this post. So much love to you and so many prayers for you. I’ll be sharing this post on Friday. I’m thinking there are a lot of people out there who need to hear it. Love you, friend.

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    1. Thank you sweet Sheaffer!!! I’d be honored for you to share this! The Lord is teaching me so much through this difficult season and if I can help just one more person , it’s all worth it! I love you and am grateful for your steadfast friendship!!!!

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  10. As I sit in the local College Station coffee shop about to tackle my work, I read your post and am inspired, to live each day, thankful, no matter the circumstances, and to do something each day to lift someone up and Give God the Glory. Praying for you and your family, Jamie.

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    1. Alison! So very sweet of you. I truly feel so loved and encouraged by all of these comments and am so happy to hear from you! Thank you for paying it forward and lifting others up in his name. It’s amazing how he brings comfort in unexpected ways. Hope you are doing well – much love to you and all of my B/CS friends – I miss you guys!

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  11. Thank you, Jamie. We are having problems with our 17 year old son. I know i have made mistakes and right now I’m struggling to feel hope – reading your post was encouraging:)

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  12. Thank you for these words. I get so earthly minded I lose track of keeping my hope in Him. I’ve encouraged a friend who’s battling cancer to read this. Your writing is so encouraging. Praying for you right now.

    Like

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